PGA DFS is in full swing! Sports betting pro @realfrankbrank uses his model to identify top plays in each price range for your GPP lineups!!
The Course: Memorial Park Golf Course
The PGA Tour has not played an event at Memorial Park in five decades; thus, we do not have shotlink data available. However, we can rely on Paulie’s assessment that the longer yardage and open fairways will allow better drivers of the ball to succeed. For the purpose of this event, I’ll relate the course to the average PGA Tour course.
Dustin Johnson: $11,500 (+$275)
Last Ownership: 16.8%
SG Ranking: 5th OTT | 3rd APP | 35th ATG | 19th PTT
DJ comes in as the far and away favorite for this event. Per my model, he’s got more than a 3% chance to win than the predicted second place finisher. Given that his price is not nearly high enough, DJ is a safe play given the field.
Not to mention, as a longer hitter, with an obvious complete, all-around game, DJ should fare well at Memorial Park. He’ll be owned at super high levels this week, but there’s room to diversify down the board to make your lineup unique.
The PGA Tour had a small break where DJ wasn’t the best player in the world and where he was actually struggling quite a bit given his talent. However, that time has passed and the world has righted itself.
There are options to avoid DJ (and the rest of the top of the board) entirely and rely purely on middle players this week.
Russell Henley: $9,400 (+$1,873)
Last Ownership: 16.0%
SG Ranking: 42nd OTT | 1st APP | 14th ATG | 68th PTT
The rest of Russell Henley’s game isn’t spectacular, but his iron game is at Morikawa-level of greatness. That feels like an absurd thing to say as I’m typing this out, but he’s predicted to gain 1.3 strokes per round on this field on approach.
We’ve been riding Henley for a few weeks now and the results have played out nicely. He finished 3rd and 4th in his last two events, including Zozo where he lost five strokes to the field putting.
His price, in this field, has skyrocketed, but given the weakness at the top, he’s definitely the other high end guy we should invest in. Henley has not lost strokes on approach in any event once since February and has gained more than five strokes tee-to-green in ten of his last thirteen events.
Zach Johnson: $8,600 (+$528)
Last Ownership: 4.5%
SG Ranking: 75th OTT | 18th APP | 59th ATG | 6th PTT
Zach Johnson, as of late, is playing as well as Zach Johnson can at this point in his career. He’s finished T23 or better in four of his last five events, and the iron play and putting are peaking in time for the Masters.
Over those five events, ZJ has averaged +3.3 strokes on approach and +3.0 strokes putting. Generally playing better, fuller field events, Johnson has missed just two cuts since the restart and provides some stability in the middle of your lineup this week.
His limited distance off-the-tee does not put him squarely in a top-20 finish as you’d hope, but his consistent iron play and hot putting should give you some assurance in regards to the cut line.
Si Woo Kim: $8,300 (+$845)
Last Ownership: 13.4%
SG Ranking: 32nd OTT | 22nd APP | 1st ATG | 64th PTT
Si Woo Kim has quietly gone from one of the least consistent players on tour to one of the most consistent players on tour. The reason for the switch has been his added distance and accuracy off-the-tee and impressive iron play.
Though the putter still struggles at times, Si Woo ranks inside the top-32 in this field in all the tee-to-green metrics, including first overall in chipping. There are a limited amount of strokes you can actually gain chipping, so let’s focus on the ball striking aspects.
Kim has gained strokes off-the-tee in seven of his last eight events despite ranking right around average for his career. When you combine that with the weaker field and the fact that he’s gained at least four strokes on approach in half his events dating back to July, Kim is a threat to not only finish high up this week, but have a real chance to win.
Kim has shown the ability to pop and win on the PGA Tour when he was a far worse golfer and now we can back a guy who has six top-20s since the restart at just $8,300.
Cameron Davis: $8,100 (+$643)
Last Ownership: 13.3%
SG Ranking: 12th OTT | 40th APP | 36th ATG | 31st PTT
Cameron Davis continues to be one of the consistently worst priced guys on DraftKings each week due to the fact that he’s mispriced in the market and missed his first four cuts in the PGA restart.
Those four missed cuts, though, were by a combined five strokes. In the lead up to the restart, Davis finished T38 or better in six straight events, including two top-10s. Prior to Davis’ T52 in his last events, he similarly finished T36 or better in five straight events, including three top-15s.
If his ownership continues to stay in the sub-15% range, maybe even the sub-20% range, at this price, Davis is a must play in GPP lineups.
Harold Varner: $7,800 (+$1,453)
Last Ownership: 17.7%
SG Ranking: 20th OTT | 15th APP | 15th ATG | 67th PTT
HV3 is a bit more of a higher variance player than those above, but he does offer a bit of upside for someone that hasn’t won yet on the PGA Tour. Varner certainly throws in some missed cuts along the way due to his high variance putting, but his ball striking is tough to match.
Varner ranks top-20 or better across all tee-to-green metrics. He just hasn’t put together an event lately where all aspects click. Perhaps this is the week! As a shorter hitter, Varner hits a ton of fairways and still gains quite a few strokes off-the-tee. On approach, Varnezr rarely loses more than a stroke or two in any event.
However, on the putting side, he rarely gains. Granted, he stays around average for most of his events, but never truly has the explosive week he needs to contend. For example, he gained more than two strokes putting once in the last calendar year but had a bad driving week that resulted in just T29 finish.
That being said, if he plays to his average skill level across all metrics this week in this field, even with the below-average putting, he would still place T10 or better.
Erik Van Rooyen: $7,700 (+$622)
Last Ownership: 3.3%
SG Ranking: 11th OTT | 23rd APP | 50th ATG | 63rd PTT
EVR is another high variance player with a suspect putter that is difficult to pass up this week at $7,700. EVR ranks 11th in this field off-the-tee, 23rd on approach, and 14th in ball striking. That alone provides me enough to roster him in a few lineups.
As a guy who plays on the European Tour half the time, we do not have a ton of data on EVR, but what we do have is impressive. Going into the shutdown, Van Rooyen’s long term form was trending nicely.
Since then, it’s been a mixed bag of missed cuts and top-20s. For example, he’s finished T23 or better in five of his last eleven events but also missed five cuts in that timespan. That being said, if the putter gets hot, he could pop and win at any time. That makes him a great GPP play this week.
As usual, there’s a ton of golfers throughout this range to take some shots at in GPPs. However, I’ll list out my best-perceived options below.
Pat Perez: $6,800 (+$710) | Chris Kirk: $6,200 (+$636) | Jason Dufner: $6,500 (+$554) | Kyoung-Hoon Lee: $6,200 (+$455) | Charl Schwartzel: $6,700 (+$446)