Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Wells Fargo Championship
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Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Par 5 Scoring|
|Greens in Regulation|
This course is a long one, coming in 7,554 yards last year after some redesigns for the 2017 PGA Championship that lengthened the course. Quail Hollow was the toughest course on Tour in 2017 and remained tough last year, sitting fifth-toughest relative to par.
We typically just leave strokes gained: approach at the top of the list each week, but we really need to make sure our golfers have distance and pick up strokes off the tee. The past five winners all ranked top-28 in both distance and strokes gained: off the tee. More specifically, J.B. Holmes led in distance and was second off the tee in 2014. Rory McIlroy led in both in 2015. Since the redesign, Justin Thomas led in distance during his PGA Championship win, and Jason Day was 16th in distance and 28th off the tee (while ranking first around the green and second in putting, in typical Day fashion).
The past five winners all ranked top-12 in strokes gained on the par 5s, as well. I think that gives us a good archetype to target this week: bombers.
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
Rory McIlroy (FanDuel Price: $12,500 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 6/1) - Overall, it's a weak field, and the bottom really falls out. So it's a week to consider a more balanced lineup, even though we've seen longshot winners here in fairly recent years. No matter your construction, McIlroy is a very clear target even at his price. McIlroy has won here in 2010 and 2015, overall finishing top-22 in eight of nine tries the past nine years. Since 2014, he has gained 53.9 strokes tee-to-green, a full 20 more than any other golfer, per data from FantasyNational.
Jason Day ($11,800 | 12/1) - Day, last year's winner, actually has some distance to his game. He ranks eighth in distance over the past 100 rounds. He ranked 16th in that stat last year during his win. He also finished ninth at the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow while ranking third in distance. Day is a lights-out putter on Bermuda, leading the entire field in strokes gained over the past 100 rounds on the surface.
Tony Finau ($11,400 | 24/1) - Finau, coming off a T5 with Day at the Masters, has been good but not great here: 16th, 28th, 44th (at the PGA Championship), 21st. Finau, though, ranks seventh in distance, second on par 5s, and third on par 4s from 450-500 yards (of which there are five this week). The only real hole in his game is the Bermuda putting for the week.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,000 | 17/1) - Hideki is a negative putter on Bermuda, yet he ranks second in strokes gained: tee to green at Quail Hollow over the past five years. He's 51st in distance and 36th in strokes gained: off the tee, which isn't superb for the price, yet he has finished top-20 here in three of the past four years. He fits the course well overall.
Sergio Garcia ($10,300 | 21/1) - Sergio grades out 6th off the tee (though 50th in distance) and 7th in approach over the past 100 rounds. He doesn't play Quail Hollow often (just a missed cut over the past five years) but was 16th and 28th in two attempts prior. He's a tad underpriced, so we can look to him in balanced builds.
Jason Kokrak ($10,000 | 46/1) - Kokrak has had a rough go at Quail Hollow of late: cut last year, 33rd at the PGA Championship in 2017 -- after two missed cuts. However, he has the distance (14th) and ball-striking (17th off the tee, 6th in approach) to contend. Bermuda is also his best putting surface.
Byeong-Hun An ($9,800 | 65/1) - An is someone I left out initially, but I keep drawing back to him. I've been on him for years now (literally), and he's 10th off the tee, 11th in approach, and 6th around the greens. He's one of the best tee-to-green players on the planet. He just can't putt -- and is bad on Bermuda, too. An finished 8th at the PGA Championship here in 2017 and 63rd last year for the Wells Fargo. In each of those two event, he ranked top-20 in strokes gained: tee to green -- but 139th and 113th in putting.
Keith Mitchell ($9,600 | 100/1) - Mitchell's a terrible putter but is his least worst on Bermuda. His win at the Honda Classic? Bermuda. Sixth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational? Bermuda. Mitchell grades out sixth in distance and fourth in strokes gained: off the tee over the past 100 rounds. It's a week where he could put it all together.
Jhonattan Vegas ($9,500 | 70/1) - Vegas is in the same vein as Mitchell but to a lesser extent: 15th off the tee, 29th in approach. Vegas has finished 10th (Bermuda), cut (Poa), 16th (Bermuda), 23rd (Bermuda), 3rd (Bermuda), 26th (Paspalum), 30th (Bermuda) the past seven events.
Luke List ($9,500 | 75/1) - Like with An, I'm adding List due to that fear of missing out. List does just about everything we need here (3rd in strokes gained: off the tee, 31st in approach, 10th around the greens, 4th in distance). He just doesn't putt well on Bermuda (or any surface). List has played here both years since the redesign, finishing ninth last year, while ranking third in strokes gained: tee to green. In each of his three attempts at Quail Hollow, List has ranked outside the top 100 in putting.
Kevin Streelman ($8,800 | 90/1) - Streelman doesn't have a lot of distance (92nd), but he is 20th in strokes gained: off the tee and 34th in strokes gained: approach the past 100 rounds. He enters with consecutive top-six finishes (RBC Heritage and Valero Texas Open). Streelman also can claim three straight top-15s at Quail Hollow from 2013 through 2015 but hasn't made a cut here since.
Nick Watney ($8,600 | 120/1) - Watney finished runner-up here last year, but we aren't just chasing that. Okay, we are a little, but hear me out: he's 18th in distance and 19th on par 5s over the past 100 rounds and has three top-10 finishes at Quail Hollow (2nd last year, 10th in 2013, and 8th in 2012). There's risk, but again, this is not a week ripe with surefire value plays.
Aaron Wise ($8,500 | 50/1) - Wise debuted at Wells Fargo with a T2, two strokes off the lead of Jason Day. Wise graded out 4th tee to green, 14th off the tee, 50th in approach, 3rd around the green, and 20th in putting. Wise grades out 20th in distance over the past 100 rounds, plus 12th off the tee. The early results are that we should target Wise on Bermuda greens, making him a firm value play this week, albeit one who should wind up popular.
Adam Schenk ($8,300 | 430/1) - Schenk is a long-shot, but that's to be expected. He missed the cut here last year and frankly played terribly, losing seven strokes tee to green over two rounds. Schenk, however, grades out 23rd in distance and has been a positive Bermuda putter. He's a boom-or-bust option.