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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the CJ Cup @ the Summit Club and helping you find some winning teams!Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!PGA DFS Course Notes:Strong field of 78 golfers replete with big namesNo cutThe course: The Summit Club (Las Vegas, NV)Par 72: 7,431 yards (Tom Fazio design)Bentgrass greensNew PGA Tour venueShould be a birdie-festResort-style course where it’s easy to keep it in playBall strikers and birdie-makers should excel hereFocus Stat Categories: SG: Approach, SG: Tee to Green, Opportunities Gained, Birdie or Better %, Eagles GainedThe Picks:Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):Justin Thomas (DK $11,100) – JT remains an elite ball striker who excels in approach shots from all distances, which should be the main focus this week. Our boy led the PGA Tour last season in proximity to the hole from the fairway, finishing third in SG: APP and T3 in SG: T2G...
It’s the start of a new PGA TOUR season and our PGA DFS picks will help us find you some winning teams at the Fortinet Championship!
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Jon Rahm (DK $12,100) – Rahm is the best and most expensive golfer in the field, a historic 3-1 favorite to win, the top golfer in my model, and a must-own DFS play this week. When I really like a player to run away with a tournament despite him being the obvious chalk, my goal is to double the field’s projected PGA DFS ownership. So I’ll probably come in around 50% or more with my Rahmbo exposure this week.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $11,000) – I may not have big shares of Matsuyama (second overall on my model) this week, simply because it’ll be hard to fit both him and Rahm without going stars-and-scrubs, but he’ll be a staple of my non-Rahm lineups and should fare well based on his elite performance in the focus stat categories (SG: APP, Bob%, Par 5s: 550-600).
Also consider: Webb Simpson, Will Zalatoris, Kevin Na (GPP)
Sebastian Munoz (DK $9,200) – I’m intrigued by the excellent SG: OTT numbers for Munoz, both here at Silverado and over his past 36 rounds, and getting it in good position off the tee should yield some good scoring opportunities for the Colombian pro and PGS DFS standout. He’s played steady golf in his last four tournaments and will be a staple of my builds in all formats.
Cameron Champ (DK $9,000) – Champ won here in 2019 after missing the cut in 2017 and finishing T25 in 2018. It’s a venue he likes and for that reason we can throw out the poor SG:APP rating (112th in the field over his past 36 rounds) a bit. He ranks third in SG: OTT (and first in the field in that category at this venue) and should have an easy time with these par 5s.
Charley Hoffman (DK 8,800) – Hoffman could be a great play this week, as he’s third overall on my mixed model despite a spotty course history. We’ve seen Hoffman surprise before, and he’s almost never popular even when he’s striking it well. I’d probably limit my ownership in this event to GPPs, but there’s plenty of birdie-making upside with the Hoff.
Emiliano Grillo (DK $8,900) – Grillo makes a lot of sense as a high-upside, somewhat risky PGA DFS play considering how badly his putter can let him down. He’s No. 1 overall in the field in SG:APP over his last 36 rounds and fifth overall in my mixed model. I’ll be overweight with my exposure in GPPs.
Maverick McNealy (DK $8,600) – Both Sia and I are fans of how McNealy can make birdies in bunches, and while the ball-striking numbers – both recently and on this golf course – have been lacking, this could be the year he breaks through at Silverado with a Top 15 finish. He’s No. 21 overall in my mixed model, even accounting for the relatively poor course history.
Doug Ghim (DK $7,900) – Ghim debuted here last season with a T14, and he’s certainly got the game to play well at Silverado again. He pounds it off the tee and is eighth overall in my mixed model. While he does have some accuracy issues and is far from the tour’s best putter, he’s one of my favorite PGA DFS GPP plays this week.
Also consider: Harold Varner (Cash), Chez Reavie (Cash), Phil Mickelson (GPP), Mito Pereira, Taylor Moore (GPP), Adam Hadwin (GPP), Sepp Straka, Brian Stuard, Harry Higgs (GPP)
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,500) – Kizzire is another hit-or-miss PGA DFS GPP play with a dynamic game and erratic tee ball game. He’s long enough that he can occasionally hit less-than-driver and still be fine, but he’s had some difficulty at Silverado in his last three tries (all MCs) after finishing second to Brendan Steele in 2016. I’ll have some exposure in large-field GPPs, but I don’t think I can take the plunge in single-entry or cash.
Ryan Moore (DK $7,500) – I’d normally be pretty averse to Ryan Moore because he’s burned me a few times before, but he’s had some solid finishes at Silverado (including a T2 in 2018) and could be a decent low-owned play in GPPs. He’s No. 10 overall in my mixed model and his numbers across this week’s focus stats don’t show any glaring weaknesses.
Brendan Steele (DK $7,400) – Steele won this event two years in a row (2016-17) and will likely be more popular than usual because of it. But he’s a consistent player who hits it straight off the tee, thrives in the California venues and doesn’t miss cuts here (seven in a row).
Adam Schenk (DK $7,300) – This is where things start to get a little bit risky, so I’d steer clear of Schenk and the next few guys in cash games. He’s another player that Sia and I both like this week, and he ranks 16th on my model behind some decent putting and birdie numbers. Hitting good drives at this venue has historically ben a struggle, but his SG:OTT numbers have been better lately and he’s got a T14 to his credit here in 2018.
Hank Lebioda (DK $7,100) – Hammerin’ Hank comes in at No. 23 in my model and is a huge risk since he’s missed the cut twice in three attempts at Silverado. But I’m willing to give him a shot in a few GPPs based on his ability to make birdies and the T44 he notched here in 2019.
Luke List (DK $7,100) – Sia wrote up newcomer Chad Ramey (and not Lebioda or List – two guys he normally loves), so I’ll take up the mantle and tout them. List can really stink it up with his putter, but he’s No. 11 on my model this week and seems to have a decent handle on this venue, with a T4 in 2018 and two other Top 40s in previous appearances. His ball-striking and Par 5 dominance are quite attractive in this field.
Chesson Hadley (DK $7,000) – He can’t be the Bargain Blowout Baby (BBB) again because he’s not under $7K, but he’s exactly the type of golfer we target in GPPs for his upside when he’s hitting it good off the tee, a huge advantage on this course, where he’s played very well (T14, T23, T87, T3 in his last four tries at Silverado).
Cameron Percy (DK $6,800) – Percy has a T23 and T7 in his last two starts in Napa and just eats up the par 5s here. He’s going to be a huge piece of my stars-and-scrubs builds and could end up being my BBB if he lands under 5% ownership.
More value golfers to consider: Dylan Frittelli, Lanto Griffin, Doc Redman, Hudson Swafford, Adam Svensson, Russell Knox (GPP), Patrick Rodgers, Bo Hoag, Sam Ryder, Kyle Stanley, Adam Long (GPP)
Mark Hubbard (DK $6,500) – Hubbard is No. 25 in my model and probably the best PGA DFS golfer you can roster at $6,500 or under this week based on his BoB% and putting numbers, when combined with relatively decent ball-striking. His SG: OTT numbers are his biggest weakness, but at this price there’s always a weakness.
Danny Lee (DK $6,400) – I don’t have a ton of interest in the punts this week, but Lee is worth a look in large-field GPPS and in your “scrubs” pieces based on decent overall numbers and some excellent finishes here (T10 in 2018). Don’t go overboard with your exposure to this risky but dynamic player.
Paul Barjon (DK $6,200) – Barjon is popping at No. 22 in my mixed model – the only golfer under $6,500 in my top 25. The biggest knock is his lack of PGA Tour experience and course history at this venue, where he’s making his debut. But I like PGA DFS guys who hit it solid off the tee and have putters that come alive and make birdies.
Additional GPP punts: Michael Gligic, Dylan Wu, Beau Hossler, Curtis Thompson
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re aiming for a big payday at the Wyndham Championship – helping you find some winning teams in your contests!
Louis Oosthuizen (DK $10,700) – Coming off a disappointing T17 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Louis still has to be considered as one of the best ball strikers and putters in the field. Sedgefield isn’t one of his normal tour stops, so there’s also some concern if he can get into a birdie-making rhythm right away as he feels out this course. But he’s got the best 2021 numbers of anybody in the field and there’s no reason he can’t thrive here in the Carolina suburbs.
Update: Louis withdrew today, so we can pivot to Hideki Matsuyama in GPPs and/or eat the Webb chalk. But we can’t play Mr. Major Runner Up this week.
