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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!
Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!
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
We’ve got another no-cut event to cover in our PGA DFS contests for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and our picks will help you green up those screens!
Collin Morikawa (DK $11,000) – I’ll chalk up last week’s podium no-show to a bad putting week and the leveled playing field of a gettable Olympic course. This week, he’s on faster putting surfaces that seem to help better ball strikers and guys who flourish at majors, and he’ll rely on his game’s all-around brilliance over four days to contend for a WGC title. In this week’s must-see breakdown, Joel talks a little bit about how to pick your top-tier PGA DFS guys and how this is a week where the cream will rise to the top – favoring players like Morikawa.
Brooks Koepka (DK $10,600) – Koepka is one of a few golfers who play well at TPC Southwind and could walk away with the trophy this week, so we’ll have to mix in some shares of him in GPPs. I’m never too keen on using him in cash games, but this could be the week that I deploy him there and in a small- and large-field single-entry GPP contests banking on a top 5 finish – something he’s done a lot here. He’s already notched a win (2019), a T2 (2020) and a T2 in 2016 before TPC Southwind was a WGC event – and his form is solid with T4-T5-T6 in his last three tournaments.
Dustin Johnson (DK $10,200) – With lots of ownership going to Koepka, DJ makes for a cheaper pivot in GPPs and certainly has the right skill set to get it done at TPC Southwind. My usual worries about putting are alleviated in the switch to the faster Bermuda greens, since it’s a little easier for him to compete with the better, more aggressive putters when he doesn’t have to worry about slamming in ten-footers.
Justin Thomas (DK $9,900) – Like DJ, he’s a course horse and a fan of these putting surfaces, which – let’s be honest – has been the most glaring issue with JT’s game over the past few tournaments. Both he and JT are guys who like to get the line right and give it a good roll, and that’s rewarded here – as opposed to the bumps and bounces of Bentgrass and “pop-it-in” Poa. He’s another bargain PGA DFS GPP pivot given his upside, though there’s moderate risk if he doesn’t see many putts go in in the first two days.
Louis Oosthuizen (DK $9,600) – Louis is on quite the heater, notching four second-place finishes in his last eight starts worldwide, including a solo second at the U.S. Open and T2 at the PGA Championship. He also finished T3 at the Open Championship and he likes this course – with T20-T6 in his two trips to Memphis. He’s a solid putter on any surface and this may be the best he’s hit the ball in his celebrated career.
Also consider: Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy (GPP), Viktor Hovland (cash)
Daniel Berger (DK $9,200) – Berger has taken advantage of this venue in his four appearances at TPC Southwind, winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic twice and sharing runner-up honors in the WGC last year. He’s among the better PGA DFS values in the field when we consider form, course history and his superiority in target golf. Berger is a solid play in all formats and has winning upside despite the insanely strong field.
Matt Fitzpatrick (DK $8,800) – I’ll be rooting hard for Matty Fitz to get his first PGA Tour victory this week, and this golf course is a good place for that to happen. The English standout seems to thrive at this venue and on courses with similarly small Bermuda greens. With four guaranteed days for him to get hot and make some birdies, he should climb the leaderboard and be in contention come Sunday.
Webb Simpson (DK $8,500) – We have to like this price point for Simpson, who has struggled in 2021 but should benefit from a no-cut event on a Bermuda greens and a recent T19 at the Open Championship. He finished second here in 2019 and T12 in 2020, so it’s as good a place as any for him to get back in the swing of things.
Abraham Ancer (DK $8,300) – Ancer could be downright dangerous this week, as he finished T14 at the Olympics and has logged six top 10s among 15 official top 25s this season. He also plays well at WGC events, notching top 20s in his last six appearances in dating back to the 2019 WGC Match Play. I love getting him for all four rounds and seeing just how hot he can get with his pin-seeking approaches.
Corey Conners (DK $8,100) – Conners isn’t the best putter in the world and there’s always the risk of three-jacks on greens this fast – but he undoubtedly has the T2G chops to avoid the ubiquitous water trouble that threatens both tee balls and approach shot at TPC Southwind. I’d consider him a decent cog in balanced PGA DFS GPP builds but a longshot to win.
Tommy Fleetwood (DK $8,000) – His ball-striking may still be along way from the days when he earned the “Fairway Jesus” sobriquet, but his T16 finish among some excellent competitors at the Olympics and fondness for the switch to Bermuda could mean good things for him in Memphis this week. I’m nowhere near “all-in” status with Tommy, but a low score on one of the first couple days could help propel him to a top 10 finish this week, so I’ll have some exposure in GPPs.
Will Zalatoris (DK $7,900) – Zalatoris is a relatively high-risk GPP wildcard this week, since there’s really no telling if his back is okay after the withdrawal at the Open Championship, and he hasn’t played this course before. Regardless, he’s a talented ball striker and he’s got four days (if his body holds up) to navigate the hazards and hard-to-hit greens at TPC Southwind. I’d steer clear in cash games and single-entry, but ownership should be low and I’m fine using him in 5-10% of GPPs.
Sungjae Im (DK $7,700) – I love Sungjae on Bermuda greens and I’m not deterred by the hectic schedule that had him competing for a medal in Tokyo just last week. He could be a super sneaky GPP play and possibly a solid staple for single-entry if you’re buying into his upside at this affordable price.
