Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Charles Schwab Challenge
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.
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Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial CC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Proximity from 150-175 Yards|
This course is not one that rewards distance but instead prioritizes accuracy off the tee. So, that's a bit different from what we just had at Bethpage Black and is not really a typical course for the PGA Tour. That opens things up for a different crop of golfers than we normally target.
Regardless, strokes gained: approach still matters a ton at this course, and I'm also digging into proximity from 150 to 175 yards from the flag. The reason? A lot of approach shots come from this range, obviously, but overall proximity is going to correlated well -- most likely -- with the top of the leaderboard because the greens are tiny. Those bentgrass greens really can prove tough to hit, particularly when the wind picks up.
As a heads up, course history seems to matter here a little more than at most tracks.
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
Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | Paddy Power Win Odds: 12/1) - Rahm or Justin Rose ($12,200) is going to be a question this week, as they're the two golfers priced at or above $12,000. Rose won here last year and grinded out his way to a 29th at the PGA. Rahm missed the cut last week at elevated ownership. An accuracy course, Colonial doesn't seem to suit Rahm, but he has finished second and fifth here in his two tries the past two years. Rahm is good in the wind and has shown the ability to play this course well.
Rickie Fowler ($11,800 | 12/1) Fowler's an accurate driver -- at least among the studs -- and he's a great wind player. He lacks great course history, as he has just one attempt at Colonial since a missed cut in 2014 (14th-place finish last year while losing strokes tee-to-green and actually picking up 6.6 strokes on the green). Fowler, though, ranks 17th in approach and 10th in greens in regulation gained over the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour and is a lights out putter on bentgrass greens, especially fast ones as these can be.
Francesco Molinari ($11,600 | 16/1) - Molinari fits this track. He's accurate (25th) and is great from 150 to 175 yards (10th) over the past 100 rounds, while also grading out well in accuracy and overall strokes gained when the wind picks up, via FantasyNational. I have no qualms about Justin Rose ($12,200) or Jon Rahm ($12,000), but I think small savings to this $11,000 range is where I'm leaning to start the week, allowing us to target great golfers who also fit the course well.
Paul Casey ($10,900 | 22/1) - Casey's volatility has certainly been frustrating of late, as he was cut at THE PLAYERS after finishing 3rd at the WGC-Mexico and then cut at the Masters after winning the Valspar. He bounced back with at fourth-place showing at the Wells Fargo and a 29th at the PGA, picking up 8.4 strokes with his approach shots in the two most recent events. Casey leads the field in approach over the past 100 rounds and checks every secondary box we could want -- wind play, accuracy, and bentgrass putting.
Emiliano Grillo ($10,000 | 35/1) - Grillo sure can hit a fairway, as he ranks 11th over the past 100 rounds and is 18th in fairways gained when playing in windy conditions. He also grades out third in proximity from 150 to 175 yards. His putting has done him in recently, as he has squandered great tee-to-green performances. However, Grillo is best on bentgrass by far, and he fits the course quite well, finishing 55th, 24th, and 3rd in his three tries.
Chez Reavie ($9,900 | 50/1) - Reavie is a fairway hunter who ranks second over the past 100 rounds in fairways gained among the field and fourth in windy conditions. He also leads the field in proximity from our selected range. He's awful around the green (97th), but if that comes into play, he's probably imploding and ruining our lineups anyway (he's missed two of the past three cuts at this course). He's not a safe, cash-game play, but he does offer upside at this track.
Sungjae Im ($9,400 | 50/1) - Im has never played here, so that's a concern, but at his price, we can still look to him, as he has tended to figure out most courses he has played to start his PGA Tour career. Im ranks 32nd in fairways gained and 43rd in approach, usable numbers at his price, and he's 14th in proximity from 150 to 175 yards.
Byeong-Hun An ($9,100 | 66/1) - An is an amazing tee-to-green player (13th off the tee, 5th in approach, and 6th around the green). He's not very accurate (102nd) but is dialed in from our selected range (4th). He's a negative putter on all surfaces, but bentgrass is his least troublesome (-0.17 on average).
Russell Knox ($9,100 | 80/1) - Knox, from Scotland, plays well in the wind and has finished with promising numbers at this track in his three tries (21st, 24th, and 20th last year). He ranks 15th in approach in our sample and is top-22 in fairways gained both overall and in windy conditions.
Jim Furyk ($9,000 | 80/1) - Furyk ranks third in fairways gained overall and is sixth in windy conditions. More like Jim Fairways. (Woof.) His finishes had been good lately (9th, 2nd, 18th, 23rd) before two straight missed cuts. You can't expect guaranteed cuts from any golfer, especially one priced down here, but in a short field and with Furyk's accuracy, he should push through at a low price.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($9,000 | 80/1) - Pan finished 20th here last year after a missed cut in 2017 and has the accuracy to do it again. The recent RBC Heritage winner ranks 49th in approach and 52nd off the tee, solid enough to consider him at this salary before things really drop off.
Corey Conners ($8,900 | 80/1) - Conners leads the field in greens in regulation and is 11th in approach over the past 100 rounds. He's also top-40 in fairways and proximity gained from 150 to 175 yards. The putter can still get the best of him, and he's lost 7.9 strokes on the greens the past two events alone, but if he puts it together this week, he has top-15 upside.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,600 | 100/1) - Niemann puts himself in position to score, as he leads the field in opportunities gained over the past 100 rounds, but he just cannot put to save his life. However... he is a slightly positive putter on bentgrass (+0.14) and has good splits in the wind. He finished eighth here last year and was sixth at the Valero, as well, suggesting that he might be best suited for Texas tracks.
Brian Stuard ($8,600 | 125/1) - Stuard has the accuracy to make the short list, and he is also 34th in approach in our sample and has gained 5.7, 6.6, and 0.4 strokes with his approach play in his past three events. Stuard has solid outings at Colonial: 22nd, cut, 62nd, 24th, and 32nd. Those alone won't take down a GPP, but the price tag helps us spend up for the top of the heap.
Kevin Streelman ($8,400 | 90/1) - You guessed it: another accurate driver (9th) and someone who can hit greens in regulation (11th) with good approach play (28th). Streelman's wind splits check out, as well, and he has played here nine of the past 10 years to give him plenty of course familiarity.