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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2021 Wells Fargo 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: Quail Hollow Country Club, Charlotte, NC

Fast Facts

  • Par 71; 7521 yards with 3 Par 5s
  • Bermuda greens (around 12 on the stimp)
  • Average/slightly larger greens (6600 sq. ft. on average)
  • Tree-lined with water on 7 of 18 holes and 61 bunkers
  • Field: 156 players; Top 65 and ties make the cut
  • Average Cut: +3
  • “The Green Mile” consists of holes 16-18 and some of the toughest on TOUR
  • Wind can make the course much tougher and can be masked by the large amount of trees
  • Corollary Courses: Bay Hill, East Lake, Innisbrook (Copperhead), PGA National
  • Top Course Fit Targets: Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler/Ryan Moore/Sungjae Im/Jason Day/Pat Perez/Aaron Wise/Brendan Steele/Vaughn Taylor

Course and Weather Notes: Quail Hollow is not only a beautiful golf course but one of my favorites to watch visually with very undulated greens, a brutal finishing 3 holes, and one where guys can certainly go low (i.e. Rory’s 61) and make birdies but trouble lurks all around. This narrative will be said by many, but I definitely buy into distance over accuracy this week, which is not to say I don’t value a complete OTT game and hitting fairways, but with how long the course is at over 7500 yards with 8 Par 4s over 450 yards, it’s hard not to favor the “bombers.” Historically, per FantasyNational, about 33% of approach shots are from 200+, which is 10% MORE than the TOUR average and around 55% of approach shots coming from 175+ yards. As always, check back closer to Wednesday evening for up-to-date weather but as of now, I see a possible advantage to the PM/AM times with gusts early Thursday morning and then towards the later afternoon on Friday but as everyone knows, weather and wind in particular change on a dime… good luck this week and enjoy an awesome course with a terrific field!

DRAFTKINGS

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

In order of importance:

  • SG: Approach Blend (emphasis on 175+)
  • SG: OTT (large emphasis on Driving Distance)
  • SG: ARG
  • Birdie or Better Gained
  • SG: T2G
  • SG: Par 5s
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda emphasis)

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) Jon Rahm ($10,800) Projected Ownership: 20%

Key Stats: 6th SG: APP/3rd SG: OTT/31st SG: ARG/25th BoB/4th T2G/13th SG: Par 5s/74th SG: P

Form: 7th/5th/5th/9th/32nd

Course History: 58th (2017)

Notes: Rahm’s last win was at the BMW this past August and while that isn’t a ton of tournaments ago, with 8 T10s or better in that span, gaining T2G in EVERY SINGLE TOURNAMENT since then (12 of them), gaining OTT in every single one, and gaining on APP in all but 3 (and the 3 were less than a stroke lost total), I think we can safely say he’s been in good form and the win is coming very, very soon… even at $10,800 and 3rd most expensive, he’s underpriced and I say that knowing fully that I just cursed the hell out of him

2) Corey Conners ($9,200) Projected Ownership: 13%

Key Stats: 14th SG: APP/11th SG: OTT/125th SG: ARG/11th BoB/6th T2G/27th SG: Par 5s/34th SG: P

Form: 21st/4th/8th/14th/61st/7th/3rd

Course History: 42nd/MC

Notes: Talk about someone playing well… people are too sharp these days to see him kind of fall off last week and not really pay off his price tag but if we are getting even 12-15% instead of 20-25%, I’ll go way overweight; Conners has made his last 6 cuts with no finish worse than T21 (last week), has gained strokes T2G in every tournament since October 2020 and although historically a miserable putter, he’s actually gained strokes with the flat stick in 6 of 9 measured tournaments in 2021… one of my favorite plays this week (and every week)

Fades

1) Rory McIlroy ($10,000) Projected Ownership: 15%

Key Stats: 16th SG: APP/30th SG: OTT/61st SG: ARG/22nd BoB/26th T2G/16th SG: Par 5s/83rd SG: P

Form: MC/28th/MC/10th/6th

Course History: 8th/16th/22nd/4th/1st/8th/10th/2nd/MC

Notes: Fading Rory at a course where he holds the course record, a win, and 5 T10s or better in his last 8 starts is probably not smart but I think he’ll still get ownership when people see the history and his price; obviously he’s one of the best in the world so although “out of form” right now, his average/below average is still better than many but I just don’t like what I’ve seen in his last 2 starts as he missed the cut by a ton of shots in both the Players and Masters and can’t seem to keep the driver going consistently for a full round or two… I’ll cautiously fade as I haven’t yet seen any signs that he’s corrected his mini “slump”

