Quail Hollow Club: Charlotte, NC Par 71, 7,554 yards
Defending Champion: Brian Harman (-10) by one over Pat Perez and Dustin Johnson
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, Fairways Gained, Greens in Regulation (GIR)
Secondary Stats- Proximity: 200+ yards, Bogey Avoidance, Driving Distance
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified.
Roster Lock: 7:00 am EST (6:00 CST, 5:00 MST, 4:00 PST)
Mid 80s, 10 mph winds on Thursday and Friday. No need to stack tee times based on weather.
In no particular order this week, here is a list of players who are drawing higher ownership (around 20%): Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Luke List, Phil Mickelson, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Trey Mullinax.
Finau is always popular, but I don't think this is the spot he breaks through. He could, just not willing to play a chalky Tony FInau with some others above him that I think are better golfers. Mullinax is a rare value below 7,000, and leads the field in driving distance. I'll play a strategic fade on him. Rory looks to be the highest owned and that course history is outstanding. I can't get his play before the win at the API out of mind yet. Plus, I'll take JT, who has been better over the past year, at a cheaper price, and slightly lower ownership. Finally, I'm not sure what I will do with List and Mickelson. I'm thinking I may not play either one, but Mickelson is more likely to be the fade. Though Tiger isn't in this list, he's coming in around 15-20% owned. I think the casual player will start with Tiger/Phil and go from there. List is higher owned than I would have thought after his missed cut as chalk two weeks ago. I'm fine with playing or fading: haven't made my mind up on him for my lineups yet.
Finally, Paul Casey has some variance in projected ownerships. I've seen him at 8% in one spot: 15% in another. If you remember the past two weeks, we've seen a golfer in the 8k range (Tyrell Hatton at Heritage, Zach Johnson at Valero) be projected at this 8-10%, only to end up being a top 10 owned golfer. I am not changing my plays on Casey, based on ownership. But, I can't tell you with any confidence which number he will be closer to. I tend to think it may be single-digits, since he's right around Tiger, Phil, Fleetwood, and Finau.
Other Player Thoughts
- Players Not on my Final Lineups: Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods, Everyone above 10k not name Justin Thomas, Emiliano Grillo, Trey Mullinax. Reed and Woods just fall victim to a price range where I like others a little bit more. Grillo and Mullinax due to higher ownership than I personally prefer for them.
- Players I'm still debating on: Phil Mickelson, Luke List, Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland, Joaquin Niemann
- Players I have on 3+ Lineups out of 5: Hideki Matsuyama, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas, Francesco Molinari
As I mentioned on Monday, you need to take a stand this week on some really good golfers. Whether you like my thoughts or trust yours more, go with players you really like and if you have two or more areas of concern on a golfer, it may be a time to take a stand.
Reminder that if the Players' Championship pricing comes out before Sunday night, this article will be up by then. If not, it will probably be out on Tuesday night. Also, the Tournament History file for the Players' Championship will be out by Sunday night, regardless of whether pricing is out or not. Finally, The AT&T Byron Nelson article in two weeks will be a Tuesday article with weather and ownerships in that article. No Wednesday update that week, as I'll be in Chicago all day on that Wednesday.
Good luck this week with the Wells Fargo Championship: I hope your core players hit and you are taking some extra money home on Sunday night!
After a week off for the team event at the Zurich Classic, DFS Golf returns for the Wells Fargo Championship. One note about Quail Hollow: it hosted the PGA Championship last year, and did not host this event. In the files section, I have included two history files: one includes last year's event at Eagle Point GC, and one does not. I am only looking at the events at Quail Hollow for myself and would weigh that heavily if you want to consider last year's event at Eagle Point (90-95%).
National Fantasy Pregame Show
https://www.facebook.com/nationalpregame/. I mention four picks on the video. I will include them on here as well.
The Players Championship
I am hoping that prices come out this week, and not next Monday. If they do, I will do my best to have the article posted by Sunday Night. If not, it will be posted on Tuesday night.
Also, one thing I'm trying to do is to have the tournament history files uploaded each week by Sunday night. If you are wanting to get an early start on research for the following week, look on Sunday night and the files should be posted. If not, tweet me and I will get it up ASAP.
The Valero Texas Open was not a real strong field; but the Wells Fargo Championship has a great field. Lost of good plays in all of the price tiers this week. It is a long course, playing over 7,500 yards with only three Par 5s. Like most weeks, Tee-to-Green is a key stat to look at. Fairways Gained also was a key stat for golfers who ended up in the Top 10 in past years. Driving Distance is also key with this course playing over 7,500 yards. With many par 4s over 450 yards and some longer Par 5s, I'm looking at Proximity from 200+ yards. Finally, the cut is usually just over par. This will not be a birdie fest, so bogey avoidance is the scoring stat I'm looking at.
