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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 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
We’re giving you some top PGA DFS picks and looking for green screens at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands!
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,400) – DJ’s game doesn’t look too bad heading into the Travelers, where he’s the defending champ and one of the betting favorites at 12-1. Last year’s title was helped tremendously by a second round 64 and a scorching-hot 61 on Saturday, but it took him a bit to warm up and he closed the deal with a solid 67 on Sunday. That’s just how he could win again this year – with his talent shining through in a couple of low rounds and solid ball-striking carrying him through when his mojo ain’t working.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $10,400) – His projected ownership will probably be the highest in this tier for the consistency he’s shown in PGA DFS events, excluding the poor stretch of MCs from the Players to the Wells Fargo during the spring. Believe it or not, Cantlay is actually the current FedExCup points leader with three top 15s at the Travelers since 2018. I won’t have as many shares as I will of DJ, but I feel like some exposure is warranted.
Paul Casey (DK $9,900) – Casey is my favorite play under $10K and has a great course history at TPC River Highlands, where he’s 6-for-6 with four top five finishes. He also finished among the top 10 in his last three starts (EURO and PGA combined) and is coming off a very respectable T7 at the U.S. Open. Sia is on board and so is Stix, so I’m buying some Casey this week and hoping for another Top 10 finish.
Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,600) – Scheffler missed the cut in his Travelers debut last year, but he was amid a bad stretch of golf during the beginning of the spectator-free COVID tournaments. An opening round 70 sealed his fate, but he’s playing solid golf right now (T7 at the U.S. Open) and checks all the boxes this week.
Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka (GPP), Patrick Reed
Kevin Streelman (DK $9,400) – He’s a solid play in all formats, and he’s probably worth using in single-entry builds for his galling consistency. Nick talked a little bit in The Breakdown about how he’s a near-lock for the Top 40 every week and we just saw him play some marvelous golf at the U.S. Open. “Streels” is one of those guys who just seems to show up every week.
Tony Finau (DK $9,200) – The jury is still out on when we’ll see Finau get his next win, but the price seems fair this week for a guy who just needs the putter to show up to realize his Top 10 upside. He’s missed his last two cuts here but had a T25 and T17 in 2016 and 2017. I’d steer clear in cash games, but he’s worth of consideration for GPPs.
Bubba Watson (DK $8,900) – He’s very popular this week and seems to be everywhere in the “experts” picks on plenty of sites, but he’s not nearly as safe a play as that would dictate. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him play his true “A” game, and the birdie runs are coming less frequently than a few years ago, when he won this tournament in 2018. I’ll have minimal exposure, and he’s not in my player pool for single-entry or cash games.
Brian Harman (DK $8,800) – Harman typically plays about a half-stroke better on Dye courses, and he’s an accurate driver who just closed out a solid week with a one-over 72 on Sunday at the U.S. Open, finishing T19. He’s got a couple of Top 10 finishes at the Travelers in his last three tries (MC in the tumultuous 2020) and has now placed among the top 20 in seven of eight starts going back to his T3 at the Players.
Si Woo Kim (DK $8,500) –Another “Dye desirable,” Kim has made three of his last four cuts at the Travelers with a T11 in 2020 and solid finishes in 2016 and 2018. His form isn’t bad either, with a T9 at the Memorial and T40 last week at a grueling U.S. Open on a course that didn’t; necessarily fit his strengths. He’s a fine GPP play this week.
Keegan Bradley (DK $7,900) – Bradley likes Pete Dye courses and this is the first of two “home games” for the underpriced golfer, who has had a really strong 2021. He finished T2 in 2019 and makes sense for all kinds of builds this week.
Francesco Molinari, (DK $7,700) – Molinari is rounding into form and while he doesn’t play a lot of events, he always has a shot at winning because he can get ridiculously hot with the putter. I think the T13 finish at the U.S. Open should give him the confidence necessary to capitalize on his opportunities this week and make a splash on the weekend.
Doc Redman (DK $7,600) – After a stretch of spotty play earlier this season, Redman has turned in some solid performances in recent weeks, posting a T9 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a T2 at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. He also debuted here last season with a T11 and he’s usually a decent leverage play that’s a little off-the-radar.
