GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

Which golfers should be core plays on FanDuel for this week's Houston Open at Memorial Park?

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 for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Birdie or Better Rate
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda

For a more detailed breakdown of the course, check out my course primer.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds when possible -- unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.

Best of the Best

Cameron Smith (FanDuel Salary: $11,600 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +2300) - It's Sam Burns ($12,000 on FanDuel and +1800 on FanDuel Sportsbook) who rates out as the best overall play in my combo model, but along with that will come some heavy popularity. Besides, it's actually Smith who is rating out as more likely to win this week, per my simulations. So I may as well feature Smith here. He should benefit from a course that rewarded around-the-green play a year ago (he's got 96th-percentile adjusted around-the-green play over the past year) and is in the 97th percentile or better in both birdie or better rate and bogey avoidance over his past 50 rounds.

Tyrrell Hatton ($11,000 | +3100) - We're about a year removed from Hatton being in super hot form, yet there's a lot to like again. Since the start of October, the Ryder Cupper has finished T2 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, T18 at THE CJ CUP, and T40 at the World Wide Technology Championship. He also rates out in the 96th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: tee to green over the past year on the PGA Tour -- as well as in the 98th percentile in adjusted around-the-green play. He's second in value among golfers with a salary of $10,500 or higher, behind only Burns, in my model.

Others to Consider:
Sam Burns ($12,000 | +1800) - The best overall play but projected to be quite popular; nearly a cash-game lock button.
Talor Gooch ($11,200 | +3000) - Probably won't be chalky at this salary; 4th here last year and 94th-percentile long-term form.
Carlos Ortiz ($10,500 | +3400) - Last year's winner; has good tee-to-green data (81st percentile) and bermuda putting.

Mid-Range Picks

Shane Lowry ($10,100 | +4600) - While Lowry's salary is a tinge above the soft $10,000 cutoff for a mid-range play, he's under-salaried and is an elite value. Lowry ranks in the 99th percentile in adjusted tee-to-green play and in around-the-green play over the past year. He finished 11th here a year ago while ranking 4th in strokes gained: tee to green. Lowry is a betting value at +4600, too.

Emiliano Grillo ($9,100 | +10000) - The concern with Grillo is always putting. He has averaged -0.11 strokes per round when putting on bermuda greens over his past 100 rounds, via FantasyNational, which isn't that bad for how good the tee-to-green play is (83rd percentile). He missed the cut here last year while losing 1.5 strokes to the field (while gaining 3.6 strokes from approach and losing 4.2 strokes with his wedges and putter).

Others to Consider:
Seamus Power ($9,800 | +6000) -
Part of an elite mid-tier; 80th-percentile tee-to-green and bermuda putting.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($9,700 | +6000) - Awesome short game and putting (best bermuda putter in the field) puts him on the radar.
Kevin Streelman ($9,300 | +7500) - Putting woes (20th percentile on bermuda) as usual but enough tee-to-green juice (86th percentile) for the salary.

Low-Salaried Picks

Charley Hoffman ($8,900 | +10000) - Hoffman is one of the best value plays in the field, especially among those below $9,000. Hoffman finished 29th here last year, stemming from great ball-striking, and he's a great bermuda putter (83rd percentile). Overall, he ranks in the 91st percentile in adjusted tee-to-green play over the past year.

Jhonattan Vegas ($8,800 | +10000) - Vegas is the top value in this sub-$9,000 range in my model, and it comes from strong stats virtually across the board. He's a neutral putter on bermuda, which brings into play his 88th-percentile adjusted tee-to-green play. He finished 44th here last year while gaining 6.5 strokes from ball-striking and losing 4.9 strokes from his short game. With even moderate wedge play and putting, he's in contention for a top-20 finish.

Others to Consider:
Taylor Moore ($8,400 | +10000) - Easily the best long-term golfer in the sub-$8,500 range.
Harry Higgs ($8,400 | +12000) - In great form and has a great short game, which could pay off at this course.
Luke List ($8,400 | +15000) - A plus long-term player but has serious bermuda putting issues (1st percentile).
Pat Perez ($8,300 | +15000) - A fine bet for a top-20 finish; 69th-percentile wedges and 82nd-percentile bermuda putting.
Brian Stuard ($8,200 | +15000) - Good wedge player and scrambler; in the conversation if course plays tough again.
Hank Lebioda ($7,300 | +23000) - Can't quit him; despite missed cuts, the talent is better than the salary.