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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2021 Valero Texas Open 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 San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Fast Facts

  • Par 72; 7294 yards designed by Greg Norman (with some help from Sergio)
  • Slower Bermuda greens (11 on the stimp)
  • Large greens (approx. 6400 sq. feet)
  • Field: 144 players; Top 65 and ties make the cut
  • Average Cut: +2 or +3
  • 64 bunkers, 3 water hazards
  • Wind can make the course much tougher/provide scoring splits
  • Corollary Courses: GC of Houston, TPC Southwind, Trinity Forest, Waialae (kind of windy)
  • Top Course Fit Targets: Charles Howell III, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Charley Hoffman, Hideki Matsuyama, Jim Furyk, Kyle Stanley, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Matt Kuchar, Ryan Moore, Corey Conners

Course and Weather Notes: Unfortunately, we get another weak field, but it’s ok, in 9 days we get the 2021 Masters! TPC San Antonio is interesting because there low scores out there with wide fairways (33 yards on average) and 4 Par 5s, but when the wind is up, which as of this writing it’s expected to be, and with tougher to hit fairways, bogey avoidance and scrambling are certainly key stats when looking who to target. It always sounds obvious to play the guys who are “good T2G,” but with long approach play, hitting fairways, and strong ARG play, I will focus a little less on guys who struggle with the putter compared to normal. Despite some previous winning scores, like Conners at -20, this course is consistently on the harder side (ranking in the Top 25% in difficult 2 of the last 3 years; per Noto from RotoGrinders, thanks for that stat). I think a lot will favor the bombers, but I definitely will be weighting fairways gained more than most as historically only about 56% of the fairways are hit here compared to close to 65% for the average tour event. Good luck this week!

DRAFTKINGS

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

In order of importance:

  • SG: Approach Blend (emphasis on 175+ yards)
  • SG: OTT Blend (Fairway emphasis)
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda emphasis)
  • SG: T2G
  • Birdie or Better%/Opportunities Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • GIRs Gained

Salary Ranges: Plays, Fades, Pivots, Ownership


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

9K and Above:

Plays

1) Jordan Spieth ($10,700) Projected Ownership: 22%

Key Stats: 9th SG: APP/81st SG: OTT/17th SG: P/11th T2G/9th BoB/31st Bogey Avoidance/29th GIRs

Form: 9th/48th/4th/15th/3rd/4th/MC

Course History: 30th/2nd/10th/MC/41st

Notes: Hard to ignore how Spieth has been playing the last several tournaments and he should be chalk for good reason… gained over 6 strokes on APP in 3 of his last 5 tournaments, 5 straight made cuts, 3 Top 5s or better and although it’s probably an overblown narrative, he does seem to always compete at courses in Texas

2) Brendan Steele ($9,100) Projected Ownership: 16%

Key Stats: 64th SG: APP/8th SG: OTT/20th SG: P/12th T2G/55th BoB/21st Bogey Avoidance/39th GIRs

Form: 3rd/41st/18th/43rd/34th/30th/21st/4th

Course History: 42nd/30th/62nd/13th/8th/MC/46th/4th/1st

Notes: Steele continues to play well this season as he’s now made 8 straight cuts with 2 T5s in that span, gained OTT in all 8, gained T2G in 6 of those 8, and on APP in 5 of those 8… hit putter is always suspect and can let him down HEAVY, but he’s improved his ARG game and should be able to conquer these tougher Par 5s with his distance

Fades

1) Scottie Scheffler ($10,400) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stats: 41st SG: APP/25th SG: OTT/22nd SG: P/5th T2G/7th BoB/2nd Bogey Avoidance/6th GIRs

Form: 2nd/MC/5th/20th/7th/MC/MC/13th

Course History: 20th

Notes: Scottie has been playing well but I am going to go with a bit of a narrative of some fatigue after playing 7 rounds in last week’s match play, including the final where he looked off, and I would rather spend up to Spieth or drop down to other 9k value guys; I still wouldn’t be shocked if Scottie WD

