DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Genesis Open
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 Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.
|Key Stats for the Genesis Open at Riviera CC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (400-500 yards)|
For details on why these stats stand out this week, check out the primer.
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.
Dustin Johnson (DraftKings Price: $11,400 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 19/2) - Johnson's stats are tip-top as usual. He is 1st in strokes gained: tee to green, 4th in approach, 6th in opportunities gained, 8th on par 4s between 400-450 yards, 10th on par 4s between 450-500, and 18th in scrambling gained. A barely made cut and a quiet Sunday showed that Johnson is, in fact, human. But it is worth considering that the horrible weather and sluggish Pro Am format just threw him off this week. He was also playing with his girlfriend's dad after a long trip overseas, what was the conversation like with The Great One besides rolling their eyes at Jordan Spieth's pace of play? In a loaded field DJ may come at an ownership discount this week in a perfect bounce-back spot: he has finished top-four in four of the past five years.
Justin Thomas ($11,000 | 15) - Thomas is first in both strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: par 4s (450-500). He is 4th in opportunities gained, which is unsurprising given how on point he's been with his irons. He is just 32nd in scrambling gained, but giving himself so many close birdie opportunities will minimize his need to get up and down. He's more than capable though, as he ranks 14th in strokes gained: around the green.
Jon Rahm ($10,400 | 17) - Rahm has a shot to go under the radar this week despite terrific lead-in form and course fit. He closed 2018 with a win at the Hero and has finished top-10 in each of four events he's played so far in 2019. He was the odds-on favorite at both the Desert Classic and the Farmers, and now comes in sandwiched between studs like DJ, Thomas, and Rory McIlroy above him and a sure-fire popular play in Bubba Watson below him. Rahm is decent but not spectacular in stats over his last 50 rounds, but because he plays such a limited PGA Tour schedule his sample goes a bit further back than some other golfers. It's worth isolating just his last 24 rounds, and he is second in total strokes gained in that span. He is also first in strokes gained: par 4s and fifth in the key 450-500-yard par 4 range.
Tony Finau ($9,100 | 31) - Finau is once again in the mix this week, as he ranks fifth in opportunities gained and is elite on both segments of the par 4s (second in 400-450 yards and eighth from 450-500). Like Thomas, he gives himself so many scoring opportunities so he doesn't "gain" many strokes by scrambling (he ranks 68th), but he is good with the chip-and-putt game and is 17th in strokes gained: around the green. The length here will play to his strengths, he's played in each of the past two California events and should be well accustomed to the climate and conditions.
Patrick Cantlay ($9,000 | 34) - Let's try this again. Cantlay was primed to be the chalk last week before withdrawing ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. In a strong field, Cantlay still pops out at a significant price discount to the other top ballstrikers. He is 8th in strokes gained: approach, 10th in par 4s (450-500), and 16th in opportunities gained. As mentioned in this space last week, Cantlay is coming off a missed cut at the Farmers and has missed just two others since joining the Tour full time in 2017. He finished top-10 in his bounce-back event both times.
Tommy Fleetwood ($8,600 | 37) - Another world class player coming off a disappointing finish, Fleetwood is back in play this week at a $1,700 discount compared to last week. Heading into Pebble, he hadn't played on American soil since the Tour Championship. He always seems to bring his best in strong fields, and he has as good an opportunity as anyone in the field to shoot the low round on any given day. He is 24th in strokes gained: approach and 29th in opportunities gained, and he does well in both par 4 segments but particularly the 450-500 yard variety, where he is 5th.
Matt Kuchar ($8,500 | 44) - Kuchar continues to chug along and is off to his best start in years, and his stats back it up. He is 20th in strokes gained: approach and 26th tee-to-green, and he has the overall steadiness and experience to navigate this difficult course. Kuchar is top-five in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage so far this season. He can handle all the par 4s, ranking 4th in the 450-500 range and 21st in the 400-450 segment. He is second in scrambling gained and is a solid putter who has been hot of late. At this price he is a lock for cash games and will be one of the highest owned golfers in this range, and perhaps the entire field.
Charles Howell ($7,800 | 70) - Howell is a poa specialist who enjoys his best stretches during the West Coast swing. He hasn't missed a cut in California since the 2014 Genesis, and his lead-in form is the best it's been in years. He picked up the rare win at the RSM Classic during the swing and has three more top 20s since then. His long term stats are OK but nothing special: 46th in strokes gained: approach, 58th in scrambling gained, and average-to-above average in both par 4 range. But he is 9th in total strokes gained over just the last 24 rounds.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($7,800 | 70) - Three(!) double bogeys on Sunday spoiled an otherwise solid return stateside for Rafa, who like Fleetwood and Rahm shares his time on the European Tour, making his last 50 round stats go back too far to be of much use when assessing current form. In his last 24 rounds, which goes back to the FedEx Cup playoffs, Cabrera Bello is 21st in approach and both par 4 ranges.
Jason Kokrak ($7,600 | 90) - Another Pebble withdrawal from last week, Kokrak is great on par 4s (4th in 400-450 yards, 18th in 450-500) and ranks 20th in opportunities gained and 22nd in strokes gained: approach. Like Howell, he's a west coast maven and has finished T20 or better in each of his last three events.
Keegan Bradley ($7,300 | 90) - Bradley is mispriced relative to talent level both in the Vegas odds and DraftKings pricing. He is a master with his irons (5th in approach) and has become a much more reliable cut-maker than his reputation suggests. He lost nine strokes putting at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, his worst performance on the greens in Fantasy National's database (data back as far as 2012). If he regresses closer to his baseline as just a bad putter as opposed to an abject disaster, his ballstriking makes him a lock to play the weekend. If he manages to putt well, he will find himself firmly in contention.
Harold Varner ($7,000 | 160) - This pick is not for the faint of heart. Generally Varner is a target on easier courses, but he has put together a solid nine months at this point and it is becoming difficult to ignore him at this price. Prior to his 10th place finish at TPC Scottsdale, Varner missed the cut at the Farmers but had 4 straight top-25 finishes before that.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($6,800 | 160) - Pan is an ideal fit for Riviera. The course rated out as the lowest green in regulation percentage and fifth lowest driving accuracy on Tour last year. Pan finished 5th on the entire Tour in GIR percentage and 13th in driving accuracy in 2018. In his last 50 rounds he has dominated the par 4s in the key ranges, ranking 3rd from 400-450 yards and 15th from 450-500).
Sam Ryder ($6,400 | 250) - Ryder is 10th in opportunities gained, 20th in strokes gained: approach, and 26th in scrambling gained. He has actually lost strokes on approach over his past four events, so either Ryder has completely lost his ability to hit his irons or he is due for a correction. Both top-10 upside and dead last downside are in play here, but at this price very few players have the former and they all have the latter.
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.