DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Charles Schwab Challenge
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 Charles Schwab Challenge.
|Key Stats for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Short Game|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (emphasis on shorter holes)|
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. Note well that this sample may vary widely from player to player, but focusing on a sufficient period of form is even more desirable after a long layoff.
Rory McIlroy (DraftKings Price: $11,800 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +800) - The world's top player makes his Colonial debut this week, one of a handful of Tour staples where McIlroy has zero experience. He was on fire before the pandemic wiped away three months of the season, with top-five finishes in seven consecutive starts. Though he stumbled out of the gate at TPC Sawgrass, he closed his first round with three straight birdies. He is at the top of just about any recent form model, ranking first in strokes gained: tee to green, first on par 3s, par 4s, and par 5s, first in birdies or better gained and first in bogeys avoided. He's 4th in approach, 5th, and 6th on par 4s in the 350 - 400 yard and 400 - 450-yard ranges, and 19th in short game. What more do you want?
Webb Simpson ($9,800 | +2500) - Webb comes at a steep discount from McIlroy but is probably the second safest golfer about $9,500. The $2k difference has a major impact on the viability of the rest of your roster, before even considering Rory's ownership probably will make him either a win-or-bust proposition. Simpson is a more natural fit at Colonial, with two top-fives in his past three trips and stellar form at each of our correlated courses. He is third in strokes gained: short game, sixth in approach, and eighth in birdies or better gained. He excels on par 4s as well, ranking fifth overall and top-five ranks in each of the shorter ranges. He'd been right on the doorstep of another win leading into 2020 and got there at Phoenix. Don't be surprised if he adds more hardware in 2020.
Xander Schauffele ($9,600 | +3300) - Spotty form at Colonial dampens his prospects a bit, with just a T48 and two missed cuts in consecutive tries the last three years. But when building lineups for DraftKings we can use those marks to find leverage on the field. With Simpson so close, hotter players right below him, and studs at the top likely to draw ownership, Schauffele could come in at a juicy number in large-field tournaments. His missed cut at the Farmers was his only finish outside the top 25 in the abbreviated wraparound season, and having not found the winner's circle since the first event of 2019 he is long overdue for a victory. He plays best when facing the world's top competition.
Sungjae Im ($9,300 | +3300) - Impossible not to like even with major champions surrounding him within a few hundred dollars, either way, the 22-year-old Im is a DFS darling. His tree was finally bearing real fruit before the layoff, with a win at the Honda Classic followed by a third-place at Bay Hill before shooting 69 on Thursday at Sawgrass. His lack of elite distance won't hurt him at Colonial, and while he missed the cut in his debut last year he's played more PGA golf than most of the field since then and is far removed from the golfer he was a year ago. The layoff may affect our iron man more than others, but he gains from tee to green and was really putting well heading into THE PLAYERS. He'll be a staple in this space for most of the rest of the shortened season.
Patrick Reed ($9,200 | +2800) - Those tired of Reed's act in the early part of 2020 will have had time to step back and appreciate just how good he's been over the past year, with just 2 missed cuts worldwide in 25 events. That won twice in that span with 14 additional finishes inside the top 20. His motivation to make the Presidents Cup team has driven him to lock status for the U.S. side at the Ryder Cup, should that event take place this year. He ranks 3rd in birdies or better gained, 7th in short game, and 22nd in strokes gained: approach. He is rock solid on par 4s, ranking 2nd overall, including 19th from 350-400 yards and 17th from 400-450. He's a few years out since last visiting Colonial but has made the cut all three times he's played here.
Tony Finau ($8,700 | +4000) - Runner up here last year thanks to a target practice display by a red hot Kevin Na, Finau played the bridesmaid once again in search of his first full-field Tour win. He shines his brightest when surrounded by other stars, and while his long-hitting style does not seem a natural fit for Colonial, he's made it work whenever in this field. Finau ranks 12th in strokes gained: approach, 25th in birdies or better gained, and 12th overall on par 4s. He is improving around the greens and his streaky putter makes him dangerous. He's a great value at this price, as he always seems to be in strong fields.
