Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Valspar Championship
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 for the Valspar Championship
at Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee/Driving Accuracy|
|Strokes Gained: Putting|
Overall, there has been a bit of a de-emphasis on strokes gained: off the tee at Innisbrook (Copperhead) in terms of scoring dispersion, according to datagolf, and we also see a sizable decrease in the importance of driving distance in favor of accuracy at this course, which helps explain that part of things. Most of strokes gained: off the tee comes from distance.
It’s a 7,340-yard par 71 with just two long par 5s, so distance isn't a must.
Other than that, this course plays around the PGA Tour average once off the tee box, meaning we can put a heavy emphasis on strokes gained: approach.
Greens are overseeded bermuda, so I won't be looking heavily at bermuda splits this week but will peek at them.
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Valspar Championship
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 and recency 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
Justin Thomas (FanDuel Salary: $12,300 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +850) - Thomas is the favorite here despite playing in the same field as Dustin Johnson ($12,200). Johnson's form is a lot more problematic than Thomas', so JT gets the nod among the two elite golfers in the field.
Thomas loses some leverage on the field because distance isn't as important as usual, but he still ranks in the 100th percentile in strokes gained: approach when adjusting for field strength and recency, and he's also the best around the green. He should be able to avoid bogeys and putt well enough on the overseeded bermuda greens to be the better option of the two (and the best overall play in the field).
Viktor Hovland ($11,500 | +2000) - With how hot Corey Conners ($11,300) is, he might draw more attention than Hovland. I love both this week but would anticipate a slight popularity advantage for Hovland, who is in the 99th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green over the past year.
He's also in the 69th percentile or better in both distance and accuracy, one of just three golfers who can make that claim (the others being Scottie Scheffler [$10,800] and Martin Laird [$8,200]). That should allow Hovland to hit fairways when needed but still remain able to take advantage of the par 5s.
Others to Consider:
Corey Conners ($11,300 | +2000) - Red hot and has the game to contend at a course that rewards accuracy; has five straight top-15 finishes.
Scottie Scheffler ($10,800 | +2800) - A balanced driver who is 83rd-percentile in bogey avoidance over the past 100 rounds.
Russell Henley ($10,500 | +3100) - Bit of an awkward salary but a great course fit because of his irons and accuracy.
Ryan Palmer ($10,000 | +5500) - Palmer doesn't benefit from the course setup but isn't really getting penalized, either. He's long off the tee (77th percentile) but not absurdly so, so he's not losing as much pop as the longer hitters. He has made two cuts here in two starts.
Palmer's adjusted strokes gained numbers are green across all four categories: 86th percentile off the tee, 93rd in approach, 81st around the green, and 77th putting over the past year. He has finished 17th, 17th, and 34th at THE PLAYERS, the Valero Texas Open, and The Masters in his past three stroke play starts.
Kevin Streelman ($9,400 | +6500) - Streelman virtually always gains strokes from his ball-striking (off the tee and approach), but the short game is a real question mark week in and week out. He's good at avoiding bogeys (80th percentile) despite the modest-at-best short game. He hasn't had a ton of success here in his career (three missed cuts in six starts) but is in good form currently with six made cuts in his past seven starts.
Others to Consider:
Chris Kirk ($9,900 | +4500) - Is on point lately with five top-25s in six starts from strong play across the board.
Kevin Kisner ($9,500 | +6000) - Coming off three straight missed cuts (including THE PLAYERS and The Masters) but sets up well at Valspar.
Charles Howell ($9,300 | +9000) - Great bermuda putting and three top-30s in four starts despite weak iron play in two of them.
Lanto Griffin ($7,500 | +10000) - I'm a big Lanto fan usually, and at this salary, I'm on board for sure. Griffin ranks 24th in my model when combining his long-term adjusted strokes gained with his expected boost for the course fit, and despite that, he is tied for 92nd in salary. He's going to open up a lot if he can make the cut, which he has done in six straight events entering The Masters. He hasn't played solo since missing the cut there (he missed the cut at the Zurich) but is just too good to ignore at $7,500.
John Huh ($8,600 | +10000) - Huh isn't long off the tee (19th percentile) but is accurate (79th), so that bodes well for his boost this week. Huh also has strong tee-to-green data overall: 77th percentile off the tee, 81st percentile in approach, and 98th percentile around the green. He's a terrible putter but is around average on bermuda. The putter is the real question. He has lost at least 1.6 strokes putting in five of his past six starts. If he's just okay with the putter, he has upside.
Others to Consider:
Doug Ghim ($8,900 | +9000) - Irons are hot lately (gaining 3.1 per event over his past five) but the putter is equally as cold (losing 3.2).
Zach Johnson ($8,600 | +13000) - Two straight top-25s here but three straight missed cuts recently; benefits from the course type.
James Hahn ($8,600 | +10000) - Irons are more hot than cold and has two top-15s in past four starts.