Also consider: Hideki Matsuyama, Scottie Scheffler, Paul Casey, Shane Lowry, Cameron Smith (GPP), Harris English
Brian Harman (DK $7,500) – Harman had been getting it done prior to his WD (undisclosed) at the 3M Open after tying for 19th at the Open Championship, earning top 20 finishes in four of his last five starts dating back to the Charles Schwab Challenge. Other than a missed cut at the PGA, his game has flourished in major championships and the tougher-field events in 2021.
Sergio Garcia (DK $7,300) – I like having Sergio on Bermuda for four days, since he’s got the ball-striking prowess to excel at TPC Southwind and avoid some of the water than could swallow up less experienced players. Since a T20 at Colonial, he’s notched four straight top 20s and finished T25 at the 3M Open, so he’s worth a look in all formats at this bargain price.
Billy Horschel (DK $7,100) –It’s been a spell since I’ve considered Horschel, probably because he has only played four tournaments since the start of June, and he wasn’t a PGA DFS factor in any of them (67th at the Memorial, a disappointing MC at U.S. Open, T54 at Scottish Open and T53 at Royal St. George’s). TPC Southwind, on the other hand, favors his game and has historically ben a get-right spot for the native Floridian, who favors Bermuda over the surfaces we’ve seen recently on tour. He’s a fine risk-reward GPP play this week.
Ian Poulter (DK $7,000) – Value like this is sometimes difficult to find in no-cut events, but Poulter offers plenty of upside considering all the factors of pricing and performance in the focus stat categories. If he can stay out of trouble and avoid the big numbers, he’ll be a solid value over four days in Memphis, where he finished in eighth place in 2019 but faltered (T69) in 2020. Whether you need to include a guy like Poulter depends a lot on your roster construction, but I have a feeling I might end up using him a bit.
Kevin Kisner (DK $6,800) – TPC Southwind, on a cursory glance, really seems like another good spot for Kisner to post a Top 20 or better finish. The venue features small Bermuda greens and plenty of doglegs, making it comparable to venues where he’s done some of his best work on the PGA Tour (including Copperhead and Harbour Town). He’s finished T25 and T27 the past two years, and any improvement on that should work for the builds that include “Lil’ Kis” and his positive putting pedigree this year.
Phil Mickelson (DK $6,600) – Getting Phil at $6,600 is just too good to pass up given his record at TPC Southwind and familiarity with the venue. Sure, he may flake out and start three-putting or miss a bunch of fairways and be playing catch-up after a couple days, but he’s good enough to post a low number early and let his talents carry him the rest of the way. I’ll have exposure in GPPs, though I’m not forcing him into my builds as he’s more of a “last piece” flier.
Robert MacIntyre (DK $6,600) – Like Phil, this lefty has the overall game to flourish at this venue, even if he lacks the course history/experience to be a no-brainer value play. Bobby Mac is a risk since he finished T59 in the 2020 WGC-FedEx (his first and only try), but a string of solid finishes in 2021 may have given him added confidence heading back to Memphis this year.
More value golfers to consider: Tyrrell Hatton (GPP), Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose (GPP), Matthew Wolff (GPP), Cameron Champ (GPP)
Ryan Palmer (DK $6,500) – Let’s start by referring to what Sia said in his Initial Picks article, where he touted Palmer as “the type of player that you simply wouldn’t take in a normal cut event” because of his form and the inherent risk you assume with the possibility of the dreaded “two days and done.” If he can post good scores in one or two rounds, that might be enough to return value in stars-and-scrubs builds.
Stewart Cink (DK $6,500) – It’s nice to see other WinDaily writers on the same punts as me, although that could mean elevated ownership, and some of our leverage could “Cink” if we invest a bit too much in good ol’ Stewie Kablooie this week. This is where I’ll stop having anything more than 15% ownership in my tournament entries and keep the remaining suggestions to one or two entries out of 20 in the big field GPPs.
Additional GPP punts: Kevin Na, Lucas Glover, Garrick Higgo, Matt Jones, Jim Herman
The Olympics are in full swing and so are the PGA DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel, so we’re bringing you our picks to help find you some gold!
PGA DFS pricing for the Olympics is pretty tight this week – and we’ve already lost some big names to COVID, but there’s a path to victory if we’re using the right guys. Let’s get to it!
Collin Morikawa (DK $11,200) – The betting favorite in the Olympics, there’s no flaws to his game right now and the course conditions should keep him firing at flags and making birdies. He’s played well at just about all the course comps over the past couple of seasons and is the best golfer in the field. Fine for cash, GPP – any format you’re playing.
Justin Thomas (DK $10,900) – Thomas has not recorded a top 10 on the PGA Tour since his win at the Players Championship, but he’s got four rounds to learn the ropes of this venue and rise to the top of the leaderboard. I have a feeling he’ll be somewhere in the top 5 come Saturday evening, and I’ll have plenty of shares in GPPs.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $10,500) – A positive COVID test forced the Masters champion to withdraw from the Rocket Mortgage and kept him from traveling to Royal St. George’s for the Open Championship. Matsuyama has experience at this course and really wants to win gold for the host country. He also checks all the boxes this week as he’s top 25 on the PGA Tour in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green, par-5 scoring and FedEx Cup points.
