DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Valspar Championship

Justin Thomas leads the way on DraftKings in his first stroke play event since The Masters. Who else makes for a good play on DraftKings this week?

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 Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club
Fairways Gained
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Strokes Gained: Par 5s
Proximity Gained from 200+ yards

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.

High-Salaried Studs

Justin Thomas (DraftKings Salary: $11,500 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +900) - Thomas gets the edge over World No. 1 Dustin Johnson as the favorite this week thanks to undeniably better form. Johnson was firmly in contention in his 2019 debut at the Copperhead Course before a Sunday 74 dashed his hopes. And while he's been far from his best of late, he showed some promise with a final round 66 at the RBC Heritage his last time out. Thomas, on the other hand, has been sensational this season. He won THE PLAYERS and has been inside the top 15 in all but two events so far this season, a T21 at The Masters and a nightmarish putting performance at the Genesis Invitational. He ranks first in strokes gained: tee to green, strokes gained: approach, and birdies or better gained, fourth in strokes gained: around the green, and ninth in proximity gained from 200+ yards.

Viktor Hovland ($10,500 | +2100) - Hovland has been on a similar tear to Thomas, with a win in the fall one of his 7 top-15's in 12 events this season. He ranks 6th in par 5 scoring, 7th in proximity gained from 200+ yards, 25th in strokes gained: approach, and 37th in fairways gained. That 37th may not be too enticing, but it's by far the best for golfers priced above $10k, where no other golfer ranks better than 70th. It's the one demerit against Thomas and Johnson, who rank 120th and 98th respectively. Hovland is putting together a terrific season, and a consistent cutmaker with winning upside sandwiched right in the middle of what will be a pretty popular range makes for a very interesting play on DraftKings.

Corey Conners ($9,600 | +2100) - The odds on Conners are a little jarring, but top 15s in each of his last five-stroke play events the longtime elite ball-striker has finally found week-to-week consistency on the first or second page of the leaderboard. He ranks third in fairways gained, third on par 5s, fifth in strokes gained: approach, and fifth in birdies or better gained. He was T16 in his only trip to the Copperhead Course in 2018. He'll be a popular pick on DraftKings, but especially in cash lineups, he's a valuable salary-saving option with both a high floor and ceiling.

Mid-Salaried Options

Tyrrell Hatton ($9,400 | +2700) - That Hatton -- the eighth-ranked player in the world and four-time worldwide winner since the start of 2019 -- comes in cheaper than golfers like Conners and Hovland makes him an immediate value. One of those wins came in Florida at one of the most difficult events of the 2020 season at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and while we are on the other side of the peninsula we are still confidently comparing Innisbrook to Bay Hill. He ranks 2nd in proximity gained from 200+ yards and 12th in strokes gained: approach, and his stats sample does not include his work overseas since the middle of December, where he had finishes of 8th, 1st, 22nd, and 6th before rejoining the PGA Tour at The Concession.

Sungjae Im ($9,200 | +3300) - Sungjae's irons have failed him of late, losing 2.3 strokes or more on approaches in more than half of his measured starts since the calendar turned to 2021. He's still managed to make the weekend in all nine (his only missed cut was at the unmeasured Masters), a testament to his all around game and impressive record on bermudagrass greens in Florida. He was fourth here in his only visit in 2019, and with so much attention at the top of the market, this could actually be the week we get Sungjae at a low rostered percentage. He ranks 9th in fairways gained, 11th in birdies or better gained, 16th in proximity gained from 200+ yards, and 18th in strokes gained: par 5s.

Chris Kirk ($8,200 | +4700) - Kirk has been playing terrific golf this season, with four top 10s and just two finishes worse than 25th since 2021 began. He is 13th in proximity gained from 200+ yards, 17th in strokes gained: around the green, 20th in strokes gained: approach, 35th on par 5s, and 42nd in fairways gained. He's gained at least 3.5 strokes tee to green in every event except his missed cut in Phoenix. We can forgive that aberration, in which he lost random strokes in every category amidst a stretch of 10 events averaging at least 1.3 strokes gained in all four of off the tee, approach, around the green, and putting.

Low-Priced Options

Keegan Bradley ($7,900 | +8000) - Bradley's ballstriking puts him near the top of any putting-agnostic model this week, as he ranks 3rd in strokes gained: approach, 8th in fairways gained, 10th on par 5s, 11th in proximity gained from 200+, and 24th in strokes gained: around the green. He and playing partner Brendan Steele finished fourth at the Zurich Classic, officially his sixth top-30 finish in his last seven events. His best result at the Copperhead Course is a T31 in 2018, and he's lost with the putter in all four tries. That's to be expected with Keegan, but when the ballstriking is as hot as it is now he just needs one or two good putting rounds to post a podium finish.

Kevin Streelman ($7,800 | +7500) - The 2013 winner at Innisbrook has had mixed results since then and with consecutive missed cuts the past two times the event has been held we should be able to get a solid course history at a discount this week. Bradley's stats are so good he will soak up a ton of space on DFS rosters, and with the high-priced chalk, many will not be able to afford two golfers in the high $7k - low $8k range. Streelman is 21st in strokes gained: approach and 26th in fairways gained.

Doug Ghim ($7,300 | +10000) - Ghim gained some valuable experience with his front-row seat to the Thomas fireworks show on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass, and he's made huge strides this season despite a still-inconsistent putter. He ranks 8th in strokes gained: approach, 15th in birdies or better gained, 17th in fairways gained, and 22nd in stroke gained: around the green. He had four top 25s in the fall part of the 2020-21 season and has just one since, but the ballstriking has been solid and the shortfall is exclusively with the putter. He has lost strokes with approaches just once all season, but he's lost with the putter in five straight.

Matthew NeSmith ($7,100 | +13000) - In the same boat is Nesmith, who has played a ton so far this season and lost strokes with his irons just twice in 16 events since September. In that stretch, he's gained with the putter only five times and finished inside the top 20 every week. Like some others on this list -- cough cough Keegan cough cough -- he does not need to putt well objectively, he just needs to putt to the field average. He ranks 4th in strokes gained: approach, 7th in strokes gained: par 5s, 15th in fairways gained, and 32nd in proximity gained from 200+ yards.

Tom Hoge ($7,000 | +16000) - Hoge quietly has a compelling statistical case of his own, as he ranks 14th in strokes gained: approach and 25th in both strokes gained: par 5s and proximity gained from 200+ yards. He's better than the field average in strokes gained: around the green and fairways gained as well, and he has three top 25s in his last four events.

Bargain Basement

Chez Reavie ($6,700 | +25000) - One of the interesting tidbits we covered earlier this week is the overlap between finishers here and at the Travelers Championship. Reavie should be on next to no rosters with 8 missed cuts in his last 11 events, and we can buy at the low point this week and grab him on the upswing. He lost 4.7 strokes on approaches in his last solo event at the RBC Heritage, one of the five worst marks of his career. Long-term ballstriking is a strength, as he ranks fourth in fairways gained and ninth in strokes gained: approach.

Cameron Percy ($6,500 | +21000) - Percy is 10th in strokes gained: approach and 20th in proximity gained from 200+ yards, and that long iron game will come in handy this week. The variance is ramped up with the lower-priced golfers, but grabbing low-rostered guys down here can pay huge dividends if they succeed and balance out some of the chalk we'll eat in the high-priced range.

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.