Wednesday ownership will play a key role again for me this week, as there are a lot of pivots off of anyone who becomes a bit chalky. It's going to be scary, but I think you will have to take stands against really good players, who fit this week. There are many ways to go about lineup construction: Both Balanced and Stars and Scrubs look viable. Go with whatever one you like best this week. Onto the picks:
Justin Thomas (11,300)
Depending how you want to look at things, you can argue any one of three people are the defending champions. But if you want to go with the most recent winner at Quail Hollow, it is JT, as he won his first major here last August. He hasn't slowed down since, winning the FedEx Cup Playoffs, winning at the Honda, and making all 10 cuts this season, with no finish worse than 22nd. JT is #1 in my Stats model this week, ranking 2nd Tee-to-Green and in Bogey Avoidance, 4th in Proximity from 200+ yards, 5th in GIR, and 8th in Driving Distance. He's my favorite play in this range, and there is enough value to still feel good about your team if you start with JT. (Cash and GPP)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
I don't see myself playing anyone in this tier, outside of JT, unless one of the others is being completely overlooked. It probably would be Jason Day (10,200) who has two 9th place finishes here and no finish worse than 22nd this season. Rory McIlroy (11,900) is a past champion with three other Top 10s here and with two straight Top 5s this season. Rickie Fowler (11,100) has a win, 4th, and 5th here in recent years. He has a couple of seconds this season, including at The Masters. I think Fowler and Rory will be the most popular in this tier.
Cash: Day, Fowler
GPP: McIlroy, Day, Fowler
Phil Mickelson (9,200)
Every week, it seems like there is someone who has great course history, with multiple Top 5s, but who has never won that event. Phil is the guy this week. He did miss the cut last year at the PGA here, but the prior five years here in this event: 3rd, 4th, 4th, 11th, and 26th, gaining 48.6 strokes during that time. He's had a great season so far with a win and four other Top 10s. Phil ranks 1st in Bogey Avoidance, 14th in Proximity from 200+ yards, and 21st Tee-to-Green. Hitting fairways is a struggle for him, but that's nothing new. Form and history are good here, he will be in consideration if he's not near 20% ownership for me.(Cash and GPP)
Tommy Fleetwood (9,000)
Part of the reason I'm not considering anyone else in the 10k+ range is because I love this 9k range. Fleetwood is the one I'm hoping goes a bit overlooked. He hasn't missed a cut worldwide this season in 15 starts, and has a 4th, 14th, 17th, and 26th in his past four starts. He has only played here once, finishing 61st at the PGA last year. Fleetwood was 4th Tee-to-Green, 14th in Fairways Gained, 24th in GIR, and above average in the other stat categories. I know it's a talented field and I can't say that Fleetwood should be higher priced than anyone above him; however, 9k is too cheap on him. Play him in all game formats. (Cash and GPP)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
Patrick Reed (9,700) makes his first individual start (Played at Zurich last week) since winning The Masters, which was his third straight Top 10. Reed was a runner-up to JT at the PGA here last year as well. If he gets overlooked due to everyone else around him, he's a pivot for me come Wednesday night. Hideki Matsuyama (9,400) is one I talked about in the National Fantasy Pregame Show video. 5th last year, Top 20s the two years prior. Hasn't played much since February, and that's my only concern. Finally, Tiger Woods (9,100) is a past champion, but hasn't played here since 2012. 16th in Bogey Avoidance, 23rd in Driving Distance, and 29th Tee-to-Green. I don't see myself playing him due to expected high ownership. But, it's Tiger. If you want to play him, I won't argue with you.
GPP: Reed, Matsuyama, Tiger
Paul Casey (8,900)
Despite winning this season, only missing one cut (last tournament), and three other Top 10s in 10 starts, Casey finds himself in a familiar price area. As such, I think he will be one of the most popular plays. And it may not matter. He has a 13th and 41st here the past two years, with the 13th being at the PGA last year. He fits statistically as well: 9th in Proximity from 200+ yards, 12th in GIR, and 17th Tee-to-Green. He's above average in driving distance and bogey avoidance, and is average in fairways gained. If going with the balanced lineup approach, he's a great addition to that team. Casey is a better cash game play, but certainly playable in tournaments. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Kevin Kisner (8,300)
I'm going to be curious to see how people view Kisner this week. His history at Quail Hollow is pretty good: 7th at the PGA last year, Missed Cut in 2016, 38th in 2015, and 6th in 2014. Kisner is coming off a 7th at the Valero, and was in the final group at the Zurich last week. However, his stats are not great, as they reflect some struggles he went through to start 2018. He is 13th in Fairways Gained, but is below average in every other stat category except GIR. I like the form and decent history here. If he does get trendy, I may avoid. However, if he's coming in at lower ownership, I can take a chance on him. (GPP)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
Competing with Casey for most popular in this tier should be Bryson DeChambeau (8,000) with a 2nd and 3rd in his past three starts. He also was 33rd at the PGA here last year. More on Bryson on the National Fantasy Pregame Show Video. If Bryson does become chalk, I'll pivot to Alex Noren (8,100) who's only missed cut this year was at The Masters. Ranks 2nd in GIR, 4th in Bogey Avoidance, and 14th Tee-to-Green and Fairways Gained. Webb Simpson (8,400) is from the local area and has a 2nd and 4th in past years here, with only one missed cut and no finish worse than 38th. He's playing well in 2018, with three Top 10s in his past five events. 25th Tee-to-Green, but below average in Driving Distance and Proximity from 200+ yards.