Rory McIlroy (DK $10,300) – McIlroy has gained 63.8 strokes total over his past 36 rounds on Tom Fazio designs, and this course seems top be right up his alley. He’s entering this competition playing for Ireland and will be teeing it up alongside Morikawa and Sungjae Im on Wednesday. He’s a great way to start your more balanced teams if you’re fading Morikawa and JT.
Paul Casey (DK $9,500) – I considered writing up Patrick Reed, but think he’s more of a GPP play given the last-minute replacement of Bryson DeChambeau and his struggles off the tee recently. While the wider fairways should help Captain America, I prefer the savings we get with Casey, who fares well at no-cut events, finished T15 at the Open Championship and plays well on Fazio courses.
Also consider: Xander Schauffele, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Reed (GPP), Shane Lowry
Abraham Ancer (DK $9,300) – Ancer seems like a relatively safe play in this price range as he’s a long hitter who’s exceptional off the tee and with his approaches. If he can stay out of the many bunkers that pepper this course, he should fare well enough to challenge for a medal.
Cameron Smith (DK $8,900) – The Man of Smoke and Mirrors is a big hitter who excels with his putter – a solid combination on a relatively unknown course where Smith should have the requisite tools to get hot and contend come the weekend. Among the 60 golfers in the field, only Schauffele and Alex Noren have been better with the flat stick over the past 24 rounds.
Corey Conners (DK $8,800) – Conners is fourth in the field for SG: OTT over the past 24 rounds and while there are plenty of golfers with more upside around the greens, I have a hard time seeing him finish outside the top 20 here this week. With a little luck and a hot putter, he could notch a top 10 finish.
Garrick Higgo (DK $8,300) – A super-talented hitter with a flair for the dramatic, Higgo gets another high-profile start in his young career with this appearance in Tokyo, where he’ll be representing South Africa in his quest for gold. A very intriguing GPP play who may make my single-entry lineup.
Mackenzie Hughes (DK $8,000) – I really like the Canadians this week, albeit for different reasons. Whereas Conners gets the nod for his ball-striking, the form that Hughes has shown the last month or so is impressive. It’s very hard to argue against giving him a shot at this still-reduced price point.
Si Woo Kim (DK $7,800) – He’s had a bizarre 2020-21 season, but the upside is still there. Way back in January Kim fired a final-round 64 to win The American Express by one stroke over Patrick Cantlay, earning his third PGA Tour victory. This event means a lot, as he skipped the Open Championship to prepare for the Olympics, and a win here would mean he gets to avoid mandatory two-year military service in South Korea – a career obstacle that has hindered many golfers from the Land of the Morning Calm.
Sebastian Munoz (DK $7,700) – The Colombian is one of my favorite golfers for value and upside in this tough pricing algorithm, finishing T3 at one of our course comps (Colonial CC) earlier this year at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He’s fifth in this field for SG: Total on Fazio designs over the past 36 rounds and fourth in SG: Putting (on Bentgrass) over his past 24 rounds.
Also consider: Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood, Guido Migliozzi, Thomas Pieters, Carlos Ortiz
Jhonattan Vegas (DK $7,400) – Vegas sports excellent SG:OTT numbers, which should help him tremendously on a golf course that seems to favor length a bit over driving accuracy. The no-cut format should help his chances.
Rikuya Hoshino (DK $7,300) – Hoshino is a Japanese golfer who finished T26 at the U.S. Open in June. Once we get down in this range, the options are limited, and his experience here is enough of an advantage for me to drop him in a few lineups.
Mito Pereira (DK $7,300) –The form has been great, as the Chilean sensation finished T5 (Barbasol) and T6 (3M Open) in consecutive PGA Tour events in July. If we start a GPP lineup with Munoz, Kim, Hoshino and Pereira, we still have $10K per golfer for the remaining two slots.
C.T. Pan (DK $7,100) – CT is playing for Chinese Taipei this week, and he’s got plenty of experience in stiff competition. His road to the 2016 Olympics was a long one, but he finished T30 – good enough for me to give him a look this time around as well.
Henrik Norlander (DK $6,800) – The last golfer I’ll consider in this range is Norlander, who ranks a distant fifth (behind Casey, Schauffele, Morikawa and Hovland) in the field for SG on Par 5s in the past 24 rounds. He’s a fine way to get some value in your lineups without sacrificing too much upside, since we know he can get it going on the scoring holes.
More value golfers for GPPs: Thomas Detry, Matthias Schwab, Ryan Fox, Rory Sabbatini, Anirban Lahiri
Wu Ashun (DK $6,500) – He’s made the cut in nine of his last 10 EURO events, and while there’s no cut here, Ashun has the birdie-making upside to notch a Top 25 finish. He’s an unfamiliar name who could surprise in Tokyo.
Fabrizio Zanotti (DK $6,400) – Zanotti finished T15 at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and he’s the only golfer from Paraguay in the field. Huis most recent finishes are a T65 at the Scottish Open and T33 in the Irish Open – solid considering the glut of unknowns in this price range.
