Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: PGA Championship, Presented by Goslings
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.
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.
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Let's take a look at some golfers to target for the PGA Championship.
|Key Stats for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Strokes Gained: Putting on Poa|
Bethpage Black is not a common course for the PGA Tour rotation. The most recent event here was the 2016 Barclays (now called The Northern Trust). The 2012 Barclays, the 2009 U.S. Open, and the 2002 U.S. Open are the only other events at this course since 2000. That means we don't have much data to dig into, and we also can't really consider anyone a course horse.
But we can glean some broad takeaways. In his 2016 win, Patrick Reed ranked sixth in strokes gained: approach. Nick Watney led in approach in his 2012 victory. All four winners at this course ranked top-13 in greens in regulation, including the first three (Tiger Woods in 2002, Lucas Glover in 2009, and Watney in 2012) ranked top-four.
So, then, it's the ball-striking archetype that should win out with our golfer selection for the PGA Championship.
As far as the greens go, it's worth mentioning that they're poa, not the most common surface golfers see. While it's hard to tell between randomness and skill on varying surfaces, finding out that a golfer isn't dreadful on poa is a big plus. Or put another way: in a loaded field like this, worrisome poa splits could be enough to help cross some names off our list. You can get an overview on poa performance on FutureOfFantasy.com.
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
Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Price: $12,200 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 9.5/1) - Johnson isn't the favorite for the PGA Championship (that'd be Tiger Woods at 8.5/1), but maybe he should be. Over the past five years of majors (so, since the 2014 majors, excluding the Masters because we already have that played in 2019), Johnson has finished top-10 in 10 of 18 events, including a runner-up at Augusta last month. Among golfers with at least 10 rounds in majors since then, he ranks fourth in strokes gained average. Additionally, Johnson grades out second among the field in strokes gained: off the tee and is sixth in strokes gained: approach over the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour. He's also second in driving distance in that split and second in greens in regulation gained, while also grading out as a very strong putter (fourth in the field) on poa over a robust 93-round sample. DJ is my favorite stud of choice.
Brooks Koepka ($11,800 | 13/1) - Koepka has three major titles under his belt, including last year's PGA Championship. I'm not implying he'll be a low-owned play, but Johnson (who was on 19.7% of all rosters at the Masters), Rory McIlroy (33.5%), and Tiger Woods (26.0%) all dwarfed him in ownership (7.3%). Of course, Brooks has shown that he's shaken his peculiar diet when he also finished runner-up at the Masters, but he just isn't as popular as the big three surrounding him in salary. Koepka has slightly positive marks on poa, which is -- again -- enough not to feel worried about his scoring conversion. Koepka ranks top-10 in distance and strokes gained: off the tee in our sample.
Jon Rahm ($11,200 | 19/1) - Rahm's past five majors have been all-or-nothing. He was fourth at this year's Masters, fourth at last year's PGA, cut at The Open and the U.S. Open, and fourth at the 2018 Masters, as well. He's a little hard to fit in naturally on our rosters with the studs above him, and that's a great sign for tournaments. Rahm has the distance (12th) and ball-striking to push for a top-10, and he hasn't missed a cut since two weeks after last year's PGA at the Northern Trust.
The Next Tier
Xander Schauffele ($10,900 | 33/1) - With Justin Thomas ($11,600) withdrawing, I'm altering my approach a bit and looking a little more in this $10,000 range. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Xander, and he hasn't disappointed in big-time events. Schauffele is third in total strokes gained over the past four majors and has wins at tough fields (WGC-HSBC, TOUR Championship, and the Tournament of Champions). Schauffele no longer has the great stats as he plays tough events rather than the softer ones that he used to climb the ranks, but he still grades out 25th in distance and is playing like a top-five player, according to datagolf's True Strokes Gained.
Tommy Fleetwood ($10,800 | 35/1) - Fleetwood should be able to handle the cold and wet weather -- assuming the forecast holds -- and he's a rare blend of distance (26th) and accuracy (36th) among the relative favorites. Fleetwood also ranks 8th in strokes gained: off the tee and 31st in strokes gained: approach in our sample. He has made eight straight cuts at majors and has top-four finishes at the past two US Opens.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,500 | 48/1) - Hideki's best putting surface is poa, and by "best" I mean he hasn't lost strokes on poa over his 61 measured rounds. Matsuyama should put himself into great position to score at Bethpage, as he ranks fourth in approach and second in opportunities gained. Matsuyama has played 24 straight majors, finishing top 10 in seven of them and is a few hundred cheaper than the other top options in this range (Bryson DeChambeau ($11,100), Xander Schauffele ($10,900), Tommy Fleetwood ($10,800), and Tony Finau ($10,700)). Over the past eight majors, he ranks ninth in total strokes gained.
