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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2021 Memorial Tournament 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: Muirfield Village, Dublin, OH

Fast Facts

  • Par 72; 7543 yards designed by Jack Nicklaus
  • FAST Bentgrass greens
  • SMALL greens (5000 sq. ft. on average)
  • Longer rough
  • Field: 120 players; Top 65 and ties make the cut
  • Went through MAJOR renovations after the 2020 tournament with nearly all holes altered, bunkers added, all but 4 greens changed, trees added, and approx. 150 yards added
  • Average cut +2
  • Accuracy is key as the rough is extremely thick
  • Essential to score on 4 Par 5s and maintain around par on longer Par 4s
  • Corollary Courses: Augusta / Glen Abbey / TPC Boston / Colonial CC / Hamilton GC / Firestone CC
  • Top Course Fit Targets (averaging 1 or more SG: Total per round on the above): Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Sebastian Munoz, Marc Leishman, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler

Course and Weather Notes: One of the best courses on TOUR, players head to what is a “revamped” Muirfield Village course as Jack’s masterpiece has, in all likelihood, been toughened up with nearly every hole undergoing changes, 150 yards added to the total (now over 7500 yards), and all but 4 greens altered with new grass… most will read about the course changes and people’s thoughts in most every article or podcast but in reality, I don’t think anyone knows how it’s going to affect players or not affect players with good/bad course history and vice versa. In my opinion, I think guys who have historically struggled in these super-fast greens may welcome the changes as they were at a disadvantage but who knows because as we all know too well, Corey Conners and Keegan Bradley are bad putters at any course, not just ones that undergo changes. As is with every Nicklaus design, it’s a 2nd shot course, mainly a longer iron 2nd shot course, with driving distance a distinct advantage but perhaps just as important is keeping it in the fairway. This rough gets THICK and while I don’t want to exaggerate it to be something along the lines of U.S. Open length, it’s no simple task to stick it close when you’re spraying it way right or way left, not to mention it’s near impossible to hold the greens with how firm and fast they play year in and year out. I’ll be focusing on guys who excel from the 175-200 range, good scramblers, good bunker plays, and guys who can avoid the big numbers and know when to save par or save a bogey instead of trying to be a hero and make a double or a triple. Good luck this week and enjoy this loaded field and beautiful course!

DRAFTKINGS

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

In order of importance:

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards)
  • SG: OTT
  • BoB Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Scrambling
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500
  • SG: Putting (Blend of overall/bentgrass/fast or lightning speed)

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 ($10,200) Projected Ownership: 13%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 23rd
  • SG: OTT – 58th
  • BoB Gained – 11th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 18th
  • Scrambling – 22nd
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 42nd
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 74th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 40th

Last 3 Starts – 40th // MC // 26th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 40th // MC // 26th // 13th // 21st // 42nd

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 8 – 18th // 2nd // MC // 8th // 4th // MC // MC // 37th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 20s: 4

Notes: This feels similar to a few tournaments in the past where someone like Rory or DJ isn’t “in form” which I always take with a grain of salt because players of that caliber the bar is set so high and the expectations by fans/DFS touts/all the above are sometimes unrealistic; has JT had his best stuff the last 6 weeks or so? Definitely not; however, despite seemingly missing every putt imaginable, he’s gained strokes putting his last 2 tournaments; over his last 3 victories, JT has gained 1.6 strokes putting, lost 1.9 strokes putting, and gained 0.9 strokes putting… he’s not going to go full Spieth/Justin Rose/etc and gain 10 strokes putting en route to victory but he’s still, long-term, the best iron player in the world, he’s seriously underpriced given the guys around him, and I think he’s elite in SE/GPP/Cash

2) Hideki Matsuyama ($9,400) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 13th
  • SG: OTT – 48th
  • BoB Gained – 8th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 17th
  • Scrambling – 70th
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 59th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 94th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 23rd

Last 3 Starts – 23rd // 39th // 1st

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 23rd // 39th // 1st // 30th // 42nd // MC

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 8 – MC // 22nd // 6th // 13th // 45th // MC // 5th // 1st