Also consider: Abraham Ancer (GPP), Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Smith (GPP), Harris English, Sam Burns (GPP), Max Homa (GPP), Jason Day (GPP)
Lanto Griffin (DK $7,400) – Griffin’s ball-striking was good at the U.S. Open and while he didn’t miss the cut, I was hoping for a better finish than T35. There’s a bunch of high-upside/high-risk golfers in this price range, and Lanto fits the bill for GPPs and as a 100-1 longshot to win.
Rickie Fowler (DK $7,300) – I’m a huge Fowler fan and the disappointment of missing the U.S. Open this year has to be weighing on the veteran golfer. Rickie’s game has had its ups and downs but has shown improvement over his last two events. There’s not much recent history at the Travelers to go form, but he had a T13 in 2014, closing with a 64 on Sunday. A return to New England and a course that fits his game could be just what he needs as he and Allison Stokke await the birth of their first child.
Mackenzie Hughes (DK $7,100) – He might get chalky after three days of brilliance at the U.S. Open (but not a fourth), because the price is very nice. The Canadian is 4-for-4 at the Travelers with an impressive scoring average (68.19) and a T3 last year. He’s in play for all formats.
Carlos Ortiz (DK $7,100) – If you need a pivot from Hughes with just as much upside but a lot more risk, look no further than Ortiz. He’s missed the cut here in his last two Travelers appearances but finished T17 in 2016 and has the chops to post some low scores here.
Chez Reavie (DK $7,000) – The $7K range is loaded with players who we’d like to play when they’re in good form, and Reavie makes for a wonderful GPP play this week as he’s coming off a T14 at the Palmetto and T40 at the U.S. Open. Reavie doesn’t typically play well on Dye courses, but we an make an exception this week because it’s a good spot.
Kyle Stanley (DK $7,000) – Stanley isn’t a very good putter, but his iron play is consistently strong and he’s once again underpriced for what he offers in PGA DFS. His course history is good and he’s a real bargain this week given his Top 20 upside.
Adam Long (DK $6,800) – Long has finished T20-T26 in his last two tournaments and is a solid ball-striker who’s accurate off the tee – an important factor in creating opportunities here. If he can keep form having the one blowup round that usually mars his chances, he’ll be in good shape for the weekend.
More value golfers to consider: Kevin Na (GPP), Aaron Wise, Brendan Steele (GPP), Stewart Cink, Patton Kizzire (GPP), Will Gordon (GPP), Ryan Moore (GPP), Scott Stallings (GPP), Henrik Norlander (GPP), Hank Lebioda (GPP), Wyndham Clark (GPP), Austin Eckroat (GPP)
Brian Stuard (DK $6,400) – A lot of folks will look to Satoshi Kodaira and the very consistent Vincent Whaley, but I like Stuard’s chances of rebounding after missed cuts at the Palmetto and U.S. Open. He has an extensive course history with spotty results, but something clicked last year en route to a T20, a finish I think he could duplicate here in 2021.
Tyler Duncan (DK $6,300) – He’s a total longshot (and hasn’t posted a Top 10 since he won the RSM in 2019), but he’s accurate off the tee and has made three straight cuts at this event. If you need a final piece and only have $6,300 to spend, he’s worth throwing in one or two out of 20 GPPs.
Additional GPP punts: Satoshi Kodaira, Tom Lewis, Vincent Whaley
This week we have a stacked field and find you some winning PGA DFS teams at the highly demanding and difficult Torrey Pines South Course in the U.S. Open!
Jon Rahm (DK $11,200) – Rahm’s only flaws seem to be mental, but he seemed mature, reflective and generally loose and comfortable during his interview on Tuesday, even when peppered with a lot of questions about the COVID snafu and how that all transpired. Rahmbo is No. 12 on tour in SG: APP this season, and he’s second and third (respectively) in SG: T2G and SG: OTT. He was playing great golf at the Memorial before he had to withdraw, and the 2017 Farmers champion LOVES Torrey Pines (T7-2-T5-T29-WIN in his last five years here). The Spaniard also finished second at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, so he’s definitely in play – I just worry a bit about his quick backswing and equally quick temper on a course that will play tougher than it usually does.
