DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: CIMB Classic
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.
This Week's Course
As covered in the primer, the CIMB Classic is a no-cut event held at the TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It will be hot, humid, and rainy. The high temps mean the ball will carry, and the wet conditions mean it will stick when it lands. At just 7,005-yards, this par 72 yields plenty of birdies and will be open for business. Leaning on strokes gained: tee to green with an emphasis on approach is optimal for core construction this week, with birdie-making and bogey-avoiding also important (shocker!). Lock will be Wednesday evening because of the time difference, so get those lineups in early!
|Key Stats for the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better 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
Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price $11,700 | PaddyPower Win Odds 5:1) - JT is head and shoulders above the field this week. He is $1,000 more expensive than the next highest-priced golfer on DraftKings, and his win odds are so high that oddsmakers consider him more than twice as likely to win as the next shortest bet. Thomas is first in strokes gained: tee to green and birdies or better gained, second in strokes gained: approach, and sixth in bogeys avoided. He finished T17 here last year and won back-to-back the two prior years. The decision to play him is easy. How to fill out the rest of the lineup is the hard part.
Billy Horschel ($10,700 | 14) - Horschel is first in bogeys avoided, third in birdies or better gained and strokes gained on par 5s, and fifth in strokes gained: tee to green. But that doesn't tell the full story of his recent form. Narrowing the range to just his last 12 rounds, Horschel is first in all four of the key stats. Keep in mind, strokes gained data is impacted heavily by the fields the golfer is contending against, and Horschel's last 12 rounds were against the toughest competition in the world on his way to a top-five finish in the FedEx Cup standings.
Keegan Bradley ($9,900 | 22) - Bradley excelled in rainy conditions on his way to victory at the BMW Championship, and his skill set lines up nicely with this layout even with the recent changes to the grass types. Always dialed in with the irons, Keegan is first in strokes gained: approach and sixth tee to green. While his birdies or better gained (30th) and bogeys avoided (22nd) ranks leave something to be desired, Bradley showed during the playoffs that he can be dominant if the putter cooperates. He likes this climate, as well, with three top-10 finishes in the last four tries here, including a second place last year.
Mid Priced Options
Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($9,300 | 30) - Cabrera-Bello has back-to-back top-10 finishes at this event the last two years, and he is ranked in the top 20 in each of the key stats. RCB is a staple at the major TOUR events and has top-end talent in this field. This price point could end up being a bit of dead zone given how highly owned Thomas will be, making RCB a sneaky high-upside play.
Kyle Stanley ($9,000 | 30) - Stanley is actually the fifth highest-ranked golfer in this field by the Official World Golf Rankings, yet he comes in as the 12th highest-priced golfer on DraftKings. He is first in the field in proximity gained, and the sticky conditions will only help his approaches. He is 7th in strokes gained: tee to green and 11th in approach.
Byeong-Hun An ($8,900 | 30) - An is third in strokes gained: tee to green and fifth in bogeys avoided. He is 14th in approach and should also come in at suppressed ownership in tournaments. With the strongest plays skewing toward the very top of the pricing, starting lineups with An and another golfer in this price range can create a unique, balanced build that has a high floor to go along with An's upside, as evidenced by his two second-place finishes last season.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($8,000 | 45) - Pan rates out very well in this field, ranking 23rd or better in all of the key stats, including 8th in bogeys avoided. He has done some of his best work on the shorter courses on the circuit; in addition to a T17 here last year, he has three of his five best finishes as a pro at courses that measure 7,200 yards or shorter (2016 RSM, 2017 Travelers, and 2018 Wyndham).
Low Priced Options
Sam Ryder ($7,700 | 50) - Coming off a fourth-place finish last week, Ryder may finally see his ownership tick up this week. He ranks 8th in strokes gained: approach, 10th in bogeys avoided, and 11th in strokes gained: par 5s. He is trending in the right direction as well, as his ranks are even better in the last 24 rounds (second on par 5s, third in birdies or better gained, and fourth in approach).
Thomas Pieters ($7,500 | 60) - Pieters will feast on the short course this week. Always at his best when playing with confidence and swagger, Pieters has high-end talent and should arrive at TPC Kuala Lumpur with something to prove this week. He was good enough to make Europe's 2016 Ryder Cup team and book four top-five finishes during the 2017 season, but his game was off last year. He will look to ride the momentum of a T6 at the PGA Championship into the swing season.
Kevin Chappell ($7,300 | 70) - Speaking of down seasons, Chappell fell off a cliff in the spring and has only one top 25 in the last six months (of course, that was a T6 at The Open Championship). Strictly from a pedigree standpoint, Chappell is underpriced in this field. The stats aren't great, but he is still 17th in birdies or better gained and 20th in strokes gained: tee to green. His length off the tee will allow him wedges and short irons into the greens, even if the ball isn't rolling on the wet fairways, and those same wet conditions should help him control his approaches.
Abraham Ancer ($7,100 | 66) - Ancer checks in as one of the premiere values this week, having seen his price drop $2,200. He withdrew before the Safeway Open with a hand injury after "a little accident with a knife," according to his Instagram account, but confirmed he is good to go for the CIMB Classic. The young Mexican star is 18th in strokes gained: tee to green and 24th in bogeys avoided, and he has three top-10 finishes in his last eight events.
Keith Mitchell ($6,900 | 100) - Mitchell is another bomber who benefits from the short course and easy scoring conditions. He is 10th in birdies or better gained, 12th in strokes gained: par 5s, 14th in strokes gained: tee to green, and 18th in approach.
Anirban Lahiri ($6,900 | 50) - As evidenced by the odds, Lahiri will be no sleeper this week. But he absolutely owned swing season last year, and his last three finishes at the CIMB are T10, T3 and T21. His stats are not where they need to be, but Lahiri likes this course and can make a lot of other combinations work in the higher price ranges.
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.