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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2020 Travelers Championship DraftKings Preview/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: TPC River Highlands

Fast Facts

  • Par 70 approx. 6800 yards
  • Medium Fast Bentgrass/Poa Greens approx. 5000 sq. ft. (SMALLER than TOUR average)
  • Easy to hit fairways (almost 70%) with a premium on Approach from 125-175/GIRs
  • Field: 156 players; Top 65 and Ties make the cut
  • Average cut around Even
  • Average winning score around -15 (last 10 years)
  • Corollary Courses: Pebble Beach, TPC Boston, Riviera CC, Torrey Pines
  • Course Fit Targets: Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay, Jason Day, Vaughn Taylor, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Matthew Fitzpatrick

GPP and Cash Recap (DRAFTKINGS)

YTD Results (Cash) – FD = 6-4; DK 3-7

GPP Results – See table below

Cash: I said last week that DFS Golf is weird, as I cashed with a 3/6 with a relatively no sweat while this past week, I got 4/6 through, scored 485 points, and missed by about 20 in all double ups… I felt pretty good about my team and although I knew it was gonna be somewhat chalky, the only one I debated back and forth was Kisner, which in hindsight, I guess I should have switched. Sungjae misses his first cut in a long time, nothing to say about that besides variance, while Kisner missed some very short putts on Friday to miss the cut by one. Webb seemed like the obvious play of the week and the industry wasn’t fooled as he was the highest owned player in GPPs and was around 50-60% in cash. Kuchar is always an auto chalk play so I had no issues there and Poulter, well I was surprised to see him as high as he was but maybe it was the price that dragged everyone to him, but 40%? Wow. People are too sharp. Dahmen probably could have gotten me to min cash if he hadn’t fallen apart on the back nine on Sunday but he has just been so solid, so I have zero qualms about playing him in cash. In hindsight, I probably should have just eaten the chalk with either Hatton or Fitzpatrick, but Hatton was such an unknown to me while I just never really play Fitz due to his lack of upside.

GPP: The week where I have my main 3 lineups and get all the missed cuts in the same line… I will be a rich man. Joking aside, I thought Henley would get there for me in my main lineup, as he was the very first group off on Friday morning, but he just continues to display a horrible short game. I took a risk there and it didn’t pay off, so it goes. I didn’t play Webb in my main lineup because if for some reason he went back to back MC, I wanted to hedge by having him in cash then pivoting in GPPs… big mistake. If you have strong conviction on a guy (I had him in OAD, bet him, played him in cash), then just PLAY HIM. The rest of my main lineup never really had a shot anyway as Rahm had one round hold him back again, DJ didn’t make a run, and Horschel and Patrick Reed lost their hot putter and MC as well. In terms of process, I think I tried to get a little too cute in single entries where most are just using their cash lineup anyway, so I need to better evaluate how owned I want my LU to be instead of trying to go full contrarian. Onto yet ANOTHER loaded field… the Bubba Course!

Course and Weather Notes: 3rd week in a row after the COVID break and the field is stacked again with Cantlay making his return (still no TIGER smh); this course plays under 7000 yards with only 2 Par 5s… greens are bigger than last week (5000 sq. ft. on average compared to 3700 sq. ft. at Harbour Town) and the premium is on hitting these greens and having strong Bent/Poa putting; be warned, this is a BUBBA TRACK as he has 3 wins and 2 Top 5s in his last 10 starts here with only 1 MC… I normally fade Bubba chalk but I have no issue with anyone playing or betting him (I will probably do the latter); I think bombers will once again have no problem scoring as the fairways are very wide and easy to hit (almost a 70% clip), while something I want to emphasize given the last 2 weeks is bombers like Brooks/DJ/Bryson, etc are not at a DISADVANTAGE, but rather, the shorter hitters are more capable of scoring well along with the longer hitters as they aren’t hindered by Par 5s that aren’t reachable or approaches that average over 200 yards. I think that is a misconception that has definitely been debunked with these loaded fields the last 2 weeks… be locked in from 125-175 yards this week, be able to navigate the bumpier Poa mix greens, and you should find yourself near the top on Sunday…

DRAFTKINGS

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

In order of importance:

  • SG: BS
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 125-175 yards)
  • Opportunities Gained
  • GIRs Gained
  • Par 4 BoB
  • SG: Total (Pete Dye Course Comps)

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) Justin Thomas ($10,800) Projected Ownership: 18%

Key Stats: 7th SG: BS/7th SG: APP/15th Opps. Gained/22nd GIRs/1st Par 4 BoB/38th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 8th/10th