Webb Simpson (DK $10,600) – Webb is actually $600 cheaper than last year, which is great considering he’s rounding back into form with Top 20 finishes in his last two events – both against much stiffer competition. He finished T9 at the RBC Heritage and most importantly is a course horse and perennial threat to win here with top 3 finishes in his last four Wyndham championships. He’ll be chalky – so many contrarian-forward builders may opt for leverage by fading him in large-field GPPs – but he’s fine for cash and single-entry.
Jason Kokrak (DK $10,000) – I love Kokrak this week. He’s performed well here before with three Top 20s in his last four tries (including a T6 in 2019 and T15 last year), and 2021 has given him the confidence to win – not just place. His stat profile checks a few boxes this week too, as he’s 28th in GIR and fifth in SG:Putting this week.
Sungjae Im (DK $9,600) – It was great to hear Bettor Golf Podcast metrics guru Spencer Aguiar (@TeeOffSports) talk up Sungjae and his affinity for “short Bermuda tracks” on The Breakdown with Sia and Joel last night. Im is one of the first golfers I wrote down to cover this week and he’s at a solid price point for his accuracy and overall PGA DFS upside.
Also consider: Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris (GPP), Brian Harman
Russell Henley (DK $9,400) – Henley isn’t knighting the world on fire lately, but he’s played well enough to notch top 20 finishes in the three tournaments bookended by MCs at the Memorial and Open Championship. Sia mentions in his Initial Picks article that Henley has solid accuracy numbers and elite SG:APP metrics, so we can definitely look his way in all formats.
Robert MacIntyre (DK $8,900) – MacIntyre is making his first appearance at the Wyndham Championship this year, and he does an excellent job of staying out of trouble and giving himself opportunities to make birdies. At TPC Southwind, he posted four consecutive round in the 60s, and a second consecutive week on fats Bermuda greens could be a huge help.
Kevin Na (DK $8,800) – We haven’t heard his name much lately, and that’s usually when Na pounces for a top 5 finish – which he had the last time he played here in 2017 (T4). The WinDaily crew is mostly united in considering Na a sneaky GPP play this week, and while his viability in cash games leaves a lot to be desired, I may consider him for a low-cost, larger-field single-entry tournament and a bunch of lottery-ticket GPPs.
Rickie Fowler (DK $8,600) – He’s made three straight cuts and he should be able to make plenty of birdies on this golf course if he doesn’t force things off the tee and clubs down when appropriate. I’m not in love with the $8,000-8,500 range this week, so I’ll be paying up for Fowler on plenty of my GPP builds.
Mito Pereira (DK $7,900) – We’ve spoken ad nauseum about course history at this venue, but while there’s no course history to speak of with the swashbuckling Chilean, he just seems to handle whatever course designers have been throwing at him. Pereira is a huge bargain under $8K considering his talent and form, so we should get some exposure in GPPs at this price.
J.T. Poston (DK $7,800) – Poston missed the cut last year after dismantling this golf course when he won here in 2019. He’s playing well, with a solo second at the Barbasol and a T28 at the 3M Open. J.T. could be a solid GPP option if we can keep him around 20% ownership to stay well ahead of the field without going all in.
Talor Gooch (DK $7,700) – Gooch is good on birdie fests and he’s made seven straight cuts – an encouraging sign considering he’s traditionally not the most consistent golfer. The shorter course should help him hit less than driver and find more fairways this week, and he’s solid on approach and with his ball-striking T2G.
Harold Varner III (DK $7,500) – Varner is always comfortable returning to the Carolinas, is a solid ball-striker and was one of my favorite plays last year when he finished T7. This season he’s alternated good performances with bad, but I like his chances for another top 10 or 15 at Sedgefield.
Also consider: Matthew Wolff (GPP), Si Woo Kim, Seamus Power (GPP), Kevin Kisner (GPP), Kevin Streelman (GPP), Justin Rose (GPP), Lucas Glover, Patton Kizzire (GPP), Hank Lebioda (GPP)
C.T. Pan (DK $7,400) – I’m all over Pan in GPPs this week despite the occasional three-putt and missed opportunity that continues to plague his game. Watching him charge back into contention and finishing on the podium in Tokyo was a proud moment as I touted him quite a bit that week in my article and on Discord.
Rory Sabbatini (DK $7,300) – There’s plenty of favorable course history (two of Sabbatini’s last nine top 10s came on this course in 2017 and 2019).and he’s the reigning Olympic silver medalists – so we know he can go low here. Sabbatini needs a decent finish here as he’s just 141st in the FedExCup standings, and the price is great for his upside.
Brendan Todd (DK $7,100) – Todd was $8,900 here last year when he was in the middle of a little heater, and while the game isn’t quite where it was last year, he remains a good fit for this golf course and could be a guy who benefits from the shorter layout and accessible greens. I’ll have some exposure in GPPs.
Ryan Armour (DK $7,000) – Joel’s BFF is streaky player who I wouldn’t touch in cash games, but has had lots of success at Sedgefield. Armour posted a T4 in 2017, T8 in 2018, T22 in 2019 and T25 last year. He was T5 at the Barbasol and T6 at the 3M before his MC at the Barracuda last week. I’m not nearly as excited to roster him as Mr. Shreck is, but perhaps maybe I should be.
Brian Stuard (DK$6,900) – The MC last week belies some stellar iron play over the past 12 sounds, and Stuard is checking the SG:APP and SG: OTT boxes this week because of his burgeoning accuracy. If his putter behaves this week on these fast Bermuda greens, he should be able to post some good scores on this shorter-than-usual PGA course.
Jim Herman (DK $6,900) – The veteran is a great course fit and coming off a week where he had some early success before faltering on the weekend. He’s also the defending champ at Sedgefield, so I’ll swallow hard and grab some exposure in GPPs. I don’t love playing him, but he’s a birdie-maker with upside who loves the track.
More value golfers to consider: Ryan Moore, Lanto Griffin, Chez Reavie, Patrick Rodgers (single-day and GPP), Chris Kirk, Matt Jones, Joel Dahmen, Bo Hoag, Mark Hubbard (GPP), Brice Garnett (GPP), Kramer Hickok (GPP), Francesco Molinari (GPP), Adam Long (GPP), Roger Sloan (GPP), Henrik Norlander (GPP), Chesson Hadley (GPP)
Denny McCarthy (DK $6,400) – His form is awful but he plays well at this venue, with T9-T22-T36 in his three appearances here. That’s enough for 2 or 3 lineups in my 20-max builds.
Vincent Whaley (DK $6,400) – Whaley was playing super consistent golf until a six-event stretch where he missed four cuts in six tournaments. Last week he finished T9 and there’s something to be said for getting back on this consistent horse who debuted with a T37 at this course last year.
Tyler Duncan (DK $6,200) – Last year I had Duncan in my punts to consider and he finished T13, so I’ll give the wayward ball striker another shot this year in 1/20 GPPs.
Additional GPP punts: Fabian Gomez, Rob Oppenheim, Chris Baker, Brian Gay, Michael Gellerman
The Win Daily team has content galore this week, including this edition of PGA DFS picks to help you dominate your contests at the Rocket Mortgage Classic!
Bryson DeChambeau (DK $11,400) – He’s the defending champion, largely on the performance of his putter, so we must consider Bryson this week, especially in cash games. And despite some poor course management choices and subsequent meltdowns, he’s still made 10 straight cut and should be in the conversation come Sunday.
Webb Simpson (DK $10,600) – Given the fact that he’s missed two cuts in his last five tourneys, we can’t say Simpson’s form is great, but he does have a couple Top 15s in there (T12 at the Masters and T9 at the RBC Heritage). Strangely enough, three of the last four appearances he’s made have been at majors. That tells me he likes playing here, and his T8 last year in Detroit piques my interest even more.
Will Zalatoris (DK $10,000) – Willie Z used to make a lot of hay on courses like this on the Korn Ferry Tour, even if his PGA identity has been more of a “tough course” grinder. He’s not cheap this week, but he’s clearly among the top five in the talent category that’s heading to Detroit. I’m most worried about his putting, so I’ll limit my ownership to GPPs.
Jason Kokrak (DK $9,500) – Kokrak should be popular even at this elevated price, but his game should translate well to this course, where he finished T29 in 2019 before his career added the maiden victory and follow-up win at the 2021 Charles Schwab, played at Colonial. This venue comps well to that course, he’s number one on Sia’s model, and I’ll be overweight on the field regardless of ownership.
Also consider: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama
Sungjae Im (DK $9,300) – He’s off the DFS radar, for the most part, and that’s when I like to give him a shot in GPPs. But the price is entirely too much for cash game builds and he may fare well as a sneaky Top 10 bet.
