Daily Fantasy Golf: Tournament Targets and Avoids for THE NORTHERN TRUST
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 NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National GC|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Par 4 Scoring (450-500 yards)|
With the FedEx Cup Playoffs upon us, THE NORTHERN TRUST returns to Liberty National Golf Club for the first time since 2013, although this course did host the President's Cup in 2017, and this is the last event of the season with a cut. This field is stacked with the world's top golfers which should make for an entertaining four days.
In 2013, Adam Scott won this event while shooting 11 under par and the final score could be a bit further into the teens this year, but there are five par 4s that range from 450-500 yards which will play tough and could keep the scoring in check. Driving accuracy is important here and big numbers can come into play with all the water hazards and bunkers that surround the course.
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 ($12,200 - $10,000)
Target: Rory McIlroy (FanDuel Salary $12,000) - Rebounding with a fourth at the WGC - St. Jude after a disappointing performance at The Open Championship, McIlroy could come in as one of the top-owned golfers on the week. McIlroy has finished inside the top-10 in 13 of his last 17 PGA events, missing the cut in just two events over that span. Over the last 50 rounds, McIlroy ranks inside the top-50 in all six key stats while sitting inside the top-10 in strokes gained: approach, par 4 scoring: 450-500 yards, Birdies or Better Gained and Bogey Avoidance. When zooming in on the last 24 rounds, McIlroy's numbers stay fairly consistent as he falls inside the top-45 in all six key stats while coming inside the top-10 in just two of the stats. In a stacked event, DFS players will need to target a limited number of the studs up top, and an overweight allocation on McIlroy could pay dividends, despite his salary.
Target: Patrick Cantlay ($11,300) - After a 41st at The Open Championship, Cantlay rebounded with a 12th place finish at the WGC - St. Jude. Cantlay has made the cut in eight straight tournaments, finishing inside the top-15 in six events over that span, including three top-three finishes. Over the last 24 rounds, Cantlay sits inside the top-10 in five of the six key stats while ranking 73rd in fairways gained. When expanding the scope to cover the last 50 rounds, Cantlay’s ranks drop slightly as he sits inside the top-25 in five of the six key stats while falling to 97th in fairways gained. Cantlay has shown he can compete in these fields which should make him a target in this tier, despite likely being one of the top-owned golfers on the week, currently projected at just over 20%.
Avoid: Adam Scott ($10,700) - Currently projected as the second-highest owned golfer of the week (21.9%), per FantasyNational, Scott finished 40th at the WGC - St. Jude (his last event) while missing the cut at The Open Championship. When looking at his tournament history at the Northern Trust, Scott's finishes pop as he has four top-15 finishes since 2013, including a win here at Liberty National in 2013. Over the last 24 rounds, Scott sits inside the top-60 in all six key stats including coming inside the top-20 in all but fairways gained (57th). Despite his stats, Scott has lost strokes Off-the-Tee in two straight events including losing strokes gained: total in both of those events. Golf fans are well aware of Scott's putting woes which should worry DFS players at his ownership -- especially in this field.
Mid-Priced Tier ($9,900 - $9,000)
Target: Joaquin Niemann ($9,100) - Despite missing the cut at The Open Championship, Niemann has finished inside the top-35 in eight of his last nine PGA events, including three top-10 finishes over that span. Looking at the last 24 rounds, Niemann sits inside the top-40 in all six key stats while only cracking the top-10 in strokes gained: approach (10th). When looking at the last 50 rounds, Niemann's stats do not look as good as he is outside of the top-20 in all six key stats but does come inside the top-50 in four of the six. Players at this price point, in this type of field, especially at this ownership, can be dangerous, but Niemann comes into THE NORTHERN TRUST in good form and his recent stats align well with the course.
Avoid: Gary Woodland ($9,700) - Despite his victory at the U.S. Open, Woodland has not cracked the top-50 in four of his last five events, including two missed cuts over that span. Over the last 50 rounds, Woodland cracks the top-40 in just two of the six key stats while sitting 92nd in scrambling. Over the last 24 rounds, Woodland only ranks inside the top-25 in Bogey Avoidance while coming in outside the top-60 in three of the six key stats. Clearly always capable of winning a loaded event, Woodland is not in good form and should be faded as his ownership hovers around 10%.
Low-Priced Tier ($8,900 and below)
Target: Jim Furyk ($8,600) - Furyk, who will likely come in as one of the top-owned golfers in this tier, has made the cut in six straight appearances, but has not cracked the top-10 since The Players Championship in March. Furyk has three top-12 finishes over his last four appearances at THE NORTHERN TRUST, including a sixth-place finish at Liberty National in 2013. Over the last 50 rounds, Furyk ranks inside the top-10 in five of the six key stats while sitting 94th in birdies or better gained. When narrowing down to the last 24 rounds, Furyk’s ranks drop off a bit as he only comes inside the top-15 in strokes gained: approach (15th), Par 4 scoring: 450-500 yards (13th) and fairways gained (third) while dropping out of the top-50 in scrambling (55th). In this field, Furyk’s win equity is minimal, but he does have two top-30 finishes over his last three events in top-class fields.
Avoid: Kevin Streelman ($8,300) - Likely coming in as one of the top-owned golfers in this tier, Streelman has not cracked the top-30 since the Travelers while missing the cut in last week's Wyndham Championship. Over the last 24 rounds, Streelman only ranks inside the top-30 in strokes gained: approach while sitting 69th in fairways gained. When expanding out to the last 50 rounds, Streelman sits outside of the top-45 in three of the six key stats while not cracking the top-20 in any of the six stats. While this field is top-heavy, there are better options in this tier that should offer greater leverage on the field than Streelman does.
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.