Favorite Plays by Tier
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Par 72, 7,189 Yards
Course Ranks (#1 is Hardest)
- 2019: 23/49, Played 0.487 Strokes UNDER Par
- 2018: 29/51, Played 0.591 Strokes UNDER Par
- 2017: 5/50, Played 1.291 Strokes OVER Par
- 2016: 19/50, Played 0.055 Strokes OVER Par
Looks like Mother Nature is going to ease up for the first two days of the week after some tough winds to start the Florida Swing. No rain in the forecast and the highest winds are around 10 mph on both Thursday and Friday afternoon. I don't see a need to alter lineups based on weather conditions this week. If playing multiple lineups, it never hurts to stack each side of a tee time wave, just in case an advantage does form.
Looking at Fantasy National and FanShare Sports, there are similar names at the top of ownership projections on each site; it's just the number. FanShare tends to have more projected at 20+% ownership, where as Fantasy National tends to be more spread out. In no particular order, here are the names popping at the top of ownership models on both sites: Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Collin Morikawa, and Hideki Matsuyama. As far as other names that appear on one site towards the top, they would include the following: Marc Leishman, Justin Thomas, and Jon Rahm.
Based on this, the contrarian build would have DJ or Kopeka, or just bypassing the first two tiers and starting in the 8k tier. I would also tend to think a lineup starting with one player in the 9k range, and going nothing but 8k and 7k golfers from there would be unique this week. It feels like lineups that have two of the following three will be common: McIlroy, Simpson, and DeChambeau. If you are playing two of those three in a lineup, find a low-owned player to make yourself unique. This would probably be anyone in the 6k range not named Max Homa or Joel Dahmen.
- I don't think I mentioned him a ton on the podcast, but I have gotten on Sungjae Im since the recording. I do like his 1st and 3rd so far in Florida and rates out well in all of the statistical categories. I think the weekly DFS players will use him, but I'm not sure the casual fan will go there, as there are more well-known names around the same price range.
- In the 9k range, I am thinking I won't end up on Schauffele. As James and I both mentioned on the podcast, we loved every player in this range. The more I dug into it, I liked Simpson and Scott more than Schauffele. It's close but that's the way I'm leaning. Also, the Simpson vs Scott decision is the biggest one I have left in my single lineup.
- There are a couple of reasons I think you see Collin Morikawa trending towards being really popular. The first is at 7900, he fits nearly every type of lineup build, outside of a true Stars and Scrubs build. The second is that though he isn't the biggest name among casual players, they see the fact he hasn't missed a cut this year (or even going back to last year) since he joined the tour on a full-time basis. That safety below 8k is hard to ignore. I think I'll be taking a strategic fade, as this course can be tough on first time players, and when these consistent cut-makers miss at high ownership, it is a very good leverage spot for those who don't have him. He's a great play obviously, but I'll take the game theory fade on him.
- One final player that is playing well, though many may not realize it, is Ian Poulter. He's sitting at 7300 and has four straight Top 32 finishes worldwide. He also has a pretty good history at TPC Sawgrass to add to the intrigue. As of now, he's my last player into my lineup. He may be a better cash game play, but at the price, can fit tournament builds as well.
Now for the best part of this update: James Adams golf bets of the week. If you have been listening to the podcast, you know James has been doing quite well on his bets, hitting three winners and at least a Top 6 each week on at least one pick. This week, his book is being generous and giving a Top 7. This is who James is going with this week (all with a Top 7 each way):
- Koepka (40/1)
- Leishman (45/1)
- Berger (50/1)
- Poulter (100/1)
- Homa (125/1)
- Vegas (150/1)
- Hoffman (150/1). Like James was really leaving him off this list.
The Unofficial 5th Major, this is the second year of the Players Championship in March since the schedule change. As we can see in the course ranks for the past four years, this course can play easy or difficult. The wind will impact the difficulty of the event. If it's anything like we've seen the past two weeks, it may play more like 2017. But that's for Wednesday to see what the weather is like. TPC Sawgrass does not favor any type of player, but will demand an all-around game to win. 200+ yard approach shots are the highest frequency, so looking at that category will help. The usual Tee-to-Green and Greens in Regulation/Approach shots also will be key.