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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational DraftKings Preview and Picks/Fades/Pivots

All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman on Twitter!

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Course: Bay Hill Club and Lodge

Fast Facts

  • Par 72 approx. 7400 yards
  • Bermuda Greens approx. 7500 sq. ft. (larger than TOUR average)
  • Water Hazards on 8/18 holes with many bunkers scattered throughout
  • Field: 120 players; Top 65 and Ties make the cut
  • Average cut around +2 or +3
  • Average winning score around -12 or -13
  • Can play difficult but has gotten easier in the last few years after tree removal/widened fairways
  • Corollary Courses: TPC Sawgrass, Copperhead, TPC Boston (s/o to Jeff Bergerson for this one)
  • Course Fit Targets: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Abraham Ancer, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley

GPP and Cash Recap (DRAFTKINGS)

YTD Results (Cash) – FD = 3-4; DK 2-5

GPP Results – See table below

Starting this season, and feel free to skip if you’re not interested, I will be writing a more in depth recap of not only the week ahead, but perhaps more importantly, what went into my thought process for both my cash game team (only 1 per week) and my main GPP team (I multi-enter each week but play my one “main” team in all multi entry/single entry/3 entry max, etc.).

Cash: Frustrating week in cash as I used 2 guys in my player pool of 25 that missed the cut and of those 25, 21 of them made the cut. I went Rickie over Woodland because I had the salary, which ended up costing me the week as Woodland made the cut and eventually finished 8th while Rickie shot a smooth 76 on Thursday and missed the cut on the number by the end of Friday. I’m pretty close to black listing Russell Knox as I just never get him right; however, I know as soon as I do that, he’ll finish Top 10 so I will be considerate and let everyone know when I’m officially done with him so you can lock him in. The other pieces I felt were strong as Vaughn/English/Cauley were solid value plays with English finishing T17, while Cauley and Vaughn had unfortunate run-ins with the bear trap on Sunday to fall down the leaderboard. Byeong Hun-An I knew would be chalk but was a solid play so he was close to automatic for me as well. I once again feel like I have been overthinking cash game builds lately as I knew I never like to pay up like I did for Rickie but I went for it anyway with the hope he would regain some form.

GPP: Breakeven week in GPPs for me again as I had one lineup with serious potential come Sunday, but Lowry faltered late as well as Vaughn taking a 7 on #17 and Brian Harman basically doubling the whole course. It still finished Top 100 in the big $5 but if those guys had even had a mediocre finish we could have had some big money. My main lineup was sunk by Knox (shocker) and Rickie, who I mentioned were disasters for cash and it’s only fitting that it transferred over to my main lineup. I did have Sungjae in there, as well as an outright at 33/1, which was nice, but he was fairly popular so not a huge edge there in the end and the main lineup fell short of min cash by several points. That tournament is great, one of the best of the year, and I wish more played that style with risk/reward holes and a finishing score in the single digits.

Course and Weather Notes: We stay in Florida this week for the epic Arnold Palmer Invitational in which we get a smaller, invitational field (120 instead of 156 or 144) and a much more loaded field than the Honda Classic had this past week. Unfortunately, 8-time winner (that’s insane) Tiger is skipping the event, but we have many of the world’s best ready to take on this course that plays long, has plenty of water hazards, and requires many 175+ yard approaches (33% are 200+). For the weather, as of now it looks like it may be quite windy, which is rare here, but would drastically change things so I would wait till as late as possible to make lineups as there may be a potential wave edge/stack and it could change some stats that we want to focus on… but in general, target guys who excel with long irons, are good Bermuda putters, and gain strokes off the tee.


Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)

In order of importance:

  • SG: T2G
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+ yards)
  • BoB Gained
  • SG: OTT
  • Opportunities Gained
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda emphasis)

Salary Ranges: Plays, Fades, Pivots, Ownership

The players listed below are not my only plays I like but some of the highlights and those I find intriguing for one reason or another.


