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PGA DFS (DraftKings): Horse For The Course - The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges


Welcome back RotoBallers and PGA DFS fans! We expected the Houston Open to be rather 'ho-hum' with its less-than-stellar field, but we actually got a pretty wild tournament with the Texas winds and weather wreaking havoc during the first couple of rounds. If your players survived the cut, there was some firework-type scoring over the weekend and newcomer Lanto Griffin held off a host of chasers for his first PGA Tour win at 14-under par.

All the signs were there for Griffin to play well, as he headed to Houston in trending form. He wasn't featured in last week's article (though he did receive a mention), but we did nail not one, but two top-five finishers last week, with Harris English and Xinjun Zhang both playing great golf over the weekend!

This week we turn our eyes to the 'Asia Swing' portion of the fall schedule, as the PGA Tour heads to Korea for the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges. It's a small, but strong field...let's dive in!

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!

 

The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges Overview

After several weeks of surprisingly-strong golf during the fall season, we're changing things up a bit this week as we leave the United States and head to Korea for the first leg of the 'Asia Swing'. The CJ Cup is a WGC-lite type of event, in that it's a limited field with no cut that features some really strong players.

Defending CJ Cup champion Brooks Koepka is back to defend his title along with his little brother Chase (are they a package deal now?), and the Koepkas will be joined by former CJ Cup winner Justin Thomas. Some of golf's true elites will be in action this week, with players like Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day, and Jordan Spieth set to tee it up. The 'young star' contingent will also be well represented, as Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Joaquin Niemann, and Matthew Wolf will all be in attendance.

As you can see, this is a pretty heavyweight lineup of players, but it is also a small field with only 78 players expected to tee it up (with lots of young Korean players on sponsor's invites). Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you view things), just like WGC events there is no cut this week, so everybody in the field is guaranteed a nice payday, which brings factors like motivation and pure competitiveness into the equation. With no cut (and barring a WD) players are locked in for four rounds, so we can definitely build more aggressive lineups if we so choose and will want to target players that can rack up DK points over the course of the tournament.

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: The Club at Nine Bridges

Par 72 - 7,196 Yards, Greens: Bent
There are actually only eight bridges at Nine Bridges...so there's that. The Korean club opened in 2001 to almost universal acclaim and quickly began hosting an LPGA Tour event. For the last two years it's served as the kickoff event for the PGA Tour's 'Asia Swing'. Nine Bridges has produced two elite-caliber winners in that time, with Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka grabbing victory in the first two editions of the tournament. The course is situated literally on an island (Jeju Island) near the base of Mount Halla and offers some breathtaking views. The locale presents some unpredictable weather, which has led to the course playing to varying degrees of difficulty over the past two years (and makes it tough to pinpoint what characteristics to target). With the weather expected to be calm for most of the week and no cut to worry about, I'll be focusing on players that can make birdies, have strong tee-to-green games, and have some experience on this unique layout.

 

The Horse

Justin Thomas (DK - $11,700)

Notable Course History: T36 ('19), Win ('18)

I'm content to ride the 'JT Horse' until it bucks me. I realize this isn't a groundbreaking pick, but Thomas has been featured heavily both in this article and in my DFS lineups since the latter part of last season, and I just see no reason to shy away at this point. A wrist injury derailed what I expected to be a huge year for JT in 2019, but he's been unbelievably impressive since getting his wrist straightened out midway through 2019.

Thomas hasn't finished outside of the top-12 in any tournament he's played since June, including a win at the BMW and two subsequent top-five finishes in his most recent starts. Over his last 24 rounds, Thomas leads this week's field in Strokes Gained: Total, Tee to Green, and Approach...while also leading the field in DK Points scored and Birdies or Better Gained over the same time frame. Not only is he an elite player, but he's also an elite competitor, which is one reason that I always like rostering him in WGCs and no-cut events.

In addition to his fire form, JT should be very comfortable on this Nine Bridges layout on which he won two years ago. It's no surprise that he sits atop the salary scale, but this week's no-cut format makes us feel better about taking a 'Stars & Scrubs' approach to lineup building.

 

The Ponies

Viktor Hovland (DK - $10,500)

Notable Course History: None

My reasoning behind Viktor Hovland is very similar to the thought process with the aforementioned JT...why jump off him when he simply continues to produce? The youngster is a ball-striking prodigy and has started the fall season with a top-10 at the Greenbrier and a T11 at the BMW Championship in Europe last month, not to mention his torrid close to last season's PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour finals.

Hovland heads to Korea either trailing Thomas or leading in most of the important statistical categories...he's first in the CJ field in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and Off the Tee, and second in the field in SG: Total, T2G, and Birdies or Better Gained, while ranking third in SG: Approach and fourth in DK scoring. His short game is considered his weakness, but he's still second in this field in Bogeys Avoided over his last 24 rounds.

