Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

PGA DFS: Wells Fargo Championship (FanDuel Preview)

Fantasy Golf Expert Ryan Baroff will help you cash in on FanDuel. This is a free preview of his PREMIUM PGA DFS Rundown! To read the full write-up, follow the link at the bottom which will direct you to the Premium article.

FanDuel recently joined the PGA DFS community and DFS players are trying to figure out the new format and optimize their lineups accordingly. Here’s a brief synopsis of the FanDuel format and scoring:

DFS players will pick four golfers for Rounds 1 and 2, and four golfers for Rounds 3 and 4 (these eight golfers will make up one FanDuel “team”). At first glance it seems simple: take some shots on Thursday and Friday, and roster your studs – who you think could win the event – on your weekend roster. But when you think about it deeper, you’re trying to predict how a certain golfer plays round to round! That’s nearly impossible. For example, you could have the tournament winner on your weekend roster and not win, if most of his production came on Thursday and Friday. That seems frustrating. That risk is mitigated a bit because all players – whether you’ve chosen them for Rounds 1 and 2 or Rounds 3 and 4 – will accrue finishing position points. So, having the winner on your Thursday – Friday lineup is still a good thing.

FanDuel Golf Scoring System:

Eagle = 7 points
Birdie = 3.1 points
Par = 0.5 point
Bogey = -1 point
Double bogey (or worse) = -3 points
Streak bonus = 0.6 points per hole under par
Bounce back (birdie or better after making bogey or worse) = 0.3 points
5+ Birdies in a round = 4 points
Bogey-free round = 5 points.
1st place = 20 points
2nd-5th place = 12 points
6th-10th place = 8 points
11th-25th place = 5 points

Tournament Stop

We’re back after a week off from DFS golf! The Zurich Classic was…interesting, but we’re back to a traditional stroke-play event this week. The Tour moves to a new venue, Eagle Point, which is in Wilmington, NC.

Eagle Point is a new venue for the PGA Tour, so we have zero course history to draw upon. But here’s what we know: Eagle Point is a par-72 measuring nearly 7,400 yards, and it is a Tom Fazio design. Players who have been on-site early in the week have been raving at the fabulous course design and immaculate conditions. Some have even said it’s the best golf course they’ve ever seen. Webb Simpson grew up on this course. Many other Tour pros live in North Carolina, and have played here previously. Carl Pettersson holds the course record with a 62. The course is bermuda grass throughout, but the greens feature bentgrass, which means they’ll be absolutely pure. Water and wind will be major issues this week, so I’m going to favor accurate, ball-strikers more than the pure distance players.

In terms of what kind of player to target this week, I’m going to focus on guys who are in great recent form. Anytime we see a new venue, I always favor the hot hands and ball-strikers. New courses tend to punish players who get out of position, and I expect we’ll see plenty of big numbers at Eagle Point this week. I’m also going to play the North Carolina narrative this week. Many NC natives have great track records in their home state, most notably Webb Simpson, Bill Haas, and Davis Love III. Some of the other North Carolina residents that I’ll be targeting this week are Harold Varner III, William McGirt, Jason Kokrak, Kyle Reifers, Cameron Percy, and Carl Pettersson. These aren’t the world’s best players, but they should be very comfortable playing close to home. The field this week is pretty weak overall, with only a few studs in the field (Dustin Johnson, John Rahm, Adam Scott, and Phil Mickelson). And since it’s a new venue, I expect some variance and a pretty confusing leaderboard throughout the weekend.

Recent Tournament History

This week, I’m skipping recent tournament history because the event has moved to a new venue: Eagle Point. Looking back at results from a much longer Quail Hollow won’t give us many pointers when forecasting this year’s event.

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 Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Shell Houston Open, and the RBC Heritage.

Statistical Report

Birdie or Better % (BoB%):

There are really not many weeks where we aren’t going to target birdie or better percentage, because that’s what fantasy golf scoring is all about. There’s going to be plenty of bogeys this week, so we need birdies to offset the damages. Guys like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Luke List, Jon Rahm, Daniel Berger, and Camilo Villegas lead this week’s field in birdie or better percentage. 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 week, because we’re dealing with an entirely new course. The winds will be up all weekend, so keeping yourself out of trouble will be paramount to success at Eagle Point. There are difficult, tiered greens, so keeping your ball on the right portions of greens will eliminate three putts. If 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 Francesco Molinari, Dustin Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Webb Simpson, and Jon Rahm.

Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee (SG:OTT):

Behind strokes gained approach, I think targeting players who excel off-the-tee is key this week. It’s a new course, so I’m putting a premium on ball-striking and accuracy. Controlling your ball around Eagle Point will be beneficial, and should keep big numbers off the score card. Names that stood out to me in this field were Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Luke List, Jason Kokrak, and Lucas Glover.

Studs

*In order of my rankings

Dustin Johnson ($11,500) – With DJ’s tumble down the steps in Augusta finally behind us, he returns to the Wells Fargo in good health. He’s won three straight starts, and is one pace for one of the most dominant seasons in recent PGA Tour memory. It’s tough to predict how he’ll play, given his rust and back issues, but he’s easily the cream of the crop here at Eagle Point. If DJ is healthy, there isn’t a guy in the field who can stop him. He checks every statistical box I’m targeting this week.

Jon Rahm ($10,500) – Speaking of stats, Rahm is the only player near DJ on paper. He ranks 2nd in every model I’ve made, and for good reason. Rahm has made the leap this season into the world’s elite, winning Torrey Pines, and contending in WGCs. He can win any week he tees it up, and this is no exception. I’m a bit wary of paying this price for Rahm at an unknown course, but he did win at Torrey Pines in his first appearance. Everything is trending up for Rahm, who continues to be one of the best and most reliable DFS targets.

Adam Scott ($9,900) – Lots of comps to Augusta National have been lofted upon Eagle Point, so Scott fits the mold. The former Masters champ is still a great ball-striker, although his numbers this season aren’t as solid as we’ve seen in year’s past. He finished 9th in his last start at the Masters, so hopefully Scott can find some game in North Carolina. I always target consistency when facing a new venue, and Scott will surely go overlooked with Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson in the field.

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