Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Genesis 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.
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Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the Genesis Open at Riviera CC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
Ball-striking and distance course this week at Riviera. Starting with strokes gained: approach getting the majority of the weight because it’s such a vital part of play each and every week, this week being no different.
Strokes gained: off the tee is second for me. In 2014, Bubba Watson led the field in strokes gained: off the tee, then James Hahn was 8th, Bubba was 14th, Dustin Johnson was 1st, and then Bubba was 17th. All finished top-25 in approach strokes gained. All but Hahn were top-25 in distance, including Bubba in 2014 and DJ in 2017 both finishing first in distance gained over the field.
Watson finished top eight in strokes gained on par 5s, and DJ was 15th, so there’s an angle there to score on the par 5s and net those eagles, which are great for fantasy anyway. Basically things that point to playing long holes well are good for this week at Riviera.
Also, strokes gained: around the green again looks important enough this week to factor in, with the bunker-heavy course. You can dig into sand splits if you’d like -- probably not the worst idea. But the rough is thick, and missing greens can be very costly.
So yes, we’re covering all three tee-to-green stats this week, but we can weight them differently if we split them up -- if we choose to do it that way.
It’s a tough course, so we can’t let golfers with holes in their games bog us down.
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: $11,900 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 15/1) - Thomas finished ninth here last year and has made four straight cuts (41st, 54th, 39th, 9th) at Riviera. Thomas ranks first among the field in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds and is third in par 5 strokes gained. We know he has the distance to compete, and he’s clicking right now, making him a fully viable pivot from Dustin Johnson.
Bryson DeChambeau ($11,700 | 15/1) - Assuming high ownership on Thomas and Johnson, I preemptively like Bryson as a tournament play. Bryson ranks 11th off the tee and 12th in approach over the past 50 rounds, as well as 8th on par 5s. He finished 41st here last year after withdrawing in 2017. He ranked 11th tee-to-green last year at Riviera but just 131st in putting.
Rory McIlroy ($11,500 | 13/1) - It’s a loaded field, and Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Bryson DeChambeau look to be in stellar spots -- to me. Deciphering between the top this week is tricky, but Rory is also fully in play at a few hundred dollars cheaper than the top three. This course draws comparisons to Augusta, a good sign for McIlroy. He has made nine of 10 cuts at the Masters and has finished 8th, 4th, 10th, 7th, and 5th over the past five at Augusta. Rory leads the field in distance gained and is third in strokes gained: off the tee over the past 50 rounds.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,100 | 34/1) - Hideki ranks 2nd in the field in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds and is 10th in par 5 strokes gained in that split. He has finished well at the Masters (5th, 7th, 11th, 19th) of late, too, and enters this event with the right form to produce for our fantasy lineups.
Bubba Watson ($10,700 | 21/1) - Bubba’s someone with stats that we have to overlook because some tracks just suit him and others don’t. He still does rank 4th in strokes gained: off the tee over the past 50 rounds, 12th in distance, and 16th on par 5s. He has won three out of the past five events at Riviera, which has been kind to lefties in the past. Bubba is firmly in play at this price on FanDuel.
Tommy Fleetwood ($10,100 | 37/1) - Fleetwood leads the field in strokes gained on par 5s the past 50 rounds and is top 25 in all three tee-to-green stats. His sole try here last year led to a 37th while ranking second in strokes gained: off the tee and 40th in approach. He was 88th in putting, and he’s a comfortable price this week.
Adam Scott ($9,600 | 34/1) - Scott’s only glaring red flag is his recent around-the-green play (100th), but he’s 7th in approach and has finished 2nd, 11th, and 53rd here the past three years. His FanDuel price leaves him a little too cheap to write off, especially considering he has a win and a pair of seconds here.
Keegan Bradley ($9,200 | 90/1) - Keegan sits sixth in recent approach strokes gained and stands out a bit in this range despite a pair of missed cuts bookending a 34th at Riviera in 2017. Bradley has missed just two of his past 31 cuts, including a win and five total top-10s since the start of 2018.
Jason Kokrak ($9,200 | 75/1) - Kokrak sits top-25 in both ball-striking stats and is 15th in distance. He’s a liability around the green (124th) but has overcome it in the past, finishing 2nd, 22nd, and 20th over the past three years at Riviera. He withdrew from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after three consecutive top-20 finishes.
Scott Stallings ($9,000 | 75/1) - We’re not just chasing (though he made our list last week) Stallings off a 3rd at Pebble Beach. He finished 4th here last year and ranks 10th in approach over the past 50 rounds and 25th in distance. It’s enough to roster him again at a reasonable price.
Sung Kang ($8,900 | 120/1) - Kang grades out well in my short-term model: 69th over the past 50 rounds but 34th over the past 24 and 16th over the past 12. He has finished 8th, 22nd, and 16th at Riviera over the past three years and was 14th at Pebble Beach last week. Poa is his best putting surface, as well.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,800 | 160/1) - Okay, buyer beware: Niemann can’t putt -- especially on poa -- and struggles heavily around the green (126th) but has the ball-striking (6th off the tee, 9th in approach, 18th in distance) to have tournament appeal at a low price.
Harold Varner ($8,700 | 160/1) - Varner has finished 26th, cut, 60th here over the past three years but sets up well for this driver-heavy course (15th in distance, 24th off the tee) and is 32nd in approach in our sample.