Sepp Straka (DK $6,400) – The dynamic Straka should benefit from the layout and format – where one bad round won’t cost you the weekend and a chance at cashing. At just $6,400, I’ll have some shares.
Additional punts: Sami Valimaki, Jorge Campillo, Gunn Charoenkul
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 big payday at the Memorial Tournament and helping you find some winning teams!
Jon Rahm (DK $11,100) – Since it’s obvious there’s no real No. 1 player in the world, I’m fine looking to Rahm and his solid all-around game (he ranks third in the field for SG:T2G) – even though he’s had a somewhat spotty 2021. Jordan Spieth is guaranteed to be chalky after another great PGA DFS finish (solo second at the Charles Schwab), but he might be a little drained after three straight weeks of very competitive golf. Rahm’s ownership should be down even though he’s the defending champ, and his T8 finish at the PGA points to him trending upward following a week of rest to defend his title, which was not without controversy.
Rory McIlroy (DK $10,600) – Another golfer who’s been at the top of the mountain, McIlroy broke his slump at the Wells Fargo and returns to the site of one of the courses where he actually hasn’t won before. He’s a contrarian, GPP-only play for me this week, but his ownership should come back down a bit after a disappointing T49 at the PGA Championship. He probably won’t be on my single-entry teams, but I’ll try to be overweight in 20-max and larger field tournaments, where there’s still plenty of leverage in selecting one of the game’s all-time great players.
Justin Thomas (DK $10,200) – Where Bryson DeChambeau tends to force some things (like last year’s quintuple bogey OB meltdown in Round 2 when he ended up missing the cut), Thomas knows to plug away after bad shots on Muirfield. He just missed winning last year in the Workday (also played at Muirfield a week in advance of the 2020 Memorial), and we’re getting a big discount this year as he’s priced below his usual PGA DFS salary in the elite tier. I do like Bryson a bit in GPPs, but Thomas is probably the safer play.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $9,500) – We have a few safe bets for Top 15 finishes in the $9,500-$10K range, including weekly cash game maven Viktor Hovland and Xander Schauffele, who makes for an excellent GPP play after a missed cut at the PGA Championship. As much as I like Xander and his T3 finish at Augusta, Cantlay has shown winning upside on this course. Despite a stretch of poor play that resulted in four straight missed cuts, he could be worth a look given his excellent track record at Muirfield Village.
Also consider: Jordan Spieth (Cash), Bryson DeChambeau (GPP) Viktor Hovland (Cash), Xander Schauffele (GPP)
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $9,400) – He won here in 2014 and his short game confidence is soaring after his win at Augusta, a venue that has some correlations with Muirfield Village. Deki is the best option and priced modestly just after the elite tier, which Sia mentioned in the breakdown that he might avoid altogether. Deki could be the linchpin for your balanced PGA DFS builds that focus on these golfers in this loaded $7-9K range.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,700) – Fitzpatrick has played well here in his brief history, making the cut in his 2019 debut and finishing solo third last year in just his second try. I like this short-game specialist’s chances on these small greens even better in 2021, when the course has been made a little more difficult to weed out some of the longer hitters who may not be as accurate off the tee. He made the honorable mention in Isaiah’s picks article, and you all know how much I love the wispy Fitzpatrick in GPPs.
Cameron Smith (DK $8,600) –Smith has putted very well in 2021, and he ranks T6 this week in three-putt avoidance – a key stat this week. In fact, three-putt avoidance is the main reason I’m not including Collin Morikawa in my elite picks and prefer Hovland and JT in that range. His ball-striking isn’t quite on the same level as players like Keegan Bradley and Charley Hoffman, but the all-around game could see him break through this year and makes him interesting for GPPs.
Louis Oosthuizen (DK $8,500) – Both Louis and Hoffman are excellent cash game plays and can be used for single-entry GPPs as well. Oosty is solid with the flat stick (tops in the field for 2021 in SG: Putting) and has three straight made cuts here despite the lack of a Top 10 finish, but he has notched a top 10s in his last two starts and gained over five strokes on approach (SG:APP) in each of his last two tourneys. He’s worth a look in all formats and should stay mostly off the radar.
Charley Hoffman (DK $8,300) –On the flip side, everybody will be on Hoffman again, since he just hasn’t left the leaderboard lately. With Top 20s in five straight events and his best golf seemingly reserved for tougher courses. He’s taken his game to a new level in 2021, and while he will be very popular in all formats, I can’t advocate fading him in cash or single-entry GPP.
Rickie Fowler (DK $8,000) – He’s finally got some good mojo going after a strong PGA Championship, and now that he’s priced above $8K again, he’s fine for GPPs. I wouldn’t be forcing him into single-entry or any cash games, but he’s finally hitting some decent approaches and we know he has the short game (especially on Bentgrass) to finish in the Top 15 here. And unlike Patrick Reed (who I’m fading this week), he’s easy to root for.
Marc Leishman (DK $7,800) – He hasn’t missed a cut here since 2010, and he’s performed quite well with a slew of Top 15s over the past 10 years. Leishman might get forgotten even at this bargain price, so I’m looking to use him in some of my tournaments and just hope he doesn’t burn me – which he almost always does.
