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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2021 American Express DraftKings Picks/Preview/Pivots/Fades

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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Courses: PGA West (Stadium Course) and Nicklaus Course, La Quinta, CA

Fast Facts

  • Par 72, 7147 yards (PGA West); Pete Dye design; Nicklaus course Par 72, 7181 yards
  • Bermuda greens; 11 on the stimp (slow) with smaller than average greens (5000 sq. ft.)
  • Field: 156 players; Top 65 and Ties make the cut after the first TWO ROUNDS
  • Short Par 5s = imperative to score (majority are less than 550 yards)
  • NEW this year: no pro-am format so 2 courses instead of 3 and cut after 2 rounds
  • Corollary Courses: Innisbrook (Valspar), TPC Kaula Lumpur, TPC Scottsdale, Waiale CC
  • Top Course Fit Targets: Rickie Fowler/Sungjae Im/Byeong Hun An/Charles Howell III/Brooks Koepka/Paul Casey/Russell Knox/Tony Finau/Chez Reavie/Keegan Bradley

Course and Weather Notes: Last week was tough for yours truly in 2 ways, 1) I had a 6/6 with great potential until ZJ decided to play bogey golf on the weekend, and on Sunday, Brian Harman and Chez Reavie followed the same trend… in cash, I trusted Russell Knox and Scott Piercy… mistakes were made, and we move on!

Notably, this tournament takes a new look this year (SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER), as the pro-am portion is cancelled and the easiest course, normally part of a 3-course rotation and cut after R3, has been removed. Instead, players will each play the Stadium Course and Nicklaus Course once on THU/FRI then the Stadium Course on the weekend. For showdown, I would definitely target golfers on the Nicklaus course the first 2 days, if possible, not because it is MUCH easier, but because there are less hazards, possible blow-up holes compared to the Stadium. Being on the course, any wind will be more precarious than usual so I would recommend waiting till later on Wednesday with the most up to date weather to see if there is a tee time advantage. Lastly, while I expect different scoring with most likely more difficult pin placements (since there are no amateurs) and the removal of the easiest course by far, I don’t think we should overreact or change the strategy too much in attacking the field… this is a scoring fest that is won by players with a hot putter + Good approach + can take advantage of the very easy Par 5s!


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

In order of importance:

  • SG: Approach (emphasis on 125-175 emphasis)
  • BoB Gained
  • SG: T2G
  • Scrambling
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda emphasis)
  • SG: Par 5s

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) Patrick Reed ($10,200) Projected Ownership: 24%

Key Stats: 50th SG: APP/2nd BoB/47th T2G/60th Scrambling/14th SG: P/11th SG: Par 5s

Form: 21st/3rd/10th

Course History: MC/12th/56th/24th/1st/MC/22nd

Notes: It sounds counterintuitive, but I rarely judge Reed solely off a stat model because every tournament he presents big winning upside and will never rate out as consistent as others around him; he’s one of the best scramblers on TOUR, can get a very hot putter, and is a former winner here

2) Scottie Scheffler ($9,500) Projected Ownership: 26%

Key Stats: 123rd SG: APP/19th BoB/27th T2G/118th Scrambling/67th SG: P/29th SG: Par 5s

Form: 13th/19th/32nd

Course History: 3rd

Notes: Stats look awful, which I think is partly due to a limited sample size (TOC then most recent before that was the Masters in mid-November); Has gained T2G in 4 straight tournaments, has improved his around the green game, and can crush the par 5s; made a charge last year and finished Top 5


1) Brooks Koepka ($10,800) Projected Ownership: 19%

Key Stats: 13th SG: APP/12th BoB/13th T2G/49th Scrambling/66th SG: P/33rd SG: Par 5s

Form: MC/7th/5th

Course History: None

Notes: Prefer others around him and although he says his knee is fully healthy, I am hesitant to believe him; combine that with the fact that he hasn’t played here and is one of the more expensive options, I’ll look elsewhere if paying for a stud this week

2) Kevin Na ($9,200) Projected Ownership: 8%

Key Stats: 106th SG: APP/35th BoB/65th T2G/36th Scrambling/35th SG: P/80th SG: Par 5s

Form: 1st/38th/13th

Course History: 17th/42nd/70th/3rd/48th/48th/MC/30th/5th

Notes: Not fading because he just won, but more because I don’t think he’s terribly consistent as he had lost strokes T2G and on APP in his previous 3 starts before his win; he is priced way up in what is not a terrible field and I like numerous options around him as better value

Favorite Pivot

1) Abraham Ancer ($9,100) Projected Ownership: 18%

Key Stats: 49th SG: APP/43rd BoB/64th T2G/75th Scrambling/26th SG: P/65th SG: Par 5s

Form: MC/17th/12th/13th

Course History: 2nd/18th/76th/MC/56th

Notes: This is definitely a “pivot” as he should be high owned but I don’t like any of the low owned guys in this range; the Ancer fade worked last week as he couldn’t make a putt to save his life, but I think he turns it around as he has gained strokes on APP in both tournaments of 2021, has immensely improved his putting (except for last week), and has shown aptitude for the course, finishing Top 5 last year

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


1) Patton Kizzire ($8,400) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 115th SG: APP/1st BoB/52nd T2G/68th Scrambling/1st SG: P/2nd SG: Par 5s

Form: 7th/32nd/10th/11th

Course History: MC/MC/42nd/50th/42nd

Notes: Hasn’t looked tremendous stat wise, as can be seen by his 115th rank in SG: APP; however, he has made 7 straight cuts with a T24/T11/T10/T7 in that span, has shown consistent putting ability, and is on by far his best putting surface in Bermuda; has gained over 4 strokes T2G in each of 3 of his last 4 starts

