Welcome boys and girls! I hope that everyone is ready for another fun week of daily fantasy golf. Last week was a weird one for me as I was vacationing in Florida with my lovely wife. Despite not doing much research, I still played my regular volume of 5 lineups on DraftKings and 5 on FanDuel and after Saturday one of my FanDuel lineups sat in 31st place out of 39,200 entries. I would have been pumped to watch the final round on Sunday, but I was flying home that day. So I sat on an airplane for a few hours wondering how my FanDuel lineup was doing. In the end, I got home in time to watch the final few holes and ended up finishing in 25th place overall. Not bad at all. If not for Jason Dufner’s implosion on Sunday I would have finished in the top 5. But I can’t complain too much.
Alright, now that I have bored you with that nonsense, let’s get ready to preview this week’s Valero Texas Open. This tournament is on a long tough course. Many of the world’s top players skip this event as none of the world’s top 14 ranked players are playing and only 2 top 20 players will tee it up. It should still be a great week of DFS though. Important stats to watch are strokes gained tee to green, driving distance and strokes gained approaching the green. Let’s get right to the picks.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Charley Hoffman ($10,700 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel) – While this tournament is officially called the Valero Texas Open, it is unofficially called the Charley Hoffman Invitational. In his last five appearance at this tournament, Hoffman has finished 1st, 11th, 11th, 3rd and 13th. Hoffman is in pretty good form after a very solid first couple of rounds at the Masters. There is no reason to think that he will not have another stellar effort this week.
Ryan Moore ($10,200 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel) – Moore is one of the top ranked players in the field with a World Golf ranking of 28th. Vegas also has him as the 3rd favorite to win with 23-1 odds. Moore has played this event once and finished in 8th in 2012 which bodes well for his chances this year. I especially like that he ranks a stellar 21st on tour in strokes gained approaching the green. Moore should sit near the top of the leaderboard by weekend’s end.
Upper Middle Class
Billy Horschel ($8,900 DraftKings; $7,300 FanDuel) – Horschel’s form has been pretty mediocre with a 55th place finish at the Shell Houston Open 2 weeks ago and a missed cut at the RBC Heritage last week. But despite his inconsistency, Horschel has excelled at this event with a top 5 finish 3 of his last 4 appearances at the Texas Open. Horschel is certainly worth a look on FanDuel at his fairly discounted rate.
Ryan Palmer ($8,600 DraftKings; $7,700 FanDuel) – Ryan Palmer loves playing in Texas. In his last 4 appearances at the Valero Texas Open, Palmer has finished in the top 15 3 times, including top 6 finishes in his last two appearances. While Palmer has had a slow start to his season, he looks to be turning it around as he had his best finish of the year last week at the RBC with a t-11th finish. I like Palmer to really get going this week.
Tony Finau ($8,400 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel) – Finau does not have much of a course history here with a 68th place finish 2 years ago in his only appearance. That having been said, Finau ranks 12th on the PGA tour in strokes gained tee to green and 13th in driving distance. In my opinion, that is a recipe for a great finish and I like Finau to excel this week.
JJ Spaun ($7,800 DraftKings; $7,000 FanDuel) – Spaun has had an excellent rookie season with 3 top 10 finishes and 5 top 25s in 11 total starts. His good form has continued of late with 2 top 20s in his last 3 events. A big reason for Spaun’s success this year is that he ranks 28th on tour in strokes gained off the tee. On this extremely long course, that should serve him well. I will have a good bit of Spaun exposure.
Bang for your Buck
Daniel Summerhays ($7,000 DraftKings; $6,600 FanDuel) – After finishing near the top of the leaderboard at last year’s PGA Championship, Summerhays has not done much this year with only one top 30 finish on the season. While he is a risky play, Summerhays must have the Texas Open circled on his calendar as he has finished in the top 15 in his last four appearances at this event, including 3 top 10s. At this discount price, he is worth a dart throw.
Soren Kjeldsen ($7,500 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel) – Kjeldsen is the 62nd ranked player in the world and 16th ranked player in the field and yet he is priced exactly the same on DraftKings as a player outside the top 300. After a slow start to his year, Kjeldsen has made 4 cuts in a row and had an impressive quarterfinal showing at the Match Play championship. His last appearance was a 36th place finish at the Masters, where he was consistently in the top 10 through 3 rounds but struggled to a 78 to close the event. I like Kjeldsen to compete this week.
Beau Hossler ($7,000 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel) – Hossler is a talented player and was a phenomenal amateur. He also played his college golf at the University of Texas and lives in Austin. Hossler’s game looks like it is coming around and I think he will play well near his home turf. Certainly worth a round 1-2 play on FanDuel.
Ricky Barnes ($6,300 DraftKings; $4,800 FanDuel) – I always thought that Barnes was a University of Texas guy and was all set to pick him based on that “fact”. It turns out that Barnes is from California and played his college golf at the University of Arizona. No matter – despite having an abysmal season, Barnes finished in 4th place at this event last year and had a lead after 54 holes. At near bargain basement prices, he is worth a GPP flyer.
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