No withdrawals since salaries came out
Looks like there will be rain Thursday night into Friday morning, but I don't think it's significant, and at worst, cause a slight delay. The wind for both days looks like it will be around 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph: nothing uncommon in Texas. I don't see a weather advantage to either wave.
The names that look to be most popular: Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka, Ryan Moore, Russell Henley, and Jason Dufner. I've heard some talk on Sung Kang and Jonathan Randolph. Randolph does have three straight Top 30 finishes and is cheap at 6,700 on DraftKings and 5,000 on FanDuel. I don't see much that interests me, and if he's going to attact ownership, I'm perfectly fine fading him.
I was listening to SiriusXM earlier tonight, and heard Dan Back on the RotoGrinders PGA show say that Dustin Johnson's ownership on FanDuel Rounds 3-4 could near 80%. If this is the case, he becomes an automatic cash game play in Rounds 3-4. In tournaments, I think you have to either fade him or play him in Rounds 1-2. I am going with the latter and will play him in Rounds 1-2. He doesn't have huge differences in scoring between 1-2 and 3-4. The best part of this play is that he will be lower owned here and if he misses the cut for some reason, you at least get some points from him and have faded an extremely high owned guy.
Other Players I'm Looking At
Higher on Now than Monday Article: Graham DeLaet, Gary Woodland, Sung Kang
New Players not mentioned on Monday
- John Huh- Does have an 8th and 16th in the past four years here. Does have a Top 10 this season and has made 8 of 12 cuts.
- Chad Campbell- Only missed one cut in past five starts with two Top 25s here. Not in great form, but course history at cheap price is worth a flyer.
- Jamie Lovemark- 22nd in Par 4 Scoring, does average over 300 yards a drive. He has made five straight cuts this season and is a nice value on FantasyDraft.
That concludes my additional thoughts. I like the idea of a balanced lineup approach, with many going Stars and Scrubs this week. It could pay off well if we see the top priced guys not perform like last week. But, I also find it hard to ignore Dustin Johnson with his form and history. If playing multiple lineups, make sure you get some exposure on DJ. Good luck this week and if in contention on Sunday, let me know.
TPC Las Colinas, Irving, TX Par 70, 7,166 yards
Defending Champion: Sergio Garcia (-15) by in Playoff over Brooks Koepka
Roster Lock Time: 7:00am CST (8:00 EST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST)
Byron Nelson: A golf legend who has a feat that I don't think will ever be matched: Winning 11 consecutive golf tournaments and 18 in a year: Both in 1945. A total of 54 victories and winning every major except the British Open, this is why he has a tournament named after him. Just outside of Dallas, the Tour returns to Texas for the third time this season. Before I start breaking down this week's tournament, let's go back to the roller coaster known as the Players Championship.
The Players Championship Recap
Imagine a tournament where your chalkiest lineups all hit. This was the Players Championship after Round 2, where an extremely high 40% of lineups on DraftKings went 6/6 in making the cut. In fact, only one golfer priced 7700 or higher missed the cut: Jordan Spieth. Having a golfer miss the cut on any of the sites (2 on FantasyDraft) meant the week was over...
Until Saturday. We saw Jon Rahm, Gary Woodland, Jamie Lovemark, Justin Thomas, and Matt Kuchar all become victims of a tough course and the secondary cut. The 6/6 percentage dropped from 40% to 15%. In the end, I did cash some games on FanDuel with a 3 of 4 on the weekend (Spieth was my 4th) and a Sunday 5 of 6 on DraftKings.
However, despite all of the carnage and shock of Saturday, the biggest surprise of the week had to be the winner: Si Woo Kim. He became the youngest golfer at 21 years old (I didn't know he was that young) to win the Players. Prior to the tournament, he played 18 events this season, missing the cut in seven of them, and withdrawing from four. No one was on him: Even the Top 25 finishers in the $4 Drive the Green on DraftKings didn't have Kim. A true stunner, but a reminder of how talented Si Woo Kim is; and he's only 21.
AT&T Byron Nelson Championship
TPC Las Colinas plays at just over 7,150 yards, but is a Par 70, meaning there are 12 Par Fours. Par 4 Scoring will definitely be a stat I look at. Only one of the twelve Par 4s are under 400 yards, with two of them being over 500 yards. Driving Distance will be a factor, along with SG: Off-the-tee, as hitting fairways has been key in the past. As usual, Greens in Regulation and SG: Approach continue to be key stats to focus on. Scrambling, Putting, and the other Shots Gained Categories will also be looked at.
