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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood

Hello PGA DFS family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! The always-talented, but previously-winless Jason Kokrak notched the first PGA Tour victory of his career at the CJ Cup. Kokrak's putter was white-hot, which enabled him to outlast Xander Schauffele and Russell Henley at Shadow Creek.

It was a weird week for HFTC, as some of our highlighted players - Xander Schauffle and Russell Henley - were in the mix to win the CJ Cup, while we had rough luck with a Dustin Johnson WD and a bizarrely-bad performance from Matthew Wolff! We go from one unknown course to another, as the ZOZO Championship has been relocated to Sherwood Country Club this year due to COVID-19. Calling Sherwood an "unknown" isn't really accurate, as it played host to Tiger Woods' Hero Challenge for over a decade, though we haven't seen the layout on the PGA Tour schedule since 2013.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood Overview

Like last week's CJ Cup, the ZOZO Championship is part of the PGA Tour's usual "Asia Swing", but has been relocated to the U.S. this year due to COVID-19. Also like last week, we'll be dealing with a limited - and rather elite - field of 78 players in a no-cut format.

The big news is that defending ZOZO champion, Tiger Woods, is coming out of hibernation this week. Woods has not looked sharp in his limited 2020 starts, but will be teeing it up on a Sherwood Country Club layout on which he held his annual Hero Challenge charity event from 2000 to 2013 (Tiger won five of those). He'll be joined by several elite holdovers from last week's CJ Cup, including Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, and Rory McIlroy. Dustin Johnson is also expected to return to action following a positive COVID-19 test last week and will also be joined by several of Japan's rising stars that are playing on ZOZO sponsor's exemptions.

While we don't have any recent course history to chew through, we'll look back at some results from the Hero Challenge at Sherwood and try our best to find some players with a nice course fit.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Sherwood Country Club

Par 72 - 7,006 Yards, Greens: Bent, Designed By: Jack Nicklaus

Sherwood Country Club is a beautiful Jack Nicklaus layout that contains both breathtaking views and difficult decisions for the players. It's a strategic golf course with several risk/reward holes, including the drivable Par-4 opener and FIVE Par-5s that can be played either aggressively or conservatively. In true Nicklaus fashion, this is a layout that places emphasis on position off the tee and requires a precise second shot. The length will be no problem for the players in this week's field, but Nicklaus' routing - that includes multiple doglegs - will prevent an all-out "Bomb & Gauge" assault. We already mentioned the layouts unique number of Par-5s (five) and Sherwood will also throw five Par-3s at this field...which will force me to weight both Par-5 and Par-3 scoring fairly heavily. Like last week, players will face Bentgrass green surfaces.

Despite Sherwood's lack of length on the scorecard, I look for it to provide a fairly stern test for the field. I'll be leaning accuracy and total driving over sheer distance when considering off the tee stats, while attempting to target sharp ball strikers with hot irons. I never give too much weight to putting, but I'll glance at splits on Bent, while also sneaking a peek at scrambling/bogey avoidance.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A

 

The Horse

Webb Simpson

DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel:
 $11,300
Notable Course History: World Challenge - T5 ('13), T7 ('12), T13 ('11)

In golf’s modern era of mind-blowing distance and power, Webb Simpson is something of a throwback. Luckily for us, there are still a few stops left on the PGA Tour schedule that reward accuracy and precision over sheer distance and I believe that Sherwood will prove to be that type of venue this week. 

Simpson’s game is certainly one of substance over style and it’s pretty tough to argue with his results over the last few years, as Webb has amassed three wins and has remarkably missed just six cuts in 63 starts since the 2018 season. 

While his game isn’t one we want to target on every course (though we basically could), we have to believe that Sherwood CC is a perfect fit for his game. Simpson posted top-seven finishes over the last two years that Tiger’s Hero event was held on this course. He ranks 15th in this field in Fairways Gained and first in Scrambling over recent rounds, attributes that put him in great position to succeed this week.

 

The Ponies

Matthew Wolff

DraftKings: $9,100
FanDuel: $10,200

Notable Course History: N/A

I’m sure a lot of you guys are like me and almost get sick just at the mention of Matthew Wolff’s name. I was heavily invested in the 21-year-old last week at the CJ Cup and was absolutely shocked when Wolff fired an opening-round 80 at Shadow Creek. Things didn’t get any better throughout the week, as he struggled to get anything going en route to an almost-DFL finish. 

Perhaps an overlooked aspect of DFS is being able to put our emotions aside in order to make the best decisions. My anger is telling me, “SCREW WOLFF!”, but my mind tells me that this is an intriguing bounce-back spot for a couple reasons. We can expect the youngster’s ownership to plummet after he torched so many lineups as a chalky play last week. I also really love the “course history” angle that’s in play with Wolff and Sherwood Country Club. He grew up about seven miles from the course and has played it “1,000’s of times” (Wolff’s words) with friends over the years. 

Now, that course knowledge obviously won’t be worth a dime if Wolff hits the ball like he did last week, BUT we’ve often talked about how his unorthodox swing makes him prone to volatility. So, while things could continue to be ugly, there’s also a very real chance that the cat that finished second in both the U.S. Open and the Shriners shows back up this week.

Tiger Woods

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,300
Notable Course History: Hero Challenge - Five-time winner

This is a course-history-based column, so while we might not mention Tiger Woods based on his recent form, he definitely deserves consideration due to his monster track record at Sherwood Country Club.

Woods is the defending ZOZO champion and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he had some input as to where this tournament would be held when it was decided to relocate it to the U.S. due to COVID-19. Sherwood is a dream spot for him...he hosted his annual Hero Challenge charity event on this course from 2000 thru 2013, and won on this layout five times over those years, compiling a scoring average of 68.46 (by far the best mark in this week’s field) over 48 competitive rounds. It plays to all his strengths...shot placement, precision iron play, and strategic thinking. So, while we haven’t seen any recent sparks from Tiger, we know that this course is a perfect fit and we also know that he should be gearing his game up in preparation for the upcoming Masters.

 

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Bubba Watson

DraftKings: $8,700
FanDuel: $9,900
Notable Course History: World Challenge - T3 ('13), T9 ('12), T6 ('11)

Last week on my podcast The Turn (you should subscribe, we’ve been KILLING it since the restart) we spent a good chunk of time talking about Bubba Watson and why he was such an intriguing option at Shadow Creek. Bubba paid off our intuition, knocking out a nice T7 in the CJ Cup. 

I’m on him again this week, as he’s not only demonstrated unbelievably-good form as of late, but also has some history at Sherwood. In the last three Hero Challenge events that were held at Sherwood, Watson went: T3-T9-T6. He comes into this week’s ZOZO not only armed with that course knowledge, but also in fire form from tee to green. Watson leads this week’s field in both Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Ball Striking over recent rounds, while grading out second in SG: OTT and third in SG: Approach.  He gained 10.9 strokes T2G at the CJ Cup (second in the field) and recorded a T7 despite losing 1.7 strokes putting. Obviously, we’re hoping for a warmer putter this week, but Watson is an absolute ball-striking beast at the moment.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - The CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek

Hello PGA DFS family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! It was a "Marty Party" in Las Vegas, as veteran journeyman Martin Laired emerged victorious from the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open for the second time in his career (#CourseHistoryMatters), fighting off Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook in a sudden-death playoff.

It was a big week for HFTC, as lots of our highlighted players (Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, and Matthew Wolff) were in the mix to win the Shriners! We go from a TPC Summerlin course where we had tons of history to dissect, to a mysterious Shadow Creek layout for which we have none. This is gonna be an interesting week...

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek Overview

Last week's Shriners field was incredibly strong, especially for a Swing Season event, but it doesn't hold a candle to the elite players that will tee it up in this week's CJ Cup. Guaranteed money and no cut will do that, as only 78 players will tee it up this week. Normally held at Nine Bridges in Korea, this year's CJ Cup was moved due to COVID-19. Players will convene at legendary Las Vegas layout Shadow Creek, a club that is shrouded in mystery and somewhat mythic status in the golf (and gambling) community. Long camera shy, Shadow Creek hosted The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson a couple of years ago, but other than that debacle, we've never seen the ultra-private course featured on TV.

Obviously, this situation throws a big monkey wrench in the traditional course history angle that we take in this column each week. So, we'll use this space to discuss some players, the course, and DFS strategy. Sound cool? Ok, let's tee this thing up!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Shadow Creek Golf Course

Par 72 - 7,527 Yards, Greens: Bent, Designed By: Tom Fazio (Fazio Renovation in 2008)

Shadow Creek is legendary. A spare-no-expense project of Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn to lure high rollers into town, Shadow Creek is what it would look like if you could pick up and move a lush Georgia golf course and then plop it right down in the middle of the Nevada desert. We can expect beautiful and pristine conditions this week. Considered one of America's best golf courses, this Tom Fazio layout is shrouded in mystery. A longtime home for Vegas' resident high rollers and visiting celebrities, Shadow Creek is a tough nut to crack when trying to determine how the best players in the world will fare.

Now owned by MGM resorts, the course was renovated by Fazio in 2008 and lengthened to a more-modern 7,500-plus yards. Since the redesign, Dustin Johnson holds the course record at 66, which is kind of incredible considering the number of pros that routinely play here. If we adhere to the legend that Shadow Creek is unbelievably tough, we would want to target "grinders" this week. However, with the course playing at this yardage - and with four Par-5s on the scorecard that will probably only be reachable by the longest players in the field - we must also consider those with plenty of distance to their game. Anytime we're dealing with an unfamiliar layout, I tend to fall back towards leaning on overall Tee to Green ability as my default "go to" stat. That will once again be the case for me this week and I'll also give a bump to distance, as well as players that have traditionally been successful at major championship venues and/or "tough" golf courses. You can also glance at putting splits on Bent if you give much weight to putting.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A

 

The Horse

Dustin Johnson

*UPDATE: W/D DUE TO TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19*

DraftKings: $11,100
FanDuel:
 $12,000
Notable Course History: N/A

I expect DJ to get a lot attention in the DFS industry this week. With such little to go on as it pertains to Shadow Creek, Johnson holding the course record is at least something tangible. Even without that nugget, I would be all over DJ in this spot, as he's basically "course proof". He's the guy I always want on long, tough layouts. Johnson frustratingly only has one major championship, but his track record in golf's biggest events is pristine, as he's posted six top-10s in majors since winning the U.S. Open in 2016. We also know that DJ slays it in elite, limited-field events, as he has six career WGC victories.

He's a statistical beast and ranks first in this CJ Cup field in SG: Total, T2G, Ball Striking, and Approach over the last 24 rounds. Johnson has won twice since the restart (three times if you wanna count the TOUR Championship), and posted strong finishes in both the PGA Championship (T2) and the U.S. Open (T6). The only reason I can think of to completely fade DJ this week is that things all line up almost too perfectly, which will elevate his ownership to very high levels.

 

The Ponies

Xander Schauffele

DraftKings: $10,300
FanDuel: $11,500

Notable Course History: N/A

Whenever "plays well on hard golf courses" is a focus for me, Xander Schauffele immediately pops on my radar. Schauffele is a player that I've relentlessly targeted in majors over the past couple of years and he's responded with fabulous performances on golf's toughest stages by posting a ridiculous seven top-10s in 13 major starts since 2017.

The California native is making his first start since another impressive outing at a major championship, a fifth-place finish in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. It was just the latest in a long streak of quality outings for Schauffele. Since the PGA Tour's restart, he's made 11 of 11 cuts with 10 top-25s! Those results have came on many layouts that we can consider "difficult",  like the aforementioned Winged Foot, East Lake, Olympia Fields, TPC Harding Park, and Muirfield Village. I don't have any knowledge of Xander's familiarity level with Shadow Creek, but it's a good bet that the tougher it plays, the better it is for his prospects this week.

Finally, we must also take into account the "Nagels Bagels Rule", which says that Xander always performs exponentially better in no-cut events. (Sorry buddy, I had to do it!)

Matthew Wolff

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel: $11,200
Notable Course History: N/A

Matthew Wolf was highlighted in this article last week, but I'm going right back to the well with the young bomber. Wolff came up just short in a sudden-death playoff at the Shriners, but it was after overcoming a "sluggish" opening-round 68 to shoot 66-61(!)-66 over his last three rounds at TPC Summerlin. The dude is perhaps the most explosive player in the game at the moment and - while we don't expect super-low scoring at Shadow Creek this week - the 21-year-old has demonstrated the ability to take it deep on even the toughest of layouts, dropping rounds of 65 in at both Winged Foot and TPC Harding Park over the last couple of months.

We know Wolff is a bomber (trails only Cam Champ in this week's field in Driving Distance), which will put Shadow Creek's driveable Par-4 and all four Par-5s in play for him this week, but he's also thriving in other facets. He gained over SIX strokes on Approach in the Shriners last week and finished T4 in Scrambling %. He's playing with what seems like an almost immeasurable level of confidence at the moment and it feels like a win is coming soon.

 

 

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Viktor Hovland

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,100
Notable Course History: N/A

As I mentioned in the course preview, in the absence of concrete stats from the week's golf course, I'm always gonna lean on tee-to-green ability and ball striking. My guy V-Hova checks those boxes in neon Sharpie. The youngster is a player that I'm quickly learning to target on long, difficult layouts. After coming out of the restart blazing, it seemed like Hovland it a bit of a wall, as his normally-excellent ball striking became a bit spotty for about a month. However, the youngster looked recharged at Winged Foot, gaining 8.5 strokes T2G and 4.3 on Approach en route to a T13...his second finish inside the top-13 in two career U.S. Open starts. The short game is always the concern with Hovland, but he's actually gained strokes putting in three of his last four starts and Bent is statistically his best surface.

Louis Oosthuizen

DraftKings: $8,500
FanDuel: $9,700
Notable Course History: N/A

While his game is pretty much the polar opposite of Dustin Johnson's, Louis Oosthuizen's classic swing is something that I'll trust on just about any type of layout. Oosty not only has a history of playing very well on major-championship golf courses, but he's also been in razor-sharp form, posting top-25 finishes in five of his last six starts while gaining strokes T2G in each. As the course difficulty gets cranked up, so does the South African's average strokes gained per round. Oosthuizen averages gaining .82 strokes per round on "Difficult" courses, versus marks of .61 and .53 on layouts classified as "Average" and "Easy".

Russell Henley

DraftKings: $7,100
FanDuel: $8,500
Notable Course History: N/A

There's lots to love at the top of the salary scale this week, and since the CJ Cup is a no-cut event, we are free to be aggressive with lineup construction. Russell Henley leads off the "this guy feels too cheap" category at $7.1k. Henley doesn't have the name recognition of many in this field, but his ball striking has been legitimately world class as of late. Over the last 24 rounds, Henley ranks third in this week's elite field in SG: Approach and second (!) in SG: T2G, while also grading out seventh in Good Drives Gained and third in Scrambling Gained.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



More PGA DFS Analysis

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

Hello PGA DFS family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Sergio Garcia is undoubtedly one of the best ball strikers of his generation, but we all know that it has always been an adventure for the Spaniard on the greens. So, Garcia took the unorthodox step of closing his eyes on all putts last week in Jackson. It actually worked...as the veteran posted an out-of-nowhere win at the Sanderson Farms Championship for the 11th PGA Tour victory of his career and his first win in the U.S. since the 2017 Masters.

After a decent field for the Sanderson, we head to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open and what is an unbelievably-strong field for a Swing Season event. This is gonna be a fun week, let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Shriners Hospitals For Children Open Overview

Last week's Sanderson Farms field was actually pretty decent, but the field that is assembling in Vegas for this week's Shriners Hospitals For Children Open is borderline elite - especially when we consider that this is a "Swing Season" event. The Shriners will be the first of two back-to-back tournaments in Las Vegas (which probably helped strengthen this week's field) with the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek on tap for next week.

The Shriners is traditionally one of the better events of the fall, but we've never seen a lineup like this. Kevin Na triumphed over Patrick Cantlay in a playoff last year and both will be back this week. They'll be joined by an elite group of players. Bryson DeChambeau is set to make his first start since winning the U.S. Open. He'll be joined by the runner-up at Winged Foot, Matthew Wolff, as well as the year's other major champion, Collin Morikawa. We also have world-class players like Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Jason Day teeing it up at TPC Summerlin. In addition to the superstars, there's a very nice mix of accomplished veterans and young, up-and-comers that will be in action at TPC Summerlin. This should be a great week for making DFS lineups, 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Summerlin

Par 71 - 7,255 Yards, Greens: Bent, Designed By: Bobby Weed/Fuzzy Zoeller

Fairly short by modern standards at just over 7,200 yards, this Las Vegas track has reachable Par-5s and a driveable Par-4 - which allows players to rack up birdies - but is short enough to bring every player in the field into the mix. The fairways are wide and firm with huge Bentgrass green complexes that generally roll on the slow side. Summerlin routinely ranks as one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule, but we have seen wind and weather occasionally play a factor on this layout that sits at high elevation. While this course is on the shorter side, we haven't traditionally seen bombers have a huge advantage here, as the past winners of the Shriners have mostly been sharp ball strikers or been on fire with the putter...like last year's winner, Kevin Na. I'll be targeting ball striking and Strokes Gained: Approach this week, as well as players that can rack up birdies.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • Kevin Na (-23)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (-21)
  • Patrick Cantlay (-9)
  • Rod Pampling (-20)
  • Smylie Kaufman (-16)

 

The Horse

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $11,800
FanDuel:
 $12,200
Notable Course History: T4 ('20), Win ('19), T7 ('18), T36 ('17)

There’s been a lot of words written about Bryson DeChambeau over the last few months, so I don’t know that I have many fresh superlatives to add here. Obviously, what he’s done this season both physically and mentally (the mental toughness and strategic thinking needed to undertake this transformation often goes overlooked) has been unbelievably impressive. 

DeChambeau heads to the Shriners for his first start since winning the U.S. Open. There’s always the chance of a hangover when a player is coming off a major-championship victory, but Bryson doesn’t seem like the type of guy that loses focus. In addition to his work ethic, he’s been an absolute BEAST in previous trips to TPC Summerlin, sandwiching a win in 2019 between a T4 and a T7. His Strokes Gained: Total number trails only Patrick Cantlay by a sliver and he carries a 67.44 scoring average over his four Shriners appearances. 

While his course history is overly impressive, we must take into account that this isn’t the “same” DeChambeau that’s played this course in the past. In fact, we’ve seen him miss cuts at a couple of courses on which he’s won in his previous iteration (Muirfield Village and TPC Boston). However, I think Bryson’s new style will only help him at Summerlin, a course where length isn’t a requirement, but where it is certainly an advantage on the Par-5s and driveable Par-4s. We have to assume that his game will be firing off the tee (he's gained strokes OTT in EVERY start this calendar year!), with the question mark being his approach play and putting. If he is making putts, this could be another dominant performance from Bryson. 

 

The Ponies

Patrick Cantlay

DraftKings: $10,400
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: 2nd ('20), 2nd ('19), Win ('18)

I’m a huge Patrick Cantlay “truther” and a big believer in his game. Unfortunately, 2020 hasn’t been the type of year that I envisioned for Cantlay, a player that broke through in a big way last year with a win at The Memorial, a top-five in the PGA Championship, and a top-10 at the Masters.

The 28-year-old hasn’t necessarily played bad since the restart (he’s consistently gained strokes T2G), but he also hasn’t been the type of good that we’ve come to expect...logging just one top-10 in eight starts since the COVID-19 layoff. 

Cantlay heads into a massive “get right” situation this week at the Shriners. He’s been downright dominant at TPC Summerlin, posting a win and two runner-up finishes over the last three years. His 66.67 scoring average on this layout is the best in the field and Bent is historically his best putting surface. Despite his lack of strong recent results, Cantlay's DFS price tag hasn't really budged. He comes in this week behind only Bryson DeChambeau and Webb Simpson, guys that many will flock to. It's early in the week as I write this, but if Cantlay could be a very interesting pivot at the top of the board if his ownership is projected to be substantially lower than that of Webb and Bryson. 

Matthew Wolff

DraftKings: $9,600
FanDuel: $11,000
Notable Course History: T18 ('20)

Matthew Wolff doesn't have the extensive course history that's normally needed to be included in this write-up, but a T18 in his lone Shriners start last year, combined with his sub-$10k price tag on DraftKings makes him worth a mention. Still just 21-years-old (hard to believe), Wolff had himself quite a little stretch since the restart, logging a runner-up finish at the Rocket Mortage, a top-five at the PGA Championship, and most recently a runner-up outing at the U.S. Open.

Wolff brings a little more volatility into play than we're used to at the top of the board, but his upside is basically off the charts. He's one of - if not the most - explosive players currently on the PGA Tour and his ability to go low is hard to ignore, not just on a weekly basis, but especially on this TPC Summerlin track that will require tons of birdies. Wolff grades out seventh in this field in Birdies or Better Gained using long-term metrics, while using recent-rounds only he ranks inside the top-five in SG: Total, T2G, OTT, and DK Points Scored.

I was honestly pretty surprised to see Wolff this far down the salary scale after the summer he's put together. While it's not a huge discount from the top guys, it is definitely enough savings to consider starting your lineups with him and fading the big boys.

 

 

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Like what you read today? You can show your support for Joe by using promo code NICE when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer!

 

Russell Henley

DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $9,700
Notable Course History: T37 ('20), MC ('19), T24 ('17), 10th ('16)

It's sort of an "out of sight, out of mind" situation for Russell Henley this week, as he last teed it up over a month ago. With Henley somewhat out of the DFS consciousness, we'll probably see guys with great recent form like Zach Johnson, Will Zalatoris, and Cameron Davis soak up tons of ownership in this price range. I like those guys too, but Henley is a guy we shouldn't ignore. He closed out the summer on a legit heater, going T9-T8-T25 in his last three starts of the season. His iron play has been a revelation and he stands first in this rather elite field in both SG: T2G and Approach if we stretch back 24 rounds. Of course, there's a downside in the form of his putting stroke. Henley ranks just 115th in this Shriners field in SG: Putting, although he did look much better on the greens over his last three starts of the season.

Denny McCarthy

DraftKings: $7,700 
FanDuel: $9,200
Notable Course History: T9 ('20), T15 ('19), MC ('18), MC ('16)

Over the last few weeks, I keep running into Denny McCarthy during my research process. It didn’t work out great at Corales (T41), but it did pay huge dividends last week at the Sanderson (T6), when D-Mac logged his second top-10 in his last five starts.

He’s popping for me again this week. His track record at TPC Summerlin is strong - T9/T15 last two years - and he’s a tremendous Bent putter (McCarthy is great on every surface). The concern with him is always his ball striking, though we have reason to believe that he’s in a nice groove T2G, as he heads to Vegas off an outing at the Sanderson in which he gained strokes on the field in every statistical category. There aren't many events on the schedule where a guy can just blatantly putt his way to victory, but Kevin Na showed that it is possible on this track last year. I'm giving McCarthy a bump this week, as these huge greens are easy to hit, but difficult to navigate...and McCarthy is the best putter on the PGA Tour. 

Aaron Wise

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $8,600
Notable Course History: MC ('20), T15 ('19), T32 ('18), T10 ('17)

In 2018 it looked as though Aaron Wise was on the verge of being a true superstar. On the heels of an NCAA individual title in 2016 while at Oregon and a win in his lone season on the then-Web.com Tour in 2017, Wise won the AT&T Byron Nelson in just his 18th start as a PGA Tour member in 2018. He would score a couple of additional top-five finishes and multiple top-25s that season en route to winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors. Since that sparkling rookie season, Wise has - to put it mildly - mostly struggled. 

The youngster is a prodigious driver of the ball, but we can chalk his inconsistency up to spotty-at-best iron play and a putting stroke that put him 185th in Total Putting on the PGA Tour last season. His faults aside, we can try to ride some positive momentum with Wise this week, as the Las Vegas resident heads to TPC Summerlin off one of his best performances in recent memory. He gained strokes in every facet at the Sanderson, including 3.4 strokes on Approach and 3.2 strokes Putting. Wise has a career scoring average of 68.71 at Summerlin and has top-15 finishes in two of his four career Shriners starts. 

 

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Sanderson Farms Championship

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! Playing on a major-medical exemption, Hudson Swafford scored a much-need victory at the Corales Puntacana Championship last week. With the win, Swafford earns exempt status on the PGA Tour, as well as entry into the 2021 Masters and many other high-profile events.

While we didn't highlight Swafford in this article last week, we were oh-so-close to a victory with our Horse, Mackenzie Hughes, who finished in third place. We also had nice production from a couple of our Ponies, as both Xinjun Zhang and Patrick Rodgers scored T11 finishes for us.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Sanderson Farms Overview

Last week's Corales Puntacana event was a tough one, as its weak field tossed lots of volatility our way. Things aren't quite as ugly in this week's Sanderson Farms Championship. We head to Mississippi and the Country Club of Jackson for an event that has become a staple on the fall schedule.

While this week's field is by no means strong overall, it is without a doubt an improvement over last week's Corales entry list. Last year's Sanderson Farm winner Sebastian Munoz will be back to defend his title and he'll be joined by a few strong players, with the likes of Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im, and Louis Oosthuizen (*NOTE: Louis Oosthuizen has Withdrawn) electing to tee it up this week. Last week's DFS darling Will Zalatoris will be in the field this week thanks to his T8 at Corales and some familiar names like Benny An, Sergio Garcia, and Si Woo Kim will also be in action in Jackson. While the field is nowhere near the strength of many we saw after the restart this summer, it is fairly stout by "Swing Season" standards. This should be a fun week, 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Country Club of Jackson

Par 72 - 7,421 Yards, Greens: Bermuda, Designed By: John Fought

This will mark the seventh time the Country Club of Jackson has hosted this event. Yes, this course is long at just over 7,400 yards, but I'm not necessarily putting all my eggs in the 'bomber' basket this week, as a ton of that yardage is accounted for by the layouts four Par-5s. So, while I won't be strictly targeting length off the tee, I will definitely be focused heavily on a player's ability to score on the Par-5s. It seems like ballstriking is always important, and that is once again the case this week, as CCJ presents players with lots of approach shots from 200-plus yards. There will be plenty of birdies this week (Munoz won at 18-under par last year, Champ won at 21-under par two years ago), so I'll give a long look to birdie makers when constructing rosters.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • Sebastian Munoz (-18)
  • Cameron Champ (-21)
  • Ryan Armour (-19)
  • Cody Gribble (-20)
  • Peter Malnati (-18)

 

The Horse

Sungjae Im

DraftKings: $10,500
FanDuel:
 $11,700
Notable Course History: 2nd ('20), MC ('19)

It’s been a rough road for Sungjae and his DFS backers since the restart, as everyone’s favorite grinder struggled through a stretch of head-scratching play that saw him lose strokes with his irons in six consecutive starts at one point. 

However, our hero appears to be headed in the right direction now, as he’s gained strokes on Approach in each of his last two starts (+4.5 & +5.7) en route to strong finishes at both the Tour Championship (11th) and the U.S. Open (22nd). In addition to his trending iron play, the young Korean returns to his favorite putting surface this week at the Country Club of Jackson. His putting splits on Bermuda greens are stark when compared to other surfaces and he gained 4.4 strokes putting on these greens en route to a runner-up finish in last year’s Sanderson. 

Despite his rocky summer, I have the feeling that Sungjae is certainly heading in the right direction. Throw in the fact that he played well on this layout last year and will return to Bermuda greens, and he's one of the strongest plays available on this slate.

 

The Ponies

Scottie Scheffler

DraftKings: $11,400
FanDuel:
$12,300
Notable Course History: T16 ('20), T45 ('19)

It really is a shame that we didn’t get to see a trending Scottie Scheffler tee it up in the U.S. Open. Unfortunately, Scheffler was forced to W/D from Winged Foot due to being exposed to a family member with COVID-19. This week will mark the first time he’s played since a top-five outing at the Tour Championship.

His great finish at East Lake was just the latest in a string of strong outings from the former Texas Longhorn. Scheffler closed out the season with six consecutive top-25s against ultra-elite competition, including a T4 at the PGA Championship. 

He’s set to make a knock-the-rust-off start at the Sanderson this week, a tournament where he’s posted a T16 and a T45 in starts the previous two years. The layoff is slightly concerning, but Scheffler is undoubtedly the class of this week’s field, grading out first in SG: Total, T2G, Ball Striking, and Approach over the last 24 rounds. He sits atop the DK salary scale this week, but sticks out in this field for those of you that are paying up. 

Carlos Ortiz

DraftKings: $8,300
FanDuel: $9,600
Notable Course History: T4 ('20), T3 ('19)

The statistics that we normally want aren’t present with Carlos Ortiz, but from a pure course history perspective he definitely warrants a mention this week, as he’s posted back-to-back top-five finishes at the Sanderson over the last two years. 

Ortiz is what I refer to as a “spike” player, meaning we’ll see a ton of missed cuts from him, but then - seemingly out of nowhere - we’ll see a strong “spike” in his play and results. Obviously, these guys are tough to predict - and even harder to trust in DFS - but they are the type of “boom or bust” players that can help us take down large-field GPPs. 

