Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – The Genesis Invitational
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It was another wild week at the WM Phoenix Open and the elevated event definitely did not disappoint as the leaderboard was stacked all weekend. It was Scottie Scheffler, who was one of three players to shoot in the 60's in all four rounds, taking home the trophy and also taking back #1 in the World.
This week the Tour heads back to California to close out the West Coast swing with the Genesis Invitational and like last week, this is another "elevated event" with a huge 20 million dollar purse. That was the story of the week up until Friday afternoon when Tiger Woods Tweeted out he would be playing in the Genesis Invitational. He joins an already elite field that includes nine of the Top 10(no Cam Smith for LIV reasons) and 39 of the Top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.
After a tough week at TPC Scottsdale, things don't get any easier for the players as they will take on Riviera Country Club this week. Despite Joaquin Niemann posting the lowest winning score(-19) since it was the Northern Trust Open back in 1985, this course plays as one of the toughest non-major stops year in and year out(16th, 11th, 9th, 7th, 6th hardest last 5 years).
Things get tough right off the tee as players see some of the narrowest fairways on tour which leads to low driving accuracy numbers. This, once again, has me high on Good Drive % which looks at a combination of driving accuracy + GIR % when missing the fairway. Looking at the correlated Strokes Gained stats this week, Ball Striking is once again important but unlike last week when Off the Tee and Approach were very even, it is Strokes Gained: Approach well ahead in terms of importance when looking at past results. Breaking that down further and looking at Proximity, the ranges I like this week are 150-175 and 175-200 yards which both are well above tour average in terms of volume(via FNGC). Low driving accuracy numbers also brings low greens in regulation numbers which puts a ton of importance on Strokes Gained: Around the Green as getting up and down for par is oftentimes like a birdie on this tough course.
The Riviera Country Club
Par 71 - 7,322 Yards
Greens - Poa
**Click the image above to see a hole-by-hole flyby from GolfDigest on YouTube**
Previous Five Winners
- 2022 - Joaquin Niemann(-19)
- 2021 - Max Homa(-12)
- 2020 - Adam Scott(-11)
- 2019 - J.B. Holmes(-14)
- 2018 - Bubba Watson(-12)
Top Stats in Model
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Good Drive %
- Fairways Gained
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green
- Poa Putting
Course History Targets
Homa is one of just five players in this elite field to rank Top 10 in both my current form and course history models this week. He missed the cut here as an amateur and as a rookie on tour in 2014 and 2015 but has been spectacular since making four straight cuts including a win in 2021, T5 in 2020, and T10 last year. During that stretch(last five years), he is 2nd in this field in Strokes Gained: Total at Riviera and 1st in DraftKings scoring. While he disappointed with a T39 last week, he comes in with nice form with two wins(Fortinet Championship, Farmers Ins Open) and Top 25 finishes in five of six events this season. Jammed right behind the elite golfers and coming off that poor performance, I expect him to be even lower owned this week making him a great target for GPP's.
If we are going to be heavy on a stars and scrubs build this week, we are going to need some value and Patrick Rodgers checks a lot of boxes starting with his course history. He missed the cut here last year but had previously finished 30th or better in five straight trips to Riviera and is 21st in Strokes Gained: Total over that six-year stretch. The profile fits as he is above average off the tee and above average on and around the greens. After making seven straight cuts in the fall season, he missed the cut in back-to-back events at the AMEX and Farmers but then rebounded last week with an excellent T14. Rodgers is one of my top overall values in all formats.
Also Consider: Viktor Hovland who not only has Top 5 finishes in two trips to Riviera but also is priced under $9K on DraftKings
Current Form Targets
World Golf Ranking (#57)
Vegas Odds (40/1)
Day is easily having the best start to a season since 2019 and is on pace to lock up the Comeback Player of the Year award. He did miss the cut at the season-opening Fortinet Championship but bounced back with four straight Top 25 finishes. He then missed the cut at the RSM CLassic to close out the fall but has started the 2023 portion of the season with three more Top 25 finishes including an impressive 5th place finish last week. His game has been great all around as he ranks 4th in SG: Tee to Green, 3rd in Good Drive%, 3rd in Par 4 scoring, 14th in SG: Approach, and 4th in SG: Putting. He doesn't have great course history here but with this form I see another top finish coming. Fire up the Day train in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#106)
Vegas Odds (125/1)
After missing three straight cuts, Taylor Moore has really tightened up the ball striking and has been on a little run finishing Top 15 in three straight events. His most impressive performance was last week in the elevated event where he gained 6.3 strokes ball striking. He has missed four cuts in 11 events on the season so I can't yet call him consistent but when he makes the cut he is in the mix as he has six Top 25's in seven made cuts. The price is still in a great spot for someone who is playing as well as Moore which has him as one of my top value plays this week.
Also Consider: Seamus Power who has made eight of nine cuts on the season with a win(Bermuda Champ) and Top 25 finishes in six straight
Stats Model Targets
World Golf Ranking (#13)
Vegas Odds (18/1)
Finau checks all the boxes this week and with the elite field comes in comfortably in the lower half of the top tier of pricing on both sites. Let's starts with the stats as he is #5 in my overall model on the sheet and #1 when looking at just the last 24 rounds(via FNGC). During that stretch, he ranks 4th in SG: Ball Striking, 4th in Good Drive %, 7th in SG: Approach, 4th in Par 4 scoring, 1st in Opp gained, and 2nd in Birdies Gained. After missing the cut at the Mayakoba in November, Tony bounced back with a win at the Houston Open and now comes in with five straight Top 15 finishes. The course history is a bit up and down but the good news is that he returns having made the cut in five straight trips including two runner-up finishes. Lock and load in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#80)
Vegas Odds (75/1)
I mentioned Jason Day as a Comeback Player of the Year candidate but he won't get there if Rickie has anything to say about it. He has now made six of seven cuts on the season and is coming off his third Top 10 last week at the WM Phoenix Open. The form is great but the stats are what really jump off the page as Rickie has gained 6.3 and 4.2 strokes on approach over the last two events while also gaining 4.1 strokes putting in both. Looking at the short-term model(last 24 rounds), he ranks 23rd in ball striking, 5th in SG: Approach, 17th in my key Proximity range(150-175 yards), 13th in Opp Gained, and 6th in Birdies Gained. I will have exposure to Rickie in all formats.
Also Consider: Si Woo Kim who is 8th in my short-term model(20th in BS, 24th GD%, 16th SG:APP, 5th Opp Gained, 16th Par 4) and has reeled off four straight Top 25 finishes including a win at the Sony Open and hasn;t missed a cut since the Scottish Open last July(12 straight)