2) Patrick Cantlay ($9,600) Projected Ownership: 8%

Key Stats: 38th SG: APP/6th SG: OTT/25th SG: ARG/62nd BoB/9th T2G/49th SG: Par 5s/40th SG: P

Form: 11th/MC/MC/18th/MC

Course History: 33rd (2017)

Notes: Cantlay is probably the “ownership leverage” play with his long term talent at what should be sub 10% ownership but he’s missed the cut in his last 3 stroke play events (came 18th at WGC Match Play and 11th at the Zurich Classic) while losing strokes T2G and strokes putting in all 3 of them… not sure what happened as he was in great form around February but with his lack of a complete game right along with very little history, I’ll opt to play the guys around him and take a wait and see

Favorite Pivot

1) Patrick Reed ($9,300) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stats: 77th SG: APP/61st SG: OTT/36th SG: ARG/28th BoB/38th T2G/30th SG: Par 5s/23rd SG: P

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

Course History: 28th/8th/2nd/28th/58th/32nd/32nd

Notes: Reed was my pivot last week at $1000 more and probably 7-10% more owned than he will be this week so I’ll go right back and hope he doesn’t lose 2 strokes putting in 2 rounds again, which he hasn’t done since the Sony Open at the beginning of 2020… despite not being a “bomber,” Reed has gained strokes OTT in his last 8 measured tournaments and as I say all the time on podcasts/these articles, his short game is one of the best on TOUR so I don’t knock him for not jumping off the page with his stats like someone such as Corey Conners/Adam Scott/Keegan Bradley… I love Reed and his course history in what I think could be a great buy low spot

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

Plays

1) Cameron Tringale ($8,400) Projected Ownership: 13%

Key Stats: 44th SG: APP/15th SG: OTT/3rd SG: ARG/6th BoB/5th T2G/8th SG: Par 5s/21st SG: P

Form: 3rd/MC/9th/13th/MC/31st

Course History: MC/27th/41st/60th/MC/57th/59th

Notes: I’m not saying Tringale is one of the top tier players in the world, but since he doesn’t have a win and hasn’t traditionally been around the top of the leaderboard he may seem mispriced here, especially considering his lack of success at the course; however, Tringale is having a career year (for him) with 11 made cuts in his last 12 starts (only MC was the PLAYERS) while gaining strokes T2G in all 12 of those, gaining on APP in 11 of those 12, and gaining strokes ARG in now 4 of his last 5… I think he’s a great core piece in cash/balanced lineup this week

2) Matt Wallace ($7,500) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stats: 55th SG: APP/33rd SG: OTT/17th SG: ARG/17th BoB/7th T2G/22nd SG: Par 5s/76th SG 😛

Form: 23rd/18th/34th/3rd/28th/MC/18th/MC

Course History: None

Notes: I didn’t think I’d be alone, but I guess a lot of people like Matt Wallace as well this week… normally on the Euro Tour, he’s made 4 of his last 5 cuts that includes a great performance at Valero ultimately finishing 3rd to Spieth but he’s been consistent around the green, gaining strokes in his last 5, gaining OTT in 4 of his last 5, and gaining on APP in 5 of his last 7… I like the price and like his type of game for this course where he can make birdies but also grind out pars and avoid the big numbers

3) Jhonattan Vegas ($7,000) Projected Ownership: 5%

Key Stats: 53rd SG: APP/13th SG: OTT/52nd SG: ARG/54th BoB/31st T2G/19th SG: Par 5s/125th SG: P

Form: 48th/MC/MC/18th/30th/61st/2nd

Course History: 8th/42nd/MC/53rd/MC/MC/MC/MC

Notes: This play is definitely on the riskier side, obviously, when you look at his stats but Vegas is only a flat 7k, has the driving distance and OTT game that I’m looking for, and he’s been better T2G than I think most would realize… he’s gained strokes T2G in his last 4 events, has made 6 of his last 7 cuts, and at this price with minimal ownership, he doesn’t have to win or even come in the top 10-15 to pay off value; no super high finishes but a made cut at both Innisbrook/Honda and 8th here the last time out; GPP upside

Fades

1) Brian Harman ($8,700) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 92nd SG: APP/24th SG: OTT/8th SG: ARG/12th BoB/32nd T2G/1st SG: Par 5s/3rd SG: P

