Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Arnold Palmer Invitational
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 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
|Par 5 Scoring|
|Proximity from 200-plus Yards|
|Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda|
With the long par 3s and just long-term data that shows the importance of strokes gained: approach, that should be at the top of the list again this week. At Bay Hill, no strokes gained stat contributes more to scoring dispersion than approach does, via datagolf.
Five of the past six winners gained at least 2.3 strokes gained on the par 5s; last year's winner, Francesco Molinari, actually lost 1.5 strokes on par 5s last year despite gaining the most strokes off the tee in the field.
Approach shots from 200-plus yards encapsulate the long par 3s, and last year's top-15 in that stat had an average finish of 19.9, and seven of the top-15 in proximity from 200-plus yards were top-10 in the tournament.
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
Rory McIlroy (FanDuel Price: $12,200 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +550) - Rory is just so good right now that you have to play him in DFS. His made cut odds are 90.1% in my simulations, so, sure there's a chance he misses, but we are nearly guaranteed four rounds of the best golfer on the planet right now. McIlroy also has played here five straight years with four top-11 finishes. His past three finishes have been fourth, first, and sixth. McIlroy leads the field in strokes gained: off the tee and is fifth in strokes gained: approach. He's the stud to prioritize this week for sure.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,600 | +2000) - Matsuyama struggles as a putter, and we know that. He's very bad on Bermuda grass. To put it into perspective, he has finished 21st, 6th, 45th, 49th, and 33rd at Bay Hill over the past five years. He has picked up strokes tee to green in 80% of those 20 rounds but added strokes with his putter in just 25% of those rounds. There's risk here for sure, but if Matsuyama can putt even halfway decently, he actually does well to separate himself from the rest of the pack. He ranks third in strokes gained: tee to green and is sixth in approach over the past 50 rounds.
Others to Consider:
Xander Schauffele ($11,500 | +1800) - Fifth in my stats-only model and third in win probability; only question mark is no course form.
Adam Scott ($11,300 | +2700) - Fourth in approach and a recent win three weeks back. Poor Bermuda putting.
Rickie Fowler ($10,600 | + 3400) - Elite Bermuda putter and finally priced fairly for the modest tee-to-green game.
Byeong-Hun An ($10,300 | + 4000) - The anti Fowler: 111th in Bermuda putting over the past 100 rounds but 7th tee to green over the past 50.
Collin Morikawa ($10,100 | +4500) - Morikawa is the beneficiary of a top-heavy field and is just 18th in FanDuel salary. He played here two years ago, finishing 64th in his second ever PGA Tour event. In that, he lost strokes putting in every round but added strokes tee to green in all four rounds, ultimately finishing 18th in strokes gained: tee to green in the 2018 Arnold Palmer. His 20-round Bermuda putting sample is dreadful, but the field leader in strokes gained: approach is very much affordable.
Joaquin Niemann ($9,400 | +8000) - Niemann is coming off two straight missed cuts, but he has had positive strokes with his approach play in 11 straight measured events -- and all five events in 2020. Niemann was 46th here last year. He lost 2.0 strokes off the tee but still gained 1.0 tee to green. Niemann is improving as a putter and actually ranks 11th in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds. For the price, we could do way worse than an elite ball-striker like Niemann.
Others to Consider:
Viktor Hovland ($9,900 | + 4800) - Priced fairly but knows he sucks at chipping, which hinders high-end upside.
Abraham Ancer ($9,700 | +6000) - Bermuda putting is poor but has gained strokes in both ball-striking stats in three straight events (2nd, 43rd, 12th).
Scottie Scheffler ($9,400 | +9000) - Cooling off a bit but now gaining strokes as a putter; positive tee-to-green numbers in four of five 2020 events.
Harris English ($9,100 | +8000) - Gaining strokes tee to green of late but not necessarily fueled by his approach numbers.
Sebastian Munoz ($8,600 | +10000) - One of my favorite plays each week and especially this week for $8,600, Munoz ranks top-50 in all four strokes gained stats over the past 50 rounds. It may not sound like much, but for $8,600, that's an elite all-around profile. Topping it off: Munoz is 24th in approach in that sample. He hasn't played here before, and that's the biggest knock on him.
Brian Harman ($8,200 | + 15000) - Harman is another balanced golfer, one who is 35th or better in off-the-tee play, around-the-green play, and putting. He's 56th in approach and has lost in three straight events, keeping the ceiling low. It's really a week to maximize the number of top-tier golfers we can get. Harman helps get there, but the lack of top-20 upside (15.2% in my simulations) means we should be careful not to punt carelessly.
Others to Consider:
Jason Kokrak ($8,900 | +9000) - Great ball-striker with awful short game; three top-10 finishes at Bay Hill since 2014.
Carlos Ortiz ($8,700 | +10000) - Three straight top-26 finishes without much putting help and is 25th in approach.
Vaughn Taylor ($8,500 | +13000) - Long-term form checks out as always, and Taylor is 37th in approach. Bermuda is by far his best putting surface.
Corey Conners ($8,500 | +10000) - Priced down after four straight disappointing events; still has high-end upside in his ball-striking data.