GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Farmers Insurance Open

Is Jon Rahm a must-play this week at Torrey Pines after he withdrew last week? And where else can we pivot among the studs?

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 Farmers Insurance Open
at Torrey Pines (South) and
Torrey Pines (North)
Strokes Gained: Approach
Driving Distance
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Strokes Gained: Putting (on Poa)
Birdie or Better Rate


So the Torrey Pines setup is one round at the North Course and one at the South Course before the cut (top 65 and ties). The weekend will be played at the South Course, so that should get the majority of our focus. Either way, distance is key at both courses, via info from datagolf. But there's also an added tinge of importance on putting, so it's not the most common overlap.

Strokes gained: around the green also rates out as something that explains scoring dispersion a tad more than usual at the PGA Tour course.

The greens at the South Course are poa annua, and they're bentgrass at the North Course.

This event has ranked outside the top 20 in average FanDuel points in each of the past three years, so a lot of the scoring will come from finishing well.

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

Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $12,100 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +700) - In a weird twist, Rahm is the betting favorite but is a tad below the highest-salaried golfer in the field (Rory McIlroy at $12,200 on FanDuel and +750 on FanDuel Sportsbook). But Torrey Pines is Rahm's course. He won here in 2017 and has been top-five the past two years. He's also best when putting on poa greens. He rates out in the 90th percentile in strokes gained: putting on poa. He's in the 89th percentile in driving distance. His short game is elite, and so are the irons. He withdrew last week after an injury he sustained in the gym, but his reasoning was that he wasn't 100%. If he's playing now, he probably feels 100%.

Xander Schauffele ($11,600 | +1300) - Xander is both a pivot away from Rahm and McIlroy and also worth trying to jam in with Rahm. Schauffele is in the 82nd percentile in poa putting and in the 85th percentile in driving distance. He also has 97th-percentile long-term adjusted irons and is seemingly the right fit for Torrey Pines. However, he has four missed cuts in five tries at the Farmers with a 25th-place finish in 2019. If we trust the data, we could get a winner at a pivotable salary from Rahm.

Others to Consider:
Tony Finau ($11,300 | +2100) - In the mix last weekend at the AmEx and is long (92nd percentile) and a mid-range poa putter (48th percentile); six-straight top-25s at this event.
Sungjae Im ($10,700 | +2900) - Elite ball-striker with the length to contend. Two made cuts here in two tries.

Bubba Watson ($10,100 | +4500) - Solid poa putter (64th percentile; his only positive surface) and certainly long enough. Win here in 2011, 20th last year.

Mid-Range Picks

Cameron Davis ($9,800 | +6500) - Davis is trending up fast and fits this course from a distance perspective (91st percentile in distance gained). Davis rates in the 53rd percentile or better in all four adjusted strokes gained stats, as well. The irons are pretty up-and-down, but he's great with the driver and has shown the ability to post spike weeks with his putter, as well. He has made three straight cuts at this event.

Gary Woodland ($9,300 | +7000) - Woodland is not a positive putter on any surface but is least bad on poa (41st percentile in this field). The irons rate out well long-term, and so does the putting. Woodland is in the Rahm, Schauffele, Jason Day category as far as distance and putting goes. He has a lengthy history at Torrey Pines, including four top-20 finishes before missing the cut last year.

Others to Consider:
Adam Scott ($10,000 | +4800) - Solid distance and putting (on poa, as well); he's making cuts but not pushing for the top of the leaderboard
Talor Gooch ($9,200 | +10000) - Three straight made cuts here with a 3rd two years ago; good poa splits and no red flags in the profile.
Carlos Ortiz ($9,200 | +9000) - Another balanced golfer with good poa splits and viable distance (61st percentile).

Low-Salaried Picks

Lanto Griffin ($8,800 | +15000) - Lanto is a key player for me most weeks just because he's good in most areas. Where he struggles (driving accuracy) isn't much of a factor this week, and he has good distance data (68th percentile). Griffin virtually gains strokes from his approach play in every event but came up cold with the driver last week (-2.5 strokes gained off the tee). A bounceback makes sense with this setup. He wound up 12th here in 2018.

Alexander Noren ($8,400 | +15000) - Noren quietly checks the boxes this week: he's in the 60th percentile in distance, the 49th percentile in approach, and the 86th percentile in putting. It's not elite, but it's not bad, especially for someone who just has good overall long-term strokes gained data. Put another way: he's a good overall golfer. Noren has three top-20 finishes in seven starts since and including the U.S. Open. He missed the cut here in 2019 but was runner-up in 2018.

Others to Consider:
Max Homa ($8,900 | +16000) -
Not chasing the two straight top-25s but liking the distance and poa angle for Homa; was 9th here last year.
Cameron Tringale ($8,300 | +19000) - Has the distance and irons to be a contender and is best on poa.
Wyndham Clark ($7,900 | +19000) - A distance (93rd percentile) and poa (92nd percentile) beneficiary who is good around the green.