Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – The Honda Classic
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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If you thought last week was chaos with chalk falling off the board(see what I did there?), buckle up folks! This week the PGA Tour heads to Palm Beach Gardens and the PGA National Champion Course for the 2021 Honda Classic. Counting the majors, this course has ranked Top 5 hardest on Tour in three straight and five of the last six years.
For DFS purposes, one of the challenges for us this week is the weaker field as there are just six players who currently rank inside the Top 50 teeing it up at the Honda Classic. Keep this in mind when looking at pricing as we generally see a 20-30% increase in pricing vs. stronger field events.
Let's take a closer look at the scorecard, previous winners, top stats in my model, and then dive into my core plays in each price range. Also, a reminder to catch my Jagerbombs Wednesday Night PGA Shots show over on my new Sportscastr channel.
Par 70 - 7,125 Yards
Greens - Bermuda
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2020 - Sungjae Im(-6)
- 2019 - Keith Mitchell(-9)
- 2018 - Justin Thomas(-8)
- 2017 - Rickie Fowler(-12)
- 2016 - Adam Scott(-9)
Top Stats in the Model
Strokes Gained: Approach
I have ball-striking very high in my model each and every week and this week it is approach that stands out much more as it has had almost double the correlation of SG: Off the Tee over the last couple of years. The biggest difference from last week is the green size as PGA National's average around 7,000 sq feet compared to that of the much smaller 5,000 sq feet greens at TPC Sawgrass. This has me also looking at Proximity when going deep in the approach stats and the distance range really depends on the golfer I am targeting or researching(long hitters I look at 125-175 yard & short hitters 175-200+ yards).
Par 4 Scoring
With the Par 70 setup at the PGA National Champions course that means just two par 5's and 12 Par 4's. They are also very evenly distributed in terms of distance:
- Less than 400 yards - 3
- 400-450 Yards - 4
- 450+ yards - 4
If you are looking to break down a range in your model if using Fantasy National it is the same gameplan for that I mentioned with Proximity distance above. It all depends on teh player you are researching.
When breaking down the top stats I use a combination of my own cheatsheet and the tools over at FantasyNational.com.
With all that said, let's get into the picks!
Top Tier Targets
It is a very interesting top tier this week with a mix of guys I have been on in lower-top/mid-tier all season. My model on the sheet has Berger and Im #1/#2 respectively and I lean Berger for a few reasons starting with the current form and more specifically the iron game. Berger comes in hot in the SG: Approach department gaining nine strokes on approach over the last three events which resulted in a win at Pebble Beach, a disappointing T35 at the WGC, and a T9 last that very well could have been a win if not for losing .9 strokes putting. He posted a T4 here last year and if the putter comes back to form a little with this ball-striking I fully expect Berger to be contending on Sunday afternoon.
This is uncharted territory for Gooch's price as we have never even seen him over $8K on DraftKings let alone sitting firmly in the $9K this week. It is a product of field strength or the lack thereof, so I am not completely terrified to add him to my core this week. He is coming off an impressive T5 at the PLAYERS where he shot under par in all four rounds including two sub 70 rounds led by his iron game as he finished 4th in SG: Approach. Looking at the larger sample size for stats on my sheet, Gooch is 23rd in this field in SG: Tee to Green, Top 20 in Putting on Bermuda, 13th in Par 4 Scoring, 25th in BoB%, and 18th in Bogey Avoidance(always huge here). He missed the cut here in his first trip back in 2018 but has been much better since with a T20 and T38 which I have as his floor this week. In this field, I also see him contending on Sunday so I will not only have DFS exposure but also bet him outright and most likely Top 10.
Mid Tier Targets
You are going to want to sit down for this one!
That is right, it might be full Keegan week, and let me tell you why. I mentioned in the key stats section that ball-striking was huge and that SG: Approach was my focus when breaking that down further. Well, Keegan leads this field in SG: Ball Striking and is 3rd in SG: Approach on my sheet and he gives us some above-average distance and is near elite from all mid to long iron proximity distances. There is always risk with his putter but the good news is that he has gained strokes on the green in two straight events and came away with a T10 at the Arnold Palmer and a T29 last week at the PLAYERS. While I don't think he wins this week, I think he can pay off that mid $8K price tag with a Top 25 finish and even exceed it with a possible Top 10.
World Golf Ranking (#144)
Vegas Odds (91/1)
Down at the bottom of this mid-tier price range is James Hahn who had been very solid all season. He comes into this week having made nine of 12 cuts(75%) but what really stands out are the four Top 10's and five Top 25 finishes. While the stats don't jump off the sheet(41st in SG: BS, 38th in SG: APP), he has been red-hot with the irons gained 3+ strokes on the field in three of his last four events. What does stand out on the sheet for stats is the fact he is 2nd in Par 4 Scoring, 21st in BoB% and 4th in Bogey Avoidance. At these prices, Hahn is one of my favorite PTS/$ value plays in all formats this week.
World Golf Ranking (#264)
Vegas Odds (126/1)
Things get dicey down here in the $6K range(DK) but Percy is one I trust, even in cash games, if looking to grab a couple of these top-tier players this week. He comes in having made eight of 11 cuts(73%) on the season with a couple Top 10's and four Top 25 finishes. The ball-striking is what stands out the most when looking at the recent stats model as he is 10th in this field over the last 12 rounds and 27th when looking at a larger sample sie from my cheatsheet.