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Fantasy Golf - PGA DFS: Puerto Rico Open (DraftKings)

Fantasy Golf Expert Ryan Baroff helps you DOMINATE the field on DraftKings as players get ready to tee off at the Puerto Rico Open this 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.

Tournament Stop

The top players in the world are playing the WGC-Dell Match Play event this week in Austin, TX, so the field in Puerto Rico is…uh… not great. However, FedEx Cup points and a huge purse are still on the line. The course at Coco Beach is interesting because it’s a par-72 that’s listed over 7,500 yards. But looking at past winners and leader boards, it’s not exactly a bomber’s track. Much of the distance is on the par 3s and par 5s, which will neutralize distance off the tee as a major advantage. However, most courses in this part of the world are designed for high wind conditions and are wide open off the tee. This one is no exception. Winning scores have ranged from -7 to -21 over the years, so pay attention to the weather reports this week. We are expecting rain and winds all week, so I don’t think scoring will be quite as prevalent this year. Last year, Tony Finau broke through for his first career win at the PRO.

You can use the usual SG:T2G, bogey avoidance, birdie or better %, etc. this week, but I don’t want to focus too heavily on stats because of the unpredictable wind conditions and the low strength of the field. I do think, however, that looking at other weak-field events and windy, seashore courses should provide some insight into the type of players we can target this week.

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: Scott Brown, Alex Cejka, Will MacKenzie, Tim Petrovic, Martin Flores, Chesson Hadley, Jonathan Byrd.

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 full-field events: the Honda Classic, the Valspar Championship, and last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Statistical Report

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 Luke List, Chris Kirk, Camilo Villegas, and Graham DeLaet come to mind in this week’s field when targeting birdie-makers. 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): There’s no doubt that ball-striking and GIR% are huge at this venue, and that’s clear in past leaderboards. Because of the rain, the course should be playing soft enough for these players to throw darts all week. There’s going to be a slight edge to bombers, but targeting solid iron players – specifically long iron players – is one key for me this week. 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 Mark Wilson, Camilo Villegas, Luke List, Brad Fritsch, and Wesley Bryan.

Par-5 Scoring (P5): Par-5 scoring is going to be key this week, and I think the winner will be the player who leads the field in par-5 scoring. This could mean a bomber who makes a couple of eagles, or an elite wedge player. Either way, I think looking at par-5 scoring on the season will be a great pointer towards success this week. Some players who popped out to me were Luke List, Greg Owen, Whee Kim, Nick Taylor, and Seamus Power.

Proximity from 200+ yards: I’m not huge on targeting proximity yardages, but this is an exception. We’re going to see a ton of long iron approaches this week, especially since the course should be playing very soft. I’ll be targeting elite long iron players this week. Players will be using long irons on par-3s and second shots on par-5s. Names that stood out to me in this field were Mark Wilson, John Peterson, Bobby Wyatt, and Mark Hubbard.

Studs

*In order of my rankings

Graham DeLaet ($10,600) – DeLaet MC last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but had strung together five strong weeks before last. It was a tough track and a tough field, so I’ll give DeLaet a pass. He’s still searching for that first win, and hopefully, the recent win by fellow Canadian Adam Hadwin provides the extra motivation DeLaet needs to break into the winner’s circle. He comes to the PRO for the 5th time, having posted top-25s every year. He’s a great iron player and wind player, so the signs are pointing up for DeLaet this week.

Wesley Bryan ($10,800) – Bryan cooled off a little bit last week at Bay Hill, but still had a solid week after a horrendous opening round 75. He rattled off three straight top-10 finishes before last week and should be high on confidence. Bryan is a great ball-striker who loves playing in these tropical climates, as he showed during the Florida swing. He also won a web.com event in Mexico. Bryan is going to win on Tour this year, and the PRO could be just the place to get the job done.

Luke List ($9,900) – Speaking of breakthroughs, List might be the most talented player in the field without a PGA Tour win. He had a red hot Fall Swing and has been playing decently in 2017 as well. List ranks highly in par-5 scoring, birdie or better percentage, and ball-striking from 200+ yards, making him an awesome play on paper. Throw in a couple of solid finishes at the PRO in the past, and you’ve got one of my picks to win.

Chris Kirk ($9,100) – Kirk has missed back-to-back cuts on tough tracks, and now comes to an easy course in a weak field. This is a Chris Kirk specialty if I ever saw one. I have a slight concern with Kirk in that he’s never played here before, but raw talent should get him into contention this week. He’s a great putter and wedge player and should take advantage of the par-5s. If he can keep his driver in play, Kirk very well could be the winner Sunday afternoon.