Dustin Johnson (DK $10,700) – As always, my main concern is putting with DJ, who doesn’t make a whole lot of 5-10 footers, a stat that is crucial at the U.S. Open – and a reason I’m not looking too hard at Hideki Matsuyama this week (despite the currentMasters champ’s amazing long iron play and decent record at Torrey Pines). Of course, because DJ’s PGA DFS ownership should be relatively low this week, his talent and length make him a fine contrarian play for GPPs. If I come in slightly ahead of field ownership, I’ll be happy, because there’s no need to go all-in with this guy, even if he is the OWGR No. 1.
Rory McIlroy (DK $9,900) – Like DJ, I’m interested in Rory because of his projected ownership (even if it creeps up a bit as we approach Thursday morning), and he’s under $10K this week in a tournament he has every intention of winning. I’ll talk more about the likely chalky Xander Schauffele later, but starting off a lineup with McIlroy and X-Man still leaves you with $7,700 per golfer (Phil Mickelson’s price this week), a strategy I’ll be using in several GPP lineups. Rory still kills it off the tee and knows how to grind out even par and one-under rounds in tough conditions, and the baby discount could help us by allowing a roster construction that avoids playing a bomb elsewhere in that dicey low-mid range.
Collin Morikawa (DK $9,500) – Morikawa’s elite ball-striking (he basically gains anywhere from five to ten strokes per round on approach) will probably keep him in any golf tournament at this point, but the difficulty of these Poa annua greens may prevent him from winning another major until the next Masters or PGA Championship. Still, he’s a fine PGA DFS cash game anchor because even on the most difficult surfaces, his spectacular iron play keeps him on the leaderboard.
Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau (GPP), Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas (GPP)
Xander Schauffele (DK $9,300) – Schauffele checks all the boxes this week and makes a lot of 5-10 footers (No. 10 on tour). Currently the No. 6 player in the world, he also finished second here at the Farmers in January during a 2019-2021 run that included nine straight Top 17s and a remarkable 17 straight Top 25s. His missed cuts at the Players and PGA Championship could keep a few folks away, but I like him in all formats this week (cash or tourney) and he’ll be a staple of my single-entry and large-field GPPs.
Patrick Reed (DK $9.000) – Reed is No. 1 on tour in 3PA, which is going to be one of those stats that should help weed out similarly priced players in single-entry GPPs. It sounds as if preventing meltdowns on these putting surfaces could be a huge help in making the cut and getting in contention, and while Reed’s extremely spotty off the tee, his putter will keep him in most tournaments. His projected PGA DFS ownership is still pretty high, but again – we can find some leverage elsewhere if we need to.
Tony Finau (DK $8,900) – I may prefer spending the extra few hundred on Schauffele or Cantlay in cash games, but Finau has played sparkling golf at Torrey Pines in the past five years (T2-T6-T13-T6-T4) – albeit under less difficult conditions. And while he’s not electric with the flatstick, he ranks in the top 50 on tour this week in 3PA. Winning a U.S. Open for your second PGA Tour victory is a bit of a stretch, but we know he can finish in the Top 15, which he’s done in all three U.S. opens when he’s made the cut, including a T8 in 2020.
Will Zalatoris (DK $8,600) –A great ball striker who can putt a bit and likes both Poa annua and Torrey Pines, his length will help navigate some of the distance on the long par 4s and he’s already shown an ability to contend on the big stages of major championships. I don’t think his ownership will be oppressively high – at least to the point where he’s a bad play in large-field GPPs, and even if he lands in the 15-20% range, I’m buying.
Louis Oosthuizen (DK $8,100) – I’ll be including Oosty in my PGA DFS player pool for just about every major unless the back injuries that have plagued him in the past flare up – even if it’s hard to tell when that may happen. The swing is still very pure, and he’s an elite putter from 5-10 feet (ranking first on the PGA Tour this season). Sweet Louie is just very hard to get away from when I’m perusing this price range.
Cameron Smith (DK $8,000) – I love how Smith’s game developed in 2021, and while his overall SG numbers are decent, the thing that separates him from a lot of other golfers in this range is his elite putting. He’s solid at getting up and down and he doesn’t three-putt that much because he one-putts 44.15% of the time! Sia talked a bit about him in the Breakdown and I’ll be overweight on the field. While his ball-striking remains the biggest concern, I’m willing to take a stab and play the Aussie in single-entry for some leverage.