There’s no recent form that indicates a spike is coming from Ortiz. Outside of a top-25 at the BMW Championship last month his results have been poor - and his statistics indicate as much - but he has displayed intriguing upside, both on this layout and in other tournaments throughout his career. His $8.3k price tag on DK is pretty gross, though he's an intriguing GPP option this week. 

 

 

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Lucas Glover

DraftKings: $8,000
FanDuel: $9,800
Notable Course History: MC ('20), T14 ('19), T5 ('17), T39 ('16)

Full disclosure: I no longer play Lucas Glover myself. It might sound crazy - and I know it definitely doesn't sound very analytical - but I'm just snakebit with the guy. That said, I can respect Glover as a solid option this week. His course history certainly demands attention...though he missed the cut here last year (I'm sure I probably had him), he had went T14-T5 in his two previous Sanderson starts. He heads to Mississippi on the heels of his best finish in months, a T17 at the U.S. Open a couple of weeks ago. Despite posting some ugly results down the stretch of the season, Glover has actually gained strokes on Approach in 10 of his 11 starts since the COVID-19 layoff, but has been derailed by horrible putting.

Cameron Percy

DraftKings: $7,200 
FanDuel: $8,600
Notable Course History: T11 ('20), T34 ('18), T42 ('17), T15 ('16)

Cameron Percy isn’t a player that knocks our socks off with excitement, but the Aussie has consistently gotten it done at the Sanderson. He’s logged four-straight made cuts at the Country Club of Jackson with two top-15 finishes in this event since 2016. Percy heads to Mississippi on the heels of two strong outings...a T23 at the Safeway Open and a T8 last week in the Corales Puntacana. He gained over eight strokes T2G in the Dominican Republic last week and is a nice salary saver on this slate.

Adam Schenk

DraftKings: $6,700
FanDuel: $8,500
Notable Course History: T36 ('20), T7 ('19), T43 ('18)

It's not unusual to see some sicko DFS price tags in these Swing Season events (there are definitely some of those on this slate), but Adam Schenk sticks out as a player that feels grossly underpriced this week at just $6.7k on DK. Schenk is certainly no world beater, but he's played some solid golf over the last couple months and heads to the Sanderson with a made-cut streak that stands at seven straight. In addition to his decent form, he's been good at the Country Club of Jackson and has made the cut in this event in each of the last three years, with a T7 coming two years ago. Schenk ranks inside the top-25 of this week's field in both Par-5 Efficiency and Birdies or Better Gained over the last 12 rounds.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! Bryson DeChambeau bombed his way to victory at the U.S. Open in impressive fashion. The Mad Scientist was the only player to finish under par for the week at Winged Foot and proved that his quest for distance has been worth it.

While we didn't highlight Bryson in this article last week, we did very well with our selections, as Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson, and Louis Oosthuizen all finished inside the top-six, while Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama both made runs up the leaderboard at different points during the week. We had lots of options in last week's stacked field, but this week's Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship offers a stark contrast in field strength.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Corales Puntacana Overview

Last week's U.S. Open field was filet mignon, while this week's Corales Puntacana field reminds me of a cheeseburger from the Dollar Menu at Mickey D's. An eclectic mixture of veteran journeymen and young up-and-comers will descend on the Dominican Republic this week in an attempt to get a headstart on the new 2020-21 season's FedEx Cup points race.

Last year's Corales winner Graeme McDowell will be back to defend his title with Henrik Stenson being perhaps the other name in the field that is the most recognizable. This event is not without some solid, quality PGA Tour players, as guys like Mackenzie Hughes, Corey Conners, and Emiliano Grillo represent a contingent of "in their prime" Tour regulars. Several youngsters are looking to make their mark this week, with phenom Akshay Batia, Sam Burns, and KFT-stud Will Zalatoris (who is fresh off a T6 at the U.S. Open and shockingly sits atop the salary scale this week) being some of the most exciting prospects in the game. We know what to expect from these types of events...lots of volatility and some definite "sticker shock" when it comes to DFS pricing...and that is certainly the case this week.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales Course)

Par 72 - 7,666 Yards, Greens: Supreme Paspalum , Designed By: Tom Fazio (2010)

A typical resort course designed by Tom Fazio in 2010, Corales hosted a couple of KFT events before moving up to the PGA Tour schedule and is set to host the "big boys" for the third time. Like most "resort" layouts that caters to guests for 51 weeks out of the year, Corales plays easy for these professionals. This week's field will especially need to take advantage of the front nine, which has traditionally played much easier than the back.

Players will face Paspalum putting surfaces this week, which is a unique grass that isn't seen much on the PGA Tour schedule (here, Mayakoba, and Puerto Rico Open).

This is a coastal course, so there are some days where the wind could possibly play a factor, but overall this layout is gonna be a cakewalk, which forces us to target birdie makers this week. I'll look for players with a solid Birdie or Better Percentage, as well as those that can take advantage of this layout's four Par-5s.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Graeme McDowell (-18)
  • 2018: Brice Garnett (-18)
  • 2017: N/A
  • 2016: N/A
  • 2015: N/A

 

The Horse

Mackenzie Hughes

DraftKings: $10,300
FanDuel:
 $11,500
Notable Course History: T2 ('19)

Since this event has just a two-year history, we don't have a great sample size to work from this week. So, I'm looking for players that are in good form and basically have any type of experience on this Corales layout. Mackenzie Hughes fits the bill, as the Canadian is coming off his best season as a pro and also logged a T2 in this event last year.

As I mentioned, the 29-year-old posted the best season of his career in 2020 and displayed some impressive upside by racking up four top-10s in 22 starts. Hughes went on a tear during the recent FedEx Cup Playoffs, posting top-15 finishes in each of the three Playoff events and qualifying for the Tour Championship.

He stands ninth in this week's field in Birdies or Better Gained and is a tremendous putter who ranks out first in this field in SG: Putting. Hughes certainly has his weaknesses (as does pretty much every player in this field), but he's been playing well as of late and has found success on this Corales layout previously.

 

The Ponies

Sam Burns

DraftKings: $10,100
FanDuel:
$11,600
Notable Course History: T12 ('19)

Sam Burns is a player that I've rostered in several events lately, the most recent of which was a strong T7 performance at the Safeway Open. Burns notched a T12 in this Corales event last year, so I'm more than happy to continue riding the LSU Tiger this week.

Burns is just 24, but it looks as though he has a big future ahead of him on the PGA Tour. He's sort of the prototypical "modern" golfer...he hits it a mile (eighth on the Tour in Driving Distance last year), devours Par-5s (21st Par-5 Scoring Average), and is a fabulous putter (24th Total Putting).

His iron play can come and go - and it is the only thing holding him back at this point - but Burns' ball striking has looked sharper over the last couple months and he's gained strokes on Approach in four of his last five starts. This would be a likely spot for a breakout win for him.

Denny McCarthy

DraftKings: $9,600
FanDuel: $10,500
Notable Course History: T26 ('19), 4th ('18)

It's officially Denny McCarthy SZN! McCarthy has made his living in the Swing Season for the last couple of years and that success includes this event, as he's went T26-4th in his last two trips to Corales. From September to November last year, McCarthy made seven of seven cuts with three top-10s and I look for him to start another successful late-year run this week.

He doesn't have the name recognition of some players or get much publicity, but McCarthy is perhaps the best putter on the PGA Tour. He's finished the last TWO seasons ranked FIRST on the PGA Tour in SG: Putting and he wields the flatstick like Biggie rocked the mic.

While I normally don't give a ton of weight to putting - unless I'm targeting bad putters with great ball-striking numbers - my outlook changes a bit during some of these swing season events. These things normally devolve into pure birdie-fests and we need guys that can consistently fill it up with the flatstick. McCarthy (and Hughes and Burns) fits that description.

 

 

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Xinjun Zhang

DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $9,500
Notable Course History: T5 ('18)

A former Korn Ferry Tour stud who won twice on the KFT in 2019, Xinjun Zhang made some waves last fall after graduating to the PGA Tour, when he went T7-T16-T4 over a three-tournament stretch during September and October. However, Zhang hasn't recaptured that form in 2020 and has struggled to find consistency throughout this year.

Inconsistency has also been the name of the game since the restart for Zhang, but he has displayed high upside on a couple of occasions. Since the restart he has missed seven cuts in 10 starts, but the three times he's played the weekend, he's finished inside the top-14. This is a week where we almost have to "embrace the volatility" and Zhang's history of high finishes in these type of events (including a T5 in this event in 2018) makes him an intriguing "boom or bust" GPP option this week.

Patrick Rodgers

DraftKings: $8,000 
FanDuel: $9,300
Notable Course History: T22 ('18)

Those of you that regularly read my articles here or watch my podcast, The Turn, have probably heard me mention Patrick Rodgers before. The Stanford product isn't a golfer that I'm going to target every week, but there are specific layout "types" where I feel comfortable rostering him. He's similar to the aformentioned Sam Burns in that he's a bomber (18th on Tour in Driving Distance) that is also an exceptional putter (11th SG: Putting). Rodgers posted a T22 in his lone previous trip to Corales and this is the type of course that will allow him to bomb away off the tee, attack the Par-5s, and - hopefully - make lots of putts.

Aaron Baddeley

DraftKings: $6,600
FanDuel: $7,900
Notable Course History: T7 ('19)

This is a crazy week, so we may as well get nuts here, right? I mean this as no disrespect to Aaron Baddeley, who has had a very respectable career, but the poor guy was probably just born at the wrong time, as there are several other eras in which he would've been a hugely-successful player on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, Baddeley broke on to the PGA Tour in an era of driver domination, a facet of the game in which he's infamously struggled. Badds has one of the best short games of his generation, but is epically-bad off the tee, both in distance and accuracy metrics. However, Corales is the type of course that the one-time phenom can still navigate...there is plenty of room for him to operate off the tee and the greens are not particularly difficult to hit, the ball travels forever in this Dominican climate, so he can basically live and die with his putter. The Aussie posted a T7 here last year and has - shockingly - gained strokes with his irons the last three times he's teed it up. He's obviously a dart throw, but one I'll have some exposure to in GPPs.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



More PGA DFS Analysis

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - U.S. Open

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! The new PGA Tour season kicked off with an old, familiar face emerging with a win. Stewart Cink, last seen ripping Tom Watson's heart out at the Open Championship, showed the youngsters how it's done at Silverado, winning the Safeway Open at 21-under par.

We go from California to New York for more pressing matters this week, as the world's best descend on legendary Winged Foot Golf Club for the U.S. Open! In the absence of substantial course history at Winged Foot, we'll be using U.S. Open history as our guide in this week's HFTC.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

U.S. Open Overview

It's been a long and winding road in 2020, but we've finally reached Winged Foot Golf Club and the U.S. Open. It will be the second major championship played in this crazy year and it has all the makings of a classic, as many of golf's elite are playing their best at the moment and are set to do battle on one of the best golf courses in the world.

The field is obviously stacked. PGA Champion Collin Morikawa will try to make it two in a row. Newly-crowned FedEx Cup champion Dustin Johnson will try to keep dominating. Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele will try to break the seal on their major-championship-winning potential. This is gonna be a fun one, 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course)

Par 70 - 7,469 Yards, Greens: Poa Annua, Designed By: A.W. Tillinghast (1923), Gil Hanse (2015 Renovation)

If you are a fan of golf, you are probably already familiar with this A.W. Tillinghast classic, as it's considered one of the finest golf courses in the world. Gil Hanse freshened the place up a bit in 2015, with designs that brought some of Tillinghast's original designs back to the forefront.

This week's world-class field will face a brutish challenge, as the glorious New York layout is stretched out to over 7,400 yards with narrow fairways and very penal rough. The adventure is just beginning when players reach the green, as these Poa Annua surfaces have legendary contours that slope front to back with many having false-front runoffs.

With only two Par-5s and many of the Par-4s coming in at over 450-yards, scoring opportunities will be scarce, making par a very good score this week. We want to focus on good total drivers of the ball, players that play long Par-4s well, and have rock-solid short games.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Gary Woodland (-13)
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka (+1)
  • 2017: Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2016: Dustin Johnson (-4)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-5)

 

The Horse

Xander Schauffele

DraftKings: $10,100
FanDuel:
 $11,400
Notable U.S. Open History: T3 ('19), T6 ('18), T5 ('17)

A teeny-tiny bit surprised to see Xander over $10k, but it's hard to argue with it due to his history in U.S. Opens, ability on tough golf courses, and rock-solid recent form. That's why we're willing to pay up for him right?

Outside of Brooks Koepka, Schauffele has been the best player in the game in U.S. Opens over the last three years, going T3-T6-T5 in golf's toughest test since 2017. He's openly discussed his affinity for playing challenging courses and has already proven himself to be a player that shows up on golf's biggest stages. The only downside here is his rather stiff price tag.

Xander stands out as one of the best plays at the top of the board due to his solid ability in all facets of the game. He ranks second in the field in Bogeys Avoided using recent measurements and has proven that he can handle the rigors of U.S. Open setups, while also being a tremendous Poa putter. It could very well be time for Xander to become a major champion.

 

The Ponies

Dustin Johnson

DraftKings: $11,500
FanDuel:
$12,100
Notable U.S. Open History: T35 ('19), 3rd ('18), MC ('17), Win ('16), T2 ('15)

Dustin Johnson has been downright dominant since the PGA Tour's restart, winning twice (three times if you wanna count the Tour Championship), posting two runner-up finishes, and capturing the FedEx Cup. His spot atop the salary scale is a no-brainer for several reasons...his recent form, Vegas odds, and U.S. Open history being chief among them.

DJ rather infamously has only captured one major championship in his Hall of Fame career, but that win was a U.S. Open. In addition to that victory at Oakmont in 2016, Johnson has historically played extremely well in golf's toughest major, logging three career top-fives in the U.S. Open.

His game translates exceptionally well to difficult golf courses - with his combination of length and accuracy off the tee (first in the field in Good Drives Gained last 12 rounds), sharp iron play (first in field in GIR Gained), and improved short game (fourth SG: Short Game) - and there's truly no layout that DJ can't win on.

Hideki Matsuyama

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,600
Notable U.S. Open History: T21 ('19), T16 ('18), T2 ('17), MC ('16), T18 ('15)

Hideki has failed to truly put everything together since the COVID-19 layoff. Matsuyama did put himself into contention in the BMW Championship on a difficult U.S. Open-like Olympia Fields layout and his ability to navigate very hard golf courses is one of the main selling points for rostering him this week. He's shined in this event, recording five top-25s in seven career U.S. Open starts against just one missed cut.

His recent ball-striking hasn't been bad, it just hasn't really been Hideki-like, as he's gained strokes on Approach in each of his last three. Perhaps more importantly when focusing on this Winged Foot layout, the Japanese star has sparkled around the greens on some of the schedule's toughest recent tests, leading the field in SG: Around at brutal Olympia Fields and ranking third at TPC Harding Park.

Rostering Hideki is often anti-climatic...you hope for a win or top-five, but expect a top-25, which is usually all he'll give you. I expect him to fall somewhere in that finishing position again this week - which is a bit frustrating - but there's some value in targeting safety on a course like Winged Foot, as getting 6/6 through this week would give us a huge leg-up on the competition.

 

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Tommy Fleetwood

DraftKings: $8,900
FanDuel: $10,400
Notable U.S. History: T65 ('19), 2nd ('18), 4th ('17)

Fleetwood was one of the players that elected to delay his return to competition following the layoff. The normally-reliable Englishman has posted a couple of good rounds here and there - including a second-round 64 at the PGA - but has failed to find consistency for the most part. Fleetwood did post a strong outing at the Portugal Masters last week in Europe and has traditionally shined on difficult courses throughout his career. His U.S. Open record is strong and he posted back-to-back top-four finishes in 2017-18. For years now, we've felt comfortable rostering Fleetwood as a mid-range building block in major championships and that's once again the case for me this week. The recent form might depress his ownership a bit, but there's upside here. I love his ability to go out and drop a 66 while the rest of the field is posting 76.

Patrick Reed

DraftKings: $8,400 
FanDuel: $10,000
Notable Course History: T32 ('19), 4th ('18), T13 ('17), MC ('16), T14 ('15)

I refuse to call Patrick Reed "Captain America" because Cap is not an ass or a cheater, but - personal feelings aside - I have to give Reed his props when it comes to his track record in America's national championship.

Man...the $8k range is jam-packed with these "haven't been playing great, but have tons of U.S. Open experience and should play really well on this type of course" guys. Patrick Reed is always a statistical mystery to us DFS junkies, and he heads to New York having lost strokes with his irons in his last three starts, but it is very tough to take him out of consideration, because we know how well he plays in major championships and on hard golf courses. His short game is one of the best in the world and he led the Tour Championship field in Fairways Gained two weeks ago. For what it's worth, Reed has played very well in this part of the country, with wins at Bethpage and Liberty National. His stats say "no", but his history of solid play in U.S. Opens says "yes". My best advice is go with your gut on him.

Louis Oosthuizen

DraftKings: $7,600
FanDuel: $9,300
Notable Course History: T7 ('19), T16 ('18), T23 ('17), T23 ('16), T2 ('15)

I found myself on Oosty the last time he teed it up at the BMW Championship (in large part because it felt like a U.S. Open layout) and I was shocked at how low his ownership was that week. I hope that is the case again this week, but I have my doubts, as people love to play the South African in majors. No matter what his ownership ends up being, I'll be back on board, as there is a lot to like with Shrek in this spot.

He heads to New York having gained strokes T2G in each of his last five starts and he's made the cut in five-straight U.S. Opens...all of them top-25s! Poa is his best putting surface and he profiles as a great fit for Winged Foot thanks to his major championship experience and ability to navigate difficult layouts (led the BMW field in scrambling at Olympia Fields). Perhaps my favorite play in the mid-$7ks.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - Safeway Open

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! My guy DJ just continued to show out at East Lake. Why can't he do this is in majors? I suppose that's the age-old question with Dustin Johnson...

Although we've crowned a FedEx Cup champion, we've still got a lot of golf left as we head into the 2020-21 season. While we'd normally take a step back on what's traditionally considered a "Swing Season" event, we're paying close attention to form as we look ahead to the U.S. Open next week.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Safeway Open Overview

After a season unlike any other, this week's Safeway Open represents the official start of the "new" 2020-21 PGA Tour schedule. The Tour has done a fabulous job of juggling the effects of COVID-19, but there are still some scheduling oddities that lie ahead in what remains of the calendar year, with the U.S. Open scheduled for next week and the Masters slated for November. However...we do have to prepare for the U.S. Open next week, so we've seen lots of players drop out of this event, with ZERO of the 30 players that teed it up in last week's Tour Championship electing to play at Silverado this week.

This tournament has produced a somewhat eclectic group of past champions, with players like Cameron Champ, Kevin Tway, and Brendan Steele (twice) being among the recent winners at Silverado. This week's field doesn't have the type of top-to-bottom star power that we've grown accustomed to over the last few weeks - with many elite players electing to rest between the Tour Championship and U.S. Open - and this might qualify as the most shocking salary scale that we've seen in a while as none other than Si Woo Kim tops the DK board with *gulp* Phil Mickelson coming in right behind him. Are we living in the #DreamRoom?

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Silverado Resort & Spa North

Par 72 - 7,166 Yards, Greens: Poa Annua, Designed By: Robert Trent Jones Jr. (1966 Redesign), Johnny Miller (2011 Redesign)

A small group led by Johnny Miller purchased this Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed property in 2010. Miller quickly orchestrated a fairly extensive re-design which has been well received. This is a classic layout with tough-to-hit, tree-lined fairways that places an emphasis on accuracy off the tee. Elite ball striking is required at Silverado and will be an area that I will target heavily, while iron play will also take its usual prominent place in my research process. Recent winners here are players that I would largely place in the "ball strikers" category, with most being known for their length and ability off the tee. I'll also glance at scrambling and around-the-green ability this week, as this tournament definitely isn't a "birdiefest", with the average winning score at around 15-under par. For the first time in a while, we'll see true California Poa Annua greens. Poa is notoriously tricky, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on players that have positive putting splits on Poa.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2020 (Season): Cameron Champ (-17)
  • 2019: Kevin Tway (-14)
  • 2018: Brendan Steele (-15)
  • 2017: Brendan Steele (-18)
  • 2016: Emiliano Grillo (-15)

 

The Horse

Brendan Steele

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel:
 $11,400
Notable Course History: Win ('18 & '17)

Welcome to $10k Brendan Steele week! I know, it's pretty sick. After months of super-elite fields to work with, the Safeway is a nice reminder that not every week on the PGA Tour schedule is star-studded. Some events we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that the DFS salary scale "is what it is"...and this definitely qualifies as one of those tournaments.

Do we ever want to pay an inflated price for a player like Brendan Steele? No, of course not, but that's what we're faced with this week. As available options go, he sticks out, not only due to his strong track record at Silverado (he's a two-time winner of this event), but also because he's exhibited some solid - if unspectacular - form as of late. He's logged two top-25s and a top-10 over his last six starts, and heads to California ranked first in this field in SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds and third in SG: Total, while also leading the field in SG: Total in this event since 2016.

 

The Ponies

Phil Mickelson

DraftKings: $10,600
FanDuel:
$11,800
Notable Course History: MC ('20), T7 ('19), T3 ('18), T8 ('17)

Another gross price tag here, but if you're shopping at the top of the board Phil Mickelson is worth a look. The 50-year-old has been horribly inconsistent over the past couple of seasons, but when he's played well, he's been able to post some very high finishes, with a runner-up finish at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude being the most recent one in mind.

Mickelson won his debut event on the PGA Champions Tour recently, and while I don't know how much bearing that performance has on this week, it is certainly notable. His play in Memphis and on the Champions Tour should at the very least send Phil to the Safeway feeling confident. We also have to imagine that his elite track record on this Silverado layout will provide some positive mojo for Lefty this week. I'm viewing Mickelson as a "boom or bust" GPP play in this spot, and while I don't love the volatility at this price point, I do feel like there's actually legitimate upside here.

 

Harold Varner III

DraftKings: $9,100
FanDuel: $10,500
Notable Course History: T17 ('20), T14 ('19), T59 ('18), T15 ('17)

Lots of positives to take from HV3's play since the restart. Varner heads to the Safeway ranked fourth in the field in SG: T2G over his last 24 rounds and had played well at both the PGA Championship and the Wyndham before his season ended in the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs at the Northern Trust.

Varner has been rock-solid in previous trips to Silverado and has ran off five-straight made cuts - with three top-20 finishes - at the Safeway since 2016. He grades out 11th in this week's field in SG: Off The Tee and second in Birdie Opportunities Gained over the last 24 rounds. On a week where our options are very thin, HV3 feels like a "safe" option at what we must consider a relatively reasonable $9.1k price tag.

 

 

 

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Cameron Davis

DraftKings: $8,900
FanDuel: $10,300
Notable Course History: MC ('20), T17 ('19)

The course history is admittedly a little thin for Cameron Davis, but his T17 in the Safeway two seasons ago is enough for me on what's a tough slate. What we're really interested in is Davis' recent form. The young Aussie closed out the season on a heater, going T12/T15/T29 in his last three starts.

In addition to the solid form, Davis profiles as a terrific fit for this Silverado layout. He ranks first in this week's field in Birdies or Better Gained, while also standing sixth in SG on Par-5s. His ability off the tee is noteworthy (13th in the field SG: OTT) on this course that has routinely rewarded great drivers of the ball.

 

Patrick Rodgers

DraftKings: $7,600 
FanDuel: $9,400
Notable Course History: T44 ('20), T25 ('19), T43 ('18), MC ('17), T6 ('16)

Patrick Rodgers is kinda the opposite of the aforementioned Cameron Davis, as his recent form hasn't been great, but he has a long history of solid play at the Safeway, making the cut in four of his last five starts with a T6 and a T25 among those outings.

I'm usually willing to ignore Rodgers' stats to a certain degree, as his game doesn't translate well to every layout. Where he does generally shine is on tough, longer golf courses with four Par-5s and especially those with Poa greens. Rodgers ranks seventh in the Safeway field in SG: Putting on Poa Annua greens. This is the type of layout where I like to target him and - on a week with crazy pricing - his price tag is reasonable.

 

Luke List

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $9,500
Notable Course History: MC ('20), T4 ('19), T37 ('18), T26 ('17)

We're gonna round out a weird week with Luke List, a player that we never feel completely comfortable rostering. List is a talented player and his ball-striking style fits the mold of previous winners of the Safeway. He's fared well here, making the cut in three of his last four starts at Silverado, with a T4 two years ago.

List flashed a bit of form after the restart, winning a Korn Ferry Tour event and posting a top-10 result at the Memorial. As usual with him, the ball-striking has been there, but some wretched performances with the putter have resulted in a couple of bad outings in recent starts. Poa is his "least worst" surface, so we're hoping List can manage a decent week on the greens to go with his sterling ball-striking ability.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - Tour Championship

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! Ok, how awesome was the BMW Championship? We expected Olympia Fields to be fairly tough, but WHOA! The U.S. Open-like scoring conditions were a nice change of pace (although maybe not great for our DFS lineups) and ultimately produced a dramatic finish between two of the best golfers in the world, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson.

After DJ made an unbelievably clutch putt to send the BMW into a playoff, Rahm struck back by making an almost impossible 66-footer on the first playoff hole. It was the Spaniards second huge win since the restart. The sizzling finish sends us into this week's TOUR Championship in fine form, as the top 30 players on the PGA Tour will be fighting it out for the FedEx Cup and $15 million!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

TOUR Championship Overview

After a season unlike any other, a FedEx Cup champion will be crowned this week in Atlanta. The top-30 players in the FedEx Points standing head to East Lake in hopes of capturing the HUGE $15 million payday that comes with winning the FedEx Cup.

Some will have a much better chance than others, as the TOUR Championship will use the "Staggered Start" format for the second consecutive year. Meaning that players atop the points standings will start this week with an actual advantage on the leaderboard. This week, Dustin Johnson heads to Atlanta on top of the points list and will start the TOUR Championship at 10-under par, with Jon Rahm just behind him at eight-under par. We work our way down to the players at the bottom of the points standings like Billy Horschel and Cam Champ that will be starting at the traditional even par. Needless to say, this format - in addition to the very short field and no-cut nature of this event - presents some unique challenges from a DFS perspective, challenges which we will dive into throughout the week here at RotoBaller.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: East Lake Golf Club

Par 70 - 7,346 Yards, Greens: Bermuda

There is tons of history at East Lake. The Donald Ross design is where Bobby Jones perfected his game and has been the permanent host of the TOUR Championship since 2004. East Lake isn't really tricky, but it does play fairly tough for these guys. Players will need to be strong both off the tee and on approach to have a chance this week.

Something to consider this week when constructing your DFS lineups is that this isn't a course where players are (usually) going to go crazy low, with the winning score typically coming in at 10 to 12 under par prior to last year's scoring format change.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Rory McIlroy (-18)
  • 2018: Tiger Woods (-11)
  • 2017: Xander Schauffele (-12)
  • 2016: Rory McIlory (-12)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-9)

 

The Horse

Xander Schauffele (Starting Position: -3)

DraftKings: $8,900
FanDuel:
 $9,500
Notable Course History: 2nd ('19), T7 ('18), Win ('17)

I don't know that Xander can actually win this week - his starting position of three-under par makes that a very big ask - but the X-Man definitely has a strong chance to make a big move in Atlanta. Schauffele has been superb in his previous trips to East Lake, posting a victory in 2017 and going T7-T2 in his subsequent Tour Championship starts while amassing the best East Lake scoring average in this week's field... a 67.75 over three starts.

Xander has kinda just been flying under the radar as of late, consistently posting very solid finishes, but failing to take down a tournament. He's gained an average of 5.7 strokes T2G over his last five starts, a strong mark when considering that he truly hasn't been firing on all cylinders.

His starting position should force Xander to be aggressive from the first tee this week and that might be a good thing for a player that is sometimes almost too patient in some situations. DFS players will flock to those at the top of the board this week, but Schauffele's solid form and impressive course history makes him my favorite player from the "back of the pack" this week.

 

The Ponies

Dustin Johnson (Starting Position: -10)

DraftKings: $15,200
FanDuel:
$14,400
Notable Course History: T29 ('19), 3rd ('18), T17 ('17), T6 ('16), T5 ('15)

Do any of you guys really wanna bet against Dustin Johnson right now? I know I don't, especially when he's being spotted a lead on the field. Of course, things aren't that black and white this week, as in order to roster Deej in DFS we must be willing to pay an extremely high price.

Johnson's history at East Lake is very solid and includes three finishes inside the top-six since 2015. Motivation is always a factor that we must consider when evaluating TOUR Championship history, but DJ's motivating factors this week shouldn't be questioned. He has the chance the nab his first FedEx Cup with a win - not to mention $15 million - and can close out an extremely impressive post-layoff stretch of play that includes two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last six starts.

I'm a believer that Johnson's "A Game" is better than anyone else's and he's certainly been bringing his best over the past month. DJ will start this week at 10-under par - two shots clear of his nemesis from last week Jon Rahm - and the stage is set for a big week. However, his DFS price tag is MASSIVE and rostering DJ is basically stating that you believe he is going to win this tournament.

