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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...
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust helping you find some winning teams in GPPs!
Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!
Jon Rahm (DK $11,500) – The No. 1 player in the world hasn’t played much lately since he was forced to withdraw from the Olympics after another positive COVID test. But his win at the U.S. Open and T3 at Royal St. George’s are proof positive he’s the frontrunner in the playoffs, and his complete T2G game and masterful short game combine to check all the boxes here. With pricing up, I like him best for GPP, but if you can find a cash lineup with him that you like, I wouldn’t blow it up.
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,000) – According to the PGA Tour stats, DJ was 23.53 total strokes better than the field average last year at TPC Boston when he ran away with the Northern Trust at -30. It was the third time he had gained 20 or more strokes en route to victory, and the change of venue shouldn’t hurt his game. He’s eighth in this field at Proximity from approaches 200+ yards over his last 36 rounds, he putts better on Bentgrass, and he makes for a great GPP play this week.
Jordan Spieth (DK $10,800) – Only a handful of players have been better at the 450-500 yard Par 4s over the past 36 rounds (solid GPP options Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy are a couple of them), and none of them can putt like Spieth can. Normally I wouldn’t look Spieth’s way for a cash game build in a field this good, but Sia really sung his praises in the excellent WinDaily Breakdown video, and Jordan has had such a great 2021 that I think I’m using him in cash and single entry as well as GPP.
Justin Thomas (DK $9,800) – JT hasn’t put it all together in a while (his last win was at the Players and he had lackluster finishes in the most recent majors) but he’s shown an affinity for playoff golf in the past and he’s tops in the field in SG: T2G over his last 24 rounds on courses over 7,400 yards in length. He was T12 here in 2019 and this is a good spot to jump back on the JT wagon in GPPs.
Also consider: Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy (GPP), Bryson DeChambeau (Cash), Viktor Hovland
Abraham Ancer (DK $9,400) – The freshly minted PGA Tour winner (WGC-FedEx St. Jude) was runner-up of this event at Liberty National in 2019, and he’s got to be brimming with confidence after the huge breakthrough in Memphis at TPC Southwind. Ancer is fourth overall in my mixed model and I’ll have exposure in my GPPs despite the inflated price this week.
Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,300) – Scheffler could be described as a decent putter, and that’s probably the weakest part of his game these days. He’s posted top 15 finishes in six of his last eight events and he thrives on long golf courses like this. There’s a bunch of golfers to like in this price range, but Scottie could be the sneakiest once again.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $9,200) – While I have an aversion to Cantlay in PGS DFS and he had a really rough stretch earlier this year, there’s no denying that he’s played much better golf since the PGA Championship, when he finished T23 and won in his next start at the Memorial. He prefers these A-24 Bentgrass greens, is third on tour in SG: T2G in 2021 and he finished T12 here in 2019.
Harris English (DK $8,800) – English has been stellar over the past three months, winning the Travelers at TPC River Highlands, finishing solo third at the U.S. Open, and posting top 15s in five of his last seven tournaments. He’s coming off a solo fourth at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude and I can’t find a reason to dislike him at Liberty National, even if he ends up at a really popular play.
Patrick Reed (DK $8,600) – Reed won here in 2019, and in true Captain America form went 3-1-1 when the Presidents Cup was played at this venue in 2017. He missed the cut at the Open Championship and has had some trouble keeping the ball in the fairway lately, but he’s a brilliant playoff competitor and a great GPP pivot from the more popular players in this price range.
Adam Scott (DK $8,400) – Scott missed an easy birdie putt and lost in that epic six-man playoff a week ago after firing a five-under 65 in the final round of the Wyndham Championship, but his ascent up the FedEx cup standings was impressive enough for lots of golf writers to pick him to win this week. He has course history behind him, with a fifth-place finish in 2019 and a win in 2013.
Tony Finau (DK $8,200) – I’ve been burned many times by Finau but I’m adding him to my player pool based on Joel Schreck and Spencer Aguiar’s recommendation in the Breakdown. A closer look at his numbers shows he’s good at avoiding three-putts and his SG ARG numbers have improved. He’s not much of a threat to win, but he could be that value guy who finishes top 10 and helps you secure a GPP win.
Sam Burns (DK $8,000) – I haven’t seen Burns on too many ”top picks” lists this week, but he’s showing up in my mixed model and he’s coming off a blistering 64 in the final round at TPC Southwind that got him int a playoff with Ancer. He’s awesome off the tee, can get really hot with the putter, and the fact that nobody’s talking about him make me love him for large-field GPPs.
Tyrrell Hatton (DK $7.800) – Hatton will be a lot chalkier than Burns, but the price is way too low for what he gives you on courses this length. He’s sprinkled in some bad performances with a few top 20s, and he’s No. 17 on my mixed model, in large part due to how well he handles the 200+ approaches and A-4 Bentgrass. He’s a solid option in all formats.
Jason Kokrak (DK $7,700) – I had lots of Kokrak last week when he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship, but there wasn’t anything on the line then and I’m going back to the well this week with some exposure in GPPs. I don’t want to be one week off and have no shares, but I’m not going overboard.
Also consider: Daniel Berger (Cash), Webb Simpson, Paul Casey (GPP), Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im, Brian Harman, Ian Poulter, Russell Henley
Shane Lowry (DK $7,500) – What a great price on Lowry! The 2019 Open champ is 20th overall in my mixed model and checks most if not all of the boxes in our focus stat categories this week. The form is good, he’s solid on all types of golf courses, and he’s got top 5 upside.
Cameron Tringale (DK $7,300) – I’ve been overconfident with Tringale a few times in PGA DFS, but I really like mixing in a few shares of him this week in GPPs based on where he finishes in my mixed model (ninth overall) and his solid numbers on longer approaches.
Seamus Power (DK $7,000) – Power will likely garner some ownership at this price, so if you’re getting skittish you can pivot elsewhere in GPPs – you can follow Sia’s lead and work in a guy like Charley Hoffman. But Power has been playing much better golf lately and works as a low-cost option.
Maverick McNealy (DK $6,900) – He really likes long golf coursesand was one of the first names I noticed under $7K with good SG: T2G numbers in his last 14 rounds. His SG: APP numbers leave a bit to be desired, but he’s really good off the tee and he can make some long putts.
Charl Schwartzel (DK $6,900) – Schwartzel fares well in my model (No. 33 overall) and seems to step up his game in stiffer competition. He also overperforms on long courses and should fare well at Liberty National, as the overall layout seems to favor his game.
C.T. Pan (DK $6,600) – I’ve seen some folks throw out Aaron Wise as another golfer with this price to consider, but if I’m leaning contrarian here, I’d do it with a Bronze medalist who’s coming off four rounds in the 60s. Pan is a sneaky contrarian play on longer courses and I like his chances to make the cut and spike a Top 25.
