DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Safeway Open

Justin Thomas is the favorite and highest priced golfer on DraftKings. Is he a lock in a top-heavy field?

Daily fantasy golf requires a new approach for each and every event.

The course and field change week after week, making no two contests alike. That means you need to refine your approach for each PGA Tour event to try to find golfers who are primed to excel for your daily fantasy golf lineups.

Each week, we have a course primer, and our daily fantasy golf projections and lineup builder can help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa North.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort and Spa North
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
Strokes Gained: Approach
Birdies or Better Gained
Bogeys Avoided
Strokes Gained: Par 5s

Let's get to the picks. For details on why these stats stand out this week, check out the course primer.

Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.

High-Priced Studs

Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price: $11,600 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +650) - Now this is more like it. The class in almost any field, Thomas is a welcome site in the fall and will likely be among the most popular golfers this week across the daily fantasy industry. Thomas is 1st in strokes gained: tee to green, 2nd in strokes gained on par 5s and strokes gained: approach, 3rd in birdies or better gained, and 14th in bogeys avoided. He's also Justin Freaking Thomas, who won a playoff event one moon ago and is the fifth-ranked player in the world. He's downplayed any issues with the mole removal from his calf, and as a massive favorite, Thomas is viable however you can fit him.

Patrick Cantlay ($11,200 | +1100) - Cantlay's terrific 2019 season wrapped up with a relative murmur at the TOUR Championship, finishing T21 on the back of his worst putting performance in Fantasy National's archives dating back to 2014. Cantlay lost 6.8 strokes putting in a short field, and while the starting strokes certainly affected his finishing position, the putter is the real reason he was an afterthought in the finale. He was runner-up to Thomas in the second leg of the Playoffs, his only top-10 finish since his breakthrough win at Muirfield Village. Cantlay is a standout talent this week and ranks first in bogeys avoided, second in strokes gained; tee to green and birdies or better gained, third in strokes gained: approach, and seventh in strokes gained: approach.

Adam Scott ($10,700 | +1400) - Scott has maybe the best statistical case of all, ranking first in birdies or better gained, third in strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: tee to green, and fourth in both bogeys avoided and strokes gained: par 5s. This will be his first trip to Silverado, and with no TPC Scottsdale experience, either, he has been MIA on both our course and the primary comp. But Scott was playing at an incredibly high level in a limited schedule last season, racking up 12 top-20 finishes in 17 events, including top-10s at all three Playoff events to close the season. The Aussie carefully curated his schedule in 2018-19, and the fact that he is in the field this week at all is a good sign that he's locked in.

Mid-Priced Options

Collin Morikawa ($9,400 | +3100) - Morikawa makes his 2019-20 debut after storming onto the scene last year and picking up a win at the Barracuda Championship. He earned a Tour card and a trip to the Playoffs off that win, but he'll be looking for his first stroke play title this fall and it shouldn't be far off. Morikawa kicks off his official rookie campaign at the site of his only missed cut at any PGA event. He attended college at Cal-Berkeley, just an hour south of Silverado Resort and Spa, and as a native Californian, he should be very familiar with the poa annua surfaces he'll see this week. In just 38 professional stroke play rounds (so not including his victory), Morikawa is ranked eighth in three of our key stats -- strokes gained: tee to green, strokes gained: approach, and birdies or better gained.

Chez Reavie ($9,200 | +4100) - Reavie got the long overdue win last season and will look to get off to a fast start in 2019-20. He contended at the U.S. Open before taking down the Travelers Championship, but the hangover lasted until the TOUR Championship when he finished eighth. He still pops in our model by virtue of ranking 8th in strokes gained: approach, 10th in birdies or better gained, and 12th in strokes gained: tee to green. His history at Silverado is fine -- three made cuts with a high of T13 in 2017-18. The U.S. Open at Pebble overlaps with our comparable courses, and Reavie has a runner-up finish at the Pro Am to his name as well. He also has two top-5s at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, our primary comp for the week.

