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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2020 Honda Classic 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: PGA National

Fast Facts

  • Par 70 approx. 7100 yards
  • Bermuda Greens approx. 7000 sq. ft. (larger than TOUR average)
  • Home to the infamous “Bear Trap,” a very difficult stretch from Holes 15-17
  • A ton of water on the course (15/18 holes) and bunkers (78 total)
  • Field: 144 players; Top 65 and Ties make the cut
  • Average cut around +2 or +3
  • One of the harder courses on the PGA TOUR (consistently Top 10 in difficulty)
  • Corollary Courses: East Lake GC, Sedgefield CC, TPC Southwind, Quail Hollow
  • Course Fit Targets: Justin Rose, Daniel Berger, Billy Horschel, Ryan Palmer, Jim Furyk

GPP and Cash Recap (DRAFTKINGS)

YTD Results (Cash) – FD = 3-3; DK 2-4

GPP Results – See table below (next week)

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: I didn’t play cash at the WGC as I normally don’t for no cut/small field events as I feel like there isn’t near the edge that we normally have with a cut and roster construction decisions.

GPP: A breakeven week for me which I’ll take with how poorly my main team ended up but a frustrating one nonetheless since I think I had the right process but just some outliers caused the main team to fail. First, I was all over Xander Schauffele for the week and I can’t even list all the short putts he made and when I looked back and realized he was 1st in SG: APP for the week, 4th in SG: T2G, and his best putting surface is Poa… a 14th place finish was painful. Every time I looked at the new and improved ShotTracker (yeah right… it’s horrible), I saw another miss inside 8 feet. Just bizarre. I went with chalk Carlos Ortiz, which if I had known he would be 30% in the $12 Albatross I would have faded, but he ended up T16 which at $6,600 I’ll take all day. Rory racked up another T5 although took himself out of contention of winning pretty much after doing absolutely nothing on Friday, which seems to be classic him currently. Is he just not that good of a putter… or? I played Ancer who did well at his price, finishing T12, Shane Lowry who disappointed by just making too many pars but not enough birdies, which is kind of his game, but still I expected a little better. I punted in the 6k range for my last spot and I liked how Mike Lorenzo-Vera was playing over on the Euro but phew he sucked. Still scored 55.5 DK points at only $6,600 but in hindsight Ryan Fox was the much better play with the distance advantage. I had a team that was very solid in 3 maxes that ended up pretty high that had Reed/Bryson, but I needed more from Casey and Rahm instead of Rory to really take down some serious cash. Onto the FLORIDA SWING.

Course and Weather Notes: This course is HARD and even though that isn’t a secret to anyone who reads/listens to golf content throughout the week, it’s still worth noting that it should play quite differently than the last several birdie-fest tournaments. It’s known for the “Bear Trap,” which is a very tough test of holes (15-17) in which getting out in even par is a leg up on the field; however, there is a second stretch that’s even more difficult, in holes 5-7. So when you wake up at 730 AM and your lineups are dead, just know that there were 2 opportunities, not just 1, to have your 6/6 chances crushed. The name of the game here is hitting GIRs to limit your scrambling and in turn, avoiding bogeys. You have to make some birdies, especially on the 2 Par 5s, but playing the Bear Trap in around even or +1/+2, you’ll find yourself near the top of the leaderboard.

DRAFTKINGS

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

In order of importance:

  • SG: BS
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards)
  • BoB Gained
  • GIRs Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Scrambling
  • 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:

Plays

1) Rickie Fowler ($10,800) Projected Ownership: 20%

Key Stats: 58th SG: BS/66th SG: APP/28th BoB/52nd GIRs/70th Bogey Avoidance/61st Scram/12th SG: P (Ber)

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

History: 2nd/MC/1st/6th/41st/24th/13th/7th/MC/MC

Notes: Definitely has not looked his best as of late but I’m going to side with him being an elite scrambler (long term), one of the very best putters on TOUR, especially on Bermuda, and that he knows how to play this course… he plays it every year and has a win along with 3 Top 7s or better in his last 8 starts… he’s never low owned due to his popularity but I like him in single entry/3 max GPPs

