Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Charles Schwab Challenge
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. Want more? He also provides a cheatsheet with stats, course history, current form, player write-ups for cash and GPP, a customizable model, and much more.
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GOLF IS BACK! Ok, what I really mean is that PGA is back as I will admit I enjoyed researching and learning about the Outlaw Tour and Golden State Tour's. I am a stats junkie, however, so getting the full PGA Tour stats database back in our favor has me jumping up and down like my dad in a Harley Davidson shop.
Part two of the 2020 season takes the Tour to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge. The fans are not the only ones excited and it shows by the elite field consisting of each of the World's Top 5 players(McIlroy, Rahm, Koepka, Thomas, Johnson). Overall, there are 17 of the Top 25 and 37 of the Top 50 players in the World teeing up this week at Colonial.
While the name has changed, this event has been played at Colonial going all the way back to 1970. The course is a Par 70 posted at 7,209 yards on the scorecard and is much more of a precision style course than a bombers paradise. Tight, tree-lined fairways with well-placed fairway bunkers make placement off the tee key to have access to the smaller than average bentgrass greens. One of the biggest defenses of the course is the wind and it shows in the inconsistent winning scores over the years ranging from -10 to -21 over the past 10 years. Twice it has ranked Top 10 in difficulty but on average is more around Top15 in difficulty.
From a fantasy standpoint, I will be looking at more of a long term model this week with the long lay-off but there are a few stats that I will be concentrating on and it starts with Par 4 scoring as there are 12 on this Par 70 setup. Seven of those par 4's come in the 400-450 yard range and over 26% of all approach shots come from the 150-175 yard range so proximity from that range will also be high in my model.
Looking at the outline, it has been +2 to +5 over the past five years and I would think it is the same this time around due to the layoff. Every player is pretty much in the same boat not being able to play a round of professional or for most, any round of golf at all. This adds a whole new level of variance and I will not at all pretend to know who is going to win(not that I ever know lol) or be ready to get back in the grind of things. If there was ever a week to muli enter a GPP and try a bunch of different core builds, this is it. I won't be overexposing myself to any golfer but rather playing lots of lineups with a slightly bigger player pool.
With all that said, let's dig into some of my core players for this week.
Colonial Country Club
Par 70 - 7,029 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2019 - Kevin Na(-13)
- 2018 - Justin Rose(-20)
- 2017 - Kevin Kisner(-10)
- 2016 - Jordan Spieth(-17)
- 2015 - Chris Kirk(-12)
Top Stats in the Model
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Par 4 Scoring
- Proximity from 150-175 yards
- Birdie or Better %
When breaking down the top stats I use a combination of my own cheatsheet and the tools over at FantasyNational.com.
Top Tier Targets
A large number of my builds this week will start with the #1 player in the world. He slips to #26 in my main model but that is only due to a lack of no course history here at Colonial. I ran a second model taking out course history and by no surprise, Rory showed up right at the top spot. While current form is somewhat subjective this week due to the long break, Rory definitely was on top of his game early in the season finishing Top 5 in each of his first six events including a win at the WGC HSBC Champions back in November. He is #2 in my long term stats model ranking 2nd in SG: Approach, 11th in Par 4 Scoring, 2nd in Bogey Avoidance, and 4th in Birdie or Better %. If paying up this week, Rory is my top play in all formats and game types.
Leishman's price is right on par(no pun intended) with where it has been all season and while it is early, it appears he could be much lower owned than others in this high $8K/low $9K range. As of Monday afternoon, he has just three tags on FanShareSports while seemingly everyone around him has already hit double-digits. Ownership aside, I believe he is a great play and was off to a terrific start this season making eight straight cuts coming in including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open and runner-up at the most recent event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is pretty average in terms of the stats model ranking 34th but stands out in one key area as he ranks 3nd in SG: Approach and 20th in Proximity from 150-175 yards. Leishman is not only a core play for me this week in DFS but I will also be placing an outright bet on him at 45-1 odds.
Mid Tier Targets
For cash games this week, I will most definitely be using a balanced lineup build and Kuchar is right at the top of that player pool list. Whether you are weighing course history, form, or stats this week, Kuchar hits on all three. He returns to Colonial with 10 made cuts in 11 career trips including a runner-up in 2013, three Top 10's, and six Top 25 finishes. He has made four straight cuts coming into this week including a runner-up at the Genesis Invitational in mid-February. From a stats perspective, he is a model golfer for Par 70 courses and is 9th in SG: Total in this field over the last 50 rounds played on Par 70's. He is accurate off the tee(10th in Driv Acc), great from key distances(19th Prox from 150-175), and is also an excellent putter(11th in SG: Putting). he is a core piece for me in cash and I will also have exposure in GPP formats at his mid $8K price tag.
English probably hated this lay-off more than most as he was having one hell of a bounce-back season in 2019-20. After not posting one Top 10 and only four Top 25's the year before, he came out firing in fall season making the cut in five of six events including four finishes of T6 or better. That carried over into 2020 as he has made five cuts since the calendar flipped including three straight Top 20's at the Arnold Palmer Invitational(T9), Honda Classic(T17), and Waste Management Phoenix Open(T16). He has been good on Par 70's(39th in SG: TOT last 50 rounds) and very good on Bentgrass greens(8th best average SG: Putting over last calendar year). He has also made the cut here at Colonial in five of six trips with two Top 5's. He is likely going to be chalky but with a mid $7K price tag, is in play in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#123)
Vegas Odds (140/1)
Considering Knox had missed four straight cuts in February and March, he likely welcomed the break from golf. While that form does scare me, it makes me feel much better with the return to golf being one of Knox's best courses on tour in terms of history. He has made four trips to Colonial CC in his young career and has finished Top 25 in all of them including an 8th place finish last year. His game sets up well as he has an elite Approach game(9th in SG: APP, 11th in overall proximity, 5th in fairway proximity) and is also 17th in this elite field in Par 4 scoring. While the upside may not be there as he is 80th in Biridie or Better %, he makes a nice cash game target with his course history and the fact he ranks 9th in this field in Bogey Avoidance.
World Golf Ranking (#231)
Vegas Odds (400/1)
For my stars and scrubs, GPP builds this week, there is definitely merit in dipping down to the min salary range and Teater is one name that stands out. Consistency is definitely not what you are going to get with him as he has missed seven of 10 cuts this season but he returns to a course he has thrived at in the past finishing T17, T37, T7, T57, and T16 in his last five trips to Colonial. Not at all worried about the pre-COVID form as he went into last year's event with missed cuts in three straight and five of six events prior to his T17. I won't have a lot of exposure here, but I love how his price allows us to stack the top of the field.