Jason Kokrak (DK $7,600) – Aside from Phil and his astounding win at Kiawah Island, Kokrak has probably had the best 2020-21 of anybody in this range, with his first two career wins coming at the CJ CUP in October 2020 and another victory at the Charles Schwab at the end of May. Kokrak has massive upside for a guy who’s easy to roster in all kinds of builds, and he’s made the cut in his last three U.S. Opens, including a T17 at Winged Foot in 2020.
Also consider: Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Tyrrell Hatton (Cash), Matt Fitzpatrick (GPP), Phil Mickelson (GPP), Shane Lowry
Marc Leishman (DK $7,400) – Leishman has burned me more times than I can count, but I refuse to give in to the “never again” thinking that keeps DFS pros from winning GPPs. I might not make him a staple of my single-entry builds, but he’s certainly in play in most formats at this price point and has a truly impressive course history at Torrey Pines (T18-WIN-T43-T8-T14 in his last five Farmers Insurance appearances). Leishman is adept at hitting some different shot shapes – a helpful trait this week – and he’s a solid enough putter to post a Top 5 or 10 finish, an attainable goal in this price range.
Harris English (DK $7,300) – His form has come around a bit since a few MCs earlier in 2021, and he’s made the cut at all five U.S. Opens he’s participated in, including a T4 in 2020 at Winged Foot. The downside is that he’s missed three straight cuts at the Farmers after some moderate success in 2017 and 2018 (T8 and T14). He may be flying under the radar a bit, but we can double-check ownership projections before lock and make some adjustments to our exposure in GPPs.
Stewart Cink (DK $7,200) – We’ve talked before about Cink’s resurgence and solid numbers off the tee, but it’s important to point out how much experience he has at this venue. This will be his first U.S. Open appearance since 2017, when he finished T46 at Erin Hills, but there’s still plenty of game left in his old bones. I’ll be using Cink at about a 10-15% rate in my 20-max and large-field GPPs.
Ryan Palmer (DK $7,100) – A course horse with a pair of second-place finishes in the Farmers over the past four years, Palmer has missed his last two U.S. Open cuts but stands to benefit from his familiarity with this popular tour venue. I’m most concerned with how he handles the longer rough this week, but he checks most of the boxes in our focus stat categories (No. 34 on tour in SG:OTT) and seems underpriced given his upside.
Ian Poulter (DK $7,000) – Poulter is coming off a T30 at the PGA Championship, a T3 at the Charles Schwab, and most recently a T25 at Congaree in the Palmetto Championship, and he’s well known for solid numbers on Poa annua greens and from 5-10 feet. The length of Torrey Pines could be an issue this week, but for this bargain price, I consider him worthy of a few GPP entries.
Brendan Todd (DK $6,900) – Another putting specialist who can elevate his game to the next level when he’s striking it well, Todd’s biggest challenge will be overcoming the 20-30 yards of distance he’ll be losing to the longer hitters in the field and hitting approaches from 175-200+. He’s GPP only because of his struggles off the tee and on those longer approach shots, but he’s still in my player pool as of now for his short game prowess.
Lanto Griffin (DK $6,800) – I’m a little surprised Griffin isn’t more than $7K this week based on his metrics and course history, which include a T7 at the Farmers this year and a T12 in 2018. With four MCs over his last five tournaments, the form is pretty ugly, but the venue and his skill set portend a better finish more along the lines of the steady stretch of Top 35 he posted in February and March.
Justin Suh (DK $6,600) – A USC standout who’s often forgotten among all-star crop of 2019 rookies, Suh has yet to make his mark on the PGA Tour but has played Torrey Pines 20+ times in his life. It won’t be playing as easily as it probably did during his junior and collegiate days, but Suh qualified last week to tee it up again here – and he could make for a decent final piece in a few GPP lineups.