2) Gary Woodland ($10,300) Projected Ownership: 19%

Key Stats: 5th SG: BS/17th SG: APP/13th BoB/10th GIRs/7th Bogey Avoidance/60th Scram/63rd SG: P (Ber)

Form: 12th/40th/MC/7th/7th

History: 36th/49th/2nd/61st/68th/6th

Notes: Ranks #1 in my model as he’s elite off the tee, elite iron player, and although his putting and around the green game leaves a lot to be desired, I love him here; he excels on shorter courses where he can hit wedges and play that stinger… he’s gained on SG: APP in his last 4 events and T2G in his last 5 orf 6 measured events; course history is kind of all over the place, but he hasn’t missed a cut here and is coming into the event with momentum; playable in all formats

Fades

1) Tommy Fleetwood ($11,600) Projected Ownership: 17%

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

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

History: DNP/4th

Notes: Tommy has been playing very well as of late, mostly on the Euro Tour, and I don’t think he’s a bad play whatsoever in a vacuum but this price makes no sense to me… tough to tell with his stats since he only played his first PGA TOUR event last week, but he’s not an incredibly strong putter and on top of that, Bermuda is his worst surface… he always gets ownership and I’d rather play someone cheaper

2) Billy Horschel ($9,200) Projected Ownership: 22%

Key Stats: 38th SG: BS/79th SG: APP/6th BoB/44th GIRs/43rd Bogey Avoidance/75th Scram/8th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 9th/9th/68th/MC/MC

History: 16th/MC/4th/8th/MC/MC/46th/MC

Notes: I get the love for Horschel this week as he’s in his home state, he’s a great Bermuda putter, and is coming off 2 straight Top 10s; however, I will never play a chalk Billy Horschel which is what we have here… maybe that’s just a narrative but 20+% ownership is not worth it at all for me, plus, we’re not exactly getting a bargain here; he can absolutely find all the water around here and make big numbers

Favorite Pivot

1) Shane Lowry ($9,100) Projected Ownership: 9%

Key Stats (Euro): 21st SG: T2G/62nd SG: APP/16th Scram/101st GIRs/36th SG: OTT/113th SG: Putting

Form: 29th/13th/11th/MC/12th

History: 49th/53rd

Notes: Lowry was solid T2G/APP last week but he just couldn’t make any putts, which, I’ll give him a slight pass since Poa is very difficult to putt on; he was in my pivots last week and I’ll go back again in which he’ll be 10% or less owned; I want guys here who can grind out pars and that’s what Lowry’s game is if we look no further than his British Open win in which he stayed steady in very difficult conditions… if the wind blows and we have a winning score of -8 to -10, I love Lowry in GPPs

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

Plays

1) Harris English ($7,800) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stats: 23rd SG: BS/50th SG: APP/114th BoB/3rd GIRs/1st Bogey Avoidance/12th Scram/14th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 16th/71st/48th/MC

History: 12th/33rd/60th/MC/MC/18th

Notes: Not a guy I expected to like, or even think of, entering this week but English really is an excellent Bermuda putter and a great par saver; he’s gained T2G in 8 of his last 9 measured tournaments and although his APP numbers have been iffy lately, he’s back on hit preferred putting surface and is also a great wind player if it picks up; love him in all formats

2) Vaughn Taylor ($7,600) Projected Ownership: 7%

Key Stats: 46th SG: BS/23rd SG: APP/1st BoB/77th GIRs/47th Bogey Avoidance/85th Scram/23rd SG: P (Ber)

Form: 13th/MC/MC/43rd/12th/10th

History: 59th/59th/MC/25th/18th/58th/71st

Notes: The recent finishes and course history aren’t that appetizing but I play Vaughn basically every week because he’s MOSTLY consistent and always around this price; for an older guy/shorter hitter, he makes a ton of birdies, is a great Par 3 scorer, and he should be able to putt much better on this track compared to the Poa greens in California; don’t sleep on Vaughn, as I think he’s very cash playable

3) Bud Cauley ($7,300) Projected Ownership: 9%

Key Stats: 47th SG: BS/13th SG: APP/88th BoB/64th GIRs/30th Bogey Avoidance/4th Scram/16th SG: P (Ber)