 

Justin Thomas (Starting Position: -7)

DraftKings: $11,900
FanDuel: $12,000
Notable Course History: T3 ('19), T7 ('18), 2nd ('17), T6 ('16)

If you want to pivot away from DJ at the top of the salary scale (or simply just can't afford him), Justin Thomas immediately jumps out as a strong option. JT was the man in DJ's position last year, but failed to emerge with the FedEx Cup despite starting at 10-under par for the week. Thomas didn't play bad - logged a T3 - but just couldn't outlast a charging Rory McIlroy. Maybe this year JT will play the role of the spoiler, as a three-shot starting deficit certainly isn't insurmountable for a player of his caliber.

Thomas has been straight money at East Lake throughout his career and has never finished worse than T7 in four Tour Championship appearances since 2016. His results since winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude have been rather pedestrian by his standards, but this would be a tremendous spot for him to break out of his "mini slump". JT has continued to strike the ball well over his last three starts and we can place the blame for his underwhelming finishes mostly on an uncooperative putter, as he's lost strokes on the greens in three of his last four starts.

Thomas himself is walking proof that starting this thing with a lead doesn't necessarily equal a win. His sterling track record at East Lake and explosive scoring ability makes him a serious candidate to win this thing.

 

 

 

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Rory McIlroy (Starting Position: -3)

DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel: $10,200
Notable Course History: Win ('19), T7 ('18), Win ('16)

It's hard to have a course history article this week without discussing Rory McIlroy. Rory has won twice at East Lake since 2016 with a T7 sandwiched between those two victories.

McIlroy hasn't found his pre-COVID form since the restart and we've all been wondering what's up. Well, we might have figured it out last week when Rory announced that his wife was due with the couple's first child at any moment. That might explain why Rory's game hasn't been in top form as of late and it's also a little concerning, as McIlroy has stated that he won't hesitate to leave any golf tournament to be by his wife's side for the delivery of their child, which does make him a WD risk this week.

If you are willing to gamble with that risk, McIlroy is a high-upside play and is the type of player that is capable of running down those that are starting at the top of the leaderboard.

 

Tony Finau (Starting Position: -2)

DraftKings: $8,200 
FanDuel: $9,000
Notable Course History: 7th ('19), T15 ('18), T7 ('17)

As we move on down the board, we're getting into the "players that probably can't realistically win the tournament, but can accumulate DFS points for us" category. Though Tony Finau will be extremely hard-pressed to exit East Lake with a victory this week, I still love his chances of being a profitable play for us in this spot.

Finau's game log has been marked with highs and lows since the restart. He heads to Atlanta on the heels of an impressive outing at the BMW, where a final-round 65 spiked him into a fifth-place finish at Olympia Fields. He'll bring that momentum to a layout where he's performed admirably in each of his three previous appearances and possesses a 68.83 scoring average. Finau has gained strokes T2G in nine of 10 tournaments since the restart and leads this week's field in Par-4 scoring on holes measuring 450-500 yards over long-term measurements.

 

Billy Horschel (Starting Position: E)

DraftKings: $5,700
FanDuel: $7,000
Notable Course History: 2nd ('18), Win ('14), T7 ('13)

Billy Horschel doesn't always qualify for the Tour Championship, but when he makes it to East Lake he certainly makes his presence known. Billy Ho has a win, a second, and a T7 in three career starts on the Atlanta track and his East Lake scoring average of 67.83 is second only to Xander Schauffele in this week's field.

Horschel ran into the buzzsaw that is Jim Herman a few weeks ago at the Wyndham to log a hard-luck second in Greensboro. He once again played well early last week at the BMW before fading over the weekend. His recent form and course history makes him the most desirable value play on the board this week, but he will also undoubtedly be the most popular. We will see TONS of DJ/Horschel lineups this week, so if you do pull the trigger on Billy Ho, try to differentiate as much as possible throughout the rest of your roster.

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



More PGA DFS Analysis

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - BMW Championship

Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller PGA DFS family! As some of you regular readers probably noticed, I was absent from all of my usual RB articles last week due to the death of close friend. I'd like to express my appreciation for all of you that reached out on Twitter with nice messages, and I'd especially like to thank my friends and colleagues here at RotoBaller who all pitched in to help cover last week's Northern Trust, with a special "Thank You" to my longtime friend Spencer Aguiar who did an amazing job writing this article.

Last week was a tough one for me personally, but it served as a great reminder that the PGA DFS community is perhaps the best in fantasy sports and something I'm very proud to be a part of. I'm happy to back talking golf with you guys! After Dustin Johnson's blowout win at The Northern Trust we head to the second leg of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs this week, the BMW Championship.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

BMW Championship Overview

The playoff field has been whittled down from 125 at last week's Northern Trust to 70 for the BMW Championship. There will be no cut this week, which should kick us into a WGC-like state of mind when attacking DFS builds this week (we can get aggressive and should get contrarian).

As you can imagine from a field of the PGA Tour's best 70 players this season, the strength of this BMW field is extremely high. Last week's runaway winner Dustin Johnson will headline a group that includes golf's biggest stars like Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and Jon Rahm. They'll be teeing it up at Olympia Fields Country Club, a course that has been introduced as part of the FedEx Cup Playoff rotation. The Illinois track was last seen hosting PGA pros in the 2003 U.S. Open won by Jim Furyk, but plays host to the NCAA Illini Invitational each year in the college ranks. This situation brings to mind similarities with TPC Harding Park a few weeks ago, in that we're basically just making an educated guess as to how this layout is going to play for modern professionals, which makes this a tough monster to tackle from a course history perspective. In the absence of substantial history, we'll make our best guesses as to fit this week. 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Olympia Fields CC (North Course)

Par 70 - 7,366 Yards, Greens: Poa

We're always guessing as to what will happen when these classical layouts play host to modern Tour pros. Though Olympia Fields has a long and storied history, we haven't seen it host PGA Tour players since the 2003 U.S. Open that was won by Jim Furyk at eight-under par. At least on the scorecard, the old girl is a beast, stretching nearly 7,400 yards with seven Par-4s that will play over 450 yards, not to mention two Par-5s that measure in at over 600 yards. However, length alone is no longer a defense in and of itself, as we saw Justin Thomas dismantle a 7,600+ yard Medinah layout in last year's BMW Championship. What we do expect to be tough this week is the rough at Olympia Fields, with reports coming in that we could see rough of over five inches by the tournament's end.

We'll have to give a bump to those players that are long and accurate off the tee this week, while also specifically targeting those that perform well on Par-4s of over 450 yards and excel on approach shots longer than 175 yards. Anytime we're forced to guess on what skills to target, I always lean on SG: Tee To Green and Ball Striking.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores (Various Courses)

  • 2019: Justin Thomas (-25)
  • 2018: Keegan Bradley (-20)
  • 2017: Marc Leishman (-23)
  • 2016: Dustin Johnson (-23)
  • 2015: Jason Day (-22)

 

The Horse

Justin Thomas

DraftKings: $10,800
FanDuel:
 $11,700
Notable Course History: N/A

As a lifelong Dustin Johnson fan, I'm well aware of how easy it is to become enamored with his game after he puts on a dominant display like he did last week. So, while recognizing that DJ can do some unbelievable things when he's playing his best, let's not forget about another player that's capable of blowing fields away, Justin Thomas.

JT won last year's BMW Championship in dominant fashion, posting a 25-under par final score at Medinah. And while that has no bearing on this week's BMW, it does illustrate what Thomas is capable of on any given week.  The Kentucky native has been flying under the radar since a win at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude a few weeks ago, but we can chalk his lackluster results up to an ice-cold putter. Thomas has lost strokes putting in three straight outings, including a horrible -4 mark on the greens last week at TPC Boston.

However, JT has continued to be razor-sharp from tee to green, he's gained strokes T2G in every tournament since the restart and is averaging 5.2 SG: Approach over his last five tournaments. While I don't think Thomas will go "overlooked" this week, I do think the combination of his recent finishes and the splashy options that surround him at the top of the salary scale will depress his ownership a bit. I'm always interested in JT, especially if it looks like rostering him might be a little bit contrarian.

 

The Ponies

Daniel Berger

DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel:
$11,200
Notable Course History: N/A

I've been preaching the gospel of Daniel Berger to anyone that will listen for the entirety of 2020, but it seems like my guy just continues to go overlooked and underestimated by the general public. In addition to a big-time win at Colonial in the first post-layoff event, Berger has remained ridiculously consistent since the restart, running off three top-three finishes in five starts since the win at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Berger's only real misstep was a missed cut at the Memorial after taking a short break - though he still gained strokes both OTT and on Approach - and his statistical output has basically been blemish-free this year, as he's gained strokes T2G IN EVERY START OF 2020 minus the hiccup at Muirfield Village.

We're not 100% sure how this week's Olympia Fields layout will play, but we can feel confident rostering a player like Berger that's excelled in every facet of the game over an extended period of time. The FSU alum has displayed no real weaknesses as of late and it wouldn't be surprising to see him right in the thick of things at the BMW this week.

 

Scottie Scheffler

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,600
Notable Course History: N/A

Scottie Scheffler popped on our DFS radars last year and logged some impressive outings during the Swing Season. The 24-year-old out of the University of Texas has made his name to those outside of the PGA DFS world with his performances over the last few weeks that includes a top-five finish at the PGA Championship and a scorching round of 59 last week at The Northern Trust.

Scheffler's season has been highlighted by ups and downs, that's been especially true since the restart, as he battled through a string of three-straight missed cuts before posting a top-25 finish at the Memorial. It's been "game on" for the Longhorn since then, as he's gained strokes T2G in four straight and heads into this week ranked second in the field in SG: T2G over the last 12 rounds.

We're still early in the rising star's career - and inconsistency is a time-honored sign of youth on the PGA Tour - but it looks like Scheffler is cut from the same cloth as fellow newcomer Matthew Wolff...he's either "really on" or "really off" with not much in between. His price tag has increased noticeably this week, but I'm willing to attempt to ride the hot hand with a player that will win on the PGA Tour very soon.

 

 

 

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Harris English

DraftKings: $8,300
FanDuel: $10,300
Notable Course History: N/A

Like the aforementioned Daniel Berger, Harris English's game doesn't exactly invoke strong feelings of excitement, but it's a matter of substance over style when considering the UGA Bulldog this week.

When discussing the most consistent golfers of the year, English undoubtedly belongs in the conversation. The guy has been a top-25 machine. Stretching back to the Waste Management in January, he only has ONE finish outside of the top-25 in 10 starts - a missed cut at the Schwab in the first tournament after the layoff - including an impressive (distant, but impressive) second-place outing last week.

English has gained strokes T2G in each of his last six starts, and nine of his last 10, while consistently besting the field averages in every major statistical category. It's never a sexy stat to discuss, but he comes into this week ranked sixth in the field in Bogey Avoidance - a skill that might pay dividends on this former U.S. Open layout.

 

Matthew Wolff & Viktor Hovland

DraftKings: $8,200 & $8,100
FanDuel: $9,800 & $10,000
Notable Course History: 2018 Illini Invitational Team Champions (Oklahoma St. Cowboys) & Individual Champ (Wolff)

It's probably not fair to these two great players (three if we wanna count Collin Morikawa) to always lump them in together, but for the purposes of brevity - and due to the similarities in their DFS price tags and talent - I'm throwing Matty Wolff and Viktor Hovland at you as a package deal this week.

Both of these young men have teed it up on this Olympia Fields layout fairly recently, as they participated in the Illini Invitational in 2018 while at Oklahoma State University (the team won, Wolff took home the individual title). In addition to that little bit of course history, we are also trying to grab both of these boys in surging form, as Wolff was undone by one bad round last week on the heels of a top-five finish at the PGA Championship, while Hovland has continued to log serviceable results with less than his best stuff, but appeared to find something with a final-round 66 (that easily could have been a 63) at TPC Boston.

You can pick your favorite or pair them together this week. I love the explosive scoring ability that both can provide over four guaranteed rounds.

 

Russell Henley

DraftKings: $7,800
FanDuel: $8,800
Notable Course History: N/A

Yet another player featured in this week's article that is short on name recognition, but has an exceptional skill set is Russell Henley.

Henley has been absolutely white-hot with his irons since the restart, gaining strokes both on Approach & T2G in his last six starts. Unfortunately, his tremendous iron work had been consistently undone by SG: Putting statistics that look like they were written by Stephen King. Luckily for him (and his DFS backers), Henley has finally settled down with the putter and the results are noteworthy, as he heads to Chicago fresh off back-to-back top-10s at the Wyndham and Northern Trust.

It's always a little frightening when we knowingly roster a player that can be "worst in the field bad" with the flatstick, but Henley checks so many of our other target boxes this week that I'm willing to roll the dice at this affordable price tag.

 

Jason Kokrak

DraftKings: $7,500
FanDuel: $8,400
Notable Course History: N/A

In DFS, golfers are sorta like fashion...just wait long enough and they'll eventually come back in style. For a couple of months last year Jason Kokrak was the brand that all the cool kids were wearing, but that trend met an Ed Hardy-like ending, as injury and poor results derailed Kokrak's year.

The PXG trooper has failed to get back on track for the most part in 2020, but has been showing intriguing signs of life recently. Kokrak heads to Olympia Fields on the heels of back-to-back top-15 finishes and in sneaky-good form. He grades out second in this elite field in Proximity, while ranking FIRST in the field in Proximity from 175-200 yards and fifth from 200-plus yards over his last 12 rounds...areas that should be of the utmost importance this week.

Kokrak has burned some bridges in the DFS community, but watch out because he might be coming back into style just at the right time.

 

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - The Northern Trust

Welcome back PGA family, and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! I will be taking over for Joe as a one-week fill in and will do my best to keep this article at the same quality level that you have become accustomed to getting from him.

For those expecting to tune in to see what Joe has written, he did jot down some great thoughts under the 'Northern Trust Overview' and 'The Course: TPC Boston' sections. I agree with his overall sentiment about how the venue will be playing this week and would add that long irons from over 175 yards will be a major factor in deciding the winner, as nearly 47% of all approach shots come from this distance.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

The Northern Trust Overview

After something of a "sandwich game" last week at the Wyndham, we get back to serious business with serious players this week for the first event of the PGA Tour Playoffs at TPC Boston. It's been a long and winding road this season, but the standing top-125 players on the PGA Tour are in the field for The Northern Trust. One notable name is Tiger Woods, who will try to improve on an underwhelming outing at the PGA Championship. The Big Cat will be joined by golf's elite, including new major champion Collin Morikawa and former major winners like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka.

This week provides something of a complicated week from a course history perspective, as this will be the first time The Northern Trust will be played at TPC Boston. However, the New England track has hosted other PGA Tour events, with the Dell Technologies and Deutsche Bank Championships being hosted by TPC Boston from 2012 thru 2018. We'll basically throw past results from the event titled The Northern Trust out the window and focus on more recent results from the Dell and Deutsche Bank events that we're held on this course. I know...it's kinda confusing, but we'll work through it! 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Boston

Par 71 - 7, Yards, Greens: Bent 

This Arnold Palmer design is one of the great young courses in America. TPC Boston opened in 2002 but has been under a fairly continuous redesign by Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon since 2005. Hanse and Faxon have created a distinct New England vibe at TPC Boston. There are multiple bunkers across the course, but TPC Boston is perhaps most famous for the many fairway bunkers that make tee shots a challenging prospect, including a couple of holes that have bunkers in the middle of the fairway! Distance will play a factor, as two of the three Par-5's are very gettable. Ball striking will be important, as it seemingly is every week on the PGA Tour. Players will be putting on bentgrass greens at TPC Boston that are notoriously fast. Strokes Gained: Approach has been a key ingredient for success in the past.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores (TPC Boston)

  • 2019: N/A
  • 2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-16) - Dell Technologies Championship
  • 2017: Justin Thomas (-17) - Dell Technologies Championship
  • 2016: Rory McIlroy (-15) - Deutsche Bank Championship
  • 2015: Rickie Fowler (-15) - Deutsche Bank Championship

 

The Horse

Jason Day

DraftKings: $9,300
Notable Course History: T25 ('17), T15 ('16), T12 ('15), T7 ('14), T13 ('13), T3 ('11) and T2 ('10)

I mean, did you guys really expect me to write an article and not cover Jason Day as my main 'Horse?' The Aussie has done just about everything but win over the past 10 years at this venue, posting eight top-25s over that time frame, including nearly taking down the contest in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011.

I realize 10 years might be an eternity ago for Day, who struggled for nearly the past two seasons, but the 34th-ranked player in the world has found magic as of late - recording four straight top-seven results since the Workday Charity Open.

Day ranks third in my model when it comes to sand save percentage and is also inside the top-five in strokes gained around the green, strokes gained total over his last 24 rounds and strokes gained on lightning-quick Bentgrass greens. Harding Park is a decent corollary course for what to expect this weekend, and it doesn't hurt matters that Day nearly took down the PGA Championship the last time we saw him in action.

 

The Ponies

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $11,100
Notable Course History: 1st ('18), T30 ('17)

It is difficult to gauge Bryson's DeChambeau past history because of his newly-built frame. The American is not quite the same player as he was during his 2018 victory at TPC Boston, but it doesn't mean that the same general principles won't still apply for the six-time PGA Tour winner.

DeChambeau doesn't get enough credit for his course awareness at difficult tests, and the narrative has quickly become flawed because of a few questionable decisions that he has made recently out of challenging lies. It is one of those things where we can't have it both ways of him being golf's mad scientist and also incapable of using vital information properly. Yes, DeChambeau is always going to try and bludgeon a course when possible, but my point remains the same that he isn't as loosey-goosey off the tee as it may appear.

I do worry about the 26-year-old slightly anytime he gets a track that requires short iron prowess, but TPC Boston is not that test - requiring players to hit nearly half their shots from outside of 175 yards. DeChambeau ranks inside the top-11 in my model from both 175-200 yards and 200-plus yards, and I'd expect we see him in contention late on Sunday.

 

Jon Rahm

DraftKings: $10,000
Notable Course History: T4 ('17)

We don't have a ton to go on when it comes to Jon Rahm's course history at TPC Boston, but a share of fourth in 2017 is a pretty good indicator that the venue should suit his game. Rahm has been on record in the past that he likes traditional golf courses that have trees that line the fairways, and he will get just that this week at a location that will have issues galore if you miss the short grass.

Rahm's 13th place showing at the PGA Championship probably isn't getting enough credit throughout the industry when you take into account nine of the top-12 players above him all played in the morning wave on Thursday and only Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey and Cameron Champ finished above him from the afternoon slot. It is a small factor in the grand scheme of things, but one could argue that his play was better than his share of 13th might say on paper.

There is enough to like from his result here in 2017 to make him a part of the article, and the majority of his issues from his 43rd place finish last season came in round one when he fired a 73 on Thursday. Rahm is one of the more steady players on tour, and his ability to putt on fast Bent greens should make him a threat for the title.

 

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Paul Casey

DraftKings: $8,500
Notable Course History: T4 ('17), 2nd ('16)

I'm not a big Paul Casey guy in general, but if we are looking at TPC Boston as a potential corollary to Harding Park, there is a ton to like about him for the week.

Outside of Casey's second-place showing at the PGA Championship two weeks ago, he also has provided two top-four results at this week's venue in the last three years - highlighted by his near-miss to Rory McIlroy in 2016.

Casey ranks third in my model in strokes gained off the tee + approach and is also inside the top-10 in par-four efficiency between 400-500 yards. The 43-year-old is never an option I love in GPPs because of his lack of perceived win equity, but he does seem fairly priced in this spot at $8,500.

 

Justin Rose

DraftKings: $8,000
Notable Course History: 2nd ('18), T10 ('17),

This narrative you are going to hear all week of Justin Rose being a standout at TPC Boston is true to an extent after providing two consecutive top-10 results in his previous two attempts, but there is an ugly side to his record where he has only yielded one additional top-50 in his other seven tries since 2009.

I'm willing to overlook the negative outputs in the past because of his recent course history, but it is important to note that extreme volatility could be there for the Englishman in Boston - especially when you consider the fact that he has posted three top-14 results to go along with four missed cuts since the restart.

Rose's nature of solid bunker play and par-four scoring does make him someone worth considering for GPP contests, but the 40-year-old doesn't provide the typical steady output you would expect from your standard 'Horse.'

 

Gary Woodland

DraftKings: $7,800
Notable Course History: T18 ('117), T15 ('16), T12 ('15)

If you are looking for safety, Gary Woodland has been a staple of that at TPC Boston. The American has not finished out of 30th place since 2014, although he has failed to crack the top-10 during his run.

For me, Woodland is usually a play I like using as a cash-game option when he is priced under $8,000 on DraftKings, and his overall level of consistency should shine through once again at the Northern Trust.

 

Abraham Ancer

DraftKings: $7,800
Notable Course History: T7 ('18)

In his only attempt at TPC Boston in 2018, Abraham Ancer had the overnight lead by one-shot over Bryson DeChambeau and Tyrrell Hatton but couldn't close the show on Sunday with a faulty two-over 73.

Mistakes late have far too often been what has riddled Ancer from picking up his first career PGA Tour title, but the 25th-ranked player in the world has looked like a different golfer so far in 2020 after nearly leading the International side over the United States in the Presidents Cup in December of 2019.

Ancer has the skillset needed to make the Northern Trust the location of his first triumph on tour, and his $7,800 value on DraftKings has been subsided too steep because of his recent share of 43rd place at the PGA Championship. Ancer is a top-25 golfer in the world for a reason, and the value there at his 30th place price tag to grab him as an underpriced commodity.

 

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - Wyndham Championship

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! One of my personal favorites - and a Pony in this article last week - Collin Morikawa took down the first major of his career at the PGA Championship!

It was one of the most exciting final rounds that I can remember, with as many as 10 players having a legitimate shot to win on Sunday. TPC Harding Park was a course that we haven't seen much of, but provided an amazing tournament. I said it in a ton of outlets last week, but Morikawa is undoubtedly the real deal and this will most likely be the first of multiple major championships for the 23-year-old.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Wyndham Championship Overview

After the year's first major - and an exciting one to boot - there's naturally a little bit of let down the following week. The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina for the Wyndham Championship this week, and while we won't see a major-championship quality field this week, we still get a fairly decent field.

Brooks Koepka headlines this week's Wyndham and we have to wonder where BK's head will be after a disastrous final-round performance last week. Koepka will be joined by Webb Simpson, Tommy Fleetwood, and Justin Rose...but things take a sharp downturn after the top half-dozen or so guys and this field has more in common with the 3M Open than with the PGA Championship. Lots of juicy course history to review for this week's course, Sedgefield Country Club, so let's dive in!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Sedgefield Country Club

Par 70 - 7,127 Yards, Greens: Bermuda 

This little Donald Ross gem has been a presence on the professional circuit since the 1930's and has now played host to this event for 13 consecutive years. At just over 7,100 yards, length won't be an issue for the players this week (Henrik Stenson won here three years ago without hitting his driver one time. Literally never hit driver all week!). Fairways and greens are the order of the day at Sedgefield. In true Ross fashion, these greens are some of the smallest on the PGA Tour schedule and do have tricky undulations, but this track routinely ranks as one of the easiest on the PGA Tour schedule.

It seems like we emphasize ball striking every week, but it is without a doubt crucial at Sedgefield. It's a bit of an outlier event in that I'm paying absolutely no attention to distance. I'll be focusing on ball strikers that are both accurate off the tee and precise with their irons on approach. J.T. Poston went bogey-free for the tournament last year and Sneds dropped a 59 here a couple of years ago. The winners over the past four years have been at least 21-under par and lots of birdies will be needed this week, so I'll also be searching for players that can go low.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: J.T. Poston (-22)
  • 2018: Brandt Snedeker (-21)
  • 2017: Henrik Stenson (-22)
  • 2016: Si Woo Kim (-21)
  • 2015: Davis Love III (-17)

 

The Horse

Webb Simpson

DraftKings: $11,200
FanDuel:
 $11,900
Notable Course History: 2nd ('19), T2 ('18), 3rd ('17)

Nothing fancy here, as Webb is truly a no-brainer this week at Sedgefield. Simpson is a North Carolina native that has been dominant in this event throughout his career. He's not finished outside of the top-three on this course in three years and must be considered an odds-on favorite again this week.

In addition to Simpson's sterling record at Sedgefield, we also must slot him in as our top option due to his sharp form this season. The vet has performed well both before and after the PGA Tour's COVID-19 layoff, posting a win earlier in the year at the WMPO and a recent victory at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head. His output since the restart has been slightly erratic - at least for Webb - but there are no indicators that he will play anything but great this week.

This week's field lends itself to "Stars & Scrubs" lineup builds and that's almost certainly the route we'll have to take in order to roster Webb, as he comes in second on the salary scale on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

 

The Ponies

Paul Casey

DraftKings: $10,300
FanDuel:
$11,500
Notable Course History: T13 ('19), T3 ('15)

My personal feelings about Paul Casey aside (he always burns me), I do recognize that he's a great fit this week. Casey has only made two starts on this layout since 2015, but has played well in both, logging a T13 last year and a T3 in 2015.

It's been several weeks of frustration for Casey's DFS backers, as the Englishman missed the cut at both the Memorial and the 3M Open in ugly fashion. Another bad outing followed at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, as the vet again looked absolutely lost with the putter...but then came last week at TPC Harding Park, where Casey was in contention until the end thanks to ultra-sharp iron play (+7.2 SG: Approach) and a putter that was dramatically improved (+0.9 SG: Putting).

Obviously, we're always guessing when it comes to putting - especially with a player of Casey's inability - but it's not hard to envision him carrying tons of positive momentum from last week's outing with him to North Carolina. This course sets up perfectly for his ball-striking ability and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Casey in contention for the second Sunday in a row.

 

Harris English

DraftKings: $9,300
FanDuel: $10,900
Notable Course History: T39 ('19), T11 ('18), T50 ('17)

Harris English's course history at Sedgefield doesn't blow us away, but he's made five-straight cuts on this layout since 2015. That consistency, coupled with English's recent form, makes him a high-priority option for me this week.

The former Georgia Bulldog has been on an under-the-radar tear dating all the way back to the Swing Season when he posted four top-six finishes between September and November. English has been able to carry that momentum into 2020, notching three-straight top-25s prior to the COVID-19 layoff and four more finishes inside the top-25 in five outings since the restart. He's not a player that jumps out statistically, but he's gained strokes T2G in four straight and in 14 of 16 starts this season.

Balanced builds might not be the preferred route to take this week, but if you are leaning that way with roster construction, English is a terrific way to start your builds at $9.3k.

 

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Si Woo Kim

DraftKings: $8,600
FanDuel: $10,100
Notable Course History: 5th ('19), MC ('18), Win ('16)

Si Woooooo! He's about as inconsistent as they come if we're being honest, but when he's hot he possesses tournament-winning upside - as evidenced by his victory on this course in 2016. Rostering Kim comes with a certain level of volatility, so I definitely prefer to roster him in GPPs, but his talent is undeniable.

Kim is one the streakiest players on the PGA Tour and his career has been marked by glorious highs (a win at The Players in 2017) and ugly lows (missed eight of nine cuts during a stretch last year). He heads to Greensboro as a former champion of this event and in hot form. Kim gained a massive 8.7 strokes T2G last week at the PGA Championship en route to a T13. It was the third consecutive start in which he gained strokes both T2G and with his irons.

Will he be able to keep it going this week? That's always the question with this unpredictable, but talented young guy. Despite the volatility, I love the trending form and his strong course history, and will be willing to gamble on Si Woo in this spot.

 

Ryan Moore

DraftKings: $8,100
FanDuel: $9,600
Notable Course History: T6 ('18), T24 ('17), T10 ('15), Win ('09)

I'm not even gonna pretend to ever know what is up with Ryan Moore. He's an interesting character that has always played a seemingly-weird schedule, and last week was another example, as Moore elected to skip the PGA Championship after teeing it up in the 3M Open and the Barracuda Championship. I don't get it...

One Tour stop that Moore does routinely commit to is this one at Sedgefield. It's with good reason, as Moore won the Wyndham here in 2009 and has logged two top-10 finishes since 2015. We mentioned that his schedule is always funky, but he has teed it up multiple times recently and looked especially sharp in his two most recent starts, back-to-back T12s at the 3M and 'Cuda.

Moore gained over seven strokes on approach at the 3M and has now gained strokes with his irons in four-straight starts. This Sedgefield track requires precision off the tee and on approach...a perfect fit for Moore's fairways-and-greens style.

 

Joaquin Niemann

DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,900
Notable Course History: T13 ('19), T33 ('18)

We've seen Joaquin Niemann go through horrible stretches with the putter before and the young Chilean is certainly in the midst of another slump with the flatstick at the moment. Niemann has lost strokes putting in five of his last six starts and, unfortunately, we don't have any way of knowing when he'll find the groove in that area.

What we do know is that Niemann has continued to strike the ball well, despite a run of lackluster finishes over his last several starts. He's gained strokes both T2G and on Approach in eight-straight starts dating back to the API in March. This Sedgefield track suits Niemann's excellent ball-striking style of play and his ranking of second in Proximity in this week's field indicates he will be able to give himself plenty of opportunities on these small Donald Ross greens. Obviously, we wish the putter was in warmer form, but this feels like a great "buy low" spot on Niemann, as his $7.9k DK price tag feels like a bargain when considering the strength of this field.

