DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Safeway Open

A new PGA Tour season kicks off with the Safeway Open. Which golfers stand out as good values on DraftKings?

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 Safeway Open.

This Week's Course

The 2018-2019 PGA Tour season kicks off this week in wine country, as some swing-season staples and fresh faced youngsters tee it up at the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, California. This 7,203-yard par 72 does not play quite as easy as those dimensions might suggest thanks to narrow fairways and, to be perfectly frank, a less-than-stellar field every season. The poa annua greens can give golfers fits and level the playing field for some of the weaker putters. Iron play will be essential this week, but so too will accuracy off the tee. Fairways gained tells a better story than straight accuracy because it accounts for the courses and fields each of the golfers has played. Making birdies is essential for success both on the PGA Tour and on DraftKings, and there are no better opportunities for them than on par 5s.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Safeway Open at Silverado
Strokes Gained: Approach
Birdies or Better Gained
Strokes Gained: Par 5s
Fairways Gained

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

Patrick Cantlay (DraftKings Price $11,600 /PaddyPower Win Odds 11/1) - Cantlay arrives in his native California after an East Coast swing for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Unlike every other golfer in this field, Cantlay was keeping his game sharp against the best competition in the world all the way through the TOUR Championship, including a T8 in the Northern Trust along the way. He is 3rd in strokes gained: tee to green, 5th in strokes gained: approach, and 13th in birdies or better gained.

Joaquin Niemann ($10,300 / 25) - The young phenom kicks off his first swing season since turning pro last spring and has a weak field to feast on. Niemann’s debut season featured five top-5 finishes, four of which came in below average fields. He is first in birdies or better gained, second in strokes gained: approach, and fourth in strokes gained: tee to green.

Emiliano Grillo ($10,000 / 22) - Grillo will be useful as a value option when the PGA Tour season pushes into the spring, but for now he is among the elite in the field and worth paying up for this week. Grillo is 15th or better in each of the key stats, and aside from perhaps Beau Hossler ($9,100 | 33), he is the most reliable putter at the high end of the DK pricing pool this week.

Mid Priced Options

Adam Hadwin ($9,400 | 28) - Hadwin had an up and down 2018 season but ultimately finished strong with three straight top-25s in the first three legs of the Playoffs. He is 10th in strokes gained: tee to green, 16th in fairways gained, and 25th in strokes gained: approach. He does his best putting on poa and ranks third in the field strokes gained: putting over his last 50 rounds on that grass type.

Luke List ($8,800 | 40) - List is second in both strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: par 5s. He can bomb it off the tee but can't always keep the ball in the short grass and is not a good scrambler, so he carries some risk this week. But his length should allow him to have wedges and short irons into most of the greens, and the bumpy poa should affect everyone and help mitigate List's unreliable putter.

Harold Varner ($8,300 | 50) - Varner just finished the best season of his young career and will look to keep the strong form going into 2019. He was 59th here last year but 15th the year prior. He is fifth in strokes gained: par 5s and sixth in birdies or better gained. HV3 can make birdies in bunches so the key for him will be saving par when he misses; he ranks a modest 60th in scrambling gained. But in a field with many graduates, his course familiarity from playing here each of the last three seasons should come in handy.

Russell Henley ($8,100 | 45) - Henley's poor finish to the season (three missed cuts and no better than 50th in any of his last five events) results in him coming in grossly under-priced relative to his overall talent in this field. He is accurate both off the tee (9th in fairways gained) and on the approach (10th in strokes gained: approach), and he is among the best putters in this field even though he prefers bermudagrass and bentgrass to poa annua. He has a discounted price and should come at low ownership. This tier is a bit of a no-man's-land for daily fantasy players looking to start their roster with two higher-priced golfers and fill out the rest in the $7K range.

Low Price Options

Bronson Burgoon ($7,500 | 70) - Burgoon can really score and makes the most of his length by attacking par 5s. He is third in strokes gained: par 5s and seventh in birdies or better gained. He is 14th in strokes gained: approach and finished T17 here last year in his debut.

Sam Ryder ($7,400 | 110) - Vegas doesn't believe in Ryder, but the stats bear him out as a great value in this range. He ranks 8th in strokes gained: approach, 13th in fairways gained, and 15th in birdies or better gained. He missed the cut here last year but had to be jittery kicking off his first season as a pro. After settling in, he ultimately finished with three top-10s and just one missed cut over his last eight events of the season.

Joel Dahmen ($7,100 | 80) - Dahmen was another strong closer during the summer down season of the PGA schedule last year, including one stretch with five straight top-25s. He missed the cut in both of the playoff events he participated in, but this field is closer to the ones he dominated. Over his last 50 rounds, he is 1st in strokes gained: approach, 5th in birdies or better gained, 14th in scrambling gained, 16th on par 5s, and 25th in fairways gained.

Cameron Champ ($7,100 | 90) - One of the most highly anticipated graduates of the Tour, Champ is an absolute bomber. His length puts him in prime position on almost every hole, and although he failed to impress in either the swing season or some late season call-ups last year, Champ has big time potential. Even with a ton of buzz around him, this may be both his cheapest price and lowest ownership of the swing season.

Bargain Basement

Tyler Duncan ($6,800 | 125) - Duncan was the 54-hole leader last year at this event before a disappointing 75 on Sunday landed him a T5 finish, the best of his career. He is 4th in strokes gained: approach, 7th in strokes gained: tee to green, and 22nd in fairways gained.

Troy Merritt ($6,700 | 100) - Merritt is solid across the board, as he ranks 19th in strokes gained: par 5s, 22nd in birdies or better gained, and 27th in strokes gained: approach. He got a breakthrough win at the Barbasol last season and has made consecutive cuts at this event, including a T15 in 2016.

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.