More value golfers to consider: Kevin Streelman, Bubba Watson (GPP), Jason Day (GPP), Max Homa, Charley Hoffman (GPP), Carlos Ortiz (GPP), Talor Gooch, Brendan Todd, Chris Kirk, Pat Perez, Erik van Rooyen (GPP), Aaron Wise (GPP)
Matt Wallace (DK $6,500) – He checks a few important boxes this week (450-500 yard Par 4s and overall performance on long courses) and he’s solid around the greens and in wind. Wallace almost cracks the Top 20 in my mixed model this week so I’ll be mixing him into two or three GPPS in my 20 max builds.
Luke List (DK $6,400) – I’m always drawn to List when he’s cheap, but he’s strictly GPP only because he can implode on the greens. He’s scary to roster, so keep your ownership reasonably low (under 10%).
Hank Lebioda (DK $6,300) – Sia’s boy Hammerin’ Hank has a decent overall game and is a good ball striker. He offers plenty of value and should be a staple of stars-and-scrubs builds.
Additional GPP punts: K.H. Lee, Dylan Frittelli, Chez Reavie, Matt Kuchar, Doug Ghim, Harry Higgs
The second major of the year in PGA DFS provides an opportunity for you to dominate with our winning picks and analysis at the PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy (DK $11,500) – Fresh off a one-stroke win at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, McIlroy is the betting favorite this week and the top-priced golfer on the board. While there’s no way I’m fading him completely this week, he’s bound to be popular, so I’m okay coming a little underweight on the field. The course – where he won the 2012 PGA Championship by a decisive eight shots – fits his game well. The eventual Hall of Famer from Northern Ireland is averaging 318 yards per drive this year, good for second on the PGA Tour, but his driving accuracy ranks just 175th – a stat that still scares me a little bit. He missed the cut at both the Players and the Masters, so he’ll be out to prove he’s truly back this week – right along with the cadre of fans he draws so much energy from.
Justin Thomas (DK $11,300) – JT’s win at the Players’ Championship on the Pete Dye design at TPC Sawgrass convinced me his game is in fine enough shape to contend at the coastal test of Kiawah Island – which earned the moniker “Looney Dunes” when it was played at the 1991 Ryder Cup. Thomas already has one PGA Championship under his belt (2017) on a course that provided a tough test for its competitors, and I like his ability to bounce back from bad bounces, bad holes and bad stretches a lot more than the sometimes erratic Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm, who may currently lack the killer instinct and unflappable mindset to perform at his best this week. JT’s game is a complete one – and if he can continue to gain strokes around the green and get hot with the putter, the sky’s the limit.
Jordan Spieth (DK $10,100) – Spieth has played excellent golf in 2021, and his ball-striking is finally coming around the match his epic short game. We did see Spieth chunk a few chips and pitches last week, but I’ll chalk that up to anecdotal errors and assume the empirical brilliance he’s demonstrated under pressure around the greens throughout his career will take precedence over a few minor flubs. Golf Digest ranked the Ocean Course the toughest in the country, and Tiger Woods has compared the Ocean Course’s long, links-like layout to Whistling Straits, where Spieth contended against eventual winner Jason Day in 2015. He’s a fine play in all formats, and since he’s healthy now, I like him a little better than the more expensive Dustin Johnson, who WD last week due to a knee injury.
Xander Schauffele (DK $9,600) – Xander’s my favorite play in the lower half of the elite tier, although he’s still waiting to hoist his first major trophy after several close calls. Schauffele’s performance in majors during his brief career has been quite impressive – with top 25s in 11 of his 15 major events to date, including eight top 10s, six top 5s and a T3 just two starts ago at the Masters in April. Since then, he’s finished T11 at the Zurich alongside teammate Patrick Cantlay and T14 at the Wells Fargo. His time is coming, and this week might very well be it.
Also consider: Dustin Johnson (GPP), Collin Morikawa
Viktor Hovland (DK $9,300) – Hovland’s consistent play in 2021 includes just one MC and an incredible six finishes inside the Top 6 in his last 10 starts. He’s been a free square in cash games and provides ample GPP value despite his popularity in PGA DFS. He’s probably the least contrarian you can go if your goal is to build a safe lineup with some upside, and while he’s yet to win a major (or even crack a Top 10) in his young career, he’s not very far from greatness. His demeanor, his ball-striking and his positive attitude should go a long way this week in all formats.
Cameron Smith (DK $8,900) – Smith is my favorite pick in the $8-9K range and I’ll be pinning a lot of my GPP hopes on him posting a Top 10 finish. He’s lodged somewhere in the top 15 or 20 power rankings for a lot of sharps this week, and his dominance on par 3s and par 5s over the past few months points to an ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities. That, combined with his ability to avoid three-putts (third overall heading into this week) usually helps him get it done regardless of the venue.
Will Zalatoris (DK $8,800) – Zalatoris seems to save his best golf for the biggest moments and the toughest golf courses, so he’s definitely one to watch this week at the Ocean Course. His seemingly effortless combination of power off the tee and precision on his approaches took a week off at the Wells Fargo, but he’s a very good bet for a Top 25 at Kiawah Island amid a strong field and a slew of big names who’ve already sealed the deal with multiple major wins. I’m not quite ready to go all-in just yet, but I’ll gladly get ahead of the field in my GPP ownership this week and see where it all shakes out.
Tony Finau (DK $8,600) – I’ve said “never again” too many times to count with Finau, but he’s talking confidently about his ability to win a major (despite just one career PGA Tour win to his credit) and he’s so damn good off the tee. I’ve thrown out a lot of the usual models I’ve been relying on for “lesser” tournaments since attitude and form go a long way in determining performance at a major championship venue this challenging, but Finau is one of the golfers who usually fares well on paper and just seems to lack the fortitude to finish tournaments. He’s flying under the radar this week and the team is off him, but for me there’s some leverage as a GPP pivot in the Will Z/Cam Smith range.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,400) – Fitzpatrick killed a lot of PGA DFS lineups this past week but scoring fests like the Byron Nelson are not where the wispy Englishman plays his best golf. His overall short game and precise ball-striking are his biggest strengths, and while he’s not insanely long (No. 168 on tour in Driving Distance), he ranks 16th on tour in SG:OTT – a huge stat this week since missing the fairway won’t be an easy fix on most of these holes. Fitzpatrick is having his best season on the PGA tour in 2020-21, and I can’t advocate leaving him out of your player pool.
Tyrrell Hatton (DK $8,000) – Hatton ranks ninth on the PGA Tour in SG:APP and is in the top 20 for SG:OTT – the top two stats this week. While his performance around the greens remains his biggest bugaboo, he seems to step up and avoid three putts just enough on tough golf courses. He also should be recovered from the positive COVID test that forced him to withdraw from the Valspar in late April. The price is tempting, but I’ll be limiting my ownership levels to around 10% in GPPs since he’s yet to post a Top 15 finish on the PGA Tour in 2021.
