What’s up folks? I hope you are all ready for another great week of DFS golf. The PGA Tour is back on the east coast this week as the Florida swing begins as the boys head to PGA National course in Palm Beach Gardens for the Honda Classic. This is a tough, tough par 70 course measuring about 7,150 yards. Accuracy is key this week as there is water all over the place and some penal bermuda rough if guys miss fairways. My key stats this week are strokes gained approach, greens in regulation, strokes gained total and driving accuracy. Let’s get right to it.
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Rickie Fowler ($11,500 DraftKings/$12,300 FanDuel) – I am going to start by saying that I will be underweight on Fowler this week as PGA National is one of the most unpredictable on tour and the chalky plays may crash and burn. Fowler, however, may be the exception as he has made six straight cuts at this event, including winning last year and two other top tens. If you are looking to play a star to anchor your cash game lineups, Rickie is the guy to choose.
Rory McIlroy ($11,500 DraftKings/$12,100 FanDuel) – There has been an interesting phenomenon in GPPs this year with the top priced talent. The play that everyone is talking about has been going for 25-30% ownership, while equally skilled golfers with worse course history or underlying stats have been under 10% owned. Last week, Dustin Johnson was approaching 40% ownership in GPPs on DraftKings, while Jordan Spieth could be had at 7% ownership. With this in mind, I am going to be starting many of my GPP lineups with Rory instead of Rickie, hoping that this will be an ownership pivot. Rory’s form has been mediocre the last couple of weeks, but it really has been his putting on poa annua greens that has been awful. He returns to bermuda this week and should do much better. And while Rory has missed 2 straight cuts at this event, in the 3 prior years he had a win and a runner-up on this course. I am hoping to get Rory at 10-15% ownership and that he knocks one out of the park.
Upper Middle Class
Brian Harman ($8,900 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel) – I haven’t been hearing a lot of chatter about Harman this week, but his stats have jumped off the page to me. Harman ranks 4th on tour in Greens in Regulation, 8th in Strokes Gained Total and 9th in Driving Accuracy. He has been one of the better players on Tour this year and has had three weeks of rest coming into this week. It is true that his course history is a bit spotty, but Harman has had a pair of top 12 finishes at this event in the last six years. I am going to be playing a lot of Harman.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($8,100 DraftKings/$10,800 FanDuel) – Here is another guy whose stats jump off the page for me this week – and it is no surprise. Your steady, straight hitters are usually the ones who line up to do well at this course. RCB ranks 11th on tour in Strokes Gained Approach, 14th in Greens in Regulation and 15th in Driving Accuracy. His form has been pretty good with consecutive 26th place finishes. And his course history is OK, with a made cut in his first appearance last year. I like Cabrera-Bello for a top 10 finish this year.
Louis Oosthuizen ($7,900 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) – I am loving King Louie’s price, especially on DraftKings. The man is a world-class player and a major champion and is playing on his home turf, as Oosty has a house literally on this golf course. His course history is a bit spotty, but he did finish in 21st place at the Honda last year after taking a hiatus at this event for several years. Oosty is a straight hitter and a good wind player (which could be a factor this week). I like him to do nicely – especially at this cheap price.
Adam Scott ($7,700 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) – Scott obviously is not a great putter, but his problems on the short stuff are especially pronounced on poa annua. I think he gets it into gear at the Honda this week. If there is one guy whose course history should not be ignored, it is Scott who has three straight top 15 finishes at PGA National, including a win two years ago. Scott’s stats line up well for this course as he is 5th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach and 16th in Greens in Regulation. I am not sure that he can win this event, but another top 15 at this price would be phenomenal.
Bang for your Buck
Byeung-Hyun An ($7,400 DraftKings/$9,300 FanDuel) – I didn’t have much success with my South Korean picks last week, but I am going back to the well this week with An. He seems like a great fit for this course as he is 18th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach, 18th in Greens in Regulation and 24th in Driving Accuracy. And while it is An’s maiden trip to this course, he is in decent form with 3 straight made cuts including two top 25s. I like An for a very nice finish this week.
Charles Howell III ($7,300 DraftKings/$9,700 FanDuel) – CH3 is another steady Eddie, who has traditionally done well at the Honda Classic. He has made 7 of his last 8 cuts at this event including 4 top 30 finishes. It is easy to see why Howell has succeeded here as he is 20th on Tour in Greens in Regulation and 32nd in Strokes Gained Total. CH3’s price is a bit of a bargain on DraftKings and I will be locking him into my cash lineup.
Stewart Cink ($6,700 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) – Cink is another guy who is happy to get away from the bumpy poa annua greens of the west coast and settle back on the east coast. This is especially true at PGA National, where Cink has made 7 straight cuts, including consecutive top 30 finishes the last two years. At near minimum price on DraftKings and a low-cost on FanDuel, Cink is a good way to get some expensive players onto your roster.
Tommy Armour ($6,700 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) – When I think of accurate golfers and good iron play, a guy like Tommy Armour comes to mind. The 41 year-old veteran ranks 4th on Tour in Driving Accuracy and 38th in Greens in Regulation. Armour has actually been quite terrible on this course – not making a cut here since 2007 (in only 4 appearances), but I feel like that has to do with some random variance and he will be good this week. It should also be noted that Armour has had a nice season this year. I will be firing him up in several GPP lineups.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Here are some other guys that will make their way into my lineups:
Jason Dufner ($8,600 DraftKings/$10,300 FanDuel) has a solid course history and is 20th on Tour in Strokes Gained Total.
Gary Woodland ($9,700 DraftKings/$10,700 FanDuel) finished 2nd here last year and is 2nd on Tour in Greens in Regulation.
Martin Flores ($6,800 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel) is a cheap dart throw who ranks 36th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach and has top 20 finishes here 2 of the last 3 years.
Chesson Hadley ($7,700 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) is having a dynamite season and ranks 2nd on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach and 4th in Strokes Gained Total.
Chris Kirk ($7,200 DraftKings/$8,800 FanDuel) is priced well on FanDuel and is 16th on Tour in Strokes Gained Approach. He also has been playing good golf recently with 2 top 11 finishes in his last 5 tournaments.
Good luck to all of you this week!
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