 

Brice Garnett

DraftKings: $6,700
FanDuel: $8,500
Notable Course History: T6 ('19), T20 ('18), T20 ('16), MC ('15)

As I've alluded to throughout this week's article, this slate might be shaping up to be a "Stars & Scrubs" kinda week. If we want to roster a couple of elite guys, we'll need to find some reasonable value options below $7k. Brice Garnett immediately jumps out due to his strong course history on this Sedgefield layout and his solid, if unspectacular, current form.

Garnett logged a T6 in last year's Wyndham and previously recorded T20's in both 2018 and '16. Admittedly, his results since the restart have been spotty - three missed cuts in five starts with a T17 and a T26 - but his ball-striking numbers have actually been good. He's gained strokes both on Approach and Off the Tee in four-straight starts, and heads to a golf course where he's very comfortable. Garnett actually grades out fifth in this field in SG: T2G over his last 12 rounds, and while this isn't the strongest field we've ever seen, he's a tremendous value play on both DK and FD.

 

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - 2020 PGA Championship

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Justin Thomas prevailed against an elite field in Memphis to capture the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational title and regain the top spot in the OWGR from Jon Rahm.

JT was one of the players featured in last week's HFTC and we had a very nice tournament with high finishers Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger, and Chez Reavie also in last week's write up! This week, we turn our eyes to the year's first major, the 2020 PGA Championship. The PGA rotates venues and will head to TPC Harding Park in California this year. We don't have much course history for Harding Park, which forces us to get a little creative with this week's HFTC. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

2020 PGA Championship Overview

After a tortuous three-month break due to COVID-19, golf fans have been rewarded with some great events since play on the PGA Tour resumed. The ante gets upped even more this week, as we head to California and TPC Harding Park for the first major of 2020 (the worst year EVER)...the PGA Championship.

Obviously, the field is stacked with golf's best players with Franceso Molinari being perhaps the only notable absence. One major storyline is two-time defending PGA champion Brooks Koepka attempting to win three straight. We'll also see Tiger Woods for just the third time in 2020 after outings at the Genesis and Memorial that were downers for fans of the Big Cat. Perhaps the biggest question mark of the week, outside of Tiger's health, is this TPC Harding Park layout, which we've only seen twice in 15 years (2005 & 2015 WGC events). With basically no real course history to work with when it comes to many current Tour pros, we'll lean to "course fit" with this week's Horses (though there are some with connections to Harding Park). Thanks for joining me for this huge event, let's dive in!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Harding Park

Par 70 - 7,234 Yards, Greens: Bent 

At one time a municipal gem that had fallen into disrepair, TPC Harding Park was revitalized thanks to massive renovations just after 2000. The course hosted the 2005 WGC Championship (won by Tiger Woods) and the 2015 WGC Match Play (won by Rory McIlory). Other than that, we don't have a lot to work with outside of some Champions Tour and college events. One notable change to Harding Park came in 2014, when the course decision makers ripped up the Poa Annua greens that are fairly standard on California courses and replaced them with Bentgrass.

While we're not uber familiar with this layout, we have a fairly good idea of how it will play. The quick answer is...long. At 7,234 with just two Par-5s, players will face multiple Par-4s that stretch over 450 yards. Throw in fairways that are lined by Cypress trees, multiple doglegs, rough that is reportedly 4-inches-plus, and cool, damp San Francisco mornings...and this field should have its work cut out for it.

All that said, I don't think this week will be "U.S. Open tough" and players that hit great shots should be able to score. We'll also have a couple of fun, short, Par-4s that will probably be driveable on at least a couple of days by several players. It's probably silly to say that we want to target players that are long and straight off the tee - because that's what we're always looking for - but that will be what's needed on this layout, in addition to sharp iron play, and competency both on and around the greens. It all adds up to me targeting players that are efficient tee-to-green rather than guys that fit into a "type" like "bombers" or "accuracy".

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Brooks Koepka (-8) *PGA Championship wins that came on various courses
  • 2018: Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2017: Justin Thomas (-8)
  • 2016: Jimmy Walker (-14)
  • 2015: Jason Day (-20)
 

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The Horse

Justin Thomas

DraftKings: $11,300
FanDuel:
$11,600
Notable Course History: N/A

I guess it's kinda weird to lead off a course history article with a guy that has no course history, but we have to roll with the punches this week, as few in the field have experience at TPC Harding Park. So, despite JT's lack of course history, I'm willing to roll with him as the Horse because he fits perfectly into the mold that I'm targeting this week - excellence tee-to-green.

Thomas has demonstrated just how great of a player he is throughout 2020 with a win in January at the Sentry TOC, a playoff loss at the Workday, and another big victory last week at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational. He leads this PGA Championship field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green over both short-term (12 rounds) and long-term (50 rounds) measurements. That type of T2G efficiency is what will be demanded on this TPC Harding Park layout.

Some might be reluctant to roster JT on the heels of a win last week, but we've seen him run off strong finishes in bunches before, including going for back-to-back wins in the 2017 TOC and Sony Open in consecutive weeks. Thomas isn't the type of player that will let last week's victory lessen his focus on this week's task at hand. He's a former PGA champion and appears primed to add to his major count at some point this year. His game has no real weaknesses at the moment and his overall excellence in all facets of the game should be his biggest asset at Harding Park.

 

 

The Ponies

Rory McIlroy

DraftKings: $10,700
FanDuel:
$12,000
Notable Course History: Winner - 2015 WGC Match Play

I’ve mentioned it several times in articles and podcasts (check out and subscribe to my new golf pod The Turn btw!), but Rory seems to be the player that was most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 layoff. McIlroy hadn’t finished outside of the top-five in any 2020 start prior to play being halted at the Players Championship, but he’s struggled to regain that form since play resumed.

Though he heads to Cali in somewhat scuffling form, he did win the 2015 WGC Match Play at TPC Harding Park, which is at the least a concrete result on this course, something we have for few players in this field. So even though Rory’s game doesn’t appear to be firing on all cylinders, I’m very interested in him when folks are knocking themselves over to roster Brooks Koepka (I like Brooks too and will be discussing him in other RotoBaller articles this week), as we’ve often seen Rory underperform in majors when he comes in with all the hype. I’m intrigued with him as a contrarian option this week, as he's heads into this event sorta outside the spotlight. 

His numbers haven’t been “Rory like”, but they certainly haven’t been horrible either, as he’s gained strokes both T2G and OTT in every post-layoff start. Rory’s just had a couple of spotty weeks of iron play mixed with a short game that’s unquestionably been hit and miss. Would we love for his game to be sharper as he heads to Harding Park? Sure...but this feels like a great “buy low” spot on a player that can win any tournament against any field. 

 

Xander Schauffele

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel: $11,100
Notable Course History: N/A

Xander is a California kid that is very familiar with TPC Harding Park and that connection serves as a good enough excuse for him to be featured in this week’s HFTC

In the past I’ve always rostered Schauffele frequently, but I’ve found myself being very light on him since the restart. Maybe I’ve been subconsciously “saving” him for this week in the back of my mind or something? I’ve been spending a lot of time with stats in preparation for this event and Xander’s are unbelievably interesting. He grades out fifth in this field in SG: T2G using recent metrics (and sixth long-term), but it’s how he gets there that is so intriguing. Schauffele is undoubtedly skilled in all facets of the game, but he very rarely seems to have everything clicking at once. Perhaps his best skill is making up for a shortcoming in one area by playing extremely well in another on any given week. Last week’s WGC is a great example, as Xander actually lost massive strokes with his irons (-5.6), BUT he somehow managed to gain a ridiculous 6.3 strokes in the Around The Green category...which was the best mark in the field.  

This ability to “cover” his shortcomings due to his proficiency in all areas is probably why we always see Xander in contention in majors and on tough golf courses. Lots of the elite guys on the PGA Tour have an identity - Rory and DJ are great with the driver, Matsuyama is a great iron player, Spieth’s an awesome putter, etc, etc... - but with Xander, we always just kinda know that “he’s really, really, good” without categorizing it. That ability to do it all is what will be needed - and what I'm targeting - at Harding Park. The scary thing is...what happens when he actually has EVERYTHING clicking in the same week? It feels like he’s oh-so-close and he’s one of my favorite plays in this tournament.

 

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Collin Morikawa

DraftKings: $8,600
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: T5 in The Goodwin - NCAA Tournament (2018)

We’re reaching for course history narratives this week, but Collin Morikawa’s history with TPC Harding Park is actually pretty solid. The California native is on record saying that he’s very familiar with the muni and while at Cal, Morikawa logged a T5 in the 2018 Goodwin tournament at Harding Park against some of college golf’s best players with rounds of 66-69-72. 

Obviously, he’ll face a much different setup this week, but the young star’s experience at Harding Park makes an already-great option even more tempting. Morikawa is one of golf’s brightest-shining young stars and recently captured his second PGA Tour victory at the Workday Open. 

His style should be a perfect fit this week, as Morikawa routinely finds fairways (second in this field in Good Drives Gained in long and short-term measurements) and is perhaps the best young iron player we’ve seen since Tiger Woods (second in field in SG: Approach). If you want to get picky, you can point to Morikawa’s spotty short game or lack of experience in major championships, but I love this kid’s complete tee-to-green game, mental toughness, and upside this week.

 

Gary Woodland

DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,800
Notable Course History: Runner-up 2015 WGC Match Play

So...Gary Woodland heads to a famous California course for a major championship layout that requires length and ball striking in somewhat shaky current form. Sound familiar?

Woodland finally broke through at Pebble Beach last year, taking down the 2019 U.S. Open and finally delivering on the talent that PGA DFS regulars knew he possessed. This is kind of an eerily similar spot for the Kansas Jayhawk, as TPC Harding Park is a sneaky-good fit for him and he will probably garner very little buzz in the DFS industry this week.

The American finished runner-up to Rory McIlroy in the 2015 WGC Match Play on this course - an event that had a noticeable European flavor to the players that advanced. It’s not surprising that Woody would find success on a course that demands length, accuracy, and great ball striking. His recent output in those areas has been inconsistent, but he’s flashed enough form (he looked sharp in a great two-week stretch at Muirfield Village) to make me intrigued this week, especially if he’s going to go a bit overlooked.

Tommy Fleetwood

DraftKings: $7,700
FanDuel: $10,300
Notable Course History: Quarterfinals 2015 WGC Match Play

The 2015 WGC Match Play had a decidedly European flavor to it and Tommy Fleetwood was a then-unknown-in-the-U.S. Euro Tour player that reached the quarter-finals as the 54th seed.

Fleetwood is normally a major-championship “go to” for lots of DFS players, but the Englisman has been missing for the most part during the PGA Tour’s restart, as he elected to stay home in England before quarantining in New York and finally teeing it up in the 3M Open. The rust was evident for the normally-reliable Fleetwood and he lost strokes both on Approach and Putting in Minnesota. Things looked better last week in Memphis, as he improved his iron play noticeably (+2.8 SG: Approach) and a final-round 65 should send him to California with positive momentum. 

The thing about Tommy isn't that he goes super low all the time, but rather that he has the ability to go very low on extremely tough golf courses when others can't. I'm intrigued by that unique skill set this week. His “usual” major-championship price tag has been significantly reduced for this one, as he comes in at just $7.7k on DraftKings (he's a more "standard" $10.3k on FD). Fleetwood feels like a great value play, but his ownership is worth keeping an eye on as the week progresses and I expect him to be really popular at this price point.

 

Tom Lewis

DraftKings: $7,100
FanDuel: $7,600
Notable Course History: N/A

Last weekend was probably the first time many American golf fans heard of Tom Lewis, but the Englishman has been a Euro Tour presence for many years before earning his PGA Tour card under rather odd circumstances through the KFT Finals at the end of 2019. 

Lewis is a former phenom who kinda flamed out after a fast start to his career. He was the low amateur in the 2011 Open Championship and won quickly on the Euro Tour after turning professional later that year. The Englishman eventually won again in Europe in 2018, but his route to big-time golf in the States has certainly been more circuitous than most expected.

I realize this might feel like a "flavor of the week" play after Lewis’ nice run in Memphis last week, but he’s been low-key good since the PGA Tour’s restart, going MC-T12-T32-T2 in four starts and gaining over five strokes T2G in his last two. We’ve mentioned that this layout was especially kind to Euros during the 2015 Match Play and Lewis fits that mold, as he heads to San Fran ranked second in this elite field in GIRs Gained over the last 12 rounds, while standing 19th in Good Drives Gained over the same time frame. 

 

 

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Michael Thompson emerged victorious at something of a lackluster 3M Open to log the second PGA Tour win of his career.

We knew going in that the relatively weak field in Minnesota could cause some volatility in DFS contests, but I don't know that anyone expected the total bloodbath that ensued for many DFS players. I advised through multiple outlets last week that I would personally be scaling back my investment for the 3M and I hope that you guys followed suit. The upcoming week provides its own set of challenges, as we head to Memphis for a limited (but elite) field, no-cut event in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Overview

After a *ahem* less-than-stellar field at last week's 3M Open, we get the stars back for this week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (think the name is long enough?) in Memphis. This area and course have been longtime hosts of a PGA Tour event, but last year was the first time it was upgraded to the majestic WGC status...Honors and benefits, already at the age of nine.

The "Big Game Hunter" Brooks Koepka walked away with the win last year and he'll be back to defend against the likes of new world-number-one Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and a host of the PGA Tour's elite. This is a WGC event, which means a small field and no cut. From a DFS perspective, we want to try our best to avoid duplicate lineups (try leaving some salary on the table) and can feel free to get a little aggressive, as we're guaranteed four rounds from all players (barring a WD). One quick research note...when you are digging into course history this week, make sure that you find results from the FedEx St. Jude Classic prior to last year, as many things you'll find will actually be course history for the now-defunct WGC-Bridgeston, which this tournament replaced on the schedule.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Southwind

Par 70 - 7,237 Yards, Greens: Bermuda 

Doglegs, bunkers, and water hazards...oh my! That's what awaits players at this former Memphis dairy farm. TPC Southwind winds through lakes, streams, and ponds with the danger of water always lurking...especially on the par-3 11th hole that is almost a 'baby brother' to the famous 17th island green at TPC Sawgrass. Many of Southwind's par-4's have dogleg tendencies, which forces the bombers to throttle down a bit, though we have seen long hitters like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka play very well here. Precise ball striking will be key, as the water hazards and almost 100 bunkers in play demand accuracy. Southwind is a long-ish Par 70 and ranked as one of the tougher tracks on the PGA Tour last season.

Both these fairways and greens are tough to hit, so I will primarily be targeting ball strikers with sharp iron games. Since this is a WGC event with no cut, I'll be willing to sacrifice consistency a bit in order to target players that can rack up birdies. We have eight par-4s that are 450 yards or longer, so I'll lean towards guys that fair well on long par-4s

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2018: Dustin Johnson (-19) *Winners listed prior to 2019 won the FedEx St. Jude Classic on this course.
  • 2017: Daniel Berger (-10)
  • 2016: Daniel Berger (-13)
  • 2015: Fabian Gomez (-13)
 

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The Horse

Daniel Berger

DraftKings: $9,600
FanDuel:
$10,500
Notable Course History: Win ('16 & '17)

Nothing fancy here, as it's hard to write a course history article and not include Daniel Berger when he's playing at TPC Southwind. Berger has conquered the Memphis track twice in his career, winning back-to-back FedEx St. Jude Classic titles in 2016 & '17. Those victories came before this tournament became a WGC event, so the fields weren't anywhere near the caliber that we'll see this week, but Berger's track record on this layout can't be ignored.

In addition to his strong course history, Berger heads into this week with some scorching form. Outside of a missed cut at the Memorial in his first start after taking a multiple-week break, the FSU alum has been perhaps the most consistent player on the PGA Tour in 2020. The short week at Memorial was his first missed cut of the year and the first time he finished outside of the top-38 in 2020. Berger ran off an impressive five-tournament stretch where he recorded a win, three top-fives, and a top-10 before taking the time off in the leadup to Memorial.

He didn't play bad at Muirfield Village and has actually never succeeded on that layout, so I'm willing to chalk it up as a "knock the rust off" outing. He'll be much more comfortable at TPC Southwind and his standing of second in this elite field in SG: Total over his last 12 rounds indicate that his game has been firing in all facets. Berger also carries a juicy blend of being able to make birdies (second in field Birdies or Better Gained), while avoiding big numbers (eighth in Bogeys Avoided). His course history will garner lots of buzz, but his $9.6k DK price tag will be a turnoff for many, which might mean we can grab some leverage by rostering him in GPPs.

 

The Ponies

Justin Thomas

DraftKings: $10,700
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: T12 ('19)

Not a ton of course history for a lot of the "elite" players at the top this week, as many didn't tee it up in this tournament prior to it becoming a WGC event. That's the case with Justin Thomas, who logged a T12 in his lone trip to TPC Southwind last year.

Despite the lack of a track record on this layout, JT makes tons of sense as a spend-up option. Though he's prone to random, out-of-the-blue missed cuts (Travelers & Genesis come to mind this year), Thomas has demonstrated consistent excellence both before and after the COVID-19 layoff. His putter can run cold, but he's been tremendous in all facets as of late, and ranks third in this WGC field in SG: T2G over his last 12 rounds, while excelling at both making birdies (17th Birdies or Better Gained) and dodging blowups (sixth Bogeys Avoided).

In a no cut event such as this, we can let ourselves get aggressive and creative when constructing rosters. You can pair JT with another stud that you like up top this week with no fear of a missed cut from the bottom portion of your roster. He narrowly missed a win a couple of weeks ago at the Workday and it feels like Thomas has a "W" coming soon.

 

Brooks Koepka

DraftKings: $9,200
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: Win ('19), T2 ('16), T3 ('15)

Brooks is really more of a cool talking point this week, rather than a true recommendation. One thing to consider is that unlike most of the "elite" options in this week's field, Koepka actually regularly played this tournament before it was a WGC event, and recorded two top-three finishes on this layout prior to winning at TPC Southwind last year.

Outside of the nice course history, things are pretty cloudy when it comes to what to expect out of Brooks. He's looked out of sorts for basically the entire year if we're being honest, battling both a knee injury and a swing that is not the one we've seen win four major championships. He missed the cut last week at the 3M, but actually looked improved tee to green, gaining over three strokes OTT and 1.8 strokes on Approach, only to be betrayed by an ice-cold putter (-5.1 SG: Putting).

We know that Koepka can "flip the switch" better than any player in golf, and with the PGA Championship on the horizon next week, it is "go time"...and we have to feel like we'll see some positive signs from him this week in Memphis if he's going to be any sort of factor at TPC Harding Park 10 days from now. I've practically sworn off trying to get Brooks right in "regular" events - and maybe this is yet another situation where he mails it in - but this sets up as an interesting spot due to his comfort level on this layout and with the year's first major coming up next week.

 

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Billy Horschel

DraftKings: $8,500
FanDuel: $9,500
Notable Course History: T9 ('19), T4 ('17), T8 ('15)

Let me first state that Billy Horschel's DK price tag feels pretty gross in this elite field. That said, I'm intrigued by Billy Ho in this spot, as he brings an eye-catching blend of course history and trending form to the table this week.

The former Florida Gator has logged three top-10s on this TPC Southwind track since 2015 - including a T9 against a comparable WGC field last year. Horschel is undoubtedly streaky, but his numbers indicate that he might be entering into a hot stretch, as he's gained strokes T2G, OTT, on Approach, and Putting in each of his last two starts.

It's easy to think of Horschel as a mid-tier type of player, but we've seen him play extremely well in different stretches over his career and emerge victorious from elite fields such as this one. It's early in the week as I write this, but I suspect his DFS price will keep his ownership low, which makes him an intriguing option on a week where we are trying to differentiate our builds.

 

Ian Poulter

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $8,900
Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T31 ('17), T6 ('14)

The $7k price range on DK is a tough nut to crack this week, as we run into players with good form and little to no course history, or vice versa. Ian Poulter seems like a reasonable compromise, as he flashed a spot of form recently at the Workday and does have two top-10's on his TPC Southwind resume, including a T8 in last year's WGC format.

The Englishman never blows us away statistically, but he's a veteran that knows how to handle this sort of tough golf course and is well equipped to handle the lurking dangers on this layout due to his fairways-and-greens style of play.

There are certainly some flashier (and younger) names available in the $7k's, but the cagey Poulter has a knack for popping up with strong finishes on tough golf courses against elite fields. The Englishman has a top-five and two top-10s in four WGC starts since 2018, and may very well go overlooked by the masses this week.

Chez Reavie

DraftKings: $6,700
FanDuel: $8,200
Notable Course History: T27 ('19), T6 ('18), T4 ('17)

We'll close out this week's HFTC with my favorite sub-$7k play, Chez Reavie. Reavie can run hot and cold - especially with the putter - but he heads to Memphis and a Southwind track where he's historically performed very well, with his game trending in the right direction.

The veteran notched two nice outings at Muirfield Village, recording back-to-back top-25s in the Workday and Memorial, while gaining strokes in every major statistical category in both of those starts. Reavie has now gained strokes OTT and on Approach in three straight events, while ranking fifth in this elite field in Bogey Avoidance over his past 12 rounds...a stat of importance this week on a layout that annually sees more balls in the water than any other venue.

Reavie's struggles with the putter and uneven play often take him out of serious DFS consideration on normal weeks, but this no-cut event presents us with the perfect opportunity to fire him up. Even in this elite field, he offers top-10 upside on this golf course.

 

 

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - 3M Open Course History

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! After multiple weeks of birdie-fest events, we witnessed a good ol' fashioned war of attrition at the Memorial, with young Jon Rahm emerging victorious in U.S. Open-like conditions.

With the win, Rahm now ascends to the top spot in the OWGR and puts a true signature win on his growing resume. While last week at Muirfield Village provided the toughest test we've seen on the PGA Tour this season, this week's event - the 3M Open - will pretty much be the polar opposite, as players should find scoring conditions extremely easy at TPC Twin Cities. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

3M Open Overview

We've been a little spoiled since the PGA Tour's restart, with almost every tournament featuring star-studded fields. This culminated in last week's "mini major" at Memorial. Unfortunately, after every long party, there eventually comes a sobering hangover. You might want to grab an aspirin and a cup of coffee before taking a look at this week's 3M field.

With a WGC event and the year's first major coming up over the next two weeks, we've seen the vast majority of the PGA Tour's elite opt to skip a trip to Minnesota. We're left with defending 3M Open champion Matt Wolff, who will be joined by Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, and a returning-to-action Tommy Fleetwood. That's pretty much it...as the field drops off sharply after the handful of players at the top...and is comprised mostly of veteran journeyman types and up-and-comers. Like the Rocket Mortgage a few weeks ago, we only have one year's worth of course history to lean on, so we'll be forced to work with a much smaller sample size than we are accustomed to in this article.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Twin Cities

Par 71 - 7,458 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass 

This TPC Twin Cities layout was a longtime host of a PGA Tour Champions event, but finally got its shot at the big time last year. The Arnold Palmer layout (with tons of input from Tom Lehman) opened in 2000 and was long considered one of the best tracks on the Champions Tour schedule. The course was lengthened to just over 7,400 yards in prep of last year's inaugural 3M Open.

The addition of yardage didn't slow down the PGA Tour pros however, as we saw three players reach the 20-under par mark in 2019. There are 27 bodies of water in play on this course that takes advantage of its natural contours and rolling landscape, but players will be able to swing away with drivers as the fairways at TPC Twin Cities are VERY WIDE. This fact - coupled with the players that did well last year - makes me give a significant bump to driving distance and strokes gained: off the tee.

I will be targeting players in a similar fashion to last year; solid tee-to-green games, good ball striking, and the ability to MAKE BIRDIES IN BUNCHES. I'll also look for bombers with length off the tee and glance at Bentgrass putting splits.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Matthew Wolff (-21)
  • 2018: N/A
  • 2017: N/A
  • 2016: N/A
  • 2015: N/A

 
 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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The Horse

Tony Finau

DraftKings: $10,900
FanDuel:
$11,600
Notable Course History: T23 ('19)

Last week was a tough one for my guy Tony, as he seemingly had the Memorial in his grasp before basically collapsing down the stretch Saturday and totally going off the face of the world in difficult conditions Sunday. 

It’s always a bit of guesswork when trying to determine how a player will bounce back from disappointment, but there are some reasons to believe that a rebound is possible for Finau this week.

Finau has seen this layout, logging a top-25 in last year’s 3M, and it’s a perfect fit for him on paper. He leads this week’s field in Birdies or Better Gained over the last 24 rounds, while coming in 18th in Driving Distance over the same timeframe. I’m intrigued by Finau’s new “unleashed” swing with the driver that we saw a few times at the Memorial. This TPC Twin Cities layout and its extra-wide fairways should give Tony the greenlight to fire away with all he’s got. 

Sure, last weekend didn’t go the way Finau truthers wanted it to, but it is still the best we’ve seen him look since the restart and this week’s layout presents another great fit and opportunity for him to grab that elusive second win on the PGA Tour. 

 

The Ponies

Matthew Wolff

DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel:
$10,900
Notable Course History: Win ('19)

There's definitely a pattern of unpredictability with Matt Wolff, so he’s not what I would consider a “sure thing” type of play at this point in his career.

That said, we have seen some encouraging signs recently from the former OSU star. Wolff played extremely well at the Rocket Mortgage, but just couldn’t hold off a charging Bryson DeChambeau and he actually had a great ball striking week at the Memorial, ranking third in the elite field with 4.6 SG: OTT and also finishing +1.8 on approach shots, en route to a low-key T22.

He’s the defending champ this week, which might inflate his ownership a bit with the general public, but I’m willing to go back to the well with him at this year’s 3M. He’s an explosive player that brings some volatility to the table, but when he’s in form, he has tournament-winning upside.

 

Lucas Glover

DraftKings: $9,400
FanDuel: $10,600
Notable Course History: T7 ('19)

Glover isn’t going to blow us away with his distance off the tee, but he certainly stands out in another area that we’re targeting - ball striking. 

The veteran can best be described as “streaky” and he’s been in a very nice groove as of late. Glover had logged top-25s each time he teed it up since the restart before fading to a T38 in brutal conditions at the Memorial last week (though he still gained strokes in every major category).

This will be his second look at TPC Twin Cities - he recorded a T7 in last year’s 3M - and stands out in this weak field thanks to his sharp tee-to-green ability as of late. Sure...the price tag is kinda gross, but that's something we'll have to get used to this week, especially since Glover is what passes for nearly elite in this field. 

 

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Sam Burns

DraftKings: $8,500
FanDuel: $10,000
Notable Course History: T7 ('19)

In a week where distance and driving ability is one of our primary targets, Sam Burns immediately pops to mind. The big-hittin’ Cajun out of LSU is averaging 311.1 yards off the tee this season and leads this 3M field in driving distance over both long and short-term measurements. 

Burns is another one of these young stars that’s quickly establishing himself on the PGA Tour. Just 23-years-old, he’s notched six top-10s in his young career, including a T7 in this event last year.

His length helps him to devour Par-5s - he’s 23rd on the Tour in Par-5 Scoring Average - and long Par 4s. In addition to his ability to bomb it off the tee, Burns is also an excellent putter that ranks fourth in this field in SG: Putting over his last 24 rounds and stands 27th on the PGA Tour in that category for the season, while also checking the "must be able to make tons of birdies" box that we're looking for this week.

 

Troy Merritt

DraftKings: $7,500
FanDuel: $9,100
Notable Course History: T7 ('19)

Troy Merritt played his high school and early college golf in Minnesota and the homecooking must have worked last year, as he soared to a T7 in the 2019 3M. 

Merritt heads home fresh off a missed cut at the Memorial, but he had flashed some form in his previous two starts - a T8 at the Rocket Mortgage and a T22 at the Workday. He gained over seven strokes on approach in that Workday start, but his ball striking numbers have been relatively poor for the majority of 2020.

In this watered down field, we’re probably not gonna be in love with every player that we roster, but you can lean on the hometown narrative in this spot with Merritt if you are searching for a mid-$7k option on DK.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - The Memorial Course History

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Wow...what a tournament the Workday Charity Open turned out to be! Three of my favorite players - Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, and Justin Thomas - were paired together in the final group Sunday morning and produced some fireworks, with Morikawa eventually outlasting JT in a playoff.

Morikawa now has more career PGA Tour victories (2) than missed cuts (1), which is a pretty ridiculous stat. The young star has been impressive ever since he turned pro last year and already has to be considered one of the best iron players in the game. His world-class ball striking have helped make him unbelievably consistent and I think we can expect to see even bigger things from him. Strangely, Mr. Morikawa will get to play on the exact same course this week, as we stay at Muirfield Village for the Memorial. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

The Memorial Overview

Lots of interesting storylines heading into this tournament - including the fact that the PGA Tour is playing on the same course in back-to-back weeks - but the two that stand out are Bryson DeChambeau and Tiger Woods. DeChambeau has basically owned golf since the restart - with his crazy-long drives and high finishes - and he now heads to a Muirfield Village layout that he won on two years ago. Perhaps the only thing that could push Bryson off the front page is Tiger's return to golf after an extremely long layoff. He's won the Memorial five times in his career and will be teeing it up competitively for the first time since the Genesis Invitational.