Peter Uihlein ($10,100) – Uihlein’s price on DraftKings is brutal, so I won’t have too much exposure to him this week. But he’s an elite talent and birdie-maker that should be perfect for this track. He’s played here three times, including a 6th place finish in 2013. He plays on the European Tour and has quietly put together a great run. He’s made his last six cuts, including three top-7 finishes. His distance off-the-tee should help him crush the par-5s this week.

Graeme McDowell ($10,300) – Along with Chris Kirk, GMac is the class of this field. He thrives on these coastal, wind-battered layouts, and I expect him to contend this week. He’s coming into the PRO in solid form, posting 28th, 14, and 14th place finishes his past three starts. As the odds-on favorite and 3rd highest priced golfer this week, his ownership should be very high.

Danny Lee ($8,700) – Get ready for the Danny Lee rollercoaster! He’s prone to shooting very inconsistent rounds, littered with birdies, bogeys, and others. I expect more of the same from Lee this week. He comes into the event in great form, having posted 22nd and 17th place finishes the past two weeks. He’s a great ball-striker and putter who has the game to win here. It all depends on Lee keeping his driver in play.

Steals

Boo Weekley ($7,300) – Weekley is a course horse here, having made five of six cuts with three top-8 finishes. He excels on these accuracy-based courses and in weak fields and doesn’t mind playing in difficult, windy conditions. Boo has been battling some off-the-course issues so far in 2017, but word on the street is he’s on the upswing. This week could be Boo’s return to the top-10.

Nick Taylor ($7,200) – I’ve had my eye on Taylor for a few weeks now, and this weak field is the time to pounce. Like DeLaet, Taylor should be inspired by Adam Hadwin’s recent play. He’s a bomber by nature and dominates the par-5s, but he’s been more consistent as of late too. Taylor has made five of his past six cuts on Tour and finished 5th at last year’s Puerto Rico Open. His only PGA Tour win came in a similar event, the Sanderson Farms.

Steve Wheatcroft ($6,100) – Wheatcroft is popping on my value model, so he’s worthy of some GPP attention. He’s an accurate player who can putt the lights out when he gets hot. He keeps the ball in play, and we’ve seen him post some low numbers and get into contention the first couple days of events. His form has been off recently, but he did make the cut last week, and now comes back to Coco Beach where he’s previously posted a 3rd place finish.

Pivot plays

JT Poston ($8,600) – The Postman got a huge price jump this week, so I’ll be limiting my exposure on DraftKings. He’s a dynamic putter and should fit this course perfectly. He’s finished 14th, 27th, and 17th in his last three events on Tour, and should be full of confidence. Poston could be the next web.com graduate to breakthrough on the PGA Tour.

Fabian Gomez ($7,400) – Accuracy-based course. Tropical climate. Weak field. This one checks all the Fabian Gomez boxes. He won the Sony Open on a similar track and should fit this course perfectly on paper. He’s posted 2nd and 7th place finishes here over the years and snapped a streak of MCs last week at Bay Hill. Just a GPP flier, but Gomez is a solid play due to his ability to hit greens.

Brad Fritsch ($7,100) –Fritsch isn’t a name most are familiar with, but the Canadian veteran tends to make cuts when he gets to play PGA Tour events. He made back-to-back cuts on the west coast earlier this season and comes to a venue where he’s finished 29th and 39th in two appearances. Fritsch is a solid ball-striker and ranks highly in my strokes-gained approach model this week. He’s another Canadian who can draw upon Adam Hadwin’s recent success.

Vegas Says…

This section focuses on “odds” players – those players whose odds vary the greatest on their DraftKings salaries. Keep in mind, this doesn’t make these players “good plays” or “bad plays,” but it simply measures the value based on their price. I’ve done this not just with the actual rankings, but as a percentage. So, if two players have a difference of 10 spots in pricing versus odds rankings, the player ranked higher overall will have a higher percentage. It’s a quick way to find value. I use an aggregate of odds from various oddsmakers to come up with my valuation.

The value differential column shows the number of spots lower in salary than their odds to win imply. The differential % column shows that as a percentage of the players DraftKings salary ranking. Here is a list of the top-20 “values” based on my aggregations:

Overpriced

On the flipside, we have the list of players Vegas believes are overpriced based on their odds to win. Using the same model and calculations as above, here are the top-20 worst “values” based on my aggregations:

DraftKings lineups for the Puerto Rico Open

Stars and Scrubs

Balanced


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