Abraham Ancer (DK $7,900) – Ancer is a cut-making and ball-striking machine who’s yet to post a Top 10 major championship finish, but he’s coming in extremely hot: solo fifth at the Valspar, solo second at the Wells Fargo – performances which came on the heels of five straight finishes in the Top 26. He’s always among the leaders in SG:APP and Bogey Avoidance, and the only thing that could keep him from posting another Top 25 this week is his short game. Still – he’ll be a GPP staple and is a fine play in just about any format.
Paul Casey (DK $7,700) – Playing a chalky Casey could end up burning me, but I don’t care. The pedigree and price are just too good to pass up this week. The missed cut at the RBC Heritage is just about the only blemish on his 2021 record, and he’s notched five top 10 finishes this year, including a win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which took place at a course grassed with – you guessed it – Paspalum. There are a lot of Euro Tour regulars I like this week, and Casey has proven to have winning upside on the International stage, even if he’s yet to notch a major win.
Marc Leishman (DK $7,600) – Please don’t forget about Leishman this week. He finished T5 at the Masters, and he’s had a slew of good performances in wind, something that he and fellow Aussie Cameron Smith know a lot about from the gusty tracks “down under.” He’s coming off a breezy T21 at TPC Craig Ranch and he finished T27 at Kiawah island in the 2012 PGA Championship. If he’s not mega-popular, I’ll be on board in GPPs and will consider him for a balanced single-entry build.
Also consider: Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed (GPP), Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Louis Oosthuizen, Corey Conners (Cash)
Sam Burns (DK $7,500) – The price is way too low for his current form and ability with the driver and flat stick; his putting numbers have shown marked improvement in 2021 and are the main reason he’s been so good lately. His irons haven’t been awful either, and Burns will be a tough fade if you’re looking for balanced builds. The timing for him playing the best golf of his young career couldn’t be better, and he’s really easy to root for.
Keegan Bradley (DK $7,300) – The 34-year-old has loads of experience on Paspalum, and the way he’s been driving the ball and striking it, he’s going to be a core play of mine in single-entry, GPP and cash. I’ll be approaching 40 percent overall ownership and taking the big plunge. Bradley already has a PGA Championship under his belt – his lone major victory – and he’s playing the best golf of his career since that zenith, which came when he was just a young man of 25.
Charley Hoffman (DK $7,300) – I don’t go overweight on Hoffman, but he plays his best golf in tough competition on long and challenging golf courses. He’s made eight straight cuts and finished outside the top 35 only once (a T52 at the Genesis Invitational) during that stretch – which includes a solo second at the Valero Texas open and consecutive T18s in his last two events.
Jason Kokrak (DK $7,100) – He’s just about the best value on the board, along with veterans Stewart Cink and Charl Schwartzel, and he’s yet to miss a cut in 2021 – a season that’s seen the tour veteran post a T9 at the Players and three more Top 15 finishes. It’s debatable whether or not his breakthrough win in 2020 has given him the confidence to finally contend at a major – where his performance over the past few years has been spotty at best – but this golf course seems to play to his strengths.
Stewart Cink (DK $6,900) – One of the most surprising stats about the 47-year-old PGA Tour stalwart’s recent resurgence is his Driving Distance (No. 23 on tour). That length should help him tackle these long par 4s and his No. 9 rank in Bogey Avoidance will hopefully get him another solid finish in the PGA Championship – a major he hasn’t played since 2018 when he finished T4 at Bellerive Country Club.
Charl Schwartzel (DK $6,800) – The Win Daily team has given you Schwartzel’s name week after week, and I’ve had him covered even before his T26 at the Masters and subsequent T21-T14-T3, a progression that’s been impressive considering the dynamic differences among the courses during that stretch. He’s one of a handful of golfers under $7K who I’ll be rostering in more than 15% of my GPP lineups, and he’s brimming with confidence heading into a major where he’s made the cut six straight times since a missed cut in 2013. Over the course of his career, Schwartzel has 18 Top 25s in the 52 major championships he’s played in a professional career that started when he was just 18 years old in 2002.
Christian Bezuidenhout (DK $6,800) – CBZ, as I like to call him for brevity’s sake, is my off-the-wall value play. He’s piqued my interest for his dominance around the greens, where he ranks second on the PGA tour in SG:ARG behind just Fabian Gomez. His ball-striking is a concern, but on a course that plays this difficult for everybody, I’m willing to take a chance and include him in a few of my 20-max GPPs.
Thomas Pieters (DK $6,800) – On the other end of the spectrum, we have a Belgian EURO golfer who strikes the ball well and is long enough off the tee to contend on this course. There’s not a lot of PGA Tour data, but his ranks put him among the Top 65 in plenty of key categories, and his form is decent. Before his missed cut at the Byron Nelson, he posted four straight Top 15s in tournaments here and abroad.
More value golfers to consider: Gary Woodland (GPP), Lee Westwood, Matt Wallace, Brian Harman, Garrick Higgo, Max Homa (GPP), Matt Jones, Cameron Tringale, Rickie Fowler (GPP), Chris Kirk, Talor Gooch (GPP), Thomas Detry
Dean Burmester (DK $6,300) –I love the form (Win-T4-T6 in his last three EURO events), and while he’s a huge risk playing inside the United States, where he’s only played two majors – both U.S. Opens (T56-MC). I won’t go into too much detail about the South African because I don’t have a lot – but in this price range I’m willing to use him a bit and hope he sneaks into the weekend and gets on a decent run.
J.T. Poston (DK $6,100) – There’s not a lot of golfers to seriously consider in this price range, but Poston’s putter (fourth on tour in SG:P) and distance off the tee (300+) gets him into the conversation. He doesn’t three-putt too much and while his ball-striking is a concern, once in a while he shines. For this price in GPPs, he can’t hurt you too much if you keep him under 10%.
Additional GPP punts: Brendan Steele (GPP), Tom Lewis, Lanto Griffin, Erik van Rooyen, Harry Higgs, Andy Sullivan
Our comprehensive PGA DFS picks returns for the Honda Classic at PGA National to help find you some great picks and winning teams this week.
Sungjae Im (DK $11,000) – Since his T5 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions – a no-cut event – Im hasn’t placed better than T12 at the AMEX, though he’s made every cut and hasn’t necessarily hurt you. This week, he’s the top-priced golfer in a thin field and the defending champion — but he’s probably not the best option in cash games if you’re trying to build a balanced lineup. I won’t be overweight on the field, but I’ll have a few shares in GPPs based strictly on his ability to avoid bogeys and get off the tee well. The SG:APP and SG:ARG numbers don’t give me enough confidence to go all-in, even with the shortage of “elite talent in the top tier.
Daniel Berger (DK $10,800) – On Monday, Berger was the betting favorite and recently cited a rib injury following his T9 performance at the Players. He’s supposed to do a pre-tourney press conference, so we should have a better idea of how the ribs are feeling the day before lock. For now, I’m downgrading him slightly; he actually said he was surprised he played four full rounds dealing with the issue. Joel, Michael and Sia discussed Berger on the breakdown, but the fact that he played through the injury last week – and he’s second overall on my model – makes me want to use him in GPPs if he’s good to go. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Berger has withdrawn from the Honda Classic and has been replaced by Rhein Gibson. Get him out of all your lineups and pivot to Niemann, Westwood or value. Incidentally, because the winds are going to blow so hard this week, it’s not a bad idea to leave some money on the table in a few lineups in large-field GPPs — since we could see the winning lineup not include any of the players over $9,500, and sneak a couple of serious value plays in the top 5.