Obviously, there are more players in the field than Bryson and Tiger, as golf's who's who will be in attendance this week. Patrick Cantlay teed it up in last week's Workday Charity Open, but will be "officially" defending his Memorial title this week, while Collin Morikawa won on this course last week, but will trying to win his first Memorial crown. Yeah...we're living in strange times. Really excited for this one, let's take a look at the course and some horses!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Muirfield Village

Par 72 - 7 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass 

We can always count on a Nicklaus-designed course to force the players into strategic thinking and Muirfield Village doesn't disappoint. Muirfield Village actually has *GASP* penal rough both lining the fairways and around greens that will punish a players mistakes. 'The Golden Bear' built this course from the ground up in the 1970's and he continually updates it as needed. It's lengthy enough to require mid-to-long irons on some approach shots, but isn't a 'bomber's track'. Difficult, but not impossible to score on, we'll see golfers post both 66s and 76s this week. In other words, Muirfield is a very high-quality golf course.

The emphasis this week will be on accuracy and ballstriking, with players being required to hit both tree-lined fairways and undulating greens. Water is in play on 11 holes, with bunkers also causing trouble for the players. The closing stretch is one of the toughest in golf, with 16, 17, and 18 presenting players with a challenging close to their rounds. I'll be heavily weighting Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: OTT (with an emphasis on accuracy), and bogey avoidance this week at Muirfield

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Patrick Cantlay (-19)
  • 2018: Bryson DeChambeau (-15) *Playoff Win
  • 2017: Jason Dufner (-13)
  • 2016: William "Dirt" McGirt (-15) *Playoff Win
  • 2015: David Lingmerth (-15) *Playoff Win

 
 

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Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



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The Horse

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $11,100
FanDuel:
$12,000
Notable Course History: T22 ('19), Win ('18), T38 ('16)

We all might be suffering from a bit of “Bryson Fatigue”, as it seems like all anyone in the golf world can talk about is DeChambeau and his new-found bulk. After a week away, get prepared for the hype train to start rolling again for the Memorial. 

Even if we throw his recent form out the window, Bryson would still be a player that would be featured in this article due to his strong track record at Muirfield Village. He captured the Memorial title two years ago and has never missed a cut in Dublin over three professional starts.

Of course, we aren’t gonna throw his recent form out the window, as it’s too impressive to be ignored. He’s ran off seven straight finishes inside the top-eight, with a win in his last start at the Rocket Mortgage. Bryson has averaged 7.9 Strokes Gained: Tee to Green over his last five tournaments and a ridiculous 5.5 SG: Off the Tee. He brings that sharp form and a boatload of confidence to a track where he’s already been very successful. So why we all might be getting a little tired of hearing about DeChambeau, there is definitely substance behind the hype, which makes him hard to ignore this week.

 

The Ponies

Patrick Cantlay

DraftKings: $9,800
FanDuel:
$11,600
Notable Course History: Win ('19), 4th ('18), T35 ('17), *T7 Workday Charity Open

Cantlay was featured in last week’s Workday writeup, but I’ll touch on him again quickly here. He was relatively quiet last week, before exploding for a final-round 65 and shooting up the leaderboard to finish in a share of seventh place. 

His Sunday performance was what we were hoping to see from Cantlay throughout the week, but he looked sluggish in his first couple of rounds in just his second start since the COVID-19 layoff. With the rust now sufficiently knocked off, he has a legitimate chance to successfully defend his 2019 Memorial title. 

We’ve actually seen Cantlay’s price decrease this week due to the strength of the field and he’s arguably in a better spot, as he finally gets a chance to play in back-to-back weeks.

 

Tiger Woods

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,600
Notable Course History: Five-time Memorial winner

There are lots of unknowns with Tiger this week - as he’s set to make his first official start since struggling mightily at the Genesis Invitational - but if he’s healthy, he must be considered a serious threat on this golf course where he’s won five times. 

We haven’t seen Tiger since his appearance with Phil Mickelson and company for the charity match that was held during the Tour’s layoff - and it’s hard to take too much away from that type of outing - but Woods did look extremely sharp in that appearance. 

My biggest concern here is the rust factor. We know that Tiger is capable of preparing himself for competition, perhaps better than anyone, but he hasn’t hit a shot in a tournament environment since February. That said, he’s a player that we have to take seriously this week due to his (best of all-time) iron play and reasonable DFS price tag.

 

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Kevin Streelman

DraftKings: $7,600
FanDuel: $9,300
Notable Course History: 4th ('19), T44 ('18), T13 ('17), T8 ('16), *T7 Workday Charity Open

A really nice blend of current form and course history with Kevin Streelman this week. The veteran heads into the Memorial on the heels of strong back-to-back outings, including a T7 in last week’s Workday Open.

In addition to last week’s effort, Streels has finished inside the top-18 in four of his last five Memorial starts, with a T4 in last year’s edition. He gained 4.7 strokes T2G at the Workday, coupled with a +7.3 T2G mark at the Travelers two weeks ago. 

In a field full of heavy hitters, Streelman doesn’t have the elite name recognition of most, but he’s a rock-solid option on this layout that he is very comfortable with.

 

Keegan Bradley

DraftKings: $7,200
FanDuel: $8,500
Notable Course History: M/C ('19), T23 ('18), M/C ('17), T8 ('16 &'15), *T39 Workday Charity Open

I had to mention Keegs this week...so I apologize in advance for what might happen if you roster him. If you follow PGA DFS very closely, then you probably know Bradley’s MO: tremendous ball striker with horrible short game. Yep, that pretty accurately sums things up...but what Keegan pulled off last week is impressive, even for him. He led the Workday field in SG: Approach with a RIDICULOUS +10.7 mark, but was close to being dead last in SG: Putting by losing a comical 6.9 strokes on the greens. I have no words…

Ok, I have a few words. Last week's splits were extreme - even for Keegan - but his course history here indicates that he is capable of posting scores on this layout. If - and it is a big IF - Bradley can find anything with the putter this week, he might be a sneaky-good GPP option. Anytime someone gains that many strokes with the irons I’m interested, fire him up if you’re feelin’ lucky.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Workday Charity Open Course History

Welcome back RotoBaller PGA family! After six consecutive starts that resulted in finishes inside the top eight, Bryson DeChambeau finally delivered a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on the strength of a final-round 65. For those of you that follow PGA DFS closely, this was a performance that we have seen coming for several weeks.

Bryson's victory carried a feeling of inevitability and his new focus on length off the tee has produced explosive results in a short time. For the first time since the PGA Tour restarted play, DeChambeau won't be teeing it up this week, which has to make the competitors in this week's Workday Charity Open field breathe a small sigh of relief.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

Workday Charity Open Overview

When the PGA Tour was working out its post-layoff schedule, this week's event was originally slated to be the John Deere Classic. Unfortunately, the Deere organizers were unable to make the event work due to the inability to have fans in attendance, so the Tour came up with the idea of holding back-to-back events at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village, the annual home of The Memorial. So, while this one-off Workday Charity Open doesn't have any actual tournament history for us to evaluate, we have years worth of results to draw from at Muirfield Village and will target players with strong Memorial history in this week's HFTC.

This event will host some of golf's best players, with three of the world's top five golfers in attendance. Brooks Koepka will return to action following a COVID-19 scare, and we'll also see Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, and Patrick Cantlay teeing it up. This should be a tremendous event, let's dive in!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club

Par 72 - 7,392 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass 

We can always count on a Nicklaus-designed course to force the players into strategic thinking and Muirfield Village doesn't disappoint. 'The Golden Bear' built this course from the ground up in the 1970's and he continually updates it as needed. It's lengthy, but isn't a 'bomber's track'. Difficult, but not impossible to score on. In other words, Muirfield is a very high-quality golf course. The emphasis this week will be on accuracy and ballstriking, with players being required to hit both tree-lined fairways and undulating greens. Water is in play on 11 holes, with bunkers also causing trouble for the players. The closing stretch is one of the toughest in golf, with 16, 17, and 18 presenting players with a challenging close to their rounds. I'll be heavily weighting Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: OTT (with an emphasis on accuracy), and bogey avoidance this week at Muirfield

 

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: N/A

2018: N/A

2017: N/A

2016: N/A

2015: N/A

 

The Horse

Hideki Matsuyama

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel:
$11,300
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - 6th ('19), T13 ('18), T5 ('15), Win ('14)

It's obviously been a season of starts and stops for all players on the PGA Tour, but that feels especially true for Hideki Matsuyama, a player who seems to build momentum, only to continuously have the rug pulled out from under him.

This might finally be the week that 'Deki gets to carry some positive vibes from one week to the next. He made the cut on the number at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but made something of a weekend charge with a third-round 65. Matusyama gained 7.5 strokes T2G in Detroit - which was third in the field in that category - and gaining five strokes on approach indicates that his irons are once again beginning to fire.

Matsuyama brings that trending form to a Muirfield Village layout where he's traditionally played very well. He won the Memorial in 2014 and recorded a solo-sixth in last year's edition. He has struggled mightily with the putter as of late, but we're hoping he can find a level of comfort on these Muirfield bentgrass greens with which he's very familiar.

 

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The Ponies

Patrick Cantlay

DraftKings: $10,600
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - Win ('19), 4th ('18), T35 ('17)

Like Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay has eased back into golf since the PGA Tour restart. Cantlay elected to wait a few weeks before teeing it up again, but finally made his return at the Travelers a couple of weeks ago. He logged a solid T11 in Connecticut, with his ball striking appearing just "ok".

Cantlay will need to sharpen things up a bit this week, but his previous performances at Muirfield Village indicate that he should be able to get himself in contention at Jack's place. The rising star won last year's Memorial on the heels of a fourth-place finish in the 2018 edition and his complete tee-to-green game sets up perfectly for the demands of Muirfield.

I wish we had a bit more recent form to evaluate with young Patrick, but he's played a reduced schedule for the last couple of years in order to help preserve his health. Cantlay has a knack for showing up in big spots and - though his DFS price tag is high - he brings tons of win equity to the table this week.

 

Justin Rose

DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel: $10,800
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T13 ('19), T6 ('18), T2 ('15), Win ('10)

I can't say I'm 100% sold on the current state of Justin Rose's game, but the Englishman has definitely looked more like the "old Justin Rose" since the PGA Tour's restart. This post-layoff, post-Honma version of Rose had a chance to win at Colonial and followed that with a solid top-15 outing at the RBC Heritage. Unfortunately, the Englishman followed those great starts with a missed cut at the Travelers...which muddies the waters for us when trying to put our finger on exactly where he is with his game.

Despite the missed cut in Connecticut, there's no doubt that Rose has come out of the layoff rejuvenated and improved. How much of this we can attribute to an equipment change back to TaylorMade is anyone's guess, but a heading-in-the-right-direction Justin Rose is certainly a player to take note of on this week's Muirfield Village layout, as he has a win and two runner-up finishes on this course over 13 career Memorial starts.

 

Rickie Fowler

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T14 ('19), T8 ('18), T2 ('17)

Full disclosure: I never get Rickie right.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, I'm gonna touch on Rickie Fowler for a moment. The "Orange One" hasn't looked sharp since the restart, but did appear to have things headed in the right direction last week in Detroit, as he gained 4.9 strokes T2G en route to a T12 finish...his best result since the PGA Tour resumed play.

That glimpse of form last week is enough to put Rickie on my radar as he heads to a Muirfield Village layout on which he has twice been a bridesmaid since 2010 and has knocked out three solid starts since 2017.

Fowler has undeniably been a 'hit or miss' DFS option this season, but his 2.6 strokes gained on approach last week was his second-best mark of 2020 and this course isn't a bad spot to try to ride the hot hand with Rickie.

 

Joaquin Niemann

DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $10,000
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T27 ('19), T6 ('18)

Joaquin The Dream was last seen blowing up in the final round of the Travelers, but should be on your DFS short list this week. Niemann struggled mightily with the putter in Connecticut, losing over six strokes on the greens. While that performance left a bad taste in a lot of mouths, I'm willing to hop back on the Chilean express this week at Muirfield.

Niemann has just two career starts on this layout, but has posted an average score of two-under par over those eight rounds - the third-best scoring average in this Workday field - and heads to Ohio with his ball-striking in tip-top form. The youngster narrowly missed a win at Hilton Head while gaining a scorching 7.4 strokes on approach and - despite the Sunday nightmare at Travelers - he gained almost two strokes with his irons for the week at TPC River Highlands.

He should feel more comfortable on Muirfield's bentgrass greens, historically his best putting surface, and Niemann's ball striking ability makes him a legit threat in any field.

Byeong Hun An

DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,700
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T17 ('19), T2 ('18), T25 ('17), T11 ('16)

Take one look at Benny An's game log since the restart and I wouldn't blame you if you want to run in the other direction. To put it mildly, An has been riding the struggle bus. However, his record at Muirfield Village puts him in consideration for me this week from a pure course history perspective. In four Muirfield starts since 2016, An hasn't finished outside of the top-25 and logged a runner-up finish in the 2018 Memorial.

As is often the norm for An, his faulty putter has been his Achilles heel since the restart. He lost a ridiculously-bad 6.3 strokes on the greens at Hilton Head a couple weeks ago, but did look better en route to a made cut at the Travelers. If - and I realize it's a big if - An can find some semblance of a functional putting stroke, he could be an interesting GPP option in the Workday, as I expect most DFS players to avoid his recent form like the plague.

 

Ryan Armour

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $9,000
Notable Course History: T22 ('19), T23 ('18)

The veteran journeyman heads to Ohio on the heels of two impressive outings. Armour scored a T6 at the Travelers and a T4 at last week's Rocket Mortgage. It's no surprise that the 44-year-old doesn't jump off the page statistically, but he's shown a propensity for getting the job done in different ways recently. Armour's putter carried him at Travelers (+7.2 SG: Putting) and he rode hot irons last week in Detroit (+5.2 SG: Approach).

The former Ohio State Buckeye brings his jack-of-all-trades game to a Muirfield Village layout where he's recorded back-to-back top-25s over the last two years. Armour should head to his home state brimming with confidence from his recent results and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him play well again at the friendly confines of this Nicklaus layout. The veteran is a solid DFS cost-cutting option this week.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Rocket Mortgage Classic Course History

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Do you guys remember a player by the name of Dustin Johnson? With all the excitement surrounding Rory, Bryson, and Brooks this season, DJ had kinda got lost in the shuffle a bit, but the former top-ranked player in the world reminded everyone that he is one of the most prolific winners of his generation by claiming his 21st career PGA Tour victory at the Travelers Championship.

DJ was a RotoBaller favorite last week, as both Spencer Aguiar and Tommy Bell loved him in their articles. Johnson proved them right by slaying a star-studded field at the Travelers, but for the first time since the PGA Tour resumed play, we will see a noticeable dropoff in the quality of this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic field. So, even though all of the game's top stars won't be heading to Detroit Golf Club, we still have a fun week of PGA DFS ahead of us. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Rocket Mortgage Classic Overview

Since the PGA Tour resumed play over three weeks ago, we've seen stops at well-established tournaments that are played on classic layouts. This week's Rocket Mortgage Classic breaks that pattern, as this will be just the second edition of the event at Detroit Golf Club. The event will also break the trend of the large majority of the game's top players being in the field, as just two top-10 players will be in Detroit this week. We're presented with a couple of obstacles for this week's HFTC, as we only have one year of course history to build from and a tougher pricing scale than we've seen since play on the PGA Tour resumed.

Journeyman Nate Lashley lapped the rather pedestrian field that turned up for this tournament's debut last year with a score of 25-under par and he'll be back to defend his title against what can be considered an upgraded group of challengers that includes RBC Heritage champion Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and Hideki Matsuyama.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Detroit Golf Club

Par 72 - 7,340 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass 

Before its PGA Tour debut last year, we were all basically guessing as to how this layout by legendary architect Donald Ross would play. The answer was...pretty darn easy, as the pros basically had no trouble at all with Detroit Golf Club, with eventual champion Nate Lashley finishing the week at 25-under par.

It might not be fair to call this layout "cookie cutter", but that's the impression that I walked away with after last year's Rocket Mortgage Classic, as the event basically turned into a John Deere Classic-like birdie fest. There are no secrets at DGC (other than a couple of sneaky OB areas)...score on the four Par-5s, strike your irons well, and make putts. As a result, I'll be targeting players this week that have strong approach games, great Par-5 scoring ability, and can rack up birdies in bunches. I never give much weight to putting stats, but I will at least glance at some Bentgrass numbers this week.

 

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: Nate Lashley (-25)

2018: N/A

2017: N/A

2016: N/A

2015: N/A

 

The Horse

Viktor Hovland

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel:
$10,900
Notable Course History: T13 ('19)

The trio of Hovland/Wolff/Morikawa that burst onto the PGA Tour scene late last year continues to impress, with each already picking up a win. Hovland’s came earlier this year at the opposite field Puerto Rico event and the young man has continued to roll ever since.

Hovland has been a core DFS piece for me since the PGA Tour resumed play at Colonial, and he hasn’t disappointed, reeling off three top-25 finishes with Strokes Gained: Tee To Green counts of 5.7/6.1/10.6. 

The youngster led last week’s Travelers field in SG: T2G and was third in SG: Approach. As is often the case with Hovland, he was undone by a cold putter and lost over three strokes on the greens. I suppose it can be said about a number of great ball strikers, but it rings especially true with Hovland - if he makes some putts he will win tournaments. 

He was in the Rocket Mortgage field in its debut edition last year and notched a T13. The Oklahoma State product should absolutely feast on DGC’s four Par-5s this week and he’s currently striking the ball as well as any player on the PGA Tour.

 

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The Ponies

Rory Sabbatini

DraftKings: $8,800
FanDuel:
$9,900
Notable Course History: T3 ('19)

The “Boy From Bratislava” (shoutout Shotgun Start!) never really jumps off the page as a true “must play”. Sabbatini is kind of a remnant of days gone by on the PGA Tour - both in his wardrobe choices and style of play - but the veteran is still churning out solid performances.

Sabbs has posted two very respectable outings since the PGA Tour resumed play - a T14 at the Charles Schwab and a T21 last week - and he brings that solid form to this Donald Ross layout where he recorded a T3 in last year’s Rocket Mortgage. 

He doesn’t pop out as an explosive player, but Sabbatini should be able to hold his own on DGC’s Par-5s this week, as he ranks 24th in the field in SG: Par 5s over his last 50 rounds and stands a somewhat surprising 18th in Birdie Opportunities gained over the same time frame.

 

Doc Redman

DraftKings: $8,500
FanDuel: $10,000
Notable Course History: 2nd ('19)

Like Viktor Hovland, Doc is another Travelers holdover for me. His sharp ball striking performance at Hilton Head a couple of weeks ago (7.8 SG: Approach at Heritage) caught my eye as we headed into the Travelers. The young man out of Clemson didn’t disappoint, as he once again was scorching with his irons at TPC River Highlands, gaining 5.1 strokes on approach en route to a T11 finish in the deep field. 

Redman has been logging these types of solid results despite getting absolutely zero help from the flatstick. He’s LOST strokes on the greens in all three of his starts since the Tour resumed play. 

He scored an out-of-left-field runner-up finish in last year’s Rocket Mortgage as a Monday qualifier, so he does have what passes as “elite” course history in this event. Redman gained 4.7 strokes on DGC’s bentgrass greens last year, and our hope is that he’ll continue his elite-level ball striking while finding some measure of comfort on these greens. It’s understandable if you are experiencing some sticker shock with Redman this week - he jumped from $6.7k to $8.5k on DK - but he possesses the type of explosive upside that’s in short supply in this field.

 

Brandt Snedeker

DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,700
Notable Course History: T5 ('19)

Like Paul Casey last week at TPC River Highlands, I'm listing Sneds here as more a tip of the cap to his course history than his current form. The Vandy product recorded a T5 in last year's Rocket Mortgage and has been dominant throughout his career on one of the other Donald Ross layouts on the PGA Tour schedule, Sedgefield, which hosts the Wyndham Championship each year.

We're certainly not rostering Sneds for his recent form, as he's struggled mightily since the Tour resumed play, losing strokes both T2G and on Approach in his two starts at the Heritage and Travelers. What we know is that he's been one of the top putters in the game consistently throughout his career - especially on bentgrass greens like he'll see this week - and we're always attempting to catch a good ball striking week out of him.

Snedeker actually lost strokes with his irons en route to his T5 here last year - so he can overcome more than most with his incredible short game - and we don't need him to all of a sudden become an elite ball striker in order to do well this week. He can seemingly pop up out of nowhere to post low scores and high finishes, which gives him a chance to pay huge dividends on his $7.9k price tag.

Brian Stuard

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $8,900
Notable Course History: T5 ('19)

Brian Stuard is a player that we will rarely have in DFS consideration, but the lack of depth in this field, coupled with tough DFS pricing, puts him squarely on my radar this week.

Stuard is a journeyman pro that’s grinding out a good living on the PGA Tour. He’ll have some weeks where he pops off, but a made cut is generally a nice result for him. Last year’s Rocket Mortgage was one of those instances where he posted a strong T5 and he heads back to Detroit with some solid form at the moment. 

He’s made all three cuts since the resumption of play and notched a T20 last week at the Travelers on the strength of 5.6 strokes gained T2G. He’s excellent at finding fairways and stands third in this field in Fairways Gained over his last 50 rounds. On a week where DFS value is somewhat tough to come by, Stuard is a solid mid-priced option that deserves consideration in GPP lineup builds. 

 

Kyle Stanley

DraftKings: $7,100
FanDuel: $9,000
Notable Course History: T21 ('19)

My DFS frustration with Kyle Stanley is longstanding and runs deep. He’s - at different points in his career - been a truly elite ball striker that’s easy to fall in love with statistically. The trouble with Stanley is that he makes Ben An look like Ben Crenshaw on the greens. His putting is bad...really, really bad. 

True to form, he was ninth in last week’s field in SG: T2G, only to record a T24 due to losing over a stroke with the putter. Stanley jumps out at me this week due to his price tag and the fact that he actually GAINED strokes putting at last year’s Rocket Mortgage...which gives me hope that he might be able to find something of a comfort level on them again this week. He’s always strictly a “GPP only” option for me - and his price especially sticks out on DK when compared to FanDuel - but this is a week where we’re probably not going to feel 100% comfortable with every player in every lineup. 

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Travelers Championship Course History

Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Another week and another great golf tournament! Webb Simpson held on to win the RBC Heritage late Sunday evening, holding off one of the most impressive (and packed) leaderboards I've ever seen. It was the Webber's second victory of the season - his win in Phoenix feels like a decade ago - and solidifies him as one of the truly elite players in the game right now.

If there were any concerns that these players would be a little sloppy coming off the layoff, those should now be put to bed, as the field absolutely lit up Harbour Town Golf Links. We have to consider that this is due, at least in part, to the unprecedented strength of the fields that we've been seeing. That will once again be the case this week, as a long list of superstars are headed to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship, a tournament where Jim Furyk once shot a 58. This one could be another shootout.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Travelers Championship Overview

The golf courses that the PGA Tour selected to resume the schedule with are really interesting, as both Colonial and Harbour Town profile as "classic" layouts that force players to think their way around, rather than just bomb it down and hit a wedge. That theme will continue this week at TPC River Highlands, the longtime host course of the Travelers Championship.

We will once again see mega-stars like Rory, Brooks, JT, and Bryson teeing it up this week. We will also see a couple of very notable players making their first post-quarantine starts, with Patrick Cantlay and Paul Casey both set to knock the rust off at TPC River Highlands.

The Travelers has produced some interesting champions in the past, with Chez Reavie scoring his first PGA Tour win in over a decade last season, and names like Spieth and Watson also being former Travelers champions. This should be another fun week, 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC River Highlands

Par 70 - 6,841 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass with Poa Annua

The Pete Dye hits keep on coming, as we head from one Dye design in Hilton Head to another in Connecticut. TPC River Highlands is a course with Pete Dye's fingerprints all over it. Its most famous stretch of holes (#'s 15-17) are played AROUND a huge 4-acre lake.

While the course is tricky, we will still see plenty of birdies this week, as TPC River Highlands relinquished the only 58 in PGA Tour history to Jim Furyk a couple of years ago, and the last two winners have finished the week at 17-under par.

At just over 6,800 yards this is one of the shortest tracks on the schedule, but players won't necessarily be able to overpower this course, as the layout requires less than driver off the tee in multiple spots. I'll be targeting sharp ball strikers that can pile up birdies this week.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: Chez Reavie (-17)

2018: Bubba Watson (-17)

2017: Jordan Spieth (-12)

2016: Russell Knox (-14)

2015: Bubba Watson (-16)

 

The Horse

*WD Brooks Koepka WD*

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel:
$11,400
Notable Course History: T57 ('19), T19 ('18), T9 ('16)

UPDATE: BROOKS KOEPKA HAS WITHDRAWN FROM TRAVELERS. REMOVE HIM FROM ALL DFS LINEUPS! Sunday afternoon I tweeted that Brooks might just win all three majors this year. Then this morning on the Shotgun Start podcast I heard Andy Johnson describe Brooks as "a freight train that's heading downhill". It feels like it's a matter of when, not if, with Koepka at this point...with that aura of invincibility and inevitability starting to once again surround him.

My favorite Brooks is a cocky Brooks, and we're starting to see that side of his personality emerge again as his confidence grows with each healthy start that he makes. His results of the last two weeks - a T32 at Colonial and a solo-seventh at Harbour Town - are not anything to get fired up about on their own, but I feel like they are indicative of greater things to come.

Like the layouts of the previous two weeks, TPC River Highlands doesn't scream "Brooks Track", however Koepka has some Travelers experience under his belt and has logged a couple solid results on this Pete Dye track. I don't know if it will be this week or at an upcoming major championship, but a win is coming.

As I watched the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance a few weeks ago, I kept thinking of Brooks Koepka, an athlete that - like Jordan - can take the tiniest perceived slight and use it as motivation. We've seen him do it with some of Brandel Chamblee's comments in the past, and this week he seemed to be a little hot about a joke made by Nick Faldo during the TV coverage. Sure, these things seem silly to us - and this is certainly a DFS "narrative", rather than a statistical argument - but some guys are just wired different. Koepka is one of those guys.

 

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The Ponies

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $11,000
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T9 ('18), T26 ('17), T47 ('16)

You guys tired of reading about Bryson yet? Sorry, but we’re going back to the protein-shake chugging, wannabe scientist again this week. 

DeChambeau’s dominance has been perhaps the biggest story of the PGA’s restart. It’s not really surprising that he’s playing well - we’ve seen that before - but rather the way in which he’s doing it... and on the type of courses that shouldn’t really fit his new “hittin’ bombs” strategy. 

TPC River Highlands is another one of those courses that really shouldn’t work with Bryson’s style, but his course history tells a different story, as he’s made four straight Travelers cuts since 2016, with back-to-back top-10 finishes in the last two years. DeChambeau headed to Harbour Town last week with a similarly-good track record - despite the seemingly ill fit - and we saw how that turned out...another top-10 finish. I’m in on the hulk once again.

 

Paul Casey

DraftKings: $8,900
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: T5 ('19), T2 ('18), T5 ('17), T17 ('16), 2nd ('15)

I was a little reluctant to list Paul Casey here this week, because unlike many of his fellow Tour pros, Casey elected not to immediately jump back into action when play resumed on the PGA Tour. 

Despite his inactivity, I decided to touch on the Englishman this week because his course history at TPC River Highlands basically can’t be ignored. Casey has been otherworldly at the Travelers, with two runner-up finishes and two top-fives since 2015. 

So, while I do have some concerns about the questionable state of his game - enough to take him out of the Cash Game conversation -  Casey will earn serious GPP consideration from me this week due to his phenomenal track record on this layout.

 

Bubba Watson

DraftKings: $8,800
FanDuel: $10,800
Notable Course History: Win ('18, '15, & '10)

There’s lots of weeks that I’m totally content with basically ignoring Bubba Watson in DFS contests. However, there are a few specific events on the schedule where Bubba will always pique my interest.

This week’s Travelers is one such occasion, as the lefty has won three titles at TPC River Highlands in his career. I’ve said it ad nauseum in this article over the years, but Watson is the most COURSE-SPECIFIC PLAYER on the PGA Tour. He has multiple wins here, at Riviera, and at Augusta National. Meaning not all layouts fit Bubba’s eye, but when they look good to him, he can feast.

He would be in consideration this week for me even with no current form, but Watson actually heads to Connecticut on a bit of a heater. He scored a T7 at the Charles Schwab Challenge - gaining strokes tee to green and putting - and his ball striking looked crisp at the Heritage, with his T52 finish not truly reflecting the fact that he gained almost three strokes on approach.

Brian Harman

DraftKings: $7,600
FanDuel: $9,200
Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T6 ('18), T35 ('17), MC ('16), 3rd ('15)

Since the PGA Tour restarted its season, the schedule has been right in Brian Harman’s wheelhouse, with distance taking a backseat to precision and course management. The diminutive lefty has been a monster at Colonial, Harbour Town, and TPC River Highlands throughout his career.

Harman’s results over the last two weeks illustrate his affinity for the layouts, as he’s notched a T23 and a T28 since the PGA Tour resumed play.  The veteran’s track record at the Travelers indicates he could be in for an even bigger week. Harman has finished T8 or better three times on this Pete Dye layout since 2015.