There's a lot to love with Hovland this week, with his lack of experience at Nine Bridges being almost the only drawback here. We've seen his price tag steadily increase and it's no surprise that he comes in at over $10k in this spot. You can start your rosters with either Hovland or Thomas, or pair the two together if you're feeling really frisky! If your read this article frequently then I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to V-Hova, but I'll reiterate that a win is coming soon.

 

Sungjae Im (DK - $9,700)

Notable Course History: T41 ('19)

It wouldn't be out of the ordinary to see Sungjae listed here on any given week, but I had to highlight the young star this week due to his connection with this tournament. Im is actually from Jeju Island and Nine Bridges IS HIS HOME COURSE! So, while we would certainly have Im in consideration many of the 51 times in a year that he tees it up, he gets bumped to the top of the list this week.

The young Korean didn't disappoint during his rookie season on the PGA Tour. After dominating on the then-Web.com Tour in 2018, Im embarked on a wildly successful rookie campaign in the big leagues last season, racking up an impressive seven top-10s in his ridiculous 35 starts. He doesn't necessarily blow you away in one category statistically, yet he ranks second in DK points and third in Birdies or Better Gained over his last 24 rounds.

I don't want you guys to think Sungjae is getting lazy on us just because he didn't tee it up on the PGA or Euro Tours last week. No, our noble grinder was busy winning something called the Genesis Championship on the Korean Tour. That's right, Sungjae NEVER QUITS PLAYING. Sometimes I wonder what he does in December, but I'm sure that he's teeing it up in some random Member-Guest in Daejeon.

 

Cam Smith (DK - $9,000)

Notable Course History: T7 ('19), 3rd ('18)

I like Cam Smith well enough as a player, but I honestly can't stomach rostering him very often. I've found in DFS that I prefer targeting sharp ball strikers with weak short games in hopes that they catch a hot putting week. Smith is basically the polar opposite of that, as he's an unbelievable putter with a silky short game that often struggles tremendously tee to green. However, every now and then the stars align just right and I find myself pulling the trigger on the Aussie. I'm leaning in that direction this week due to a couple of factors: he's been tremendous in his two previous starts at Nine Bridges, notching a T7 and a solo third; and we are catching him in fairly sharp form, as he's logged two top-25 finishes in three 'Swing Season' starts and surprisingly gained strokes T2G in all three.

 

Matthew Wolff (DK - $8,800)

Notable Course History: None

Some of you might be wondering why Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa are both priced above $10k while Matthew Wolff is 'only' $8,800. I don't have a great answer for you, because I've been wrestling with that same question myself. I suppose Wolff hasn't been as consistently elite as Hovland and Morikawa, but he has routinely shown the ability to make birdies in bunches and ranks fourth in this week's field in Birdies or Better Gained over his last 24 rounds. With the weather expected to remain calm for the majority of the week, we'll need scorers in our lineups. I love Wolff's chances of racking up DK points with four guaranteed rounds and if we're attacking this tournament purely from an "ability to go low" perspective he's a tremendous play.

 

Pat Perez (DK - $7,500)

Notable Course History: T7 ('19), T5 ('18)

I'm gonna try to ride the hot hand here with Pat Perez. He's coming off a top-three outing at the Shriners and has played extremely well in his two previous CJ Cup starts. Perez reminds me a little bit of Bubba Watson...he's extremely streaky and repeatedly plays well on the same courses, with Nine Bridges being one of his favorite tracks. We can't expect him to gain eight strokes putting like he did at the Shriners, but his four strokes gained T2G (2.7 OTT & 2.8 APP) is an encouraging sign that his ball striking is trending in the right direction. Perez is normally a little too volatile and inconsistent for my taste, but I'm willing to roll the dice on his upside in this no-cut format.

 

Adam Long (DK - $6,700)

Notable Course History: None

This is a week that we can feel comfortable taking some shots on the lower end of the salary scale. My favorite sub-$7k player is Adam Long. It's easy to classify Long as a "one-hit wonder" after he came from absolute nowhere to win the 2019 Desert Classic, but the journeyman is quietly exhibiting that he has some game. He's played very well in three fall starts on the PGA Tour, logging two T23s and a T14 at the Greenbrier that featured a second-round 62. If we narrow our focus down to a player's most recent 12 rounds (basically Long's fall season to this point), he stands third in the field in Birdies or Better Gained, second in DK Points scored, and fourth in SG: Ball Striking. It's a great week to implement a 'Stars & Scrubs' attack and Long is a player that is in sneaky-good form at just $6.7k.

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Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More