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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2021 Valspar 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: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, FL

Fast Facts

  • Par 71; 7340 yards with 5 Par 3s and 4 Par 5s
  • Bermuda greens (around 12 on the stimp)
  • Smaller greens (5800 sq. ft. on average)
  • Tree-lined with water on 9 of 18 holes and 74 bunkers
  • Field: 156 players; Top 65 and ties make the cut
  • Average Cut: +2 or +3
  • Longer rough can make approaches tougher (around 3 inches thick)
  • Wind can make the course much tougher and can be masked by the large amount of trees
  • Corollary Courses: East Lake, Bay Hill, PGA National, Quail Hollow
  • Top Course Fit Targets: Paul Casey, Justin Thomas, Sungjae Im, Justin Rose, Keith Mitchell, Ryan Palmer, Henrik Stenson, Tyrrell Hatton, Nick Watney, Adam Hadwin, Sean O’Hair, Luke List

Course and Weather Notes: This course is a great watch with the unique set up of a Par 71 but presenting 5 Par 3s, all very challenging, and 4 Par 5s, which are very easy. This is never a birdie fest with a cut that is consistently a few shots over par, the “snake pit” (holes 16-18) causing some players to trunk slam late on Friday afternoon, and if the wind is up, a very, very tough test all around. With narrow fairways, smaller than average greens, and thick rough, it will be imperative for golfers to be locked in from the 175-225 range with all 5 Par 3s coming in that range and 5 of the Par 4s being around or longer than 450 yards. I like looking at comp courses a little more this week as this course is so unique and I will place a ton of emphasis (as always) on the SG: APP and make sure to include SG: Short Game and guys who hit greens at a high clip (similar to RBC Heritage). Good luck this week and make sure to check as late as possible on Wednesday to check for a potential weather/wind edge!

DRAFTKINGS

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

In order of importance:

  • SG: Approach Blend (emphasis on 175-225 yards)
  • SG: Short Game
  • GIRs Gained
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda emphasis)
  • SG: T2G
  • Birdie or Better Gained
  • SG: Par 3s

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 ($11,500) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stats: 1st SG: APP/26th SG: SG/15th GIRs/56th SG: P/3rd T2G/1st BoB/6th SG: Par 3s

Form: 21st/42nd/1st/15th/MC/13th

Course History: MC/18th/10th

Notes: When we’re at a course that is even more important than usual on locking in APP, we should probably use the best iron player in the world… gained over 6 strokes on APP in 3 of his last 5 measured tournaments and if he can putt even average, I like him to continue his solid form… doesn’t hurt that my favorite comp course is where Thomas won his lone major championship…

2) Sungjae Im ($9,200) Projected Ownership: 15%

Key Stats: 61st SG: APP/3rd SG: SG/44th GIRs/1st SG: P/23rd T2G/30th BoB/60th SG: Par 3s

Form: MC/13th/MC/42nd/8th/17th/21st/28th/17th

Course History: 4th

Notes: I was tough on Sungjae after it seemed like he was struggling with the irons for a while, and it didn’t instill a ton of confidence as he imploded at Augusta but he’s back on Bermuda, by far his best putting surface, he’s gained strokes T2G in 7 of his last 8 measured tournaments and finished 4th in his only appearance here; he’s too cheap compared to his peers so I love him as a core play in all formats

Fades

1) Viktor Hovland ($10,500) Projected Ownership: 13%

Key Stats: 5th SG: APP/58th SG: SG/55th GIRs/48th SG: P/5th T2G/3rd BoB/26th SG: Par 3s

Form: 25th/21st/42nd/MC/49th/2nd/5th/6th

Course History: None

Notes: I mentioned on the pod that I love Hovland long-term and he’s going to win a lot but if splitting hairs, I’ll choose to fade him up top as he makes A TON of birdies, but this course is not set up for a birdie fest and Hovland seems to have the propensity to make these massive numbers a few times a tournament which can take him out of things very quickly

2) Scottie Scheffler ($9,800) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stats: 41st SG: APP/24th SG: SG/22nd GIRs/75th SG: P/9th T2G/7th BoB/77th SG: Par 3s

Form: 8th/18th/54th/2nd/MC/5th/20th/7th

Course History: None

Notes: Similar to Hovland, I prefer Scheffler on a course more set up as a birdie fest… one of his best weapons is the driver and on a course where he may have to leave it in the bag on several holes per round, I would rather drop down to Sungjae or take guys around him like Reed/Casey, etc

 Favorite Pivot

1) Patrick Reed ($10,300) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 67th SG: APP/5th SG: SG/87th GIRs/5th SG: P/37th T2G/15th BoB/7th SG: Par 3s

Form: 8th/28th/22nd/MC/9th/66th

Course History: MC/2nd/38th/7th/2nd/MC

Notes: Never shows up in a stat model and never that chalky because everyone hates him; probably has the best course history aside from Casey with 5 T7 finishes or better in his last 5 starts here… I always preach how good his short game is as he can up and down from everywhere and has gained strokes putting in every tournament he’s played since last September

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

Plays

1) Justin Rose ($8,800) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 49th SG: APP/75th SG: SG/51st GIRs/83rd SG: P/82nd T2G/22nd BoB/11th SG: Par 3s

Form: 11th/7th/WD/54th/2nd

Course History: 5th/MC/8th/29th/6th

Notes: I hope that since both of Rose’s most recent starts didn’t’ have strokes gained data that he’ll go overlooked since his stats still look very poor after he was struggling and then got hurt; after getting back with his swing coach he was solid all 4 days at Augusta and then played great last week when he was paired with Stenson… great Bermuda putter, 3 T10s here, and is very cheap for his win equity