Patrick Cantlay ($10,100 | 48/1) - Cantlay was in the mix at Augusta, ultimately finishing ninth. He has made five of six cuts at his majors, including four straight and two at the past two PGAs (27th last year and 33rd in 2017). Cantlay ranks 11th in both of the ball-striking stats we're honing in on, ultimately culminating in the sixth-most greens in regulation gained among the field.
Paul Casey ($10,000 | 48/1) - Casey torched around 15% of lineups at THE PLAYERS and 10% of lineups at the Masters when he missed the cut at each. After each missed cut, he bounced back well, winning the Valspar and finishing fourth at the Wells Fargo. He had been a safe play for a while, but there's a little more volatility of late. Either way, Casey grades out top-22 in strokes gained: off the tee, strokes gained: approach, greens in regulation gained, and fairways gained. He had made eight straight cuts at majors (including six top-16 finishes) before slamming the trunk at the 2019 Masters and 2018 PGA Championship.
Henrik Stenson ($9,900 | 36/1) - Stenson both makes sense and doesn't make sense. He isn't long off the tee (136th) but does grade out 3rd in approach and fairways gained and is first in greens in regulation. The accuracy could help him avoid disaster, and then he can use the still-strong approach play to contend. According to FantasyNational.com, Stenson has gained 6.7, 2.5, 7.3, 6.1, and 4.4 in his past five measured events. Stenson also has four top-13 finishes in his past seven majors.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($9,200 | 100/1) - RCB is a fine target, though it's starting to feel like he's always more overhyped than he should be. He's 50th in approach and 54th off the tee over his past 100 PGA Tour rounds. He has made seven of eight cuts over the past two years of majors, and two of those led to top-10s. He's a safe play, though the upside seems to be capped lately. Still, the bottom drops out around this pricing range, so expect Cabrera-Bello to be a go-to pick.
Zach Johnson ($9,100 | 120/1) - ZJ is never really exciting to roster, and we can look to his 58th-place showing at Augusta to confirm that. I mean, I guess it was a thing when he accidentally hit his ball during a practice swing. Johnson has ripped off eight straight cuts at majors and has played the weekend 11 of the past 12 times, as well. Johnson finished 48th at Bethpage in 2016, for what that's worth, and 38th in 2012. He actually ranks 21st in approach but will have to rely on that given his lack of distance (130th). If you want some semblance of safety and don't want to eat the chalk with Cabrera-Bello, consider Johnson.
J.B. Holmes ($8,800 | 190/1) - Holmes is long off the tee (14th) and has promising poa splits with the putter. It's his best surface. He missed the cut at Bellerive last year but has made five straight major cuts otherwise (though he was terrible at Augusta) and grades out 22nd in opportunities gained.
Jim Furyk ($8,700 | 200/1) - Furyk doesn't have the distance we need, but he sure is accurate, and he sure has posted elite finishes lately: 14th at Pebble Beach, 37th at the Genesis, 9th at the Honda Classic, 2nd at THE PLAYERS, 18th at the Valspar, and 23rd at the Valero before missing the cut at the RBC Heritage.He made both cuts during his majors last season and offers some safety when dipping below $9,000.
Joel Dahmen ($8,600 | 160/1) - Dahmen's best putting surface is poa (it's the only one where he hasn't lost strokes), and he's a great ball-striker. Dahmen ranks 33rd in strokes gained: off the tee and 27th in approach. That dog will hunt, monsignor. Just know that the 31-year-old has yet to play in a major.
Aaron Wise ($8,500 | 90/1) - Wise can strike the ball, but it's not as balanced as we'd like: 15th off the tee but 97th in approach. Wise does rank 23rd in distance and has had positive poa performance to start his career. He finally made a cut at Augusta (17th) after three misses to start his major career, and he finished 43rd at the AT&T Byron Nelson, gaining 7.0 stroke tee-to-green while losing 4.7 putting.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($8,100 | 190/1) - Pan picked up a win at the RBC Heritage in recent weeks. This is a much tougher field, of course, but we can still consider buying into what could be a hot streak. Pan's best putting surface is poa, and he followed up his win with a solid showing at the Byron Nelson: 35th. In his win, he gained 3.5 strokes via approach shots. At the Byron Nelson, he added 3.6.
Joost Luiten ($7,900 | 190/1) - Luiten ranked ninth in strokes gained: approach on the European Tour last season and is third so far in 2019.His PGA Tour numbers stack up well, also, and he's 29th over his past 100 rounds. Luiten isn't long (111th) but is accurate (16th) and has a good tendency to hit greens in regulation (19th). He just doesn't have much of a track record on poa and has made just two of his past six cuts at majors.
Ross Fisher ($7,100 | 430/1) - Fisher has played 14 majors since the start of 2014 and has made three straight cuts. His best finish in those was 39th at the Open Championship last year, but at just $100 more than the minimum salary, a made cut will do the trick in most cases. He would let us go hard at the top of the field. Fisher is second on the European Tour in strokes gained: approach this season and was 58th last season.