Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Waste Management Phoenix Open

The PGA Tour heads to TPC Scottsdale for a rowdy environment. Which golfers can thrive?

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.

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Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Waste Management Phoenix Open
at TPC Scottsdale
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Greens in Regulation
Birdie or Better Rate
Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda

This week, ball-striking matters a lot. According to datagolf, strokes gained: approach is responsible for 29.2% of the scoring dispersion at TPC Scottsdale since 2010, which is actually lower than the Tour average of 34.7%, but it's still the most important non-putting stat in the mix. Strokes gained: off the tee has explained 19.0% of the scoring, above the Tour average rate of 15.1%. We can downgrade approach a tad and increase play off the tee, however.

Accuracy matters a bit more than usual relative to distance, but looking for golfers who have both is not a bad idea for this weekend's event.

Simply seeking golfers who strike the ball well and can convert on Bermuda greens is the overall recipe I'm seeking.

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

Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $12,100 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +650) - Rahm is the class of the field right now. He has finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 10th, and 2nd in his past five events. Rahm also has shown up at TPC Scottsdale: 5th, 16th, 11th, 10th. The Arizona State alum is 5th in strokes gained: off the tee and 28th in approach.

Xander Schauffele ($11,400 | +1800) - Schauffele missed last week's cut by losing 0.8 strokes tee to green and being neutral as a ball-striker. Schauffele's larger sample is that of a strong ball-striker, and he has finished 17th and 10th here in two tries. Prior to the missed cut, he had finished top-10 in four straight events, albeit some small fields. He's a bounce-back candidate.

Tony Finau ($10,800 | +2900) - Finau will have to overcome some demons at TPC Scottsdale as he has missed four straight cuts here. Prior to that, he was 22nd in 2015. Finau's form is about as good as can be: 10th, 5th, 14th, and 6th over his past four starts. He is fourth in strokes gained: tee to green while sitting top-16 in both strokes gained: off the tee and approach.

Others to Consider:
Justin Thomas ($11,900 | +850) - Thomas has the ball-striking to contend and is a fine number-one if you don't go with Rahm.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,300 | +1600) - A two-time winner at TPC Scottsdale and third in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 50 rounds.
Viktor Hovland ($10,500 | +4200) - Top-five in strokes gained: off the tee and approach but a debutant to the atmosphere.
Sungjae Im ($10,500 | +3300) - Some of the strongest recent form in the field and a 7th here a year ago. Fits a balanced build.

Mid-Range Options

Jason Kokrak ($9,700 | +6500) - Coming off a 21st last week, Kokrak returns to TPC Scottsdale, where he has finished 20th and 31st over the past two years. Kokrak ranks 7th in strokes gained: off the tee and 25th in approach, and we can probably downplay the around-the-green stats.

Byeong-Hun An ($9,600 | +6500) - An has finished 6th, 23rd, and 20th here over the past three years. He is coming in with a cut and a 68th in terms of recent form, but he ranks 18th in driving distance and 37th in strokes gained: approach. An gained strokes tee to green in both of those, though, and he lost 8.9 strokes putting over those past six rounds. Regression to the mean (still a bad mean for An as a putter) could hit this week when he's back on Bermuda.

Brian Harman ($9,300 | +6000) - A balanced profile is what brings me to Harman this week. He's not long off the tee (89th) but can hit fairways (32nd) and overall ranks 44th in good drive rate. Harman lacks high-end finishes at TPC Scottsdale (best of 24th), but he has played the weekend five of six events.

Others to Consider:
Scottie Scheffler ($9,900 | +5000) - A debutant for TPC Scottsdale at the PGA level, Scheffler makes sense as a top-tier ball-striker.
Corey Conners ($9,600 | +6500) - The terrible short game can take a backseat to the elite driving (51st in distance, 34th in fairways, 8th in good drives).
Billy Horschel ($9,100 | +8000) - Lost strokes with approach in five straight measured events; cooling off but a massive discount.

Low-Priced Picks

Vaughn Taylor ($8,900 | +9000) - Taylor isn't long off the tee (118th), but he is very accurate (13th) and ranks 30th in strokes gained: approach with positive putting splits on Bermuda. The current form is strong, as well, and he has an 11th at TPC Scottsdale under his belt from two years ago.

Adam Hadwin ($8,600 | +9000) - Hadwin has played the weekend four straight years at this event and ranks just 56th in strokes gained: off the tee but is 31st in strokes gained: approach in our sample. He's got good Bermuda putting and is actually 17th in birdie or better rate gained over the past 50 rounds. He also leads the field in good drive rate.

Harris English ($8,600 | +10000) - A balanced driver of the ball, English ranks 31st in distance and 48th in accuracy, good for 13th in strokes gained: off the tee. English is a worrisome 98th in approach over a large sample but has actually gained strokes in that area in six of his past eight measured events. Bermuda is his best putting surface.

Others to Consider:
Emiliano Grillo ($8,800 | +10000) - We really want him on bentgrass but four straight made cuts at this event and 11th off the tee and 2nd in approach.
Lanto Griffin ($8,500 | +10000) - Balanced everywhere, he's been cut, 13th, 7th, and cut with three shaky putting performances; back on Bermuda.
Aaron Wise ($8,400 | +12000) - Four straight missed cuts and field-average ball-striking in them, but he is 10th in strokes gained: off the tee.

Risk/Reward Plays

Carlos Ortiz ($8,100 | +15000) - He's 30th in distance and 33rd in greens in regulation gained; played here three times (53rd, cut, 60th).
Doc Redman ($7,500 | +15000) - Redman's first go at TPC Scottsdale, but he's sixth in strokes gained: off the tee from accuracy and 22nd in approach.
Cameron Tringale ($7,700 | +19000) - Just 60th off the tee but 18th in approach and 13th in birdies gained. Too cheap.