Avoid groupthink and build PGA DFS cash lineups with a different strategy in mind based on hours of @friedeggpaulie’s research and his deep knowledge of the players and professional golf!!
PGA DFS Notes for the Week:
- We have a field of 64 players in a match play event that starts WEDNESDAY MORNING.
- Additional details on scoring and strategy can found in the Event Preview article.
- With this week being different than normal, I’m going to give a lot more detail and give my thoughts on all 16 groups and which players are viable.
- Print Your Bracket HERE!
Rules to Follow:
- You must play at least one player from each of the 4 quadrants below (top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right) and no players from the same group.
- For GPP purposes, do not play 2 players who will potentially play each other in the Round of 16. Example: Group 1 plays Group 2 in Round of 16 etc. It’s fine to pick adjacent players for cash but don’t do it for GPP.
Cash Eligible Players:
- D Johnson $11,500
- Kevin Na $7,100
- Paul Casey $8,900
- Si Woo Kim $7,300
- Viktor Hovland $9,400
- Corey Conners $7,800
- Patrick Reed $9,600
- Joaquin Niemann $8,000
- Ian Poulter $6,700
- Brendon Todd $6,400
- Jon Rahm $10,700
Group 1: D Johnson, Na, MacIntyre, Long
- D Johnson $11,500: DJ is the heavy favorite in this group. He has played this event 4 times, compiling an 11-7 record and winning his group twice while winning the whole event in 2017. He is both cash and GPP eligible but will be very popular.
- Na $7,100: 7-6-2 here and has the upside to upset DJ and potentially win this group. He has won his group 2 of the 4 years he has played this event. Both cash and GPP eligible (good pivot off DJ in GPP)
- Macintyre $6,500: Avoid as below-average current form and lacks familiarity with Bermuda grass
- Long $6,000: Avoid as bad form (missed 5 of last 6 cuts)
Group 2: Im, Perez, Leishman, Henley
- I would avoid this group entirely as all 4 players rate out highly, and there are no weak players in this group. Whoever does advance out of this group also has limited upside as they have a likely sweet 16 matchup with DJ.
Group 3: Simpson, Casey, Hughes, Gooch
- Simpson $9,100: I would avoid Simpson here as he missed the cut at the Players and has an abysmal 1-6-2 record here
- Casey $8,900: Has won his group 2 of the 4 years with a 7-5-2 overall record. He has been playing great of late, finishing 12th or better in each of his last 6 starts. Has played great in other match play events, compiling a 37-26 record. He is both cash and GPP eligible.
- Hughes $6,100: Avoid as not great form or upside
- Gooch $6,600: Decent current form but not enough upside to win event
Group 4: Hatton, Westwood, Garcia, Wallace
- This is one of the groups of death as we have 4 European grinders who fit the match play mold well. I would avoid this group for cash but don’t mind Garcia or Hatton for GPP.
- Hatton $8,600: Won his group 2 of the 3 years, compiling a 6-4-1 record.
- Garcia $8,300: Won group 2 of 4 years with a 9-5-1 record. Overall 38-29 in match play. Local resident, as his wife was born and raised here.
Group 5: Dechambeau, Fleetwood, Kim, Rozner
- Dechambeau $10,900: Has a lot of upside to potentially rack up a lot of points but is a stiff price tag for a tough group. GPP only.
- Fleetwood $7,800: Not great current form and hasn’t advanced out of group stage in 3 chances
- Kim $7,300: Advanced out of group stage once out of 3 years. Plays Pete Dye courses very well as he won at TPC Sawgrass and lost in a playoff at Hilton Head. Cheap enough salary to where I’m comfortable rostering for cash and GPP because he has the upside to win the whole event.
- Rozner $6,200: Played amazing in Europe over the last few months and now gets to play in America. I don’t think he will win the group, but he may win 1 match, which could determine who wins the group. Avoid him.
Group 6: Finau, Kokrak, Zalatoris, Frittelli
- This is the 2nd group of death and would be a total avoid for me as we have 3 players who are great ball strikers who are in good form (all but Frittelli).
Group 7: Hovland, Ancer, Weisberger, Streelman
- Hovland $9,400: Has the perfect game for match play, and that showed well in his amateur career. He has specifically said how much he enjoys match play. He is an elite driver of the ball, which will put pressure on his opponent on every hole. We are getting a depressed price here because he didn’t play well the last 2 events in Florida, but he has said he doesn’t think those Florida courses suit his game. Prior to that, he finished 6th or better in 6 of his last 7 events. He got a good group draw as Ancer should be the only difficult match. He is cash and GPP eligible.
- Ancer $7,700: Makes for a good pivot in GPP since Hovland will be very popular. His match vs. Hovland will most likely determine who advances out of this group.
- Wiesberger $6,200: Hasn’t advanced out of group stage in 3 tries and not in good form. Avoid.
- Streelman $6,300: Hasn’t been exceptional of late and is on Bermuda, which isn’t his preferred surface. Lacks upside. Avoid.
Group 8: Morikawa, Horschel, Homa, Poston
- This is a very difficult group as we have 3 elite ballstrikers in Morikawa, Horschel and Homa. Whoever advances out of this group will most likely have to face Hovland, which limits anyone’s upside in this group. I would avoid this group.
