Well, we called for DJ week and nailed it! It was predictable, given his elite course history, solid form, and positive weather draw. When DJ is locked in, he’s tough to catch. And now, he’s #1 in the world rankings for the first time in his career. I’m excited for this week’s Honda Classic since I’ll be at the tournament most of the week.
Daily and weekly fantasy sports have become all the rage. Battling it out over an entire season is fun, but sites like DraftKings offer a quicker payoff and big payouts for winners! Not only do they offer daily action in the four major professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) as well as college basketball and football but also the PGA Tour.
Your DraftKings lineup is made up of six golfers you select from within the $50,000 salary cap.
Each week DraftKings offers a wide selection of games to enter at a variety of price points. You can even get a feel for the game in a freeroll contest. Before you put your cash on the line, I'll offer my Top Values and Steals in this space every week, specifically geared to help build a winning DraftKings squad. I'll also give you my Overpriced golfers to avoid, and a couple of “Vegas Says…” tips to help you find those players for GPPs.
The Honda Classic is held at the Championship course at PGA National, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. It’s notoriously one of the hardest courses on Tour, where par is a good score. The course is a par-72, but the tournament officials set it up as a par-70, making scoring much more difficult. The course is full of bunkers, water hazards, and tricky Bermuda greens. The wind blows nonstop, making elite ball-strikers our main target. PGA National features the Bear Trap, a 3-hole stretch (15-16-17) full of water hazards that completely changes the tournament every year. Players can make birdies, pars, bogeys, doubles, triples, and even the occasional quadruple bogey during this stretch. We can categorize this course as a less-than-driver course, so players who contend will be gaining strokes on approach shots, around the green, and putting. I don’t often look at stat splits, but I will be targeting players who excel on Bermuda greens, in Florida, and in the wind.
This week’s field is headlined by Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Justin Thomas, and a ton of the top European Tour players. If I had to pick one of these guys to win this week, it would be Adam Scott.
Recent Tournament History
Here is the data we can draw upon for this week’s Tournament History:
Finished in the top-20 each of the last three years: None.
Finished in the top-20 in two of the last three years: Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Russell Knox, Brendan Steele, Luke Donald, Martin Flores, Daniel Summerhays, Camilo Villegas, John Huh.
Current Form Review
Each week, we’ll look backward at the last three tournaments on the PGA and European Tours. I have included the top-20 from the past three events: the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and last week’s Genesis Open.
Birdie or Better % (BoB%):
There are not many weeks where we aren’t going to target birdie or better percentage because that’s what fantasy golf scoring is all about. Guys like Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Anirban Lahiri, Brooks Koepka, and Luke List come to mind in this week’s field when targeting birdie-makers. Bombers, you see. It’s possible to have a player finish top-10 in fantasy points while not finishing anywhere close to the top-10 in the actual event.
Strokes Gained Approach (SG: APP): PGA National is a ball striker's course, so I’m targeting elite iron players this week. I’m going to target SG: APP because players who find the most greens and give themselves the most birdie opportunities will capitalize most. The thick, Bermuda rough has been grown out this week, making scrambling very difficult. If you have a player who sticks approach shots inside 10’ consistently, he’s going to shoot up the leaderboard and contend on Sunday. Some names that stand out in the field are Kevin Kisner, Justin Thomas, Kyle Stanley, Brendan Steele, and Francesco Molinari.
Par 4 Scoring (P4): Since we have a par-70, players will contend with two extras par-4 this week. Because of that, P4 scoring will be key. Guys like Justin Thomas, Jason Dufner, William McGirt, Francesco Molinari, and Rickie Fowler pop out as names to target this week. We can also put some added emphasis on long par 4s – those over 450 yards. You’ll see a lot of similar names, but also one of my favorite GPP plays: Ollie Schneiderjans.
Proximity 175 – 200 yards: I don’t often look at proximity stats because they’re often skewed by small sample size, but this one popped for me when going through course research. PGA National is a short course, but this yardage pops up on many par-4s and par-3s. I’m going to look at 2016 stats due to sample size, but some of the names that pop are Adam Scott, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, David Lingmerth, and Ryan Palmer (all of whom have average to above average course history).