Welcome back, RotoBallers! With golf being one of the leading sports to make its return to normalcy, many first-time viewers and DFS players were treated to what a typical week of golf can produce - chaos and insanity. The back-nine on Sunday was littered with the usual ensemble of star-studded golfers that we are used to seeing, but in the end, Daniel Berger found his name on top of the leaderboard after firing a Sunday four-under 66.
While many were left surprised that Berger was ultimately the player to emerge from the ashes, maybe it shouldn't have come as a shock. Always regarded as a premier talent, the American had his career derailed by a wrist injury that sidelined him in 2018 and conclusively left his 2019 campaign in shambles. However, a recent run before golf's three-month departure took place had seen the 27-year-old put together six straight top-38 results, including three consecutive top-nine finishes. There is a reason why 13 percent of participants in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker played the now three-time PGA Tour winner, and the outcome undoubtedly helped to propel many to a week of profit.
I take great pride in the research and energy I put into my selections from a mathematical standpoint, but my numbers or information aren't always the law. If you have any questions about a particular player from a PGA DFS or PGA betting perspective, please feel free to contact me on Twitter @Teeoffsports. Many golfers barely miss out on being mentioned here by fractions of a percent, and I am more than happy to discuss my feelings or stance on anyone that may have caught your eye. Like always, the purpose of this piece is to help you put together your optimal daily fantasy golf lineups for DraftKings, whether that be from a GPP perspective or a cash-game mentality. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!Editor's Note: Golf is back! Come join the fun and win big with RotoBaller. Get our full-season PGA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off! Our exclusive DFS Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, DFS Projections and weekly DFS/betting articles! Sign Up Now!
RBC Heritage - PGA DFS Overview
7,099 Yards - Par 71 - Greens Bermuda
Originally built in 1969, Harbour Town is a Pete Dye track that Jack Nicklaus partially designed. Even though the property was the first time Nicklaus helped to develop a course, it was masterfully pieced together with the typical Dye quirks that you would expect.
While the venue measures in at a less than stellar 7,100 yards, don't be confused by its lack of length. Tree-lined fairways do help to disguise some of the heavy wind that can come into play, but the coastal layout is unforgiving with gusts and sand traps always looming around the corner. Narrow landing areas off the tee will place a heavy emphasis on finding the short grass, and it is one of the many reasons why Harbour Town always produces one of the lowest driving distances on tour.
Precision iron play will be at a premium, as the course features some of the smallest greens on tour. That point is emphasized by golfers hitting under 58% of greens in regulation, making scrambling and around the green prowess a must. Three par-threes measure between 175-200 yards and all produce birdies at under a 12 percent rate. On top of that, even though all three par-fives are reachable in two shots, the small putting surfaces yield an eagle frequency of 2.4%, 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively. Par-four scoring will be needed with 11 holes taking place in that range each day, and golfers that can create opportunities from between 150 to 200 yards will be rewarded handsomely.
Let's Look At The Stats
|Stat||Harbour Town||Tour Average|
|Average Three-Putts Per Round||0.38||0.54|
In Vegas, as of Monday, Rory McIlroy leads the way at 11/1 and is followed by Justin Thomas at 16/1, Bryson DeChambeau at 16/1, Jon Rahm at 18/1 and Xander Schauffele at 22/1. Five additional players slot in between 25 to 30/1, and C.T. Pan, your defending champion of this event, comes into the week at 200/1.
- GIR 17.5%
- Proximity 150-200 Yards 15%
- Strokes Gained Approach 15%
- Par-Four Average 15%
- Sand Save 12.5%
- Par-Five Birdie or Better 10%
- Strokes Gained Around the Green 10%
- Strokes Gained Putting 5%
Fantasy Golf Lineup Picks for DraftKings (PGA DFS)
We have tons of great weekly PGA articles, DFS analysis, tools and DFS advice. Be sure to read our other fantastic articles regarding this week's event.
High-Priced DFS Players
There are six players this week priced above $10,000:
Rory McIlroy ($11,300)
We talked about the dangers last week of sticking our chips on Rory McIlroy, who entered the Colonial at a mind-numbing $11,800 price tag on DraftKings. Despite the concerns of the Irishman needing to win the event to pay off his price tag, he still generated over 15% ownership on the week en route to a 32nd place showing. In McIlroy's defense, a four-over 74 quickly dashed any hopes his backers had of finding success on Sunday, but the risk of finishing outside the top-five was always going to be a concern. A $500 decrease in price and potential five-plus percent dip in ownership does firmly put the number one player in the world back on the map as an option worth considering, but McIlroy's inability to close on Sunday does make me partially concerned at a venue that will reduce his driving prowess. With all that being said, I don't have any issues using him as a somewhat contrarian GPP option.
