Daily Fantasy Golf Helper for the Arnold Palmer Invitational
By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel now offering a brand new sport: PGA golf.
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the basics of building a lineup on FanDuel, the scoring setup, and advanced stats to know about the PGA.
But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered.
Let's take a look at some golfers to target for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
Stats to Target
Based on the course make up for Bay Hill, these are some of the most vital stats to target this week. For a more detailed explanation why, check out our course primer for this week.
|Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational
at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida
|Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
So, who has the right combination of stats, recent form, course history, and salary this week?
Best of the Best
Henrik Stenson (FanDuel Price: $10,200) - Despite the presence of Jason Day ($10,300) and Rory McIlroy ($10,700), Stenson might be the best bet among the high-priced options. Last year, he finished tied for third (T3). The four years prior, he finished T15, T8, T5, and 2. Nobody really has the course history that Stenson offers, and he was T7 last week at the Valspar Championship. Of course, expect ownership to be high, and consider avoiding him in big tournaments in case his putter runs cold.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,000) - Matsuyama is always in the mix because of his stellar stats (aside from putting). Matsuyama's birdie-or-better percentage (28.0%) is one of just two marks in the field above 25.6% this week, and birdies correlate really well with scoring on FanDuel. Plus, Hideki is tied for eighth on the year in bogey avoidance.
Only McIlroy (+700) and Stenson (+900) have better odds than Matsuyama (+1400), who is tied with Day, per Bovada. He finished T21 in 2015 and T6 at Bay Hill last season.
Justin Rose ($9,700) - Rose has a missed cut in this tournament back in 2014 and didn't play here last season, but in 2012, he was T15, and in 2013, he finished second. In 2016, he earned a T9 and certainly has the pedigree to contend in a loaded field like this one. Rose is 12th in driving distance among the 100 players in the field who are qualified for the stats leaderboard on PGATour.com. He's also fifth in birdie-or-better percentage in that group.
Rickie Fowler ($9,500) - Fowler could go overlooked here a bit, with such a top-heavy field, but he did win the Honda Classic three weeks ago and earned a T16 two weeks ago at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
He grades out ninth in driving distance of the 100 qualified players in the tournament, first in scrambling, first in bogey avoidance, second in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and is above the PGA average in driving accuracy, greens in regulation percentage, birdie-or-better percentage, strokes gained: around-the-green, and strokes gained: putting.
Francesco Molinari ($7,700) - In 2013, Molinari earned a T34 here and then went on to post a T5, a T17, and a T9 in the three following years. He's got the course history to suggest he can get you bonus points for a top-25 finish. He was T14 at the Honda Classic and T20 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Molinari is second in driving accuracy among qualified players in the field, and he's seventh in birdie-or-better percentage. He's a bit worrisome around the green (79th out of 100 in strokes gained: around-the-green), but it's hard to ignore the course form.
Martin Laird ($7,400) - Laird doesn't have the current form to make this a confident pick, but that's golf. He finished T43 to T34 in four of his past five tournaments at Bay Hill, with a missed cut in the middle in 2014. He did win this thing in 2011, though.
Laird's stats don't jump off the page, but he is comfortably above the PGA average in driving distance and accuracy, greens in regulation percentage, scrambling, birdie-or-better percentage, bogey avoidance, and strokes gained: tee-to-green, around-the-green, and putting.
Thomas Pieters ($7,100) - Pieters is the 28th-most expensive golfer on FanDuel but has the 7th-highest odds to win the event outright. That alone should get your attention. He has bookended a missed cut in the Honda Classic with a T2 at the Genesis Open and a T5 at the WGC-Mexico Championship. He grades out well enough in the desired stats this week and ranks sixth in birdie-or-better percentage among qualified golfers in the field.
Alex Noren ($6,600) - Noren is the 11th-ranked golfer in the world but is the 39th-most expensive golfer on FanDuel this week. It's not quite as simple as that, of course, but in a 120-player, invitation-only format, you'll need guys who can really play well to contend for top-25 status. At the very least, Noren should be on your radar so that you can pay up for the high-priced studs.
Anirban Lahiri ($6,000) - Lahiri is second only to Matsuyama in birdie-or-better percentage in this field, and that means he could net you some solid fantasy production at a cheap price in your Round 1 and 2 lineup. He's not a strong putter, but he did flash top-15 upside with a T11 at the Honda Classic.
Cameron Smith ($5,700) - Smith shouldn't touch your Round 3 and 4 lineup, but at $5,700, he's an interesting flier for Round 1 and 2. He struggles with driving accuracy, and that could lead to an implosion, yet his upside is something to keep an eye on. He's 20th among qualified golfers in birdie-or-better percentage.
Jason Kokrak ($5,400) - At $5,400, Kokrak is tied for the 66th-highest salary on FanDuel but has the same win odds as a guy like Bubba Watson (for what that's worth at this point). Kokrak has three straight top-20s at Bay Hill, including an outright fourth-place finish in 2014, a T6 in 2015, and a T20 in 2016.
You won't want to roster too many low-priced guys and lose out on the chance at position bonuses, so someone such as Kokrak, with a good history here, is worth keeping on your radar.
Kyle Stanley ($5,400) - Stanley is a longshot to win, but he grades out well statistically aside from putting. He's first in strokes gained: tee-to-green and third in greens in regulation among qualified golfers in the field, and if he happens to putt well, he could really rack up fantasy points. Just limit your exposure to tournaments with him.