Form: 51st/25th/MC/4th/MC

History: 12th/WD/27th/MC/MC

Notes: Bud has gained on SG: APP in 6 of his last 7 tournaments, T2G in his last 6 of 7, and has 2 Top 10s dating back to the Houston Open in October; I think he’s a very solid tournament play this week and someone who should never really be that high owned… similar to English, he can save par very well and although he won’t light up the tournament with a million birdies, that’s not this type of tournament

Fades

1) Joaquin Niemann ($8,700) Projected Ownership: 14%

Key Stats: 14th SG: BS/9th SG: APP/33rd BoB/35th GIRs/94th Bogey Avoidance/76th Scram/109th SG: P (Ber)

Form: MC/49th/57th/5th

History: 59th

Notes: Pains me to put him on the fade list as a huge fan but on a course where scrambling and Bermuda putting is so paramount, he’s a logical fade… his APP and T2G will always be elite, but if he misses the fairways/greens here I think he’s really going to struggle

2) Corey Conners ($8,200) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 2nd SG: BS/22nd SG: APP/73rd BoB/1st GIRs/35th Bogey Avoidance/126th Scram/102nd SG: P (Ber)

Form: 50th/MC/45th/12th/19th

History: DNP/59th

Notes: Another difficult fade for my #brand but like Niemann, Conners isn’t a good enough scrambler/putter in my opinion to succeed here; also, now that I said that I’m sure he’ll putt lights out so you should go bet him… his form has been iffy and he basically needs to hit every single green because if he has to scramble, he’s going to be making big numbers

Favorite Pivot

1) Talor Gooch ($7,200) Projected Ownership: 6%

Key Stats: 45th SG: BS/42nd SG: APP/47th BoB/13th GIRs/8th Bogey Avoidance/81st Scram/53rd SG: P (Ber)

Form: 10th/61st/36th/17th63rd/23rd

History: 20th/MC

Notes: Besides having an epic name, Gooch has made 10 straight cuts dating back to the Safeway in September and while his stats can be mixed, he has gained on APP in 7 of those 10 and around the green in 9 of the 10 tournaments; I like his form and I like his price mainly as I don’t think he’ll be owned by many at all and he has Top 10 upside as he showed in the strong Genesis field only two weeks ago

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punts

1) Tom Hoge ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 7%

Quick Hits: 9th SG: BS/2nd SG: APP/2nd Bogey Avoidance/18th SG: P (Ber); not sure why he’s now priced so low when he’s been playing great…

2) Tim Wilkinson ($6,600) Projected Ownership: 2%

Quick Hits: One of my favorite punt guys each and every week; his stats are all about average but he’s low 6k, has average 66 DK points per event in his last 5 (26th in the field), and has 3 Top 25s or better in his last 4 starts

3) Ted Potter Jr. ($6,600) Projected Ownership: <1%

Quick Hits: TPJ is such a goat; 30th SG: APP/31st Bogey Avoidance/17th GIRs; he will MC a lot so obviously a deep tournament flier but he will also Top 10 out of nowhere (6th and 7th in his last 6 starts)

Cash Game Options

1) Rickie Fowler

2) Gary Woodland

3) Byeong Hun An

4) Harris English

5) Vaughn Taylor

6) Russell Knox

7) Bud Cauley

8) Tom Hoge

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 35% Key Stats, 45% Recent Form, 10% Course History, and 10% in Average DK Points in their last 5 events

  1. Gary Woodland
  2. Daniel Berger
  3. Tom Hoge
  4. Tommy Fleetwood
  5. Billy Horschel
  6. Louis Oosthuizen
  7. Talor Gooch
  8. Rickie Fowler
  9. Byeong Hun An
  10. Vaughn Taylor
  11. Erik Van Rooyen
  12. Matthew NeSmith
  13. Russell Knox
  14. Bud Cauley
  15. Ryan Palmer

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

Billy Horschel

Rickie Fowler

Tommy Fleetwood

Gary Woodland

Daniel Berger

OAD Pivots

Shane Lowry

Brooks Koepka

Louis Oosthuizen

Ryan Palmer

Ian Poulter

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