Dustin Johnson (12,500)
Two weeks ago, DJ was 13k at the Wells Fargo, so 12.5k is nothing. DJ struggled through the first three days of the Players before shooting a 4 under 68 on Sunday to finish twelfth. What excites me a lot is his course history here: Six Top 20s, including Four Top 10s and has never missed a cut in seven starts at the Byron Nelson. DJ is First in SG: Tee-to-Green and Total Strokes Gained, and his worst SG: Category is 32: Around-the-Green. Finally, he's 2nd in Par 4 Scoring. Expensive, yes. But, if you find the values, he's exceptionally hard to ignore this week. (GPP, Cash if you can find the values).
Sergio Garcia (11,000)
The defending champion, Sergio has won here twice: 2016 and 2004. Sergio has only missed the cut three times in 12 starts, with two other Top Tens in this span. A tough Sunday last week dropped Sergio to 30th. He still has two wins this season and hasn't missed a cut in six worldwide starts. Sergio is 1st in SG: Off-the-Tee, 2nd in SG: Tee-to-Green, 5th in Greens in Regulation, 12th in Par 4 Birdie or Better %, and 22nd in Par 4 Scoring. If I'm spending up in this range, I do prefer DJ. But, if Sergio is lower owned, I have no problem pivoting to Sergio. (Cash and GPP)
- Jordan Spieth (10,800) was the only player above 7,700 last week to miss the cut. He is 6 for 6 in making cuts here but his best finish is 16th. Something doesn't look right with him, so I'm probably fading. But if he's below 15% owned, a great GPP play.
- Brooks Koepka (10,200) is someone I'm not sure many will pay for. He was 16th in 2015 and runner-up last year. His last three tournaments: 11th at The Masters, 2nd at the Valero Texas Open, and 16th at the Players. Form is there; still hard to trust in cash.
- Jason Day (10,100) has played here four times: A win, 5th, 9th, and 27th. I don't like his current form with only one Top 10 this year. Same as Spieth: low ownership on a former #1 player in the world makes him a great GPP play.
GPP: Spieth, Koepka, Day
Tony Finau (9,200)
There are so many good plays in this range. I'll start with Tony Finau, who gets a hefty price bump, as 9,200 is the highest he's been all year. His 7,700 price on FanDuel is a great price and is someone you need to play there. He does carry some risk, as he has missed three cuts in 11 starts this year (Though each time, he missed the cut by one). Yet, he has four Top 10s, including a 3rd recently at the Valero Texas Open. Finau has played the Byron Nelson twice: 10th in 2015 and 12th last year. His stats are great: 4th in Greens in Regulation and SG: Off-the-Tee, 6th in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 7th in Par Four Scoring. My first lineup I created on DraftKings has Finau as my highest priced golfer. If going with a balanced approach, Finau is a great starting point. (Cash and GPP)
Ryan Palmer (8,200)
I'm going to be curious to see the ownership on Palmer is this week. He has not been off to the best start, making only 4 of 10 cuts. Prior to his missed cut last week, Palmer finished 11th at The Heritage and 6th at the Valero Texas Open. A native Texan, Palmer is someone I like targeting in this Texas events. He missed the cut here last year, but it was his stretch leading up to that at this event that has me considering him. Palmer had 3 Top 10s and no finish worse than 33rd from 2011-2015. Palmer is 8th in SG: Approach, 8th in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 14th in SG: Off-the-Tee. A bit risky with his 2017 form, but a great history and some success in recent events, I will take a chance on him in tournaments. (GPP)
- Jason Dufner (8,800) has no top 10s this season, but has eight Top 25s on tour. He has won here with two 8th place finishes in his past six events, where he hasn't missed the cut in that span. Is 3rd in Par 4 Birdie or Better % and 7th in Par 4 Scoring
- Matt Kuchar (8,700) has never missed a cut in nine appearances, and has three top 10s. He also had three top 10s this season and just had a bad Saturday last week. Makes for a perfect second golfer in cash games.
- Charley Hoffman (8,500) is another Texan who has had success here, making 7 of 10 cuts with three straight Top-12 finishes. Positive in all the strokes gained categories except putting. A great upside GPP play.
- Brandt Snedeker (8,400) is coming off a hand injury. I'm not playing him and will take a wait and see approach.
- Russell Henley (8,300) has already won in Texas this season, and has made eight straight cuts this season. 8th in Total Strokes Gained (positive in all categories), 13th in Par 4 Scoring, and 22nd in GIR.