Joaquin Niemann DK $10,400) – Our process of elimination is being aided by some early WDs and glaring red flags with a few of the other “elite” golfers this week, so forgive me for arriving at Joaquin Niemann chalk and feeling a bit uninspired. He’s viable in all formats, he’s sixth overall on my model and he’s 11/11 on cuts since the start of October. So what’s the downside? We’ll have to keep an eye on ownership for our GPP exposure, but I’m starting to feel like he’s one of the safer plays on the board.
Russell Henley (DK $9,800) – Henley might be the best cash game play of the top group when price, course history and model are all considered, and I’ll have plenty of exposure in GPPs as well, as he’s No. 1 overall on my model and his ownership might be more depressed than it would have been had he made the cut last week and had a finish higher than T11 in his last eight starts. He’s continually improve his finish in this event since 2016, and he won here in 2014. Henley will be the starting point for about 30-40 percent of my GPPs, and he’s shaping up to be an anchor on my single-entry squad.
Also consider: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott (Cash)
Shane Lowry (DK $9,200) – If the wind starts blowing and folks are having a tough time making pars, I’m all the more interested in a guy like Lowry, who’s proven to be a trustworthy golfer even when conditions are dire. He’s in good form and his history at the Honda Classic (through three tries) yielded a T21 in his last go-round. The weaker field, the difficulty of the venue and his increased confidence both here and on correlative and other Florida courses is a combination for prospective success this week.
Cameron Tringale (DK $9,100) – Tringale actually described the Champion course at PGA national himself as a “second-shot golf course” that plays tough because of the wind, the run-offs and the myriad hazards that abound. Tringale has always been decent around the greens and has his most difficulty on correlative courses getting off the tee (he ranks 131st in the field in SG: OTT when adjusted for this course and the others mentioned in the bullets). While it feels weird playing over $9K for Tringale, but he’s No. 18 in my model and if he can keep it in the fairways here, he’ll be in good shape to contend on Sunday.
Chris Kirk (DK $9,000) – In his last two events, Kirk has waited until day 4 to shoot his worst round of the tournament, which may not bode well for his confidence heading into a difficult PGA National course. If he’s anywhere near 15% or more in GPPs, I’ll steer clear, but you have to consider a guy whose ball striking has been this good lately. He’s No. 15 in my model overall and the only thing that’s really held him back form better finishes in his last few tourneys has been his putting.
Brendan Steele (DK $8,700) – This tour grinder has made seven consecutive cuts heading into the Honda this week. Aside from a MC in 2019, Steele’s course history is more than solid (8-for-9 with top 15s in four of last five; 36-hole leader before a T4 last year), and he’s popping (fourth overall) on my model this week. I’m already leaning his way in single-entry and could have big shares across the board in all formats. As a bonus, we’ve seen Steele navigate high winds well before, and Sia likes him this week too, so there are two more reasons to keep him in our builds.
Matt Wallace (DK $8,500) – Wallace is another player who plays well in these types of conditions, and he has one of those names that Sia really likes for its simplicity and understated, boring inflection. Because it doesn’t stand out like Wallace himself, we could see ownership lower than what it should be this week. For that reason, and the important detail that he’s a longshot who just barely missed the cut here last year, we don’t need high ownership to stay ahead of the field. He’s definitely getting mixed into my GPPs (20-max), but I won’t have more than 10 percent shares.
Also consider: Talor Gooch, Rickie Fowler (GPP), Keegan Bradley (GPP), Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Wyndham Clark (GPP), Byeong Hun An, Russell Knox, Erik van Rooyen
K.H. Lee (DK $7,500) – Lee missed the cut at Bay Hill and finished a ho-hum T41 last week at the Players, but I’m intrigued by the correlation between success here and at TPC Scottsdale – where he finished T2 in February. The South Korean sensation is adept at avoiding bogeys and is 25th overall in my model this week – making him a solid value play. Because of the wind, I’m looking at tee times and favoring the early Thursday times a bit, so Lee takes a bit of a hit because of that, but I’m still interested.
Luke List (DK $7,500) – He’s let me down a few times with missed cuts, but he can really get off the tee well and that usually bodes well for success at this event, where he finished solo second (between winner JT and Alex Noren) in 2018. Add to that course history another Top 10 and a couple missed cuts and underwhelming performances, and you’ve got a golfer to use in GPPs and stay a bit ahead of the field in ownership.
James Hahn (DK $7,300) – Hahn hasn’t played the Honda Classic in a while, but he’s tied with Lee Westwood for eighth overall in my model, he’s sprinkled three Top 15s in his last 10 tournaments, and his solo 10th place finish at the TPC course Waste Management gives me some confidence in his ability to do well here at this correlated PGA course in South Florida. He’ll be low-owned and makes for a prime target in GPPs.
Ryan Moore (DK $7,300) – Moore has played here just once, but he made the cut, and he’s finished in the Top 35 in his last two tournaments after three straight MCs to start out 2021. He’s No. 14 overall on my model this week and he’s been playing steady enough golf to spike a Top 10 or 15 finish here, which works for me in all formats.
Chez Reavie (DK $7,000) – His proximity stats are second in the field (Vaughn Taylor is actually first and Russell Henley is third), and he’s been off a bit this year with a bunch of missed cuts mixed with a few decent performances. His putting and ARG numbers have bene bad, but if he can find a little magic on the short stuff, he could pay off handsomely in GPPs.
Lucas Glover (DK $7,000) – I really like Glover this week in GPPs given his extensive course history, but I’ve been known to go a little overboard because of the upside he offers at such a cheap price point. He hasn’t had a top 10 finish since the Mayakoba, but there have bene some bright spots, including a 63 in round two of the Waste Management Open and some steady golf last week (in rounds 2-4) despite difficult conditions. His ability to avoid the big number could come in handy this week.
Jim Furyk (DK $6,900) – Full disclosure: I’ll probably have Furyk on way too many teams this week given the venue, the fact that he’s fifth in my model (and #1 in the field in Bogey Avoidance), and the crucial factor that less-than-driver is plenty on a lot of these Par 4s. The veteran golfer (and shoo-in 2021 HOFer) is one of the best ball strikers the game has ever known, and he’s still got it going at over 50 years of age.
Chesson Hadley (DK $6,600) – Hadley (No. 20 overall on my model) typically struggles around the greens, but he likes this putting surface and if he can avoid some of the testy run-offs and navigate the ball well T2G, I think he could be in play in GPPs. He’s in the price range where you don’t need to go overboard or even use him in single-entry, but I’m fine with 10-15% ownership in GPPs if you want some extra leverage for a high-upside guy with two Top 25s at this event.
