Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Farmers Insurance Open
By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel now offering a revamped version of PGA golf.
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the basics of building a lineup on FanDuel, the scoring setup, and advanced stats to know about the PGA.
But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.
Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines CC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green
|Proximity from 175+ Yards|
Yet another ball-striking course this week, the ultra-lengthy Torrey Pines South Course, which will comprise three of the four rounds for finishers, requires adept approach play in order to excel. Via datagolf, 35.3% of the scoring dispersion since 2010 here has been explained by strokes gained: approach, just a tick above the Tour average (34.8%). Last year, it was down to 31.8%, yet the larger sample here and on other courses ensures that we weight approach play in our selections this week.
Just keep in mind that the North Course does not provide strokes gained data.
Last year, Jason Day ranked 12th in greens in regulation gained, and the past four winners (Day, Jon Rahm, Brandt Snedeker, and Day again) all ranked top-16 in greens in regulation gained en route to their victories. Day also finished top-two in driving distance in his two victories. Rahm ranked 24th, and Snedeker was 80th.
Based on the small greens at the South Course and on the prior data here, golfers need to be able to stick it close to the pin, whether from long range (175- or 200-plus yards) or to do it with excellent play around the green.
It's always a bit telling when we need all-around good golfers (distance, approach, short game), but on a course as tough as Torrey Pines, it makes sense. It's a week to target the best options we can and be wary about loading up on punt plays.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Best of the Best
Jon Rahm (FanDuel Price: $11,900 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 10/1) - Rahm is a heavy favorite this week, with no other golfer better than 15/1. It's pretty easy to see why: Rahm won here in 2017 and finished 29th last year. Over the past 10 weeks, he has finished 4th, 1st, 8th, and 6th. Rahm ranks 17th in the field in recent driving distance and is 55th in strokes gained: approach. He has 17 top-10s in his career out of 67 events, compared to 8 missed cuts. He's the man to beat, but that almost assuredly means elevated ownership, even in a loaded field.
Rory McIlroy ($11,600 | 24/1) - Rory leads the field in distance over his past 50 rounds on Tour and also ranks 10th in proximity from 175-plus yards and is 16th in strokes gained: around the green. He is more dedicated to the PGA Tour this year, so he's actually in the field. He hasn't missed a cut since the US Open and also finished 4th recently at the Tournament of Champions.
Tiger Woods ($11,500 | 15/1) - A lot of folks are excited for Tiger week, and it's for good reason. He has won 7 of 17 starts at this event in his career and finished 23rd here last year (after a missed cut in 2017). He hasn't played since a 17th at the Hero World Challenge, but we can certainly buy back into Woods at Torrey Pines. He leads the field in strokes gained: approach and is 4th in strokes gained: around the green over the past 50 rounds.
Marc Leishman ($10,900 | 20/1) - Leishman is shaping up as a high-floor option given the course history (10 straight attempts, 8 cuts made, 4 top 10s, and 7 top 30s) and recent form (win at the CIMB, 18th at the CJ Cup, 2nd at the Australian PGA, 4th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and 3rd at the Sony Open). He has putted super well in recent weeks but has the ball-striking to go along with it.
Gary Woodland ($10,600 | 31/1) - Woodland and Tony Finau ($10,700; 21/1) are high-upside plays. Both are top-13 in driving distance. Woodland is 6th in approach, and Finau is 34th. Woodland has peppered greens in regulation (9th) and stuck it close from our chosen distance (2nd in proximity from 175-plus), whileFinau is 17th in each of those. It's hard to decide between the two. Each has secured four top-25s in the past five years here. The number of options this week should help drive us to make our choices more based on ownership unless you have a strong feeling about any particular golfers.
Keegan Bradley ($10,200 | 46/1) - Keegan has finished 16th, 41st, cut, 4th, and 5th the past five years and ranks 4th in recent approach strokes gained average, as well as 9th in proximity from 175-plus yards. He has finished 15th at the Hero, 27th at the Tournament of Champions, and 29th at the Sony Open despite losing 10.4 strokes putting over those three events. He could put it all together this week.
Xander Schauffele ($10,000 | 21/1) - Xander has notoriously missed all three of his cuts here in his career despite being a California native. We know that Xander can thrive in loaded fields, as he was 8th at the Hero and won the Tournament of Champions in his past two (and the WGC-HSBC a few weeks back). Schauffele has a balanced game and can gain strokes with his driver and irons.
Luke List ($9,700 | 70/1) - List is a bit spendy for the field, but he finished 12th here last year despite neutral approach and negative putting. He ranks 4th in distance, 9th around the green, and 5th in greens in regulation among the field. He missed the cut last week at the Desert Classic but offers the upside needed to contend here with a de-emphasis on putting.
Joaquin Niemann ($9,500 | 120/1) - Niemann's such a curious case. He missed the cut last week while losing nearly five strokes putting but is one of the best ball-strikers in a loaded field. He ranks 19th in distance, 3rd in approach, and 11th in proximity over his past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour. At some point, Niemann is going to get it to click, and at a course where he won twice as an amateur, maybe it's this week.
Sungjae Im ($9,000 | 65/1) - Im is back on the menu again, as he ranks solid enough across the board in his limited PGA sample (34 rounds). He's put together a 16th at the Sony and a 12th at the Desert Classic in recent weeks. Primarily, he's done that with his off-the-tee play (+5.7 strokes) and not his approach (+0.8). He's putted above his head, but at $9,000, he's still a solid FanDuel play with the ball-striking.
Jason Kokrak ($8,500 | 160/1) - Kokrak finished 18th last week at the Desert Classic and has a 25th here in 2016 to his name (with a missed cut in 2017). He can get boosted with his distance (15th) and ranks well after that, too, as he is 25th in approach and 15th in proximity from 175-plus yards.
Keith Mitchell ($8,300 | 160/1) - Mitchell ranks 5th in distance and 20th in approach, as well as 11th in greens in regulation gained over his past 50 rounds on Tour. He struggles mostly around the green (133rd) and virtually loses control on the greens, but this is the type of course where we can see him come through. He was 63rd here last year while losing strokes everywhere but off the tee, and he finished 16th at the Sony Open last week while being bogged down by his putter.
Harris English ($7,800 | 90/1) - English's odds shortened from 120/1 to 90/1 already early in the week, a sign that things are looking up for his prospects this week. He has played here in six of the past seven years, making all six cuts and has had solid form of late: 46th at the RSM, 22nd at the Sony Open, and 51st at the Desert Classic. Beware, however, that he's just 122nd in the field in recent approach play but 22nd in around-the-green play. He's not safe, but he could come through at a sub-$8,000 price.