Christian Bezuidenhout (DK $7,600) – CBZ might just be the best putter in the world, and he relies heavily on his elite short game to place in events on both sides of the Atlantic. Over the South African’s last 50 rounds, he ranks 20th in Bogey Avoidance, second in SG: Putting and 10th in SG: Around the Green – great stats heading into the Memorial.
Also consider: Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Shane Lowry, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland, Adam Scott, Jason Day (GPP), Emiliano Grillo (GPP)
Kevin Streelman (DK $7,500) – Before 2015, Streelman was all over the place at the Memorial, but he’s made six straight cuts here and the increase in difficulty may help him stay relevant among the longer hitters. I’m a little worried that he’s burned out from playing a lot of high-stakes golf in the last few weeks, but he’s a tour veteran who’s used to grinding, so that shouldn’t keep you from rostering him in GPPs.
Matt Wallace (DK $7,400) – Wallace makes for a wonderful value play in this price range, especially considering his T4 finish here in 2020 and the decent form he arrives with. The wind blowing harder on Thursday morning and his early tee time doesn’t bother me as much as some of the other guys who don’t strike it as well in the wind.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,300) – The tightening of the driving demands this year is cause for some concern, but Kizzire is popping in many of the focus stat categories and his putting (Top 10 in both SG: P and 3-putt avoidance) has been awesome in 2021. The big fella hasn’t had much success at the Memorial, but there’s a first time for everything and his game is looking good upon arrival.
Brendan Todd (DK $7,200) – Todd is a straight hitter with an overall game that’s shaping up a bit since a positive COVID test forced him to withdraw from the Wells Fargo, He missed the cut at the PGA Championship but finished T8 last week at Colonial on Bentgrass greens. I’m not planning on being crazy overweight, but the price is good and he finished T22 here last June.
Luke List (DK $6,900) – List finished T10 here last June and while he won’t be popular this week, he seems to be a textbook GPP play considering the price and the dynamic quality his game provides. Far from safe, List often has meltdowns on the green and is biggest problem is the 3-putt, where he ranks near the bottom of the PGA rankings with guys like List as my “problematic play” – a low ownership dart throw who could shine if he avoids the three-jacks with the flatstick this week.
Danny Willett (DK $6,600) – Willett plays well in wind, so the early Thursday time doesn’t throw me off too much, and he’s had a couple of Top 35 finishes here in his only two attempts in 2019 and 2020. I love the price, and while he might not win, he makes for excellent value this week and could make for a pretty cheap “last two spots” filler play in stars-and-scrubs builds, especially alongside some of the guys in the next tier. For instance, rostering Wallace, Willett and a mispriced Kyle Stanley gives you $9,966 for your top three spends.
More value golfers to consider: Si Woo Kim, Chris Kirk, Sebastian Munoz, Aaron Wise, Troy Merritt (GPP), C.T. Pan, Adam Hadwin (GPP), Mackenzie Hughes (GPP)
Brendan Steele (DK $6,500) – Like many of the golfers priced in this range, Steele’s putter suffers a bit, but he’s made 14 of his last 17 cuts and that’s a nice bonus for any golfer under $7K. He’s not that strong a finisher, so the upside is a little bit lacking as well, but he had a week of rest and checks in as my “gut” punt play in 1/20 large-field GPPs.
Kyle Stanley (DK $6,100) – Stanley’s late addition resulted in a pricing error by DK, but he’s played very well at the Memorial in the past, with a T6 in 2018 and T2 in 2019. The course may play a little tougher than it did then, but Stanley needs to be considered as a core stars-and-scrubs play if you’re spending big money with your first few selections.
Russell Knox (DK $6,100) – Like Sia, I was drawn to the super low price and upside that Knox offers. He’s not nearly as “safe” as Stanley – although both golfers can struggle with the putter – and while the early tee time on Thursday isn’t quite as beneficial, he’s 4-for-4 here since 2016.
Additional GPP punts: Patrick Rodgers, Michael Thompson, Henrik Norlander
Our comprehensive PGA DFS picks and analysis is back this week, helping you construct some winning teams for the AT&T Byron Nelson at a new PGA tour stop.
Bryson DeChambeau (DK $11,200) – Pricing is pretty tight this week, so finding value is going to be important – but with Dustin Johnson’s withdrawal we are left with just two golfers in the elite $11K range. Bryson’s form and his putting stats make him a little better choice than Rahm, but it was a very bizarre week for the reigning U.S. Open champ. Length is a significant advantage this week and we know Bryson has that in spades.
Jon Rahm (DK $11,000) – Rahm’s overall game (with an emphasis on tee game and putting) make him an obvious favorite this week, and your exposure will most likely be dictated by what value range you settle on with the rest of your builds. The missed cut at the Wells Fargo will keep some folks off him, but he’s still notched seven top 10 finishes in his last 10 tournaments.
Will Zalatoris (DK $9,700) – The streak of events without a missed cut ended abruptly last week, but it’s a home game for Willie Z, who said he’s been playing here for half his life. I expect a huge bounce back for him and I really like his game off the tee and on the greens. Zalatoris has excellent metrics in the focus stat categories and is on the short list of players in this field that rank (over the last 36 rounds) inside the top 25 of both key proximity ranges 175-200 (fourth) and 200-plus (21st).
