If you would've told me a year ago that Brendon Todd would win back-to-back PGA Tour events this fall...first I would've laughed at you and then I would've told you how crazy you were! However, we all know that golf is the most fickle mistress there is in the world of sports, and sure enough, Todd claimed the victory at Mayakoba last week for his second-straight win on the PGA Tour. It is pretty remarkable that a guy that battled the honest-to-God-full-swing yips could even get back on the Tour, much less win again. So, nothing but tons of respect for Todd.
While it was cool to see Todd continue his remarkable comeback, he did slightly kill this article's Horse along the way, as Harris English played tremendous golf throughout the week, but fell apart during the Monday morning finish. English was our best performing player, but outside of an outlier poor performance from Viktor Hovland, every player listed in last week's article made the cut. It's good to be back! Unfortunately, we only have one week left to do a proper "heat check"!
This will be the last edition of HFTC for a while, as the PGA Tour heads into the holiday break. I'd like to take a quick minute to thank all of you that have supported this article from the start and make it part of your weekly PGA DFS research. 'Horse For The Course' will be back each and every week when the PGA Tour schedule amps back up in January and the RotoBaller PGA staff has some interesting new things that we are working on and hope to introduce for the 2020 season! I'm really pumped for what we have in store for you guys next year, so make sure and stay connected during the break via my personal Twitter account @JoeNicely or the official RotoBaller PGA account! Ok, with that out of the way, let's dig into the RSM Classic. This will be our last tournament for a while, so let's make it count!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!
RSM Classic Overview
It's a bittersweet feeling as the fall portion of the 2019-20 season comes to an end at this week's RSM Classic. There isn't much star power headed to Sea Island this week, but last year's RSM winner Charles Howell III will be back to defend his title. CH3 will be joined by some familiar faces that were in Mayakoba last week, with Brendon Todd, Matt Kuchar, Scottie Scheffler, and Billy Horschel just some of the guys that will travel from Mexico to Georgia. The "best" player in the field is Webb Simpson, though he's only teed it up once since the TOUR Championship.
We've seen a lot of first-time PGA Tour winners in this event, but you'll also notice that the RSM has a "hometown-flavor field", with lots of guys that live in or have ties to the Sea Island area. That's a narrative that will get lots of run around the DFS industry this week, so I won't spend a ton of time on it here. Enough talking, for the last time in 2019, LET'S TEE IT UP!!!
You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week.
The Course: Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside Course & Plantation Course)
Par 70 - 7,005 Yards, Greens: Bermuda (TifDwarf)
We're thrown a little curveball this week, as every player in the field will play two courses (Seaside & Plantation) in the first two rounds. To complicate matters even further, Davis Love III just recently completed a fairly extensive renovation on the Plantation Course. We'll focus on the Seaside Course here, because it's the layout that those players that make the cut will be playing on the weekend...I described Mayakoba last week as a "plodder's course" and that's also a pretty apt label for the RSM this week, as the bombers will take a back seat at Sea Island. We'll see a lot of less-than-driver holes and we should place a premium on accurate and precise ball striking, as well as course management. For that reason, I'll be targeting similar traits as last week...driving accuracy, greens in regulation, and consistent ball striking, while also glancing at putting splits on Bermuda greens.
Billy Horschel (DK - $11,000)
Notable Course History: T2 ('17)
It feels fair to call Webb Simpson the "best" player in this week's field, but Billy Horschel is certainly one of the "hottest" golfers that will be teeing it up on Sea Island. Billy Ho heads to Georgia in sharp form, having logged two top-10s and a top-25 over his last three starts, and he's fresh off a T8 at Mayakoba last week.
Horschel doesn't have an extensive history in the RSM, but recorded a runner-up finish in his only appearance in the last five years. He's one of the streakiest players on the PGA Tour and can run extremely hot and cold. Obviously, his inconsistent tendencies are a little scary at this big $11k price tag, but if I'm ever going to roll the dice on Horschel it's gonna be when he's in the midst of a heater.
He's gonna grade out ho-hum statistically if you dig into his numbers, but Horschel is kinda like Patrick Reed in that he has always been very capable of outperforming his stats and winning golf tournaments. His putting can be otherworldly at times and he has three career wins on Bermuda greens. My favorite spend-up options are Webb and Billy, and I'd rather lean in the direction of the guy that's been playing frequently.
