Daily Fantasy Golf Preview: RBC Heritage

The Course

  • Harbour Town Golf Links
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Par 71
  • 7,099 yards
    • Pete Dye design with help from Jack Nicklaus
    • Smallest greens on Tour (hard to hit GIR)
    • Tree lined and shorter course, have to hit your spots so a lot of guys choose to layup (accuracy > distance)
    • Bermuda grass
    • Some water in play (especially on par 3’s)
    • Decent amount of bunkers with some very larger and some protecting the greens
    • Wind can get pretty bad on the coast, trees do help protect from the wind

Key Stats

  • SG: tee-to-green
    • SG: around-the-green
  • Scrambling
  • Par 4 scoring
  • Other stats:
    • Proximity
    • Driving Accuracy
    • Par 5 Scoring
    • Birdie to Bogey Ratio

The Field

This field will have 132 golfers because the RBC Heritage is one of five tournaments on Tour given “invitational” status. There seems to be more big names in this one then there typically is with 40 guys coming from Augusta after The Masters including: Dustin Johnson, Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Tommy Fleetwood, and the list goes on.

My Strategy

With the phrase “Master’s hangover” being thrown around I think there’s a good chance that some people choose to fade the top guys this week — questioning their motivation. When looking at the 10 big dogs, from Fleetwood at $9,200 to DJ at $11,600, it was hard to be selective and decide who would be a great pick this week, a decent pick, and who should be faded. This leads me to believe that there won’t be too many people piling on specific golfers in this range. With possible light ownership in the top tier and a somewhat even distribution, this might be a good spot to find value.

I like the stars and scrubs approach for this week because of the potential low ownership on some of these big guys but also because it is an invitational and there’s only 132 golfers in this field. With less golfers that means a higher percentage will make the cut, so you can get a little cuter with some of your picks this week.

My guess is that from Leishman at $8,000 to Si Woo at $9,000 it will be the highest collection of ownership where most lineups will try to squeeze in 2, 3, or even 4 of these guys. I will pick some golfers in this range for Cash lineups but try to make more contrarian plays for GPP lineups outside of that price range. If you do dabble between $8,000 and $9,000 in GPP that’s fine too, but you might want to make sure that you’re picking low ownership guys in those lineups as well so that you still have a unique lineup.

Big Dogs ($9,200 and up on DK)

  • Solid (Cash)
    • Dustin Johnson ($11,600 DK – $12,400 FD) – DJ seems like the kind of guy that would bag groceries with the same intensity as he would juggle dynamite (which is to say he likely approaches every tournament the same — whether it’s The Masters or The Heritage). He’s finished outside the top 10 once in his last seven rounds, so even if people go light on the top priced guys I still see him getting some ownership, so I like him for Cash for sure and GPP if his ownership starts to dip.
    • Patrick Cantlay ($9,700 DK – $10,900 FD) – Cantlay is coming off of a 9th place finish at the Masters and his only two appearances here were a 3rd and 7th place in 2017 and 2018 respectively. He doesn’t have any holes in his game tee-to-green and is the best par 4 scorer on Tour this year which will come in handy here where 11 of the 18 holes are par 4’s including a 6 hole stretch starting with the hardest hole on the course, number 8, and ending with number 13.
    • Jim Furyk ($9,400 DK – $10,300 FD) – in 2015 at Habour Town Golf Links Jim Furyk won in a playoff over Kevin Kisner at one of the best scores this course has seen (-18), and the year before he finished 7th. On a course where driving distance matters less and the playing field gets leveled out for the shorter players, with his incredible iron play and short game, Furyk definitely has the upper hand.
  • Risky (GPP)
    • Francesco Molinari ($11,300 DK – $11,800 FD) – with his meltdown on Sunday at the Masters, high price tag, and so-so course history (45th, 22nd, and 49th in the last three years) I’m hoping people will be off of Molinari this week. On a course that should suit is style of game and being the possibly most motivated golfer in this price range, I don’t hate the idea of Francesco finding redemption in Hilton Head.
    • Webb Simpson ($9,300 DK – $10,800 FD) – Webb has solid course history here coming off of an 11th and 5th place finish as well as a 5th place finish at the Masters last week. He’s 11th in SG: around-the-green, 7th in scrambling, 7th in par 4 scoring, and 6th in bogey avoidance so I see this as being a great course for Webb. He’s also right above Fleetwood, Kisner, Si Woo, and a slew of other guys that will suck up ownership so I like Webb in this spot.
      • Tommy Fleetwood ($11,300 FD) – Fleetwood is the 10th most expensive guy on DraftKings but the 6th most expensive on FanDuel, that might not seem like a big difference but at the top that means everything. He will probably be highly owned on DK (where I still like him — more so as a Cash play) but FD he’ll be a better GPP play considering he has no course history. Tommy is one of the best in the game at getting from tee-to-green and is the 5th best scrambler this year so once he figures out the layup zones during the practice rounds he should be good to go.