Matthew Wolff (DK $9,100) – Again – I can’t trust Wolff in cash games and will steer clear in single-entry, but the leverage and upside in large field GPPs should warrant some exposure to this dynamic but risky play. Joel likes him in GPPs and that’s enough for me.
Kevin Kisner (DK $8,500) – Kisner finished third last year and his coming off a T5 at the Travelers, an event where he wasn’t much part of the DFS conversation in the leadup. Aside from that, he hasn’t been very successful in 2021, though the courses have played tough and he prefers venues like this where he can make some birdies.
Max Homa (DK $8,400) – Homa – who is a combined +28 in his last four missed cuts – is not getting the love he deserves this week because of the form, even if he’s been a popular topic in the WinDaily golf writers’ message thread. I know that Isaiah is intrigued by Homa this week and I’m on board too.
Garrick Higgo (DK $8,300) – I’m interested in seeing what Higgo can do at a birdie fest considering he shot 66-63-64-64 in his win at the Canary Islands Championship in May on the EURO tour. Higgo is long, he’s a good putter, and he’s a bargain at this price – so he really stood out to me in this range – just like he did for Sia in his Initial Picks.
Doc Redman (DK $7,900) – Redman has a T21 here in 2020 and notched a solo second in 2019, so he’s clearly a course horse. Normally considered a volatile performer and high-risk/big-reward type of play, Redman has made five straight cuts and could be trending up toward another Top 10.
Maverick McNealy (DK $7,700) – I love McNealy and his ability to make birdies in bunches, and his T8 last season in Detroit is encouraging for another Top 20 finish. He finished T4 at the last birdie-forward event (RBC Heritage), and when he goes low, he goes really low. A fine play in all formats and one of favorites for “low round” bets.
Sepp Straka (DK $7,700) – I missed out on Straka and his T10 last week and will probably never recover from that – it’s like how I’ll feel if I fade Matthew Fitzpatrick the week of his first PGA Tour win. I’ll have some minimal shares just so I don’t have that feeling again.
Also consider: Rickie Fowler (GPP), Gary Woodland, Cameron Tringale, Si Woo Kim (GPP), Lucas Glover (GPP), Harold Varner, Kyle Stanley, Lanto Griffin
Adam Hadwin (DK $7,500) – Hadwin is solid T2G, and while I have a hard time seeing him post crazy low scores and reaching the -20 that might be necessary to win, he’s got the chops to finish in the Top 20.
Mark Hubbard (DK $7,300) – Don’t look now, but Hubbard has made five straight cuts and is playing really good golf, his T13 last week being his best finish since his T12 at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s still a little risky for cash games, but he’s fine for GPPs and could be a bargain single-entry if you’re willing to assume a little extra risk.
Brian Stuard (DK $7,000) – Stuard is a couple years removed form his T5 finish here in what was a very weak field, but he notched a T30 in 2020 in Detroit as well and is among the best bargains in this $7K range for his brilliant putting and ability to make birdies in bunches.
Nate Lashley (DK $6,900) – Lashley is a former Rocket Mortgage champion (he won in 2019) but the form is somewhat concerning. I’ll limit my exposure to low-cost, large-field GPPs. He’s easy to root for and should make the cut this week.
Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,900) – If Rodgers could get in the habit of putting together four rounds of his A game, he’d be one of the best golfers on tour, but his one-day brilliance is usually bracketed by a stinker or two. He’s in the conversation for first-day leader, but I’ll steer clear in most formats.
Henrik Norlander (DK $6,800) – Norlander has made three cuts in his last five tournaments, which for him is a hot streak. I’m banking on another solid finish this week and he makes sense for the last piece in some GPP lineups.
More value golfers to consider: Seamus Power, Pat Perez (GPP), Danny Willett, Tom Lewis, Mackenzie Hughes, Beau Hossler, Scott Piercy, Richy Werenski, Cameron Champ (GPP), Danny Lee (GPP)
Adam Schenk (DK $6,500) – I won’t be dabbling too much in the $6,500 and under range this week, but Schenk checks a few boxes and could spike a Top 35 finish if he manages to make the cut – which he’s done in seven of his last 10 events.
Kristoffer Ventura (DK $6,200) – Ventura is a hard nut to crack, because the ball-striking falls well behind the putter and there’s usually something in the course history I like (T21 here in 2020). This course sets up much better for him, and if the putter does its thing he could finally notch a Top 25, which he hasn’t done in a normal PGA tour event sine his T6 at Sanderson Farms.
Additional GPP punts: Jimmy Walker, J.J. Spaun, Ted Potter, Austin Cook
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a monster payday at the Palmetto Championship and helping you find some winning teams!
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,400) – While DJ has not played his best golf lately, he’s a South Carolina guy on a course down near the Cackalacka/Georgia border, he’s playing a new course with coastal/links characteristics that he seems to prefer, and he’s the most talented golfer in the field (with Brooks Koepka a close second). His SG:APP and SG:OTT numbers are still in the Top 30 on the tour and he’s No. 13 in SG: T2G. If DJ can keep the putter going on what should be a fast course, there’s no reason he can’t lap the field and run away with this tournament.
Brooks Koepka (DK $11,100) – Koepka seems to be recovered from most of his knee woes and is having a great time playfully feuding with Bryson DeChambeau, but I still can’t trust him at this price in cash games. He’s totally fine for GPPs, but without too many quality value options below the $7K mark (don’t worry – we’ve got a couple in there for you), he might not make as many rosters as you’d anticipate with such a dramatic difference in ability between the top two and the rest of the field. I’d steer clear of overexposure with him, but he’ll be mixed into a few of my GPP lineups for sure.
Matt Fitzpatrick (DK $10,400) – It’s going to be tough to find anybody we feel safe rostering in the $9K to $10K range, but Fitzpatrick makes for a fine GPP play on a course where he should feel at home despite the lack of history. He likes these putting surfaces and these speeds, and he’s one of several English golfers who should be in contention this week. His SG: OTT and putting numbers are excellent, and like Joel and Sia, I feel like there’s progression coming in his SG: APP metrics.
Tommy Fleetwood (DK $9,500) – Fleetwood is a risky play this week, and he’s not a guy I’d normally consider given his current mediocre form. His best 2021 result so far is a T5 at the WGC Match Play event, with his best stroke play finish a T10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With no PGA tour victories to his credit in his young career, he shouldn’t be too popular. That said, he’s going to win on the PGA Tour eventually (just like Fitzpatrick will), and a weak field event on a links-style course like this could be the breakthrough.
Also consider: Tyrrell Hatton, Harris English (GPP)
Ian Poulter (DK $9,200) – Sharps are loving Poulter’s recent form and while he’s proven to be maddeningly inconsistent from week-to-week in the past, there’s not a lot of competition in this range. The fourth English golfer I’ve mentioned (and that doesn’t even count the guy actually named English), he’s the best in that group with the putter (7th on the PGA Tour in SG: Putting) and riding a hot streak heading into an unknown venue – a good sign when we don’t have a lot of data to work from.
Patton Kizzire (DK $9,100) – I don’t mind paying a premium for Kizzire on a course where he should play really well. I love playing the big galoot on courses with wider fairways where he doesn’t have as much trouble keeping it in the short stuff, and he’s made significant improvements in his approach game to match his elite putting metrics. I’ll be overweight on Kizzire in all formats and he’ll be a core play on my single-entry builds.
Lucas Glover (DK $8,600) – He’ll likely be chalky, as the former Clemson Tiger is actually one of Congaree’s “Professional Ambassadors” – and someone with intimate knowledge of the course and its pitfalls. This course is also seemingly tailor-made to fit his strengths. The price is okay and for that reason, I’ll likely be ahead of the field in GPPs and he’ll be a core play on my single-entry builds.
Harold Varner (DK $8,500) – Once again, I’m with Sia in hating when Varner gets chalky, because that’s precisely when he seems to disappoint. Still, he’s from SC and shouldn’t have too many problems scoring well at Congaree. His T2 at the RBC Heritage points to an ability to notch a top 5 when his game comes together, and the price seems fair considering his upside in a field of this lesser quality.
Brandt Snedeker (DK $8,400) –He’s not the best ball-striker (or even a good one), but Sneds is a putting demon and the pressure could be off a bit with his driver since it’ll be easier for him to hit fairways. The tour veteran has made every cut since the Players Championship (with three Top 20s), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him threatening the lead this weekend. He’s always a bit risky, but that risk is mitigated a bit at Congaree.