Form: 13th/12th/5th/3rd

Course History: 24th/74th/13th/35th/MC/65th/10th/57th

Notes: He’s been playing great this entire year and I’ve played him a lot, but as I assume most know, when he won the Wells Fargo in 2017 it was at a different course and while his stats look tremendous, especially on the Par 5s to go with a great short game, I’ll fade at what I expect to be higher than expected ownership on a very long course that could leave Harman with more scrambling situations than his counterparts

2) Harold Varner III ($7,600) Projected Ownership: 12%

Key Stats: 47th SG: APP/25th SG: OTT/41st SG: ARG/32nd BoB/22nd T2G/112th SG: Par 5s/32nd SG: P

Form: MC/2nd/MC/19th/61st/21st

Course History: MC/55th/24th/MC

Notes: I’m treating Varner like I did Ghim last week in that his stats look great, especially T2G and APP, but he’s a very weak putter with Bermuda his worst surface and his T2 finish at RBC came after he gained 5.6 strokes putting, which is the most he’s gained since the 2019 Travelers… I like Varner and root for him, but I think he’ll be the popular value play this week and I think there are players with equal or more upside around him that could be half or a quarter of the OWN%

Favorite Pivot

1) Jason Day ($8,600) Projected Ownership: 7%

Key Stats: 115th SG: APP/7th SG: OTT/6th SG: ARG/121st BoB/13th T2G/120th SG: Par 5s/100th SG: P

Form: MC/42nd/35th/31st/18th

Course History: 24th/1st/9th/9th

Notes: Day completely burning me at the Masters was annoying but also confusing because his form and stats coming in were great with 5 straight tournaments of gaining ARG, T2G, and 6 straight gaining off the tee… he putted horrifically at the PLAYERS (lost 7.7 strokes putting) to finish 35th and while the Masters doesn’t release SG data, I’m betting his putting was below average there too… a former winner at Quail Hollow with 4 for 4 made cuts I’ll take the risk and hope that his short game returns to his more historical levels (over his last 200 rounds, on average, Day gains 0.9 strokes ARG/1.5 strokes putting)

OTHERS I LIKE: Abraham Ancer, Keegan Bradley, Emiliano Grillo, Lucas Glover, Brendan Steele, Lanto Griffin, Matt Jones, Sebastian Munoz, Cameron Davis, and I will be playing Rickie Fowler (not smart)

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punts

1) Luke List ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 5%

Quick Hits: Always looking strong in the stat models, List is 18th in the field in SG: APP, 3rd in SG: Par 5s, 9th in SG: OTT (also crushes the ball), 50th BoB, and 27th T2G while as usual ranking near the bottom in putting (143rd in the field)… these greens are tough for most of the field with being fast and very undulated so I’m hoping List can put on a ball-striking clinic and put even somewhat near average to really hit value at sub 7k and low ownership; worth noting he has made 3 of 5 cuts here with a T9/T16

2) Wyndham Clark ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 1%

Quick Hits: Basically the complete opposite of what I said above about List is why I’ll take a flier on Clark here… huge hitter that can be very volatile with the APP game but has a strong ARG and putting prowess and rates out decently for the price in the course comps with a T7/T11 at Honda (PGA National), 2 made cuts at the Valspar the last 2 years and if he can avoid the massive numbers he has big upside at 6800

3) Adam Schenk ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 4%

Quick Hits: Been burned by Schenk 5-6 times since the start of 2021 so what’s another one? Gained 5.7, 6.6, and 4.8 strokes on APP in 3 of his last 4 measured tournaments, has gained strokes ARG in 4 of his last 5, T2G in 4 of his last 5, and his best putting surface by far is Bermuda… he finished 13th here the last time it was played so based on his stats, a little history, and putting splits this play SHOULD make sense… it’s also Adam Schenk though, so tread lightly

Cash Game Options

1) Jon Rahm

2) Patrick Reed

3) Corey Conners

4) Abraham Ancer

5)  Cameron Tringale

6) Matt Wallace

7) Matt Jones

8) Sebastian Munoz

9) Cameron Davis

10) Tom Hoge

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. Bryson Dechambeau
  3. Brian Harman
  4. Jon Rahm
  5. Webb Simpson
  6. Corey Conners
  7. Patrick Reed
  8. Xander Schauffele
  9. Max Homa
  10. Emiliano Grillo
  11. Tony Finau
  12. Stewart Cink
  13. Viktor Hovland
  14. Will Zalatoris
  15. Rory McIlroy
  16. Cameron Tringale
  17. Keegan Bradley
  18. Abraham Ancer
  19. Joaquin Niemann
  20. Shane Lowry

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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