Value ($7,400$9,100 on DK)

  • Solid (Cash)
    • Ian Poulter ($8,600 DK – $10,200 FD) – Poulter continues to get disrespected with his price tag being a $600 discount from Kevin Kisner at $9,200. They both have similar course history finishing T7 last year and T11 the year before at Harbour Town and both are playing well lately but Poulter is the better golfer between the two. He’s going to be one of the highest owned in this chalk range ($8,000 – $9,000) and probably overall, so I would prefer to play him in Cash games.
    • Ryan Moore ($8,100 DK – $9,200 FD) – Moore seems to be a great fit for this course and his only time here in the last five years would begin to prove that with a 16th place finish last year. He’s also playing well lately with four out of his last five events being a 33rd place finish or better, including a 3rd place two weeks ago at the Valero Texas Open. His biggest weakness is his length off of the tee where he averages 285 yards but that shouldn’t be a factor this week where accuracy reigns supreme.
    • Lucas Glover ($7,800 DK – $9,600 FD) – Glover is another guy who should be very comfortable in Hilton Head, he’s got great tee to green game (especially around the green) and is the best scrambler on Tour. He’s also been the best at avoiding bogeys this year which will be crucial in these windy conditions and he’s the 4th best in par 4 scoring. Glover has made four straight cuts here and hasn’t finished worse than 33rd so he should be a very safe pick this week… chalky, but safe.
  • Risky (GPP)
    • Charles Howell III ($8,700 DK – $10,100 FD) – wedged between Kokrak and Poulter, and with a slew of other good names beneath that, there’s a decent chance that Howell gets slightly overlooked this week. He’s made four out of his last five cuts here but has only finished better than 53rd once in that time. Mix that with his back-to-back finishes of 35th and 32nd coming into this event and he is going look like a more attractive Cash play/cut maker versus a GPP/top 10’er. If that brings his ownership down — I’m all in.
    • Abraham Ancer ($7,600 DK – $9,300 FD) – Ancer is 149th in SG: around-the-green, which isn’t a good sign, but he’s 29th in scrambling so where he really loses strokes is in the sand. He’s top 20 in SG: off-the-tee, driving accuracy, proximity, and par 4 scoring, so if he can avoid the sand or if he has a good week in the beaches then he could coast to a top 20 (I didn’t even realize the beach-coast pun until proofreading… I’m keeping it). The only thing that scares me is that people seem to like picking Ancer, especially in these slightly weaker fields, so I would watch for ownership projections.
    • Adam Hadwin ($7,400 DK – $9,300 FD) – Hadwin has struggled with his irons and wedges this year and his SG: around-the-green currently sits at 194th on Tour. The good new is he was 25th in SG: around-the-green last year so there is certainly the potential for vast improvement at any given time. He’s also priced next to Grillo, and underneath McDowell, Zach Johnson, and Snedker so he could fly under the radar this week, and for a guy that might be low owned and can get birdies in bunches… he might be worth a look.