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,500) – I almost always have some shares of Fitzpatrick in PGA DFS, and while he’s okay tee-to-green, he really excels on the greens – which could be a huge factor on a course where guys will need to get hot with the flat stick to win. I tend to go heavier on Fitzy ownership when he’s playing Florida venues, but there’s no reason to think his debut win couldn’t come n Dallas. He’ll be a staple of my GPPs, especially the lineups where I fade that pricey $10-11K+ range.
Also consider: Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama (GPP), Daniel Berger (GPP), Brooks Koepka (GPP)
Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,400) – Just like his buddy Will, Scheffler is on home turf looking for another Top 10 finish – something he’s been searching for since February when he notched a solo fifth at the WGC-Workday. He struggled on the greens at the Valspar, but his T2G game is solid and the price is fair.
Marc Leishman (DK $9,200) – It’s easy to forget about Leishman if you didn’t watch his win at the Zurich Classic alongside fellow Aussie Cameron Smith, because he hasn’t played in a standard PGA Tour event since the Masters, when he finished T5. A fine GPP play but far from safe since he missed the cut at both the Players and API.
Sergio Garcia (DK $9,000) – His numbers putting on Bentgrass are pretty atrocious, but as Joel and Sia mentioned in the breakdown, a hot putter could have him holding a trophy come Sunday. I won’t go overboard in GPPs and will probably leave him off my single-entry builds but staying ahead of the field makes sense for his upside.
Si Woo Kim (DK $8,800) – He’s 35-1 to win the tournament outright, and I agree with Joel and Sia that it’s a good price. I like Kim for basically all formats this week as he’s shown some consistency since a string of missed cuts around February (MC at Farmers, AT&T Pebble Beach, Genesis, API). Ownership shouldn’t get too high, and he checks most of the boxes this week.
Luke List (DK $8,400) – Like Garcia, List’s biggest unknown from week-to-week is his putting, so there’s plenty of risk in rostering him. The T6 at the Wells Fargo points to a start of one of the hot stretches he’s known for, so I’ll have plenty of shares in GPPs and will consider him for single-entry.
Charl Schwartzel (DK $8,100) – I’ve been writing up Schwartzel for a few weeks in a row now (since his inclusion in my Masters picks, when he finished T26), and while I’m not quite as high on him to win outright as Sia and Joel (he’s 55-1), I think he’s a solid bet for a Top 25 and there’s nothing to hate about his game right now.
Talor Gooch (DK $7,900) – Gooch’s irons have been on fire over the last few tournaments he’s played, and while his putting had been bad the week he missed the cut at the Valspar, he bounced back win a T26 at the Well Fargo and seems poised for a solid finish this week in Texas. I like the price and the Top 15 upside.
Also consider: Sam Burns, Ryan Palmer, Keith Mitchell, Carlos Ortiz (GPP), Russell Knox
Camilo Villegas (DK $7,500) – Don’t look now, but in Villegas’s quest to regain his tour card, he’s put together four Top 25 finishes in his last five tournaments, including a T8 at the Honda Classic and T11 at the recent Valspar Championship. He’s striking and putting it well, and while he did withdraw form the Wells Fargo, that may just have been to prepare for this tournament on a course where he felt he might have an advantage.
Update: Villegas has withdrawn from the tournament.
Brandt Snedeker (DK $7,400) – Sneds heads into the week in solid form, and the veteran grinder with the signature pop-stroke putter has made four of his past five cuts, including a T6 at the Valero and a T11 at the Valspar. Normally his ball-striking is horrendous, but he’s notched positive strokes T2G in three consecutive starts and he’s a birdie-maker – especially on Bentgrass. I normally don’t look his way on courses that require elite SG: BS numbers, but this week he fits the bill.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,300) – I like long hitters who can make lots of birdies, and Kizzire (though not the best on approach or with his irons) fills out that mold. When there’s little talk about hard-to-hit fairways and punishing rough, that’s my cue to include Kizzire in my player pool. His last impressive finish was T9 at the Valero Texas Open, but I’m counting on a Top 25 this week from the 6-foot-5 tour veteran.
James Hahn (DK $7,100) – This price range isn’t filled with too many sure things, and Hahn is far from a cash game play considering his three straight MCs. But it’s possible he’ still recovering from a rib injury and the week he feels better might be the week he starts a stretch of made cuts and decent finishes. Hahn is always a guy I look to for value in GPPs, and the fact that he finished second in a Korn Ferry championship on this golf course in 2012 means it’s a great place to get on the good foot and retrieve some of the confidence that’s essential to his game.
Wyndham Clark (DK $7,000) – I’m not the only one who think Clark is a solid play at the Byron Nelson this week, but there’s plenty of reason to think he’ll still stay under the radar as a fine GPP play. Clark is insanely long off the tee and is just the kind of golfer who can get hot on a course where there’s no real history to speak of. Giddyup!
Andrew Putnam (DK $6,700) – He’s a putting demon on Bentgrass, and nobody is going to be on him this week. He’s one of about five or six players under $7K who I wouldn’t play in over 10% of GPPs, but who you can comfortably roster in the 5-10% range and not risk tanking too many lineups.
