DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: PGA Championship
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 PGA Championship.
This Week’s Course
The PGA Championship comes to Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country, Missouri for the 100th edition of the prestigious tournament. The course has not held a PGA Tour event since 2008, when it hosted a rain-soaked BMW Championship. Prior to that event, it hosted the 1992 PGA Championship. Clearly, there's not a lot of history to work with for those set to tee it up Thursday, so play it straight and find golfers in good form when building DFS lineups.
Ballstriking stands out as a key stat this week because of the length needed both off the tee and on the approach. The PGA generally gives up some low scores to at least a few golfers, so birdies or better gained and strokes gained on par 4s can help pinpoint the guys that can go low. The greens are huge, so proximity to the hole is weighted this week. Finally, scrambling gained needs to be factored in as escaping trouble with par is essential to contending for a major championship.
|Key Stats for the PGA Championship at Bellerive CC|
|Stokes Gained: Ballstriking|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
Now, onto the picks.
All stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
High Priced Studs
Dustin Johnson (DraftKings Price $11,400 | PaddyPower Win Odds 9/1) - As it has for the entire season, the top tier begins with Dustin Johnson. The highest-priced golfer in the field, DJ doesn’t just lead the field in most of the key stats -- he crushes the competition. In his last 50 rounds, Johnson has gained 82.6 strokes with his ballstriking. The next closest golfer, Justin Thomas, has gained 66.3 strokes ballstriking in that span. Johnson is also first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green, birdies or better gained, and strokes gained: par 4s. He's 3rd in proximity gained and 17th in scrambling gained.
Rory McIlroy ($11,000 | 11) - McIlroy has the potential to be a bit sneaky this week, with DJ such a strong play for just a couple hundred more and plenty of good options in the tier below. He is 12th in birdies or better gained, 19th in strokes gained: par 4s, and 28th in strokes gained: ballstriking. Those may not pop off the page, but Rory’s two best finishes in that span came at the U.S. Open (second) and the Masters (fifth). Strokes gained data is not available for the majors, but suffice to say McIlroy brings his A game at the big events.
Justin Thomas ($9,700 | 12) - The defending champion is one of the premier values on the board this week. Thomas ranks inside the top eight for all of the key stats, and he is prone to running hot. After winning his first major championship last year, Thomas reeled off finishes of T6-1-47-2 to close the year and take down the FedEx Cup. With a win at the WGC-Bridgestone, Thomas is primed for another strong finish.
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,300 | 22) - Fleetwood is another golfer with a strong statistical profile that is actually even better than the numbers indicate. He is 7th in birdies or better gained, 16th in par 4s, and 17th in ballstriking. His finishes at the major championships this season are T17-2-T12 to go along with a T7 at the PLAYERS. He had either the lowest or second lowest round in each of the majors.
Jason Day ($9,000 | 18) - Day has absolutely owned Glory’s Last Shot, with 5 straight finishes inside the top 15 at the year's final major, including his breakthrough win in 2015. He is 4th in par 4s, 6th in birdies or better gained, and 12th in scrambling gained. The ballstriking numbers don’t look great (he ranks 47th), but Day has been able to clean up his messes with a good, consistent short game (first in the field in strokes gained: short game, which combines around the green and putting).
Patrick Reed ($8,900 | 33) - Captain America always seems to go overlooked in these strong fields, and that fact remains the same even after his Masters win. Though he’s not a particularly long hitter, Reed had no problem making pars and birdies at long courses at Augusta National and Shinnecock Hills, where he finished first and fourth, respectively. He is 5th in the field in par 4s, 10th in birdies or better gained, and 13th in scrambling.
Tony Finau ($8,100 | 33) - From Captain America to "Captain Chalk", expect Finau to be among the highest owned players on the slate. He has top-10 finishes at each of the first 3 majors and ranks 17th in birdies or better gained as well as 24th in ballstriking. At just $8,100, Finau is a cash game lock and, despite Brandon Gdula’s warnings about playing the chalk in PGA DFS, unlocks so much roster flexibility that he will be hard to avoid in tournament formats, as well.
Low Priced Options
Marc Leishman ($7,800 | 40) - Leishman’s strong finishes at the Masters (ninth) and the Byron Nelson (second) buoy him despite some inconsistent stats. He is trending in the right direction, though, with his last 12 rounds particularly encouraging. Leishman is 19th in strokes gained: tee to green, 20th in birdies or better gained, and 27th in scrambling gained in that sample size.
Joaquin Niemann ($7,600 | 60) - Niemann has found a bit of consistency after an up and down start to his pro career, and he is not yet major championship-tested, but the upside at this price is difficult to ignore. Niemann is 2nd in ballstriking, 14th in birdies or better gained, 25th in strokes gained: par 4s, and 28th in proximity gained.
Zach Johnson ($7,500 | 80) - There are two Zach Johnsons in the field this week, so please make sure to play the one who has won the Masters and The Open Championship. Zach has five straight top-20 finishes on Tour, including the last two majors. He is 4th in scrambling gained, 6th in proximity, and 28th in strokes gained: tee to green. The stats reflect a safe, high-floor play, and the recent results illustrate tournament-worthy upside at this price.
Ryan Moore ($7,400 | 100) - Vegas doesn’t believe in Moore, but he is 10th in strokes gained: par 4s, 20th in ballstriking, and 23rd in proximity gained. He did not qualify for the U.S. Open, but he represented himself well in the majors he played in, with a T28 at the Masters and a T12 at The Open Championship. He was 13th at the PGA last year, so he has good major championship form heading to Bellerive.
Ian Poulter ($7,400 | 66) - Poulter is 21st in birdies or better gained, but he hovers in the 40-55 range in the other key stats. However, narrowing the range to the past 24 rounds reveals a different story, as Poulter is 8th in scrambling and 11th in both birdies or better gained and ballstriking. He has just one missed cut and one finish outside the top 25 since his win at the Houston Open in April.
Kevin Na ($6,800 | 100) - Na has shortened significantly since the betting guide came out on numberFire, making him less attractive as a Vegas longshot but more alluring as a punt play on DraftKings. Na is 47th in strokes gained: tee to green, and even though his ballstriking looks poor (84th) it is weighted down significantly by his off the tee stats. He is 1st in scrambling gained and 22nd in proximity gained.
Russell Henley ($6,700 | 80) - Henley is a plug-and-play when the greens are bentgrass. He is fifth in strokes gained: putting on bent greens, and he has had strong finishes on this surface this season, including T8 at the Houston Open, T15 at the Masters, and 10th at the Greenbrier. Henley is 24th in birdies or better gained, 43rd in ball striking, and 48th in proximity.
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.