Ryan Moore ($9,100 | +4100) - Moore lost in a playoff last year and has two other top-20s to his name at the Safeway. Moore has a tendency to repeat good performances at certain courses, and Silverado, as well as a few comp courses, are ones he does well at. He is a safe play in this range but also boasts winning upside as shown by his strong push last year. He is 5th in strokes gained: approach, 11th in strokes gained: tee to green, 26th in birdies or better gained, and 31st on par 5s.

Kevin Streelman ($8,300 | +5500) - A super Sunday and a hot putter carried Streelman to a T4 finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship after missing three straight cuts to close his 2018-19 season. Streelman is 9th in strokes gained: tee to green, 12th in bogeys avoided, 13th in both birdies or better gained and strokes gained: approach, and 33rd on par 5s. He's finished T25 and T13 the last two years at the Safeway.

Low Priced Options

Dylan Frittelli ($7,900 | +4500) - A top-10 at the Sanderson Farms Championship was his first finish inside the top-30 since his breakthrough win at the John Deere Classic, and Fritelli managed a T25 here last year. He is getting his second and third looks at PGA Tour venues this year, and with his card in hand, he can cool his nerves and just play golf. He had to get going on the greens to get his win -- he gained 7.5 strokes putting at the John Deere -- but he's shown enough consistency with his tee to green game that we can start to trust his floor and know that when he gets hot putting, the ceiling is the very top of the leaderboard.

Bud Cauley ($7,300 | +7000) - Cauley makes his 2018-19 debut after closing last season strong on the back of three straight top-25s. He'll kick things off at a familiar venue, as he's made the cut each of the last three years at the Safeway. He's popped for a high finish in fall 2017, finishing T7. He led the field in strokes gained on par 5s last year but was abysmal on the par 4s, posting one of the five worst par 4 performances of the week. His putting makes him an elite bogey-saver, having avoided the third most in the field over the last 50 rounds. He is also 13th in strokes gained: tee to green and 29th in approach.

Vaughn Taylor ($7,600 | +9000) - Taylor has been magical with his short game for months, and despite the missed cut last week, it was encouraging to see the iron play come back. He gained 3.0 strokes on his approaches, a welcome sign heading west. Taylor had made every cut since the RBC Heritage in April, and he ranks inside the top-25 in all of our key stats. He bounced back nicely from each of his last three missed cuts -- MC at the Heritage was followed by T13 at the Wells Fargo Championship, MC at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was followed by a T41 at THE PLAYERS Championship, and MC at the AT&T Pro Am was followed by a T9 at the Genesis Open.

Jhonattan Vegas ($7,300 | +12000) - Vegas is one of the best par 5 players in the field (fifth in strokes gained: par 5s), and while the par 5s at Silverado are still the best birdie opportunities on the course, they are by no means automatic. Each of the par 5s ranked inside the top-100 in difficulty in 2018-19, and Vegas should have an advantage on the field on these essential holes. He is just average on approach at 38th, but everything else looks good from a stats perspective. He is 6th in birdies or better gained, 10th in strokes gained: tee to green, and 28th in bogeys avoided.

Bargain Basement

Talor Gooch ($6800 | +18000) - Gooch is always a good tournament flyer because he has shown top-five upside when he gets going with the irons. He is long overdue for such a week, and this play is a bet on an overcorrection. He is 10th in strokes gained: approach and in the top-55 in all the other key stats. Not great, but at this price, one elite skill is enough. You can bet if he catches fire with his irons he'll make plenty of birdies, and if you want to roster the top guys, you'll need to dabble in this range, and Gooch is a fine option.

Akshay Bhatia ($6,200 | +37000) - At the very bottom of the board is Bhatia, the 17-year-old phenom teeing it up for his third PGA event. He is getting invited to these events for a reason, and while the rest of his competition is out partaking in Napa Valley's finest offerings, the youngster will be fresh every day. He is a very thin play with a lot of unknowns, but getting in early on a high pedigree while maximizing roster construction flexibility has its advantages. What else are you gonna do down here, roster Tony Romo?

Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are th author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.