 

Danny Lee

DraftKings: $6,900
FanDuel: $8,500
Notable Course History: MC ('19), T15 ('18), T3 ('17), T25 ('15)

I’m trying to hit a moving target here with Danny Lee. I touched on him a couple weeks ago at Colonial, where he proceeded to miss the cut. It looks like I was a little early, as Lee followed that disappointing outing by flashing for a couple of rounds at Hilton Head.

He’s a “GPP only” play for me due to his volatility, but I’m again intrigued with Lee as we head to TPC River Highlands - a layout that suits his ball-striking style. The New Zealand native had reeled off three consecutive top-25s (including a T3) at the Travelers prior to missing the cut last year and if he can carry the positive momentum over from last week’s Heritage outing, he has a great chance to crush his DFS price tag in this spot. While a missed cut is always a very real possibility with Lee, he brings top-five upside to the table at $6.9k.

 

Patrick Rodgers

DraftKings: $6,900
FanDuel: $8,800
Notable Course History: T26 ('18), T35 ('17), T3 ('16), T39 ('15)

In PGA DFS we are constantly targeting great ball strikers in hopes that they will catch fire with the putter. It’s a very sound DFS strategy. However, we’re gonna flip that conventional thinking on its head this week with Patrick Rodgers, a player that is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, but a golfer with ball striking that can come and go.

Rodgers looked to be in great shape at the RBC Heritage after an opening-round 67, but a Friday 72 left him one shot off the cutline. The missed cut came on the heels of a T14 at the Schwab and back-to-back top-25 outings prior to the PGA Tour’s layoff. 

The Travelers looks like a great bounce-back spot for the 27-year-old former Stanford star. He’s never finished outside the top 39 in four career trips to TPC River Highlands and scored a T3 in 2016. We think of this week’s layout as a ball-striker’s paradise. That's not his strong suit, but past results indicate that this track certainly fits Rodgers’ eye. He's a great salary saver this week.  

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - RBC Heritage Course History

What is up PGA family? Well...that was fun! With the Charles Schwab Challenge in the books, golf is officially back. In a star-studded event that produced an elite leaderboard, it was the often-injured Daniel Berger that emerged victorious in a sudden-death playoff against young Collin Morikawa. Berger was once pegged as a rising star, but has battled a career-threatening wrist injury over the last couple of years. His game had shown signs in 2020 and his win at Colonial should help to put his career back on track. Berger's redemptive arc, coupled with some heartbreaking missed putts by a couple of my favorite young players - Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele - made the event feel like an emotional roller coaster for me personally. Wow.

We often (fairly) criticize the PGA Tour for several things, but they pulled off a great event at the Charles Schwab. My only nitpick is that this is what golf could be every week...the game's best players, all competing against each other on a great golf course. I know that every major star can't play every single week, but man, the game sure would sure be better if it happened a little more often! Luckily, we'll get another amazing field at this week's RBC Heritage. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

RBC Heritage Overview

I'm so excited for this week! The Heritage is always one of my favorite tournaments of the year. My family used to take summer vacations to Hilton Head when I was a kid and I can remember always being amazed by the big Harbour Town Lighthouse at Sea Pines when I was a child. So maybe it's the nostalgia kicking in, but this tournament holds a special place in my heart.

Ok, enough about Nicely family vacations, let's talk golf. Like Colonial last week, Harbour Town represents one of the classic, unique layouts that remains on the PGA Tour's schedule every year. The Heritage is traditionally held the week after the Masters - which has helped give the event a rock-solid identity over the years - but its spot on the schedule can hurt in some ways, as there are plenty of stars who don't usually tee it up the week after the grind of Augusta National.

That won't be an issue this week, as we will see many of the same stars that turned up at Colonial last week at the Heritage, with players like Rory, JT, Brooks, and Bryson all slated to tee it up in Hilton Head this week, and Hideki Matsuyama also set to make his first post-layoff start. We've seen some random cats win this event in recent years, so literally anyone in the field can conquer this unique Harbour Town layout, though this is the strongest group of golfers that we've ever seen for the RBC Heritage. It's gonna be fun, 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Harbour Town Golf Links

Par 71 - 7,099 Yards, Greens: Bermuda

This Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus beauty is one of the shortest layouts these pros will face all year. Its lack of length is a refreshing change of pace from the stretched-to-the-max layouts that we routinely see on the PGA Tour schedule. While it may lack length, Harbour Town is by no means a pushover. Very tight, tree-lined fairways often take drivers out of the players hands, forcing them to play strategically off the tee. In true Dye fashion, this is a second-shot golf course and players will be taking aim at miniscule greens that routinely grade-out as some of the toughest to hit on the PGA Tour schedule. These factors make me give almost no weight to the bombers this week and I'll instead be focusing on players that are precise off the tee and accurate on approach.

While it's an area that often goes overlooked, I'll also be giving weight to around the green ability this week. Harbour Town is slightly similar to Augusta National in that we often see the same players perform well here every year, while first-timers can struggle, so I'm giving an even bigger bump than normal to players with strong course history. While this Hilton Head classic is rather short by modern standards, it often keeps scores in check, with 12-under par taking home the win in each of the last two years.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: C.T. Pan (-12)

2018: Satoshi Kodaira (-12)

2017: Wesley Bryan (-13)

2016: Branden Grace (-9)

2015: Jim Furyk (-8)

 

The Horse

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $10,700
FanDuel:
$11,900
Notable Course History: MC ('19), T3 ('18), MC ('17), T4 ('16)

The “Thicc Boi”! Listen, I’m the first to admit that I was a doubter when Bryson started this whole “bulk up” thing, but he’s proving me very wrong, as he’s ran off four top-five finishes in his last four starts, including a T3 last week at Colonial. 

DeChambeau led the Schwab field in both Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and SG: Tee To Green, while also gaining an impressive 4.8 strokes with his irons. The crazy thing is, Colonial wasn’t even a layout that enabled him to take full advantage of his driver! 

That’s the argument that can be made against him this week at the Heritage, as Harbour Town will also take driver out of his hands for the most part. However, Bryson has had some success on the unique Hilton Head layout in the past, alternating a T3 and a T4 with missed cuts in four starts since 2016. So while his Heritage track record is a bit bipolar, he does have experience on this tricky course with some successful outings under his belt. That Harbour Town knowledge -  coupled with his ridiculous recent form - makes Bryson the DFS play with perhaps the most upside on the board this week, despite this layout looking like an ill fit for his power-based game at first glance.

 

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The Ponies

Justin Thomas

DraftKings: $10,900
FanDuel:
$11,800
Notable Course History: 75th ('16), T11 ('15)

Two fairly forgettable starts in a tournament since 2015 doesn't normally qualify a player for this article, but I'm gonna make an exception in JT's case due to most of the "elite" players in this field having ZERO course history at Harbour Town. So while Thomas isn't a Hilton Head regular, he should at least know what to expect on this unique layout where experience really matters.

Thomas was right in the thick of things last week at Colonial, before a pedestrian final-round 71 dropped him down the leaderboard. Those of you that watched the final round might have noticed that JT missed tons of birdie putts on the opening nine, but I like the fact that he was giving himself lots of looks. His iron play was superb all week at the Schwab, as he gained a MASSIVE seven strokes on approach - the second-best mark in the field. A sharp approach game will be paramount this week at Harbour Town with its tiny greens. We just need JT to make a few more putts.

It's early in the week, but I don't know that a "Stars & Scrubs" lineup build will be popular, as this - at first glance - looks like a "balanced build" type of salary scale. If you decide to take an aggressive approach, Thomas is right there with Bryson as my favorite "spend up" option.

 

Matt Kuchar

DraftKings: $8,300
FanDuel: $10,400
Notable Course History: 2nd ('19), T9 ('16), 5th ('15), Win ('14)

The Skechers-donning veteran killed a lot of lineups (including mine!) last week with a double-bogey on his final hole Friday that led to a brutal missed cut. Though Kuchar ripped me a new one at Colonial, I’ve tried to learn not to hold grudges when it comes to DFS, so I’ll be hopping right back on him this week at Harbour Town.

The 41-year-old has been a walking ATM at Hilton Head throughout his career. Kuchar won the Heritage in 2014 and has finished no worse than 23rd since, with a runner-up finish last year. His track record at Harbour Town makes me more willing to chalk last week’s disappointing effort up to a “knock the rust off” outing. 

It’s tough to let go of the anger from last week, but we’ll all be better PGA DFS players if we try to take emotion out of our decision making. So, while it’s kinda gross clicking Matty Boy’s name again this week, I’m willing to do it in this situation, especially when lots of DFS players will be reluctant to roster a player that burned them so badly last week.

 

Jason Kokrak

DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,900
Notable Course History: T16 ('19), MC ('18), MC ('17), T6 ('16), T18 ('15)

It's always a dangerous game trying to ride the hot hand in PGA DFS. I suspect that Jason Kokrak's splashy final-round performance at Colonial will have lots of folks ready to roster him this week. His RBC Heritage record is similar to Bryson's DeChambeau's - some really strong performances with missed cuts mixed in. It's weird, because we typically think of Kokrak as a "bomber", but he's managed some good finishes at Harbour Town, one of the most "bomber proof" layouts on the PGA Tour schedule.

He definitely deserves consideration - at least in GPPs. He gained 5.2 strokes putting at the Schwab last week and that's not a performance that we can expect him to reproduce at Harbour Town. However, he also played very well from tee to green at Colonial, gaining 6.6 strokes T2G, en route to positive results in every major strokes gained category.

So what do we do with Kokrak this week? I'll probably let his ownership projections dictate my exposure to a certain extent...if it looks like he's going to be super chalky, I'll mostly fade him and hope for a "bad Kokrak" as a result of some expected putting regression. However, if it looks as though he's going a bit overlooked, I won't hesitate to roster him due to his intriguing upside. He's always a tough nut to crack from a DFS perspective and 99% of the time falls into the "GPP Only" category for me due to his volatility.

Branden Grace

DraftKings: $7,800
FanDuel: $10,200
Notable Course History: T61 ('19), T11 ('17), Win ('16), T7 ('15)

There was a time a few years ago, around 2015-17, that it seemed like Branden Grace was poised to be one of the game’s elite players. He made several deep runs in majors by recording multiple top-five finishes, and nabbed a breakthrough PGA Tour win in this week’s event. 

That 2016 RBC Heritage title remains Grace’s only win on the PGA Tour. His game has stalled out over the last few years and he’s never reached the level that his career trajectory seemed to indicate was possible. However, Grace has experienced a bit of a renaissance as of late, with a win at the South African Open in January and a top-10 outing at the WMPO on his 2020 resume. 

The South African played well at Colonial last week, remaining firmly in the mix until an underwhelming final-round 73 dropped him into a tie for 19th. He gained 3.3 strokes on approach at the Charles Schwab, in addition to looking good both on and around the greens. That his game seems to be popping as he heads to a Harbour Town layout where he’s found tremendous success throughout his career makes him a strong DFS consideration for me this week. I like his price better on DK compared to FD. 

 

Ian Poulter

DraftKings: $7,600
FanDuel: $9,400
Notable Course History: T10 ('19), T7 ('18), T11 ('17), T18 ('15)

The Englishman’s outfits aren’t quite as flashy as they used to be, but his game is as solid as ever. Poulter has looked sharp throughout the 2019-20 season and that steady play continued last week at Colonial en route to a T29.

Harbour Town is a natural fit for the veteran and his results in the Heritage reflect that, as he’s cracked the top 11 in each of his last three starts at Hilton Head. 

Poulter isn’t the type of player that’s ever going to blow us away statistically, but we know what we’re getting with him: lots of fairways, solid iron play, and a world-class short game. Those are the ingredients that lead to success on this Pete Dye layout and Poulter is a sensible fantasy option that often seems to go overlooked in fantasy formats.

 

Bud Cauley

DraftKings: $7,200
FanDuel: $8,800
Notable Course History: T39 ('19), T23 ('18), T9 ('17)

I’m not at all saying Bud Cauley is going to win the RBC Heritage this week, but there are some interesting similarities between him and last week’s winner Daniel Berger. Both were once pegged as “rising stars” and both have battled serious injuries during their young careers. Cauley’s most recent setback was a horrible car crash suffered during the 2018 Memorial tournament that left him with some very serious injuries. 

Cauley has quietly battled back from this latest setback in solid fashion. He’s put together a nice 2019-20 season, making the cut in nine of 12 starts with two top-10s. He recorded a nice T29 last week at Colonial and this week’s Harbour Town layout is another track that fits his style. Cauley currently stands 37th on the PGA Tour in SG: T2G and is buoyed by one of the best short games on Tour.

As we move down into the “value play” range, Cauley stands out as a strong DFS option at Harbour Town. He’s made three straight cuts at the Heritage, with a top-10 performance here in 2017. I like his course experience at this salary and - like Daniel Berger - he appears to finally have his once-promising career headed back in the right direction.

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Horse For The Course: DraftKings PGA DFS - Charles Schwab Challenge Course History

What is up PGA family??? You guys don't know how just how much I've wanted to write those words! Golf is back, the PGA Tour is back, PGA DFS is back, the Milly Maker is back...and I'm overjoyed to be back with you for all of it!

The Charles Schwab Challenge will be the first official PGA Tour event since The Players Championship was cancelled after one round waaayyyy back in March. Our world has changed in some significant ways since then, but I'm so happy that the PGA Tour has tried to take the lead in getting sports back up and running in the United States. After months of stress, worry, and unrest, I look forward to getting back to something resembling normalcy. I also must advise - that while we're all PUMPED to have PGA DFS back - don't go dumping your entire bankroll this week, as there are a lot of variables at play that we simply don't know how to predict, and hopefully, a great stretch of tournaments left over the coming months. Let's dive in to the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Charles Schwab Challenge Overview

If there were any concerns that PGA Tour players might not want to rush back to competition, they should now be put to rest, as this Charles Schwab Challenge field is absolutely STACKED! The competitors that will be in attendance at Colonial make up one of the best fields for a "regular" PGA Tour event that I've ever seen.

I should make it clear...we are all guessing this week. I think there's an old quote about Hollywood that says nobody knows anything - and that feels like it applies nicely to this tournament. While I unquestionably feel like those of us in the PGA DFS industry are grinding our asses off to put forth our best educated guesses for our readers, this is still an unpredictable and unprecedented situation.

With all that said, I do feel like we are pretty fortunate that this first tournament back will be held at Colonial Country Club, a course where we have years of history and trends to reference. What are some things that jump out immediately? Veterans do extremely well at Colonial. The average age of the past five winners is 31.4 years old - that number is brought way down by including Jordan Spieth who won at the age of 22 in 2016 - and Spieth is the only player under the age of 30 to win this event in the past decade!

We can also determine that short hitters are on equal footing on this classic layout. Bombers can certainly compete at Colonial, but guys like Kevin Na, Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson, and Boo Weekley have emerged victorious here since 2010 and aren't at a huge disadvantage due to their lack of length like they are at numerous stops on the schedule. I'm (obviously) a bigger believer in course history than most, but I would encourage those of you that might normally give little or no weight to course history, to at least consider it this week under these extraordinary circumstances.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Colonial Country Club

Par 70 - 7,209 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass

This 1936 design was recognized as an instant classic. Since Colonial made its debut on the PGA Tour in 1946, the event has been played under many names, but the course has continued to endure as a mainstay on the schedule. The legendary Ben Hogan looms large as a presence at Colonial, as he won the event back-to-back not once, but twice. In the same vein as Hogan, we have seen the same players repeatedly perform well at the Forth Worth layout.

The tight fairways and multiple doglegs that are cut through the course's pecan trees make this layout difficult to overpower, with a premium being placed on a player's ball striking, shotmaking, and scrambling abilities. While distance is not something we ever want to totally dismiss, it does take something of a backseat in importance at Ben Hogan's old stomping grounds.

This classic layout has certainly favored the "ballstriking-fairways-and-greens-course-management" type of player historically, but we've also seen guys like Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, and Jon Rahm record strong finishes at Colonial in recent years. So while golfers that are short off the tee will find themselves able to compete with the big hitters more on a classic layout like this, the bombers can't be totally discounted, which muddies the waters a bit when trying to narrow this strong field down to a certain "type" of player.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: Kevin Na (-13)

2018: Justin Rose (-20)

2017: Kevin Kisner (-10)

2016: Jordan Spieth (-17)

2015: Chris Kirk (-12)

 

The Horse

Jordan Spieth (DraftKings - $8,000)

Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T32 ('18), T2 ('17), Win ('16), T2 ('15)

Whew boy...there always seems to be a lot to unpack when discussing Jordan Spieth. We all know the deal with Spieth - he started his career on fire, won multiple tournaments and majors, seemed destined to be an all-timer, etc. - who has been battling his swing for roughly the last 24 months. Battling it to the extent that it is sometimes almost weirdly painful to watch the former wonderboy play golf.

There have been some flashes - a string of three consecutive top-10 finishes around this time last year and a great ball striking week at Pebble Beach earlier this season - but if we’re being gentle, Spieth’s game can conservatively be labeled as wildly inconsistent over the last couple of years.

All that said, there are some things to like about the Texan in this spot. He’s historically played great at Colonial, logging a win and two runner-up finishes on the classic layout since 2015, including a T8 during a stretch of good play last year. He also leads this star-studded field in Strokes Gained: Total at Colonial since 2015 by a huge margin. 

It can be debated which players this layoff will help or hurt, but it feels like the break should benefit a struggling player like Spieth - a guy who lost over five strokes in each of his last two 2020 starts - by giving him time to mentally reset, work on his game, and figure some things out with his swing. Obviously, this line of thinking requires something of a leap of faith...a theme that we’ll have to get comfortable with for this event.  

He’s simply not the type of player you can bet the farm on anymore, but I will be keeping a close eye on Spieth’s ownership projections as we inch closer to Thursday - as he is certainly capable of being a key, high-upside piece in Milly Maker lineups - and I’ll definitely be in on him in GPPs if he isn’t trending toward heavy ownership. 

Remember, we’re not trying to figure out if Spieth is all the way back here, we’re trying to envision a scenario in which he can play well this week, and that definitely seems doable for him at the friendly confines of Colonial. He’s popping up at around 50/1 at most sportsbooks and comes in at a reasonable $8k on DraftKings, which is certainly intriguing.

 

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The Ponies

Webb Simpson (DraftKings - $9,800)

Notable Course History: MC ('18), 5th ('17), T3 ('16)

I’m kinda embarrassed to admit how heavily I’ve leaned on Webb Simpson this season, but I’m in the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” camp when it comes to PGA DFS, so I’m firing up the Webber again here. 

There’s obviously some big-time names available this week, but Simpson sticks out to me for a couple of reasons. He’s played really well at Colonial, logging top-five finishes in two of his last three starts on this layout. That success can be attributed to his natural fit for the course - he’s a short hitter that hits tons of fairways and greens, and possesses a tremendous short game both on and around the green.

It might be reaching a bit, but I also like the fact that Simpson has always been a player that takes extended breaks. It's not that unusual to see him go 3-5 weeks between starts a couple of times during the regular season. So while this length of layoff for the entire PGA Tour is not anything we've ever seen before, it feels like Simpson might be able to handle it better than most, as he's never been an "every week" type of player.

 

Rickie Fowler (DraftKings - $9,400)

Notable Course History: MC ('19), T14 ('18), T5 ('12)

I think we're all searching for any type of narrative to latch on to this week. While it might be pretty thin, Rickie Fowler is at least one of the few pros that we've actually seen play golf recently.

Fowler was a part of the TaylorMade charity match at Seminole a few weeks ago and looked to be the sharpest of bunch. We've also seen some video posted to social media of him teeing it up with Justin Thomas over the break, so while it's not exactly the strongest leg to stand on, we know that Rickie has at least been playing somewhat regularly, which is more than we know about the majority of the Schwab field.

Fowler's only teed it up at Colonial a couple times since 2015 - a missed cut last year and a T14 in 2018 - but earlier in his career this event was a regular part of his schedule. He notched a T5 here back in 2012 and there should be a very good familiarity with this layout.

Rickie was off to an inconsistent start to 2020, alternating missed cuts with strong outings. We can attribute that to some tinkering with his grip and equipment, though he did gain strokes on approach in each of his last three starts prior to the stoppage of play. That, coupled with his play during the break and experience at Colonial, is enough for me to feel encouraged about his outlook in this spot.

 

Matt Kuchar (DraftKings - $8,500)

Notable Course History: T32 ('18), T12 ('17), T6 ('16), 2nd ('13)

There are two types of people in this world - some will go to a restaurant and try something different almost every time, while some will order the same thing like clockwork for 20 years. I personally fall into the latter category, which is probably what sends me looking in Matt Kuchar's direction fairly often. He's kinda like a cheeseburger and fries - not really exciting to order, but you are very rarely disappointed when you get finished eating.

If we're looking for a type of player for the Schwab, Kuch falls smack dab into the mold...he's a veteran that's been in almost every situation you can think of, has lots of experience at Colonial, and plays the smart, conservative, fairways-and-greens type of golf that historically performs well on this layout.

It's hard to know just how much golf Kuchar has played during the break, but he's a veteran that knows how to prepare himself. He always screams "Cash Game Play", but his GPP ownership % was routinely less than 10% in each of the last four events before the PGA Tour halted play.

 

Kevin Na (DraftKings - $7,600)

Notable Course History: Win ('19), 4th ('18), T10 ('15)

I don’t usually include defending champions in this article - I find it kinda lazy and obvious (they won on this course last year...duh) - but I’m gonna make an exception here for Kevin Na.

Calling Na mercurial is an understatement. Sometimes it feels like the dude is 50/50 at best to even make it to the first tee for a tournament. The veteran has battled lots of mental demons over the years with his golf game, but one thing I’ve noticed about idiosyncratic-type guys like Na or Bubba Watson, is that they always seem to repeatedly perform well on tracks they like. 

On a week where we’re dealing with tons of unknowns, and variables that we can’t calculate, I’m drawn to things we at least think we know...and thus a little more willing to take a walk down #NarrativeStreet than I usually am. Na has publicly stated that he feels confident at Colonial because it’s one of the few stops on the schedule where he feels he can truly compete with the bombers. He has been lights out here in the past and had gained strokes on approach in five of his last six starts prior to the PGA Tour’s stoppage.

If - and it is a legitimate concern - he doesn’t withdraw, I like his chances of playing well. Another thing to consider: Na won’t have to deal with 99% of the normal duties a defending champion would be required to perform due to the safety restrictions that will be in place at Colonial.

 

Harris English (DraftKings - $7,500)

Notable Course History: T20 ('18), T29 ('17), 2nd ('16)

With a layoff of over three months, it’s tough to give much weight to recent form, but the Harris English bandwagon is one I’ve been happily riding this season. After being in the weeds with his game for a while, English resurfaced in a big way during the fall season, racking up four top-six finishes in five starts at one point. After a couple of middling outings in California, he ran off three straight top-20 finishes before the season was halted. 

So...while I’m not going to give too much consideration to recent form, it is something I have in the back of my mind as I evaluate English’s very solid course history at Colonial. He’s hasn't finished worse than tied for 29th in three starts since 2015 and scored a runner-up finish in 2016. 

English also fits into the “mold” that we’re looking for this week: a 30-year-old veteran that’s had some success both on the PGA Tour and at Colonial, and has a very solid overall game that grades out sixth - in this stacked field -  in Strokes Gained: Total over a long-term 50 round measurement. He’s a solid DraftKings value at just $7,500.

 

Danny Lee (DraftKings - $7,200)

Notable Course History: T48 ('19), T14 ('18), 6th ('17), T22 ('16), T10 ('15)

A pure course history play here, as Danny Lee routinely activates Beast Mode at Colonial. He's made five consecutive cuts in Fort Worth since 2015, with two top-10s mixed in for good measure.

Lee is a player who's whole career has been plagued by inconsistency. Just this year he's went: MC-WD-T25-MC-T47-T5! However, with that volatility comes some sneaky upside and in 12 2019-20 starts, Lee has almost as many top-10s (3) as missed cuts (4).

That's the type of game log that sends you running in the other direction when it comes to cash-game formats, but in order to make a run in a huge GPP like the Milly Maker, we must be willing to embrace some volatility. Rostering Lee might cause you to lose a little sleep at night, but he's also the type of player that can lead you to huge wins when he comes through. On a week when we're being forced to guess more than we normally would, Lee's a boom-or-bust player with flashes of recent form and airtight course history that could pay huge dividends in large tournaments.

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The PGA Tour Will Be Back Soon, Here Are Some Things I'm Looking Forward To

The PGA Tour is really close to returning to our lives. Last weekend’s charity match involving Rory McIlory and Dustin Johnson went well, which only strengthens my belief that the Tour might actually be able to pull this thing off next month. 

However, the COVID-19 situation is one that remains fluid, so there’s always the chance that things could go wrong, which is somewhat unnerving to think about. For the moment though, let’s pretend that things go smoothly when the PGA Tour shows up at Colonial Country Club and tees it up on June 11th. What are the things you are most looking forward to? A few of mine are listed below.

Here at RotoBaller we are absolutely PUMPED for the resumption of PGA DFS! To show our appreciation to our readers, we're running our PGA Premium package - that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry - at an unbelievable 50% Off for a limited time! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Fields That Might Be Ridiculously Stacked

You have to think that different players will take different approaches as to when they’ll return to tournament environments, but it looks as though some of golf’s biggest names are ready to roll immediately. World number one Rory McIlory has already said that he plans to play the first three tournaments back, while Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas have also been very vocal about being ready to tee it up. One of the knocks on the Tour’s biggest stars is that they don’t play enough outside of the majors and events that provide huge paydays, but there’s a chance that we could see some amazing fields over the first month that golf returns.

 

Great Courses Getting The Attention They Deserve

We often complain that the courses on the PGA Tour are cookie-cutter layouts that promote birdie-fests. While there’s certainly some truth to that, there are some notable exceptions, and a few of them just so happen to be the first tracks we’ll see when play resumes. Colonial is a classic that demands sharp ball striking, the same can be said of ultra-tight Harbour Town, and of another Pete Dye joint at TPC River Highlands. These courses can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of the PGA Tour season, but will have golf fans’ full attention this year.

 

DraftKings Pricing

One part of my weekly PGA DFS process is trying to guess what the DraftKings pricing scale will look like. I love it when the pricing is posted. Scrolling slowly through the players to check their salaries is always a fun (and underrated) part of the week.

 

Friday Cut Sweats

Ahhh...Friday afternoon cut sweats are such an essential part of the PGA DFS experience! The intensity of what one player will do over his last few holes - and how that will impact your entire lineup and week - is a very unique aspect of fantasy golf.

 

Podcasts And Articles

It probably sounds cheesy, but I spend so much time each week regularly consuming pods and articles, that these guys are almost like old friends. I’m definitely ready for a reunion!

 

Rory's Bounce And Other Random Player Traits

You can always tell when Rory McIlroy is playing well, because he literally gets a bounce in his step that almost makes it look like his Nike's have springs in them. It’s how you know that his confidence is at full blast and there’s a strong chance that you’re going to see some ridiculous shots. It's cocky and brash and truly a thing of beauty. For some reason it always gets me pumped up and I hope to see Rory bee-bopping down fairways very soon. Other acceptable answers in this category are DJ’s “John Wayne Badass Strut”, Tiger fist pumping, Tony Finau being a great human, and Jordan Spieth whining. Hell, I even miss Patrick Cantlay shuffling his feet for 30 seconds while standing over a putt at this point.

 

A Milly Maker The First Week Back

DraftKings definitely feels our pain and has wasted no time blessing us with a Milly Maker...for the FREAKIN’ CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE!!! Will it be the biggest crapshoot in history? Yes! Will we be totally guessing about each players’ form? Yes! Will I play it anyway? YES!!!

 

Making A Few Bets

I don’t consider myself a degen gambler, but it has been a long time since I’ve made any type of wager, and dammit, it’s gonna feel good to throw a $10 First-Round-Leader bet on Keegan Bradley again, which is my God-given right as an American!

 

A Return To Something Resembling Normalcy

No, this isn’t going to magically make everything return to normal, but it’s at least a start. We’ve all dealt with this pandemic in different ways, with some folks dealing with this unimaginably-scary virus in up-close-and-personal ways and others simply fighting never-before-seen levels of boredom. Sports are our country’s great pastime for a reason...they help take our mind off the stresses of our everyday lives...something that’s needed now more than ever.

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Horse For The Course: DraftKings Golf DFS - Scottsdale AZ Open

Hello again golf family! If you're like me, you are waiting for the return of the PGA Tour like a kid waiting on Christmas morning to arrive. We have been pretty lucky though, as these mini-tour events have scratched our golf itch a bit. This week, we'll take a look at the Scottsdale AZ Open, an event that isn't affiliated with any tour, but carries the biggest purse and strongest field that we've seen since play on the PGA Tour was postponed.

In the absence of PGA golf, these little-known tours have stepped in to somewhat fill the void. These events are really small and the fields are comprised of a mixture of professional golfers that are either trying to play their way on to a bigger tour or are at the end of professional careers, as well as some amateurs that want to test their games on a tougher level.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Scottsdale AZ Open Overview

This event isn't listed on the newly-popular Outlaw Tour's website and is really an independent tournament that benefits Phoenix Children's Hospital. The Scottsdale AZ Open is in its fourth year and offers a pretty legit purse of $125k.