2) Cameron Tringale ($7,400) Projected Ownership: 4%

Key Stats: 36th SG: APP/3rd BoB/22nd T2G/35th Scrambling/7th SG: P/7th SG: Par 5s

Form: 3rd/29th/MC

Course History: 43rd/51st/MC/MC/14th/30th/38th/37th/30th/68th

Notes: Hasn’t played since the RSM in November, but always rates out well in any stat model; finished 3rd at the RSM, has gained strokes on APP and T2G in his last 2 starts and very quietly finished 3rd here last year

3) Keegan Bradley ($7,300) Projected Ownership: 6%

Key Stats: 4th SG: APP/72nd BoB/1st T2G/135th Scrambling/153rd SG: P/3rd SG: Par 5s

Form: MC/32nd/15th/MC

Course History: 25th/48th/18th/7th

Notes: In every way you shouldn’t, Keegan seems to be unbelievably consistent… has gained strokes T2G and APP in EVERY tournament since August (10 total), gained in SG: OTT in 8 straight… yet, has lost strokes putting in every tournament since the Travelers last June with the exception of one, where he finished 4th; will he gain this week? The sample size says no, but I’ll play the guy who’s probably a Top 5 ball striker in the field and hope just maybe once he can putt even halfway decent


1) Adam Hadwin ($8,000) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 87th SG: APP/139th BoB/96th T2G/29th Scrambling/89th SG: P/134th SG: Par 5s

Form: MC/MC/MC

Course History: 2nd/3rd/2nd/6th/48th/32nd/MC

Notes: I expect Hadwin to be very popular by the end of the week and I get it… 4 straight T6 finishes or better here but looking at his form and stats… hard pass for me; currently riding a MC streak of 3 in a row, hasn’t gained on APP since August (lost strokes on APP in 7 straight), lost strokes T2G in 4 straight… maybe he burns me and racks up another Top 10 but I’ll fade away

2) Cameron Davis ($7,700) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 124th SG: APP/6th BoB/90th T2G/144th Scrambling/77th SG: P/27th SG: Par 5s

Form: 31st/MC/68th

Course History: 29th/28th

Notes: It sucks that Cam Davis has become a regular in the “weekly fade” section but he’s now more expensive than last week, has now lost strokes on APP in 3 of his last 4, and is on his worst putting surface in Bermuda; when rostering someone above 7500 I always expect a decent floor with decent T5 upside and I don’t see it here with Davis as a poor scrambler, poor putter, and not gaining on APP

Favorite Pivot

1) John Huh ($7,200) Projected Ownership: 3%

Key Stats: 27th SG: APP/13th BoB/46th T2G/95th Scrambling/15th SG: P/100th SG: Par 5s

Form: 20th/12th/48th

Course History: 48th/70th/3rd/MC/24th/30th/27th

Notes: Sporting probably my favorite name on TOUR, John HUH?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!??????? has been playing well, making 4 straight cuts with 3 T20s or better in that span; he has made 6/7 cuts here, with a T3 in 2018, has gained on APP and T2G in 4 straight tournaments and should be very, very low owned

OTHERS I LIKE: Sam Burns/Aaron Wise/Chris Kirk/Doc Redman/Lucas Glover/Sepp Straka/Talor Gooch/Wyndham Clark/Matthew NeSmith


Low Tier Options (Under 7K):


1) Doug Ghim ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 2%

Quick Hits: Missed the cut last week but still ranks out well stat wise and should be significantly less owned this week; ranks 30th T2G, 20th SG: APP, 10th in BoB

2) Denny McCarthy ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: Known to be one of the better putters on TOUR, Denny also ranks Top 50 in the field in T2G, Par 5 scoring, Top 20 in SG: Putting on Bermuda and Scrambling; form is weak but hasn’t played in several weeks and did make the cut here last year

3) Chesson Hadley ($6,700) Projected Ownership: 1%

Quick Hits: Poor course history, but does have a T23 and a T16 in 2 of his last 3 starts; can get REALLY hot but equally very cold; ranks 41st in BoB, 5th in SG: Putting on Bermuda and will be unowned

4) Robby Shelton ($6,400) Projected Ownership: <1%

Quick Hits: Played great last weekend ultimately finishing T25; ranks out well for his price per his stats, ranking 20th in the field in T2G, 24th in SG: APP, 37th in Par 5 scoring, and 8th in Scrambling

Cash Game Options

1) Patrick Cantlay                         

2) Patrick Reed

3) Scottie Scheffler

4) Abraham Ancer

5) Russell Henley

6) Sam Burns

7) Doc Redman

8) Cameron Tringale

9) Charley Hoffman

10) Sepp Straka

11) Doug Ghim

12) Denny McCarthy

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 25% Key Stats, 40% Recent Form, 5% DK Points Last 5 Events, 5% of my calculated odds for them to win, 15% of their Top 20 Odds, and 10% Course History Rank

  1. Patrick Reed
  2. Sungjae Im
  3. Cameron Tringale
  4. Zach Johnson
  5. Kevin Na
  6. Chris Kirk
  7. Sepp Straka
  8. Brooks Koepka
  9. Patrick Cantlay
  10. Abraham Ancer
  11. Charley Hoffman
  12. Matt Jones
  13. Wyndham Clark
  14. Scott Piercy
  15. Tony Finau
  16. Aaron Wise
  17. Patton Kizzire
  18. Adam Long
  19. Russell Henley
  20. Denny McCarthy


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!

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