Daily Fantasy Golf: Tournament Targets and Avoids for the Rocket Mortgage Classic
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 the volatility -- top-tier golfers can miss the cut, and longshots can win outright -- makes it a unique daily fantasy sport.
Ownership won't always matter, and favorites will win and thrive some weeks, but when the chalk struggles and the pivots hit big, you can put yourself in a great position to succeed when playing large tournaments on FanDuel.
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 in GPP tournaments on FanDuel.
|Key Stats for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
The PGA Tour heads to Detroit Golf Club for the Rocket Mortgage Championship, and with this being a new stop in the rotation, the precise key stats needed to succeed have not been narrowed down.
Detroit Golf Club, which is a Donald Ross design, has narrow fairways that are lined by trees and bunkers and plays roughly 7300 yards, which is a relatively short course. While this is a new course on the rotation, the level of difficulty may not be present and golfers will likely need to shoot 18 or 20 under par in order to win, which brings birdies or better and opportunities gained into play as key stats while strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: off the tee, good drives, and strokes gained: par 5s round out the remainder of the key stats.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
High-Priced Tier ($12,500 - $10,000)
Target: Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Salary $12,500) - Making his first appearance since the U.S. Open where he came in 35th despite losing 6.1 strokes putting, Johnson figures to be on the low end of ownership (in the mid-teens) among this week's top-priced golfers. While he has finished inside the top 19 just once over his last four tournaments, he finished within the top-10 in seven of his prior eight tournaments, and he has not missed a cut since last season's Open Championship at Carnoustie. Over the last 50 rounds, Johnson ranks inside the top-10 in five of the six key stats, ranking 15th in good drives while he ranks inside the top-three in five of the key stats over his last 24 rounds, dropping to 24th in good drives. While Johnson's projected ownership is still likely to be one of the highest on the slate, rostering the world's second ranked golfer in a spot where he may come in outside of the top-five owned golfers, including outside of the top-two owned golfers above $11,000, should always be intriguing, and may warrant a heavy overweight position.
Target: Patrick Reed ($10,800) - Reed, whose stats do look good in some areas, is outside of the top-40 in all key stats over his last 12 rounds, as well as over his last 50 rounds, but he has made the cut in 18 of his last 20 tournaments including finishing within the top 35 in three of his last four made cuts. Reed's projected ownership comes in at sub five percent, which means DFS players would not need to allocate a large percentage of their ownership on Reed in order to double, or triple the field, for a golfer that does poses win equity. Reed does not have a victory since picking up the green jacket in 2018 but does have three top-10's since and seems like he could compete on Sunday in a field that is not loaded.
Avoid: Rickie Fowler ($11,700) - Always a fan favorite, Fowler is projected around 15% ownership, which could be the lowest percentage among the top-four golfers, but he has finished inside the top-35 just once over his last four tournaments, including one missed cut over that span. Over the last 50 rounds, Fowler is inside the top-50 in all six key stats, including ranking inside the top-20 in strokes gained: approach and birdies or better, but over his last 12 rounds he is outside of the top-35 in all key stats, and he ranks outside of the top-80 over that span in good drives, birdies or better and opportunities gained.
Mid-Priced Tier ($9,900 - $9,000)
Target: Kevin Streelman ($9,500) - Streelman has made the cut in six straight tournaments, finishing 15th or better in four of those tournaments, including a fourth at Memorial, and due to his great form, Streelman, who will likely be one of the top-owned golfers on the slate, is projected to come in not far below 20% owned. Over his last 50 rounds, Streelman ranks 30th or better in five of the six key stats (ranking 57th in strokes gained: par 5s), and he ranks inside the top-30 in all six key stats over his last 24 rounds, coming in first in strokes gained: approach. While the ownership can possibly cause concern, Streelman is playing extremely well and DFS players could take an overweight position in order to gain leverage on the field instead of fading a high-owned Streelman.
Avoid: Joaquin Niemann ($9,800) - Niemann, who has finished 31st or better in four straight tournaments, including a fifth in last weeks' Travelers, will likely come in as one of the top-owned golfers in this tier, projected for similar ownership to Streelman. Over his last 50 rounds, Niemann is outside of the top-30 in four of the six key stats, sitting outside the top-100 in birdies or better and strokes gained: par 5s, and while his overall ranks do improve when looking at his last 12 rounds, Niemann still ranks 68th in birdies or better and 79th in opportunities gained over that span and those are two stats that will likely be needed to compete against a winning score that could reach 20 under par.
Low-Priced Tier ($8,900 and below)
Target: Troy Merritt ($8,400) - Projected to come in at single-digit ownership, Merritt has made the cut in four of his last five tournaments, including two top-20 finishes over that span. Over the last 50 rounds, Merritt is inside the top-70 in all six key stats, which includes ranking second in opportunities gained over that span, and he ranks inside the top-50 in five of the six key stats over his last 24 rounds, ranking 76th in strokes gained: off the tee despite gaining strokes in that category in four of his last five tournaments. While a heavy position is rarely suggested in this tier, DFS players should be able to target Merritt at a much higher rate than the field, and his likely low ownership would allow you to play close to double that of the field at a minimal risk.
Avoid: Peter Malnati ($8,500) - Likely coming in as one of the top-owned golfer in this tier, Malnati is projected to push up close to 8 to 10 percent ownership, and he has made the cut in 10 of his last 11 tournaments, but he has not cracked the top-15 over that span. Over his last 50 rounds, Malnati is outside the top-40 in five of the six key stats, falling outside of the top-100 in good drives and strokes gained: off the tee, and while his ranks drastically improve over his last 12 rounds, ranking inside the top-40 in four of the six key stats, Malnati still falls outside the top-85 in good drives and strokes gained: off the tee which could lead to struggles with fairways lined by trees.
Ben Fisher is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ben Fisher also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Gvsubrickwall. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.