Martin Laird (DK $7,800) – Laird isn’t a super exciting play, but he grades out well for this golf course (at least for what we think we know about this golf course) and he’s made seven of his last eight cuts. The wily Scot was T23 at the PGA Championship, and has a solid all-around game T2G, but does struggle with the putter. That might not be as much of a problem on these fast surfaces and green complexes. He’s worth a look in GPPs.
Vincent Whaley (DK $7,700) – Whaley makes sense in all PGA DFS formats, and he’s one of the safer plays once we get under $8K. Since a missed cut at the Waste Management Open, Whaley has put together a pretty impressive string of made cuts (T50-T15-T36-T28-T34-T29-T26-T26-T20). While he didn’t appear at either of 2021’s major championships, he’s not tanking anybody’s PGA DFS lineups at this price point if he continues to grind out Sunday paychecks for himself.
Ben Martin (DK $7,600) – Martin has sloughed off the nagging back problems that stymied his career in 2017-18, when he was forced to take a leave of absence from the PGA Tour, and he’s another Clemson alum from South Carolina who’s seen a resurgence in 2021. He missed the cut at the RBC Heritage but has posted four top 35 finishes (including a T11 at the Wells Fargo and a T9 at the Corales Puntacana) among his last five tour starts.
Also consider: Garrick Higgo, Alex Noren, Kevin Kisner, Jhonattan Vegas (GPP), Scott Stallings (Cash) Luke List (GPP), Pat Perez (GPP), Sepp Straka, Rory Sabbatini
Bo Hoag (DK $7,500) – Hoag missed six straight cuts in March and April before squeezing into the weekend at the birdie-forward AT&T Byron Nelson and finishing T13 at the Memorial last week. Still – that’s a good trend going into a golf course that plays to his strengths and where there are no sure things. That uncertainty should keep the masses off him at this elevated price, and he’s a perfectly sound risk-reward upside play at the Palmetto Championship.
Bronson Burgoon (DK $7,200) – I love deploying Burgoon on venues that could turn into birdie fests, and he’s a bigger hitter who may have been waiting to play this course, since his last start was a T13 at the Byron Nelson. He’s got plenty of PGA DFS bust potential as well, but the looming latent boom is what I’m focusing on, as he’ll come in at low ownership and be a fine value play in GPPs.
Joseph Bramlett (DK $7,100) – Bramlett collected the second top 10 of his PGA Tour career at the Byron Nelson, racking up 20 total birdies and two eagles. He’s probably not safe for cash games or single-entry, but I love the value in large-field GPPs and I’ll be coming in around 20% ownership in my 20-max entries.
Hank Lebioda (DK $6,900) – Hammerin’ Hank checks a lot of the SG:APP boxes this week and fared well (T13) at the Byron Nelson, his most PGA Tour recent appearance. His last two starts before that yielded a T13 (Valspar) and a T51 (Wells Fargo), but he’s a volatile golfer who might be hard to trust in single-entry. Sia likes the sneakiness and I don’t disagree; I’ll have plenty of shares in large-field and 20-max GPPs, though.
John Pak (DK $6,900) – The 22-year-old Pak is playing in his first event as a pro, and it’s a debut where the field doesn’t have any advantage in terms of course history. That puts him squarely on my radar as a solid unknown bargain GPP play and a guy I’ll have lots of exposure to. He’s got plenty of game and the college accolades that go along with it, and we’ve seen players of his pedigree make the switch to professional golf without much of a learning curve. Giddyup.
Chesson Hadley (DK $6,700) – Hadley is an excellent putter who takes advantage of scoring opportunities – which really interests me at this price point. He’s had his struggles in 2021 but seems like a poor man’s Snedeker who can get hot with the flastick and get in the mix. At such a huge discount on a venue where he could easily find his game and make a run on the weekend, I’m buying.
More value golfers to consider: Seamus Power (GPP), Erik van Rooyen, Richy Werenski, Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy, Tom Lewis, Henrik Norlander, Roger Sloan, Cole Hammer, Chez Reavie, Will Gordon
Aaron Baddeley (DK $6,500) – The $6,500 and under range at a weak-field event is usually bad, but this group doesn’t have a whole lot of upside. Baddeley, however, with his solid putter and grinder mindset, seems like a viable punt play. Nobody down here is worth more than 5-10% exposure in GPPs, but I’m hitching my wagon to the Aussie as one of the guys I’ll use at that limited rate.
Kristoffer Ventura (DK $6,400) – Once again, I’ll include Ventura considering just how good he is with the putter, a factor that could weigh more heavily this week on a course that not too many of these guys have played. I’ll stay south of 10% in my GPP exposure, but I do like his upside this week.
Additional GPP punts: Hudson Swafford, Brian Gay, Chris Baker, Bo Van Pelt, William McGirt
The next event for PGA DFS takes us to “Hogan’s Alley” for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club – where we’re giving you the winning picks!
Jordan Spieth (DK $11,200) – A Texas kid born in the Dallas-Fort Worth golf mecca, Spieth is a former winner here (2016), has never missed a cut at Colonial, and has a host of Top 10s, even in recent years when his game has struggled to find some consistency. With his putter always in form and his ball-striking ranking much better in 2021, Spieth can’t be avoided when discussing the favorites this week.
Justin Thomas (DK $10,300) – JT makes for a great GPP play after a missed cut at the PGA Championship, but he’s still a bit risky given his spotty play recently. PGA DFS can be very frustrating when you’re on a guy (and an expensive guy to boot) and he breaks your heart by missing out on the weekend points and killing your lineup. But there’s nothing worse than fading that same guy the next week and watching him win. For that reason, it’s important to run it back one in a while and I’ll be doing that with JT at Colonial.
Collin Morikawa (DK $10,500) – Morikawa checks all the boxes this week except the putting stats, but the greens are small enough that if he’s doing his thing with his irons he should be close enough to make some putts. One of the best ball strikers in the world, Morikawa hits a smooth fade, doesn’t need length off the tee to win here and that’s a huge plus in giving him the nod over the others in this elite range. Sia, Joel and Nick are all on board, so I feel comfortable using him in my single-entry lineup and GPP core.
Abraham Ancer (DK $9,700) – Ancer has three consecutive Top 10s and while he will be chalky as hell, he’s hard for me to get away from in my builds. I’ll be using him in all formats, and he’ll be a core play for me in stars and scrubs lineups as well. If his putter goes cold he could have problems justifying this price, but he’s been so good with his irons he’s almost always in play.
Also consider: Patrick Reed, Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler (GPP)
Corey Conners (DK $9,400) – It may still be wise to steer clear of Conners in GPPs until we see more Top 10 finishes, but he’s a cutmaker who’s 3-for-3 at Colonial and had a T8 in his 2018 debut at this venue. Again – Conners is mostly a cash game play with projected ownership creeping up.
Sungjae Im (DK $9,100) – Im missed the cut here in his 2019 Charles Schwab debut but improved to a T10 (with Spieth and Thomas) in 2020. We know he doesn’t tire easily, so the four grueling rounds he played steadily last week (70-72-73-73) don’t get me off him. The price is fine, and he won’t see massively high ownership.
Justin Rose (DK $8,900) –Maybe Rose will be inspired by Phil’s epic win at Kiawah Island last week, and we know the former winner at Colonial can play elite golf when he’s striking it well. Rose makes for a sneaky GPP play in a week where he won’t be highly owned.
Ryan Palmer (DK $8,600) –Palmer missed the cut last week andhas a vested interest in playing well at his home course. He loves the place, knows the greens really well, wants desperately to win at the venue commonly known as “Hogan’s Alley” and should stand out as a solid GPP play with his history of mixing MCs with Top 10s here.
Cameron Tringale (DK $8,100) – Let’s start with the bad. During round 2 last week, Tringale was -1 when he stepped on the No. 14 tee (he started on the back) and was +11 just four holes later. Then a little alligator walked across the fairway in front of him. That horrific stretch aside, Tringale played well and has the chops to rebound with a soldi finish this week.
Brian Harman (DK $8,000) – Harman looks like more of a cash game play this week, as he’s projected to be very popular (>25%). I won’t be using him too much more than 10-15% in my 20 max builds, but there’s a case to be made for using him and his five straight made cuts at Colonial.
Brandt Snedeker (DK $7,900) – Mr. Pop Stroke is one of the craftiest putters on tour, and the relatively poor ball striking and lack of length off the tee shouldn’t hurt him too much here. Sneds is super risky and shouldn’t be used in cash games but makes sense for large-field GPPs.