More value golfers to consider: Gary Woodland, Adam Scott, Brian Harman (Cash), Charley Hoffman, Max Homa (GPP), Christian Bezuidenhout (GPP), Carlos Ortiz (GPP), Charl Schwartzel (Cash), Kevin Kisner, Mackenzie Hughes (GPP), Jhonattan Vegas (GPP), Adam Hadwin, Wyndham Clark
Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,500) – He made the cut at the U.S. Opens in 2016 and 2018, and he’s had some special individual rounds this season. He also has two top 10 finishes at Torrey Pines in the past five years and while he’s not known as a guy who can put together four good rounds, if he shines in the first two days he could finish among the Top 25 and make value.
Chan Kim (DK $6,100) – Kim is worth slotting into a few GPP entries based on his near-minimum salary, where he’s basically the only one I’ll be using. Nick “Stix” Bretwisch turned me onto the South Korean’s game, and while he’s yet to make the cut in his previous three U.S Open appearances, he’s got the lowest betting odds in this range and he does have a T11 at the R&A’s Open Championship in 2017.
Additional GPP punts: Brendan Steele, Jimmy Walker, Sam Ryder, J.J. Spaun
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
We’re once again bringing you some PGA DFS picks and analysis, looking for some winning teams at The Wells Fargo Championship at classic Quail Hollow!
Justin Thomas (DK $11,500) – JT is the most expensive golfer this week as he returns to Quail Hollow and the site of his 2017 PGA Championship win. The conditions won’t be quite as tough now as they were then, but Thomas should be able to contend if he can get even a little hot with the putter. Most of his recent “struggles” can be tied directly to a lot of really good putts that just didn’t fall in – a result that should progress toward better SG: P numbers this week.
Bryson DeChambeau (DK $11,200) – Playing Bryson in DFS sometimes feels like mashing the “X” button for the power boost in the Tiger Woods video games, but if there was a week to take advantage of his obscene length, this is it. He’s No. 1 overall on my mixed model ranking and one of the course comps is Winged Foot, where he won the U.S. Open in 2020. He’s a bomb-and-gouge guy on a course that welcomes it and the Par 5 scoring (he’s tops in the field) has to be good. Giddyup!
Jon Rahm (DK $10,800) – Rory shows up ahead of JT at the No. 2 overall spot o my model, but Rahm seems a great fit for this golf course, even though he’s only played here in the 2017 PGA Championship to a unexceptional finish (made cut but ended up T58). Still – Rahm’s great off the tee and he avoids bogeys – key metrics this week that make him a fine play in all formats despite his projected popularity.
Also consider: Rory McIlroy (GPP), Viktor Hovland (Cash), Patrick Cantlay (GPP), Tony Finau
Will Zalatoris (DK $9,400) – I don’t know if there’s a really a time when it’s safe to jump off the Zalatoris train, even with his T42 finish at the RBC Heritage on a small-greens course that didn’t play to his strengths of power and precision. He’s a prolific cut-maker and a generational type of talent who drives the ball fairly well, so he makes sense as a GPP pivot from guys like Finau and Conners.
Joaquin Niemann (DK $9,100) – Normally, I let the field get excited about Niemann and fade the guy, but his consistent play recently has me getting a lot more exposure. He doesn’t excel in any one of our focus stats categories this week, but he’s solid enough across the board (22nd in SG: APP and 25th in SG: OTT on difficult scoring courses) to end up as my No. 12 golfer in the model.
Max Homa (DK $9,100) – As good as Homa has been the past few weeks, he’s going to be hard to fade on a course where he’s already won. There don’t seem to be any flaws in his game right now and he’s No. 4 in my overall model in an absolutely stacked field – the highest I’ve seen him in several weeks.
Sungjae Im (DK $8,800) – Im is finding his ball-striking groove and appears a lot more comfortable with the putter recently. He checks all the boxes this week in the key metrics and makes for an excellent GPP play that doesn’t offer too much risk and plenty of Top 15 upside.
Cameron Tringale (DK $8,400) – He’s the same price as last week but the field is tougher, so you’d think his ownership should drop – but he might still end up like 18-20% owned. He might be okay for cash games, but I’d rather spend the extra few hundred and take Im in GPPs, especially since Tringale hasn’t found much success here since 2016.
