2018 The Players Championship daily fantasy golf (DFS) preview
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2018 The Players Championship daily fantasy golf (DFS) preview

The year's “fifth major” is upon up with The Players Championship played at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course. Fifth major jokes aside, The Players has both the strongest and deepest field in all of golf and is one of the few events every player circles on their calendar. All 50 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up this week, and The Players always has the deepest mid-range of golfers of any tournament all year.

The depth of the field and the sheer difficulty of TPC Sawgrass (5th most difficult on Tour) almost always leads to carnage. Off the top of my head, I can recall a ton of chalky players in the past few years missing the cut here so don’t be afraid to get a little frisky with your lineups and play some totally off the board golfers in your lineups. This is also one of the few weeks all season where I will personally be playing zero cash games and sticking purely to GPPs. Embrace the carnage and ride the inevitable variance wave that is incoming this week at Sawgrass.

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TPC Sawgrass is a moderate-length, 7,200-yard, par-72 track and is known as a second-shot golf course. The fairways are fairly narrow, and there is water in play on 16 of 18 holes. Accuracy off the tee is absolutely crucial and thus clubbing down off the tee will be the preferred angle of attack for the majority of the field, especially the bombers. The design of the course will however allow for the majority of approach shots falling under 175 yards, with the longer hitters left with just a wedge in their hand on plenty of approaches.

Sawgrass is a Pete Dye design so you will absolutely want to key in on golfers who excel on Pete Dye tracks such as Harbour Town, TPC River Highlands (pre-Bobby Weed), PGA West's Stadium Course, Austin CC and TPC Louisiana. I say this every time we get to a Pete Dye layout but course history on Pete Dye tracks is my most heavily weighted “stat” of the week. Some guys that pop in my head that fit this bill are Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Si-Woo and Bill Haas.

The greens at TPC Sawgrass as some of the most difficult on tour, which actually tends to help players who struggle with the putter. That isn’t to say that elite putters get a downgrade as guys like Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Tiger Woods all being elite putters and former winners, but we see bad putters like Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Si-Woo Kim, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer not only contend, but win here year in and year out. I will however, be heavily weighting scrambling and short game this week. The greens are not only difficult to putt on, but also difficult to hit. There are also sand traps everywhere around the green complexes so player’s short games will be put to the test unless they put on a ball-striking clinic like Si-Woo did last year.

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I typically like to target par-5 scoring on par-72 tracks, but this week is a little different. All 4 of the par 5s are excellent scoring opportunities and the vast majority of the field will be tearing up these holes. However, the par 4s rank as some of the most difficult on tour and how golfers score on these holes will likely be the determining factor in their overall success for the week. Holes 5, 14 and 18 especially come to mind as extremely difficult par 4s where double bogey or worse are in play.

Key Stats 

  • Performance on Pete Dye Courses
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Approach < 175 Yards
  • Par 4 Scoring
  • Scrambling
  • Driving Accuracy (Note: Less-than-Driver Course)

Players to Target 


  • Jason Day - $11,400
  • Justin Thomas - $10,800
  • Dustin Johnson - $10,400
  • Jon Rahm - $9,300


  • Henrik Stenson - $8,800
  • Tiger Woods - $8,600
  • Hideki Matsuyama - $8,400
  • Francesco Molinari - $8,100


  • Alex Noren - $7,900
  • Matt Kuchar - $7,800
  • Ian Poulter - $7,800
  • Cameron Smith - $7,600
  • Adam Scott - $7,400
  • Luke List - $7,400
  • Webb Simpson - $7,300
  • Adam Hadwin - $7,300
  • Si-Woo Kim - $7,200

$7,000 and Less 

  • Bill Haas - $7,000
  • Alex Levy - $7,000
  • Martin Kaymer - $6,900
  • Rory Sabbatini - $6,700
  • Brandon Harkins - $6,500

About the author

Bennett Bedford

Bennett Bedford

Bennett Bedford writes a pair of weekly daily fantasy golf (DFS) PGA Tour pieces, including a weekly tournament preview and ideal plays for both cash games and DFS tournaments.

Bedford works with RotoQL, and their RotoQL PGA Lineup Optimizer is a massive advantage when you're building lineups, regardless of contest size or site.