2) Charley Hoffman ($8,600) Projected Ownership: 13%

Key Stats: 3rd SG: APP/7th SG: SG/29th GIRs/11th SG: P/1st T2G/2nd BoB/35th SG: Par 3s

Form: 11th/18th/2nd/34th/17th/10th/52nd/7th/MC

Course History: 18th/MC/MC/11th/MC/25th/7th/14th/37th

Notes: He may end up very chalky which definitely isn’t appealing but I’ve been fading and it has been a mistake… ranks #1 in my stat model this week, has made his last 7 cuts with 3 Top 10s, and  has gained over 3 strokes T2G in 5 of his last 7 measured tournaments; his course history is up and down but he definitely knows how to play it and I’ll play him despite his OWN% with all facets of his game clicking

3) Kevin Streelman ($7,800) Projected Ownership: 7%

Key Stats: 22nd SG: APP/84th SG: SG/46th GIRs/78th SG: P/29th T2G/10th BoB/34th SG: Par 3s

Form: MC/33rd/9th/36th/MC/52nd/13th/22nd

Course History: MC/MC/18th/MC/40th/38th/1st/10th

Notes: Doesn’t have any T5s/wins but has been super consistent with 6/7 made cuts, has gained OTT in 7 straight tournaments and gained T2G in 6 of his last 7 as well; former winner of this event with a mixed recent history but for his price I like Streelman’s floor and think he still has the Top 10 upside we want in this range

Fades

1) Max Homa ($8,100) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 13th SG: APP/14th SG: SG/42nd GIRs/13th SG: P/22nd T2G/31st BoB/30th SG: Par 3s

Form: 17th/MC/18th/MC/10th/22nd/1st/7th/42nd

Course History: MC/MC/MC

Notes: I always joke about it on the podcast with guys being “tired,” but it seems like Homa has played 10 weeks in a row… he’s now missed his last 2 cuts, has lost some of the putter magic he had a few months ago and his course history isn’t too great with no made cuts in 3 tries… I’ll gladly pivot

2) Doug Ghim ($7,300) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 2nd SG: APP/118th SG: SG/5th GIRs/137th SG: P/10th T2G/44th BoB/48th SG: Par 3s

Form: 11th/33rd/44th/MC/29th/36th/MC/21st

Course History: None

Notes: Ghim continues to pop EVERYWHERE in stat models but I can’t keep playing him as cheap chalk with how bad of a putter he is… he’s lost strokes putting in 5 straight events, his worst putting surface is Bermuda and no course history to speak of either… if he’s going to be 10% or more, which I think he is, I think he’s an easy fade in GPPs

Favorite Pivot

1) Adam Hadwin ($7,600) Projected Ownership: 5%

Key Stats: 75th SG: APP/8th SG: SG/93rd GIRs/18th SG: P/42nd T2G/32nd BoB/2nd SG: Par 3s

Form: MC/23rd/8th/29th/MC/26th/50th

Course History: MC/12th/1st/MC/71st

Notes: His stats are certainly not popping as his irons have been bad most of the year, but his best asset, his short game, seems to be back as he’s gained strokes putting in 8 of his last 10 events, has gained strokes ARG in 8 of his last 10, and is a former winner here so he knows how to play the course… definitely not a “core” play but I’ll take a risk on him in GPPs

OTHERS I LIKE: Jason Kokrak, Emiliano Grillo, Talor Gooch, Lanto Griffin, Ian Poulter, Keith Mitchell

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punts

1) James Hahn ($6,900) Projected Ownership: 3%

Quick Hits: Hahn has been semi-decent for a guy at this price with up/down made to missed cuts but does have a 10th and a 15th in 2 of his last 4 starts, has gained on APP in 3 of his last 4, has gained strokes T2G in 5 of his last 7, and has been solid with the putter, gaining strokes in his last 4 with the flatstick; previous success with a win at Quail Hollow, a comp course I like, so I’ll definitely take a flier on Hahn and hope he gets hot

2) Chase Seiffert ($6,600) Projected Ownership: 8%

Quick Hits: I don’t love that Seiffert could be the cheap chalk this week, similar to how I got burned by Kizzire 2 weeks ago; hopefully people see a MC in the team event last week, which doesn’t really matter, and fade but he’s far superior to his peers in ball striking and SG: ARG so I’m fine playing him as a value as long as the ownership doesn’t get too crazy

3) Cameron Percy ($6,500) Projected Ownership: 3%

Quick Hits: One of the few courses on TOUR where shorter hitters aren’t rewarded but definitely aren’t at a disadvantage… Percy has gained strokes on APP in his last 5 measured events, gained on APP in 8 of his last 9 and with how key it is to hit the fairway here, it’s even better to see that he’s gained in the FNGC categories “Good Drives Gained” and “GIRs Gained” in 11 of his last 12 measured events

Cash Game Options

1) Patrick Reed 

2) Paul Casey

3) Corey Conners

4) Abraham Ancer

5)  Sungjae Im

6) Justin Rose

7) Jason Kokrak

8) Kevin Streelman

9) Adam Hadwin

10) Matthew NeSmith

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. Justin Thomas
  2. Paul Casey
  3. Patrick Reed
  4. Corey Conners
  5. Jason Kokrak
  6. Charley Hoffman
  7. Scottie Scheffler
  8. Justin Rose
  9. Emiliano Grillo
  10. Sungjae Im
  11. Viktor Hovland
  12. Russell Henley
  13. Dustin Johnson
  14. Louis Oosthuizen
  15. Abraham Ancer
  16. Chris Kirk
  17. Talor Gooch
  18. Kevin Streelman
  19. Max Homa
  20. Kevin Na

Betting/One and Done

Value Bets:

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