History: 36th/56th/MC/3rd/MC/30th

Notes: I’m a broken record but JT had a very poor round on Thursday then stormed back on the weekend and ultimately finished inside the Top 10… he’s going to win soon and I don’t want to miss it, no matter how owned he is

2) Justin Rose ($9,200) Projected Ownership: 16%

Key Stats: 33rd SG: BS/26th SG: APP/12th Opps. Gained/54th GIRs/18th Par 4 Bob/12th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 14th/3rd

History: 13th/9th

Notes: I don’t understand this price and expect him to be chalk here… and for good reason; he’s only 9200 and has looked great after his iron switch; his putting wasn’t as hot this past week but he gained 3.4 on APP and 8.7 T2G to follow up his 3rd place finish at Charles Schwab… Rose has excelled at Pebble and has won at Torrey, 2 strong corollary courses, so I love him in all formats this week

Fades

1) Brooks Koepka ($10,000) Projected Ownership: 15%

Key Stats: 48th SG: BS/117th SG: APP/65th Opps. Gained/25th GIRs/10th Par 4 BoB/43rd SG: Pete Dye

Form: 7th/32nd

History: 57th/19th/9th/51st

Notes: This fade works out for me approximately 0.000000% of the time but I’m gonna do it anyway… I can’t play everyone and I’ll fade based on the fact that he gained zero strokes on APP last week but did gain 6.9 OTT and 3.8 putting… if he misses greens here he’ll be scrambling all day long instead of birdies

2) Patrick Cantlay ($9,800) Projected Ownership: 14%

Key Stats: 16th SG: BS/4th SG: APP/26th Opps. Gained/5th GIRs/13th Par 4 BoB/10th SG: Pete Dye

Form: Hopefully figuring out how to play in under 7 hours

History: 15th/15th/MC/MC/24th

Notes: Similar to last week with Hideki and Hatton (one worked out/one didn’t), we just haven’t seen him, so no idea what to expect; Cantlay always gets ownership so I don’t hate the play in cash or GPPs, I just personally will favor those who I have seen the last week or two

Favorite Pivot

1) Jon Rahm ($10,200) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 9th SG: BS/61st SG: APP/22nd Opps. Gained/6th GIRs/20th Par 4 BoB/13th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 33rd/MC

History: 25th/64th

Notes: Rahm was middle of the road last week but once again gained on APP on the weekend but struggled ARG and with the putter… now he’s back on Bent/Poa where he’s won (Torrey) and I think this is a week where MAYBE we get him lowest owned above 10k and he strikes with a blistering Rahmbo round or two… he’s too good to not finish at least Top 10 this week

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

Plays

1) Sungjae Im ($8,600) Projected Ownership: 18%

Key Stats: 24th SG: BS/48th SG: APP/57th Opps. Gained/43rd GIRs/19th Par 4 BoB/49th SG: Pete Dye

Form: MC/10th

History: 21st

Notes: Man, 2nd MC since last July and you get bumped down over 1k on DraftKings… I don’t think people will be fooled, similar to last week with Webb, and he’ll be extremely chalky… I like him in cash and will almost certainly play him, but it is worth noting that he did MC at Riviera a few months ago, a course comp I like, so I may go underweight in GPPs but I think he bounces back easily…

2) Brian Harman ($7,600) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 79th SG: BS/54th SG: APP/16th Opps. Gained/69th GIRs (nice)/31st Par 4 BoB/7th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 28th/23rd

History: 8th/6th/35th/MC/3rd/42nd/51st/24th

Notes: I play Brian Harman too much… that’s a fact; but look at that history, he’s been playing well since the layoff gaining T2G and on APP in both tournaments and now gets an even shorter course where he has some serious success; not sure I’ll get there in cash, but will certainly play him in one of my main 3 lineups in GPPs

3) Scottie Scheffler ($7,600) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 20th SG: BS/46th SG: APP/23rd Opps. Gained/63rd GIRs/36th Par 4 BoB/78th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 55th

History: None

Notes: I think this is the biggest misprice of the week; people may fade because he WD pre-tourney last week (not COVID related… I think), but he’s shown to be an elite ball striker and if he putts average, he can finish way up the leaderboard; it’s a small sample, but he gained 2.9 on APP at Charles Schwab and 1.9 T2G while losing over 3 strokes ARG and 3.1 putting… I like
Fades

1) Tony Finau ($8,200) Projected Ownership: 15%

Key Stats: 37th SG: BS/52nd SG: APP/131st Opps. Gained/30th GIRs/3rd Par 4 BoB/94th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 33rd/23rd

