My favorite non-major week is finally here! TPC Scottsdale, the 16th hole, drunk fans, and players who are more inclined to make it look like they’re having a good time etc. The course typically sets up as a middle of the road course in terms of difficulty compared to other events on Tour, but this course isn’t that tough.
COURTESY OF FANTASY GOLF INSIDER
My favorite non-major week is finally here! TPC Scottsdale, the 16th hole, drunk fans, and players who are more inclined to make it look like they’re having a good time etc. The course typically sets up as a middle of the road course in terms of difficulty compared to other events on Tour, but this course isn’t that tough. The rough is typically cut down/dormant, and most of the difficulty comes on the greens as they’re usually fast and firm. Par 5 scoring is the primary scoring stat to target this week as you absolutely have to score on these and the short, par 4 17th hole. Outside of that we’ll be targeting the same stats as usual from a strokes gained perspective. Bombers get the recognition here, but you don’t necessarily need to be super long off the tee. I think the main thing to recognize is gaining strokes off the tee, so making sure you’re in a position to hit the green in regulation would be a priority when looking at stats.
Also, collegiate sensation Matthew Wolff is in the field this week and even though he looks to have all the talent in the world to make him a star, he's not someone I would load up on in GPPs, but will definitely have a few sprinkles of in with a couple different cores this week. Sometimes you get amateurs who play as if they have nothing to lose and things go well (Lee McCoy comes to mind) and other times you get a kid who’s playing as if this is his one shot of showing the world who he is. I don’t think it’s a smart decision to throw it all down on him this week even if you think he’ll play really well (for DFS purposes). He’s much better suited for Top 10 or Top 5 bets if you think that’s where he finishes. If you’re going to be out at the event, shoot me a tweet as I’ll be out there on Sunday on the 16th hole. For 1AD’s this week I’m looking at Hideki (chalk), Rahm (chalk), Fowler (chalk-ish), Finau & Berger (as a longer shot). I already used JT (though he would be the low owned pivot at the top), and Woodland, but both are firmly in play this week as well.
- TPC Scottsdale
- Par: 71
- Yardage: 7,200 yards
- Greens: Bermuda
- Location: Scottsdale, AZ
- Corollary Tournaments/Courses: Torrey Pines (FIO), PGA West Stadium (Desert Classic), Silverado Resort (Safeway), Plantation Course Kapalua (ToC), GC Of Houston (Shell/Houston Open)
- 2018: Gary Woodland -18 in a playoff over Chez Reavie
- 2017: Hideki Matsuyama -17 in a playoff over Webb Simpson
- 2016: Hideki Matsuyama -14 in a playoff over Rickie Fowler
- 2015: Brooks Koepka -15 over Hideki Matsuyama, Ryan Palmer & Bubba Watson
- 2014: Kevin Stadler -16 over Graham DeLaet & Bubba Watson
KEY STATS TO TARGET
- Strong Emphasis – SG: APP, SG: P, P5 Scoring, Birdie or Better
- Important – SG: OTT, P4 Scoring 400-450 & 450-500, APP 150-175y, APP 175-200+
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
- Hideki Matsuyama (DK $10,700)
Course History: WD – Win – Win – 2nd
Form: 3rd– DNP – 51st
Stats: 70th– SG: OTT, 6th– SG: APP, 78th– SG: P, 16th– SG: T2G
Analysis: Underpriced Matsuyama paid off in a big way for us this week and now we have a decision to make with him this week. Last year’s 2ndround withdrawal came out of nowhere, and he was playing well which made us scratch our heads even more. I think the appropriate way to handle him is just like any other year – play him in cash, and play him somewhere in GPPs. As of writing, I’m not sure how much exposure I want to have to him, but I do want to play him in GPPs.
- Brendan Steele (DK $7,400)
Course History: 3rd– 16th– 17th– 26th
Form: MC – 57th
Stats: 15th– SG: OTT, 61st– SG: APP, 189th– SG: P, 39th– SG: T2G
Analysis: Steele missed the cut last week at expected low ownership, so there’s no reason to think he’ll be higher owned this week. He didn’t do anything outlandishly bad, so I think its fair to say he just experienced some bad variance. He’ll need to gain more strokes from tee to green this week and with the rough being down, I don’t see that being a problem.
- Rickie Fowler (DK $9,400): Unfortunately, because of his popularity, he won’t have low ownership at this price, but he does provide us a ton of upside in his skillset. Last week’s performance was somewhat expected given how he’s played at Torrey over the years, and I expect a huge bounce back in his strokes gained metrics this week as I can’t remember the last time I saw him lose almost four strokes from tee to green.
- Bubba Watson (DK $8,900): Bubba missed the cut at the Sony which was fairly predictable as the course just doesn’t setup well for his game. TPC Scottsdale, on the other hand, does setup well and Bubba has done a fairly good job at taking advantage of his opportunities here over the years. Putting has been his crux as of late, but his finishing result hasn’t been tied to a bad putter (he’s lost strokes on the greens here in 5 of his last 7 appearances and only missed one cut which was primarily due to a poor approach game that week). Bubba knows he’s been close here on multiple occasions (three Top 5’s since 2012) so I’m sure he’s looking to play well this year.