9K and Above:


1) Rory McIlroy ($11,800) Projected Ownership: 25%

Key Stats: 2nd SG: T2G/6th SG: APP/3rd BoB Gained/2nd SG: OTT/3rd Opps. Gained/25th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 5th/5th/3rd

History: 6th/1st/4th/27th/11th

Notes: What’s funny is that this price is completely justified and could possibly even be a few hundred dollars to low… if he could putt at all on Poa greens I feel like he would have won at least once, probably twice, over his last 3 tournaments… he is so locked in, will be chalk, and there’s no way I’m fading… if he has an off tournament and misses the cut, has a round etc. I’ll have no regrets because his stats/form/history at this tournament sets up for a win

2) Hideki Matsuyama ($10,600) Projected Ownership: 16%

Key Stats: 1st SG: T2G/2nd SG: APP/2nd BoB Gained/19th SG: OTT/1st Opps. Gained/99th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 6th/5th/16th/45th/12th

History: 33rd/49th/45th/6th/21st

Notes: Definitely more wishful thinking, but I’m really hoping people pay up for Rory, they see Bryson’s recent form, they see Fleetwood’s recent form, and Hideki goes at least slightly overlooked… no one is better T2G, no is better hitting greens/giving themselves chances but man will he find the putter? Probably not… but he’s such an elite play and my 2nd favorite play in the field behind Rory


1) Tommy Fleetwood ($11,000) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stats (Euro): 3rd SG: T2G/53rd SG: APP/6th Scram/9th SG: OTT/151st SG: Putting/6th GIRs

Form: 3rd/18th/11th/2nd/2nd

History: 3rd/26th10th

Notes: Since I’m going to pay up for Rory and Hideki, I can’t really play Fleetwood anyway or I’ll be spread too thin but I’m going back to the fade here with the expectation (hope for my benefit) that Tommy is more rattled by that loss than he’s showing… could I be wrong? Most likely, but I still would much rather play Rory/Hideki/Bryson and even Xander over Fleetwood

2) Patrick Reed ($9,400) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 35th SG: T2G/35th SG: APP/1st BoB Gained/82nd SG: OTT/32nd Opps. Gained/21st SG: P (Ber)

Form: 1st/51st/MC/6th/MC/2nd/3rd

History: 50th/7th/52nd/MC

Notes: I almost always jump at the chance to play the villain but I don’t like this price; he’s been given a bump after the win and per his stats, he gained over 11 strokes putting en route to victory in Mexico and his last 2 starts has lost strokes OTT; his course history is fine but I think there are better spots to play Reed and there are better options around him this week

Favorite Pivot

1) Rickie Fowler ($9,300) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stats: 77th SG: T2G/52nd SG: APP/41st BoB Gained/53rd SG: OTT/42nd Opps. Gained/14th SG: P (Ber)

Form: MC/37th/MC/10th/5th/9th

History: 40th/14th/12th/29th/MC/3rd/30th/50th

Notes: Boy looking at those stats and recent form it looks like an objectively bad play… especially after he burned me last week; however, I will take a ride down narrative street and think that Rickie bounces back: he has a T3, T12, and T14 at this event, is a very strong putter on Bermuda/Fast greens, and he has done very well at the corollary courses I listed above with a win at TPC Sawgrass, a win at TPC Boston, and has always fared well at Augusta… this may be the lowest owned Rickie we can get also

Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):


1) Bubba Watson ($8,300) Projected Ownership: 8%

Key Stats: 19th SG: T2G/63rd SG: APP/59th BoB Gained/12th SG: OTT/19th Opps. Gained/28th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 18th/MC/3rd/6th/18th

History: 17th/66th/34th/WD/14th/4th/24th/MC

Notes: Probably the first time I’ve ever written up Bubba, let alone may be the first time I’ve ever played him on DK, but you can’t have biases… Bubba was playing outstanding then burned everyone as a chalk bomb at Genesis… his form is solid, his course history is average, and he has an elite OTT game that can mask some of his struggles with the irons; he has been putting very well this year and I don’t see him getting much ownership at all

2) Max Homa ($7,900) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 38th SG: T2G/42nd SG: APP/14th BoB Gained/24th SG: OTT/14th Opps. Gained/58th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 5th/14th/6th/9th/48th/25th

History: None

Notes: Homa has been on fire lately with 4 straight T14 or better finishes in which he has gained OTT, T2G, APP, and Putting in all 4 and I think sets up well for this course; he gains strokes on the field in both proximity from 175-200 and 200+ and as a sneaky long hitter, can definitely rack up birdies on the Par 5s; I like Homa as a solid core play and someone who I think has Top 5/winning upside

3) Abraham Ancer ($7,800) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 31st SG: T2G/38th SG: APP/16th BoB Gained/26th SG: OTT/81st Opps. Gained/77th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 12th/43rd/6th/2nd/38th

