GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: The American Express

Which golfers can pick apart this weekend's trio of courses and churn out elite fantasy showings?

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

Key Stats for the Desert Classic at TPC Stadium Course,
Nicklaus Tournament Course, and La Quinta Country Club
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Greens in Regulation
Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda
Birdie or Better Rate


This event is one for which I try to reduce the stats to cover a lot of the bases, as golfers will be playing on three different courses throughout the weekend. Round four is held at the Stadium Course.

In general, ball-striking has been a key component to success at this event, as has putting on the Bermuda greens. The key reason for this is that the past 12 winners all were 20-under or better, and you don't rack up birdies without some great first and second shots.

For a more detailed breakdown on the course, check out our course primer from Mike Rodden.

Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Paul Casey (FanDuel Price: $11,400 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1600) - I can't fault you for liking Rickie Fowler ($12,000 | +900), but Casey rates out as a better statistical fit, as he is third in strokes gained: off the tee and second in strokes gained: approach. Casey also ranks third in opportunities gained, a FantasyNational stat that effectively shows birdie chances. The extra savings go a long way, and his win equity is similar to Fowler's, according to my simulations.

Sungjae Im ($11,600 | +1400) - Im is actually pricier than Casey but is another pivot away from Fowler. Im is second in the field in birdie or better rate gained and is a great putter. Im also ranks top-10 on par 4s and par 5s. He can go low, and that's necessary here. Of note, Im is only 59th in approach in our sample. However, he has picked up approach strokes in four straight measured events, dating back to September.

Billy Horschel ($10,900 | +2700) - Horschel is a top-25 putter on Bermuda grass over a 100-round sample, and that helps separate him from a lot of the others in this range. Horschel isn't the most prolific scorer (48th in birdie rate) but stands out from a safety standpoint and has elite cut odds for the price (69.8% in my model, fifth-highest of any golfer).

Others to Consider:
Byeong-Hun An ($11,000 | +2700) - Be mindful of his layoff but a more-than-capable ball-striker.
Kevin Kisner ($10,800 | +2900) - Three straight top-14s (two in small fields) and great tee-to-green numbers last week.
Scottie Scheffler ($10,400 | +3700) - Does everything but putt well (top-30 in all three tee-to-green stats).

Mid-Range Options

Brian Harman ($9,900 | +5000) - Harman ranks top-34 in all three tee-to-green stats and is 11th in birdie rate in our sample. The lefty is just 88th in strokes gained: putting on Bermuda greens, but that's really the only red flag in his profile, considering his salary. He's finished 11th, 3rd, 20th, and cut since 2016 at this event.

J.T. Poston ($9,800 | +4100) - Poston sits fifth in Bermuda putting and third in birdie or better rate gained, so we know he can go low. The question is more about the ball-striking, as he is 76th in strokes gained: off the tee and 40th in approach, but the accurate driver could see plenty of scoring chances. He has finished 34th, cut, and 7th here since 2017.

Rory Sabbatini ($9,300 | +5500) - He's played this event for nine straight years but only once finished better than 24th (14th back in 2012). Sabbatini, though, keeps rating out great in the strokes gained department: 36th off the tee, 29th in approach, and 12th around the green. Sabbatini is second in cut odds among golfers below $9,500 in my projections.

Others to Consider:
Vaughn Taylor ($9,500 | +5000) - Has finished 2nd, 10th, and 12th in his past three events and is a great Bermuda putter.
Sebastian Munoz ($9,300 | +5500) - Solid all-around game keeps him in the mix. Missed cut last week on the number.
Denny McCarthy (9,100 | +7000) - Field leader in putting and birdie rate despite dreadful approach play.

Low-Priced Picks

Cameron Tringale ($9,000 | +8000) - Tringale has played here nine straight years and enters in strong form statistically: 47th in strokes gained: off the tee, 6th in approach, and 20th around the green. He's also 10th in birdie rate and a solid enough 48th in Bermuda putting.

Brian Stuard ($8,900 | +8000) - Stuard ranks 26th in approach in our sample and is 24th in Bermuda putting. Last week, he finished merely 53rd but actually picked up 5.1 strokes on approach and promptly lost 5.3 on the greens. Putting regression could be coming for Stuard.

Bud Cauley ($8,700 | +9000) - Cauley sits 27th in approach and 4th around the green in the strokes gained departments over the past 50 rounds. Cauley has a missed cut last week with average-as-can-be strokes gained numbers (0.5 off the tee, 0.1 approach, -0.4 around the green, and 0.0 putting). He was by no means dreadful, and we can still buy low.

Others to Consider:
Carlos Ortiz ($8,600 | +10000) - A great scrambler, Ortiz just picked up 3.9 approach strokes but lost 4.2 in the overall short game last week.
Nick Taylor ($8,400 | +15000) - Three straight made cuts at this event and is 11th in greens in regulation gained over the past 50 rounds.

Risk/Reward Punt Plays

Doc Redman ($7,900 | +12000) - Top 30 in strokes gained: off the tee (4th), strokes gained: approach (28th), and birdie rate (21st) but a terrible putter.
Xin-Jun Zhang ($7,600 | +15000) - Two straight missed cuts with average stats in them; 23rd in birdie or better rate and 48th in approach. Guaranteed three rounds.
Cameron Percy ($7,100 | +26000) - Good ball-striking (16th off the tee and 42nd in approach) but bad Bermuda putting.