Sleepers ($7,300 and under on DK)

  • Solid (Cash)
    • Kevin Streelman ($7,200 DK – $8,500 FD) – last year at this event Streelman finished 7th and in his last tournament he finished 6th (Valero) so this could perk some interest. But before the Texas Open he did miss four out of five cuts so I’m hoping not too many people are on him which would make him a solid GPP play as well. He’s one of the most accurate on Tour off of the tee and has a decently well rounded game from there for his price tag so let’s hope he continues to catch fire.
    • Jonathan Byrd ($6,800 DK – $8,500 FD) – Byrd is 2nd in scrambling and tied for 1st in par 4 scoring with Patrick Cantlay. You’ll hear this a lot this week — he is 200th in driving distance but Harbour Town Golf Links is going to cater to that. Byrd is 10th in bogey avoidance and has some experience here so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him bounce back from his missed cut at Valero.
    • Scott Piercy ($6,700 DK – $8,300 FD) – for a guy that finished 16th here last year and has been fairly good so far this year, it amazes me to see Scott Piecry this far down the board. In 13 events this season he has finished 33rd or better 8 times and half of those were top 10’s. He’s also top 20 in driving accuracy and GIR so he should be putting himself in positions where he will be able to find low numbers and he’s definitely someone I would use in a stars and scrubs approach.
  • Risky (GPP)
    • Corey Conners ($7,300 DK – $9,300 FD) – Conners is quietly one of the best ball strikers in the game ranking 12th in SG: off-the-tee, 8th in SG: approaching-the-green, 4th in GIR, and 2nd in proximity. His putting and ability to go up and down when he misses the green is what gets him in trouble. I’m hoping his course history and shaky recent form (outside of the win in Texas) will be enough to scare people away. Conners played here in 2018 and missed the cut by 3 strokes, and in 2015 he missed the cut by 4 strokes. If this keeps his ownership at bay then he could be a great risk-reward play.
    • Ryan Palmer ($7,000 DK – $8,700 FD) – Ryan’s worse facets to his game are scrambling (176th) and gaining strokes around the green (162nd) which are huge here so many people might choose to pass him up. He’s also missed two straight cuts and has two finishes here of 71st in 2016 and 76th in 2018 while making the cut both years. He did finish 11th at The Heritage in 2017 and 4th at the Honda Classic just three events ago so, like Conners, it’s seems like he’s either flirting with a top 10 or a missed cut — nothing in between.
    • Chez Reavie ($6,800 DK – $8,900 FD) – Reavie might end up being a sneaky good pick that no one is talking about. Like Corey Conners he is bad around the green (182nd) and scrambling (156th) but he’s great at ball striking where he’s 2nd in driving accuracy, 23rd in GIR and SG: approaching-the-green, and 13th in proximity. Last year he was 27th in scrambling so if he can rebound in that department he may shock some people because he should find himself in favorable positions with his precision.

Dark Horses

  • Risky/Solid (GPP or Cash, I kind of don’t hate these guys down here)
    • Michael Thompson ($6,500 DK – $8,200 FD) – starting with the Arnold Palmer, Thompson had three consecutive finishes of 71st, 70th, and 71st, all in a three week span. We haven’t seen him since, but before that he went 13th, 10th, 7th, and 16th so if people want to pass him up because of those border cut line finishes then I will gladly take him at low ownership down here. Also, in the last five years he has played this event three times and improved his finishing position each attempt.
    • D.J. Trahan ($6,300 DK – $7,700 FD) – D.J. is my dude this week and I think even for $6,300 we could end up seeing a pretty hefty load of ownership. In the Strokes Gained department he is 53rd or better in every stat outside of putting. His GIR, scrambling, birdie or better, bogey avoidance, par 4, and par 5 scoring are all 26th or better so it’s wild to see his price so low. The only thing that worries me is that his only good finishes are at the WEAKER fields (Puntacana, Puerto Rico, etc…) but I’m betting his stats will translate to better events.
    • Harold Varner III ($6,300 DK – $7,900 FD) – we saw a surge in HVIII stock at the beginning of this season but he has definitely cooled off. Varner hasn’t been great here in his three tries with a 59th being his best finish but he is coming off of a 23rd in Texas at the Valero Open and his stats this year rate out really well for Harbour Town so he could definitely return some points for his price tag at $6,300.
    • Scott Brown ($6,200 DK – $7,700 FD) – Brown has played here each of the last five years and has gotten worse every year but in 2014 he did finish 5th which is somewhat promising. He’s also coming off of a 7th place finish at Valero and has two other top 10’s in his eight events before that. Another guy that sneakily ranks out well for this course, I could see him shocking people with a bounce back at The Heritage.
Mark Lee

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Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression (the two might be related). Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy sports guru by night.