More value golfers to consider: Patton Kizzire (GPP), Zach Johnson, Henrik Norlander (GPP), Jhonattan Vegas (GPP), Harry Higgs (GPP), Adam Long, Mark Hubbard, Denny McCarthy, John Huh (GPP), Wes Bryan, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Dufner
Pat Perez (DK $6,500) – It’s easy to root for Perez, who’s No. 10 on my overall model this week but missed the cut last week after 77-69 in the opening two rounds. I’m focused on the 69 – especially since the last two times he missed the cut he bounced back with a finish in the top 36. That’s not a bad trend for a golfer in this price range, and a guy who doesn’t make a lot of big numbers and has the game to put together some low rounds.
Kramer Hickok (DK $6,400) – He performed well in high winds at the Bermuda, and he made the cut last week at the Players after getting in as an alternate with Brooks Koepka’s withdrawal. He’s No. 59 overall on my model, but he’s got some Top 25 upside this week if you need a cheap golfer to mix into 1-2 of your 20max GPPs.
UPDATE: Kramer Hickok has withdrawn his name from the field, and will be replaced by Brandon Hagy, who I have no interest in. Hickok did not cite a reason for his WD.
Kelly Kraft (DK $6,000) – Normally I don’t include players this far down in my model (he’s No. 124 this week), but Kraft finished T8 here in 2018 and he’s known for being a better player in high winds, which could come into play right off the bat this week. He’s a 1/20 max play, but he’s minimum salary and if your five golfers in a GPP build gets you there and you need a guy that’s $6K, I’d pick Kraft.
Additional punts: Stewart Cink, Vaughn Taylor (GPP), Scott Stallings, Sam Ryder, Graeme McDowell, Tyler Duncan (GPP), Chase Seifert (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)
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and helping you find some winning teams!
Patrick Cantlay (DK $11,300) – A California native who is No. 1 on my model (Dustin Johnson was No. 2 but he WD), Cantlay checks all the boxes this week and LOVES this putting surface (my model ranks him at No. 75 SG:P overall, but No. 19 on Poa over his last 100 rounds). He’s got a single-digit ranking in six of my 10 focus stats, and he’s far and away my favorite to win. I can’t find a reason to fade him – ownership be damned – so I’m considering a 100 percent lock button in GPPs and I’ll wait for Sia or Joel to talk some sense into me.
Daniel Berger (DK $10,100) – Berger is the better option of the other two golfers priced above $10K this week, the other being Paul Casey and his ice-cold putter. We can use Berger in all formats, including cash, although there may be a way to get Cantlay and plenty of other consistent cut-makers in there without breaking the bank. There’s no real weakness to Berger’s game and he only ranks higher than 33rd in one category: Proximity from 125-150 yards.
Jordan Spieth (DK $9,700) – Last week was an important one for Spieth, because he found himself in contention on Sunday. Now he’s back on a course where he’s won and that shares more than a passing resemblance to the kind of second-shot courses he excels on. He’ll be popular in all formats, so I may choose to fade him in single-entry GPPs for leverage.
Jason Day (DK $9,500) – His resume at Pebble Beach (11-for-11 with nine Top 15s) is the best in the field outside 50-year-old Mickelson, and despite two missed cuts in his last two tournaments, he does have two Top 15s since the start of November. We saw Brooks Koepka find his magic last week after a couple of MCs, and we know that he and Day share more than a few similarities as dogged competitors.
Also consider: Paul Casey (GPP), Will Zalatoris (GPP)
Kevin Streelman (DK $8,900) – Streelman notched a T22 last week with four sub-70 rounds at TPC Scottsdale, he’s got a sparkling record at Pebble Beach (three straight top 10s including a solo second last year), and he’s No. 6 in my model. I’ll be using him as a staple in my single entry, though I imagine he’ll be popular as the “almost too good to be true” pick of the week.
Max Homa (DK $8,800) – Homa isn’t quite as attractive as Streelman at this price in the mid-range, but he does have some upside at this venue (T14 and T10 in his last two tries here) and his birdie-making ability and prowess on Par 5s puts him in the GPP conversation. I’ll have some exposure, but there’s no reason to go all-in.
Henrik Norlander (DK $8,700) – You can’t argue with Norlander’s recent results (T12-T2-T22 in his last three events), but the best he’s finished at the AT&T is a T25 last year. It’s very possible he’s figured something out (SG:APP is No. 12 in the field) and we know he likes this Par 4 distance and approaches from 125-150. Norlander could get popular for his recent play, but as long as he’s not over 15 percent we should be okay.
Phil Mickelson (DK $8,600) – On courses over 7,100 yards I wouldn’t consider playing Lefty in a field this size, but he’s notched three straight top-three finishes at the AT&T, including a win in 2019, and there’s just no reason to assume that he’s not coming here to win again. His ownership appears to be holding at under 10%, and he knows these courses like the back of his hand. Why not?
Cameron Tringale (DK $8,500) – Tringale is popping at third overall on my model, though I’ve seen that happen before in events where he’s missed the cut. I’m a little worried about how his talents translate to closing on Sunday, and he’s struggled at Pebble Beach in the past, with only one top 50 in his last four tries. Far from a cash gameplay, I’ll have some shares in GPPs because he should play well here eventually.
Matthew NeSmith (DK $8,000) – My boy Rusty LOVES NeSmith, but he didn’t get into any PGS DFS action last week so he missed out on Matthew’s T7 finish. The model doesn’t hate NeSmith this week (No. 51 overall), and he debuted here last season with a T11, but the biggest concern is how his less-than-stellar short game will handle these small greens.
Russell Knox (DK $7,800) – Knox has two top 15s at this event in the last three years and ranks very well in SG: APP (No. 6 in the field) when the wind is blowing moderately or harder. We know his putter can let him down, but I’ll be mixing him into some GPPs at this affordable price. Knox looks even better to me when I think about the conditions: he’s got a fine draw and he’s solid in this windy/rainy stuff.
Maverick McNealy (DK $7,600) – McNealy loves the poa annua surface and seems to fare well when he’s hitting greens – a true GPP-only birdie-maker if there ever was one, but his approach game from 100-150 leaves much to be desired. Still – if the putter can get going and he can re-live some of the magic of last years’ T5 at this event, the sky’s the limit.
Also consider: Rickie Fowler (GPP), Sam Burns, Cameron Davis (GPP), Brendan Steele (GPP), Andrew Putnam, Brian Harman, Matt Jones (GPP), Chris Kirk, Brandt Snedeker, Peter Malnati, Harold Varner III, Nick Taylor
Scott Stallings (DK $7,500) – Stallings isn’t an exciting play, but he’s a veteran grinder who likes the event (solo third in 2018 and solo seventh in 2017) and he’s right around the cutline in my model this week. I’ll have some exposure in GPPs.
