DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Honda 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.
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 Honda Classic at the Champion Course at PGA National.
|Key Stats for the Honda Classic at the Champion Course at PGA National|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda)|
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.
Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price: $11,900 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 5/1) - Thomas is the defending champion and arrives in Florida in absolute tip-top form. He salvaged an otherwise lackluster week at the WGC Mexico Championships with a stunning 62 on Sunday to wind up in a tie for ninth place. The finish was his sixth top-10 in his last nine events and 9th in his last 14. He is first in strokes gained: approach by a mile, as he's gained 58.4 strokes on approach over his last 50 rounds, almost 20 more than the next-highest golfer (Sergio Garcia at 39.5). Thomas is also first in strokes gained: tee to green and birdies or better gained, and he's third in bogeys avoided and fifth in strokes gained: par 4s. He does have two missed cuts in his last four tries at the Champion Course, but in his current form he is by far the safest bet for a top 10 and the clear favorite this week.
Rickie Fowler ($11,200 | 10) - But for Thomas being just $700 more, Fowler would look like a premier play this week. Rickie won the Honda in 2017, has two other top 10s here, and had never missed the cut here until an abysmal putting performance sunk his week last year. Fowler is first in strokes gained: par 4s and is fourth in strokes gained: putting on bermudagrass. He's a respectable (though not elite) 35th on approach and 39th in scrambling, but he still manages to get it done as he ranks 4th in bogeys avoided and 5th in birdies or better gained. He lost 2.4 strokes on approach last week at the WGC event, but bounce backs are nothing unusual for him -- the last two times he lost two or more strokes on approach were the 2018 Houston Open and the 2019 Farmers. His finished the following weeks solo second at the Masters and with a win last month at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Webb Simpson ($9,600 | 19) - Simpson is a significant discount from the top options but is the best rated golfer in this week's key stats. He is second in both strokes gained: par 4s and scrambling gained, fifth in approach, and sixth in strokes gained: putting on Bermuda. He was fifth here last year and arrives on a stretch of 14 consecutive made cuts.
Cameron Smith ($9,500 | 29) - Speaking of consecutive cuts made, Smith has played the weekend at every event he's teed it up worldwide since last year's U.S. Open. In his last 50 rounds on just the PGA Tour, the Aussie is 9th in strokes gained: par 4s, 29th in scrambling gained, and 35th in strokes gained: approach. His arrow is pointing way up in the more recent portion of that sample: in just the last 24 rounds, he is 3rd in approach, 6th on par 4s, and 12th in scrambling gained.
Billy Horschel ($9,300 | 29) - Horschel has lost strokes on approach in three of his last four events, but long term that area of his game has been a strength as he ranks ninth in his last 50 rounds in that stat. He's also 6th in scrambling gained, 22nd on par 4s, and 31st in strokes gained: putting (bermudagrass). The slippage in ironplay is cause for concern, but if he can get back in sync he has a chance to shoot up the leaderboard as he did en route to an eighth place finish at the Farmers.
Zach Johnson ($8,700 | 55) - Typically a beacon of consistency, Johnson has actually been pretty up and down recently and the player card watchers will be scratching their heads to see him priced in this range when he was way cheaper in the January events. ZJ is well-suited to this course, as driving distance is discounted while keeping the ball in play and managing the course are paramount. He is 6th in strokes gained: par 4s, 7th in scrambling gained, and 17th in strokes gained: approach. He is a decent overall putter and only just average on Bermuda (71st), but if the ballstriking is on point he is more than capable of rolling a few putts in.
Michael Thompson ($8,000 | 55) - While not quite the household name as some of the other golfers in the $8k range, Thompson is in the best form of his life. He has finished T13 or better in each of his past four events, and he earned his only Tour win at this event back in 2013. He is 9th in putting on Bermuda grass, 23rd in scrambling gained, and 36th on par 4s. His long term approach stats raise a red flag (70th in approach, 88th in opportunities gained), but the more recent sample is much more encouraging. In his last 24 rounds, he is 4th in strokes gained: tee to green and 16th in strokes gained: approach.
Russell Knox ($7,800 | 55) - Knox has missed the cut his last two tries here, but he still has good history at the Champion Course with second and third place finishes in 2014 and 2015, respectively. He is 19th in strokes gained: approach and 24th in scrambling gained. While he's 46th in strokes gained: par 4s in the last 50 rounds sample, he is 16th in just the last 24 rounds.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($7,800 | 90) - Pan has struggled to find consistency over his last four events, but he has shown flashes in each. Back to back strong opening rounds at the Desert Classic (6-under 66) and the Farmers (8-under 64) were spoiled when he failed to break 70 in any of his other rounds. Thursday and Saturday 65's at the Genesis Open were marred by over-par rounds on Friday and Sunday. He is 3rd in strokes gained: par 4s, 16th in strokes gained: approach, and 37th in scrambling gained. With Knox at the same price and far better Vegas win odds, Pan could fly under the radar in what will be a crowded $7K range.
Harold Varner ($7,300 | 120) - Varner on a tough course again? Close your eyes, hold your nose and click on him this week. He is 11th on par 4s, 26th in scrambling gained, and 29 in strokes gained: approach. HV3 has made the cut here each of the last two years, and he is in far better form than he has ever been entering the event.
Sungjae Im ($7,300 | 75) - The hardest working man in golf finally got a week off after missing back-to-back cuts to end a six-event streak. Im gets his first crack at the Champion Course, and his steady hand should serve him well on a track where he won't get lapped by the bombers. Im is 11th in strokes gained: tee to green and 29th in strokes gained: par 4s. He hasn't shown an ability to scramble well in his brief PGA career (87th), but he can putt passably on Bermuda (48th).
Ryan Palmer ($7,200 | 90) - Palmer escapes the dreaded poa of the West Coast and lands on his only positive putting surface for the first time this year. He came in second here in 2014 and had made six straight cuts at the Champion Course before missing last year. Palmer is a classic risk-reward choice - he is 15th in strokes gained: approach and 28th in strokes gained: par 4s, but he is a ghastly 131st in scrambling gained and 134th in putting on Bermuda grass.
Stewart Cink ($6,800 | 160) - Cink was one of the best approach players on Tour last year, finishing 2018 in seventh and, in this field, only Thomas finished higher. In his last 50 rounds, he's 4th in this field on par 4s, 11th in strokes gained: tee to green, 13th in approach, and 14th in scrambling gained. He has made the cut in seven straight appearances at the Honda.
Vaughn Taylor ($6,700 | 190) - Taylor has been aces with his irons, ranking 11th in strokes gained: approach and 3rd in opportunities gained. He is 13th in birdies or better gained and 31st on par 4s. He is priced here for a reason though, as he is prone to his fair share of bogeys (72nd in bogeys avoided, 93rd in scrambling gained). He's missed the cut in four of his last six events, but in the two he made he finished top 10 at both the Desert Classic and the Genesis Open.
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.