With the event's established nature and solid purse comes the strongest field we've seen in months. PGA Tour regulars Joel Dahmen, Kevin Streelman, and Nate Lashley headline this week's field, with some familiar names like Alex Cejka, Dylan Wu, and JJ Spaun also set to tee it up.

Some other interesting names in the field include former Tour pro Colt Knost, the father and son combo of Kirk & Sam Triplett, and noted Vijay Singh fan Brady Schnell. Overall, this should be a fun little event and a great way to feed your DFS golf appetite!

 

The Course: Talking Stick Golf Club (O'Odham Course)

Par 70 - 7,133 Yards - Greens: Bermuda

Talking Stick is a resort facility with multiple golf courses, but the AZ Open will be played on the O'Odham Course. It was designed by the popular Coore & Crenshaw design team that we are familiar with through some courses on the PGA Tour schedule like Trinity Forest.

It's a Par 70 with just two Par-5's, but multiple short Par-4's that will be scoring holes. Last year's Scottsdale AZ Open was played on this track with a 54-hole winning score of 10-under par, so while we can expect some great scores, it's probably not going to be the pure birdie-fest that some expect.

 

The Horse

Joel Dahmen (DraftKings - $11,000)

Notable Course History:

Probably not a big surprise that Joel Dahmen is the head honcho this week. I know you guys don't need me to tell you that he's the top player in this field, but I think it would be pretty disingenuous of me to ignore Dahmen in this spot.

Dahmen's game kinda comes and goes, but the 32-year-old was locked in when the PGA Tour was halted. He headed into the Players Championship on the heels of back-to-back top-five finishes at the Genesis and Arnold Palmer Invitational, which brought his top-10 total for the season to four.

As if we need an extra excuse to roster him this week, Dahmen has apparently stayed sharp during the layoff, as he fired a smooth little 58 (!!!) during a round last week! He is one of the most consistent Par-4 scorers on the PGA Tour and this Talking Stick layout should be right up his alley. You'll have to make some sacrifices to squeeze him into your lineup, but he brings a ton of upside to the table this week.

 

The Ponies

Matt Picanso (DraftKings - $10,000)

Notable Course History:

If you want to avoid the big-name Tour pros, Matt Picanso is a player that's worth paying up for. The 30-something pro defines the term "journeyman", as he's been in and out of the game throughout his life, but has knocked around multiple tours as a player (and caddie) since committing himself to golf in his mid-twenties.

Picanso might not have the pedigree of some of the PGA Tour pros in the field, but the dude can play. He's ripped off multiple Golden State Tour wins this year, including the Mackenzie Tour Q Prep event in February, and more recently the Legacy Classic last week with a score of 18-under par.

It might feel weird to pay $10k for Picanso when you can grab a player like Dylan Wu at $9.8k, but he's a well-traveled, seasoned veteran of these type of events. You also have to think that the no-joke money that's on the line this week would be huge for a guy like Picanso. He's in great form and will be highly motivated.

 

KK Limbhasut (DraftKings - $9,000)

Notable Course History:

No way I was writing this tournament up and not including my man KK! He's my guy! I want to get #GiveKKASponsorsExemption trending on Twitter. The former Cal Bear is no-joke talented and has been lighting up the Outlaw/Golden State events over the last couple of months.

He heads to Scottsdale off a recent win at the GCU Championship, an event where he fired a sizzling opening-round 61 en route to victory. KK had logged back-to-back top-three finishes in the two Outlaw events prior to closing the deal at the GCU and brings explosive scoring ability to the table this week.

He's basically the polar opposite of the aforementioned Matt Picanso, as the four-time All Pac-12 performer is a youngster that actually could have a bright future in professional golf. KK has racked up 56 birdies over his last 11 rounds of tournament golf and that's the type of player I want in this single-round format.

 

Jimmy Gunn (DraftKings - $8,500)

Notable Course History:

Even though Jimmy Gunn sounds like he's straight out of the wild-west Arizona desert, he actually hails from Scotland. His name has proven to be appropriate as of late, as he's shown himself to be something of a gunslinger on the mini-tour scene.

Gunn has logged top-15 finishes in his last three starts on the Outlaw/Golden State circuit, racking up 39 birdies over his most recent eight tournament rounds. Unfortunately, DraftKings doesn't have a full-tournament format for this event, but the Scot is exactly the type of explosive player that we should target in single-round DFS.

He's an experienced veteran that has spent multiple seasons on the KFT and also sports what qualifies for good recent form due to his tournament action over the past month.

 

Colton Yates (DraftKings - $7,900)

Notable Course History:

This article is supposed to be about course history right? Well, I've got some for you in the form of Colton Yates, a player that finished fifth in last year's Scottsdale AZ Open at Talking Stick Golf Club. Yates has been banging around on these mini-tours since his college playing days at Colorado State and has found a decent amount of success, but he's been unable to secure status on any mainstream professional tour.

In addition to the course history narrative, Yates brings solid form to Scottsdale. He just missed the cut at three-under last week, but scored back-to-back top-10 finishes in his two prior starts. I like the blend of recent form and course experience at this sub-$8k price tag.

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Horse For The Course - DraftKings Golf DFS: GCU Championship (Outlaw Tour)

Hello again golf family! We're back again with a little Outlaw Golf Tour action. Last week was our first crack at the Outlaw circuit and it actually went really well, with all of this article's highlighted players recording solid outings. This week we'll turn our eyes to the GCU Championship!

In the absence of PGA golf, the little-known Outlaw Tour has stepped in to somewhat fill the void. These events are really small and the fields are comprised of a mixture of professional golfers that are either trying to play their way on to a bigger tour or are at the end of professional careers, as well as some amateurs that want to test their games on a tougher level.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

GCU Championship Overview

Just when you thought the Outlaw Tour couldn't get any more awesome, they decide to hit us with a "Crossover Event"! The GCU Championship is presented in association with the Golden State Tour and offers what is by far the strongest field we've seen yet.

This is normally the circuit's season finale "major" championship, but due to the growing DFS interest the Outlaw Tour has decided to add on more events (YES!). This tour isn't only gaining steam with DFS fans, it's also gaining the attention of some more prominent golf pros.

You'll see a couple of familiar names in this week's field with PGA Tour regular J.J. Spaun and Euro Tour player Calum Hill headlining this event. Last week's Legacy Shootout was just a two-round event, but the GCU will be three rounds with the field getting basically chopped in half after the first two rounds. This should be fun, let's tee it up!

 

The Course: Grand Canyon University Golf Course

Par 71 - 7,239 Yards

Last week's Legacy Shootout was held on a 6,800 resort course, but this week's layout will have some sharper teeth. At just over 7,200 yards, the Grand Canyon University Golf Course has some legit professional-grade length and a recent renovation should have the course in great condition. Players will face a bit of water and some tree-lined fairways on this layout, which is a bit out of the ordinary in Arizona.

While this is a tougher test than we've grown accustomed to seeing on the Outlaw Tour, we can still expect some low scores, especially with the upgrade in this field's quality. The winner will definitely need to go low in all three rounds, so I'll be targeting players with a nice blend of explosive scoring ability and consistency.

 

The Horse

Dylan Wu (DraftKings - $10,400)

Notable Course History:

I expect DFS players to flock to the familiar name of JJ Spaun - a PGA Tour regular who is definitely a step-up in quality from the majority of this week's field - but I'll be going right back to the Dylan Wu well. Wu was highlighted in this article last week, but I'm not shy about sticking with what works. The 23-year-old fired back-to-back rounds of 68 in last week's Legacy Shootout to grab a T6.

While players like Spaun and Calum Hill might have more impressive professional status than Wu, I think the Korn Ferry Tour member is playing better golf than either right now. I like the fact that he knocked some rust off last week, not to mention that he had been ROLLING on the KFT prior to the season's stoppage. The Northwestern product had made six of six cuts with three top-10 finishes on the Korn Ferry circuit before coronavirus slowed his roll. You'll have to spend up to roster Wu, but he's the player in the field that I feel most confident with this week.

 

The Ponies

KK Limbhasut (DraftKings - $9,500)

Notable Course History:

Let's talk KK!!! Like Dylan Wu, KK is one of the players in this field that has a legitimately promising career in professional golf ahead of him. The 24-year-old native of Thailand played his college golf at Cal, where he was a four-time All-Pac-12 performer. Limbhasut's college career wrapped up in the spring of 2019, so he's not had much time to find his way on to a pro tour yet.

He's certainly made his mark in Outlaw events. KK has finished inside the top-three in three of his last four Outlaw starts, including a solo-third place finish week. He rolled in 12 birdies over two rounds at the Legacy and heads to the GCU on the heels of five consecutive sub-70 rounds over his last two events.

 

Yannick Paul (DraftKings - $9,100)

Notable Course History:

Yannick Paul has that nice blend of consistency and explosiveness that I mentioned earlier in the article. He's logged top-10 finishes in each of his last four starts on the Outlaw Tour and demonstrated his ability to go low at last week's Legacy Championship with 11 birdies en route to a pair of 66's and a runner-up finish.

The German has a nice pedigree, as he earned first team All-Pac-12 and Honorable Mention All-American honors during his senior year at the University of Colorado in 2018. Another cool note to consider is that Paul actually has a little bit of a track record on this GCU layout, as he scored a top-five in this event last season.

 

Kyle Slattery (DraftKings - $7,600)

Notable Course History:

I highlighted Slattery in last week's article and the crazy thing is that after a solid T9 outing at the Legacy Shootout, his DFS price tag has DROPPED $1,100! Yeah, this week's field is without a doubt stronger, but Slattery is proving himself adept at going low on the Outlaw Tour. He dropped a little opening-round 62 a couple of weeks ago at the Arrowhead Classic and was in the mix before fading with a final-round 75.

Last week I dubbed the 23-year-old the "Outlaw Keegan Bradley" due to his inconsistent play from one round to the next. Despite his erratic nature, I do love to roster - especially in a one-round format - a player that has the ability to go low. Slattery isn't a player that you want to bet the farm on, but I really like his explosiveness in this specific format, especially at this $7.6k price tag.

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Horse For The Course - DraftKings Golf DFS: The Legacy Shootout (Outlaw Tour)

Hello again golf family! Long time, no see. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during these crazy times. Unfortunately, we've been suffering through all this time at home with the PGA Tour on hiatus, though there does seem to be a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel with play tentatively set to resume in June (fingers crossed).

In the absence of PGA golf, the little-known Outlaw Tour has stepped in to somewhat fill the void. These events are really small and the fields are comprised of a mixture of professional golfers that are either trying to play their way on to a bigger tour or are at the end of professional careers, as well as some amateurs that want to test their games on a tougher level.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Legacy Shootout Overview

As I touched on in the intro, the Outlaw Tour is a fringe circuit. However, it is at least something to fill the golf void right now. Perhaps the thing I should point out first is that the Legacy Shootout is just a two-round event. That means these guys will be ultra aggressive from the first tee. We'll see some very low scores, as well as some big ones.

My advice when tackling this tournament from a DFS perspective would be to just have fun with it! We'll dive into some players that have a good chance of playing well, but we have nowhere near the predictive statistical resources at our disposal that we would have on a normal PGA Tour week.

 

The Course: The Legacy Golf Resort

Par 71 - 6,801 Yards

As it's name sort of reveals, The Legacy Golf Resort is just that - a resort course. These layouts are designed to keep visitors happy and coming back. As a result, the fairways are generous, the greens hittable, and the putting surface won't be extremely treacherous.

While we don't have PGA Tour pros teeing it up this week, these guys are still unbelievable golfers that were high school and college stars. There will be no shortage of firepower in this field and I look for these players to light up this layout and its rather meek 6,800 yards. There are four Par-5s for this field to attack, as well as nine Par-4s that average 411 yards in length. We'll also see five Par-3s in play at Legacy.

 

The Horse

Dylan Wu (DraftKings - $10,800)

Notable Course History:

I know this is the Outlaw Tour, but there are a few quality players in this field. Dylan Wu is the cream of the crop this week. The 23-year-old is a product of the proud Northwestern University golf program. Wu recently embarked on his second season on the Korn Ferry Tour and was in a very nice groove when things came to a halt due to COVID-19.

He hadn’t missed a cut in six KFT starts this season, racking up three Top-10 finishes, with a current standing of fifth on the KFT points list. He's very accurate both off the tee and with his irons, ranking inside the top-10 on the Korn Ferry Tour in both Driving Accuracy and Greens In Regulation Percentage. The youngster also comes in at seventh on the KFT in Birdie Average.

Wu comes in as the highest-priced player on DraftKings, but his pedigree is head and shoulders above the rest of this field. He's without a doubt the class of this event and one of the few players we'll see this week that actually has a bright future on the PGA Tour within grasp.

 

The Ponies

Riley Wheeldon (DraftKings - $10,000)

Notable Course History:

Riley Wheeldon might not have the type of future that Dylan Wu has, but he does have a fairly impressive amount of experience. The Canadian played his college golf at Louisville, where he earned Big East Player of the Year honors back in 2010. Wheeldon was once mentioned in the same breath as fellow Canadians like Adam Hadwin, Corey Connors, and Nick Taylor - but he's never been able to take his game to the next level after leaving college.

The 29-year-old most recently teed it up on Canada's Mackenzie Tour to mixed results in 2019. He has thrived on the Outlaw Tour this year however, as Wheeldon actually leads the Outlaw Tour in winnings this season. He's recorded one win, two runner-up finishes, and eight top-10 finishes. He heads to the Legacy Shootout on the heels of a T10 in last week's Outlaw event. Wheeldon is in good, consistent form and is obviously very comfortable performing at this level.

 

Ryan Porch (DraftKings - $8,800)

Notable Course History:

Like Riley Wheeldon, Ryan Porch is something of an Outlaw Tour grinder. He's perhaps not as explosive as some players in the field, but he's logged consistent, bankable results on this Tour with five top-10 finishes this season, including a T15 last week.

Porch appears to be a late bloomer, as he had a rather forgettable college career at the University of Idaho, but has kinda flourished on these mini tours. He was the 2017 Player of the Year on the Dakotas Tour and has been one of the most predictable golfers on the Outlaw this season. His resume is without a win however, so you might sacrifice a bit of upside in the name of consistency when rostering him.

 

Kyle Slattery (DraftKings - $8,700)

Notable Course History:

Ok I’m ready to label Kyle Slattery the Outlaw Tour version of Keegan Bradley. Slattery is a player that qualified for conditional status on the Latinoamerica Tour after a college career at tiny SIU-Edwardville.

He’s proving himself to be an explosive scorer on these Outlaw layouts, as he’s logged a 14th and a T10 in two recent starts, despite a round of 74 or worse in each event. This week’s Legacy is a two-round tournament, which means Slattery should be a feast or famine DFS option. He's a guy that I could easily see firing a Keegs-like 64-74 or something, but I do like targeting his explosiveness in a DFS tourney when it comes to his ability to go low in a single round.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - The Players Championship

Hello again PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Players found things to be difficult at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Florida winds and a tough Bay Hill layout caused scores to skyrocket. Englishman Tyrell Hatton emerged from the dogfight at the API to log his first career win on the PGA Tour, edging out Marc Leishman and Sungjae Im in the final round.

Mr. Hatton was one of this article's featured players last week and it always feels good to nail a winner! Rory McIlroy logged a slightly disappointing T5 for us, while Bryson DeChambeau came through with a solo fourth-place finish. Our $6,600 value play Patrick Rodgers even got in on the act with a nice top-25 result, with only Henrik Stenson failing to play the weekend. A very strong week for HFTC! Let's keep that momentum going for one of the biggest events of the year, THE PLAYERS Championship!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

THE PLAYERS Championship Overview

Some view it as the "Fifth Major", while others see it as a very long PGA Tour commercial. Whatever your feelings on the magnitude and importance of THE PLAYERS Championship, there's no doubt that it is an event that we earmark on the calendar every year. The tournament brings together perhaps the best field of the year and offers a ridiculous amount of prize money.

We're about to dive into some of the players that will be teeing it up this week, but one of the biggest stories is who won't be in action at TPC Sawgrass - as Tiger Woods is slated to miss the PLAYERS due to back stiffness. It's a concerning sign from the legend that was last able to tee it up at the Genesis Invitational, where he struggled mightily down the stretch.

One player that will definitely be in attendance is the defending PLAYERS champion Rory McIlroy, who has been on a scorched-earth tour so far this season, but again failed to actually win a tournament Sunday at Bay Hill. He'll be joined by basically every elite player in the world. Guys like Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Patrick Cantlay will be returning from layoffs, while others like Sungjae Im and Bryson DeChambeau head to TPC Sawgrass with lots of positive momentum off of recent starts.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course)

Par 72 - 7,189 Yards, Greens: Bermuda

At just under 7,200 yards, the Stadium Course is one of the shortest layouts these players face on the PGA Tour schedule, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in bite. The Pete Dye design that opened in 1982 has endured as one of the trickiest courses in the world. In true Dye fashion, it's a second shot golf course with danger lurking everywhere in the form of water hazards and bunkers.

This layout was specifically designed to not favor any one style of play, so we see holes of varying length in Par 3's, 4's, and 5's, doglegs that go both left and right, with no two consecutive holes playing in the same direction. THE PLAYERS' most iconic hole is, of course, the Par-3 17th 'Island Hole'. The 17th is short, but its psychological impact on players in key moments makes it difficult. A recent update to TPC Sawgrass now has the 12th hole playing as a driveable Par-4 with water in play to raise the risk/reward stakes.

With TPC Sawgrass being such a balanced course, it's tough to give the edge to one type of player this week. While we can normally classify courses as a 'bomber' track or an 'accuracy' layout, we have no such luxury this week. I will say that I'm not giving the distance guys their usual bump this week (though we did see Rory McIlroy win last year). I'm targeting ball strikers with strong approach games that are solid from tee to green. I will also consider a player's short game strength and ability to avoid bogeys, as big numbers are seemingly lurking everywhere at TPC Sawgrass. It's always hard to predict putting, but this week's winner will need to get hot with the flatstick on these fast bermuda-grass greens. I will also lean towards those in the field that have some PLAYERS experience, as this track can be brutal on first timers

 

The Horse

Webb Simpson (DraftKings - $9,200)

Notable Course History: T16 ('19), Win ('18), T16 ('17)

There's a lot of elite talent in this PLAYERS field, so I'm foregoing plenty of big-time names to dub Webb Simpson this week's Horse. Simpson doesn't jump off the page as a freakish talent like Rory or DJ, but the veteran has been absolutely getting it done at a world-class level over the last few years. From the 2018 season until now, Webb has made 48 of 52 cuts with two wins (including this event in 2018 and the Waste Management earlier this year) and 19 top-ten finishes!

While Webb can find ways to compete pretty much anywhere, we really want to target him on shorter tracks due to his lack of length off the tee. TPC Sawgrass plays perfectly into this strategy, as the year Webb won this event in '18, he ranked last in the field in driving distance and first in driving accuracy. We can expect more of the same this go 'round, as he's solid in every facet of the game and heads to the PLAYERS ranked sixth in the field in Strokes Gained: Total over his last 50 rounds.

I'm fully prepared for the Webber to be one of - if not the most - popular player on the board this week. Even in this stacked field he feels really underpriced at just $9.2k. Despite the expected high ownership, he's an impossible player to ignore due to his current form, consistency, course fit, and recent history at the Stadium Course.

 

The Ponies

Adam Scott (DraftKings - $9,600)

Notable Course History: T11 ('19), T12 ('18), T6 ('17), T12 ('16), Win ('04)

The sweet-swingin’ Aussie has been a bit out of form in his last couple of starts after scoring a massive victory at Riviera (and a winter win at the Australian PGA), but his PLAYERS history puts him squarely into consideration this week.

Scott won this tournament back in 2004 (it’s hard to believe he’s been this good for this long) and hasn’t finished outside of the top-12 at TPC Sawgrass since 2015. We know what we’re getting with Scott...world-class ballstriking with a putter that’s hit or miss. I like his experience and feel that enough time has passed since his win that he should be coming out of the “hangover”.

 

Tommy Fleetwood (DraftKings - $9,000)

Notable Course History: T5 ('19), T7 ('18), T41 ('17)

It's been a roller coaster couple of weeks for Tommy Boy, after he narrowly missed a victory at the Honda Classic and then played horribly at the API. I'm willing to chalk his bad outing at Bay Hill up to a "hangover" from the letdown at Honda and I expect Fleetwood to get back on track at THE PLAYERS this week.

He doesn't have an extensive history at TPC Sawgrass, but his PLAYERS resume is very impressive. The Englishman has went T5-T7 in his last two starts in this event and - despite last week's trainwreck - is one of the most consistent players in the world. The layout sets up perfectly for Fleetwood's game, as he's accurate off the tee, a strong ball striker, and a great scrambler.

Tommy is normally a very popular DFS option and his $9k price tag will once again make him a reasonably-priced target this week, but we can hope that his missed cut last week will scare some folks away, as this feels like a great rebound spot.

 

Hideki Matsuyama (DraftKings - $8,800)

Notable Course History: T8 ('19), MC ('18), T22 ('17), T7 ('16), T17 ('15)

It's the same old story for Hideki Matsuyama this year. He's striking the ball beautifully, but can't find any consistency with the putter. Things kinda reached rock bottom last week at Bay Hill when he lost a ridiculous 6 strokes putting. Out of curiosity, I looked back at Matsuyama's putting performance at last year's API and was surprised when I found that he lost 8.3 putting in 2019...so perhaps he's just totally mystified by Bay Hill's greens. He's had better luck at TPC Sawgrass and actually gained 2.7 strokes putting at last year's PLAYERS en route to a T8, so I'm hopeful for a similar type of turnaround this week.

We all know that 'Deki is a ball-striking beast and his excellence has continued in 2020. He heads into this week trailing just Rory McIlory and Bryson DeChambeau in Strokes Gained: T2G over the last 12 rounds. He's averaging a gross 6.9 SG: T2G over his last five tournaments and we know from his prior TPC Sawgrass outings that he's very comfortable on this layout. As always, the concern is his putting and if you roster Matsuyama you are simply hoping for at least a decent week on the greens.

 

Matt Kuchar (DraftKings - $7,800)

Notable Course History: T26 ('19), T17 ('18), 82nd ('17), T3 ('16), Win ('12)

It's never really EXCITING to write-up Matt Kuchar, but the vanilla veteran deserves consideration this week. Kuch has a PLAYERS win to his credit (2012) and has ran off five straight made cuts at TPC Sawgrass, which passes for extremely consistent on this diabolical track.

Kuchar isn't off to the type of red-hot start that he was last season, but he's played well in 2020, recording four top-25s in six starts on the PGA Tour with a runner-up finish at the Genesis Invitational. He also scored an international win in Singapore earlier this year. His fairways-and-greens style ain't sexy, but it is exactly what's called for on this TPC Sawgrass layout. Kuchar also brings legitimate tournament-winning upside to the table at his modest sub-$8k salary.

 

Ian Poulter (DraftKings - $7,300)

Notable Course History: T56 ('19), T11 ('18), T2 ('17), T57 ('16), T30 ('15)

Ian Poulter is another player that fits the "cagey veteran" mold at TPC Sawgrass. The Englishman is similar to the aforementioned Matt Kuchar in his somewhat boring style of play, but it has proven to be very effective in prior PLAYERS starts, as Poults last missed a cut in this event in 2013 and has two runner-up finishes ('17 & '09) on his Stadium Course resume.

Poulter has eased into 2020 and didn't make his first U.S. start until the Honda a couple of weeks ago, but he's looked solid in tough conditions at both PGA National and Bay Hill, gaining strokes T2G in both starts with a T27 at the Honda and a T32 at the API. He's a tremendous scrambler that is excellent at keeping big numbers off the scorecard and he's a great value option this week.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - Arnold Palmer Invitational

Hello again PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! It seemed inevitable that Sungjae Im would soon win on the PGA Tour and the "hardest working man in golf" pulled it off Sunday at the Honda Classic, as the 21-year-old thrived in what was a pressure-packed back nine down the stretch to finish one-shot clear of Mackenzie Hughes and two ahead of Tommy Fleetwood. This would appear to be the first of many wins for Im, a player that was dominant during his time on the Korn Ferry Tour and earned Rookie of the Year honors for his consistent maiden voyage on the PGA Tour last season.

It was a mixed bag for last week's Horses, as we nailed Daniel Berger and his top-five finish, as well as Wyndham Clark's strong T11. Unfortunately, both Rickie Fowler and Luke List missed the cut, while Billy Horschel logged an underwhelming T42. A course as tough as PGA National, with the windy conditions players faced last week, causes some high volatility from a DFS perspective. This week we head to another great track on the "Florida Swing" - Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

Arnold Palmer Invitational Overview

Sadly, Arnold Palmer is no longer with us, but one of the many ways his spirit lives on is through the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The API is an "elevated status" event, which means a smaller-than-normal field of 120, a huge purse, and a three-year exemption to the winner instead of the standard two-year status that comes with most PGA Tour wins. To state it simply, this tournament is a big deal.

The API annually draws one of the strongest fields we'll see outside of the majors, and this year is no different, as players like Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, and Xander Schauffele are just some of the stars that will be in attendance. We'll also see some of golf's most exciting young players, with Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, and last week's winner Sungjae Im all set to tee it up at Bay Hill. The field, the wonderful Bay Hill layout, and Arnie's memory always make this a special week and I'm really looking forward to it. 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Par 72 - 7,454 Yards, Greens: Bermuda

Arnold Palmer fell in love with this course over 50 years ago and it still holds up in the modern era. Similar to last week's host course PGA National, water and sand are prominent at Bay Hill. It's long at just over 7,400 yards, but players can't just bomb away, as some tee shots require lay-ups and a fairly penal rough guards the fairways.

This is a second-shot golf course and those approaches often require longer irons than we normally see on the PGA Tour schedule. One of the reasons Tiger Woods has dominated at Bay Hill throughout the years is his phenomenal iron game from 200-plus yards out. We usually see this tournament play as one of the 10-most difficult courses on the Tour schedule, but while it's hard, it is still possible for golfers to go low here. Players that are great long-iron players are my priority this week, while the ability to make birdies in bunches is also a must.

 

The Horse

Rory McIlroy (DraftKings - $11,800)

Notable Course History: T6 ('19), Win ('18), T4 ('17), T27 ('16), T11 ('15)

It took about 2.6 seconds to decide on who should be this week's Horse. It's often a decision that I struggle with, but not this week. Rory McIlroy has a sterling track record in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with a win in 2018 sandwiched between a T4 in '17 and a T6 last year.

As if his course history wasn't enough, McIlroy heads to Bay Hill in razor-sharp form. Since winning the TOUR Championship in August, McIlroy has made five starts which have resulted in one win and no finishes outside of the top-five. He's averaging a ridiculous 7.9 SG: T2G over his last five tournaments. In addition to his superlative tee-to-green play, the world's number one has also shored up his sometimes-balky putting stroke as of late, and has gained strokes putting in eight of his last nine.

Even in a field full of elite players, McIlroy still stands out as a cut above the rest this week. He leads this API field in SG: Total over both long and short-term measurements. His combination of astounding course history and unbelievable current form isn't something that we see very often. His DFS price tag is the only thing that should give us any pause about Rory this week.

 

The Ponies

Bryson DeChambeau (DraftKings - $10,400)

Notable Course History: T46 ('19), 2nd ('18), T27 ('16)

Bryson DeChambeau's track record at Bay Hill isn't as "elite" as I normally require for this article...but the combination of his very solid history in the API and his red-hot trending form makes him worth including in this week's HFTC.

The "Mad Scientist" did notch a runner-up finish in this event two years ago and has never missed an API cut in three starts - so I don't want to totally gloss over his track record at Bay Hill - but I'm definitely giving him the benefit of the doubt due to recent form that includes a top-five at the Genesis Invitational and a second at the WGC Mexico. Lots of folks (me included) have had some laughs at Bryson's expense due to his offseason "bulk up" plan, but he's currently getting the last laugh, as his plan actually appears to be working. DeChambeau currently stands fourth on the PGA Tour in average Driving Distance at 322 yards and comes in fifth on the Tour in scoring average.

While Bryson's driver is getting the bulk of the attention, his recent iron play can't be ignored. He's gained 3.5 (Genesis) and 2.3 (WGC Mexico) strokes on approach in his last two starts and will bring that form to a Bay Hill layout that always stresses great iron play.

 

Henrik Stenson (DraftKings - $8,800)

Notable Course History: T17 ('19), 4th ('18), MC ('17), T3 ('16), 2nd ('15)

Henrik Stenson has pretty much been off the map since a win at the Hero Challenge back in December. The Iceman has only teed it up twice in 2020 with both ending in mediocre results...so a “trending form” narrative definitely doesn’t fit with Stenson this week.

So why are we talking about Stenson? Course history baby! ELITE COURSE HISTORY. In five API starts since 2015, the Swede has THREE finishes of T4 or better. Over long-term measurements, Stenson ranks second in this week’s field in SG: Approach and 10th in Proximity from 200-plus yards, and has been perhaps the best iron player in the world for the better part of the past decade.