Jim Furyk (DK $7,400) – The model loves Furyk and he hasn’t missed a cut in forever. Like Mickelson, this is a course that favors his strengths and he’s far from finished on the Tour. The absurdly low price is a welcome invitation for any format.
Ryan Moore (DK $7,300) – Moore is somehow at No. 4 on my model, but is form is awful and the course record doesn’t inspire me much. I’d restrict him to multi-entry GPP and low exposure at that, but he’s on my radar. He gets a little weather bump for his decent numbers on windy coastals.
Harry Higgs (DK $7,200) – Higgs played well in his AT&T debut last year (T18) and we know he can get it done on the greens. He’s not the best ball-striker but he fares on week on Par 4s this distance and he’s a wild card play.
Scott Piercy (DK $7,100) – The conditions this week could favor a golfer like Piercy, who’s played well at this venue in the past three seasons (all top 20s with a T10 in 2019). There’s no reason to lock him into all your lineups – but get some exposure to this tour vet and thank (or curse me out) later.
Brian Gay (DK $6,600) – Once we get under $7K, the pickings are slim, but Gay is one of my go-to GPP punts – a guy with enormous winning upside despite regularly posting terrible results. A poor man’s Brandt Snedeker without the elite short game, he just seems to love playing here and on courses with small greens – with five straight made cuts in the AT&T and two top 10s in his last three tries here.
More value golfers to consider: Charley Hoffman, Stewart Cink, Michael Thompson (GPP), Nate Lashley, Bronson Burgoon, Ryan Armour, Chesson Hadley (GPP), Vaughn Taylor, Troy Merritt (GPP), Kevin Chappell
Tyler McCumber (DK $6,500) – He’s No. 67 on my model, and while his upside is far lower than a guy like Brian Gay, he’s made his last two cuts and has shown glimpses of decent golf. He also finished in the top 35 here last season so I may mix him into one or two of my 20 max GPPs.
Nick Watney (DK $6,200) – The situation under $6,500 is pretty dire, but Watney stands out as a player who’s had success here in the past (solo second place in 2015 and T14 in 2017) and despite eight straight missed cuts, he’s No. 21 on my model this week. I’m a little freaked out by it, but I may work him into 1/10 large-field GPPs.
Additional punt options: Rob Oppenheim, Grayson Murray, Jimmy Walker, Vincent Whaley, Chris Baker, Matt Every
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and helping you find some winning teams!
Jon Rahm (DK $11,200) – Rahm might be ready for a breakthrough at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after four straight performances among the top 16 in which he’s placed higher each time (16-11-10 and a T9 last season). His ball striking and short game make him a threat to win every week, but he and the next guy are 2-1 in my model, respectively, so I won’t be fading Rahmbo at TPC Scottsdale.
Justin Thomas (DK $10,800) – JT returns to the business of dominating golf courses with his complete bag of tools – which he’s probably anxious to dust off after a missed cut at Abu Dhabi and an unfortunate and embarrassing foot-in-mouth incident where he uttered a slur after a missed putt. There’s some merit to fading him in GPPs since he’s bound to be highly owned, but I always have a hard time leaving him off my favorite teams. He’s first or second in five of the nine focus stats listed above and will be a staple of my builds in all formats.
Webb Simpson (DK $10,100) – The defending champion took last week off after playing both tournaments in Hawaii (T17 at Sentry TOC and T4 at the Sony Open), and he’s made 7/7 cuts this year. He’s not a long hitter, so he’ll have to deploy a different strategy than the bombers on the long par 4s and par 5s, but he’s won here before and can do it again.
Daniel Berger (DK $9,600) – Berger works best in cash games where you’re fading the $10K and up range and looking for more balance, especially since he’s making cuts with such consistency and flashing top 10 upside. He’s not my favorite to win, but he’s finished in the top 25 in four straight events and in the 25-30 range in the previous two. Berger isn’t a complicated golfer to handicap – he just has a little trouble winning (three career, his last at the 2020 Charles Schwab).
Also consider: Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy (GPP), Hideki Matsuyama
Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,100) – I was going to start off this tier with Sungjae Im, but I like Scheffler’s upside in large-field GPPs a bit more and would prefer Im in cash games in the $9,000-$9,500 price range. Scheffler didn’t do well in his debut here last season, but if he can get hot with the putter and make the cut, there’s no telling what he can pull off on Sunday. Probably not a staple of my single-entry GPP, but just the kind of guy I want to mix up my small-stakes, multi-entry GPP tickets.
Will Zalatoris (DK $9,000) – There’s no course history to examine here, but it’s not an overly complex setup tee to green – so the talented Zalatoris is definitely in play here, especially in GPPs where folks could shay away from the price tag and the dearth of experience at TPC Scottsdale. There’s really not a venue that can throw off Willie Z, so I’m buying with the inherent risk of his short game lacking the umph to carry him onto the leaderboard.
Bubba Watson (DK $8,500) – Bubba is a course horse (T3 and T4 in last two years here) and a guy who thrives on fast greens. His poor showing at the Masters and missed cut last week at the Farmers doesn’t instill confidence, but he’s No. 17 on my model and is worth a look in GPPs.
Billy Horschel (DK $8,400) – If we throw out Horschel’s MC last week, there’s a lot to like about his recent play. He’s also 5-for-5 here with a Top 10 last season, and while he’s not necessarily popping (No. 49 overall) on my model this week, he’s viable in those balanced cash builds we’ve discussed – and even a few tournaments.
Gary Woodland (DK $8,300) – Like Watson, Gary is a golfer who’s best days in the sport may be behind him – but there’s still plenty to like about the course fit and track record: he’s four-for-his-last-five here and won the event in 2018. If he can strike it well and seize on his opportunities this week, he might make for a solid GPP play in “balanced” builds.
Russell Henley (DK $8,200) – Henley seems to alternate missed cuts with Top 20 finishes at TPC Scottsdale, as well as MCs with Top 30s in his recent play. When I take that pattern and add in that he’s on the beat for the better of those two scenarios this year – and this week – the fact that he’s No. 12 in my model (and No.1 in both SG: BS and SG: APP) gets me excited. He’s my favorite play for GPPs in the $8,000 to $8,500 range, and I dare say is viable in both single-entry and cash.
Sam Burns (DK $7,700) – Burns is the sub-$8K player who’s “popping” the most on my models (No. 6 overall) and while he played well last week, the Sunday 75 kept him from a Top 10 finish. He’s 0-for-2 here but If he can turn it around with the putter this week – and he’s normally pretty solid with the flat stick but lost almost 3 shots to the field last week – he could make for a solid under-the-radar play in all formats.
Matt Kuchar (DK $7,700) – Kuchar loves the Waste Management Open (4-for-4 with three top 10s and a T16 in his last four tries) and the price is significantly reduced since his game has taken a turn for the worse since COVID-19. Maybe this event will bring up some good memories.