Wins: 1

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 20s: 4

Notes: Hideki won the Masters then took about a month off, barely played (per him), then returned to action in Texas where his finish was poor but he gained 3.2 strokes on APP, followed up by gaining 6.4 strokes on APP at the PGA Championship but flashed old signs of Hideki as he lost over 3 strokes putting; a former winner here with 3 other T20s or better, one of the better around the green players on TOUR, and for some reason the 10th most expensive on DK and 13th shortest odds per Vegas (upon open at least), he is a great value in all formats

Fades

1) Rory McIlroy ($10,600) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 17th
  • SG: OTT – 64th
  • BoB Gained – 39th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 37th
  • Scrambling – 65th
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 2nd
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 69th (nice)

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 49th

Last 3 Starts – 49th // 1st // MC

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 49th // 1st // MC // 28th // MC

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 7 – 32nd // MC // 8th // 4th // 15th // 57th // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 3

Notes: Last time I faded Rory he won the tournament (classic me) but despite improving form and a strong APP game his last 2 times out, he still has middling stat ranks for being the 4th highest priced; like I’ve said a lot, Rory is talented to win anywhere at any time, but I would rather go to the likes of Rahm/Spieth or drop down to Morikawa/JT/Hovland where I feel like I’m getting similar upside

2) Patrick Cantlay ($9,500) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 19th
  • SG: OTT – 16th
  • BoB Gained – 67th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 20th
  • Scrambling – 52nd
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 28th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 77th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 23rd

Last 3 Starts – 23rd // MC // 11th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 23rd // MC // 11th // MC // MC // 18th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 5 – 32nd // 7th // 1st // 4th // 35th

Wins: 1

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 20s: 3

Notes: Cantlay looked solid at the PGA Champ as his T23 was a better week than the finish indicates since he made a triple on his 71st hole to drop out of the top 10; nevertheless, we deal with small samples each week, but with only one good week after what was 4 straight MCs, 3 straight tournaments losing strokes on APP and now losing strokes putting at 6 straight events I don’t think he’s worth now becoming chalk again despite the strong course history

Favorite Pivot – “Pivot” this week as he’ll be owned for sure, but I think most of the top end guys that I like have some decent ownership

1) Patrick Reed ($9,100) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 70th
  • SG: OTT – 66th
  • BoB Gained – 46th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 45th
  • Scrambling – 36th
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 12th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 6th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – MC

Last 3 Starts – MC // 17th // 6th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – MC // 17th // 6th // MC // 8th // 28th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 6 – 10th // 39th // 29th // 57th // 8th // 26th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 2

Notes: I always write up Reed so here’s the cliff notes of my rinse and repeat… elite short game, plays tough courses very well, his stats never pop, etc etc etc etc etc (this was not intended to be a lazy way of just not writing but I repeat the same thing’s about Reed most weeks in previous articles)… only difference I’ll note from other weeks is that he’s 6/6 in made cuts here with 2 T10s

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

Plays

1) Shane Lowry ($8,400) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 24th
  • SG: OTT – 24th
  • BoB Gained – 23rd
  • Bogey Avoidance – 19th
  • Scrambling – 51st
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 25th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 88th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 4th

Last 3 Starts – 4th // 65th // 9th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 4th // 65th // 9th // 21st // 42nd // 36th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 5 – MC // 39th // 52nd // 15th // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 20s: 1

Notes: Has been great with the irons the last several tournaments but can’t make a putt; Lowry has made his last 6 cuts, has gained on APP and T2G in all 6 of them and not only does he have a T8/T9/T4 in that span, but the 2 of the Top 10s were in some of the strongest fields of the year (PLAYERS and PGA Champ); I love Lowry’s ARG game, I love that he’s a former winner on a comp course (Firestone), and if he just can find the putter, he has serious win equity

2) Charley Hoffman ($8,300) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 1st
  • SG: OTT – 26th
  • BoB Gained – 2nd
  • Bogey Avoidance – 14th
  • Scrambling – 33rd
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 50th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 36th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 3rd

Last 3 Starts – 3rd // 17th // 18th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 3rd // 17th // 18th // 11th // 18th // 2nd

