Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – WM Phoenix Open
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Welcome back golf fans. It was a wild weather week at Pebble Beach that actually saved us most of the pain of having to watch celebrities and other amateurs make bad shots and jokes(I see you Bill Murray). This was due to the third round being suspended with the tour deciding Sunday would be pros only as they had to finish the third round before starting the final round. It was a jam-packed Sunday but in the end, it was a win for team "old guy" as Justin Rose was the only player in the field to shoot in the 60's all four rounds and did it with a 65/66 on the weekend.
This week we have the event everyone(except those who hate fun) has been waiting for! The PGA Tour heads to TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoneix and just when you thought this event couldn't get better, the PGA Tour has made it an elevated event in 2023 which means a huge $20,000,000 purse. That increase in prize money also brings an elite field that includes eight of the Top 10 and 37 of the Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.
The best part of this upcoming week, you ask? Multi-course rotations are done for the season!
The WM Phoenix Open is hosted by TPC Scottsdale which is a Par 71 setup listed at 7,261 yards on the scorecard. It is most known for the fully enclosed Par 3, 16th hole which welcomes over 20,000 fans per day which easily makes it the loudest hole in golf. The rest of the course doesn't get nearly as much hype but is a very solid TPC setup that has ranked 26th or tougher in difficulty rankings in three of the last four years(including majors) and has failed to reach a winning score of -20 since back in 2013. The four Par 3's are pretty standard with three between 160 and 180 yards and one longer one at 215 yards. The Par 4's provide a great mix with one short driveable Par 3 that comes directly after the crazy 16th hole. After that, they are split with five that fall between 400-450 yards and five that fall between 450-500 yards. All three of the Par 5's are in the 550-yard range and while that screams "scoring holes" they play much harder with plenty of hazards forcing accuracy. These types of holes are great as they can produce birdies or eagles or doubles or worse.
An early look at strategy leads me to stars and scrubs builds this week as there is just too much talent up top to not try and build around 2-3 of them in a lineup. With this likely being the chalk build, it does open up some leverage spots going with a more balanced lineup or just pivoting off some of the more chalky top-tier plays. Make sure to join me in chat on Wednesday to discuss final picks, rankings, and strategies.
With all that said, let's take a look at the course info, previous winners, top stats in my model, and then dive into some picks!
Par 72 - 7,261 Yards
Greens - Mix
**Click the image above to see a hole-by-hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2022 - Scottie Scheffler(-16)
- 2021 - Brooks Koepka(-19)
- 2020 - Webb Simpson(-17)
- 2019 - Rickie Fowler(-17)
- 2018 - Gary Woodland(-18)
Top Stats in my Model
- Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
- Good Drive %
- Proximity 150-175 Yards
- Opportunities Gained
- Birdie or Better %
Course History Targets
World Golf Ranking (#2)
Vegas Odds (14/1)
With this being an elevated event, we have five players in the top tier this week and you can make a strong argument for all of them but unless you are playing 150-max contests, you likely have to narrow it down to two to three. For me, Scheffler checks the most boxes and it starts with course history as he returns to defend his title from last year and also added a T7 in 2021. After missing the cut in 2020, he changed his formula here and found success over the last two years with elite driving and putting ranking 5th in SG: OTT/8th in SG: P in 2021 and 4th in SG: OTT/2nd in SG: P last year. I also love the fact he is coming into this year's event with much better form(T11, T7 in 2023) than those previous two years. Scheffler is my favorite play in the top tier this week.
World Golf Ranking (#49)
Vegas Odds (80/1)
There is obviously a lot better course history in the field but I with stars & scrubs a popular build, I wanted to include some value in each range and J.T. Poston fits the mould. He isn't a player I am looking at to win but from a PTS/$ standpoint, he has been solid here making the cut in all four trips including a career-best T11 in 2021 and three finishes of T26 or better. What really stands out is the price which has dropped back down after trending up through the first two events of the 2023 portion of the season. That is great news as the form is still trending up as he has not only made the cut in six of his last seven events, but he has Top 25 finishes in four straight. I will have exposure on DraftKings and FanDuel in all formats.
Also Consider: Jon Rahm who has never finished worse than T16 in seven trips to TPC Scottsdale or Mark Hubbard as a punt play who has made the cut in all four trips with finishes of T30(2021) and T9(2020) in his last two trips
Current Form Targ
World Golf Ranking (#7)
Vegas Odds (20/1)
You can almost throw a blanket over about a dozen players at the top when looking at current form but it's Morikawa I will roll with which admittedly has a lot to do with the sub $10K price tag on DraftKings. Morikawa had a slow start to the fall season with finishes of T45, T29, and T15 but has taken off in 2023. He was five holes from winning the Tournament of Champions but three straight bogeys found him finish runner-up behind Rahm but he bounced back with a 3rd at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has gained 2+ strokes total in seven of eight rounds and ranks 1st in SG: Ball Striking, 1st in Good Drive %, 4th in Par 4 scoring, and 6th in BoB over the last 12 rounds. Fire up Morikawa in all formats and consider an outright bet a 20-1.
World Golf Ranking (#39)
Vegas Odds (70/1)
Conners has reached a season-low price on DraftKings as it has dipped below $8K for just the second time this season. That is just one reason why he is one of my top value plays this week as he checks almost every box in my model. From a form standpoint, he is coming off a disappointing T12 at the Sony Open and I say that as he led the field in ball striking(+9.1) but as has been the case in the past, he had a bad week putting. The good news here is that TPC Scottsdale brings the bad putters much closer to the field. Back to the form as Conners now has Top 25 finishes in four straight events and is currently Top 10 in ball striking in this elite field. All things considered, Conners is one of my favorite PTS/$ for DFS this week.
Also Consider: Max Homa who has two wins, three Top 5's and hasn't finished outside the Top 25 in five events this season or Adam Hadwin who comes cheap and has been quietly very consistent in making the cut in 11 straight and 19 of his last 21 cuts with six Top 10's
Stats Model Targets
World Golf Ranking (#16)
Vegas Odds (30/1)
Young could have easily fit into the form section this week as he is one of 12 players in this field who have played four or more events and have yet to miss a cut this season. It correlates very closely with the stats model I have this week as he ranks 7th in SG: Ball Striking, 22nd in SG: Approach, 7th in Prox from 150-175 yards, 7th in Opp Gained, and 5th in BoB. Much like Conners, who I mentioned above, his downfall is the putter which lines up as this is an event where bad putters are a lot closer to the field. Young is underpriced for his floor and ceiling combination and is in play in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#47)
Vegas Odds (90/1)
This one is a lot smaller sample size but I just can't ignore how good Chris Kirk has looked through two events in 2023. He finished 3rd at both the American Express and the Sony Open shooting in the 60's in all eight rounds with four of those rounds 65 or better. That success has been led by his iron play as he gained 9.8 strokes on approach combined in those events but was also tremendous around(+3.6) and on(+4.8 ) the greens. The course history is a bit of a roller coaster ride but he has made the cut in six of nine trips including a T14 last year. At these prices, I will have exposure in all formats.
Also Consider: Tom Kim who is 9th in SG: Ball Striking, 4th in SG: Approach, 3rd in Prox 150-175, and 9th in Opp Gained in this field over the last 12 rounds