Justin Thomas ($10,900)
From a statistical standpoint, you might not find anyone in this event that is more well-equipped to find success at Harbour Town than Justin Thomas. The American ranks inside the top-five compared to the field over the past two seasons in birdie or better percentage, bogey avoidance, par-four scoring, proximity from 100 to 150 yards, greens in regulation and strokes gained approach. However, the one issue that does come into play for Thomas at times is his driving accuracy. At courses under 7,200 yards, Thomas ranks 121st compared to the field over his previous 50 qualifying rounds. Is that a reason to cross the 27-year-old off your list? Of course not. But it does add in a slight red flag, and you can find another when you consider he is typically better from within 150 yards than from 150+.
Bryson DeChambeau ($10,700)
Bryson DeChambeau appears to be well on his way to breaking the game of golf. His power and accuracy off the tee will make him a threat whenever he tees it up for the foreseeable future, but a venue such as Harbour Town will negate some of those eye-popping advantages that he does display. DeChambeau played Colonial last week in a different fashion than most, taking his drives over the trees and attempting to cut-off portions of the course, and while that was a strategy that paid dividends, it will not work in the same fashion at RBC Heritage. The 12th-ranked player in the world does have two top-four finishes here in his four attempts, but his volatility has shown with two missed cuts thrown into the mix. I am all in on Bryson going forward, but it does make some sense to take a step back this weekend at his hefty ownership percentage. Then again, everything about DeChambeau seems to be hefty these days.
Jon Rahm ($10,500)
It is easy to take a lazy narrative route with Jon Rahm last weekend. Colonial was a venue that seemingly took driver out of the Spaniard's hands, and a missed cut was always in the cards, right? Not so fast. Sure, Rahm disappointed his backers with an even-par showing over his two days to miss the cut, but let's actually figure out what went wrong. The second-ranked player in the world gained strokes with all facets of his game other than putting, losing a staggering 4.2 shots on the greens. For reference sake, Rahm's performance was the second-worst of his career in an event where he failed to make the cut, but he was able to bounce back from that showing by gaining 3.1 strokes in his next tournament. If you are seriously worried about the 25-year-old at a shorter track, he is ranked sixth in good drive percentage at courses under 7,200 yards over his previous 50 rounds.
Xander Schauffele ($10,200)
I didn't quite know what to do with Xander Schauffele last weekend with the question marks surrounding how much golf he had played entering the week, but the point I had been harping on for months finally came to fruition when he nearly took down the Charles Schwab at a venue with tiny greens. Schauffele is a premier player when it comes to GIR percentage, and the reason behind that stems from his more conservative nature of finding the middle of the putting surface. We see this sometimes work against his favor when placed at a course with larger putting surfaces, but tracks such as Colonial or Harbour Town play right into his wheelhouse because of his ability to locate scoring opportunities. Consider Xander to once again be very much in play at a course that should suit his strengths.
Collin Morikawa ($10,000)
Harbour Town is a beautiful set up for Collin Morikawa and his pristine iron play, but I can't help but find his $10,000 price tag to be overbearing at this time. His 21 straight made cuts to begin his career is no doubt impressive, but there is a massive difference between what you are asking out of the 23-year-old at a price tag of $8,000 versus $10,000. For as good as Morikawa has been since his victory at the Barracuda Championship in July, he has only provided five top-20 results over his previous 16 events. If you are looking for cash-game safety, I can get behind him as a play, but the upside hasn't been nearly as profound as his second-place showing last weekend would have you believe.
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Mid-Priced DFS Players
Sungjae Im ($9,700)
I wouldn't place too much stock into Sungjae Im missing the cut in his only attempt at RBC Heritage. Not only is the South Korean a different player than he was a season ago, but his skill set will set up nicely for a venue that should reward his all-around game. I'm never going to be going all-in on a player who is expected to generate one of the highest ownership percentages on the slate in GPP contests, but that doesn't mean I won't have my fair share of him in cash-game lineups.
Justin Rose ($9,200)
It didn't take long for Justin Rose to have his equipment change from Honma to TaylorMade pay off, as the Englishman secured a share of third place at Colonial, his best finish of 2020. Initial projections have Rose hovering around 10 percent ownership for the upcoming week, but I can't imagine that number will not inflate over the next few days. Rose's potential volatility has me looking elsewhere when it comes to cash games, but his upside for victory is present in GPP contests, especially when you ignore his shoddy GIR percentage that surely was enhanced over the past season because of his old Honma clubs.
Webb Simpson ($9,000)
How many of you got caught in Simpson's web last weekend? Don't worry; you weren't the only ones taken down by the American's horrendous three-over par Thursday round. I think the industry has gotten better as a whole of not allowing one poor performance to sway their mindset the next weekend, and that point seems to be evident by Simpson currently projected to be nearly 20 percent owned once again. It will be interesting to see if that total remains stable throughout the week, but I would anticipate a slight decrease in that number for those that don't want to end up with egg on their face twice in a row. If you are looking to be contrarian, I am fine moving some of my shares elsewhere in GPP contests, but there might not be a safer cash-game option on the board.