Emiliano Grillo (DK $8,100) – I’ll go back to the well with Grillo and take the $200 discount from last week. He’s proven he belongs on courses that emphasize tee-to-green numbers over putting (he has a T9 here in 2018), and the days of him performing only in poor fields are gone. Grillo is a risky play because he tends to three-putt a little more than we’d like, but I like him for some GPPs.
Lucas Glover (DK $7,800) – After a rough start to 2020, Glover enters the Wells Fargo playing solid golf and sporting a still-affordable price tag under $8K. He’s done well here over the years with five career top 10s, including a win here in 2011.
Joel Dahmen (DK $7,600) – Dahmen won the Corales Puntacana in March after three straight missed cuts (and six of seven with the lone made cut coming at the AT&T), and he finished second here in 2019, three strokes behind Homa. The “A game” can come and go pretty quickly with this guy, so he’s best used as a last piece in balanced GPP builds.
Also consider: Corey Conners (cash), Abraham Ancer (GPP), Brian Harman (Cash), Jason Day (GPP), Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry, Stewart Cink, Talor Gooch
Kyle Stanley (DK $7,100) – Last week we discussed his tee ball game, and this week that’s a huge focus stat for us. I’m not as in love with Matt Jones and Lanto Griffin this week as everyone else, but Stanley’s ownership should remain low enough in GPPs to make him a worthwhile addition to the player pool. A T8 here in 2019 and T13 in 2018 add more intrigue, though he missed the cut at the 2017 PGA Championship.
Ryan Moore (DK $7,100) – Moore graded out well last week and now he’s playing to even more of his strengths, with putting being his biggest bugaboo. He’s solid OTT and if he can get a few more birdies to drop, makes for a great value play. The $7,000 to $7,100 range has a bunch of guys I like, so I foresee a few not-quite scrubs-and-stars GPP builds where I roster four guys like Moore, Wise, Kizzire and Tom Hoge and then finish it off with a couple of $10K-11K guys. Moore got me excited with an opening 66 last week, but this week he won’t have to contend with as much wind and can spray it a bit more off the tee. I’m in.
Aaron Wise (DK $7,100) – Wise has compelling Top 10 upside this week on a course where he’s had lots of success in his young career (T2 in 2018 with Nick Watney; T18 in 2019). We can probably throw out the finish at the RBC Heritage and look at the balance of his recent play to see that he’s trending in the right direction. Nick mentioned on the breakdown video that he might end up around 10% ownership, but I’m fine using him in single-entry and the 20-max dip at around 20-25% to stay ahead of the field.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,000) – I think I was one week off on Kizzire, who I always seem to have plenty of exposure to in GPPs on bomb-and-gouge courses. Last week I added him (not so confidently) to my player pool at the last minute before lock and his middle two rounds (75-76) destroyed any hope for a solid finish. This week, the layout should give him more of an advantage.
Phil Mickelson (DK $6,900) – He’s way too cheap (and still pretty long off the tee) for where he ends up in my mixed model rankings this week (No. 39 overall). A polarizing figure who still commands plenty of ownership among his fans, Phil is a dynamic player who makes it hard to go all in. If I can land on about 7.5-10% in GPPs and be slightly ahead of the field, I’ll be happy.
Luke List (DK $6,800) – Four missed cuts in his last six events will keep his ownership low, and I like the course fit for List at an event where he’s had a Top 10. If it clicks for him this week, he could be the only sub-$7K player in contention, so I’m fine staking my exposure at 10-15% ownership in GPPs.
Sam Ryder (DK $6,700) – Another golfer I like this week that could fly well under the radar, Ryder is popping on my models and makes for a high-risk play considering he’s missed his last two cuts. He’s probably the lowest priced golfer that I’ll consider at 10+ percent exposure in my GPPs.
More value golfers to consider: Lanto Griffin, Carlos Ortiz, Matt Jones (GPP), Sebastian Munoz, Erik van Rooyen (GPP), Charl Schwartzel, Tom Hoge (GPP), Adam Schenk, Wyndham Clark, Chez Reavie (GPP)
Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,500) – Rodgers isn’t the best in approach metrics, but he’s really solid off the tee, so he could be a decent litmus test for which category wins out this week. I liked him quite a bit when I started looking for longshots, and I do even more now that Stick’s Picks endorsed him, but he’s definitely GPP only.