Chris Kirk (DK $7,600) – He’s missed two straight cuts, but people haven’t forgotten how good of a golfer he’s been in 2021, because he’s very popular again. I’ll throw out his performance last week because of the course difficulty, and trust he got an early start on getting his T2G and putting under control heading into an event where he’s had two Top 15s in his last four tries.
Also consider: Joaquin Niemann, Gary Woodland (GPP), Jason Kokrak (GPP), Charley Hoffman (Cash), Kevin Na (GPP), Kevin Streelman, Emiliano Grillo (GPP)
Peter Uihlein (DK $7,500) – I’m not super excited about the $7-8K price range this week, and the fact that Uihlein is popping so much for his form could mean he breaks my heart this week. I don’t normally play him, but it’s his fourth appearance here and he has top 15s in his last two tries and is playing some of the best golf right now.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,400) – He’s an awesome putter and his best finishes and have come in Texas. I’m not super excited about him this week because if he’s missing fairways there could be problems, but I think he can hit less-than-driver and be long enough to be in fine shape to contend. Not a cash game play, but usable in GPPs.
Harold Varner III (DK $7,400) – Another GPP extraordinaire who mixes missed cuts with solid finishes, Varner had a T2 at the RBC Heritage and T49 last week. He also finished T19 at the Honda Classic, which is similar in the focus stats that tend to drive success here.
Russell Knox, (DK $7,300) – Sia loves him for first-round leader, and it’s very tempting to consider him for single-entry this week given the price point and solid performances over his last three events (T21-T18-T39), He finished T8 here in 2019 but we can throw out the MC in 2020 amid the uncertainty of golf’s fanless return at the time.
J.T. Poston (DK $6,900) – I liked him heading into last week but the course and some bad timing on Friday 78 got the better of him. This week, he’s cheap and playing a venue where he’s 3-for-4 with a T10 last year and a T20 in 2018. GPP only.
Maverick McNealy (DK $6,900) – I use McNealy in GPPs once in a while and this seems like a good spot to go back to him. He’s 2-for-2 and while he’s a feast-or-famine type of golfer (he’s mixed in a solo second, a T4 and a T49 among six missed cuts in his last nine tournaments), this course seems to suit his strengths.
Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,700) – I wish Rodgers could put together four good rounds, because he’s got Top 25 upside. A third round 79 killed his chances at the Well Fargo, but he’s made his last two cuts after a poor April stretch. Worth a look in GPPs.
More value golfers to consider: Cameron Davis, Joel Dahmen, Talor Gooch, Doc Redman (GPP), C.T. Pan (GPP), Rory Sabbatini, Henrik Stenson, Mackenzie Hughes, Andrew Putnam
Adam Long (DK $6,200) – I’ll only be using these guys in large-field GPP lineups that focus on stars and scrubs. If you’re trying to cram some combo of Spieth and/or JT with Morikawa/Ancer/Zalatoris in your first three spots, you’re forced to use the next three on guys like Long, who finished T19 here in 2019 and could post another Top 20.
Brian Gay (DK $6,100) – Gay has a T13 and T34 two of his last three appearances at Colonial, and I’m sure he was one of the first golfers my buddy Spades inserted into his lineup this week. The veteran golfer loves small greens (just like C.T. Pan does) and he’s in play as a longshot with Top 25 upside.
Mark Hubbard (DK $6,100) – Hubbard’s name also draws my attention because he an get rally hot with the putter, which is one of the things that could help guys break through this week. He’s much better for single-day lineups but I’m fine using him in 5% of GPPs hoping for a made cut and hot streak with that flat stick.
Additional GPP punts: Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Anirban Lahiri
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at The RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and helping you find some winning teams!
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,600) – DJ is a South Carolina-born golfer who went to college in Myrtle Beach (Coastal Carolina), but this isn’t his type of golf course. Still – even though he’s fared poorly here in the past and doesn’t look too appealing on my model (No. 16), he can’t be completely ignored. The missed cut at the Masters and his relatively poor course history should keep him from higher ownership, so I might take a shot in some GPPs.
Webb Simpson (DK $11,000) – Simpson is the defending champion at Harbour Town and the chalkiest golfer on the board this week, but I don’t think I can endorse a full fade because he’s just so good on the greens – and his course history is quite impressive (no worse than T16 in his last four appearances here). He was T12 at the Masters last week and is a solid bet for a top 10 at the RBC – he just might not be necessary to roster in GPPs if he doesn’t crack the Top 5.
Collin Morikawa (DK $10,500) – His approach play is second-to-none on tour, he managed to keep it together for a T18 at Augusta last week, and he most recently won in February at the WGC-Workday. Morikawa is projected to be the third-highest owned golfer this week and while there is some merit to a fade considering his T64 finish here during a stretch of poor play in 2020, he’s No. 7 overall on my model and a tough player to get away from in PGS DFS when you consider the metric data.
Daniel Berger (DK $10,000) – Berger is No. 2 overall on my model and his ownership should come in well under Simpson’s – making him a fine single-entry and large-field GPP alterative. He’s only played here twice, but finished T33 in 2019 and T3 in 2020 – so it’s clear he likes the venue and the course layout. Berger doesn’t handle al the Pete Dye courses as well as he does this one, but I’m seriously considering him to be the “spend up” golfer in my core of single-entry builds.
Also consider: Patrick Cantlay (GPP), Cameron Smith (GPP), Will Zalatoris, Tyrrell Hatton (Cash)
Paul Casey (DK $9,200) – His last performance of note at the RBC Heritage was way back in 2014, when he finished T18, and since then he’s had a couple of missed cuts (2016 & 2018). But my mixed model (fourth overall) and the course layout are pointing in his direction this week, especially considering his SG:APP numbers in recent play. Course history hounds might stay away, but there’s a chance he garners ownership because of name recognition and recency bias.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,100) – The guy calls this his “favorite place in the world” and he really wants this to be the event where he gets his first win – if not at a major. I really like Fitzpatrick’s chances at bouncing back from his T34 at the Masters with another top 10 finish this week, as he’s shown improvement at this venue over the past few years and has two Top 15s in his last three tries here. He’s a great putter and despite some occasionally shaky approach play from 175-200, ranks 17th in my model, just behind DJ. I won’t be all-in on ownership, but I’ll be slightly ahead of the field, probably around 20-25%.
Abraham Ancer (DK $8,900) – Ancer ranks No. 6 overall on my model this week and finished solo second here in 2020, just one stroke behind Simpson. Both will be chalky, but he comes at a huge discount from the defending champion and offers almost as much upside with his solid driving, elite iron play and pin-seeking approaches. If there’s an area where he can’t match Webb, it’s on the greens.
Shane Lowry (DK $8,500) – The Irishman is Stick’s pick to win the event and I couldn’t have been more elated when he announced that during the breakdown video – especially after he lauded Hideki Matsuyama last week before the Japanese sensation won the Masters. Lowry is No. 21 overall on my model, has been striking the ball very well lately, and has a T3 here in 2019. His ownership isn’t expected to surpass 10%, and there’s plenty of upside here compared to most of the other players in the mid range.
Harris English (DK $8,400) – English had a rough patch of two MCs at the Farmers and Waste Management, and a final round 80 at the WGC-Workday put him near the caboose of the no-cut event in solo 66th place. But before that he had some solid finishes, and since the WGC event he’s finished T26 (API at Bay Hill) and T21 (Masters). This is a guy you want to jump on as he starts rounding into form.
Si Woo Kim (DK $7,900) – I loved him last week at the Masters and he rewarded me with a T12 – a solid finish for his price and ownership level. My concern this week is that he might get a little too popular on the heels of that performance, as he’s still priced under $8K and his name is fresh in the minds of the leaderboard watchers. But if we’re choosing between him and Charley Hoffman (also just under $8K and projected for a similar ownership percentage), I’ll take Si Woo all day.
Russell Henley (DK $7,900) – The breakdown boys danced around the topic of Henley, but I’ll take my stand regardless of his spotty course history (his last two tries here are MCs), largely because he fares extremely well in my mixed model (third overall). Another knock on Henley from a DFS perspective is an inflated ownership projection that currently puts him as the ninth most popular play in the field.
Also consider: Corey Conners (Cash), Tommy Fleetwood (GPP), Brian Harman, Kevin Na (GPP), Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Brandon Grace, Ian Poulter
Chris Kirk (DK $7,500) – We have a general consensus among the WinDaily writers that Kirk looks like a fine play for most formats this week in DFS, though his ownership seems to be creeping up as folks ogle his string of made cuts since the Waste Management and his three Top 10 finishes in his last eight tournaments. He’s okay for single-entry and cash games and I’ll have shares right around 10-15% in my GPP builds.
