Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Houston Open

    Chris will be bringing you weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. As every week in DFS PGA changes with the course setup, field of players and weather, Chris will be providing a range of different picks for cash games as well as upside plays for tournaments. If you have any questions to lineup lock you can reach him a variety of ways. Leave your question/comment below in the comments section, find him in the DFSR Chat room or hit him up on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9). Chris is also providing his DFS PGA Weekly cheatsheet where he provides stats, course history, current form, fantasy points, and much more. Grab your copy today and edge out the competition.

    Houston Open

    After a Kevin Na playoff win over Patrick Cantlay at the Shriners Open, the PGA Tour fall season continues with a trip to Humble, Texas for the Houston Open. It is an event making its Fall debut and was normally played in late March/early April and was a favorite stop of many were preparing for the Masters the following week. With the scheduling change, there are a few changes overall with the biggest being the field and lack of depth at the top as none of the Top 35 players and just two of the Top 50 in the World are teeing it up this week.

    The Golf Club of Houston is a Par 72 setup that stretches out to a listed 7,441 yards on the scorecard(from last event). The fairways widths here are about average and looking at the last five events here, the average driving accuracy was slightly over 60% for the field and closer to 65% for the cut makers. There are definitely some challenges on some of the holes with bunkers in key landing areas and like Hole #1, on both sides of the fairway. With this course annually set up to somewhat resemble Augusta the rough was always low and could be grown out a bit more this year but should still offer easier than average approaches if a golfer should miss the fairway. This puts more weight on Strokes Gained: Approach for me when breaking down the Ball Striking stats this week. Speaking of those approach shots, the greens here at GC of Houston are much larger than average(7,500 sq ft) and many of them are multi-tiered and this brings in the importance of not just hitting the green(70%+ GIR annually) but getting it close to the pin(Proximity).

    When it comes to difficulty, the course has ranked outside the Top 23 in each of the last five events here and twice it has come in outside the Top 40 in difficulty(2018, 2015). The wind is one of the biggest defenses of the course so it will be important to stay up to date on the forecast leading right up to lineup lock. As of now, the winds appear to be the worst on Friday reaching around 15 mph with gusts in the 20-30 mph range. Either way, the scores should be low and once again putting a ton of weight on Birdie or Better %.

    Let's get into the picks!

    The Course

    Golf Club of Houston
    Par 72 - 7,425 Yards
    Greens - Poa/Bent

    **Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**

    Previous Five Winners

    • 2018 - Ian Poulter(-19)
    • 2017 - Russell Henley(-20)
    • 2016 - Jim Herman(-15)
    • 2015 - J.B. Holmes(-16)
    • 2014 - Matt Jones(-15)

    Top Stats in the Model

    • Strokes Gained: Approach
    • Proximity
    • Birdie or Better %
    • Par 4 Scoring

    When breaking down the top stats I use a combination of my own cheatsheet and the tools over at FantasyNational.com.


    Top Tier Targets

    Russell Henley
    World Golf Ranking (#161)
    Vegas Odds (25/1)
    Draftkings ($10,100)
    FanDuel ($10,500)

    Course history brings us to the first big decision of the week as Daniel Berger returns to the Houston Open with four straight Top 25 finishes while Russell Henley returns with five straight Top 10's including a win in 2017. Berger has the better form(T18, T23) to start the season but that has never affected Henley before as only twice has he came into this event with a Top 10 in five previous events before the Houston Open. He also has a big edge on my sheet in terms of stats, ranking 22nd(in this field) in SG: Approach(Berger 75th), 32nd in Proximity(Berger 100th), and also has a slight edge in Par 4 Scoring and Bogey Avoidance. I will have exposure to both this week but lean Henley in my cash game builds.

    Scottie Scheffler
    World Golf Ranking (#82)
    Vegas Odds (30/1)
    Draftkings ($9,900)
    FanDuel ($10,800)

    When you get weaker field events like this and see two players(Berger, Henley) in the same range who both have elite course history you can almost peg them in as the highest owned options. While both are good plays, it does open up pivot options for GPP and Scheffler is one of these for me this week. He has been impressive in his rookie season making each of his first three cuts and leads the Tour with a 65.83 scoring average in the first two rounds. The issue has come on the weekend as he has been just over seven strokes worse on average and when he figures that out(I am banking on this weekend) he will be the next youngster hoisting his first trophy on Tour.

    Mid Tier Targets

    Lanto Griffin
    World Golf Ranking (#176)
    Vegas Odds (45/1)
    Draftkings ($8,000)
    FanDuel ($9,500)

    Griffin has been tremendous in his return to the PGA Tour this season finishing all four events inside the Top 20 and shooting 70 or better in 14 of 16 rounds with a 68.19 scoring average. Digging deeper and looking at the stats, he has gained strokes both off the tee and on the approach in three of those events, gained strokes on Par 4's in all four events, and rank Top 20 in Birdie or Better Gained as well. He missed the cut here last year and my only hope is that sways the masses away from him as his form is on another level compared to then. I will have exposure in all formats.

    Bronson Burgoon
    World Golf Ranking (#169)
    Vegas Odds (55/1)
    Draftkings ($8,400)
    FanDuel ($9,400)

    Burgoon is coming off a disappointing 2018-19 season where he made just 45% of his cuts but has turned it around in the fall season. He has made three of four cuts in the early going while shooting in the 60's in 11 of 14 rounds and now returns to the Houston Open where he finished T24 in 2018 and would have been in contention if not for a third-round 75. When breaking down his ball striking, it is clear where his strengths lie and it is the approach game as he has gained strokes in that area in eight straight events(20 strokes total) and that lines up beautifully here at the GC of Houston. Likely not leaning his way in cash games but he is definitely a part of my GPP play pool this week.

    Value Targets

    Doc Redman
    World Golf Ranking (#146)
    Vegas Odds (100/1)
    Draftkings ($7,200)
    FanDuel ($8,400)

    Redman has put on a ball-striking clinic to start the season gaining 6.4 strokes off the tee and 13 strokes on the approach through his first four events. He has made three of four cuts, shot 70 or better in four of six weekend rounds, and the only thing holding him back at the moment is the fact the green and anything around it is like kryptonite for him(192nd in SG: Around the Green, 164th in SG: Putting). I will take the near-elite ball striking and value price at this weak field event and bank on him eventually getting the flat stick going and showing us the upside.

    Scott Harrington
    World Golf Ranking (#299)
    Vegas Odds (110/1)
    Draftkings ($6,900)
    FanDuel ($8,200)

    If you are looking to go even lower this week there are multiple players who pop in my model, one of them being Scott Harrington. While it is not measurable by a stat, Harrington definitely does not take anything for granted given his long road to the PGA Tour. What we can measure is the early success he has had with Top 25 finishes in two of his first three starts while gaining strokes off the tee and on the approach in all three as well. He missed the cut at the Safeway in large part to flat stick as he lost over five strokes to the field but has gained over four strokes putting in the other two events. We don't need to go here in cash games but he makes a projected low owned GPP play in stars and scrubs lineup builds.

    Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for six years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in college football, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NHL and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jager_Bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.

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