Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Valspar Championship
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 Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Par 3 Scoring|
|Par 5 Scoring|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
Approach is the number-one stat yet again, and that's just always the case, really. This is a course that mitigates distance and instead prioritizes accuracy, though no off-the-tee stats really pop as extra vital. It's more about the second and third shot at Innisbrook, based on the past four years of data since a 2015 redesign that made the course play firmer and tougher. Approach and greens in regulation go hand-in-hand, for the most part, so just keep that in mind. The past four winners (Jordan Spieth, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Hadwin, and Paul Casey) all ranked top-13 in approach during their wins. Spieth was second around the green; Casey was third. Schwartzel (27th) and Hadwin (38th) were still good.
I almost never look to par 3 scoring because it's so volatile (approach play accounts for par 3s, by the way), but there are five par 3s, all of which are difficult. And the four par 5s are scorable -- so it's a unique week for what we're targeting.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Best of the Best
Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Price: $12,600 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 5/1) - Johnson is a massive favorite this week despite just one missed cut to his name at this course since 2009 (it was in 2010). Johnson's price is affordable with a lot of value options, and plugging him in isn't really hard to justify in a lot of lineups. He ranks third in approach, second in greens in regulation gained, first on par 3s, and fourth on par 5s over the past 100 rounds, via FantasyNational.
Jason Day ($11,800 | 12/1) - Day fits this course well, which places an emphasis on accuracy and short game. He hasn't played here since 2013, so he hasn't played it since the 2015 redesign, but excluding his withdrawal at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he's finished top-13 in all four events in 2019. He's top-10 in around-the-green, par 3s, and par 5s over the past 100 rounds.
Jon Rahm ($11,700 | 9.5/1) - With Johnson figuring to be super popular, Rahm and Day are in play from a pivot perspective. Day hasn't played here in five years, and Rahm never has. Still, Rahm enters top-10 in strokes gained on par 3s and par 5s over the past 100 rounds and can certainly contend with the top of the leaderboard even in a field that is stronger than the Valspar usually boasts. Your lineups should probably start with one of the big three this week, and it's possible to roster two of them in the same build. (I have no problem with Sergio Garcia at $11,300, but I'll be prioritizing Johnson, Day, and Rahm if possible, and I can't recommend everyone.)
Webb Simpson ($10,700 | 21/1) - Simpson's weakness -- his off-the-tee play -- is mitigated this week on a course that doesn't require it. He's notched five top-17 finishes here over the past 10 years (3 missed cuts in 9 tries), and he was eighth last year. Simpson is 11th in approach and 4th around the green over the past 100 rounds.
Henrik Stenson ($10,400 | 46/1) - Stenson's form has been dreadful in 2019, with four missed cuts (three on the Euro Tour and one last week) and a 54th in the small-field WGC-Mexico. He did finish 17th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks back. Via FantasyNational, he has five straight rounds with at least one full stroke gained with his approaches, and even in his missed cuts across the pond, he was hitting greens in regulation. He missed the cut last year but was top-11 the three prior years.
Keegan Bradley ($10,100 | 46/1) - Bradley leads the field in approach over the past 100 rounds but is always a liability with the putter. He has missed the cut in 2016 here and followed it up with a 58th and a 31st. He's gained strokes tee to green in all three tries but lost them on the green.
Jason Kokrak ($9,700 | 65/1) - Kokrak has had overall solid form of late and has a 7th, cut, 58th, and 8th at Copperhead since 2015, gaining strokes tee to green in all of them but losing strokes on the greens in three of them and gaining just 0.5 when he finished 7th. If he happens to put it together, he's a good value in the mid-range again.
Sungjae Im ($9,600 | 75/1) - Im keeps hanging around most weeks and is 28th in approach among the field and gains approach strokes consistently. He could wind up being a bad putter as the sample grows, but we simply can't know entirely yet. For the price, we can trust the irons and the solid finishes.
Tyrrell Hatton ($9,200 | 49/1) - Hatton's price is so low that I kind of overlooked him to start the week. He ranks 39th in approach and 25th around the green over the past 100 rounds. He's also a plus putter on Bermuda greens.
Russell Knox ($9,000 | 70/1) - Knox grades out top-40 over the past 100 rounds in approach, around-the-green, greens in regulation gained, and par 3s, giving him a pretty balanced profile for this course. Knox has played here all four years since the redesign, finishing 33rd, 56th, cut, and 16th.
Ryan Moore ($8,900 | 65/1) - Moore also has played here since the 2015 redesign: 5th, 3rd, 18th, cut. He's one of the best course form options among the field, if that means anything to you. Moore, more impressively, sits 5th in approach and 11th around the green. He just struggles on the greens.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,800 | 120/1) - I'm a big Niemann believer because of his ball-striking (8th in approach and 15th in greens in regulation gained). Over the past 100 rounds, he's 126th in combined around-the-green and putting strokes gained, via FantasyNational. He's 133rd over the past 24 rounds. Eventually it'll click, but he's still a large-field tournament-only play.
Ollie Schniederjans ($8,100 | 120/1) - Ollie made a run last week, and he easily could be chalky this week as a result. However, he's long been good with the short game (13th around the green and 31st in putting over the past 100 rounds). He's changed up his swing, and it's had positive impact on his ball-striking, as well.
Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($7,600 | 190/1) - Lee has added approach strokes in eight straight measured rounds and has been about average overall around the greens. That's not the worst profile for a longshot at Copperhead. He's finished 25th at the Genesis, 35th at the Puerto Rico Open, and 7th at the Honda Classic of late.
Vaughn Taylor ($7,600 | 190/1) - Taylor ranks 32nd in approach and 3rd in opportunities gained, plus 26th in par 3 strokes gained over the past 100 rounds. He has a lone missed cut here over the past five years, but if you're spending up on two studs, his price helps a lot in case he pushes through the cut.