Also consider: Sungjae Im (cash), Harris English (GPP), Ryan Palmer (GPP), Louis Oosthuizen, Rickie Fowler (GPP), Corey Conners, Max Homa, Carlos Ortiz, Talor Gooch (GPP)
Henrik Norlander (DK $7,500) – Norlander’s play can be wildly inconsistent week-to-week, but he’s playing well right now (T12 at the AMEX and T2 last week at Torrey Pines) and is tops in the field playing Par 4s (450-500). A first-timer in Phoenix, Norlander makes sense as a GPP play – but I’d steer clear in cash.
Brendan Steele (DK $7,400) – He’s No. 35 on my model this week with no glaring deficiencies other than a relatively weak putter. Steele has fared well here before (third place in 2018) but missed the cut in the last two tries. He’s a good bet for a bounceback and could be a viable cash game target at this price.
Charley Hoffman (DK $7,000) – I normally don’t play Hoffman but this might be the week I jump aboard. The model likes him (No. 35 overall) and he’s perfect in his last five tries here with three finishes among the top 26 golfers.
Harold Varner III (DK $6,700) – Varner is always a bit risky but he had Top 10 upside at this venue and is an excellent ball striker who’s popping in my model. Like many good ball strikers who haven’t won, his struggles are usually on the greens, so that’ll be something to watch this week.
Harry Higgs (DK $6,700) – Higgs is the opposite of Varner (not a great ball striker, better on and around the greens), but priced similarly because he’s a damn good putter. If you’re down to under $7K for your last piece, you could pivot between him and HV3.
Mark Hubbard (DK $6,600) – I like playing Hubbard in GPPs, and he’s actually 3-for-3 at the Waste Management Open – a promising stat for a guy priced this low. Nothing in his recent play is very promising, but the T9 finish last year points to an affinity for TPC Scottsdale and the low price means he could work for top heavy lineups that need some value plays.
Denny McCarthy (DK $6,600) – McCarthy is tops in the field for SG:P and his flat stick keeps him in the conversation at most venues. This week, the elevation could help with his distance (he does play Par 5s well) and the fact that he’s made the cut in two tries here and should be low owned means he’s worth a look in GPPs.
More value golfers to consider: Zach Johnson, Emiliano Grillo (GPP), Byeong Hun An (GPP), John Huh, Luke List (GPP), Sebastian Munoz, Erik Van Rooyen, James Hahn
Tom Hoge (DK $6,500) – Hoge has missed three straight cuts, but he’s improved with each appearance at this tournament, culminating with a T25 last year. There aren’t any sure things at $6,500 and under, but I’ll be overweight on last week’s secret weapon after his disappointing performances at the AMEX and Farmers.
Padraig Harrington (DK $6,200) – Harrington has made the cut in four straight events and is near the minimum price on DK. His game around the greens is still solid, and while he’s a longshot DFS play, he’s easy to root for.
Additional punt options: Brian Stuard, Keith Mitchell (GPP), Hudson Swafford
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the RSM Classic and helping you find some winning teams!
Webb Simpson (DK $11,200) – I’m still interested in massive shares of Webb (the runaway #1 in my models) for GPPs – even though he’s bound to get popular. I made that mistake last week with DJ (where I ended up fading instead of doubling the field ownership) and I’m not doing it this week at a tournament where he’s dominated. Simpson has been playing well, and we can differentiate our lineups elsewhere with salary surplus and other more low-owned golfers. I’m locking him in in all formats.
Russell Henley (DK $10,100) – It’s easy to forget about Henley (I almost just did) even though he’s had success at Sea Island (with three straight top 10s) and has played well since the restart (9-for-9 with four top 10). He’s also tops in the field for SG:APP, our No. 1 focus stat.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,900) – This course seems to be well suited for Fitzpatrick’s game, though it’s the first time he’s played here. He’s going to hit fairways, make putts and score in the 60s in all four rounds. Maybe he’ll even win and then join the Sea Island Mafia.
Also consider: Tyrrell Hatton, Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood, Harris English
Brian Harman (DK $8,500) – I like how Harman is trending from a safety perspective (top 30 finishes ion four straight, and 11 straight made cuts) and he’s a Sea Island resident with a T4 and a T14 at the RSM Classic. At this price, he’s got excellent top 10 upside.
Sebastian Munoz (DK $9,100) – Munoz, who finished third at the RSM last year, is playing pretty sharp golf right now. After finishing T8 in the 2020 FedExCup, he’s only made six straight cuts with four top 25s and a T19 at the Masters last week.
Kevin Kisner (DK $8,600) – He loves the venue and feels like an excellent value in this mid-range. He could be a solid core player in cash games or even single- entry GPP.
Mackenzie Hughes (DK $8,100) – Hughes is a little riskier than some of the other guys at this price point, but he won the RSM in 2016 and we know how hot this birdie-maker can get with the flatstick.
Talor Gooch (DK $7,900) – Based on the models, Gooch doesn’t do one thing particularly well, but he’s excellent across the board and finished T23 here last season, so he’ll make some of my GPP builds.
C.T. Pan (DK $7,900) – Perhaps the ultimate GPP play, Pan finished T7 at the Masters last week and has mixed in a T6 with a T13 (in 2016 & ’17) and a MC (2018) at the RSM. Driver isn’t a huge factor here and the price is very affordable.
Denny McCarthy (DK $7,700) – Don’t look his way in cash games, but feel free to deploy one of the tour’s best putters in tournaments. He stumbled out of the gate last year with a 71 on the Plantation course (but led the field in SG: P) en route to a T8 finish.
Also consider: Louis Oosthuizen, Corey Conners, Jason Kokrak (GPP), Ian Poulter, Doc Redman (GPP), Zach Johnson, Matthew Wallace, Alex Noren (GPP)
Austin Cook (DK $7,500) – I love this $7-8K price range and Cook headlines the value group right in the middle of it. He’s won here (2017), he’s 3-for-3 in made cuts and the podcast guys love him.
Chez Reavie (DK $7,500) – Reavie hits fairways and peppers flagsticks, though his scoring has been a little lackluster since a T3 at the Safeway in September. The T29 at Augusta should give him confidence.
Harold Varner III (DK $7,400) – Varner is on the short list of guys under $7,500 who could notch a win here, and he’ll be out to prove something after not qualifying for the Masters last week.
J.T. Poston (DK $7,300) – After three straight missed cuts at the RSM, Poston finished T14 last season and could be a low-owned GPP play with enough upside to make 2/10 of my linueps.
Henrik Norlander (DK $7,100) – Norlander will be off most people’s radar, but he’s popping in my mixed models (second overall) and I’m going to have massive shares compared to the field. Norlander withdrew on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19.
Matthew NeSmith (DK $7,000) – He’s generating chatter among the WinDaily staff, is third in SG:APP in the field and finished T14 in his debut here last season. Good enough for me to use him in GPPs.
Patton Kizzire (DK $6,800) – A brilliant putter who I rode to some solid finishes in the Shriners and at the Houston Open, Kizzire is still very cheap and has struck the ball well lately.
