DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
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.
Each week, we have a course primer, and our daily fantasy golf projections and lineup builder can help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.
A note on the scoring for this event on DraftKings: a new scoring format accompanies the switch to match play. Golfers will receive points for winning matches (+5), winning holes (+3), halving matches (+2), halving holes (+0.75), and holes not played (+1.6), as well as bonuses for a streak of three consecutive holes won (+5) and for winning a match without losing a hole (+7.5). Golfers will lose 0.75 points for each hole they lose.
|Key Stats for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
For details on why these stats stand out this week, check out the primer.
Golfers are sorted into 16 groups of 4 golfers, with the winner of each round-robin group stage moving on to a bracket-style tournament to determine the winner. Given the weight on winning matches, you'll want to make sure you don't make a DraftKings lineup that includes two players from the same group or two players who are on the same side of the bracket. You should be targeting golfers who can eventually win their groups and meet in the knockout round and, hopefully, the Championship Round.
Let's get to the picks.
All stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
Dustin Johnson (DraftKings Price $11,500 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds +1400) - After last summer's merry-go-round at the top of the world ranking, Johnson slammed the door on the competition and is the unquestioned top dog even after a couple lackluster performances in Florida. His group is not exactly a murderer's row, and from an overall class standpoint, DJ should cruise through to the bracket. He's second in strokes gained: tee-to-green, birdies or better gained, and opportunities gained, and third in strokes gained: approach. He won this event in 2017 as well.
Justin Thomas ($11,200 | +1200) - Even off a win at THE PLAYERS and a killer stats profile -- Thomas is 1st in strokes gained: approach, birdies or better gained, and opportunities gained, 3rd in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and 17th in scrambling -- Thomas could go under-rostered this week because of his challenging group. Group B includes the 2019 winner and runner-up in Kevin Kisner ($7,600 | +6000) and Matt Kuchar ($6,700 | +12000), as well as 2016 runner up Louis Oosthuizen ($8,100 | +4200). Getting a top-tier golfer with leverage on the field is just about the best-case scenario, and while he's not going to be sub-10% on DraftKings his group will still affect his number. Let everyone else get cute with Louis or Kisner and fire up JT.
Tony Finau ($9,200 | +3100) - Finau failed to make the bracket stage in either of the past two installments, but he's had much more difficult draws those years. He was in Kisner's group in 2019 and fell to Alexander Noren in 2018, with Noren winning 1 up to hand Finau his only loss and eventually finishing in third place. Finau has been playing terrific of late, and with no other top-30 players in his group, he is far and away, the best player in his group. He ranks 4th in birdies or better gained, 8th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, 13th in strokes gained: approach, and 15th in opportunities gained.
Webb Simpson ($9,100 | +3100) - Simpson has three solid years of evidence that he's one of the top players in the world, but a poor match play record makes him an underdog to the red hot Paul Casey ($8,900 | +2400), with Webb listed at +190 to win Group 9 and Casey the favorite at +145. No disrespect to Casey, who has six straight top 15 finishes this year, including a win in Dubai, but from a daily fantasy perspective, we can get major leverage on all the Casey rosters by pivoting to Simpson, a top 10 player who has skills in all facets of the game.
Cameron Smith ($8,500 | +3700) - Smith is grouped with one of the top players in the world in Rory McIlroy ($10,200 | +1900) and match play legend Ian Poulter ($6,700 | +12000), each of whom will garner some attention this week. That leaves us with Smith, who when we last saw compete in match play competition was toppling Justin Thomas at the 2019 Presidents Cup. Smith is no secret and won't be completely under the radar, but he fits in nicely in a balanced lineup construction that should be contrarian this week.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,600 | +7000) - Bezuidenhout closed 2020 with two wins and two other top 15s, and since then has held his own against some elite fields and put up a T7 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. In a loaded group and at the same price as Kisner and just $100 cheaper than the highly likely chalk Abraham Ancer ($7,700 | +5000), the South African is unlikely to attract too many clicks on DraftKings. Casual fans will see a strange name with a former champion, a match play god, and a rising star or spend their cash on safer options at a similar price point, giving us another leverage opportunity.
Russell Henley ($7,500 | +8500) - Henley in one of the weakest groups, headlined by world No. 17 Sungjae Im ($8,800 | +3500), who is also the only top-30 player in the group. As one of the top approach players this season, Henley will pop in models and may be popular this week, but the ballstriking offers some safety in this range. He ranks 4th in both strokes gained: approach and scrambling gained, 11th in opportunites gained, and 13th in strokes gained: tee-to-green.
Ryan Palmer ($7,000 | +8000) - Palmer is set up perfectly in a group with Jon Rahm ($10,700 | +1200), with whom he won the team event in New Orleans in 2019. The two also seem to pop up on leaderboards together, with both putting up good finishes at THE PLAYERS, the Farmers Insurance Open, the ZOZO Championship, the CJ CUP, and the Memorial just in the past nine months or so. Rahm is one of the favorites and should be a popular pick this week, and if Palmer can top his friend in group play he will be extremely live in the bracket.
Matthew Wolff ($6,900 | +11000) - Wolff has been left for dead among the wunderkids on Tour, with Collin Morikawa ($10,400 | +2200) and Viktor Hovland ($9,400 | +2600) way ahead of him in the markets this week. His draw includes three golfers who all have multiple top 10s in the past couple months, while Wolff has been really poor since consecutive runner ups at the U.S. Open and Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in the fall. That should make him one of the lowest rostered players in the field this week. He's shown an ability to get hot with the putter, and the driving will eventually work itself out. Wolff is the type of golfer who will gain confidence with a win or two, and from there he won't be afraid to go toe to toe with anyone in the bracket.
Marc Leishman ($6,800 | +12000) - Leishman makes for a nice pivot off Henley and Sungjae in Group 16. He has plenty of Presidents Cup match play experience, and when the event was last held in 2019 he went undefeated in group play. It's been a long year for Leishman, but he can take some Aussie momentum from Matt Jones' win at the Honda Classic. Leishman rode the Aussie wave in early 2020 when he, Smith, and Adam Scott all won within a few weeks of each other.
Bernd Wiesberger ($6,200 | +18000) - The 35-year-old Austrian climbed the world rankings last year, topping out at No. 21 but missing out on most of the season's events with the PGA Tour on hold and the European circuit slower to return to action during the pandemic. He's in one of the weaker groups and has some match play chops, having defeated Johnson head to head to open the 2018 Match Play.
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.