2) Matt Kuchar ($9,000) Projected Ownership: 8%

Key Stats: 91st SG: APP/112th SG: OTT/48th SG: P/92nd T2G/88th BoB/118th Bogey Avoidance/110th GIRs

Form: 3rd/MC/44th/MC/42nd/MC

Course History: 7th/51st/40th/42nd/15th/4th/22nd/13th

Notes: Notoriously good at match play, I am just not paying 9k for Kuchar this week… if he burns me, so be it but his form has been terrible over the last several months, losing strokes on APP in 6 of his last 7 measured events, losing strokes OTT in 10 of his last 11 measured events and I think there are much better point per dollar options all around him

 Favorite Pivot

1) Hideki Matsuyama ($10,100) Projected Ownership: 8%

Key Stats: 15th SG: APP/50th SG: OTT/68th SG: P/8th T2G/20th BoB/19th Bogey Avoidance/26th GIRs

Form: 42nd/MC/18th/15th/MC/42nd/53rd/19th/41st

Course History: None

Notes: This pivot could easily burn me as he hasn’t looked right in a while, but I think Hideki has been playing better than some realize… he’s gained strokes on APP in 3 straight tournaments, including 8 of his last 10 rounds, gained strokes T2G in 3 straight, and in an event where the winner may need to shoot -17 or better, I like Hideki to rack up birdies if everything is clicking; always a bad putter, he has a great ARG game and I think he needs this week to be in any sort of shape to compete at Augusta

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

Plays

1) Lanto Griffin ($8,700) Projected Ownership: 14%

Key Stats: 3rd SG: APP/60th SG: OTT/11th SG: P/19th T2G/8th BoB/35th Bogey Avoidance/8th GIRs

Form: 61st/35th/21st/22nd/26th/7th/MC/41st/13th

Course History: 58th

Notes: In what is a pretty weak field, Lanto feels underpriced; gained OTT in 5 straight tournaments, gained on APP in every event since last year’s US Open except one, and his best putting surface is Bermuda; his recent results are certainly mixed, but he does have 5 T26 or better finishes in his 8 starts in 2021 so far

2) Keegan Bradley ($8,400) Projected Ownership: 16%

Key Stats: 10th SG: APP/3rd SG: OTT/102nd SG: P/3rd T2G/12th BoB/68th Bogey Avoidance/15th GIRs

Form: 30th/29th/10th/60th/22nd/MC/MC

Course History: 45th/MC/37th/9th

Notes: Chalk Keegan is almost certain to burn all of us, but it is hard to ignore his price in this field and just how good his ball striking has been… he has gained strokes T2G and on APP in every single event since the Northern Trust last year (16 straight events), he’s made his last 5 cuts, and if the putter is working (rare), he has massive birdie upside

3) Andrew Putnam ($7,600) Projected Ownership: 7%

Key Stats: 86th SG: APP/57th SG: OTT/3rd SG: P/59th T2G/37th BoB/1st Bogey Avoidance/32nd GIRs

Form: MC/4th/5th/32nd/55th/7th/21st/MC

Course History: 36th/8th/72nd

Notes: I didn’t realize Putnam’s form until I was scrolling through the whole field and he has 2 T5 finishes in last 3 starts, has gained on APP and T2G in his last 3 straight, and while his range out of outcomes is certainly much more volatile than others around him, I think he’s a great GPP target who is a great putter, strong around the green and has made all 3 cuts at TPC San Antonio

Fades

1) Zach Johnson ($8,500) Projected Ownership: 15%

Key Stats: 69th SG: APP (nice)/51st SG: OTT/2nd SG: P/61st T2G/71st BoB/9th Bogey Avoidance/54th GIRs

Form: 8th/41st/49th/42nd/62nd/62nd

Course History: 5th/MC/29th/20th/6th/MC

Notes: ZJ’s form has been pretty solid in 2021 with no MC to speak of; however, despite a strong showing at the Honda Classic, he has been riding a VERY hot putter, gaining over 6 strokes putting in 2 events that he ended up finishing 41st and 49th and has lost strokes on APP in 3 of his last 4 and lost strokes T2G in 5 of his last 6… seems too expensive to I’ll pass for others around him

