Daily Fantasy Golf Preview: 3M Open

Cheat Sheet

The Course

  • TPC Twin Cities
  • Blaine, Minnesota
  • Par 71
  • 7,468 yards
    • Designed by Arnold Palmer with help from Tom Lehman
    • Played host to the 3M Championship (on the PGA Tour Champions… the old guys) from 2001-2018 so there won’t be any course history
    • Greens are bentgrass, mostly flat, and should run about 12.5 on the stimp meter
    • Water is in play with most holes but the landing zones are large so many players should be able to avoid finding any water (unless the wind picks up… which it doesn’t look like it will as of now)
    • Many bunkers of varying size plague tee shots and guard greens
    • Could see a lot of scoring with the winner around -20

Key Stats

  • Birdie or better %
  • Bogey avoidance
  • SG: tee-to-green
    • SG: off-the-tee
  • GIR
  • Par 5 scoring
  • Par 4 scoring

Since we are on a new course yet again this week I am using the same basic key stats that I used last week for the Detroit Golf Club with one minor exception. Instead of putting an emphasis on SG: approaching-the-green I am putting it on SG: off-the-tee for two reasons: 1) there is much more water in play here and 2) the greens are larger and flatter, meaning you can be a little more inaccurate and still hit the green in a decent spot. 

The Field

We have another 156 man field with some top level talent but a similar lack of depth that we saw last week at the Rocket Mortgage. This should also shape up to be a scoring fest at TPC Twin Cities with more random golfers at the top of the leaderboard so I would imagine people are going to use the stars-and-scrubs approach hoping to find the next Nate Lashley. With that in mind, I dropped the Big Dogs’ bottom price to $8,500 instead of $9,000 which dropped the price ranges for my Value picks and Sleepers as well. This will hopefully help people find a little more depth this week.

Big Dogs ($8,500 and up on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Brooks Koepka ($11,900 DK – $12,600 FD) – I took a big swing and a miss on last week’s highest priced golfer Dustin Johnson, as did many others, but I’m going to go back to the well this week. Koepka is 9th in SG: tee-to-green this season and that is even with him being 64th in SG: around-the-green. I’m going to be looking for guys that are good off of the tee and find a lot of GIR because the putting is supposed to be very true on these large greens so you’ll want someone who can avoid water and find a lot of birdie putts.
    • Hideki Matsuyama ($11,100 DK – $11,500 FD) – Matsuyama continued to impress last week with a T13 at the Rocket Mortgage. He is one of the very best on the planet at getting from the tee to the green so one would think he gets a lot of ownership here this week, and he might even have some unexpected win equity if the greens even the playing field for guys that struggle with putting.
    • Kevin Streelman ($8,900 DK – $9,800 FD) – across the board Kevin Streelman is very similar to Hideki in the stats department so he could also be a very popular pick this week. He only finished 35th last week but that was due to a lack luster final round performance where he shot +1 (when he was -12 through the first three days). Take that last round out of the equation and Kevin could easily be priced $600 more this week, but I’m assuming many others will take him at this discount.

Risky (GPP)

    • Jason Day ($10,900 DK – $11,400 FD) – Jason Day isn’t exactly what you think of when you’re searching for a possible winner at a birdie-fest, and with a WD always on the table, I’m hoping his ownership is lower this week. But he’s had one of the most consistent drivers this year where he’s 10th in SG: off-the-tee and his irons are starting to come around. At his last tournament (Travelers Championship) he found 87.5% of greens in regulation with 78.57% driving accuracy so if he can replicate that here he should be able to find another top 10 at the very least.
    • Tony Finau ($9,200 DK – $10,600 FD) – Finau has now missed his last three cuts since the Memorial just over a month ago. His ball striking hasn’t been as good lately and he’s lost a considerable amount of strokes putting in four out of his last five tournaments which has played a large role in his recent struggles. But the one event out of those five where he gained strokes putting was the Charles Schwab and he finished in 2nd place there, so if he can put it together like we know he can.. it wouldn’t surprise many to see him bounce back.
    • Kevin Na ($8,600 DK – $9,700 FD) – Kevin has missed two out of his last three cuts but squeezed in between those is a win at the Charles Schwab. It’s also easier to forgive those missed cuts when you realize they were the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship. His worst finish in his last three non-major events was a 35th place so this would seem like a field that he can excel in; it also helps that Phil Mickelson is priced right below him which will most likely soak up some ownership down in that range.

Value ($7,200 – $8,400 on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Scott Piercy ($8,200 DK – $9,600 FD) – one of the first things that I noticed when looking through this event’s field was how little respect Piercy is getting. In his last six events he’s only missed one cut and he has two top 5’s in that time and another top 20. He’s also 16th in GIR and isn’t losing strokes in any of the strokes gained metrics while being 50th in SG: off-the-tee even though he is only 121st in driving distance. I really like him in this spot but I’m assuming many others will as well so I’m leaning on him heavier in Cash lineups.
    • Peter Malnati ($7,800 DK – $8,700 FD) – Malnati continues to play well with a 29th place finish last week (that’s five straight events in the top 40). Saturday he pulled a drive left on #14 that landed about 15 feet behind me, the angle left him unable to attack the par 5’s pin forcing him to layup. While discussing the next shot with his caddy, before inevitably laying up, he cracked a quick joke about his inaccuracy at the moment which was his reasoning for not going for the green and the crowd behind him let out a hushed chuckle. I love where his game is at currently and his ability to stay cool and relaxed after a poor shot so I don’t mind paying a little more for him this week (but this pick could be my own personal bias now that Malnati is one of my new favorite golfers).
    • Dylan Frittelli ($7,200 DK – $8,500 FD) – the only stokes gained metric that Frittelli is negative in is putting and this is a week where I’m hoping the greens will level the playing field for golfers like Dylan. He’s made seven out of his last nine cuts so he’s been very consistent but hasn’t turned the corner yet on Tour. If he can manage to get the putter hot one of these weeks he will go from a cut-maker to a top 10 with almost certainty.

