Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Waste Management Open
By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel now offering a revamped version of PGA golf.
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the basics of building a lineup on FanDuel, the scoring setup, and advanced stats to know about the PGA.
But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.
Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Par 4 Scoring (From 400 to 500 Yards, specifically)|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
Approach again. It's always approach. Even though -- via datagolf -- strokes gained: approach drives a lower rate of scores than usual (29.3% here at TPC Scottsdale compared to 34.8% as a Tour average), it's still the most vital tee-to-green stat. We do see a boost in strokes gained: off the tee (19.1% at TPC Scottsdale from 15.1% as the Tour average). Ball striking is again key here this week, and that culminates in greens in regulation. Those greens, by the way, are TifEagle Bermudagrass that register slightly faster than average on the Stimpmeter, via FutureOfFantasy.
The par 71 has proved reliant on scoring on the par 4s over the past five years. The past five winners have all ranked top-11 in strokes gained on par 4s (Gary Woodland (4th), Hideki Matsuyama (11th and 1st), Brooks Koepka (1st), and Kevin Stadler (6th)). They also were all top-13 in both birdies gained and bogeys avoided.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Best of the Best
Justin Thomas (FanDuel Price: $12,100 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 10/1) - Thomas has some odd history here (17th, cut, cut, 17th in his four tries), but he has gained strokes on approach shots in all four years. Speaking of approach, JT leads the field in strokes gained: approach over his past 50 rounds and ranks ninth in strokes gained on par 4s and is third in birdies gained in that split. He's had a bit of a layoff since the Sony (16th) but does have an event in 2019 under his belt.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,800 | 12/1) - Hideki is the guy at this course, having finished fourth, second, first, and first before withdrawing last year with injury. He looks past that injury by now and has bounced back with a third last week at the Farmers. Hideki ranks 2nd in the field in strokes gained: approach over his past 50 rounds and is 7th in birdies gained and 10th in greens in regulation gained.
Gary Woodland ($11,300 | 21/1) - Woodland, last year's winner, ranks sixth in strokes gained: off the tee and approach and is also eighth in greens in regulation gained and first in birdies gained among the field. Prior to his win, he was cut, 33rd, cut, and 37th. But the current form has been great, and he has finished 8th at the Hero, 2nd at the Tournament of Champions, 80th at the Sony (secondary cut), and 9th last week at the Farmers.
Tony Finau ($10,900 | 21/1) - Finau has missed three straight cuts at the Waste Management Open (losing strokes with the putter in two of them) but was 22nd in 2015. Over his past 50 rounds, FInau sits top-10 in strokes gained: off the tee, par 4s, birdies gained, and bogeys avoided. He can score and avoid blowups well enough to change course with his track history.
Chez Reavie ($10,300 | 46/1) - This is Reavie's home course, yet he's priced up. His odds did improve from 55/1 to 46/1, for what that's worth to you. Either way, if you're not spending up for the studs (which include Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler, by the way), there's a big drop down after this range. Reavie ranks solid across the board, including 27th in approach, 22nd on par 4s, and 4th in greens in regulation. He finished second here after three straight missed cuts. To me, stars and scrubs looks better than loading up on the mid-range, however.
Billy Horschel ($9,800 | 41/1) - Horschel's stats have been elite for a while now. There are birdie concerns (47th) but we don't necessarily need a win at this salary. Horschel is 13th in both strokes gained: ball-striking stats (approach and off the tee) and leads the field in greens in reg gained. Fresh off an eighth at the Farmers, Horschel has made four straight cuts at TPC Scottsdale.
Byeong-Hun An ($9,200 | 40/1) - Ben An has finished 6th and 23rd here in his two tries over the past two years and grades out well in the ball-striking stats (18th in approach and 27th in off the tee). He finished 12th last week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, a field that featured some big names (such as Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, and Matthew Fitzpatrick inside the top 20).
Joel Dahmen ($9,000 | 120/1) - Dahmen brings the bucket hat to TPC Scottsdale for the first time after finishing 9th last week and 22nd at the Sony. Dahmen's last missed cut came at the Dell Technologies Championship (giving him eight straight made cuts), and he ranks 8th in approach, 20th off the tee, and 12th on par 4s over his past 50 rounds.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,900 | 100/1) - Niemann's price has been slashed, as he was recently up above $10,000 on FanDuel. His ball-striking is elite (third in approach and off the tee). His big issue is putting and possibly bogey avoidance (66th among the field over the past 50 rounds). At this price, we can roll the dice on him again.
Harold Varner ($8,900 | 160/1) - Varner missed the cut here in 2016 and followed that up with a 68th and 38th the past two years. He has actually lost strokes with his approach shots in all three iterations and grades out 54th over his past 50 rounds, but he's also 25th in strokes gained: off the tee and top-20 in strokes gained on par 4s, greens in regulation gained, birdies gained, and bogeys avoided. He's a fine play at his price.
Jason Kokrak ($8,600 | 160/1) - Kokrak is top-22 in approach and off-the-tee play while also ranking third in par 4s and greens in regulation gained in our sample. His history at TPC Scottsdale reads 15th, 40th, cut, cut, 31st the past five years, but he's started off 2019 nicely with an 18th at the Desert Classic and a 20th at the Farmers.
Sam Ryder ($8,200 | 240/1) - Ryder is making his course debut here after a 40th at the Desert Classic and a 43rd at the Farmers. His statistical profile is solid across the board, including ranking 17th in approach, 35th off the tee, and 16th in birdies gained over the past 50 rounds.
Matthew Wolff ($7,000 | 250/1) - I'd be remiss not to point out Wolff as a basement option. Wolff finds himself fourth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and has ripped off three straight collegiate wins and a 4th at the Australian Master of the Amateurs in mid-January.