Group 9: Thomas, Oosthuizen, Kisner, Kuchar
- The 3rd group of death and a total avoid, and here is why:
- Thomas $11,200: Just won the Players and is an elite level talent
- Oosthuizen $8,100: 13-6 career record in this event, winning his group 3 of 4 years
- Kisner $7,600: Finished 1st and 2nd the last 2 editions of this event. 14-5-1 career record here
- Kuchar $6,700: 10-3-4 record here winning his group 3 of 4 years
Group 10: Fitzpatrick, Wolff, Conners, Spieth
- This is a difficult group, but it does include Matthew Wolff, who is one of the lowest-rated players in the field.
- Fitzpatrick $8,700: In great current form, but his 4-8 record here scares me a bit. I’m avoiding.
- Wolff $6,900: Avoid as he is recovering from an injury and was in awful form prior to injury. Good chance he loses 1 or more matches by a large margin.
- Conners $7,800: In good current form, finishing 7th at Players and 3rd at Bay Hill. He is an elite ballstriker which bodes well for match play. Cash and GPP eligible.
- Spieth $9,300: Total wildcard in this group as I could see him going 1-2 or 3-0 in this group. 7-4-2 record here and has shown some flashes of his old self the last few months. GPP only.
Group 11: Cantlay, Matsuyama, Ortiz, Harman
- This is a group I’m avoiding as it doesn’t have any weak players, which caps the upside of players in the group and makes it very hard to predict who will advance.
Group 12: Reed, Niemann, Bezuidenhout, Watson
- Reed $9,600: Won his group 2 of 4 times with a 7-5-2 record. Known as an awesome match play player as he grinds and has a strong mental game. Cash and GPP eligible.
- Niemann $8,000: Lots of upside and consistency with Niemann as he has finished 44th or better in 14 straight events, including 4 top 6 finishes. Elite wind player should wind blow. Cheap enough salary where he is playable in cash and GPP (good pivot off Reed).
- Bezuidenhout $7,600: Avoid for me as he hasn’t shown enough upside or consistency to advance out of this group.
- Watson $7400: Great record at this event, winning his group 2 of 4 years and winning this event in 2018 as well as having a 9-5-3 overall record. However, in 2021, he has been in terrible form, even having bad performances at courses where he almost always succeeds like Torrey Pines, Riviera and TPC Scottsdale. Only 1 finish better than 54th in 2021.
Group 13: Schauffele, Scheffler, Day, Sullivan
- Avoid this group as we have 3 of the top 20 players in the field in Schauffele, Day and Scheffler, in my opinion.
Group 14: McIlroy, Smith, Griffin, Poulter
- McIlroy $10,200: Been in a bit of funk of late, as he is dealing with swing changes, which has given some terribly inconsistent results. This has me fading Rory this week, which could be dangerous but I think is the proper move.
- Smith $8,500: Smith has the upside to win this group and has won his group in 1 of his 2 appearances.
- Griffin $6,900: Consistent player but not enough upside to get out of this group.
- Poulter $6,700: One of the best (if not the best) match play players in the world. He has played this event twice, going 6-2 with both losses coming to Kevin Kisner (who has finished 1st and 2nd the last 2 years here). Astounding 43-18-5 record in match play. Poulter is an absolute grinder and lives for match play. A good performance this week will set him up for another nod on the Ryder Cup team this fall. $6,700 is way too cheap for a player with his upside.
Group 15: Berger, English, Todd, Van Rooyen
- Berger $9,000: Avoid as he is still dealing with a rib injury which forced him to WD from his hometown event in the Honda Classic. He also surprisingly has a 1-8 record at this event.
- English $7,300: Really struggling with his game over the last 2 months, going 32nd, MC, MC, 66, 26th. This gives me hesitance to play him until I see a return to form.
- Todd $6,400: A cheap price for a player who has the current form of anyone in this group. He also is a good fit for this course and is a pest in match play because he drives it straight and makes a lot of putts. $6,400 is a price that makes him valuable and playable in cash and GPP.
- Van Rooyen $6,400: Best finish in last 7 events is 37th at WGC Workday, which was a limited field no cut event. Avoid.
Group 16: Rahm, Palmer, Lowry, Munoz
- Rahm $10,700: Great draw for Rahm this week as I would be shocked if he didn’t win this group. If he does advance out of this group, he will face arguably the weakest group (group 15), which adds to his upside. He has played here 3 times, going 7-4-2 and advancing once out of group stage, which led to a runner-up finish. His game suits this course perfectly as his strength is his driver, and he likes to be aggressive with it, which could lead to some lopsided wins and lots of points.
- Palmer $7,000: Played well so far in 2021, but I don’t know if he will be able to take down Rahm in this group. I would avoid.
- Lowry $7,100: Returned to form over the last month until the weekend at the Honda where he struggled. Struggled here with a 1-5-3 record in 3 appearances. Match Play record overall of 6-13-3
- Munoz $6,100: Extremely high variance who can shoot 62 or 72 on any day. That means he will probably win 1 match here, but I don’t think he can put multiple wins together to win the group.