History: MC

Notes: Abe has been on a great run the last few weeks with 3 Top 12s or better in his last 4 starts; he’s now a Top 30 ranked player in the world, has gained on SG: APP in his last 5 measured events and T2G in his last 5 of 6; he can struggle on Bermuda greens but I think at this price we’re getting an elite talent at a discounted price


1) Byeong Hun An ($8,700) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stats: 4th SG: T2G/29th SG: APP/61st BoB Gained/21st SG: OTT/50th Opps. Gained/71st SG: P (Ber)

Form: 4th/29th/9th/68th/MC

History: 10th/14th/49th/36th

Notes: Everyone knows the story with An by now: he’s an elite ball striker but cannot putt to save his life; I’m fading this week as most will see his name atop the leaderboard this past week where he stormed back after an opening 76 to finish the tournament T4 but I just don’t trust his putting here and feel like if he misses the greens he’s in for a long couple days

2) Tyrrell Hatton ($8,100) Projected Ownership: 16%

Key Stats: None that are relevant as of late with only 1 tournament in the last several months

Form: 6th

History: 29th/69th/4th

Notes: I originally liked Hatton earlier in the week but I think he’s going to end up quite popular at this price and makes for an ownership fade; I don’t think he is a bad play and he definitely proved me wrong in Mexico as he came off a wrist surgery and posted 4 rounds in the 60s en route to a T6 but I will prefer to pivot off of him and take chalk elsewhere

Favorite Pivot

1) Scott Piercy ($7,200) Projected Ownership: 4%

Key Stats: 41st SG: T2G/24th SG: APP/43rd BoB Gained/38th SG: OTT/31st Opps. Gained/32nd SG: P (Ber)

Form: 17th/18th/6th/61st/45th

History: 54th/MC/MC/MC

Notes: I never play a chalky Piercy but he has been playing very well the last several weeks with 3 straight Top 20s and has gained on SG:APP in his last 3 straight; historically not a very good putter at all, Bermuda is his “least” bad, he is sneaky solid OTT, and since he has poor course history, I don’t see him getting above 5% owned; great leverage play in tournaments

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):


1) Cameron Champ ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: 32nd SG: T2G/1st SG: OTT/9th BoB Gained/9th Opps. Gained; I don’t think Champ has lived up to the hype in general but this price makes zero sense… he’s better than 6900 and I wouldn’t be shocked to see his ownership rise because of it

2) Sebastian Munoz ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 7%

Quick Hits: Obviously I’m playing him… 29th T2G/8th SG: APP/10th BoB Gained/2nd Opps. Gained; coming off a 14th in Mexico, is on his best putting surface, and gained on APP in 3 straight

3) Sung Kang ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 2%

Quick Hits: Great long iron player; 34th SG: APP/28th BoB Gained; is a horrible putter but no one will own him and he’s sub 7k… recently came runner up at Genesis

4) Patrick Rodgers ($6,600) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: Solid Bermuda putter, ranking 9th in the field, 34th in SG: OTT, 42nd in BoB Gained and only 6600 this week… great punt that if he makes the cut is huge value; has made 7 of his last 8 cuts with a T21, T16, and T9 in that span

Cash Game Options

1) Rory McIlroy

2) Hideki Matsuyama

3) Xander Schauffele

4) Henrik Stenson

5) Max Homa

6) Abraham Ancer

7) Joel Dahmen

8) Carlos Ortiz/Cam Champ/Sebastian Munoz

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 40% Key Stats, 45% Recent Form, 5% Course History, and 10% in Average DK Points in their last 5 events

  1. Rory McIlroy
  2. Bryson Dechambeau
  3. Hideki Matsuyama
  4. Tommy Fleetwood
  5. Adam Scott
  6. Max Homa
  7. Xander Schauffele
  8. Joel Dahmen
  9. Patrick Reed
  10. Bubba Watson
  11. Sungjae Im
  12. Marc Leishman
  13. Billy Horschel
  14. Tony Finau
  15. Brendan Steele

Betting/One and Done

Value Bets:

Come check as out at BetKarma.com where I will have weekly articles for outright bets, first round leaders, and matchups!

OAD Strategy

Expected Popular Picks

Rory McIlroy

Bryson Dechambeau

Tommy Fleetwood

Henrik Stenson

Hideki Matsuyama

OAD Pivots

Tony Finau

Brooks Koepka

Francesco Molinari

Billy Horschel

Abraham Ancer

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