Harris English (DK - $10,000)
Notable Course History: T46 ('19), M/C ('18), M/C ('17)
Those of you that read last week's article know that I was "All In" on Harris English at Mayakoba. While I don't feel as strongly this week, I'm willing to stay on this train.
I haven't quite decided what DFS players are going to do with English this week, so I'm kinda just thinking out loud here...English hasn't played very well at Sea Island in the past and he's received a fairly significant $2,000 price bump this week. He's also sandwiched between two RSM 'course horses' in Charles Howell III and Kevin Kisner, players that should be popular in this spot. So...do all those factors contribute to him going underowned this week?
I'm not sure yet, but I will definitely keep a close eye on his ownership projections over at Fantasy National as the week progresses. If it looks as though people are jumping ship on English, I won't hesitate to load up on a player that's notched an incredible four top-10 finishes in his five starts this fall.
Brian Gay (DK - $8,800)
Notable Course History: T23 ('19), 3rd ('18), M/C ('17)
Brian Gay didn't make last week's write up, but he's a player that I gravitated toward as the week progressed and ended up in a couple of my DK lineups. Gay performed well in Mexico, going 69-65 in his final two rounds to surge into a top-15 finish. It was yet another solid outing in what's been a strong fall season for the veteran, as he also has a top-five and a top-10 across six swing season starts. In addition to his sharp form, Gay has traditionally played well at Sea Island, a course that fits his plain-jane-fairways-and-greens style very well. I always hate to factor in putting too much, but he's been consistently good on Bermuda throughout his career. As with several players this week, his DFS price tag is a little gross, but that's just the way it goes in fields like these.
Lanto Griffin (DK - $8,000)
Notable Course History: M/C ('18)
Speaking of pricing...in a field where quality players have been saddled with bloated price tags, Lanto Griffin's salary has actually decreased by $1,000 since last week. I get that he didn't play well at Mayakoba, but Griffin has pretty much owned the fall season...recording a win at the Houston Open and making seven of seven cuts with five top-20s. The Korn Ferry Tour graduate heads to Georgia ranked seventh in this field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green over his last 24 rounds and is solid in all aspects that we're targeting this week, yet is the 22nd-highest-priced player on DraftKings. I'm kinda blown away by his price tag and feel like this is a tremendous opportunity to "buy low" on Lanto.
Robby Shelton (DK - $7,300)
Notable Course History: None
I've noticed a theme in this week's article...trending form. I didn't purposefully set out with that in mind this week, but I honestly never know where this article is gonna take me. Robby Shelton is a Korn Ferry Tour graduate that's had some some measure of success during the fall season. Shelton has made five of seven cuts since September with two top-10s, including a T6 in Mexico last week. He's no doubt a volatile player, so I wouldn't go penciling him in to your cash lineups, but I am intrigued by his upside at this price. Another underlying factor - that admittedly might be a stretch - is that he recorded two top-three finishes on this Seaside layout at the SEC Championships while playing at the University of Alabama (FYI: Matthew NeSmith at $6.3k is another player that feasted on this course in college). It's a little thin sure, but he does have some experience (and success) on this course, though it was as an amateur. Shelton is a boom-or-bust GPP play that could log a top-five or miss the cut, but if we're trying to win a large-field PGA DFS tournament, he's exactly the type of "good volatility" that we must be willing to embrace.
Bo Hoag (DK - $6,700)
Notable Course History: None
Let's round out this week's article (and 2019) with a salary saver. At $6.7k, Bo Hoag is a player that should probably be on your sub-$7k radar this week. Hoag is another PGA Tour rookie that has been under-the-radar solid this fall. He's made six of seven cuts and heads to Sea Island on the heels of back-to-back top-20 finishes at Mayakoba and Bermuda. He doesn't have any RSM history, but he's a nice fit on paper, as he stands fourth in the field in Good Drives Gained and sixth in Greens In Regulation Gained over his last 24 rounds. Hoag has impressively gained over 7.5 strokes total in each of his last two starts and is an intriguing value option when rounding out GPP lineups or mass-multi entering this week.