DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: THE PLAYERS
Daily fantasy golf requires a new approach for each and every event.
The course and field change week after week, making no two contests alike. That means you need to refine your approach for each PGA Tour event to try to find golfers who are primed to excel for your daily fantasy golf lineups.
Each week, we have a course primer, and our daily fantasy golf projections and lineup builder can help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for THE PLAYERS Championship.
This Week’s Course
The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is the annual host of THE PLAYERS and one of the most famous golf courses in the world. The course features a little bit of everything so no one stat or one type of golfer has an advantage. Looking at course history is always a risky proposition, but here you will find plenty of golfers with both top 5s and missed cuts. So, it would wise to more heavily weigh current form and only look to course history in extreme cases.
It’s also worth noting, as Brandon Gdula did in his course primer, that after some recent renovations the course played a bit tougher last year than it has historically. But which stats should we be looking to most?
|Key Stats for THE PLAYERS at TPC Sawgrass|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Greens in Regulation Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (450 - 500 yards)|
Now that you know, let's get on to the picks.
All stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club (FNGC) and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
Jordan Spieth (DraftKings Price: $11,100 | bet365 Win Odds: 16/1) - For the first time since the Masters, Spieth returns to regular stroke play and as one of the hottest golfers in the world. He ranks 1st in strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: Par 4s (450 - 500), and he is no worse than 9th in strokes gained: approach, greens in regulation gained, and strokes gained: par 5s. These strong marks have led to some terrific results: Spieth has 17 top-25s since this event last year, including 8 top-5s and 2 wins. He has missed the cut three straight times at TPC Sawgrass, but did manage a T4 in 2014.
Justin Thomas ($10,800 | 16) - Thomas has been on an absolute tear since winning the PGA Championship last summer, closing last year with a FedEx Cup win and finishing in the top 25 at every event he has played this season. He is 2nd in strokes gained: tee to green, 7th in strokes gained: approach, 6th in birdies or better gained, and 3rd in strokes gained: Par 4s (450 - 500). If we narrow our stats to just the last 24 rounds, Thomas is even better. In addition to treading water or improving on those four stats, he picks up 6th or better ranks in greens in regulation (GIR) gained and scrambling gained.
Dustin Johnson ($10,300 | 18) - Despite the strong pushes from the aforementioned studs, Johnston has managed to maintain his hold on the world's number-one ranking. DJ has not played a ton of events this season, but he has finished no worse than 16th in any of his eight tournaments, including a win and two second place finishes. Johnson is 3rd in strokes gained: tee to green, 4th in birdies or better gained, and 1st in strokes gained: Par s. Taking advantage of the birdie opportunities is essential for both tournament success and DraftKings scoring, and Johnson puts himself in position to do just that every time he tees it up.
Justin Rose ($9,100 | 28) - Rose is a perfect example of the wonky course history at TPC Sawgrass. His last five finishes, beginning with last year, are as follows: T65-T19-MC-T4-MC. The Englishman has recent form on his side, however, with four top-5 finishes in eight events this season, including a win to kick off the season at the WGC-HSBC. Rose is 5th in birdies or better gained and strokes gained: Par 5s, and he has above average marks in all the key statistical areas. He is 30th in GIR gained, but has been able to clean up after himself when he misses, ranking 8th in scrambling gained.
Henrik Stenson ($8,800 | 28) - Stenson is 1st in GIR gained and 2nd in strokes gained: approach. With the different looks and various doglegs, TPC Sawgrass is very much a second-shot course, and no one has been better at finding the green on approach than Stenson. He is converting at a high rate, too, ranking 13th in birdies or better gained. And, of course, his finishing form is immaculate as well, with a 5th place finish at Augusta preceded by a 6th at the Houston Open and a 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Phil Mickelson ($8,400 | 33) - Mickelson’s stellar season continued with a 5th place finish at the Wells Fargo last week. He ranks 3rd in birdies or better gained and scrambling gained, and he is 4th in strokes gained: par 5s. He can leave the driver in the bag for most of the week, eliminating one of his biggest weaknesses (he ranks 208th on Tour in driving accuracy), as THE PLAYERS sets up as a less-than-driver course, per FutureOfFantasy’s Fantasy Golfanac. Phil missed the cut here four straight times before a T41 last year, but he did win the event in 2007.
Bryson DeChambeau (8,300 | 50) - DeChambeau is an ideal golfer to target on DraftKings because of his aggressiveness and ability to make the most of his birdie opportunities. He is 3rd in strokes gained: par 5s and 8th in birdies or better gained, and in the top-25 in each of our other key stats. He could not ask for better form for his PLAYERS debut, as he has three top-5’s in his last four events.
Low Priced Options
Alexander Noren ($7,900 | 66) - In a loaded field and with so many options in the low-to-mid range, Noren could fly well under the radar this week. Back-to-back missed cuts coming into the event will do that. But Noren could certainly straighten out his tee-to-green game and post a strong finish at low ownership. His stats are not eye-popping but they're respectable, ranking 12th in scrambling gained and strokes gained: par 5s. He had a 3rd place finish at the Honda Classic -- another Florida track that does not require driver off the tee -- and he finished 10th at this event last year in his first appearance.
Patrick Cantlay ($7,500 | 50) - Cantlay bounced back from a missed cut at the Masters with a 7th place finish at the RBC Heritage, and he enters this week 9th in strokes gained: tee to green and 2nd in GIR gained. He offers tremendous Vegas value at this price, given that he has the same or better win odds than golfers priced $500 to $800 higher.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,500 | 66) - Grillo is a staple in cash lineups every week he plays. He has not missed a cut this season and has flashed some nice upside with three top-10s in his last six events. Grillo is somebody who looks better and better the more recent we cut our data. He ranks 25th in strokes gained: tee to green, but if we narrow our range to the last 36 rounds, he moves up to 17th. If we narrow further to the last 24 rounds, he is up to 12th. We see this across each of his stats, and in the last 24 rounds he ranks in the top-15 in the field in strokes gained: approach, birdies or better gained, and GIR gained.
Chesson Hadley ($7,400 | 90) - Hadley finished 16th last week at the Wells Fargo, his fourth consecutive top-20 finish. He has not played in a field quite like the one he’ll face at THE PLAYERS in that span, but Hadley is 1st in strokes gained: approach and has top-25 marks in each of the other key stats. He has been pretty popular the past couple weeks, but with the cluster of quality options in this range we may be able to get an ownership discount.
Chez Reavie ($6,800 | 250) - Reavie has fallen off a cliff recently, finishing outside the top-50 (including two missed cuts) in his last five events. Before that, however, he had back-to-back second place finishes at the AT&T Pro-Am and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Reavie is inside the top 42 golfers in strokes gained: tee to green, strokes gained: approach, and GIR gained. He's worth a shot in tournaments.
Brandon Harkins ($6,500 | 500) - Harkins will wear out his pencil circling and boxing numbers on his scorecard, but the birdies give us more than the bogeys take away. He is 97th in total strokes gained but 25th in DraftKings points per showing. At the bare minimum price, Harkins offers some upside independent of his finishing position.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.