Sebastian Munoz (DK $7,500) – Munoz is a solid shotmaker and he’s coming off a somewhat disappointing week at Augusta, where he placed T40 after a T9 finish at the Valero Open. I’d probably steer clear in cash games, but he’s fine for large-field GPPs and should stay below the 5% ownership threshold. I’ll be giving him a look, even if I prefer the discount offered by the next couple of guys on this list.
Kevin Streelman (DK $7,300) – If course history matters here (and it does), then we have to consider Streelman, who has a couple of top ten finishes in his last three appearances on Hilton Head Island. He’s a great value for all formats and Sia even staked his claim that Streelman will be the first round leader at long odds (66-1). The tour veteran is 20th overall in my model and he’ll be a staple of my GPP lineups.
Michael Thompson (DK $7,200) – Thompson isn’t nearly as safe as Streelman in this range, but he’s tenth overall in my model and does offer upside – despite a relatively high projected ownership for a guy with his brand of spotty play. His popularity can be explained by three straight made cuts (including a T34 at the Masters last week) as well as a sparkling course history that includes top ten finishes in his last two appearances.
J.T. Poston (DK $7,100) – He’s firmly in play as a high-risk, high-reward GPP play, and both Joel and Nick like him this week too – probably because he’s finished T8 and T6 in his last two runs here. I never like going too hard on Poston, but he’s definitely in play this qweek.
Matthew NeSmith (DK $6,900) – He’s got the “site of his marriage proposal” narrative going this week, and he’s No. 11 overall in my model. He’s a great play in all formats and on my short list for single-entry GPP consideration. He may not have the upside of Poston or Thompson, but a breakthrough is still very possible.
Doug Ghim (DK $6,900) – The breakdown touched on how NeSmith might be the better play in cash games, but Ghim could be a fine PGA DFS play in this range for large-field GPPs. The youngster is a first-timer at the RBC Heritage, but he’s made 12 of his last 16 cuts and hits awesome approach shots.
More value golfers to consider: Emiliano Grillo, Cameron Davis (GPP), Lucas Glover, C.T. Pan (GPP), Sepp Straka (GPP), Harold Varner III, Ryan Moore (GPP), Rory Sabbatini, Russell Knox (GPP), Kyle Stanley (GPP), Henrik Norlander (GPP), Chez Reavie, Jim Furyk
Patton Kizzire (DK $6,500) – I had a very productive PGA DFS run using Kizzire in GPPs in the 2020-21 transition in December-January, and he’s been okay if nor great since, with a T9 at the Valero ranking as his best finish since his T7 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He’s a longer hitter sprays it around a bit off the tee and doesn’t typically light the world on fire on shorter courses, but Kizzire is a verified putting demon who can get hot with the flat stick and make a boatload of birdies.
Tom Hoge (DK $6,400) – I usually finish up my article as I’m listening to the breakdown, and I’m very glad that Sia mentioned him as a possibly mispriced golfer in the value/punt range. Hoge is a solid T2G golfer who hits good approaches 175-200 (No. 11 in the field), and he’s a decent putter with the ability to finish in the Top 10. I’ll have plenty of shares in large-field GPPs.
Scott Piercy (DK $6,300) – Piercy gets inclusion here based on his T3 finish here in 2019 and T16 in 2018, but his form in 2021 has not been great. Perhaps something clicks this week at the site of a venue where he’s had success and he can revisit some of the Top 20 form he flashed in October-November of 2020. He’s a large-field GPP play (maybe one or two lineups out of 20) with some Top 20 upside this week, but don’t go overboard.
Additional GPP punts: Tom Lewis, Jason Dufner, Chesson Hadley, Danny Lee, Bo Hoag, Tyler Duncan
We’re getting ready for some winning PGA DFS picks for the Texas Valero Open and helping you win big money this week and bloat those bankrolls!
PGA DFS Course Notes:
Tony Finau (DK $11,000) – Playing a chalky Tony Finau – a guy who has burned me so many times I’ve lost count – doesn’t make me feel all that comfortable as I lead off the most expensive tier, but I don’t think I can fade this guy. Eventually I’ll get him right and there’s no discernible reason to leave him off my core builds other than bad feelings and high ownership. He’s No. 1 overall on my model, even including Dustin Johnson, who has already withdrawn from the Valero.
Jordan Spieth (DK $10,700) – He loves this course and its correlated venues and with his game shaping up considerably over the past couple of months, I think he might be ready for a win. His scrambling and short game will come in especially handy this week, and it’s the most excited I’ve been to play Spieth in PGA DFS in a long, long time.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $10.100) – Hideki’s ownership might be the lowest of anybody in this top tier, so that’s one reason to jump on this ball striker extraordinaire in tournaments. Putting is always an issue, but he’s so surgical with his irons (and is a good enough scrambler at No. 37 in the field) that he’ll probably be gaining enough strokes on the field to offset his typical mediocrity with the flat stick.
Corey Conners (DK $9,500) – Second overall on my model, Conners is the defending champion here and has played well recently with 7 of his last 9 finishes among the Top 20, excluding a missed cut at the Genesis and T37 at the Farmers. He’ll be a near-lock for cash games and should be considered a core play for single-entry GPPs.
Also consider: Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Abraham Ancer
Ryan Palmer (DK $9,400) – Palmer has stepped up his PGA DFS game in 2020-21 with nine straight made cuts after missing the weekend at the U.S. Open. This week he comes in at No. 7 on my model, and his dominance of Par 5s (No. 1 in the field) should help him solve these longer-than usual examples. A fine play in all formats.
Charley Hoffman (DK $9,200) – Hoffman’s numbers at TPC San Antonio might be the best in the field, with a win and eight finishes out of 10 (all made cuts) in the Top 15. If they ever build a new clubhouse, they should fashion a gargoyle on top of the roof in his honor. Fading him could be a mistake, but I’m not sure I’m in love with his price and projected popularity in large-field GPPs.
Brendan Steele (DK $9,100) – With a made cut in every event he’s played in 2021, Steele is starting to look like a solid cash game play in addition to his dynamic role as one of my favorite GPP plays. This week he comes in at No. 14 on my model and sports solid numbers across the board in the focus stat categories. His T3 at the Honda Classic means he’s got plenty of Top 5 upside.
Chris Kirk (DK $8,600) – Kirk (who’s made nine out of his last 10 cuts) sometimes struggles to find the fairway, but that should be mitigated a bit by these larger-than-normal target areas. He’s a solid scrambler, is excellent around the greens (No. 4 in the field in SG:ARG) and has a Top 10 (2018) and Top 15 (2016) straddled by two missed cuts at this event in 2019 and 2017. I’ll have exposure in GPPs, though I probably won’t have him in my single-entry builds.
Adam Hadwin (DK $8,300) – Nick and Sia discussed Hadwin in the breakdown, and he’s clearly doing some things right around the greens lately, making six out of his last seven cuts and spiking a T8 at the Honda Classic a couple weeks ago. Nick’s model has him much higher than mine, but nobody’s model is perfect. I’m hoping it could be a good week for Canadians, as both he and Conners seem to be shaping up well for this Texas venue.
Harold Varner III (DK $7,900) – I’m a little wary of investing too much in Varner this week because he’s popped on my model before (he’s No. 10 overall this week) and when that’s happened I seem to remember him finishing poorly and only fair to middling among the other players I liked ta his price point – which is not really where we want to go in GPPs. But he’s a solid ball striker who’s fine for cash games – and my large-field GPP ownership depends largely on where the field is projected to land on him.
Charles Howell III (DK $7,800) – Chucky 3 isn’t the greatest ball-striker around, but he gets it done off the tee and has the shops to get it done around the fast Texas greens. If I had to narrow my player pool down to about 20-25 players, he’d be in there, and the price is eminently affordable for his upside.
Danny Willett (DK $7,700) – I’m not hearing too many folks lauding the prospects of Willet this week outside of out crack team at WinDaily, which makes me feel all squishy and titillated in my gamblin’ bones. The Englishman finished solo eighth last week at the Corales Puntacana, and while my model isn’t in love with him, he’s definitely a guy that shows up a few spots better at windy venues and places where there’s some green run-off and crafty approaches to finagle. Get some exposure in your large-field GPPs, as it won’t be hard to get ahead of the field.
