GOLF

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Defending champion Rory McIlroy headlines a strong field at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Who else fits the mold this week at Bay Hill?

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 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Par 5s
Birdies or Better Gained
Proximity Gained 200+ 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.

High-Priced Studs

Rory McIlroy (DraftKings Price $11,400 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 7/1) - Let's just start off by saying that 7/1 to win in this field is a ludicrous line. No golfer, outside of early 2000s Tiger Woods, has that kind of true odds of winning at an event like this one. That being said, McIlroy has a strong case for leading the market this week: he is 1st in strokes gained: tee to green, 5th in birdies or better gained, 15th in strokes gained: par 5s, and 17th in strokes gained: approach. His complementary stats are also impressive, as he is first in both bogeys avoided and strokes gained: par 4s. We know Rory can bomb it, and he has had quite a bit of success at Bay Hill. He is the defending champion, has two other finishes of T11 or better in the last four years, and he enters the event on a streak of four straight top-5 finishes.

Justin Rose ($10,700 | 11/1) - And how about those top 5s!? Rose has six finishes of T4 or better in his last eight events, and the last time he teed it up on U.S. soil he won the Farmers Insurance Open. He is 1st in birdies or better gained, 2nd in strokes gained: tee to green, 4th in strokes gained: par 5s, and 10th in approach. Rose is 21st in proximity gained from 200+ yards, but he is the class of the field on the long par 4s and par 5s. Five of the 10 par 4s are between 450-500 yards, and 3 of the 4 par 5s are between 550-600 yards. Rose is first in the field in both of those ranges.

Bryson DeChambeau ($9,700 | 17/1) - Bryson has five worldwide wins since finishing as the runner up last year at Bay Hill, and his flop at the WGC-Mexico will likely make many DFS players forget that fact. At a major discount from the very top of the pricing range, DeChambeau is 3rd on par 5s, 6th in birdies or better gained, 9th tee to green, 12th on approach, and 25th in proximity (200+ yards). He led the field here in strokes gained: tee to green last year and would have hoisted the trophy had McIlroy not gained 10 strokes putting.

Mid-Priced Option

Hideki Matsuyama ($9,300 | 29/1) - Matsuyama does not have the course history that some others in this pricing tier have, but he lines up incredibly well in each of the key stats. Matsuyama is 1st in strokes gained: approach, 2nd in proximity gained from 200+ yards, 4th in strokes gained: tee to green, 11th in birdies or better gained, and 13th on par 5s. The switch to bermudagrass hurts him, but if Hideki keeps striking the ball this well he's going to push for a win if he can make even a couple putts.

Tommy Fleetwood ($9,100 | 34/1) - Fleetwood has a bit of a mismatch in stats this week. He is 2nd in strokes gained: par 5s, 9th in birdies or better gained, and 16th tee to green. He's just 92nd in proximity gained from 200+ yards, but he is 1st in strokes gained on par 3s between 200-225 yards, and 5th on par 4s between 450-500 yards. Last year on the PGA Tour, he was 13th on approaches from 200-225 yards, 24th from 225-250 yards, and 24th from 250-275. Digging into his event log, Fleetwood is dinged by a few recent performances from the 200+ range. Despite this anomaly, Fleetwood is as solid as they come. He's missed just three cuts worldwide in the last 18 months.

Jason Kokrak ($8,300 | 65/1) - One of these weeks, playing Kokrak is going to qualify as chasing. His run began when the calendar turned to 2019, as he has five straight made cuts and last week's T9 gave him four top-25s in that span. He is 3rd in strokes gained: approach, 4th in proximity gained from 200+ yards, 10th tee to green, and 16th in birdies or better gained.