Chesson Hadley (DK $6,700) – There’s been plenty of chatter about the $7,000-7,500 guys including Vincent Whaley, Patrick Rodgers (after that scorching Thursday-Friday last week) and even Jhonattan Vegas, who everybody but me seems to be on this week, but Hadley seems to be the forgotten man in a value range that could be crucial if you’re rostering guys like DeChambeau and Rahm.
More value golfers to consider: Doug Ghim, Sepp Straka, Jhonattan Vegas, Scott Piercy, Patrick Rodgers, Vincent Whaley, Brice Garnett, Josh Teator, Bronson Burgoon (GPP)
Beau Hossler (DK $6,500) – Hossler is a pretty good putter (T31 in SG:P heading into last week), and he’s an even better putter on Bentgrass, where he’s gained .458 strokes on average over his past 69 rounds. It’s a tough price range this week but Hossler could find his way into some of my GPPs.
Sung Kang (DK $6,500) – TPC Craig Ranch is his home course (he’s a member), and he actually won the Byron Nelson at its old venue. Kang also loves Bentgrass, where he gains over a half stroke on average. There are wore narratives to hang your hat on.
Kristoffer Ventura (DK $6,400) – I’m not certain just how popular he’ll get this week, but I really love Ventura as a punt play in this severely discounted price range. He’s one of the best putters around and some projections have him squarely in the Top 50 this week – which means he’s a perfect final piece for all kinds of roster builds.
Additional GPP punts: Tyler McCumber (GPP), Mark Hubbard (GPP)
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at The Masters and helping you find some winning teams to boost your bankroll!
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,500) – Because of this week’s soft pricing and slew of viable golfers in the $7K range, getting DJ into your teams won’t be that much of a hassle, even with one more $9K and up player in the mix. Despite two less-than-stellar finishes at the WGC-Workday and Players Championship, DJ still offers the most consistent upside at this venue, where he won in November. It’s playing differently now, but he knows that. Don’t overthink this – get exposure to DJ in all formats.
Jon Rahm (DK $11,000) – The Rahm/DJ combo leaves you with $6,875 per golfer for the remaining four slots on DK, and with some of the talent in this field, even those stars-and-scrubs teams don’t look too scrubby. But there are some key golfers I like in the $7.5-$8.5K range that I won’t be able to get if I use the top two salaries – so most of my teams will feature one or the other, and in some cases, neither. Rahm, a new father, seems a little more cash-viable than the next two guys, and he’s fine for single-entry GPPs.
Bryson DeChambeau (DK $10,800) – I know he’s in Sia’s initial picks column and Joel loves him – and I agree he has plenty of upside – but Bryson’s aggressive approach on Par 4s worries me a bit. He tends to attack those holes and try to create his own scoring chances instead of treading water and waiting for his opportunities. If it didn’t work in November, when he finished T34, it may not work in April, even with the new driver that he says will mitigate the shot dispersal. I’ll tread lightly with him, but I think he’s fun to watch and root for.
Rory McIlroy (DK $10,100) – Rory may very well be the same golfer who was dominating before the pandemic, but it’s hard to see that in his results. Still – he managed to finish T5 here in November and certainly has enough Top 10 finishes at Augusta (and no finish worse than T21 in his last five tries) to land in the Top 5 again. He’s never won here, but he’s guaranteed for low ownership relative to the rest of this bunch and that really intrigues me.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $9,800) – Like Sia, I like the price on Cantlay and think he’s about as solid an overall golfer as you can find in the field, without any glaring weaknesses and sporting a game face for the ages. Much like Patrick Reed, Cantlay is not here to make friends, and Augusta National is a fine a venue as any for his first major win. Ownership will probably end up between 15-20%, but I really like him for single-entry GPPs and I’ll have exposure in all formats.
Also consider: Justin Thomas (GPP), Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa
Jordan Spieth (DK $9,400) – Fresh off a win at the Valero, folks will be dying to play Spieth at the site of his greatest triumph and most epic collapse. He knows the course, he’s playing great golf (even if he’s still a little erratic off the tee and on some approaches), and I’ll have a hard time fading him, even when his ownership spikes. Last week I said I was excited to play him, and I clearly didn’t play him enough. My single-entry team had 5/6 make the cut and cash in every instance, but it earned about one-hundredth of what it should have because I had Tony Finau (the lone MC) instead of Spieth as my big spend.
Webb Simpson (DK $9,000) – Simpson’s course history is a lesson in perseverance and scholarship, as he’s learned how to “master” Augusta in recent years. Now in his tenth year playing the Masters, he’s in position for another Top 10 and continued, under-the-radar success. I’ll have Simpson at about 25% in my GPPs and he’s on the short list for my single-entry player pool. I may even play around with some Milly builds that have him as my only $9K and up player, and everybody else on the team is $7,700 and up.
