Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Valero Texas Open

Corey Conners aims to defend his title at TPC San Antonio. Is he the best play at the top of the salary pool 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.

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Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Valero Texas Open
at TPC San Antonio
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Driving Distance
Strokes Gained: Putting
Birdie or Better Rate

TPC San Antonio doesn’t specifically favor ball-striking or short game, per se, but we do see a bit of a swap in short game where around-the-green play matters more than usual

Corey Conners won in 2019 losing strokes there, and in that year, none of the top-four gained around-the-green. You can find success solely because of your wedges, but you certainly don't have to have them dialed in to compete. This really means that a lot of skill sets can be in play.

Short-but-accurate drivers can contend if they are hitting fairways. For that reason, strokes gained: off the tee makes sense to value, but we should give distance a bit of a nod for a few reasons: the four par 5s are pretty long (554 yards or longer) Three of the par 3s are pretty short (under 175 yards), so it’s hard to pinpoint certain stats with such a mix like that, but the long par 5s definitely get me to lean toward distance.

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

Tony Finau (FanDuel Salary: $11,400 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1400) - With Dustin Johnson's withdrawal, the salaries are a bit wonky. That does not mean we should avoid Finau at $11,400. Finau is easily the best long-term golfer if we adjust for field strength and recency. Finau also is the field leader in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green over the past year. He's roughly a baseline bermuda putter and is pretty clearly my win model's preferred play at the top.

Corey Conners ($11,000 | + 2100) - I'm not going to jump off of Conners now. He's in really great form and is heading back to a course where he has won. He ranks third in the field in long-term adjusted strokes gained and leads the field in approach over the past year, as well. The balanced driving bodes well for him even if he's a subpar putter (23rd percentile on bermudagrass but 61st percentile overall when adjusting for field strength).

Others to Consider:
Jordan Spieth ($11,500 | +1100) - Able to be paired with Finau if you want because of the salaries; short-game stats should lead to a good finish here.
Charley Hoffman ($10,500 | +3300) - Course stud with recent win and runner-up and has good irons (93rd percentile); driver and putter are on point lately.
Cameron Tringale ($10,400 | +3600) - Balanced stats profile with good bermudagrass splits (79th percentile) and 17th here last year and 13th at Honda.

Mid-Range Picks

Zach Johnson ($9,900 | + 6000) - The range between $9,000 and $9,700 is a bit of a dead zone overall, so I'll mostly be looking to be above or below it. Johnson fits, though, and is the second-best long-term golfer in the range (trailing Lanto Griffin) but doesn't have a weak wedge game (50th percentile) like the others at the top of this range. Johnson is the best long-term putter overall and has strong bermuda splits (82nd percentile). He has three top-30 finishes here in his past four starts.

Aaron Wise ($9,600 | +7500) - The putting has been so bad, but it's not like he can't putt at all, which is a different discussion. Wise's past five starts have come with -4.1, -10.2, -4.3, -1.9, and +2.7 strokes putting. When he gained strokes putting, he finished 13th at the Honda. He's always likely to gain strokes tee to green and has a good short game with the wedges.

Others to Consider:
Lanto Griffin ($10,000 | +6500) - Best long-term golfer in the range but just 24th percentile around the green; good bermuda putter (86th percentile).
Sam Burns ($9,800 | +6000) - Bad short game (14th percentile around the green) is main blemish. Elite bermuda putting (99th percentile) and distance (96th).

Low-Salaried Picks

Sebastian Munoz ($9,000 | +1800) - Munoz's most recent stroke play data is a missed cut at THE PLAYERS when he lost 3.4 strokes from approach but gained everywhere else. He's had some poor iron showings in recent events but is generally a consistent player across all four strokes gained categories. Munoz ranks in the 73rd percentile or better in all three adjusted strokes gained stats from tee to green and is a positive bermuda putter.

John Huh ($8,900 | +8000) - Huh enters with 93rd-percentile combined tee-to-green data but ranks in the 16th percentile in putting. He does, though, rate out positively on Bermuda in his career. Huh isn't long (17th percentile) but still gains strokes with his precision, which can work here. He consistently gains strokes off the tee each week with modest irons (which do bump up when adjusting for field strength). He has played the Valero seven times with two missed cuts but only one top-20, a runner-up in 2012.

Others to Consider:
Erik Van Rooyen ($9,000 | +9500) - A bet to lead the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green in a field like this.
Patton Kizzire ($8,700 | +13000) - Kizzire's great short game (97th percentile bermuda putting) and better-than-average distance fits well.
Sepp Straka ($8,600 | +8000) - Short game wedge play is a red flag but has the ball-striking and fine enough putting splits for the salary.
Peter Malnati ($8,100 | +19000) - Should fit TPC San Antonio well with his good short game and irons but has missed five straight cuts.
Charl Schwartzel ($7,900 | +19000) - Long (68th percentile distance) and putts well on Bermuda (90th).