Henrik Stenson ($8,100 | 55/1) - Stenson is the ultimate case for course history versus current form. He has been a mess so far this year, with finishes of 72nd, 74th, 77th, and 54th in his first four events of 2019. Three missed cuts and a bottom third finish at the no-cut WGC-Mexico is hardly worth $8,100, but Stenson's history at Bay Hill is stellar. Four top-5s in the last five years will turn some heads, and long-term name recognition in this range makes the Swede chalk-eligible. He is 3rd in proximity gained (200+), 4th in strokes gained: approach, and 25th on par 5s, though his 50 rounds cover only his PGA events and don't account for his recent flops across the pond. If you can read the tea leaves on his ownership this week, there is merit to playing him if he is not expected to be popular and merit to fading him if he is.

Low-Priced Options

Zach Johnson ($7,700 | 90/1) - ZJ gets his standard strong-field discount this week after being $1,000 more expensive at the Honda last week. He is a steady cash game play at this price, and his two career major championship wins more than quiet any objections regarding his upside in this field. Johnson has finished T11 or better three times in the last seven years here, while he enters 26th in proximity gained (200+), 29th in both strokes gained: approach and birdies or better gained, and 30th in strokes gained: tee to green.

Byeong-Hun An ($7,500 | 90/1) - An is sixth in strokes gained: tee to green but has been hamstrung by a remarkably cold putter. He has lost more than four strokes putting in five of his last eight PGA events that track strokes gained data. Even for a bad putter, he is long overdue for some positive regression. An performed above average with the short stick at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January and finished tied for 12th. His other stats line up well, as he is 8th in proximity gained (200+), 22nd in strokes gained: approach, and 32nd in birdies or better gained.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($7,500 | 75/1) - Cabrera-Bello is another under-priced golfer with a quality all around game. He's missed just one cut on American soil since the 2017 FedEx Cup Playoffs, and he has four straight top-25s (two of those events are WGC, so there's a smaller but stronger field). RCB is 12th in birdies or better gained, 30th in strokes gained: approach, and 32nd in proximity gained (200+). He's just 57th on par 5s but is 5th on par 4s and should be able to hold his own. He's making his debut at Bay Hill, but other international golfers have had success in recent years without course history (Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton both finished inside the top 10 in their 2017 debuts).

Hao-Tong Li ($7,400 | 75/1) - Li does not have the PGA Tour experience to register on the statistical models, but his record speaks for itself. He's finished T30 or better in 12 of his last 13 worldwide events, including 5 top-10s. In 2018, Li was 5th on the European Tour in birdies per round and was 20th in par 5 scoring.

Bargain Basement

Nate Lashley ($6,900 | 250/1) - Lashley has quietly made eight straight cuts and finally hit a decent finish with a T8 at the Puerto Rico Open. He is 1st in proximity gained (200+), 4th in strokes gained: par 5s, and 11th on par 3s between 200-225 yards (the four par 3s at Bay Hill are all between 199-231 yards). Lashley can fit as either the final guy in a balanced lineup or a cog in a stars-and-scrubs approach.

Talor Gooch ($6,800 | N/A) - [Editor's Note: Talor Gooch has withdrawn from the Arnold Palmer Invitational.] Gooch finished T20 last week at the Honda, and he showed on the West Coast that he could string together strong finishes if his irons are clicking. After losing strokes on approach in two missed cuts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the AT&T Pro-Am, he gained 6.5 last week at PGA National, good for the sixth-most. Over his last 50 rounds, he is 28th in strokes gained: approach, 29th in proximity gained (200+), and 33rd on par 5s.

Bronson Burgoon ($6,000 | 250/1) - Burgoon can be had for the bare minimum on DraftKings this week, fresh off a 59th place finish at the Honda that was preceded by six straight missed cuts. In a smaller field with a slightly higher chance of sneaking inside the top 70, his ballstriking is worth betting on. He ranks 20th in proximity gained from over 200 yards and 27th in strokes gained approach. Burgoon is 4th in strokes gained on par 3s between 200-225 yards. Last year, every golfer in this range who finished in the top 30 in strokes gained on the par 3s made the cut.



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.