- Martin Laird (DK $7,600)
Course History: 9th– 7th– 41st– 5th
Form: 43rd– MC
Stats: 123rd– SG: OTT, 107th– SG: APP, 44th– SG: P, 91st– SG: T2G
Analysis: Party Marty week is upon us and Mayo is sure to be pumping his tires on his pods this week so don’t think you’re sneaky getting him into any lineups. The problem with him being the chalk course history play of the week is, he’s been paying off in spades three of the last four years and “form” is a phrase he’s not accustomed to as he’s been doing this with no form to speak of. I think what I’d do with him this week is play him in 15% of my GPP lineups and look for a pivot at a similar price point for the rest of those lineups. If I’m playing one lineup, he’s not cracking it.
- Luke List (DK $8,000)
Form: 40th– MC
Stats: 4th– SG: OTT, 73rd– SG: APP, 181st– SG: P, 7th– SG: T2G
Analysis: List didn’t do much last week to make me think he’ll carry more ownership this week compared to last week’s 12% so he immediately jumped off the page as a value play we should feel comfortable playing in all formats. He gained strokes from tee to green all week and only gave them back on the greens, which is something we’re used to with List.
- Cameron Champ (DK $8,300): So last week didn’t go so well for Cam, but there is opportunity in that for us. I prefer him in GPPs because of his ability to score in bunches and while he’s still getting his feet wet on the big stage he does offer us some value at this price especially since he hasn’t been playing as well since the win. We need to take advantage of low ownership when its presented on top tier talent, and that’s what we have here this week again.
- Sungjae Im (DK $7,300): Another scorer who probably won’t see much ownership coming off a less than desirable finish at the Farmers where he lost 4 strokes around and on the greens. This course should suit his skillset much better as the rough will be down (similar to the Desert Classic). I like him in all formats, but even more in GPPs.
TOURNAMENT ONLY PLAYS
- Jon Rahm (DK $11,500)
Course History: 11th– 16th– DNP – 5th
Form: 5th– 6th– DNP – 8th
Stats: 2nd– SG: OTT, 96th– SG: APP, 147th– SG: P, 20th– SG: T2G
Analysis: Tournament favorite, Rahm looks to be peaking this week, making him a chalk 1AD play as well as an expensive chalk play in DFS. I’m surprised he didn’t give Rose a bit more run for his money yesterday, but that’s a narrative that’s better suited for podcasts (there’s a ton of narrative around top golfers mailing it in when they know they have a ton of strokes to make up in order to win, and that’s how Rahm started the day, but did get it to within one stroke before Rose pulled away again).I don’t think you need to start your cash rosters with Rahm this week considering Matsuyama is cheaper and offers, similar if not more, upside so that’s why I’m reserving him as a GPP only play this week.
- Joel Dahmen (DK $6,800)
Course History: None
Form: 9th– 22nd
Stats: 44th– SG: OTT, 37th– SG: APP, 164th– SG: P, 33rd– SG: T2G
Analysis: Last week’s performance was the outlier for Dahmen. He lost strokes from tee to green, but gained more than eight strokes around the greens and on them! The regression on the greens is coming this week, but so should the progression with the irons. He’s better suited as a Top 20 bet and someone we rotate into our core(s) for GPPs this week as his ownership is sure to spike after his 9thplace finish.
- Gary Woodland (DK $9,900): We’re going to continue running out Woodland, especially on courses where he plays well and suit his game and that’s what we have here again this week. The best part about playing him this week is he’s the defending champion, so he’ll automatically have less ownership than expected and he’s somewhat “overpriced” (I don’t believe he is based on CH & Form).
- Tony Finau (DK $9,500): Chalk Finau finished 13thlast week losing 3 strokes on the greens in his first event of the 2019 calendar year. My hope is that people are so enamored with all these other guys playing, that he gets forgotten and we get him at around 15% because of his “bad putting on bermuda” narrative. He does everything we’re targeting really well and has a ton of upside. I really like the core of players listed below and think they give us some flexibility in exposure as well as skillset.
- Byeong Hun An (DK $8,600): Low key strong course history and a “lite” version of Hideki, BHA possesses a strong tee to green game and a penchant for turning it up on easy courses. He’s less of a terrible putter on bermuda than poa, so he’s always in play when the Tour heads to bermuda grass courses. He’s still looking to follow through on the high expectations we set for him after nabbing some highly regarded Euro Tour events, but that doesn’t mean he should go overlooked this week.
- Daniel Berger (DK $8,200): Quietly we’ve seen strong showing here over the years from Berger. 11th – 7th – 58th – 10thsince 2015 and since he’s a stronger putter on bermuda greens we’re going to load up on him this week. I’m sure the ownership will spike on him as well, but I don’t expect more than a 5% bump from last week because of the missed cut, so we’ll be double against the field this week.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!