Lucas Glover (DK $6,800) – He let me down at the Masters and cost me a decent chunk of change by relegating a few of my would be 6/6 lineups into also-rans, but I’ll try again since he’s 3-for-3 at the RSM with a T6 in 2015 and T11 in 2018.
More value golfers to consider: Joel Dahmen, Matt Kuchar, Cameron Tringale, Emiliano Grillo, Tyler Duncan, Harry Higgs, Patrick Rodgers (GPP), Tom Hoge (GPP), David Hearn
Hudson Swafford (DK $6,400) – Swafford is a member of the Sea Island Mafia and won as recently as the Corales in September. He’s just the type of sub-$7K player I want to target in GPPs to leave a few bucks on the table when I have a little over $7K to spend.
Vaughn Taylor (DK $6,400) –He’s notched two Top 10s in three years at the RSM but missed cuts in eight of his last nine tournaments will scare off the masses. A punt play for sure, but not without a “course horse” narrative.
Additional punts: Nick Watney, Chase Seifert, Jonathan Byrd, Jamie Lovemark
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood and helping you find some winning teams!
Xander Schauffele (DK $11,200) – Schauffele squandered a 36-hole lead at the CJ Cup as Jason Kokrak won for the first time on the PGA Tour, leaving Schauffele with his fourth second-place finish since his last win – way back in January 2019 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. This week, he’s the most expensive golfer and makes for a fine play in all formats because of his accuracy off the tee, his “no-cut specialist” status and all-around complete golf game. Whether or not I use him in GPPs depends on ownership as we approach lock.
Jon Rahm (DK $11,000) – Rahmbo finished the 2019 season in the PGA Tour’s Top 20 in GIR and this week will have hopefully shaken off some of the rust that plagued him in Las Vegas. There’s no reason to fade him this week and plenty to like about his performance in the WinDaily projection model (second after Xander). I love him as a GPP play this week.
Tyrrell Hatton (DK $10,000) – Hatton finished T3 last week at Shadow Creek and now has five Top 25s in his last six starts – made all the more impressive considering he’s played a limited schedule. There aren’t many players better T2G than Hatton, who brings plenty of upside to the ZOZO.
Patrick Reed (DK $9,600) – Reed is eschewing mechanics and metrics en route to his approach – which places more emphasis on feel. He’s not the best off the tee, but he’s a SG hero with one of the best short games in golf. As long as he’s not missing every fairway, he should do well at Sherwood.
Also consider: Rory McIlroy (GPP), Justin Thomas (cash), Webb Simpson, Tony Finau (GPP)
Viktor Hovland (DK $9,200) – After firing a disappointing opening-round 75, Hovland settled down and played the next 36 holes 9-under par ultimately finishing in the Top 15 at Shadow Creek. His domination of Par 5s could prove to be an enormous help this week (there are five Par 5s at Sherwood) as he seeks another PGA Tour win.
Matthew Wolff (DK $9,100) – Wolff got off to an abysmal start last Thursday with an opening round 80, and pretty much never recovered in the no-cut CJ Cup. He’s still one of the longest hitters in the game (averaging 311.6 yards per drive in 2019-20) and the SG: Off the Tee stat is an important one this week at Sherwood, which is not far from where Wolff grew up.
Tiger Woods (DK $9,000) – Because he’s struggled recently and hasn’t played much, it’s easy to forget that Tiger won the ZOZO last year when it was held overseas. At the time, he was coming off a two-month layoff, so I’m not that concerned with rust, especially at a no-cut event on a course he’s dominated (five titles – all from the Hero World Challenge – at Sherwood).
Daniel Berger (DK $8,900) – Berger fares very well in the WinDaily model and is a tremendous buy-low value after a few pedestrian finishes over his last four tournaments (T28 at Shadow Creek and T34 in the U.S. Open).
Harris English (DK $8,800) – English missed the cut at the Shriners a couple of weeks back, but consistently finishes in the Top 10. He makes for a great cash game play and works for tournaments as well.
Joaquin Niemann (DK $8,400) – His finishes have steadily increased week-to-week since the Tour Championship, and while he occasionally misses a cut, that’s not a problem this week. He’s a fine value in this price range and has the T2G chops to win here.
Abraham Ancer (DK $7,800) – Ancer played some impressive golf at the Shriner’s with steady play in the mid 60s all week (4th place w/ 66-66-65-67), and finished T28 last week at the CJ Cup. If the putter can get hot again, he’s looking like a great play under $8K.
Also consider: Bubba Watson, Jason Kokrak (GPP), Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Adam Scott (GPP)
Paul Casey (DK $7,500) – The value play of the $7-8K range, Casey finished T69 last week but maintains plenty of upside in GPPs despite his inconsistent play this season. He’s a dynamic player who showed us at the PGA Championship how well he can play when he’s finding his groove.
Justin Rose (DK $7,400) – I have my concerns about his short game, but I’ll give Rose a shot in some GPPs at a no-cut event based on his low price and the theory that his solid T2G game will eventually come around.
Sebastian Munoz (DK $7,200) – Another solid ball-striker who’s stepped up his game lately,Munoz makes for a viable DFS play at a really affordable price.
Cameron Smith (DK $7,200) – We said last week that Smith doesn’t seem to be intimidated by strong fields and he wasn’t – en route to a solo 11th place. If his ball-striking recovers, he could sneak into the Top 10 this week.
Lanto Griffin (DK $7,000) – Ownership might be high this week since he finished T7 at the CJ Cup, but his price is still very affordable and he’s a solid enough putter to make up for a few wayward shots.
Cameron Champ (DK $6,800) – Champ may be a longshot to win, but he’s really long off the tee and he’s the kind of outlier player I like using in GPPs. With no cut and his length possibly coming into play at elevation with the lower temperatures than normal, I’m a fan.
Harry Higgs (DK $6,700) – Last week was Kokrak’s time…now Higgs is looking for his time to shine. In his search for his first PGA Tour win, a strong T2G game will help his cause,
More value golfers to consider: Brian Harman, Ryan Palmer (GPP), Talor Gooch, Alex Noren (GPP), Byeong Hun An, Corey Conners (GPP)
Mackenzie Hughes (DK $6,500) – The WinDaily model loves him this week and I’m too intrigued by his upside to worry about the T65 finish last week. I’m jumping right back on board at this price.
Tom Hoge (DK $6,400) – As Sia pointed out on the ZOZO stream, Hoge is a really good player who just doesn’t hit it that long off the tee. He’s a longshot, but he’s got Top 25 upside this week.
Michael Thompson (DK $6,100) – Thompson won the 3M in July and has struggled since. But he’s near the minimum price on DK and clearly has the upside to make sense for some GPP lineups.
Additional punts: Joel Dahmen, Richy Werenski (GPP), Tyler Duncan, Ryo Ishikawa
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek and helping you find some winning teams!
Jon Rahm (DK $11,300) – While we don’t have any real course history to look at, we do know that Rahm is the type of golfer who performs well in no-cut events, and he’s the betting favorite this week with