Bronson Burgoon (DK $6,500) – I think Burgoon could be ready for a breakthrough at Quail Hollow despite the lack of success in the past. If you need a punt play who’s striking the ball well (T13 last week at the Valspar), he could be your guy.
Hank Lebioda (DK $6,300) – “Hammerin” Hank Lebioda also finished T13 at the Valspar, and Sia mentioned him in the breakdown as a possible punt play. At just $6,300 and coming off his best finish in 2021, he’s worth a look.
Additional GPP punts: Richy Werenski, Henrik Norlander, Cameron Percy, Joseph Bramlett, Will Gordon, Seung-Yul Noh
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
This edition of PGA DFS picks takes us to iconic Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, giving us some key golfers to mix into our winning teams!
Rory McIlroy (DK $11,500) – We’re still waiting on the next big win from Rory and while his putting remains a concern, this is as fine a venue as any to take a shot. The track record at Bay Hill is nearly spotless (he’s the 2018 champ and has four straight top six finishes here) and the premium price reflects that. But if we want him on a few of our GPP teams there’s plenty of value golfers we can use to make it happen without it feeling like extreme stars and scrubs.
Viktor Hovland (DK $10,600) – Sia loves him this week and the only possible reason Hovland be considered a “risky” golfer in this top tier because it’s just his third appearance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While he’s made the cut both times, he posted a T40 and T42, so we’re expecting a big step forward. The difference between that Viktor and the new Viktor is his ability to drain big putts, and he’s second in my model after Sam Burns, who has yet to break through at Bay Hill as well. Hovland should have a better handle on this difficult layout now and I can’t bet against him – he’ll probably be on my short list for single-entry.
Tyrrell Hatton (DK $10,000) – Hatton won here last year and is 4-for-4 since 2017, when he finished T4 (with McIlroy). He’s showing up in the top five in my models (tweaked for recent form (24 rounds) and the last 75 rounds and is a solid play in all formats. He’s first in the Proximity 200+ yards stats which we know is a huge factor on this beast of a golf course.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,800) – There’s going to be a lot of sticker shock when folks see the price this week compared to the Genesis, and even last week when he was just $8,500. He’s an excellent play on a tough golf course where he’s had consecutive Top 10 finishes (including a second place finish in 2019). He could get popular and we’ll just have to watch the projected ownership percentages to see how much we’ll need in GPPs.
Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau (GPP), Patrick Reed, Sungjae Im
Francesco Molinari ($8,700) – The model isn’t in love with him this week because it includes a stretch of rustiness from the Italian. But Molinari has been on the right track recently and the course record here is brilliant, with a win in 2019 and a couple of top tens before that. He’s an option in smaller tournaments (as Joel pointed out in the breakdown video), but his popularity could make him a fade in larger GPPs.
Will Zalatoris (DK $8,600) – There may not be a golf course in the known universe that Zalatoris can’t handle, and despite the fact that this is his Bay Hill debut, the youngster has the chops to flourish where others struggle on this demanding layout. The ball-striking prowess is there, and If the putter can pick up a few strokes on the field, look out.
Max Homa (DK $8,500) – Homa finished T24 in his API debut last season, and his game has taken a big step forward since then – with more ball-striking consistency and dominance of Par 5s, where the scoring usually happens. I really like Homa again this week at a fairly priced $8,500 and I’m considering using him in my core GPP builds.
Sam Burns (DK $8,400) – Burns will undoubtedly be popular this week, but he’s first on my model given his excellent numbers over the past 24 rounds, and I’ll have a tough time getting away from him in all formats. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of how much he’s learned as he tackles this course for the fourth time after three lukewarm results (T49-T-54-T36).
Talor Gooch (DK $7,900) – Gooch may not be ready to contend for a win on Sunday, and neither the model nor his recent form scream “must play” this week. But he’s 2-for-2 at Bay Hill, so we can use him in both cash and GPP if we need a golfer in the $7,500-8,000 range.
Cameron Davis (DK $7,900) – Davis would be my favorite play under $8K if we had any kind of course history to go off, because he’s top five in my model and he can get it done off the tee and on the greens when his putter is rolling. The wind could blow this week, but he’s got an earlier time on Thursday.