Risky (GPP)

    • Daniel Berger ($8,000 DK – $9,500 FD) – Berger had a couple good finishes earlier in the year but he hasn’t cracked the top 20 since February. Before missing the last cut at the Travlers he made seven straight so it’s safe to say he’s been knocking on the door. The strongest part of his game has been his driver where he ranks 39th in SG: off-the-tee and with all of the water on this course his driver should help him stay dry and gain strokes against the field.
    • Lucas Glover ($7,700 DK – $9,400 FD) – Glover has missed two straight cuts now and has only shot one round under par in his last nine rounds. He’s still 21st in SG: total and his worst metric is SG: putting where he ranks 57th. Glover is such a solid all around player with big wins on Tour so I’m willing to roll the dice on him despite his recent struggles — especially for only $7,700.
    • Corey Conners ($7,400 DK – $8,600 FD) – this guy is so good at ball striking it’s baffling how many cuts he manages to miss. Conners is 9th in SG: off-the-tee, 21st in SG: approaching-the-green, and 1st in GIR. Again, I am hoping these greens are as easy as people are saying which will give a huge boost to the ball strikers like Conners. He also won the Valero Texas Open at -20 showing that he can compete at a birdie-fest track like TPC Twin Cities.

Sleepers ($7,100 and under on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Max Homa ($7,000 DK – $8,300 FD) – Max Homa has only missed two out of his last thirteen cuts and has finished inside the top 30 five times in that stretch (one of which was a win at the Wells Fargo). He’s 57th or better in driving distance, SG: off-the-tee, and SG: approaching-the-green so I like the prospect of Max being able to find his way to the green and provide himself with scoring chances this week (especially when you see that his driving accuracy has been steadily getting better over his last seven events).
    • Wes Roach ($7,000 DK – $8,100 FD) – in Wes’s last three starts he has an 11th place finish at the Canadian Open and a 3rd place finish last week at the Rocket Mortgage. He has made twelve out of his last fifteen cuts (including five out of his last six) so for someone at $7,000 he seems like a nice way to sneak all six guys in your lineup through the cut line — and even add a little upside potential.
    • Hank Lebioda ($6,900 DK – $8,100 FD) – although Hank missed the cut last week he’s still one of the best tee-to-green guys you will be able to find this far down the pricing board. He’s 39th in GIR this season and is positive in every strokes gained metric besides putting. Lebioda has also made six out of his last eight cuts and finished inside the top 20 twice in that time.

Risky (GPP)

    • Michael Thompson ($7,100 DK – $8,400 FD) – Thompson has missed three out of his last four cuts but the one that he did make ended up being a 14th place finish at the Memorial. Each of his last six rounds have been under par including two last week where he missed the cut at -2. Even though he hasn’t been very consistent as of late, $7,100 seems pretty cheap for a guy that has eight top 20 finishes in eighteen starts this season.
    • Troy Merritt ($6,900 DK – $8,300 FD) – Merritt finds himself in a similar situation to Thompson this week; he has two missed cuts and an MDF in his last four events. But throughout this year he has five finishes of 23rd or better out of thirteen tournaments. He’s also 55th in SG: tee-to-green and 28th in birdie or better percentage so in my eyes (and in my projections) Merritt is the most likely golfer to top 10 under $7,000.
    • Alex Prugh ($6,700 DK – $8,000 FD) – at the U.S. Open Prugh finished 21st and the following week at the Travelers Championship he finished 20th. He missed the cut before that at the Canadian Open and last week at the Rocket Mortgage but in his last eighteen rounds he has only shot worse than +1 once.  His game has been carried mostly by his driver where he ranks 21st in SG: off-the-tee and 36th in driving distance so with his consistency lately and solid driver I like him to make the cut this week.

Dark Horses

Risky (GPP)

    • Shawn Stefani ($6,600 DK – $7,800 FD) – Stefani finished 35th last week but before that he had an MDF and two missed cuts in his prior three tournaments. His two events before that he finished 13th and 20th at the Wells Fargo and Byron Nelson. He’s been pretty close to 50/50 when it comes to making cuts, but when he does, he often times ends up in the top 20.
    • Harris English ($6,600 DK – $7,900 FD) – English has now made seven straight cuts (with one MDF) but his best finish in that time has been a 20th place at the Canadian Open. He’s been very consistent. which is the looking on the bright side. but his short game has been what’s carried him this far — which is the scary part. If he can’t up-and-down from around the green he will for sure miss the cut but if one or both of his driver and irons show up then he has extraordinary value at this price.
    • Josh Teater ($6,500 DK – $7,400 FD) – Josh Teater has been playing some sneaky good golf lately making four straight cuts coming into the 3M Open. His worst round out of his last eight has been a +1 so he is playing the best golf of his season recently. He’s 41st in SG: approaching-the-green and his putter has been steadily getting better all year so if he continues this trend we could see him priced in the $7,000’s in the very near future.

 

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Mark Lee

Written by 

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.