What is up everyone? It is great to be back here after I took a week off from writing for a quick vacation. I still managed to watch some of the WGC Bridgestone, though it was not my best DFS week due to the limited research that I did while away. However, since I did not write last week, I have not yet recapped my most successful week to date at the RBC Canadian Open. 14 of the 15 guys recommended by me made the cut, including picking 5 guys in the top 5 (3 tied for 5th), another in the top 10 and another in the top 25. I was up big and hope you all shared in that success.
On to more important items – the PGA Championship. This is the last major of the season, and as usual there are some great DFS tournaments set up by the websites. The tournament will be played at the Quail Hollow Golf Course in North Carolina, which usually hosts the Wells Fargo Championship, so there are plenty of guys with course history. It should be noted that the course has changed, including a very large lengthening of the very first hole to a 520+ yard par 4, and a completely new 2nd hole.
This course is a 7,600 yard bear, and I think the winning score will be in the -8 to -10 range. Stats that I am looking at this week include strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach, par 5 scoring, bogey avoidance and birdie or better percentage. Let’s get right to it.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Rory McIlroy ($11,400 DraftKings/$10,300 FanDuel) – First a bit of a caveat – Rory will without question be the #1 owned player in this field. I just don’t see how you fade him. He is a multiple time PGA Champion and has dynamite course history at Quail Hollow with 5 straight top 10s and 6 top 10s in his last 7 appearances including two wins and a runner-up. On top of that Rory leads the field in strokes gained off the tee and par 4 performance. He is tough to fade in cash games and is a great play in GPPs as well. Differentiate elsewhere.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,500 DraftKings/$8,800 FanDuel) – Hideki is one of my favorite players on tour and is probably the most talented guy not to win a major yet (No – I did not forget about Rickie Fowler. I think Matsuyama is a better player). He comes in after obliterating a really tough course in Akron at the Bridgestone to the tune of a 61 on Sunday for his 3rd win of the year. Hideki has done fairly well at Quail Hollow and is 3rd in the field in strokes gained tee to green and 4th in strokes gained approach on this course. He is also my #1 ranked player for par 5 performance. He may go fairly highly owned as well, but I don’t care. Give me all the Hideki.
Upper Middle Class
Justin Rose ($9,000 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) – Rose comes into this week in pretty mediocre form, with two straight tournaments where he finished outside of the top 50. I also heard that he has been fiddling with his swing to compensate for a back injury. That may decrease my shares in Rose slightly, but I still like him to have a nice tournament. He has consecutive top 5 finishes in his last two appearances at Quail Hollow which certainly works in his favor. Additionally he is 13th in the field in strokes gained off the tee. I like him to hit value.
Adam Scott ($8,600 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) – At first glance, even though Scott is in pretty good form, I was considering a full fade. But when closely examining the numbers, he starts to look better and better. Scott’s course history is interesting – he has missed 3 of his last 4 cuts at Quail Hollow, but if we go back further, he has made 5 of 8 cuts on this golf course with all 5 finishes in the top 25. He is also 4th in the field in strokes gained approach and 13th in par 5 performance. I love the way that Scott is playing and if he could just get the putter going, he could win this tournament.
Daniel Berger ($7,700 DraftKings/$7,100 FanDuel) – Daniel Berger will win at least one major in his career, and I think it will happen at a venue like this. This course is a bomber’s paradise and Berger is tremendous off the tee. But he is not just a bomber as he ranks 6th in the field in strokes gained approach and 8th in birdie or better percentage. Berger is also in great form with 3 top 5 finishes and 5 top 27 finishes in his last 6 tournaments. He is another guy who will likely be popular, but I will once again eat the chalk
Charley Hoffman ($7,600 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) – Hoffman’s price on FanDuel is just ridiculous and he may appear in 80% of my lineups on that site. Truth be told he is too cheap on DraftKings too. Hoffman is like the Jay Bruce of golf, a streaky player, but when he is on, he is among the best players in the world. And right now, Hoffman is dialed in. Big Charley has made every cut in the last 12 weeks and has 4 top 10 finishes in his last 6 starts. I can’t and won’t fade him at this price.
Bang for your Buck
JB Holems ($7,400 DraftKings/$6,600 FanDuel) – Holmes is one of my 7 year-old daughter Olivia’s favorite players, and while that is a nice little anecdote, that is not why I like him this week. Holmes comes in with some pretty good course history with a win and another top 10 finish among his last 5 trips to Quail Hollow. Holmes ranks 15th in strokes gained off the tee and 30th in birdie or better percentage. And while Holmes’ form is not all that great, he is riding some momentum after shooting a sparkling 29 on the back 9 at the Bridgestone last week.
Tony Finau ($7,000 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) – Quail Hollow is a ball striker’s course and Tony Finau is a ball striker. Dude can’t putt and will frustrate you (and me) all week, but in the end, Finau is a birdie maker and should rack up a tremendous amount of fantasy points. He is in good form, not having finished outside the top 40 in months, including two top 10s in his last 3 starts. And he has played well at Quail Hollow with consecutive top 28 finishes. At this price, I am loving Finau.
Francesco Molinari ($6,800 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) – Molinari is the 21st ranked golfer in the world and finished in 17th on Quail Hollow last year and is priced the same as DA Points and Jason Kokrak on DraftKings and is even cheaper on FanDuel. While Molinari is not a long hitter, he is 5th in the field in strokes gained approach and 16th in strokes gained off the tee. I think he will play very well this week.
Gary Woodland ($6,700 DraftKings/$6,200 FanDuel) – Woodland is a super talented player who fits this course well and has played well on this course. He has made 6 consecutive cuts at Quail Hollow with 3 consecutive top 25s. Woodland is in the top 30 in the field in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach and par 5 performance. I feel like a top 25 is in order this week, which would easily exceed value at this very low price.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Here are some other guys that will make their way into my lineups:
Jhonnatan Vegas ($6,500 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) has started to find his game after winning the Canadian Open and finishing 17th at the Bridgestone. His course history is middling, but Vegas crushes it in par 5s and is in the top 25 in the field in strokes gained approach and birdie or better percentage.
Tyrell Hatton ($6,600 DraftKings/$6,200 FanDuel) had missed 5 straight cuts, before playing the no cut Bridgestone event last week. But from what I saw, I liked how Hatton looked. The dude is the 24th ranked player in the world and he is bound to turn it around. I think he will play well.
Rickie Fowler ($10,700 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) has tremendous course history, including a win and two other top 6 finishes at Quail Hollow. I will definitely be playing him quite a bit.
Phil Mickelson ($8,500 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) has even better course history than Fowler. He has made the cut 12 consecutive times at Quail Hollow, with 10 top 12 finishes among those 12 starts.
Sean O’Hair ($6,700 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel) is another former winner at Quail Hollow and has two other top 20 finishes there in his last 7 appearances. At this price he will be played.
Good luck to all of you this week!