GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Sentry Tournament of Champions

Cameron Smith's great bunker play could lead to a big weekend at Kapalua. Which other golfers can we build around 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.

Key Stats for the Sentry Tournament of Champions

- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Driving Distance
- Birdie or Better Rate
- Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda

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

Optimal Lineup Notes

Because it's a super small field with no cut, it's worth noting some optimal lineup trends.

I have optimal lineups from the Tournament of Champions since 2019 (so, three lineups). Of the 18 golfers in the optimal, just one had a salary below $8,000, and just three had a salary below $9,000. It's a week to build some balanced lineups, as is usual with optimal lineups in tough fields and no-cut events.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Sentry Tournament of Champions

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

Bryson DeChambeau (FanDuel Salary: $11,600 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1100) - If we want distance, DeChambeau has it. If we want bermuda putting, DeChambeau has it. It's possible that the greens-reading book rule update will hurt DeChambeau more than anyone, but we're still looking at a course in which distance and putting can carry you to a win if you avoid bunkers. It's worth the risk. He's finished solo-7th and T7 here in his past two tries.

Cameron Smith ($10,700 | +2000) - Cameron Smith is a bit of an alternate play from DeChambeau. We're looking at an angle of some distance but also just a great all-around short game. With all the bunkers (93), we can elevate good wedge players, and Smith ranks in the 63rd percentile in bermuda putting over the past 100 rounds.

Others to Consider:
Jon Rahm ($12,000 | +800) - Too good to gloss over. Has the distance and scoring ability to run away with it if he's on.
Sam Burns ($11,100 | +1600) - Has distance and is the best bermuda putter in the field; in a similar mold to DeChambeau.
Patrick Cantlay ($11,200 | +1600) - A top-four value in my combo model among the studs; does it all and can go low.

Mid-Range Picks

Brooks Koepka ($10,200 | +2700) - With Koepka, we get a lot for a reasonable salary. Obviously, he's long off the tee (95th percentile) and also has good birdie numbers and sand save numbers (74th percentile in each over the past 50 rounds). Koepka firmly believes he's "close" and that he hasn't even begun to peak. He's finished third here back in 2016.

Jason Kokrak ($9,300 | +4100) - Kokrak can score (87th percentile), gain distance (92nd percentile), and -- surprisingly -- putt on bermuda (50th percentile) well enough to be a core-level play at this salary. He was a disappointing 35th here a year ago in his first attempt. Nothing suggests he's a bad fit here, though. He's even in the 39th percentile in sand saves.

Others to Consider:
Tony Finau ($10,000 | +2700) -
Long off the tee with plenty of scoring upside. Finished 9th in 2017 (good) here and 31st here last year (not so good).
Harris English ($9,700 | +3300) - Last year's playoff winner; scores well and gets out of bunkers well.
Talor Gooch ($9,400 | +4100) - Gooch typically has balanced stats in moderate fields; he has that in this good field, too, because he's trending up in a linear fashion.

Low-Salaried Picks

Max Homa ($8,500 | +8000) - The field drops off quickly once we get past $9,300. For me, Max Homa is the best play in this tier. Homa was 25th here in 2020 while failing to putt well. He gained strokes off the tee and lost just 0.5 tee to green in a great field. Homa is field-average in distance gained and in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green.

Kevin Na ($9,000 | +6500) - Na needs to score well here (as do all golfers), yet he can. He's in the 42nd percentile in birdie or better rate gained over the past 50 rounds. The reason to love Na would be the short game being so good. He leads the field in adjusted strokes gained: around the green, in scrambling, and in sand save percentage. He's the shortest driver in the field and is last in strokes gained: off the tee.

Others to Consider:
Billy Horschel ($8,800 | +6500) - Has played here a good bit with mixed results (6th, 22nd, 11th, 25th, 24th; is a great bermuda putter and just a good golfer.
Cameron Davis ($7,700 | +12000) - Is long (76th percentile) and gets out of bunkers well (68th percentile). Has enough upside if you want to get low with salary.