GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Jason Day returns to Bay Hill, where he has won before, amongst a loaded field. Who else can we target on FanDuel?

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

Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill
Strokes Gained: Approach
Birdie or Better Rate
Par 5 Scoring
Proximity from 200-plus Yards
Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda


Strokes gained: approach, in case you're new, is almost always going to be at the top of the list. That's the case again this week, as it's proved more valuable to tee-to-green play than off-the-tee and around-the-green strokes gained combined over the past five years, based on data from FantasyNational.

The long par 72 requires good performance on the par 5s, and the past five winners all churned out at least 2.3 strokes gained on the par 5s.

Proximity from 200-plus yards account for a disparate number of approach shots here, and that range hasn't always proven vital for performance, but it sure did last year. Rory McIlroy led in 2017 and finished fourth, and in 2018, he ranked second and won. Bryson DeChambeau led proximity from 200-plus yards and finished second in 2018. Henrik Stenson ranked seventh and finished fourth.

We're still on Bermuda greens, which are overseeded with ryegrass, and that means we can dig into Bermuda splits.

Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Jason Day (FanDuel Price: $11,700 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 13/1 ) - This field is loaded at the top. Rory McIlroy ($12,200) and Justin Rose ($12,100) at the top are easy justifications. Rickie Fowler ($11,500) and Hideki Matsuyama ($11,000) also shape up well. Frankly, the top 11 golfers by FanDuel salary are all on my initial shortlist, so we may as well dig into some of the cheaper, lesser-owned options. Day's ball-striking never stacks up with the elite, but he excels on Bermuda greens and at this track: 17th, 1st, 23rd, 22nd.

Brooks Koepka ($11,400 | 11/1) - Brooks fell shy last week but stacks up well at a course which can benefit from distance. Koepka is fifth among the field in par-5 strokes gained and seventh in proximity from 200-plus yards over the past 100 rounds. Koepka's best putting surface is Bermuda, which he had last week when he picked up 3.9 strokes with the flat stick.

Bryson DeChambeau ($11,200 | 17/1) - Bryson's odds have slipped from 16/1 despite Tiger Woods' withdrawal. Bryson ranks eighth in approach, third on par 5s, and second in proximity from 200-plus yards over the past 100 rounds on tour. He is best on Bermuda and grades out as a safe, solid play with obvious upside.

Phil Mickelson ($10,900 | 36/1) - Phil grades out 19th in approach over the past 100 rounds and excels on Bermuda greens. He has a recent win and a pair of top-40 finishes since the Pebble Beach victory. He hasn't played here since a missed cut in 2013 but was top-30 in three tries leading into it.

Mid-Range Options

Ian Poulter ($10,100 | 55/1) - Poulter ranks 10th in approach and 17th on par 5s over the past 100 rounds and has been steady here the past five years: 20th, 21st, 46th, 41st, 41st. Poulter most recently finished third at the WGC-Mexico.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($9,900 | 75/1) - Cabrera-Bello hasn't played here before but does have positive putting splits through 52 Bermuda rounds. Overall, he grades out solidly in all the key stats without being elite in any (he's 25th in strokes gained on par 5s). At his price, he works.

Jason Kokrak ($9,500 | 65/1) - Kokrak ranks 15th in approach and 2nd in proximity from 200-plus yards over the past 100 rounds. He's a slightly negative Bermuda putter (but not bad) and has had some creeping ownership, but from a safety/cash-game standpoint, he's in play again.

Ryan Moore ($9,400 | 120/1) - Moore grades out seventh in approach and fourth in overall proximity over the past 100 rounds. He finished fifth here last season. The real issue is rust, as he's played just three times since November (cut, cut, 28th (at the Genesis)).

Chesson Hadley ($9,300 | 190/1) - Hadley grades out well in a lot of the stats, namely 5th in approach and 17th in proximity from 200-plus yards. He has made all three cuts here over the past five seasons.

Keegan Bradley ($9,100 | 55/1) - Keegan hasn’t posted elite finishes at Bay Hill over the past few years, but he’s making cuts and posting top-40s, and he’s only $9,100. His past six tries at Bay Hill are (starting in 2013) 3rd, 2nd, 49th, 36th, 34th, and 26th. Bradley isn’t historically a plus putter on Bermuda -- in fact, it’s his worst of the three main surfaces -- but he actually leads the field in approach over the past 100 rounds, a pretty solid sample.

Luke List ($9,100 | 75/1) - List has a 7th and 17th here to his name the past two years while ranking 3rd and 36th in strokes gained: tee to green. He can score well enough on the par 5s to contend even if he doesn't putt significantly better than he usually does (which is often terrible).

Low-Priced Picks

Sungjae Im ($9,000 | 120/1) - Sungjae just doesn't get the love he deserves. He grades out top-45 in all key stats, and the small-sample putting splits are a little better than neutral for him on Bermuda. He bounced back from two missed cuts with a 51st at the Honda last week.

Talor Gooch ($8,800 | N/A) - [Editor's Note: Talor Gooch has withdrawn from the Arnold Palmer Invitational.] Gooch, 20th at the Honda, sits 32nd in approach and 10th in proximity from 200-plus yards. He also finished 26th here last season, while losing 4.6 strokes putting and 0.9 strokes off the tee.

Nate Lashley ($8,500 | 250/1) - Lashley pops because he's 49th in approach, 30th on par 5s, and 6th in proximity from 200-plus yards over his 71 measured rounds. He hasn't played here before but was eighth at the Puerto Rico Open when we were all fixated on the WGC-Mexico.

Vaughn Taylor ($8,500 | 250/1) - Taylor bounced back from two missed cuts to finish 9th at the Genesis and 59th at the Honda, usable results for someone at his price. Taylor missed the cut here in 2016 but was 23rd here in 2017.

Danny Willett ($8,100 | 160/1) - We don't usually need to dig this deep on FanDuel, but Willett has solid odds for his price. He's 58th in approach and 55th in proximity from 200-plus and is neutral on Bermuda greens.