Cash: DeChambeau, Noren
GPP: Simpson, Noren, DeChambeau
I don't think I've ever had a specific price that I wrote up, but let's try the 7,400 price point on DraftKings. I will start with Francesco Molinari, who I do talk about on my National Fantasy Pregame Show Video. Sneaky long and good course history, he's a top play for me this week. Missing the cut as chalk, Luke List has missed both cuts at Quail Hollow, but still is having a great 2018 with 4 Top 10s, and ranks 1st Tee-to-Green, 2nd in Driving Distance, and is Top 30 in every stat except Fairways Gained (107th). A third play at 7,400 is Gary Woodland, who is not in great form since winning in Phoenix (3 missed cuts, 49th, and 50th). But, Woodland has four straight Top 25s here, and is Top 20 in Tee-to-Green, Driving Distance, GIR, and Proximity from 200+ yards. Don't like any of those 7,400 players? How about Adam Hadwin, who hasn't missed a cut this season, though he's only made one cut in three starts here. He ranks 3rd in Bogey Avoidance and GIR, 8th Tee-to-Green, and 9th in Fairways Gained.
Don't like anyone at 7,400? Keegan Bradley (7,800) could be very low owned. He was 33rd at the PGA here last year. He's made five straight cuts, but no Top 25s. Ranks 5th Tee-to-Green, 6th in Fairways Gained, 11th in Proximity from 200+, and 18th in GIR. Definitely a tournament-only play. Emiliano Grillo (7,700) hasn't missed a cut with four Top 10s this season, including a 3rd and 16th the past two weeks. Ranks 4th in Fairways Gained, 9th Tee-to-Green, and 12th in Proximity from 200+ yards. Finally, Kevin Streelman (7,200) had a 6th, 9th, and 14th before missing the cut in his last appearance here in 2016. Streelman has missed only one cut in 15 starts this season, and ranks 8th in Fairways Gained, 12th Tee-to-Green, and 29th in Bogey Avoidance.
Cash: Molinari, List, Hadwin, Grillo, Streelman
GPP: Molinari, List, Woodland, Hadwin, Bradley, Grillo, Streelman is Playable
Others I may play depending on ownership: Adam Scott, Chesson Hadley, Kyle Stanley, Jason Kokrak
Grayson Murray (6,900)
A couple of things you must realize with Grayson: he's always lower owned than he should be (not real likeable on Twitter in the past), and he can be all over the place. Let's look at his past seven events on tour this season: 8th, MC, MC, 14th, 14th, MC, and 16th. He did finish 22nd at the PGA here last year, giving us some hope this may be a good week. Statistically, Murray ranks 2nd in Proximity from 200+ yards, 14th in Driving Distance, and 30th Tee-to-Green. Murray also does rank 103rd in Fairways Gained and 116th in Bogey Avoidance. Play at your own risk, but easily has the most upside of any player in the 6k range this week. (GPP)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
I suspect Trey Mullinax (6,800) will be popular after finishing 2nd at the Valero Texas Open, and with an 8th and 22nd prior to that. Is 1st in Driving Distance and 10th in Bogey Avoidance; not a bad combination this week. Above average elsewhere except Fairways Gained. Joaquin Niemann (6,800) was 6th at the Valero Texas Open; his first start as a professional. The former #1 Amateur looks to be on a similar path as Jon Rahm two years ago: maybe not a winner this year, but in the next year or two, certainly. Finally, Corey Conners (6,600) is my last golfer I talk about on the National Fantasy Pregame Show Video. Two Top 25s the past five tournaments (was in the final pairing on Sunday in both, just struggled on Sunday. Common for a Tour Rookie), I don't know why he's this cheap. Great stats as well, including 3rd in Proximity from 200+ yards.
Cash: Conners, Mullinax is Playable
GPP: Mullinax, Niemann, Conners
Such a great field with many options to consider. If you find a core you like, go with it. Getting that right will be the key this week to win. Also, when ownership projections come out on Wednesday, don't be afraid to pivot off someone who is chalky. There are many viable options this week. Weather and ownership are going to play a key role into my final lineup building on Wednesday night, so make sure to check back here for that update. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.