Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

Which golfers profile well for success at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club and make for core plays 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.


- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Driving Distance
- Birdie or Better Rate
- Strokes Gained: Putting

For a more detailed breakdown on the course, check out my course primer.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.

Best of the Best

Xander Schauffele (FanDuel Salary: $11,900 | Golf odds Win Odds: +650) - With such a weak field outside the top, we'll need to make sure we hit right with the studs, and while a lack of safe value plays might suggest avoiding the absolute top of the field, I can't write of Schauffele in a no-cut event. He won the Olympic gold medal in Japan earlier this year, and his small-field success is well documented by now. Schauffele's weighted, adjusted strokes gained average of 1.79 is nearly a half shot per round better than anyone else's in the field. He also has the distance to succeed at Accordia and was 10th here in 2019.

Joaquin Niemann ($11,100 | +2200) - Niemann's distance (92nd percentile) is a big plus for Accordia, and he played here in 2019, finishing 33rd. Overall, he's got 95th-percentile ball-striking stats over the past year and seems like a great fit at a great salary. The putting woes are not what they used to be, and he ranks in the 83rd percentile in adjusted strokes gained: putting over the past year.

Others to Consider:
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,700 | +1400) - Was runner-up in 2019 and is second in adjusted tee-to-green over the past year.
Cameron Tringale ($10,800 | +3100) - Above-average distance and is 83rd-percentile-or-better in all strokes gained stats other than off-the-tee.
Charley Hoffman ($10,100 | +4100) - Has 92nd-percentile tee-to-green data and 90th-percentile distance.

Mid-Range Picks

Jhonattan Vegas ($9,800 | +4100) - If we're seeking distance, Vegas fits the build, as he ranks first in this field over the past 50 rounds. He's also first in birdie-or-better rate gained in that sample due to great ball-striking (and, I suppose, in spite of a poor short game). Ultimately, Vegas ranks seventh in my combo model, which includes long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained.

Chris Kirk ($9,400 | +5000) - Kirk may not be the ideal fit for Accordia, as he rates in the 18th-percentile in distance gained over the past 50 rounds, but he's a really good golfer, and that generally counts for something. Kirk ranks 12th in my combo model despite the poor weight to his driving distance, and it's because he makes it up by still ranking in the 68th percentile or better in all four adjusted strokes gained stats.

Others to Consider:
Lanto Griffin ($9,500 | +5000) - Too good of an iron player, too long of a driver to write off in a field like this.
Matt Wallace ($9,400 | +5000) - Is in the 92nd percentile in adjusted tee to green and in the 75th percentile in distance.
Luke List ($9,300 | +5000) - S-tier distance and ball-striking give him a course boost.

Low-Salaried Picks

Doug Ghim ($8,800 | +8000) - This field drops off pretty quickly, and it's important to remember not to chase too many low-ceiling players simply due to the fact that it's a no-cut event. Some of these guys will finish close to 10-over and effectively have missed the cut. Ghim could do that because his putter is bad (14th percentile) but conversely ranks in the 80th percentile in adjusted tee-to-green play. He's just not long, but no golfer down here is flawless.

Brandon Hagy ($8,000 | +12000) - If you're going to swing for the fences with a value play, you may as well roster someone who swings hard for this week's setup. Hagy fits the bill there. He ranks in the 99th percentile in driving distance gained (and dead last in fairways gained). The irons are also bad (5th percentile), but again, if you're taking a chance, this is probably the right profile. If you're not convinced, simply build around the guys in the upper $8,000 range listed below for your value pool.

Others to Consider:
Sebastian Munoz ($9,000 | +6500) - About as average for this field as can be across the board, but that works.
Garrick Higgo ($8,900 | +6500) - Good course fit due to distance; irons are iffy (24th percentile).
Matt Jones ($8,700 | +8000) - Weak irons (9th percentile); good short game and distance
Wyndham Clark ($7,700 | +15000) - Nukes the ball; has red-flag irons (3rd percentile).
Tyler McCumber ($7,000 | +26000) - Minimum salary for 95th-percentile distance.