2) Ryan Moore ($7,900) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 35th SG: APP/1st SG: OTT/103rd SG: P/14th T2G/91st BoB/22nd Bogey Avoidance/51st GIRs

Form: MC/35th/26th/MC/MC/MC

Course History: 3rd/7th/18th/8th

Notes: I think Moore will end up with more ownership than people think due to his strong course history, but he just hasn’t had the ball striking in quite some time; 5 MC in his last 7 starts, lost on APP in 3 of his last 4, and historically a good putter, has been in a slump with the flat stick; I think he’s too expensive given his current form, so I’ll gladly pivot to others in this price range

Favorite Pivot

1) Harold Varner III ($7,900) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 22nd SG: APP/9th SG: OTT/55th SG: P/10th T2G/35th BoB/33rd Bogey Avoidance/4th GIRs

Form: 19th/61st/21st/62nd/MC/13th/MC

Course History: 23rd/MC/40th/9th

Notes: Normally a DFS darling due to his strong T2G game, I think Varner may be somewhat low owned this week and at only 7900, he definitely offers strong upside; not a great putter by any means, but bad putters have won here (i.e. Steele, Conners, etc) and Varner has gained strokes T2G in 3 straight events, gained OTT in 7 of his last 9, and if he can avoid the big numbers, he offers great value at his price

OTHERS I LIKE: Chris Kirk, Adam Hadwin, Sam Burns, Sebastian Munoz, Denny McCarthy, Harry Higgs

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punts

1) Nick Taylor ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 2%

Quick Hits: Doesn’t “pop” in any stats but is more than solid in most stat categories I’m looking at and is sub 7k… ranks 50th in the field SG: T2G and Top 50 in BoB/Opps. Gained, SG: P on Bermuda, SG: APP, and Bogey Avoidance; has made 3/4 cuts here with a T22 and T21 and has gained over 4 strokes on APP in each of his last 2 events

2) Roger Sloan ($6,700) Projected Ownership: 7%

Quick Hits: Sloan Ranger comes in with 3 straight T25s or better and ranks out great in the stats as he’s 22nd T2G, 13th BoB, 1st GIRs Gained, 28th Bogey Avoidance, and Top 40 in SG: APP and SG: OTT; Sloan has gained on APP in 4 straight measured tournaments and has made 5 of his last 6 cuts on TOUR

3) Bo Hoag ($6,400) Projected Ownership: 3%

Quick Hits: I could be partially blind with his stats since he has limited rounds, but he does rank 26th T2G, 7th SG: OTT, 38th SG: P on Bermuda, 28th GIRs Gained, and 18th in Bogey Avoidance… his ARG game can be suspect as he’s lost in 3 strokes there in 3 straight but he’s gained on APP in 3 straight tournaments, 5 of his last 6, and can get super-hot when the putter is working

Cash Game Options

1) Jordan Spieth

2) Corey Conners

3) Ryan Palmer

4) Charley Hoffman

5) Brendan Steele

6) Keegan Bradley (gross)

7) Sam Burns

8) Sebastian Munoz

9) Denny McCarthy

10) Doug Ghim

11) Matthew NeSmith

12) Harry Higgs

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

  1. Tony Finau
  2. Jordan Spieth
  3. Corey Conners
  4. Scottie Scheffler
  5. Charley Hoffman
  6. Ryan Palmer
  7. Abraham Ancer
  8. Chris Kirk
  9. Brendan Steele
  10. Si Woo Kim
  11. Cameron Tringale
  12. Andrew Putnam
  13. Lanto Griffin
  14. Branden Grace
  15. Keegan Bradley
  16. Sam Burns
  17. Cameron Percy
  18. Chase Seiffert
  19. Jhonattan Vegas
  20. Jim Furyk

Betting/One and Done

Value Bets:

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