Sebastian Munoz (DK $7,600) – Munoz also seems to have gone overlooked a bit this week and that’s fine with me, because he’s No. 22 on my overall model and sports no glaring weaknesses heading into this venue. His game log isn’t too exciting, but Munoz is a guy that grinds away and gives you some exciting finishes when you least expect them – like a quiet assassin waiting to pounce.
Also consider: Cameron Tringale, Si Woo Kim, Cameron Davis, Lanto Griffin, Zach Johnson, Keegan Bradley (Cash), Sam Burns (GPP), Ryan Moore, Matt Wallace, Gary Woodland (GPP)
Sepp Straka (DK $7,300) – I tend to view Straka and Higgs as almost interchangeable in DFS, and it’s almost hilarious to see where they land this week on my model and how much they align in the focus stat categories. Straka gets the nod in tournaments because he’s a lot less popular this week, but I’ll have shares of Harry as well.
Lucas Glover (DK $7,300) – I’m fine with Glover in large-field GPPs where you have to get a little bit different, and he’s on my short list for single-entry consideration given his T14 finish here in 2019 and decent SG:APP numbers at this and correlated venues. If anything he’ll give you a wild ride.
Denny McCarthy (DK $7,300) – Speaking of wild rides, McCarthy usually gets it done with elite putting and scrambling, but his ball striking has improved considerably in 2021 and he looks like he could be a decent value in this group, which if I’m being honest is pretty appealing for their upside. He, Glover, Kizzire and Laird all seem to be underpriced.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,200) – Kizzire is another player who’s made big strides in the 2020-21 season, and his normal SG:OTT woes fall under the same category as Kirk. In effect, we can consider him to be kind of a “poor man’s Kirk” this week given the disparity in pricing and odds. I like him for GPPs and he’s in consideration for my SE.
Martin Laird (DK $7,100) – Laird is 30thoverall on my model and while his game is a tad finicky for my liking, he’s three for his last three at the VTO including two top 20s. I won’t go heavy, but coming in around the 5-10% range along with the field shouldn’t kill too many lineups if he doesn’t smash.
Matthew NeSmith (DK $7,100) – NeSmith will be more popular than Laird because he’s easily more recognizable; his solid February stretch made him a profitable play at the Pebble Beach AT&T and Waste Management Open. He’s No. 39 overall on my model and while the windy Texas venue might be a problem for him, he’s a decent enough ball striker to come out okay.
Tom Lewis (DK $6,800) – Lewis is my wild card play this week, but I’ll be careful not to exceed 10% ownership in my GPPs and probably can’t get behind him in single-entry. Still – he’s a guy who can go low and could make his mark in single-day, so stay tuned.
Chesson Hadley (DK $6,600) – Hadley’s not the best scrambler around, but if he can keep his head on straight and not melt down on the Par 5s, I’ve got confidence he can place well enough this week to help your teams. Expectations should remain relatively low at this price, but Hadley could surprise this weekend.
More value golfers to consider: Erik van Rooyen, John Huh, Doug Ghim (GPP), Harry Higgs, Tom Hoge, Jim Furyk, Will Gordon
Jason Dufner (DK $6,500) – As we’ve discussed before,we should never be going all-in on this range of golfers unless there’s a glaring pricing error at play, but I don’t mind using some Dufner given the fact he’s made three out of his last four cuts and has some upside.
Bo Hoag (DK $6,400) – He’s missed the cut in his last two but Hoag offers plenty of Top 35 upside for his excellent scrambling numbers and overall finish in my model, where he’s No. 28 (just ahead of Si Woo Kim and Laird). He’s a 1/10 GPP play at most but I’ll have shares.
D.J. Trahan (DK $6,000) – Trahan is an awful putter but ranks No. 32 on my model and will find his way onto one or two of my cheap 20 max “studs-and-scrubs” lineups because…why not? At $6K if the other guys fare really well, all he needs to do is make the cut.
Additional punts: Kyle Stanley, Danny Lee (GPP), J.B. Holmes, Akshay Bhatia (GPP)
We’re loading up another PGA DFS picks column to tackle TPC Sawgrass at the Players Championship and finding you some winning golfers this week.
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,200) – Joel and Sia did a great job explaining how there’s a lot of different ways to approach your build this week in the breakdown, and there’s not really one right answer. But if I’m entering 10 GPP lineups, I’ll probably start with DJ and one of the $9K guys, be it JT, Webb, Morikawa or Cantlay. It’s a great spot to get some leverage by using the guy I think is most talented golfer in the field at twice (or more) the projected ownership. He’s talked about how he likes this venue in March more than May, and he’s No. 1 in my model by a long shot. He’ll be the anchor of my single-entry lineups and there’s really no good reason to fade him.
Rory McIlroy (DK $10,600) – Rory continues to struggle with closing out tournaments, and the fact that he’s technically the defending champ here doesn’t inspire additional confidence on a golf course that’s given him problems in the past. The risk-reward nature of TPC Sawgrass and its reputation as the “fifth major” lends more similarity to the Masters and Augusta National more than any of the other majors, and McIlroy has yet to “master” what it takes to win among the azaleas. He could easily play solid golf and score another top ten, but I won’t be overweight on Rory this week.
Justin Thomas (DK $9,900) – This is probably the week where I take my biggest stand on JT, because there’s a little bit of a discount and because I can’t imagine the field going too heavy on ownership on a player who’s missed two of his last four cuts. But there’s plenty to like about some of the things we’ve seen Thomas do in his recent rounds, and my model reflects it as he’s No. 3 on my list. The opportunities have been there and it’s exactly the kind of venue where JT could post a couple really low scores and find himself at the top of the leaderboard after two or three rounds.
Webb Simpson (DK $9,500) – Webb is probably the best way to start building in cash games and he’s a candidate for single-entry anchor because of how well he’s played TPC Sawgrass over the past three attempts. He’s fifth on my overall model and he ranks second in the field (over his past 36 rounds) in SG:APP on correlative courses (including Bay Hill, Augusta National, TPC Boston, Shesan International and Quail Hollow). There’s no clear weakness to his game – he ranks 60th or better in every focus stat metric that matters this week – and the price is excellent.
Also consider: Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau (GPP)
Colin Morikawa (DK $9,400) – We don’t necessarily have to look to Morikawa this week, because the official records don’t indicate any course history here, but a little digging shows us that he started off last year’s event quite well (-4) in a bizarre first-round environment that saw no fans allowed on the grounds before the tournament was canceled amid the creeping horror of the pandemic. He’s an incredible ball striker and he’s made strides in his short game, but I’m leaning toward more shares of the next two guys on this list for the comparative discount.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $9,200) – Cantlay is an incredible golfer from tee-to-green and he’s in the top 15 of my model. He’s yet to really break through at the Players but he has a couple of Top 25 finishes and his last six tournaments haven’t yielded a finish worse than T17, performances that included a win at the ZOZO, a solo second at the AMEX, and a T3 at Pebble Beach. The biggest knock is the fact that he withdrew from the WGC-Workday with an illness/dehydration, but that could have just been a stomach bug that really left him in the dumps – pun intended.
Tony Finau ($9,100) – Like DJ, there’s no discernible reason to exclude Finau from your lineups this week, especially at such an affordable price. My biggest concern is his SG:ARG on correlative courses, but with the overseeding of these Bermudagrass greens, we’re going to see the surfaces a little more speedy – just how he likes them. The scoring opportunities for Finau (No. 10 overall on my model and No. 9 in the field for Opps Gained) should be there this week and I’m definitely going to be overweight on the field.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $8,700) – If you clicked the link about last year’s first round scores, Hideki fired a nine-under par 63 and tied the course record in the doomed 2020 event, and the ball-striking sensation seems to like how the greens roll here in March, as he finished T8 here in 2019 when they made the switch. Even if he struggles with his putter a bit, the T2G game should carry him through and get his name in the mix on Sunday.
Paul Casey (DK $8,400) – Casey is a feast-or-famine GPP play who’s had a mixed bag of results at the Players, but he’s a good fit in this price range and he’s been striking the ball extremely well en route to some international success at Dubai, where he won, and locally at Bay Hill last week, when he finished T10. His T2G numbers on Pete Dye courses are solid, and he’s got the chops and nerves of steel to win at TPC Sawgrass.
Adam Scott (DK $8,100) – Scott makes more sense for cash than GPPs, as he sports a more-than-decent course history here and has been making cuts lately – but has just one top 10 finish (T10 at the Farmers) since the U.S. Open in September 2020. He’s usable in tournaments as a last piece, but he’s not very exciting and not part of my GPP core.