I don’t want to completely gloss over the lack of recent form, but we can take a bit of comfort in the fact that Stenson entered last year’s API in similar form (with similar inactivity) and played well enough to log a T17.

 

Tyrell Hatton (DraftKings - $8,100)

Notable Course History: T29 ('19), T64 ('18), T4 ('17)

We touched on Tyrell Hatton in this article a couple of weeks ago at the WGC-Mexico Championship. There was a bit of concern going into that event due to a lengthy winter layoff due to wrist surgery - a scary injury for any golfer - but the Englishman didn’t skip a beat in his first start of 2020, racking up a T6 in Mexico.

Hatton struck the ball beautifully at Chapultepec, gaining four strokes on Approach and over 10 strokes T2G. He brings those hot irons to a Bay Hill layout on which he’s ran off three straight made cuts, including a top-five finish in 2017. Hatton is often tough to peg statistically, but one area that does stand out is his approach prowess from 200-plus yards, an area in which he ranks 12th in this week’s field over his last 24 rounds.

 

Patrick Rodgers (DraftKings - $6,600)

Notable Course History: T46 ('19), T7 ('18), MC ('17), T20 ('16)

I know this is a strong, elite field, but man Patrick Rodgers feels really underpriced here at just $6.6k. His API track record is solid: three made cuts in four appearances since 2016 with a T7 and a T20.

We are also catching Rodgers in what qualifies as great form for him, as he's made six of seven cuts in 2020 with a top-10 at the Farmers. He heads to Bay Hill fresh off a T21 at the Honda last week in what was his best ballstriking performance of the year. Rodgers gained 3.5 strokes on Approach at PGA National and if he can continue that hot play with his irons this week he has a great chance of snagging a made cut for us at this drastically discounted price tag.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - The Honda Classic

Hello again PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! It's been a controversial few months for Patrick Reed, but he emerged victorious at the WGC-Mexico Championship last week for his eighth-career victory on the PGA Tour. Reed outlasted a star-studded leaderboard that included Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas.

I've never been a huge fan of the WGC events, but I'm really coming around on the Mexico Championship. The field has consistently been strong, it draws a great crowd, and Chapultepec is proving itself to be a really fun golf course that produces quality leaderboards on Sunday. I'll be putting a star beside the event next year!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

 

The Honda Classic Overview

There's an almost palpable sense of golfers shifting gears as the PGA Tour heads to Florida this week. It's a "the fun and games are over and it's time to start preparing for the majors" kind of vibe. Once a lock to attract a large contingent of the game's best players, the Honda Classic's drawing power has been hurt due to being sandwiched between the WGC Mexico and the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the schedule. The tournament also isn't helped by the fact that it is annually played on one of the most difficult courses on the PGA Tour schedule.

The field headed to the Honda this week won't be anywhere near as strong as we've seen in previous weeks or will see next week at the API, but it isn't without some interesting storylines. Brooks Koepka is this week's headliner, but brings some question marks to PGA National as he continues to recover from a knee injury that is apparently still an issue. Koepka will be joined by Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland, as well as an influx of European pros like Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, and Shane Lowry - who are migrating to the U.S. as we head into the heart of the season. We'll also see some of golf's rising starts this week, with recent Puerto Rico Open winner Vikor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann, and Matthew Wolff all slated to tee it up. Last year's surprise Honda Classic champion Keith Mitchell will be back to defend, though "Killa Keith" has been rather quiet since his breakthrough win here last season. Overall, it's an interesting field that should make for a challenging DFS week. 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. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: PGA National (Champion Course)

Par 70 - 7,140 Yards, Greens: Bermuda

As I mentioned in the intro, the players are facing a daunting task this week at PGA National. The Champion course routinely ranks as one of the most difficult layouts on the PGA Tour schedule with a score of 8-10-under par usually being enough to win the tournament. The infamous 'Bear Trap' is a brutal three hole stretch (Holes #15,16,& 17) that can destroy a players' scorecard at the end of a round.

Water is prevalent on the Champion layout and over 75 sand traps lay waiting around the course. As if all that weren't enough, the Florida wind can always wreak havoc when it starts gusting! The players do finally get a break from the funky Poa Annua greens they've faced over the last several weeks, as PGA National has Bermuda putting surfaces, which will present its own set of challenges and adjustment period. If you want to dial in some key stats for this tournament, golfers this week will face SEVEN Par-4s that measure between 400-450 yards and the largest number of approach shots will fall in the 150-200 yard range. I'm looking for players that have the ability to succeed on hard courses, can avoid bogeys, and are solid ball strikers with strong proximity numbers in the 150-200 yard range. We can also throw in a dash of Bermuda putting splits.

 

The Horse

Billy Horschel (DraftKings - $9,200)

Notable Course History: T16 ('19), MC ('18), T4 ('17), T8 ('16)

As we'll touch on several times this week, PGA National is a really tough course. As a result, you won't see as many "perfect" track records in this week's HFTC. Billy Horschel is a streaky player, which makes it tough to roster him on a regular basis. That volatility is evident in his track record at the Honda, as “Billy Ho” has missed the cut twice since 2015, but hasn’t finished worse than a T16 on the three occasions he’s made the cut, while also showing some tempting upside with a T4 and a T8 over that time period.

We can hopefully catch Horschel in trending form this week, as he heads to Florida on the heels of back-to-back top-10 performances at the WMPO and WGC. He’s gained strokes both T2G and putting in those starts and will get to putt on his best surface (Bermuda) this week. Horschel is an erratic player, but I don’t mind taking a shot on his high upside when he’s in the middle of a heater.

 

The Ponies

Rickie Fowler (DraftKings - $10,800)

Notable Course History: T2 ('19), MC ('18), Win ('17), T6 ('16)

It feels like Rickie Fowler is off to a disappointing start in 2020, but it’s not been as bad as it seems. Fowler has played a limited schedule to this point, but has recorded a top-five finish at the Tournament of Champions and a top-10 outing at the American Express.

While his game log looks solid, there’s no doubt that his ballstriking hasn’t been as crisp this year. Fowler has lost strokes with his irons in half of the tournaments he’s played, but he did look better in Phoenix a few weeks ago en route to gaining almost three strokes on Approach at the WMPO. It’s a positive sign as Rickie heads to a PGA National track on which he’s been very good over the last five years...winning the Honda in 2017 and sharing runner-up honors last year.

He leads this week’s field in Strokes Gained: Total at the Honda since 2015 and it’s not particularly close. The normally-dependable Fowler hasn’t been as reliable over the past several months, but this is a tournament where he should be very comfortable.

 

Daniel Berger (DraftKings - $8,900)

Notable Course History: T36 ('19), T29 ('18), MC ('17), MC ('16), 2nd ('15)

I’ve been all-in on the “Daniel Berger Comeback Tour” this season and have him on my short list once again for the Honda.

Berger is a two-time PGA Tour winner that’s had his career stalled by a wrist injury over the past 18 months. He finally appears to be fully recovered and has played very well in the 2019-20 season, making the cut in seven of eight starts. Berger has noticeably stepped his game up this year, recording a top-10 and a top-five in his last two starts. His track record at the Honda isn’t blemish free, but a runner-up finish in 2015 and solid outings over the last two years at PGA National are enough to give me confidence in continuing to ride a player that’s in hot form.

 

Luke List (DraftKings - $8,000)

Notable Course History: MC ('19), 2nd ('18), T52 ('17), T10

It’s been a roller coaster couple of years for Luke List. He seemed on the verge of a career breakout in 2018, as he logged multiple top-10s, including a solo-second in this event when he fell to Justin Thomas in a playoff. His elite-level ballstriking made List almost a cult-like DFS figure that season, but the lovefest came to an end last year as he suffered through a shockingly-miserable 2019 in which he missed nine of 10 cuts during one especially-bad stretch.

After seemingly hitting rock bottom last year, List appears to be working his way back in 2020. He’s put together solid outings in each of his last three starts, and is averaging 1.2 SG: T2G over his last five tournaments. He missed the cut in last year’s Honda Classic, but had made the weekend at PGA National in his three previous starts with the runner-up finish in ‘18 and a T10 in 2016. His $8k price tag is a bit shocking I must say, but it will probably scare a lot of folks away, which makes in an interesting contrarian play in GPPs.

 

Wyndham Clark (DraftKings - $7,600)

Notable Course History: T7 ('19)

The course history isn't as extensive for Wyndham Clark as I normally require for this article, but in a week with tough pricing at a tough golf course, he stands out for me in this mid-$7k range. Clark played very well in his Honda debut last year, logging a T7 and being firmly in contention to win the tournament before a final-round 72 dropped him down the leaderboard.

Clark has a good pedigree, winning the individual Pac-12 title at Oregon in 2016. He's starting to pop up on PGA Tour leaderboards this year and heads to PGA National fresh off three straight made cuts and back-to-back top-20 finishes. Clark is a tremendous putter with a strong short game and is great at avoiding bogeys...a strong trait to have this week.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - WGC Mexico Championship

Hello again PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Adam Scott emerged victorious at a Riviera course that gave the pros a true challenge last week. It was the Aussie's 14th career win on the PGA Tour and illustrates that Scott can still contend with golf's elite when his putter is at least lukewarm.

The most awesome thing about Adam Scott's win is that he was featured as a Pony in this article last week! Nailing a tournament winner is always tough, but it sure does feel good when it happens. While our Horse Bubba Watson suffered a surprising missed cut with a bogey on his last hole of the second round, every other player listed in last week's HFTC played the weekend at the Genesis.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history, for my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS and betting articles to help you win big!

 

WGC Mexico Championship Overview

After a classic knockdown-dragout affair at Riviera last week, we head down Mexico way for a World Golf Championship event. The WGC Mexico has now firmly established itself on the PGA Tour schedule as the bridge between the West Coast and Florida "Swings". This will be the fourth year that this event has been held in Mexico City at Club de Golf Chapultepec since the powers that be decided to pivot away from Trump National Doral.

While some stars like Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka have elected to skip the WGC Mexico, we will still see a star-studded field that includes defending champion Dustin Johnson and last year's runner-up Rory McIlroy. As with all WGC events, this is a limited and elite field that includes some international players that we don't see regularly see on the PGA Tour. Paydays and points are guaranteed this week, so motivation is always a slight concern in these types of tournaments. This is also no-cut event, which does shake things up a bit from a DFS perspective. 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: Club de Golf Chapultepec

Par 71 - 7,330 Yards, Greens: Poa

This WGC event has found a nice home in Mexico City, with the Club de Golf Chapultepec set to host for the fourth consecutive year. Perhaps the most interesting note about this course is its MASSIVE elevation, as it sits over 7,600 feet above sea level. With the thin air, players can hit the ball a mile. This might seem to favor bombers, but actually the opposite is true. With most fairways being tree lined, players often elect to hit less than driver off the tee. With that said, distance is always helpful and long-hitters like Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas have fared well here. Finding the fairway is crucial, as is a players approach game. We are still on poa greens this week, which always seems to be an adventure. I'm targeting players that find fairways and have sharp approach games, especially with their wedges.

 

The Horse

Dustin Johnson (DraftKings - $11,000)

Notable Course History: Win ('19), T7 ('18), Win ('17)

DJ has been a staple in this article for the past few weeks, which speaks volumes about just how great he's been during this portion of the PGA Tour schedule throughout his career. He's certainly been unstoppable in this event. Johnson has won the WGC Mexico in two of the three years that it's been held at Chapultepec.

DJ had no problem holding off Rory McIlroy in last year's edition of this tournament and it's fair to wonder if those two will once again tangle this year. Johnson was in contention at Riviera last week, but stalled out with a final-round 72 to finish in a tie for 10th. Despite his underwhelming Sunday, it's hard not to like DJ's form as he heads south of the border. He gained 6.3 strokes T2G at the Genesis in his most complete outing of the new year and brings that momentum to a track where he's been downright dominant. If you are employing the "Stars & Scrubs" approach that is popular in these no-cut events, DJ is a great place to start your lineup construction.

 

The Ponies

Rory McIlroy (DraftKings - $11,500)

Notable Course History: 2nd ('19), T7 ('17)

If Dustin Johnson is option #1 this week, Rory is #1A. I could be convinced that McIlroy is an even better option than DJ, as he heads to Mexico in sterling form. Since winning the TOUR Championship and FedEx Cup title in August, Rors has made four starts...winning the WGC HSBC, notching two top-three finishes, and recording a T5 last week at Riviera.

Though McIlroy looked human in the final round last week at the Genesis, he brings true superhero form to Mexico and this Chapultepec course where he has an Avenger-like track record. Rory fell just short here last year, finishing runner-up behind DJ, and the Ulsterman scored a T7 in his only other WGC Mexico start in 2017. McIlroy has regained the number-one spot in the OWGR and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him come out on top in this week's tournament.

 

Tommy Fleetwood (DraftKings - $9,200)

Notable Course History: T19 ('19), T14 ('18), 2nd ('17)

As we move into the sub-$10k price range we find several players with solid track records in this event. The first player that jumps out at me is a golfer that we haven't seen on this side of the Atlantic in a while, England's Tommy Fleetwood. Fleetwood hasn't teed it up in North America since the TOUR Championship, but he has played well in two international starts this year, logging a runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi and a T11 in Dubai.

"Fairway Jesus" has played well in his three previous trips to the WGC Mexico, recording a runner-up finish in 2017 and top-20 finishes in his two subsequent starts at Chapultepec. Tommy is always a golfer that DFS players love to roster, but there is a chance that there's an "out of sight, out of mind" effect with him this week. While it hasn't come in the States this year, I love how sharp he's looked in his last couple of starts.

 

Sergio Garcia (DraftKings - $8,600)

Notable Course History: T6 ('19), T7 ('18), T12 ('17)

I expect Paul Casey to garner a lot of love at $8.7k, but folks might be a bit reluctant to roster Sergio Garcia at virtually the same price. Sergio was basically unplayable for the latter portion of 2019, but the fiery Spaniard has been figuring things out in 2020, and has logged a couple of top-10s in three starts on the Euro Tour this year. Garcia’s T37 at last week’s Genesis doesn’t seem like anything to get too fired up about, but he gained 5.9 strokes T2G at Riviera while losing a massive four strokes putting.

Those numbers tell me that Sergio’s tee-to-green game is rounding into form. He’s showing signs of life at a perfect time, as he heads to a Chapultepec track where he notched a T6 last year and has never finished worse than tied for 12th in three WGC Mexico appearances.

 

Tyrell Hatton (DraftKings - $7,400)

Notable Course History: T19 ('19), T3 ('18), 10th ('17)

We haven’t seen Tyrell Hatton in this hemisphere - or anywhere at all really - in quite some time, as Hatton hasn’t teed it up yet in 2020. The Englishman won the Turkish Airlines Open in November of last year and has been taking it pretty easy with his schedule since. He has to be eager to return to the WGC Mexico, an event where he’s been very successful in all three of his prior appearances.

Hatton falls in a Patrick Reed-type category for me, as he’s somewhat tough to peg statistically, but still seems to record strong finishes in some of golf’s biggest events. The lack of recent activity is a slight concern, but as we saw with Adam Scott last week, sometimes a little time off to recharge works wonders for these guys. While we don’t have any recent form to evaluate, he has been very consistent at Chapultepec, gaining strokes both T2G and putting in all three of his WGC Mexico starts. Hatton is also one of the few players below the $7,500 mark with course history that truly pops.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - Genesis Invitational

Hello again PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Canadian Nick Taylor came out of the woodwork to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week for the biggest victory of his professional career. Taylor held off some superstars like Phil Mickelson and Jason Day in a wild and windy final round.

Speaking of Jason Day, he was one of this article's highlighted players last week! We had a solid tournament with four of our five players getting through the 54-hole cut. This week we head to one of the most iconic courses on the PGA Tour schedule in Riviera Country Club and we have a nice sample of course history to draw from. I'm really fired up for this event, let's break it down!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history, for my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS and betting articles to help you win big!

 

Genesis Invitational Overview

After a frustrating format and less-than-stellar field in last week's AT&T Pro-Am, we get rewarded with an amazing event this week in the Genesis Invitational. This field is stacked and will battle it out on a legendary Riviera Country Club layout that's one of the most iconic stops on the PGA Tour schedule.

J.B. Holmes outlasted Justin Thomas in some suprisingly-nasty weather to take down last year's Genesis. J.B (and his molasses-like pace) will be back to defend this week, as will last year's runner-up, the aforementioned J.T. They'll be joined by some of the biggest stars in the game. Tiger Woods is set to make his second start of 2020. We'll also see Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, and many others teeing it up in L.A. this week. All told, we have nine of the world's top-10 ranked golfers in this field for the strongest formation of talent that we've seen assembled this year. We likely won't see another field of this caliber until The Players Championship. This event changed from an "Open" to an "Invitational", so we're dealing with a very manageable 120 players in this week's field. This is gonna be a fun one, 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: Riviera Country Club

Par 71 - 7,322 Yards, Greens: Poa

Riviera Country Club is a legendary track and one of the classiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule. It's Hollywood history only adds to the club's intrigue. Opened in 1927, Riviera was an instant classic and has long been a favorite of L.A.'s celebrities. It was famously dubbed 'Hogan's Alley' after Ben Hogan logged three wins on the course in 18 months. In addition to all the history, Riviera still stands out as a great golf course in the modern era. The 315 yard, Par-4 10th hole is one of the best on the PGA Tour. It is 'risk/reward' at its finest and offers players a chance to drive the small green for an eagle opportunity. However, a miss on 10 can quickly turn disastrous, as shots from around the green are extremely tricky. Riviera places an emphasis on ball striking and shot making. I will focus on ball strikers that have previous experience at Riviera this week.

 

The Horse

Bubba Watson (DraftKings - $9,600)

Notable Course History: Three-Time Winner

Chalk Bubba week...what could go wrong? It’s easy to joke about Watson’s volatility and mercurial temperament when taking a macro view, but when we dive in from a micro perspective, Watson is actually very consistent in the right conditions, with Riviera definitely being one of his “happy places” on the PGA Tour schedule. That’s right, the glitzy and glamorous “Hogan’s Alley” may very well have the General Lee parked out front this week because Bubba basically owns the joint.

The two-time Masters champion is perhaps the most “course-centric” golfer on the PGA Tour, repeatedly finding success on a few certain courses, while often struggling on other layouts. Riviera is a layout that fits his eye and works for his game (a confident Bubba, is a dangerous Bubba). The lefty has won three times on the legendary California track since 2014. In addition to his momentous track record in this event, Bubba heads to the Genesis with a full head of steam after very strong outings at the Farmers (T6) and the WMPO (T3), starts in which he gained MASSIVE totals both Tee To Green and on Approach. The trending form and Bubba’s course history in this event will make him one of the most popular plays on this week’s slate.

 

The Ponies

Dustin Johnson (DraftKings - $10,000)

Notable Course History: T9 ('19), T16 ('18), Win ('17), 4th ('16), T2 ('15)

I featured DJ in this article last week, but at the risk of being repetitive, there’s just no getting around discussing him on this Riviera layout. Johnson has been the king of L.A. in his previous Genesis starts with a win and two additional top-five finishes since 2015. His talent needs no explanation, but it is encouraging to see him recovering nicely from an offseason knee procedure.

Johnson heads to town off a sharp performance in Saudi Arabia and a somewhat disappointing one at Pebble Beach, which included a disastrous final-round 78 this past Sunday. That final round might scare some people away this week- and there are some legitimate concerns about fatigue - but DJ’s obvious fit at Riviera can’t be ignored here and he brings as much win equity to the table as any player on the slate.

 

Xander Schauffele (DraftKings - $9,200)

Notable Course History: T15 ('19), T9 ('18)

Xander has been around the block enough times now to start establishing some actionable course history at different PGA Tour stops. He has two starts at Riviera and has played well, going T15-T9 since 2018. The X-Man has routinely been near the top of leaderboards over the last six months, having logged three runner-up finishes in seven starts since the TOUR Championship.

Two of those finishes came in playoff losses, so if a couple of breaks had gone his way, we’re probably talking about Schauffele being the hottest player in the world this week. Instead, I think he could go relatively overlooked in this spot. He’s coming off a very un-Xander-like poor final-round performance in the WMPO (another tournament where he had a legitimate shot to win) and it’s likely that DFS players will gravitate towards bigger names than Schauffele this week. This is a prime bounceback spot for the 26-year-old California native.

 

Adam Scott (DraftKings - $9,000)

Notable Course History: T7 ('19), T53 ('18), T11 ('17), T2 ('16)

Adam Scott is another player to love in this low-$9k price range (Hideki, Finau, Xander) and he's played very well at Riviera over the last few years. Scott was in the mix to win last year's Genesis before a fairly ugly final-round collapse dropped him into a tie for seventh...it was just the latest in the line of strong performances for him on this layout.

I wish the sweet-swingin' Aussie had some recent starts under his belt, but you can't argue too much with his form, as he won the Australian PGA Championship the last time he teed it up in December. We all know the popular labels for Scott...tremendous ball striker, horrible putter...but the numbers don't actually bare that out, as he's gained strokes putting in every measured start since July of last year. Poa is also his best surface, which makes me even more comfortable when considering him this week.

 

J.B. Holmes (DraftKings - $7,700)

Notable Course History: Win ('19), T60 ('18), T34 ('17), T11 ('16), T22 ('15)

Look, J.B. Holmes is not my favorite player to roster. It shouldn't bother me, but his epically-slow pace of play just turns me off, not to mention the fact that he can be wildly inconsistent. All that said, things are aligning pretty well for Holmes this week. He heads to a Riviera track on which he followed up four consecutive made cuts with a win last year.

On top of the strong course history, the Kentucky boy brings some trending form to the Genesis, having recorded three straight top-16 finishes over the past three weeks. He's gained strokes T2G and putting in all three of those starts and Poa is the only surface on which he actually has a positive putting average. Listen, the wheels can come flying off at any time for J.B., but there's a strong argument to be made that he's underpriced at $7,700 this week when considering his course history and recent form.

 

Carlos Ortiz (DraftKings - $6,800)

Notable Course History: T9 ('19), T26 ('16), T20 ('15)

There is so much quality available in this Genesis field that you probably don't need to go fishing this week, but one sub-$7k player that catches my eye is Carlos Ortiz. It's fair to call him a volatile player, though he's been very consistent in three starts at Riviera, and logged a T9 in last year's Genesis. Ortiz popped up a few times during the swing season, scoring three top-four finishes from September to November.

Unfortunately, he hasn't carried that form into 2020 (told you he's volatile), though he did quietly post a nice top-25 in his last start at the WMPO, gaining 6.1 strokes T2G in Phoenix. He's yet another Poa specialist and he is an explosive scorer. Ortiz is an interesting GPP play in this spot.

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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS (Course History) - AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Hello again PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! The Waste Management Phoenix Open is a fun event that always seems to produce an exciting finish. This year was no different, as two of our DFS favorites battled it out throughout the day. The tournament was Tony Finau's to lose and unfortunately that's exactly what happened, with Webb Simpson draining some incredibly clutch putts down the stretch and prevailing in a playoff. Huge win for Webb. Tough-luck loss for Finau.

While neither Webb nor Tony were listed in last week's HFTC, we didn't do too bad, as every player highlighted in last week's article made the cut at TPC Scottsdale! Let's keep the momentum going this week as the PGA Tour heads back one of its most classic venues.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history, for my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS and betting articles to help you win big!

 

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Overview

After a fun week in Phoenix, the PGA Tour heads back to California for the long-running AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. After two-straight weeks of very strong fields at the Farmers and Waste Management, we're definitely taking a step down when considering the quality of this AT&T field. We can probably attribute the lack of star power to this week's Pro-Am format, which forces the pros in the field to pair up with amateurs and can often lead to mind-numbingly long rounds. It's not for everyone, as evidenced by the lack of elite golfers that are scheduled to tee it up this week.

One player that will be in attendance is the AT&T defending champ Phil Mickelson. 'Lefty' outlasted Paul Casey last year and proved that age is nothing but a number. Unfortunately, it was one of the last times we've seen quality golf out of Phil until the 49-year-old popped at the Saudi International last week, which means he heads to one of his favorite venues in what qualifies as trending form for him. This event isn't totally devoid of big guns, as Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Patrick Cantlay, and last year's runner-up Paul Casey are set to tee it up at Pebble. In addition to the Pro-Am format, we will also be faced with a three-course rotation this week (two of which don't have Shot Tracker), which means a 54-hole cut similar to what we saw a few weeks ago at the American Express. All these variables make both projecting and tracking this tournament difficult and a little frustrating.

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: Pebble Beach Golf Links

Par 72 - 6,816 Yards, Greens: Poa

As mentioned in the intro, we are dealing with three different courses this week. In addition to Pebble, which players will play once in the first three rounds and again in the final round, Spyglass Hill (6,953 yds/Par-72/Poa) and Monterey Peninsula's Shore Course (6,958 yds/Par-71/Poa) will also be in the rotation. All three are ruggedly beautiful, with the famous Pebble Beach being the crown jewel.

All three courses measure less than 7,000 yards, so distance isn't a necessity this week. Players will need to find fairways and greens, but that can be more difficult than it sounds in often unpredictable conditions. All three of these courses are smack-dab on the Monterrey Peninsula coast and huge changes in weather can, and often does, influence the outcome of this tournament.

So...we are forced to deal with a lot of unpredictable variables this week. The course a player draws for each different day and the amount of wind during their rounds on those different courses is something that is unfortunately out of our hands. This event is famously tough on first-timers, so I'm targeting players with plenty of AT&T experience that are sharp on approach shots.

 

The Horse

Dustin Johnson (DraftKings - $11,600)

Notable Course History: Two Wins & Two Runner-Up Finishes

DJ looms large in this event. He's logged two wins and two runner-up finishes in 12 career starts at Pebble Beach, and ranks second in all-time tournament earnings. You never need an excuse to roster DJ, but just in case you do, he heads to California in sharp form on the heels of a runner-up finish at the Saudi International last week and appears to be fully healthy after an offseason surgical procedure to repair cartilage in his knee.

My one concern here is the travel issue. Johnson finished a lackluster T45 in last year's AT&T after winning the Saudi International, so I am a little bit worried as to how playing these events in consecutive weeks will effect him. However, DJ is without a doubt the class of this rather weak field and has proven himself to be something of the "anti-Koepka" throughout his career by routinely winning "regular" PGA Tour events in which he's the favorite. Overall there's a lot to love here...he's rounding into form, is the best player in the field, and has a dominant track record in this event.

 

The Ponies

Paul Casey (DraftKings - $10,500)

Notable Course History: 2nd ('19), T8 ('18)

Paul Casey doesn't have an extensive history at Pebble Beach, but has quickly shown an affinity for the legendary track. The Englishman was oh-so-close in last year's AT&T - finishing second to Phil Mickelson - and also recorded a T8 in 2018. Casey is easing into 2020 and has only made a couple of starts this year, a T19 at the Sentry TOC and a T21 at the American Express.

The form doesn't scream out at us, but we know what we're getting with Casey...a great ballstriker that will consistently find fairways and greens. He also possesses the perfect personality to handle the pro-am aspect of this tournament.

 

Jason Day (DraftKings - $10,300)

Notable Course History: T4 ('19), T2 ('18), T5 ('17), T11 ('16), T4 ('15)

I'm always at something of a loss for words when writing up Jason Day. If you follow golf closely, then you know there are some risks that are just part of the deal when rostering Day in DFS, as we're always looking over our shoulders for some flukey injury or WD from him. So while I never feel absolutely peachy about locking in the Aussie, this is one of the events on the schedule when I feel he without a doubt deserves our consideration.

Day has been truly dominant in this event and has done pretty much everything except actually win it. He has FOUR top-five finishes in the AT&T in his last five starts and he looked surprisingly sharp in what was supposed to be a knock-the-rust off outing at the Farmers a couple of weeks ago.

 

Max Homa (DraftKings - $8,300)

Notable Course History: T10 ('19), MC ('17), T29 ('15)

There are players in this field with more extensive Pebble Beach experience than Max Homa, but Homa brings an intriguing blend of trending form and previous AT&T success to the table. The 2019 Wells Fargo champion heads to Pebble Beach on the heels of T6 finish at the Waste Management, his second top-10 in as many weeks and third in three months.

After suffering a bit of "victory hangover" after his win at Quail Hollow last season, Homa has gotten things back on track over the last several months and he's ran off five straight made cuts since November. He gains an average of .097 strokes putting on Poa and it is by far his best surface. The California native should feel right at home in the AT&T this week.

 

Scott Stallings (DraftKings - $7,600)

Notable Course History: 3rd ('19), 7th ('18), T14 ('17)

A little shoutout for my East Tennessee homeboy Scott Stallings this week. The Oak Ridge native isn’t a player that’s consistently on our radar, but my Spidey Sense starts tingling when he’s on the West Coast. This rings especially true when Stallings heads to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a tournament where he’s been razor sharp over the last three years.

He logged a T14 in 2017, a seventh-place finish in 2018 and topped those with a solo-third last year. Since the 2019-20 season started at Greenbrier in September, Stallings has gained strokes T2G in nine of 10 tournaments and made the cut in eight of 10. He’s a Poa specialist and has demonstrated that he’s very comfortable on this trio of courses.

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