Shane Lowry ($8,600 | +5500) - With chalk captains Matt Kuchar and Scottie Scheffler priced right below him, Lowry is another great leverage play who showed he can outlast great fields, especially if the wind picks up. He is another first-timer at Colonial, further cementing his sleeper status. His stat profile is a bit leaner given his shared time on the European circuit, but he ranks 14th in short game and 14th on par 4s. The approach number is ghastly (115th), but he is 33rd in greens in regulations gained so it's like he's been clueless with his irons.
Viktor Hovland ($7,900 | +6500) - Course history stud Jordan Spieth sits one rung about Hovland in DraftKings' pricing, and ugly short game numbers could push people off him in favor of the safer options at a few hundred dollars cheaper. But Hovland is a bona fide stud, able to navigate Augusta and Pebble Beach as an amateur and picked up his first win (albeit in an alternate field) just a few weeks before the pandemic put the season on hold. Granted, he nearly cost himself the tournament on the par 3 11th -- stating afterward "I just suck at chipping" -- but we'll see the positives in coming through when things could have unraveled and acknowledged where he needs to improve. The ballstriking and scoring stats remain elite, as he ranks 7th in strokes gained: approach, 11th in birdies or better gained, and 21st on par 4s (18th on 350-400 yarders, 68th on 400-450).
Harris English ($7,500 | +6500) - English could well be a cash game cog this week along with Daniel Berger ($7,700 | +6500) in this range, but we'll go with English's course form, with five top 30 finishes including a runner up in 2016 compared to a T53 and a missed cut four years apart for Berger. Both were coming on strong, but we'll favor Berger when back on Bermuda greens next week and give English the nod at Colonial. His 114th rank on approaches is mitigated somewhat by a stellar 4th in greens in regulation gained, and once on the green, he's been rolling it well. English is 20th in short game due largely to a solid 15th in strokes gained: putting.
Joaquin Niemann ($7,400 | +8500) - We can safely remove Niemann from the pay-me-no-mind list now that we have escaped the dreaded Bermuda greens of the Southeast, putting Niemann back in play at a course where he's finished 8th and 31st in two tries. He is 13th in strokes gained: approach and 22nd in birdies or better gained, and even after two full years on Tour he is still just 21 years old, younger than fellow studs Hovland, Im, or Collin Morikawa ($9,100 | +4500).
Adam Hadwin ($7,300 | +12000) - Hadwin has failed to match his T5 finish in his 2015 debut at Colonial in three tries since, but he's never missed a cut and would continue the winning trend of International Presidents Cup team members this season. Hadwin has some of his best finishes in the early part of the season after holiday breaks, so he should be well suited to handling time off (though the newborn son might have a say in that regard). He is 21st in approach (Adam, that is, not the newborn), 24th on par 4s (including a stellar 12th in the 400-450 yard range), and 28th in short game.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,300 | +12000) - Another potentially chalky option in this range, though a lack of name recognition should keep the ownership in check. Bezuidenhout outdueled a strong field on the European Tour in 2019 and won earlier this year on the Challenge Tour overseas after a near-miss in Dubai. His first-round 65 put him squarely in contention at THE PLAYERS. Though that round is lost to the pages of history, not forgotten is a T18 in brutal conditions at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his first U.S. event.
Bud Cauley ($6,800 | +18000) - Cauley is better than you'd guess tee to green ranking 27th overall with specific gains on approach (25th) and around the green (12th). He's capable of more with the putter than we'd seen in his most recent performances, but he does ride a streak of four straight made cuts. He's also a respectable 37th on par 4s.
Carlos Ortiz ($6,600 | +23000) - If finishing up a stars and scrubs construction, you can do worse than Ortiz, who does well enough to not hurt you and has some upside to pop up for a top 10 finish. He is 38th in strokes gained: short game, 39th on par 4s, and 43rd in both strokes gained: approach and birdies or better gained. Last seen missing the cut at Bay Hill as one of many casualties that week, Ortiz had made the weekend in 10 of 11 tries prior to that, including three top 5's in the swing season. A strong T18 in a loaded WGC field in his native Mexico should give him confidence going against the world's best this week.
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 the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.