Jordan Spieth ($8,700)
There isn't a golfer on the tour that is more must-watch television than Jordan Spieth. Chaos looms anytime he addresses the ball, and poor (or lucky) Michael Greller gets to watch the show unfold with a front-row seat every event. The point has been driven home enough about what a magical putter the 26-year-old can be when in form, but did we really see what we were hoping to from Spieth with the rest of his game? There is no doubt that the American was an improvement off the tee, but we shouldn't anticipate him gaining nine strokes putting weekly. Colonial was the perfect set up for Spieth's return, and it is vital to avoid falling right back into the trap at Harbour Town.
Matt Kuchar ($8,300)
It has been a while since a golfer has cost me as much money as Matt Kuchar did on the 18th hole on Friday. My exposure was massive to him across the board, and the 41-year-old took all that I had. I guess it shouldn't be considered that much of a surprise with the way Kuchar likes to keep as much money as he can to himself, but it didn't make it any easier for me to stomach. As I mentioned earlier with Webb Simpson, short-term memory is needed to wager on anything properly, and I think some will refuse to go back down the well because of the way Kuchar ruined their week. I'm once again fine playing the American in all game types and believe a rebound is in order.
Tyrrell Hatton ($8,000)
Two worldwide wins for Tyrrell Hatton in his last four starts has changed the narrative around the often hot-headed Englishman. Hatton's short game can be a thing of beauty when he is in form, and a strategical/windy test such as the Heritage should play right into his style.
Low-Priced DFS Players
Branden Grace ($7,800)
While it was always going to be highly hypothetical to expect Branden Grace to generate limited ownership at an event where he has provided a victory and two additional top-11 showings since 2015, his run at the title over the first three days at Colonial didn't help matters out for us. For me, it is going to come down to what exactly we are looking at with his ownership percentage. If you could promise me under 10 percent, I'd be highly intrigued, but I am not sure we will get that with the way Grace could get talked up within the industry. If he does happen to transform into a chalky GPP choice, I'd prefer to look elsewhere in this range because he is far from bulletproof.
Shane Lowry ($7,800)
Shane Lowry has had a bad habit of stringing consecutive missed cuts together, but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt with his production in Texas last weekend. Even if we aren't talking a plethora of strokes gained, Lowry earned with all facets of his game if you remove putting, and it took his negative-5.4 effort on the greens to help him miss the cut at Colonial. The Irishman competed for the title here last season and has always been a golfer that has provided quality results at shorter courses.
Jason Day ($7,600)
Part of the issue with Jason Day is that his price on DFS sites always seems intriguing from a contrarian standpoint. Not many are eager to back the Aussie on a given week because of his injury concerns, and the number of times he has imploded for those that have given him the benefit of the doubt has been alarming. I realize there is no convincing anyone that has blacklisted Day from their lineups moving forward, but the 2015 PGA Championship winner has feasted on shorter courses like Pebble Beach throughout his career, partially because of the upside of removing the driver out of his game. Day's iron play has been notably picked apart over the last few seasons, but it is worth noting that we often see him struggle the most from really short or long ranges. It will surprise some that Day ranks inside the top-25 in this field over the past two seasons in proximity from 150-200 yards, and his short game ability should add another feather to his cap for those looking for a big payday.
Adam Hadwin ($7,300)
I've never been a massive fan of Adam Hadwin when it comes to actual win equity, but the Canadian is a powerful cash-game play for those that start their lineups a little heavier up top. Hadwin has made 17 of his previous 20 cuts and enters the weeks with three top-50 finishes here over his last three attempts.
Bud Cauley ($7,200)
Like Adam Hadwin, Bud Cauley has been a relatively steady play weekly for those looking to get a man into the weekend. If we ignore Cauley's withdrawal at the Northern Trust, he has provided 13 made cuts in his last 16 attempts and is an interesting golfer to play alongside Hadwin in cash-game builds. Starting a lineup in that fashion will leave $8,875 per position over your last four sports, which gives you some freedom up top.
Maverick McNealy ($7,100)
Maverick McNealy has been one of the most consistent golfers on tour since the start of the 2020 PGA season, making 12 of his 13 cuts since the Safeway Open, but it has failed to amount to much support in the fantasy circles. While some might believe his cashes have been nothing more than bottom-feeder finishes, McNealy has turned five of his past six into top-32 results. That is the kind of upside we are looking for with players projected to be under five percent owned, and it could pay out lavishly if you are able to construct the right roster around him. With that being said, the amount of money you earn will pale in comparison to the net worth of McNealy's family.
Talor Gooch ($7,000)
There might not be a player more underpriced weekly than Talor Gooch. The 28-year-old has the longest active cut streak during the 2020 season at 13 overall, providing five top-25s and two top-10s during his run. Gooch will be making his debut at Habour Town this weekend, but his style of game should set up well if he doesn't get wild off the tee.
Ryan Moore ($6,900)
A Friday 74 took Ryan Moore from 16th place after day one to an eventual missed cut at the Charles Schwab. It was a disappointing result for those who thought they had struck oil in Texas, but I am willing to go back down the well again at a venue that has been kind to him in the past. Moore has provided two consecutive made cuts at Harbour Town, posting a 16th place finish in 2018.