What’s up folks? It is a great time to be a golf fan! One of the most popular players of all time, Phil Mickelson, grabbed a victory 2 weeks ago, and the living legend himself, Tiger Woods, was back with a vengeance last week finishing in 2nd place. And what do you know? Tiger is back this week, and he is playing at a venue he loves, Bay Hill, where he has won 8 times including 4 of the last 5 times he has played here. One of the biggest questions of the week is whether or not to play Tiger. Although he is in good form and playing a course that he loves, I will be fading Tiger, mostly as an ownership pivot. But please be aware that while I am not writing him up, Tiger is as safe a bet this week as you will ever see him.
Alright – I am not playing Tiger – so who am I playing? My stats of the week are Strokes Gained Approach, Strokes Gained Off the Tee, Birdie or Better Percentage and Par 5 scoring. Let’s see what we came up with.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Jason Day ($11,800 DraftKings/$12,500 FanDuel) – The erstwhile world #1 is playing fantastic golf, finishing in the top 2 in his last two tournaments. Moreover, this is a course that Day loves to play as he has finished in the top 25 in his last 3 starts at Bay Hill, including a win in 2016. Day also ranks 3rd on Tour in birdie or better percentage and I feel like he will be ready to make some birdies this week. He will be at the top of some of my lineups.
Rickie Fowler ($10,300 DraftKings/$11,800 FanDuel) – The masses usually love playing Fowler, but with Tiger Woods (among others) near his price range, I feel like Fowler is actually a bit of a contrarian play. Rickie hasn’t been playing his best recently, but he does have some nice results on this course including a 12th place finish last year and 3rd place in 2013. Fowler is a birdie maker which should come in handy on this course, ranking 29th on Tour in Birdie or Better Percentage. I like Fowler to break out of his slump and play nicely this week.
Upper Middle Class
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,500 DraftKings/$11,700 FanDuel) – Honestly, this is just too cheap a price on DraftKings for one of the top players in the world. The young Brit has finished in the top 15 in 4 of his last 5 starts and in the top 6 in 3 of those 5 tournaments. Moreover, he has a top 10 finish in his only appearance at this tournament. Fleetwood ranks 4th in Strokes Gained off the Tee which should serve him well this week. I think another top 10 is in order.
Alex Noren ($9,200 DraftKings/$11,800 FanDuel) – Noren has been on fire, finishing in the top 21 in his last 5 tournaments. There is no reason to think that the Arnold Palmer will be any different as Noren ranks 8th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach and 4th in Strokes Gained Total. Noren is among the upper echelon of golfers and deserves to be priced as such. I love him at the $9,200 price point on DraftKings.
Marc Leishman ($8,400 DraftKings/$10,800 FanDuel) – Leishman has disappointed me his last few times out, but I just can’t quit the guy. The big Ozzie is a birdie maker, ranking 12th on Tour in Birdie or Better Percentage. We also know that he really loves this course as he won this Tournament last year. The price is not prohibitive and I will have plenty of Leishman exposure.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($7,900 DraftKings/$9,700 FanDuel) – The Barn Rat is on fire with first and fifth place finishes in his last two starts. The Asian John Daly also loves Bay Hill as he has back to back 6th place finishes in his only two appearances at this event. We all know Aphibarnrat can score and he looks to tear apart these par 5s. I will have plenty of him on my squads.
Bang for your Buck
Francesco Molinari ($7,300 DraftKings/$9,900 FanDuel) – There are some guys who just love playing Bay Hill and Molinari is one of those guys, with 4 top 20 finishes in his last 4 appearances at the Arnold Palmer, including 3 top 10s. I fear that Molinari will be quite chalky, but I will certainly have my fair share in cash lineups at this bargain basement DraftKings price. I would recommend that you follow suit.
Keegan Bradley ($7,300 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) – Bay Hill seems like a course that is tailor made for Bradley as he ranks 7th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach and 20th in Strokes Gained Off the Tee. Bradley actually has had some success here with a 2nd place and 3rd place finish in his last 5 appearances. I feel like Bradley has played 3 good rounds out of 4 in many tournaments this year but has yet to put it all together, I have a feeling that this will be the one where he gets all of his mojo back.
Kevin Kisner ($7,100 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel) – I know the guy is in poor form, but I don’t think Kisner should ever be priced at $7,100, so I would take him any week at this price. It helps even more that Kisner was the runner-up at this event just last year. Kiz is a birdie maker ranking 16th in Birdie or Better Percentage and 20th in Par 5 scoring. That should serve him well on Bay Hill and he will be in plenty of my lineups at this price.
Hudson Swafford ($6,900 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) – Swafford has played well on this course in the recent past, making 3 straight cuts including a 10th place and 11th place finish. His form is not the best recently, but I think that Swafford’s recent success at Bay Hill will lead him to another top 25 finish.
Good luck to all of you this week!
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