GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: The Honda Classic

Daniel Berger is the class of the field this week. Is he a must-play on FanDuel?

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 Honda Classic
at PGA National
Strokes Gained: Approach
Driving Distance
Strokes Gained: Putting (on Bermuda)
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Bogey Avoidance


Based on the high-level analysis of PGA National, it plays a lot like an average PGA Tour course overall with no stats particularly emerging as overly vital that we wouldn’t already be accounting for in our research.

But we do see, via datagolf, that strokes gained: approach explain 40.1% of the scoring dispersion, compared to 34.7% on average. It’s the short game that gets depressed in terms of what leads to scoring gaps.

The primary stat that doesn't matter as much -- because they all do -- is driving accuracy. It’s a reversal from last week for TPC Sawgrass in that regard. I always love when consecutive courses don't quite align. It feels easier to differentiate.

The past three winners at PGA National (Sungjae Im -6, Keith Mitchell -9, and Justin Thomas -8) were all single-digits under par, and over the past 11 years, only five golfers finished at least 10-under. Three of them did it in 2012 when Rory McIlroy won at -12, so expect it to be tough.

When courses play tough, I look for well-rounded golfers, which is reflected in the stats.

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

Daniel Berger (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1000) - [Editor's note: Daniel Berger has withdrawn.] The salary for Berger isn't high enough to skip past him based on how good he has been relative to this field. My strokes gained data that is weighted for field strength and recency has Berger at 1.76 strokes gained per round with only two other golfers (Joaquin Niemann at 1.24 and Russell Henley at 1.04) rating out better than 1.00. He's in the 97th percentile or better in both adjusted ball-striking stats (off the tee and approach) as well as putting -- and he's a good Bermuda putter (79th percentile).

Russell Henley ($10,900 | +2700) - My models always love Henley, and they do again this week. He's the field leader in adjusted strokes gained: approach and is in the 65th percentile in both long-term adjusted strokes gained: putting on all surfaces and strokes gained: putting on Bermuda over the past 100 rounds. Henley has made four straight cuts at PGA National, including an eighth last year to add to a win in 2014. He missed the cut last week with some poor iron play (-2.9) but was neutral elsewhere. We shouldn't hate on Henley's irons for too long.

Others to Consider:
Sungjae Im ($11,800 | +1200) - Last year's champ is elite on Bermuda (97th percentile) and leads the field in adjusted strokes gained: off the tee.
Talor Gooch ($10,800 | +3100) - The top-five last week at THE PLAYERS wasn't a fluke; Gooch is a super balanced golfer and deserving of the salary.
Cameron Tringale ($10,300 | +4200) - Cut last week mostly from poor putting but can lead a field like this in strokes gained: tee to green.

Mid-Range Picks

Mackenzie Hughes ($9,400 | +6500) - Hughes is not a golfer I target often just because of how his game sets up. He's in the 38th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green because he's in the 19th percentile off the tee and the 26th percentile in approach. Where he excels is with the short game: 91st percentile around the green and is the best long-term putter. Hughes actually had a runner-up finish here last year with good iron play (4.4 strokes gained). If he needs to avoid bogeys at a course, he's more in play than if he needs to shoot 20-under to contend (he's in the 89th percentile in bogey avoidance over the past 100 rounds).

Kevin Streelman ($9,200 | +7000) - Streelman is the antithesis of Hughes: 88th percentile off the tee and 95th percentile in approach. But the short game isn't actually that bad: 63rd percentile around the green and 49th percentile in putting. He missed the cut at THE PLAYERS despite gaining 2.2 strokes tee to green (he lost 2.3 on the greens). Overall, he and Hughes are the best long-term golfers in the $9,000 to $10,000 range.

Others to Consider:
Cameron Davis ($10,000 | +3700) - Flashed with an 8th here last year and is super long off the tee with great ball-striking overall.
Dylan Frittelli ($9,900 | +4500) - Has an 11th here three years ago and an elite short game to lead to bogey avoidance; 88th-percentile tee-to-green, as well.
Ian Poulter ($9,500 | +5500) - Balanced golfer with good short game and 85th-percentile bogey avoidance.

Low-Salaried Picks

Zach Johnson ($8,800 | +8000) - Johnson won't benefit from a de-emphasis on driving accuracy, but he's a great Bermuda putter (85th percentile) and is also in the 84th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: approach. He has made four of six cuts at PGA National since 2014 and is just the best long-term player at or below $9,000, per my database. That counts for something in a field this weak.

John Huh ($8,300 | +12000) - Huh is very strong tee-to-green (94th percentile) but can really struggle with the putter (14th percentile). Huh jumps up to field average (54th percentile) on Bermuda specifically. He has lost at least 1.6 strokes putting in four straight measured events but was due for some regression after a hot putter anyway. He has two top-25 finishes here over the past five years.

Others to Consider:
Ryan Moore ($8,900 | +7000) - Is 84th percentile in adjusted tee to green. Doesn't fit the course as well as others but is in good form.
James Hahn ($8,700 | +9000) - Has the balance (60th-percentile or better in all four adjusted strokes gained stats) to figure out PGA National.
Patton Kizzire ($8,700 | +9000) - Gets the putter going on Bermuda (97th percentile) and is a pretty balanced ball-striker, too.