GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Houston Open

Brian Harman has been trending up and now is in a weak field. Is he a must-play on FanDuel?

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's daily fantasy golf offering.

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. It's a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.

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

Key Stats for the Houston Open at GC of Houston
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Greens in Regulation
Birdie or Better Rate
Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda


Strokes gained: approach actually has mattered less in terms of scoring dispersion at Houston than at the average course, but it's still the most important of the tee-to-green stats. Off-the-tee play sees a boost, with around-the-green play taking a backseat. So, ball-strikers should be the bread and butter of the week.

When seeking ball-striking, we generally need greens in regulation, typically one of the more predictive stats of each and every week. Last year's greens-in-regulation leaders were Michael Thompson (who finished 14th), Bud Cauley (18th), Henrik Stenson (6th), Ian Poulter (1st), and Troy Merritt (43rd).

Each of the 14 winners here since 2006 were at least 10 under par, and the average winning score has been -16.3.

For a more detailed breakdown on the course, check out our course primer from Mike Rodden.

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

Henrik Stenson (FanDuel Price: $11,900 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +850) - Stenson brings elite course history into this week, including 4 top-10s in 7 tries with a pair of top-six finishes in the past three years. More importantly, Stenson leads the field in strokes gained: approach and is seventh in greens in regulation gained. He's 75.4% likely to make the cut in my win simulations, making him an easy justification in cash games.

Brian Harman ($10,900 | +2200) - Harman leads the field in strokes gained: tee to green and is top-13 in both strokes gained: off the tee and approach. Nobody else can make that claim. Harman also ranks 13th in greens in regulation. He has missed four of six cuts at this course in the past seven years and has no top-50s. He's golfing too well for that to matter.

Scottie Scheffler ($10,800 | +2200) - Scheffler is a course debutant but has made six straight cuts. Coming off a 74th last week due to a 74-74 weekend, Scheffler could be overlooked. Scheffler ranks 3rd in the field in strokes gained: tee to green but has been abysmal with the putter (118th). If he ever sinks a few, he'll be in the mix for a PGA Tour win.

Russell Knox ($10,300 | +3400) - Knox's betting odds are fairly short considering that he has just two missed cuts at this course. His recent form includes three straight made cuts (46, 15, 48), and he ranks 3rd in the field in strokes gained: approach. He has a 2.3% chance to win the tournament, per my simulations.

Mid-Range Options

Kyle Stanley ($10,100 | +4500) - Stanley won't gain distance over the field but grades out 4th in the field in strokes gained: approach and is 22nd in birdie or better rate and 8th in greens in regulation gained. Over the past two events, he's gained 9.4 strokes tee-to-green (6 rounds). He also has finished 19th and 8th here the past two tries.

Bud Cauley ($9,700 | +4800) - Cauley ranks 6th in the field in strokes gained: tee to green in our sample and is a positive golfer in all four strokes gained stats over the past 50 rounds. Cauley has two top-20 finishes here in 2012 and 2013. He came back in 2017 to miss the cut but bounced back with an 18th last year.

Cameron Tringale ($9,600 | +4800) - Tringale has been good in 2019 and has kicked off the swing season with a 36-16-44 start. Those finishes won't win you a tournament, but Tringale still stands out as a positive tee-to-green performer relative to this field. Before missing consecutive cuts at Houston, he had finished 57th, 5th, 4th, 16th, and 8th at this course.

Lanto Griffin ($9,500 | +5500) - I was hesitant about Griffin to start but really like his profile overall if seeking pure upside. Griffin has four straight top-20 finishes and is riding a hot putter, but his tee-to-green play is positive as well. He almost always picks up strokes with his ball-striking and should fly under the radar.

Bronson Burgoon ($9,400 | +4200) - Burgoon can go low, as he ranks 4th in opportunities and 26th in birdie or better rate gained because of his strong approach play (19th). He finished 24th here last year despite losing 2.4 strokes in the short game (around the green and putting).

Low-Priced Picks

Andrew Landry ($9,000 | +5500) - Landry grades out 12th in approach and 2nd in opportunities gained (plus 20th in birdie or better rate). Landry has missed 3 of 4 cuts, which should drive down his ownership. In those, he gained strokes tee-to-green three times but lost strokes with his short game in all four. If the ball-striking stays where it is and he doesn't tank with the putter, he can shatter his salary. He had a 3rd, 19th, and 30th before the missed cuts sprang up.

Jhonattan Vegas ($8,900 | +6000) - I've been rolling with Vegas primarily because he's been good in 2019 relative to the swing-season fields, but this week, his off-the-tee play (second) should come in handy more than it has in past weeks. Vegas also sits 48th in approach and leads the field in opportunities gained. He's volatile, but so is everyone in this field.

Xin-Jun Zhang ($8,900 | +5500) - Zhang has been solid for much of 2019 on the Korn Ferry Tour, and he has come through two weeks straight with a 7th at the Safeway and a 16th at the Shriners. In those, he gained at least 7.2 strokes tee to green and has gained strokes with his approach play in all four swing season PGA events.

Doc Redman ($8,400 | +9000) - Redman has played four weeks straight, which is a bit concerning, yet he has made 3 of 4 cuts and ranks 32nd in approach, 11th in birdie or better rate, and 10th in greens in regulation over the past 50 rounds. Redman has a 60.8% chance to make the cut in my simulations.

Talor Gooch ($8,000 | +10000) - Gooch ranks 18th in approach and has gained strokes relative to the average golfer in 2019, not something many golfers priced down here can say. Gooch has plenty of blemishes, but he's 36th in greens in regulation, and ball-striking is the best type of profile to bet on when punting.