In no particular order, I like Greens in Regulation, Scrambling Percentage, Strokes Gained Approach, Birdies, and Par 4 Scoring to build my model.
Dustin Johnson ($12,000) returned to the golf world last week with a huge splash. He played well on the final round to put his name at the top of the leaderboard and show that his game has not been changed by the off the field issues at the Masters. Johnson has not been one of the best players at the Players, but has been a completely different guy and has seemed to get better at this tournament every year. I don’t think you need to put your whole bankroll on him, it’s not like the US Open, but he needs to get some exposure if you are running multiple lineups because of his ability to go low at any point.
Jordan Spieth ($10,800) had a tough 2015 at the Players, but his other two years he has played well. This will be his first tournament in three weeks, but he should be ready to go and put up some solid numbers. His price tag is a lot better than Johnson and it could easily be argued that he should be one of the main guys in a cash game with his consistency and ability to win tournaments.
Jon Rahm ($9,600) will be playing another tournament for the first time, but it has not seemed to phase him at any level. His first run at the Masters went well and playing with the big names of the Players will not phase this guy in the slightest. I am a little worried about him being out for the first time, but he has the overall game to make some noise and be in contention on Sunday.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,700) has had three strong years at the players and looks to continue on his strong play this year. His price tag is solid and he could be considered for both cash or GPPs. I think he may be a lower owned guy than some of the Americans, which may make him a solid GPP play if you believe he will be lower owned.
Mid-Range $8,000 – $9,500
Justin Thomas ($8,900) comes out as one of the top ranked guys on my model and it makes sense given his play here. Last year he finished third and seems to be one of the more comfortable golfers at this course. His ability to hit the ball long with finesse around the greens could be his ticket to winning this tournament.
Ricky Fowler ($9,300) has shown success at the players over the past two years, but had a few shaky outings before that. His game seems to be intact, playing well at the masters, but Rickie is always a guy that worries me a little. Regardless, he has the potential to go low and could be considered in either format.
Russell Henley ($8,200) struggled at the players last year, but in 2015 and 2014 put up some solid numbers. He seems to be playing much better golf and has the ability to score with his iron play and scrambling ability when he gets into trouble. Henley has the chance to win a tournament with the big boys and could easily be considered in either format as a low owned possibility.
Tony Finau ($7,400) is a guy that I am going out on a bit of a limb with because of his struggles putting; however, he has played some solid golf over the past couple of months and looked good at the Valero Open. Finau has the capability of going low for a great price and would be hard to get away from in a higher percentage of lineups.
Marc Leishman ($6,800) is on of the best value picks on this slate because of his strong play at the Players. His only bad year was last year, averaging a 73.50 in his rounds, but in 2015, 2014, and 2013 he was below 71 for his four round averages which gives him the opportunity to be in the mix on Sunday.
Francesco Molinari ($7,700) is coming off a rough final round last week, but sets up well for this tournament at a reasonable price. Molinari has seen success in his last two trips to the Players and seems like he is prime to break through and get himself a win that gets his name on the map.
Daniel Berger ($7,300) played well last year and seems to be playing some solid golf against tough competition. Berger is a guy that can win at any tournament, but given this low price tag, he will be tough to get away from in either GPP or cash game scenarios.
Below I have included a list of the guys that have the highest numbers of birdies per round in their PGA tournaments so far, this year.
Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Rickie Folwer, Justin Rose, Brooks Loepka, Scott Piercy, and Anirban Lahiri.
About the Author:
“CH” aka @UndoneRSG, has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. He made the transition from season long to daily fantasy sports in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. In college, Chris wrote his thesis on “Beating PECOTA ranking system” and came out with a ranking system that was equivalent with PECOTA. He has been obsessed with using statistics in fantasy ever since. Current math teacher, he is working on a ranking system for PGA and NBA that should be out shortly.