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 7 – 7th // MC // MC // 45th // 19th // 63rd // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 1

Top 20s: 2

Notes: He’s going to be one of the chalkiest on the slate but how can we fade Hoffman after he’s now made 10 straight cuts with a T20 or better finish in 8 of those 10, including a T7/T2/T3… Hoffman ranks 1st in the field in SG: APP, 2nd in BoB, and has no stat rank outside the Top 50… his course history isn’t superb so maybe that keeps his ownership a “little” in check but even as chalk I love the value

3) Gary Woodland ($7,900) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 32nd
  • SG: OTT – 55th
  • BoB Gained – 10th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 15th
  • Scrambling – 16th
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 65th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 32nd

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 14th

Last 3 Starts – 14th // 38th // 5th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 14th // 38th // 5th // MC // 40th // 6th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 10 – 22nd // 5th // 52nd // 23rd // 49th // 4th // MC // 57th // 16th // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 3

Notes: Good to see Gary still playing well after his T5 at Wells Fargo as he’s now gained on APP and gained strokes putting in his last 3 events as well as gaining over 4 strokes T2G in each of those 3; Woodland is not the best putter long term, which can get him into trouble, but he’s vastly improved his ARG game and has a ton of experience at Muirfield, playing each of the last 9 years (2 events last year) with no missed cuts since 2015 with a total of 2 T5s or better and 3 T20s

Fades

1) Marc Leishman ($7,800) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 42nd
  • SG: OTT – 117th
  • BoB Gained – 27th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 65th
  • Scrambling – 49th
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 53rd
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 15th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – MC

Last 3 Starts – MC // 21st // 1st

Last 6 Starts (or max) – MC // 21st // 1st // 5th // 28th // MC

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 10 – 40th // MC // 5th // 62nd // 15th // 11th // 5th // 37th // 41st // 58th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 4

Notes: I understand the draw to Leish this week as his APP game has been solid the last few starts and he’s had success at Muirfield in the past with 4 T20s or better in his last 10 starts; I don’t think I’ll get there because his OTT game has remained a problem with him losing strokes OTT in 7 of 9 measured events this calendar year and with the thick rough that should be surrounding these fairways and greens, Leish could be in trouble trying to punch and scramble and trying to rely on a hot putter to get him out of trouble

2) Patton Kizzire ($7,300) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 9th
  • SG: OTT – 103rd
  • BoB Gained – 4th
  • Bogey Avoidance – 44th
  • Scrambling – 56th
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 88th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 2nd

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 3rd

Last 3 Starts – 3rd // 3rd // 58th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 3rd // 3rd // 58th // 60th // MC // 9th  

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 5 – MC // MC // MC // MC // 38th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 20s: 0

Notes: Maybe Kizzire ends up lower owned than I think but I always try to make some stands in the “chalkier” mid value ranges and although I like Kizzire a lot and love playing him during the fall/winter swings and in Florida, his OTT game is too volatile to trust at Muirifield; his APP numbers are great, gaining over 6 strokes on APP in his last 2 starts that have led to back to back 3rd place finishes; however, until last week, he had lost strokes OTT in 10 straight events combined with riding a hot putter (he’s gained strokes putting in 8 straight events, including over 5 in 2 of his last 4 starts) that could cool off at any second and cause Kizzire to make some big numbers

Favorite Pivot

1) Billy Horschel ($8,100) Projected Ownership: 8%

Key Stat Ranks (blue indicates Top 25 rank in the field)

  • SG: APP (emphasis on 150-200 yards) – 57th
  • SG: OTT – 36th
  • BoB Gained – 31st
  • Bogey Avoidance – 56th
  • Scrambling – 83rd
  • SG: Par 4s 450-500 – 15th
  • SG: Putting (Blend) – 13th

Recent Form (blue indicates Top 10 or better finish)

Last Start – 40th

Last 3 Starts – 40th // 23rd // 4th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 40th // 23rd // 4th // 25th // 50th // 1st  

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 8 – 13th // 7th // 9th // MC // MC // 11th // 15th // 41st