Tommy Fleetwood (DK $7,900) – Sia’s betting the farm on Fleetwood notching the low score of day one at an enticing 66-1, and that’s a really amazing price for a golfer as talented as Fairway Jesus – who’s been striking the ball quite well as of late. He’s got plenty of upside and seems to play his best in big events – and the Players qualifies. A top 10 finish wouldn’t surprise me.
Cameron Smith (DK $7,900) – This is a tough call for GPPs, because game log watchers will see his recent finishes and be inspired, while course history hounds might get scared off by the missed cuts in 2017 and 2018. But the switch to March yielded a better result (he made the cut) in 2019, so I’m willing to throw out the previous struggles and focus more on the form and his attractive No. 34 spot in my mixed model.
Will Zalatoris (DK $7,600) – Another talented golfer who saves his best golf for tough tracks and strong fields, Zalatoris is getting his first crack at TPC Sawgrass but seems to have a game that translates to any venue. He’s solid off the tee, he doesn’t make big numbers, and he’s a fine large-field GPP or single-entry tourney play at this price.
Also consider: Viktor Hovland (GPP), Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Daniel Berger, Jordan Spieth, Tyrrell Hatton (GPP), Matthew Fitzpatrick, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen (GPP), Jason Kokrak, Joaquin Niemann
Abraham Ancer (DK $7,500) – We can thank the soft pricing for Ancer making the value range at just $7,500 this week, and while he doesn’t spike a top 10 rank in any one key metric heading into the Players, he’s a top-notch ball striker who finished T12 (right alongside Rahm and Joel Dahmen) at this event in 2019. I’ll be ahead of the field in GPPs at hopefully around 20-25% in my 20-max, and he’s on the short list for consideration in SE.
Russell Henley (DK $7,400) – Henley is my “off-the-wall, model-loves-him” GPP play this week, because he’s had a pretty rough go of it in his last four tries here. A little more course history research shows a T24 and T17 in 2015 and 2014, so there’s some room for optimism. It makes sense that when the course played a little faster tee-to-green, he had more success, especially when you consider his less-than-stellar SG:OTT numbers. But Henley usually avoids the big numbers, hit great approaches and has a decent-enough short game to compete with the best, so I’m mixing him into my GPP builds.
Lanto Griffin (DK $7,300) – Griffin appears to be taking the next step forward in his career as he gains more confidence, and since his MC at the AMEX he’s posted four straight finishes of T26 or better, including a T21 at the API last week. It’s not a course where too many golfers play “lights-out” in their inaugural run, but he’s going to make a few of my GPP lineups.
Cameron Tringale (DK $7,200) – Tringale hasn’t played here since 2017, but he’s made the cut in three of his last four tries and has a T35 and T16 in his last two runs at Sawgrass. He and Chris Kirk (No. 9 overall) are the only $7K golfers in the top 10 of my model this week, and Tringale’s ranking at No. 7 is largely a result of a solid short game, a high rank in bogey avoidance and SG:APP on correlative courses. He’s worth a look.
Christian Bezuidenhout (DK $7,100) – He wasn’t on my initial list, but the more I dig into his recent form (T7 at the API) and the revelation that he was -7 in last year’s first round. The dude can putt like a demon and he’s solid around the green, so if he can keep it in the fairways (and there’s a lot of less-than-driver here so that should help his chances), there’s no reason he can’t find a Top 10. He’s probably going to be on my single-entry teams and I’ll be close to 40 percent in large-field GPPs.
Chris Kirk (DK $7,000) – The other of my $7K model darlings, Kirk makes for fine value in any format and his biggest weakness (putting) becomes a veritable strength on fast surfaces, which TPC Sawgrass should provide this week. He might be popular, as he’s projected around 11-12% right now, but I’ll have shares close to or exceeding that in GPPs.
Emiliano Grillo (DK $6,700) – Grillo is the best ball striker you’ll ever see under $7K and his reputation of having a poor short game is probably the reason he’s not projected over 10% ownership this week. I like his chances of making the cut (3-for-his-last-4 at the Players with a T11 in 2017) and he’s played well in three of his last four events (T21-T11-MC-T22), and the missed cut at the Genesis was the result of a 72-73 opening two rounds, which isn’t that horrendous.
More value golfers to consider: Sergio Garcia, Marc Leishman (GPP), Corey Conners, Sam Burns, Ryan Palmer, Kevin Kisner (GPP), Cameron Davis (GPP), Keegan Bradley, Alex Noren, Harold Varner III, Mackenzie Hughes
Richy Werenski (DK $6,400) – The main reason I’m considering Werenski is his immediate form, as he finished T4 last week at Bay Hill, and while normally in a field this size and strength I’d be scared of the golfers under $6,500, we’ve got a few high-upside guys this week. He’s not great off the tee, but as we discussed, that could be mitigated (like last week) with more “less-than-driver” than usual.
Doug Ghim (DK $6,200) – Ghim could blow up and make a couple of double-bogeys in his first four holes, but he’s also capable of firing a 65 on day one and putting himself in decent position for making the cut and posting a top 25 finish. It’s hard to recommend using him at more than 10 percent, but at that rate you’ll be around 2x the field ownership.
Jason Dufner (DK $6,100) – Dufner has a major championship under his belt and while that was a long time ago, he’s made four cuts in a row at the Players including a T5 in 2018, and he’s better-than-average on tougher courses with his ball-striking and prefers fast greens. Don’t go overboard, but he’s fine to grab in 1/20 since nobody will be on him.
Additional punts: Nick Taylor, Rory Sabbatini, Jhonattan Vegas, Harry Higgs (GPP)
This edition of PGA DFS picks takes us to iconic Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, giving us some key golfers to mix into our winning teams!
Rory McIlroy (DK $11,500) – We’re still waiting on the next big win from Rory and while his putting remains a concern, this is as fine a venue as any to take a shot. The track record at Bay Hill is nearly spotless (he’s the 2018 champ and has four straight top six finishes here) and the premium price reflects that. But if we want him on a few of our GPP teams there’s plenty of value golfers we can use to make it happen without it feeling like extreme stars and scrubs.
Viktor Hovland (DK $10,600) – Sia loves him this week and the only possible reason Hovland be considered a “risky” golfer in this top tier because it’s just his third appearance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While he’s made the cut both times, he posted a T40 and T42, so we’re expecting a big step forward. The difference between that Viktor and the new Viktor is his ability to drain big putts, and he’s second in my model after Sam Burns, who has yet to break through at Bay Hill as well. Hovland should have a better handle on this difficult layout now and I can’t bet against him – he’ll probably be on my short list for single-entry.
Tyrrell Hatton (DK $10,000) – Hatton won here last year and is 4-for-4 since 2017, when he finished T4 (with McIlroy). He’s showing up in the top five in my models (tweaked for recent form (24 rounds) and the last 75 rounds and is a solid play in all formats. He’s first in the Proximity 200+ yards stats which we know is a huge factor on this beast of a golf course.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,800) – There’s going to be a lot of sticker shock when folks see the price this week compared to the Genesis, and even last week when he was just $8,500. He’s an excellent play on a tough golf course where he’s had consecutive Top 10 finishes (including a second place finish in 2019). He could get popular and we’ll just have to watch the projected ownership percentages to see how much we’ll need in GPPs.
Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau (GPP), Patrick Reed, Sungjae Im
Francesco Molinari ($8,700) – The model isn’t in love with him this week because it includes a stretch of rustiness from the Italian. But Molinari has been on the right track recently and the course record here is brilliant, with a win in 2019 and a couple of top tens before that. He’s an option in smaller tournaments (as Joel pointed out in the breakdown video), but his popularity could make him a fade in larger GPPs.
Will Zalatoris (DK $8,600) – There may not be a golf course in the known universe that Zalatoris can’t handle, and despite the fact that this is his Bay Hill debut, the youngster has the chops to flourish where others struggle on this demanding layout. The ball-striking prowess is there, and If the putter can pick up a few strokes on the field, look out.
Max Homa (DK $8,500) – Homa finished T24 in his API debut last season, and his game has taken a big step forward since then – with more ball-striking consistency and dominance of Par 5s, where the scoring usually happens. I really like Homa again this week at a fairly priced $8,500 and I’m considering using him in my core GPP builds.
Sam Burns (DK $8,400) – Burns will undoubtedly be popular this week, but he’s first on my model given his excellent numbers over the past 24 rounds, and I’ll have a tough time getting away from him in all formats. The talent is there, it’s just a mat