History: MC/17th/25th/25th

Notes: I hardly ever play Finau since he’s always owned and now being low 8k again I expect him to be in the 5 highest or so owned on the slate… he gained FOUR strokes ARG last week while losing on APP the 2nd week in a row and continuing to gain OTT per usual… I’ll pivot to other guys here and hope a chalky FInau doesn’t burn me

2) Viktor Hovland ($7,800) Projected Ownership: 20%

Key Stats: 5th SG: BS/9th SG: APP/77th Opps. Gained/29th GIRs/48th Par 4 BoB/75th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 21st/23rd

History: 54th

Notes: This fade definitely makes me nervous but it is mostly based on my projected ownership for him… Hovland is very good and is most likely underpriced; however, long term he is not a strong putter or Scrambler, with the putting being a premium at TPC River Highlands… he is always elite T2G, but I will take my chances and fade here and hope he falters on the greens at high, high ownership

Favorite Pivot

1) Max Homa ($7,000) Projected Ownership: 6%

Key Stats: 3rd SG: BS/14th SG: APP/46th Opps. Gained/21st GIRs/17th Par 4 BoB/129th SG: Pete Dye

Form: 41st/MC

History: MC/MC

Notes: I hope people see his course history and finishes the last 2 weeks and skip right by his name… Homa gained over 6 strokes on APP and T2G last week while losing an impressive 2.8 ARG and another 3.6 putting… normally a good putter, I think he figures it out as Poa is his best putting surface (River Highlands is mainly bent but has Poa mixed in) and I love that this past year he finished 9th at Farmers (Torrey Pines) and 5th at Riviera…

OTHERS I LIKE: Gary Woodland/Marc Leishman/Joel Dahmen in ALL formats
GPP ONLY/FLIERS: Paul Casey (gross)/Keegan Bradley (nasty)/Jason Kokrak/Kevin Streelman

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punts

1) Ryan Moore ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 4%

Quick Hits: Burned me last week after a brutal Thursday, but looked someone solid on Friday with ball striking, just hasn’t putted well at all; ranks 6th in SG: Pete Dye, 35th in GIRs, and has finishes here of 15th, 17th, 5th, 7th, 2nd, and 13th in his last 8 starts

2) Patrick Rodgers ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: 53rd in SG: BS, 11th in Par 4 BoB, 34th in GIRs, and has made his last 5 starts here with a 3rd place finish 4 years ago

3) Doc Redman ($6,700) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: Has been a ball striking machine, but is just a horrible putter; gained 4.7 strokes on APP at Charles Schwab and 7.8 at RBC while losing almost 4 strokes ARG and half a stroke putting… great GPP

4) Matthew NeSmith ($6,600) Projected Ownership: 6%

Quick Hits: 23rd SG: BS, 13th SG: APP, 30th Par 4 BoB, 31st GIRs… can be very up and down, but Bent is his best putting surface; gained 6.1 on APP last week, 6 strokes T2G and lost 2.2 putting to finish T33…

5) James Hahn ($6,200) Projected Ownership: <1%

Quick Hits: Complete punt if you’re making 10+ lineups… hasn’t played since the break but finished 13th at Riviera this year; stats are a little stale, but does rank 7th in GIRs, 53rd in Par 4 BoB… made cut means tremendous upside

Cash Game Options

1) Justin Rose

2) Collin Morikawa

3) Abraham Ancer

4) Paul Casey

5) Sungjae Im

6) Joel Dahmen

7) Brian Harman

8) Scottie Scheffler

9) Kevin Streelman

10) Vaughn Taylor

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 50% Key Stats, 10% Recent Form, 10% Course History, 20% of my calculated odds for them to win, and 10% of their Top 20 Odds

  1. Bryson Dechambeau
  2. Justin Thomas
  3. Abraham Ancer
  4. Joaquin Niemann
  5. Webb Simpson
  6. Rory McIlroy
  7. Xander Schauffele
  8. Paul Casey
  9. Patrick Cantlay
  10. Justin Rose
  11. Gary Woodland
  12. Collin Morikawa
  13. Jon Rahm
  14. Joel Dahmen
  15. Sungjae Im
  16. Sergio Garcia
  17. Marc Leishman
  18. Bubba Watson
  19. Corey Conners
  20. Viktor Hovland

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

Bubba Watson

Abraham Ancer

Viktor Hovland

Bryson Dechambeau

Paul Casey

OAD Pivots

Jon Rahm

Marc Leishman

Gary Woodland

Xander Schauffele

Sungjae Im

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