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 5

Notes: Not sure the last time I played Horschel, but he’s been in great form this year combined with solid recent history at Muirfield; consistently a great putter, Horschel has gained strokes with the flatstick in 4 straight events while simultaneously gaining strokes T2G in his last 3 measured events; in his last 3 trips to Muirfield (Workday/Memorial last year and Memorial in 2019), Horschel has finished T13/T7/T9… despite his lack of distance off the tee, his accuracy makes up for it as he ranks 36th in the field in SG: OTT and I doubt many flock to him at 8100 with the likes of chalkier options like Keegan/Hoffman/Woodland/Grillo at similar price points

OTHERS I LIKE: Louis Oosthuizen/Rickie Fowler /Kevin Streelman/Charl Schwartzel/Aaron Wise

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punt Quick Hits

1) Troy Merritt ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 6%

Quick Hits: I’ve been playing Merritt probably more than most and he continues to show strong stats and great finishes with a T7/T7/MC/T8 in his last 4 starts; in this field, Merritt ranks 9th in SG: P, 4th in Scrambling, 6th on Par 4s 450-500, 12th in BoB, and 16th in Bogey Avoidance; he doesn’t have any big finishes at Muirfield but has played it 5 times with a T22 and T17 in 2 of his last 3

2) Adam Hadwin ($6,700) Projected Ownership: 3%

Quick Hits: I feel like Hadwin really went through a long slump over the last 12-18 months, but he’s now gained on APP and gained strokes putting in 3 straight events and despite no high finishes at Muirfield, he’s made his last 3 cuts here and 5 out of 7 cuts in his career; his current form has been sporadic, but long-term he’s an excellent putter and over his last events he has 3 MC but also 2 T8s, including last week, a T23, and a T29 at only 6700 and barely any ownership

3) Kyle Stanley ($6,100) Projected Ownership: 10-15%

Quick Hits: Not sure what the hell DK is doing by making Stanley almost the stone min just because he was a late entry in the field but even if he’s a complete bomb, I will almost certainly play him in cash where I expect him to be uber-popular; Stanley led the field last week at Colonial in APP, he has made his last 5 of 6 cuts with a T8/T23/T14 in that span and has popped at Muirfield in the past with 2 straight missed cuts yet before that a runner up, T6, and T3 in the span of 4 years… his putter always sucks, but he ranks 33rd in the field in APP/29th in Scrambling/14th in SG: OTT/4th on Par 4s 450-500, and 33rd in Bogey Avoidance at only 6100…

4) Russell Knox ($6,100) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: The same exact situation to Stanley applies to Knox as well who was added late and now is only 6100… I think he will be owned but I expect about 1/2 or 1/3 the ownership of Stanley; Knox torched me last week by missing the cut by 1 yet continues to gain on APP, now gaining in 8 straight events, while also Top 30 in the field in Bogey Avoidance and Scrambling; Knox has made 5 of his last 6 cuts at Muirfield and while only one of those was a Top 20, at 6100, even just a made cut is mega-upside

Cash Game Options

1) Collin Morikawa

2) Justin Thomas

3) Viktor Hovland

4) Hideki Matsuyama

5) Corey Conners

6)  Tony Finau

7) Charley Hoffman

8) Keegan Bradley

9) Gary Woodland

10) Emiliano Grillo

11) Kevin Streelman

12) Kyle Stanley (or Russell Knox)

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 30% Key Stats, 40% Recent Form, 10% DK Points Last 5 Events, 5% of my calculated odds for them to win, 5% of their Top 20 Odds, and 10% Course History

  1. Jordan Spieth
  2. Charley Hoffman
  3. Louis Oosthuizen
  4. Hideki Matsuyama
  5. Collin Morikawa
  6. Jon Rahm
  7. Viktor Hovland
  8. Emiliano Grillo
  9. Keegan Bradley
  10. Xander Schauffele
  11. Shane Lowry
  12. Kevin Streelman
  13. Tony Finau
  14. Stewart Cink
  15. Matt Fitzpatrick
  16. Corey Conners
  17. Cameron Smith
  18. Bryson DeChambeau
  19. Justin Thomas
  20. Sam Burns

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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