Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: THE NORTHERN TRUST
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's daily fantasy golf offering.
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. It's a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.
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 for THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National GC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Par 4s from 450 to 500 Yards|
|Par 5 Scoring|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
Liberty National is part of a course rotation for this event, meaning that course history is pretty scarce relative to the full-time hosts on the PGA Tour. We can dig into the 2009 and 2013 Barclays -- and 2017 Presidents Cup -- but that doesn't leave much to hang our hats on. The just-shy-of-7,400-yards par 71 does have one aspect we can dig into.
And thankfully for us, that's ball-striking -- particularly approach play. In that 2013 Barclays, approach play explained nearly 50% of total strokes gained, more than off-the-tee and around-the-green combined. That's natural, and we see it almost weekly, but this is a week where we should place extra emphasis on approach play. Approach and greens in regulation should be our base stats.
There are scoring angles on the par 4s and par 5s, and if you want, you can dig into par 4s from 450 to 500 yards. A scroll down the scorecard shows not a whole lot of overlap with the hole distances. It's a lot of spread out yardages.
This isn't a no-cut event, but 56% of the golfers should make the cut in the 125-player field. For fantasy purposes, we're going to need scoring to differentiate between the best performers at the top.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 75 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Best of the Best
Brooks Koepka (FanDuel Price: $12,200 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 17/2) - We know Koepka is on a tear, and he can really dominate with his irons when he's focused, which is a great addition to his stats profile. You may think he did that at his WGC-St. Jude win, but he actually gained 9.3 strokes putting in that victory. Koepka's putting has high-end spikes, and so do his tee-to-green numbers. With a huge prize on the line, Koepka should have enough cause to focus, and a locked-in Brooks is scary.
Justin Thomas ($11,400 | 19/1) - Thomas ranks 3rd in strokes gained: approach over the past 75 rounds on the PGA Tour, but his putting has been dreadful of late (he's gained strokes putting in just 41.7% of his past 36 rounds, per FantasyNational). Thomas has, though, gained strokes with his approach play in 74 of his past 100 rounds, second-best in the field.
Patrick Cantlay ($11,300 | 22/1) - Cantlay is almost always a safe FanDuel play. He ranks 4th in strokes gained: approach and 17th in greens in regulation gained over the past 75 rounds. In terms of my adjusted strokes gained data, Cantlay (2.16) has been better than the entire field excluding Rory McIlroy (2.58 at $12,000).
Collin Morikawa ($10,500 | 45/1) - Morikawa has been on fire of late, winning the Barracuda. He has a small sample of data, but he does grade out 30th in approach over everyone's past 75 rounds. He's gained strokes with his ball-striking in 76.7% of his 30 rounds, ranking seventh in the field.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,300 | 45/1) - Hideki's price has dropped, and we have to take notice. He leads the field in strokes gained: approach over the past 75 rounds, and he's 11th in birdie-or-better rate despite being just a mediocre putter. He's displayed a neutral flat stick on bentgrass in his career, so now may be the time to buy in on a discounted Matsuyama.
Gary Woodland ($9,700 | 50/1) - Woodland definitely has struggled since his U.S. Open win, but he does grade out eighth in both strokes gained: of the tee and strokes gained: approach over the past 75 rounds. The only other golfer in the field who is top 10 in both is Dustin Johnson. He also tied for second here in 2013. This could be the week where he gets back on track after his wife gave birth to twin girls.
Jason Kokrak ($9,200 | 80/1) - Kokrak ranks 16th off the tee and 6th in approach, and anyone who's been tracking golf stats for even a few weeks knows Kokrak is a great ball-striker. The only other golfers who have gained strokes: ball-striking in a higher rate of the past 100 rounds are Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Corey Conners, Rory McIlroy, and Patrick Cantlay.
Joaquin Niemann ($9,100 | 90/1) - Niemann and Kokrak go hand-in-hand in terms of elite ball-striking. Niemann ranks top-25 in both strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: approach, and -- shocker -- he's actually a plus putter on bentgrass now. For this price, he could be even in cash-game consideration.
Lucas Glover ($8,700 | 100/1) - Glover was in play for me last week at $10,700 in a weaker field. He finished 72nd and lost nearly five strokes putting, which is always in his range of outcomes. However, he's gained at least 2.4 strokes off the tee in each of the past four events, and he's gained strokes approach (0.6, 7.2, 0.5, and 0.2) in each of the past four, too. For the discount, he's in play.
Jim Furyk ($8,600 | 130/1) - Furyk sits 14th in approach over the past 75 rounds, and he's 11th in bogey avoidance and 2nd in both fairways gained and greens in regulations gained. He's a safe bet at a cheap price. While he doesn't have the distance to contend with the top of the top, he did finish sixth here in 2013.
Emiliano Grillo ($8,300 | 130/1) - Grillo ranks 18th in strokes gained: approach and 26th in opportunities gained (basically, birdie chances), but he's just 71st in birdie-or-better conversion. That's because he's not a good putter. However, he's a positive putter on one surface: bentgrass. That's what he gets this week, and his odds have improved from 190/1 to 130/1.
Corey Conners ($7,600 | 210/1) - I keep playing Conners because he's just so good with the ball-striking data. His putting is just dreadful, and that's still true on bentgrass, so there's not the maybe-it'll-be-fine-this-week angle. Still, Conners is one of five golfers in the field to rank top-15 in both ball-striking stats, joining McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Cantlay, and Woodland.