DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: The Honda Classic
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.
|Key Stats for the Honda Classic at the Champion Course at PGA National|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda)|
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.
Daniel Berger (DraftKings Salary: $10,800 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1100) - [Editor's note: Daniel Berger has withdrawn.] Berger is in an unusual spot at the top of the market, but in this field, he's the clear top dog. He ranks 3rd in birdies or better gained, 5th in strokes gained: off the tee, 9th in scrambling gained, 11th in strokes gained: approach, and 16th in strokes gained: putting on bermuda, In fact, he's first in total strokes gained on bermuda courses. This time last year, Berger was knocking on the door and clearly on the cusp of a career year when the Tour put things on hold. Coming out of the layoff, he was a sneaky winner at Colonial because everyone was saving him for bermuda at the RBC Heritage. So a win on bentgrass and then a win earlier this year on poa greens at Pebble Beach signals that Berger has one more up his sleeve. With apologies to Sungjae Im ($11,000 | +1300), for $200 cheaper we have to go with Berger up top.
Russell Henley ($9,800 | +2900) - Behind Im and Berger it's a thin market at the top, and despite some strides recently, we don't quite buy into Joaquin Niemann ($10,400 | +2000) on truly tricky bermuda greens. He looks primed to win soon, but on DraftKings, we have to take a stand especially when it comes to golfers who will appear on 20+ percent of lineups like Niemann could this week. Henley, on the other hand, will be hard to fit on many rosters if most players try to squeeze in one of the top three players. He ranks first in both strokes gained: approach and scrambling gained, and he has a couple of solid finishes at PGA National to his name, including an eighth-place last year and a win in 2014.
Talor Gooch ($9,300 | +3300) - Not exactly the price we've grown accustomed next to Gooch's name, but this week his hot putter and streaky irons make him compelling even in the $9,000 price tier. Gooch was fifth at TPC Sawgrass thanks to 6.8 strokes gained: approach and 4.0 strokes gained: putting. He's popped for high finishes in close proximity in the past. He had top-fives three weeks apart in the fall and memorably in consecutive events in January 2019. He ranks 10th in scrambling gained, 17th in strokes gained: putting on bermuda, and 25th in birdies or better gained.
Shane Lowry ($9,200 | +2400) - Lowry runs the risk of becoming popular this week, and if that turns out to be the case there is merit in fading him or being underweight given the fact that his eighth-place finish at THE PLAYERS was his first top-10 since August. Still, his case is compelling enough as a course fit this week. Lowry can hold up in tough conditions and in high winds, and while his PGA sample is pretty long, he is 10th in total strokes gained on bermuda greens (though just 77th in putting). He's 11th in scrambling, 23rd off the tee, and 25th in approach.
Brendan Steele ($8.700 | +4000) - As we've covered in this space before, Steele has a type. When he plays well at a tournament, he tends to repeat quality finishes at the same course, and over the last five trips to PGA National, he has finishes of T4, MC, T14, T14, and T11. The missed cut in 2019 isn't too concerning as it was largely due to losing 5.8 strokes with his putter over just the first two rounds. He's best suited for shorter courses, and he won't mind the wind picking up.
Cameron Davis ($8,600 | +4000) - Davis is 1st in birdies or better gained, 6th in strokes gained: off the tee, and 14th in strokes gained: approach. He's just 61st in putting on bermuda but he's still putting up good results on those courses, as he ranks 8th in total strokes gained on courses with bermuda greens. After consecutive missed cuts, Davis will benefit from a drop in field strength this week, and he is a terrific wind player. According to stats from Fantasy National, he's about average in calm or "moderate" wind, but when it gets really gusty -- or "Windy AF" as Fantasy National puts it -- Davis gains more than 1.5 strokes on the field.
Mackenzie Hughes ($7,800 | +8000) - The putter is a legit weapon, and a runner-up finish here last year should give Hughes plenty of confidence heading into this year's edition. The Canadian won't pop up in many models this week, but the results over the past year are hard to argue with. He's the only golfer in the field beside the top three (Im, Berger, and Niemann) to reach the TOUR Championship last season, and some of his best finishes were in tough conditions -- he was top 10 here, the Memorial, and the BMC Championship.
Kevin Streelman ($7,700 | +8500) - Streelman may fly under the radar this week, but his iron play was excellent en route to consecutive top-25s at Phoenix and Pebble Beach earlier this year, though he followed those up with a dud at Riviera. After a few weeks off, he missed the cut at THE PLAYERS thanks to a poor putting week and an inexcusable double bogey on the short par 4 13th. He'd have made his fifth consecutive cut had he simply parred one of the easiest holes at TPC Sawgrass. That sneaky form is what we're looking to capitalize on this week, as Streelman is 11th in strokes gained: approach and 26th in birdies or better gained.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7,300 | +9500) - An interesting salary point here for Vegas who is sandwiched between two players who have a similar profile but will garner far more attention. Luke List ($7,500 | +8000) and Keith Mitchell ($7,200 | +13000) have a runner-up and a victory, respectively, but Vegas fits their profile as a big hitter who plays well on tough bermuda tracks. He's got a decent enough track record at PGA National, with 8 appearances over the last 10 years yielding just one missed cut and four top-30 finishes, most notably a T4 in 2017. Vegas is first in strokes gained: off the tee and sixth in birdies or better gained, and fifth in total strokes gained on bermuda courses.
Matthew NeSmith ($7,300 | +13000) - NeSmith has been one of the top iron players on Tour this season, and in this field, he ranks fifth in strokes gained: approach over his last 50 rounds. He lost strokes with his irons last week and had no path to recover with a ghastly 4.9 strokes lost putting over just two rounds. The last time he lost strokes via approaches, he bounced back to gain 6.6 the following week. He had three straight top-20 finishes before missing the cut at both Florida courses, and he played well enough here last year and finished T38 in his debut.
Jim Furyk ($6,900 | +16000) - Furyk has made the cut in all four events he's played for this 2020-21 season, and he trails only NeSmith in greens in regulation percentage. He's gained at least 3.0 strokes via approaches in three of his four tournaments and posted a top-10 two years ago at PGA National. He's also first on Tour in scrambling percentage this season, and that will do just enough for us to go heavy on Furyk in a spot where we can easily be overweight on the field.
Denny McCarthy ($6,900 | +14000) - Like Hughes, McCarthy's value is tied very closely to his putter, and he ranks fourth in not just strokes gained: putting on bermuda but also in total strokes gained on courses with these surfaces. He'll benefit from a drop in field strength, as he did with top-10s at the Bermuda Championship and Sanderson Farms Championship in the swing season.
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.