Cash: Dufner, Kuchar, Henley
GPP: Hoffman, Henley
Marc Leishman (7,800)
Leishman's 2017 and history at the Byron Nelson are opposite of each other. This year, Leishman has won, which is his only Top 10. He has quite a few Top 25s, and has only missed two cuts in ten starts. On the other hand, he has not been as consistent here at the Byron Nelson: Making five cuts in eight starts. However, those five made cuts; all Top 12 finishes. He has missed the cut here the past two years, further complicating this decision. He is 17th in Total Strokes Gained and 30th in Par 4 Scoring. He's also averaging just under 300 yards a drive, so distance won't be an issue. He's not my favorite cash game play, but I understand it. I do like his potential in tournaments though with his high finishes. (GPP, playable in Cash)
J.T. Poston (7,300)
Poston may be a popular play this week, as he's been a very consistent cut maker (only one missed cut in eleven starts this year) with one Top 10 and four Top 25s. The stats won't jump out at year, but is positive in all the Shots Gained Categories except Putting, and if 59th in Par 4 Scoring, and 69th in Par 4 BIrdie or Better %. At this price, he's very good in cash games, but still lacks the tournament upside that I look for at this price. (Cash)
- Gary Woodland (7,700) has only missed one cut here: his first appearance. Woodland does have three Top 10s in nine starts this year. Has good stats: 16th in Driving Distance, 17th in GIR, 20th in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 22nd in Par 4 Scoring. Best value is on FantasyDraft
- Ryan Moore (7,600) is a pretty good value on DraftKings, compared to the other two sites. Has only made one cut in four appearances here, but is 21st in SG: Approach, 45th in Par 4 Scoring, and has only missed one cut in 2017.
- Sung Kang (7,400) has made five consecutive cuts with three Top 11 finishes in that span. Was 34th here last year. His stats fit here this course well: 22nd in Par 4 Scoring, 30th in Total Strokes Gained, and 35th in GIR and SG: Off-the-Tee.
- Brandon Hagy (7,000) is a great price at 5,300 on FanDuel, and can be used on DraftKings as well. He's 4th in Driving Distance and 45th in Par 4 Scoring. He's also made five of his past six cuts.
Cash: Moore, Kang
GPP: Woodland, Kang, Hagy
Keegan Bradley (6,900)
There always seems to be one golfer at this price each week on DraftKings that has me wondering why. It's Keegan Bradley this week. He's a previous winner of the Byron Nelson, winning in 2011. He's only missed one cut in six starts and his worst finish is 29th. His recent form isn't spectacular, but not horrible with only one missed cut in his past six starts. Statistically, he fits this course well: 7th in Total Driving (Distance plus Accuracy), 8th in Par 4 Birdie or Better %, 22nd in Par 4 Scoring, and 25th in Greens in Regulation. He's way too cheap on DraftKings, making him an ideal cash game play. (Cash, playable in GPP)
Anirban Lahiri (6,400)
When I finished doing the salary comparison chart, and looked to see who was the biggest difference in salary ranks, Lahiri hit the top of the list. He's a Top 50 salaried golfer on FanDuel and FantasyDraft, but is 128th on DraftKings. Lahiri has only played here once, finishing 46th in 2016. And his form the past four tournaments isn't great: two missed cuts, and a best finish of 44th. He is Top 35 in Par 3, 4, and 5 Birdie or Better %, so he can score. Nothing else stands out statistically, but at this price, if the 86th ranked golfer in the world makes a cut, he will exceed value, with potential for more. (Cash and GPP playable)
- Nick Taylor (6,900) was 8th at the Wells Fargo two weeks back. He's made 9 of 12 cuts this season and has positive strokes gained in all categories except Putting.
- Billy Hurley (6,900) has been playing well the past four tournaments, with a Top 10 and no finish worse than 41st. Hurley has made the cut the past three times he's played this event. Is 42nd in SG: Approach.
- Morgan Hoffman (6,700) has a 5th and 16th in this event, and did finish 12th two weeks ago. He's made six cuts this year and missed six cuts this year, so would be an upside course history play.
- Billy Horschel (6,700) has missed three cuts in a row, but has no business being this low priced on DraftKings. Is 8th in GIR and 45th in Par 4 Scoring. Worth a chance in tournaments.
Cash: Taylor, Hurley
GPP: Hoffman, Horschel
Every week, I'll have the link to the Scoring Average before the cut posted here. It should help not only on FanDuel games, but on the other two sites as you try to get golfers to make the cut.
Players that I haven't written about that I don't mind on FanDuel:
- Graham DeLaet- Has made four of six cuts at the Byron Nelson with two Top 10s. Has three Top 10s on tour this season. A decent Round One value.
- Kevin Tway- Has back to back Top 10 finishes. 6,300 is a nice price for someone who is in decent form.
Fantasy Draft Strategy
Players that I'm considering on FantasyDraft, that I didn't write about in the breakdown of tiers:
- Daniel Summerhays- Just a cut maker this year (made 8 of 12 cuts), but at 12,200, does give you some salary relief and some relative safety at a low price
- Jhonattan Vegas- Came up one shot short of making the cut last week. Has made the cut in all four starts and did play college golf in Texas. Not a bad price at 12,900 for Vegas.
There seems to be a lot of big mispricings on DraftKings this week. I'll keep an eye on ownership projections for these mispriced players and will update Wednesday with additional thoughts about it. I will update Wednesday with any late withdrawals from the tournament, weather updates, and where ownership may be heading. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or if you just want to discuss this week's tournament.