DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Sony Open in Hawaii
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 Sony Open in Hawaii.
|Key Stats for the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae CC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Greens in Regulation (GIR) Gained|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
Check out the primer for more details on why these stats stand out this week. Let's get to 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.
Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price: $11,400 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds 6/1) - The pricing is fairly tight on DraftKings this week, and in those cases, the best play is often the guy at the top of the list. Thomas fits the bill this week, and he's just $300 more than the second-highest priced golfer and $600 more than the third-highest despite having far shorter odds than either. Thomas is first in strokes gained: approach, fourth in strokes gained: par 4s and bogeys avoided, and fifth in birdies or better gained. He won this event in 2017 and enters in excellent form off a strong Sunday to finish in solo third at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Bryson DeChambeau ($11,100 | 11) - Savings are minimal for those choosing to forego Thomas and start their builds with Bryson, but he is a worthy pivot, and the two stars will likely be two of the most popular golfers in the field this week. DeChambeau is 1st in strokes gained: par 4s, 2nd in birdies or better gained, 8th in greens in regulation (GIR) gained, and 10th in strokes gained: approach. He has been a man on a mission for the past year and a seventh-place finish at the TOC proved he belongs in even the strongest of fields. Expect him to contend once again this week.
Gary Woodland ($10,800 | 13) - While it's no fun to just pick the three-highest priced golfers in this section, Woodland rounds out a trio that is head and shoulders above the field. He has been on fire since his sixth-place finish at the PGA Championship, finishing in the top-25 seven times in nine tries since then. He would have easily cruised to his 4th career win on Tour if not for Xander Schauffele's heroic 62 on Sunday to steal the Tournament of Champions from Woody (Schauffele is not in this week's field). Woodland is first in birdies or better gained, third in greens in regulation gained, fourth in strokes gained: approach, and sixth on par 4s, and he has finished no worse than T13 in the last four years at the Sony.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,300 | 37) - Matsuyama is exactly the type of player who can succeed at Waialae. He is a world-class ball-striker whose awful putting stroke is mitigated by the slow and often forgiving greens of this week. While his greens in regulation gained ranking (23rd) is not exactly elite, he is 3rd in opportunities gained, Fantasy National's statistic that measures scoring opportunities (birdie putts inside 15 feet plus greens/fringes in regulation). He is also eighth in both strokes gained: approach and birdies or better gained. One week he will convert a few putts by dumb luck and will end up at the top of the leaderboard.
Paul Casey ($9,100 | 34) - Casey is 6th in strokes gained: approach, 11th in both birdies or better gained and GIRs gained, and 15th in strokes gained: par 4s. He is always a good cash-game option given his cut-making ability, and as he showed during the third round at the TOC, he has the ability to put together streaks of birdies, an essential skill for DraftKings scoring.
Zach Johnson ($8,600 | 41) - Another steady golfer with sneaky upside, Johnson has very good history at the Sony Open, with finishes of T14, T6, T9, T64, and T8 over the past five years. He is 8th in strokes gained: par 4s, and although he is 31st in both strokes gained: approach and birdies or better gained, he has been able to convert at a high enough clip to rank 20th in DraftKings points over his last 50 rounds. In the first full-field event of the season, locking in some safety in the midrange and going contrarian elsewhere could be a viable strategy in all formats.
Adam Scott ($8,300 | 41) - Scott is not the same player he was during his rise to Masters Champion and World No. 1, but he found some good form last year and enters with top-10 finishes in three of his last six PGA events. The Aussie is second in GIRs gained, fifth in birdies or better gained, and eighth in strokes gained: approach. He makes quick work of the shorter courses as he ranks second in total strokes gained in his last 50 rounds on courses measuring 7,200 yards or shorter.
Keegan Bradley ($7,700 | 50) - Like Matsuyama, Bradley is a ball-striking wizard who can't finish around the cup. His stats this week are all over the place -- he is second in strokes gained: approach but somehow 68th in GIRs gained, and his birdies or better gained (23rd) and par 4 (46th) rankings fit neatly in the middle of that chasm. He is getting it done somehow, ranking 11th in DraftKings points over his last 50 rounds. While that is certainly heavily weighted by his win at the BMW Championship, he had just two missed cuts in 2018, and they came at the U.S. Open and the Genesis Open, both of which ranked in the top 10 in hardest scoring courses relative to par. Waialae is nowhere near that, ranking 39th.
Andrew Putnam ($7,400 | 70) - Putnam benefits from the long stay in Hawaii this week after competing at the Sentry and carding back-to-back 70s over the weekend. He is 6th in GIRs gained, 9th in strokes gained: par 4s, and 17th in strokes gained: approach. Putnam is a ghastly 88th in birdies or better gained, but he mitigates it by avoiding bogeys at an elite clip (2nd in the field over his last 50 rounds and a solid 16th in that category in the entire Tour over the 2018 season).
Stewart Cink ($7,300 | 160) - Vegas doesn't think much of Cink's chances to take the trophy this week, but he can still be useful in DraftKings lineups. He checks all the boxes statistically, ranking 3rd in strokes gained: approach, 7th in GIRs gained, 17th in strokes gained: par 4s, and 36th in birdies or better gained. Keeping with the theme this week, Cink's poor putter matters less at this course.
Sam Ryder ($7,200 | 120) - Ryder is just 47th in strokes gained: par 4s, but he is otherwise rock solid in his rankings this week. He is 1st in opportunities gained, 4th in strokes gained: approach, 9th in birdies or better gained, and 18th in greens in regulation gained. He finished 58th in his Sony debut last year, and some familiarity with the course this time around should make a world of difference for him.
Keith Mitchell ($6,900 | 120) - Mitchell does most of his damage off the tee (3rd in strokes gained: of the tee), but he is more than capable with his irons, ranking 29th in this field in strokes gained: approach. He is also 12th in birdies or better gained and 14th in GIRs gained. He finished 25th here last year and another top 25 with a few birdie streaks thrown in will more than satisfy his DFS owners this week.
Mackenzie Hughes ($6,000 | 250) - Mac comes in at the stone minimum, and it's not clear what makes him so inferior to the rest of the $6,000 range that DraftKings decided to put him all the way in the cellar. He is 27th in strokes gained: approach and middle of the pack in each of the other stats, but rostering Hughes allows for some major flexibility at the top of the pricing. The ultimate stars-and-scrubs lineup construction will require digging into these depths, and Hughes is as good of a play as any down here.
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.