GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Is Tyrrell Hatton, the defending champion at Bay Hill, a great DFS play at his salary? Or should we be looking elsewhere for our FanDuel 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.

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

Key Stats for the Arnold Palmer Invitational
at Bay Hill
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Driving Distance
Birdie or Better Rate
Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda


The info at datagolf shows that -- as always -- strokes gained: approach explains most of the scoring among the tee-to-green stats, but that also sees a boost (37.3%) from the average PGA Tour stop (34.7%). Strokes gained: off the tee also is up 0.8 percentage points (16.3% from 15.1%).

Scoring can vary pretty wildly from year to year, and a lot of it depends on the wind, so keep an eye on that angle.

Overall, we see a lessened emphasis on putting, but it's not something that you should completely ignore if you can help it. It's just not as vital as usual, but if we're chasing all bad putters, we could easily run into issues.

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

All stats cited below come from FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength adjustments. 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

Rory McIlroy (FanDuel Salary: $12,300 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +950) - Rory has dominated at Bay Hill in his career. He has six starts here since 2015, and his worst finish is 27th. He has five top-11 results and has finished top-six in each of the past four years, including a win in 2018. The field leader in birdies or better gained over the past 100 rounds is someone who benefits when putting on Bermuda, his best surface, and the lowered emphasis on short game helps McIlroy this week.

Tyrrell Hatton ($11,500 | +1700) - Hatton is last year's winner here, and that's part of the reason to like him, but he also has the best long-term adjusted irons in the field and is also in the 89th percentile or better in adjusted strokes gained: off the tee and putting. He's been really good when putting on Bermuda and is in pristine form. In 2021, he has won in Abu Dhabi and then finished 22nd at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, 6th at the Saudi International, and 22nd at the WGC-Workday.

Others to Consider:
Viktor Hovland ($11,900 | +1200) - Is on fire tee-to-green and has had two stellar ball-striking showings at Bay Hill in his career.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($11,100 | +2300) - Could benefit if the course plays windy and tough and is on par with some of the other studs above him long term.
Will Zalatoris ($10,000 | +3800) - Benefits from distance and ball-striking and the de-emphasis on putting as a baseline putter.

Mid-Range Picks

Sam Burns ($9,800 | +4900) - Burns' around-the-green struggles are his primary blemish (along with hitting fairways), which indicates that what he does best (driving it and putting it) fits well for this week's course. Burns has played Bay Hill thrice and made every cut, although with a T36 as his best finish. He's really struggled around the green, which could pop up again at Bay Hill, but Burns is an elite Bermuda putter (97th percentile) and has the ball-striking to play this course well.

Cameron Davis ($9,600 | +6500) - Davis has 95th-percentile distance and 89th-percentile adjusted strokes gained: tee to green numbers overall, which helps him fit what I'm looking for this week. Davis' Bermuda putting is just okay (32nd percentile), but he's also in the 98th percentile in birdie or better rate gained. Davis has made five straight cuts and has the irons clicking with some spikes in putting as well.

Others to Consider:
Harris English ($9,800 | +6500) - Has cooled off since a win but still a good fit overall for Bay Hill and against this field.
Corey Conners ($9,100 | +14000) - Long shot but is best tee-to-green (96th percentile) in the $9,000 range.
Luke List ($9,000 | +13000) - If putting winds up being less important, List benefits. He's 85th percentile tee to green.

Low-Salaried Picks

Byeong-Hun An ($8,900 | +12000) - An ranks in the 84th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green over the past year and is particularly good with the irons (also 84th percentile). He's only 31st percentile in adjusted strokes gained: off the tee, but it's not because of the distance (86th percentile). He simply fits if we're okay downplaying putting. If you're not okay doing that, An is not your man. Not ever.

Sebastian Munoz ($8,500 | +14000) - Munoz's long-term form is pretty good for the salary, and he has no glaring weaknesses (60th percentile or better in all three adjusted strokes gained: tee to green stats). Munoz is also pretty long (66th percentile) and is a plus-putter on Bermuda greens. He flashed back to relevance with a T22 last week at the WGC-Workday but has mostly been capped due to the short game lately, which isn't that sticky or worrisome.

Others to Consider:
Henrik Norlander ($8,600 | +14000) - Is 87th percentile or better in both adjusted ball-striking stats and 77th percentile in Bermuda putting.
Matthew NeSmith ($8,500 | +16000) - S-tier irons (97th percentile) with a poor short game but actually good putting on Bermuda (73rd percentile).
Dylan Frittelli ($8,000 | +18000) - 70th-percentile adjusted strokes gained: tee to green and fairly long off the tee.
Danny Lee ($7,400 | +24000) - Fits from a distance (83rd percentile) angle and if we're de-emphasizing short game.