GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: The American Express

The PGA Tour returns to the contiguous 48 this week. Who sets up well for this week's two-course format?

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.

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

Key Stats

Key Stats for The American Express
at the PGA West (Stadium Course) and
the Nicklaus Tournament Course
Strokes Gained: Approach
Driving Distance
Strokes Gained: Putting (on Bermuda)
Birdie or Better Rate


We'll have a bit of a different setup for this year's American Express than we typically see. Rather than a 3-course rotation and a 54-hole cut, we're shedding La Quinta and getting a 36-hole cut. The strokes gained data for this event is limited only to the PG West Stadium Course, so keep that in mind when doing your research.

But looking at the snapshots from datagolf.com, we can see straight away that approach matters more here than the usual Tour stop, and so does driving distance (if we look primarily at the Stadium Course rather than the Nicklaus Tournament Course).

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

All strokes gained stats listed below come from datagolf, are adjusted for field strength, and date back to the start of 2020. Other stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 100 rounds when possible, unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Patrick Reed (FanDuel Salary: $11,500 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1700) - Although driving distance is a key stat, I'm looking to Reed at the top of this field for one reason: he's just really good if we compare his long-term adjusted form to the rest of the field. For that reason, he rates out really well in my win simulations, and it's not as if he's particularly short off the tee (he's in the 52nd percentile in driving distance gained over the past 100 rounds). He's in the 87th percentile when putting on Bermuda and is 77th percentile or better in all three tee-to-green stats. He won here in 2014, as well, and he enters with five straight finishes of 21st or better.

Matthew Wolff ($11,000 | +1900) - Wolff can nuke it off the tee, unlike Reed, and he ranks in the 95th percentile in distance gained relative to the field. He's also in the 89th percentile in strokes gained: approach since the start of the 2020 PGA Tour season. Wolff is actually a good long-term putter (77th percentile) and is in the 67th percentile on Bermuda specifically. He putted well and drove it well here last year but was a disaster with the short game, which remains his lone red flag (10th percentile).

Others to Consider:
Tony Finau ($11,200 | +2100) - Long (94th percentile in distance gained) and simply a top-tier golfer relative to the field but is 40th-percentile as a Bermuda putter.
Cameron Champ ($10,600 | +4600) - Not the best irons (61st percentile) but the longest driver in the field and a field-average Bermuda putter over his 62 rounds; 21st here last year.
Sam Burns ($10,300 | +4900) - Burns' checklist is distance (98th percentile) and Bermuda (98th percentile); 18th and 6th the past two years here.

Mid-Range Picks

Lanto Griffin ($10,000 | +8000) - Griffin has no relevant red flags in his profile and benefits from a distance-heavy Bermuda setup. He's in the 73rd percentile in distance and 83rd when putting on Bermuda. He's gaining strokes in every event with his approach play but has played this even only once, missing the cut. He fits a balanced build this week and makes for a good outright bet.

Talor Gooch ($9,200 | +9000) - Gooch is coming off two straight missed cuts, which might imply the form is off, but if we look past the "MC" designations by is name, we see that's not really the case. One of the missed cuts was on the number (a 70-67 at the Sony Open), and the other was by a shot (a 71-70 at the RSM Classic). What we're getting with Gooch is a very balanced golfer who has two top-17 finishes the past two years at The American Express. Gooch has no real glaring warning signs, and we should be able to roster him as an afterthought, given the missed cuts.

Others to Consider:
Adam Hadwin ($9,800 | +6500) - Has finished top-six in four straight years; short-term form is iffy but long-term form is more solid.
Alexander Noren ($9,200 | +10000) - Recent finishes are up-and-down (17th, 76th, 17th, missed cut, 18th, missed cut) but good on Bermuda and pretty long (69th percentile).

Doc Redman ($9,100 | +8500) - Better suited for shorter tracks but is 96th-percentile in adjusted strokes gained: approach and 91st-percentile in adjusted strokes gained: off the tee.

Low-Salaried Picks

Cameron Tringale ($9,000 | +11000) - Tringale had been a bit of a mainstay in my write-ups for months before he cooled off. Things are once again trending back up for him. He most recently finished third at the RSM Classic and has a pretty lengthy history at this event (10 straight starts). The long-term data is good for Tringale, namely 92nd-percentile iron play, 76th-percentile distance gained, and 69th-percentile Bermuda putting.

Matthew NeSmith ($8,500 | +14000) - NeSmith boasts 95th-percentile approach play and 71st-percentile Bermuda putting, which helps him stand out at the value end of the player pool. The recent results do show two missed cuts over his past five starts -- but also three top-17s with steady ball-striking in all. Further, NeSmith has played the multi-course setup here already when he finished 17th at The American Express last year (while gaining 5.4 strokes from approach).

Others to Consider:
Charley Hoffman ($8,900 | +9000) - Six missed cuts with three top-10s here the past 11 years but has had strong tee-to-green numbers of late.
Charl Schwartzel ($8,200 | +17000) - Is either missing cuts for flirting with 25th but has just one good putting surface (Bermuda) and gains strokes from distance rather than accuracy.
Chesson Hadley ($8,000 | +22000) - Really good on Bermuda greens (87th percentile) and solid overall (53rd percentile in adjusted strokes gained since the start of 2020).
Will Gordon ($7,600 | +24000) - Three straight missed cuts but good irons, good distance, and good birdie rates. Boom/bust option.