Cameron Tringale (DK $7,700) – Tringale has been good lately but hasn’t played this event since 2016. He’s in my model’s top 20 and has excellent SG:APP and SG Par 5 numbers. He hasn’t missed a cut since the Bermuda Championship in late October, and while he might get popular, he’s good value at this price.
Also consider: Jordan Spieth (GPP), Paul Casey, Marc Leishman (GPP), Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Lanto Griffin, Charley Hoffman (GPP)
Emiliano Grillo (DK $7,400) – Grillo’s ball-striking keeps him in the top 30 of my model, and he’s been trending as a “one week on, next week off” type of golfer with respect to his overall game. We know he struggles on Par 5s and with his putter, but his T11 finish in Puerto Rico (in windy conditions) is a step in the right direction. He hasn’t played here since 2018 but was T7 in 2017.
Luke List (DK $7,200) – He missed the cut at the Genesis Invitational and his ownership should remain pretty low this week despite an affinity for the venue (T17-T7-T10 in his last three appearances here) and decent play since the Sony Open. Like Grillo, List can struggle with the putter but he’s No 15 in my model and the SG: OTT and T2G numbers are elite. I’m considering him for my single entry GPPs.
Chris Kirk (DK $7,000) – I’m noticing a pattern with this price range: good ball striking, bad putting. Kirk fits that bill with more balance in his overall numbers and a a Top 30 ranking in my mode, just ahead of Doc Redman and Max Homa. If you need some value in building a GPP lineup, that’s not a bad trio to start with in large-field MMEs, as adding Cam Davis leaves you with more than $20K for your next two golfers.
Keegan Bradley (DK $7,000) – The recent form isn’t great, but we know that Bradley just tends to show up on the leaderboard out of the blue on venues that play to his strengths. Like the previous three golfers, he has some trouble with the flat stick, but he’s tops in the field in SG:APP over his last 24 rounds and ranks second T2G. If you need a cheap, off-the-wall GPP play to fill out your roster, look no further than the enigmatic Bradley, who’s 5-for-5 here and ranks eighth overall in my model.
Matthew NeSmith (DK $6,900) – NeSmith is popping on everybody’s models this week (he’s third overall on mine) and three straight finishes inside the Top 20 – combined with this low price – should make him extremely popular this week. One of the first column I read this week listed him as a “sleeper” pick, but that might not be the best way to describe a guy who’s approach 15% projected ownership. Still – he’s a decent value play this week despite missing the cut at his first Bay Hill appearance in 2020.
Harold Varner III (DK $6,800) – He hasn’t performed up to his capabilities on Par 5s recently like Matt Jones (definitely someone to consider this week), but he’s a solid off-the-radar play given his T2G game and high ranking in Opportunities Gained (eight in the field). Varner is in my model’s top 25 and while he’s just 2-for-4 at Bay Hill, I could easily see him in the Top 20 on Sunday.
More value golfers to consider: Si Woo Kim, Branden Grace (GPP), Matt Jones, Corey Conners, Henrik Norlander, Zach Johnson, Erik van Rooyen, Brendan Steele (GPP), Sebastian Munoz (GPP), Chez Reavie, Doug Ghim, Lucas Glover
Cameron Percy (DK $6,500) –There’s no course history to speak of, but Percy is No. 33 in my model and makes for a solid GPP play in this price range. The biggest question marks are his putter and lack of experience at Bay Hill.
Kyle Stanley (DK $6,500) – Like Varner, I’m a little concerned about his ability o take advantage of the Par 5s here, as he ranks way down at No. 111 in the field in that category. But the rest of the game is golden, and he’s actually No. 24 in my overall model.
Additional punts: Tom Hoge (GPP), Sepp Straka (GPP), Doc Redman (GPP), Mark Hubbard (GPP)
The Insight Sheet gets you ready before lock at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Inside is my player selection. Make sure to be on Discord Wednesday night to get final questions asked and for help with lineup building. As always, the sheet uses DraftKings pricing but the model is set up for overall play. Players can be used on all sites.Make sure to check out our Gold Package for all