Viktor Hovland (DK $8,700) – The experts are giving Hovland no love this week, and while he’s in the Top 20 of my model, I can understand why – as a really strong short game seems like a must to win at Augusta. Hovland may not be the best around the greens, but he’s awesome on Par 5s and that’s where most of the scoring is done at this golf course. If his ownership dips a little bit from the early projections, I’ll increase my shares.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $8,300) – I normally don’t play a lot of Matsuyama because of his erratic putting, but he has a bunch of Top 20 finishes at Augusta because of his amazing ball-striking and performance “around” the greens. His overall short game still ranks in the Top 40 of the field for Augusta and its closest course comps, and he seems to know where to miss in off the tee here, since he’s navigated his poor tee shots well in the past.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,100) – Fitzpatrick could have been priced at $9K and I’d have interest, because this is a course where he could win – if he can just elude the one bad round he seems to have at every major. His form is alarmingly consistent, with five straight Top 20s internationally and four straight within the Top 11 since the Genesis. He’s a fine play in all formats and there’s always the chance he finally breaks through.
Sergio Garcia (DK $7,900) – Garcia still hits it like a beast off the tee (long and straight) and he’s got the requisite experience at Augusta to tackle this difficult layout and win – or at least contend – again. He’s one of my favorite value plays in the mid-range and while there’s inherent risk with him because of his volatility, it’s a week without too many guarantees.
Paul Casey (DK $7,700) – A missed cut in 2019 (which started out with an uncharacteristic 81) is just about the only recent blemish on Casey’s record at Augusta, which includes a T6 in 2015, T4 in 2016 and solo 6th in 2017. He’s had a monster resurgence in 2021, with six straight finishes inside the Top 12, including a win in Dubai and T5s at both Pebble Beach and the Players.
Also consider: Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka (GPP), Tyrrell Hatton (GPP), Lee Westwood, Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Bubba Watson (GPP)
Louis Oosthuizen (DK $7,500) – As long as his back doesn’t lock up before his tee time, Louis should be a solid pick this week at Augusta, where he almost always plays well. In many ways, Oosty is like the still-under-40, cheaper version of Lee Westwood. The South African has one thing that Westwood doesn’t – and that’s a major championship victory. He’s among the top golfers in this value range.
Will Zalatoris (DK $7,300) – What Zalatoris lacks in experience he makes up for in talent and fearlessness, and he proved in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot he can take whatever a golf course and extremely windy conditions has to offer. He’s a solid bet to make the cut, and even though he’s a first-timer at Augusta, he’s played casual rounds and seems to understand (from quotes and interviews) how to play the course.
Max Homa (DK $7,100) – The fact that Homa won at Riviera factors into his inclusion in the value picks, because he’s got minimal experience here (just a missed cut at the November event) and finishes just inside the Top 40 on my model. But if I’m looking for GPP plays with confidence and upside, he’s a solid pick.
Corey Conners (DK $6,900) – If you’re looking to avoid chalk in GPPs and assume more risk, then maybe you’d prefer to spend the extra $100 and grab Victor Perez, who should come in under 5% ownership. But Conners is a much safer pick, with two made cuts in two tries and a top 10 in November. Granted, we could see a few three-putts and greenside abominations from the Canadian ball-striking sensation, but he’s so good tee-to green it might not matter. A staple in cash games for his low price and a guy to watch this year.
Si Woo Kim (DK $6,700) – The more I dig into the windy weather and the mixed model, the more I like Kim as a GPP risk-reward play. He’s made three straight cuts at Augusta after missing in his 2017 debut, and he’s got oodles of Top 25 upside this year. He already has one 2021 win (at the AMEX) and while he missed some cuts in February and withdrew at Bay Hill, his last two finishes are a T9 at the Players and T23 at the Valero last week. I’ll be massively overweight on the field and I’m thinking about using him on my largest field single-entry GPP.
Sebastian Munoz (DK $6,600) – It’ll be interesting to see how well Munoz makes the adjustment form his Masters debut in November to a much harder and faster course this week, but his recent form is solid (aside from a MC at the Players) and the price is fair. The Colombian golfer sports solid metrics on most of the course comps (excluding TPC Sawgrass) and could be an option as a last piece.
More value golfers to consider: Joaquin Niemann (GPP), Justin Rose (GPP), Billy Horschel, Victor Perez (GPP), Brian Harman, Matt Kuchar, Christian Bezuidenhout, Danny Willett, Phil Mickelson, Cameron Champ (GPP)
Carlos Ortiz (DK $6,500) – He’s a Masters virgin but has been practicing this week with Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia to learn the ropes of this famously difficult risk-reward layout. He seems to play the comp courses well and can get insanely hot with his short game, so I’m very interested in using him in a bunch of GPPs.
Kevin Na (DK $6,500) – Playing Na is always a bold move because he’s so prone to withdrawing due to injury and his game can be erratic, but his short game is elite and he’s underpriced for his upside here. He’s the ultimate GPP punt this week and he’s never all that popular because he scares the crap out of people.
Charl Schwartzel (DK $6,300) – A former Masters champion who placed third here in 2017, I’ll be using Schwartzel on a few of my GPP teams where I need salary relief from one or two spots because I’m playing two $10K+ studs. He’s in the top 50 of my model, so at this price we’re looking for a made cut and a couple birdie streaks during the weekend to land him a Top 25.
Additional punts: Robert Macintyre (GPP), Ryan Palmer (GPP), Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Stewart Cink, Bernhard Langer
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