If you want to win at DraftKings daily fantasy golf, you have to figure out a way to find six golfers that play all 72 holes and earn roughly 85 points each.
You likely have to identify a couple of players in the top five, at least the top seven, and you’d ideally not have a player finish outside the top 20.
Doing that takes research, looking at a variety of factors, including:
- Finish trends, both in recent weeks on the PGA Tour and at that week’s event,
- Salary trends, deciphering which players are showing value based on their performance, and
- Statistical trends, identifying the common threads among winners in that week’s event
That’s what Golf News Net will deliver each week to GNN Plus members in this space, offering a complete research package which dives into these three areas to find the players that should be in your lineup for this week’s RSM Classic.
We’re now six events into this new PGA Tour season, so we now have a proper window to look back at players who have finished inside the top 15 and see which players have emerged most frequently atop the leaderboard. Here are the players in the RSM Classic field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events:
- Patton Kizzire ($9,500) – 2 – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-2), Sanderson Farms Championship (T-4)
- Patrick Rodgers ($9,600) – 2 – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-13), OHL Classic at Mayakoba (T-10)
- Brett Stegmaier ($7,300) – 2 – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-2), Sanderson Farms Championship (T-15)
- Brice Garnett ($7,900) – 2 – Sanderson Farms Championship (9th), OHL Classic at Mayakoba (7th)
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the RSM Classic in the last five years.
- Michael Thompson – 2 – Made all four cuts this fall, with a T-20 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.
- Brendon de Jonge – 2 – BdJ has made his last three cuts in a row, but his results have worsened since a T-13 in Vegas. Was a playoff loser here last year.
- Chris Kirk – 2 – Not playing good golf since the Presidents Cup triumph. Got MDF’d at Frys and was near the very bottom at the HSBC Champions.
- Mark Wilson – 2 – In bad form, missing two of three cuts this fall, but did cash in the wind with a T-58 at the OHL Classic.
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at this course, so the guys who appear of both of the above lists.
DraftKings salaries change from week to week, depending on the strength of field, as well a player’s recent record and their history on a course. It’s in looking at how a salary changes over time that we might get some clues as to players that could be a little overrated or underrated.
Here’s the list of players in the field playing $1,500 over their average salary this season:
- Kevin Kisner ($10,400) — Kisner’s runner-up at the HSBC Champions jumps his stock, plus a good record here.
- Russell Henley ($10,000) — Henley, as a Georgia native, gets a big bump in a somewhat weak event.
- Spencer Levin ($8,900) — Levin has made all four cuts this season and has been in the top 25 in his last three.
- Peter Malnati ($8,300) — Malnati has a win and a top 10 in his last two starts, pretty unexpected.
- Michael Thompson ($7,900) — Has a pair of top-15s here and has made all four cuts this season.
- Fabian Gomez ($7,500) — A pair of top-17 finishes in two starts this season and a T-8 last year here.
- Harold Varner III ($7,400) — Off to a great start as a rookie, finishing T-5 last week.
Here are players with top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing less than $600 above their average salary for the year:
- Patrick Rodgers ($9,600) — Hard to consider Rodgers a value, but he’s making his debut here, so docked a little.
- Brian Harman ($8,100) — Home game for Harman who had a T-7 at the CIMB Classic.
- Brett Stegmaier ($7,300) — A pair of early top 10s makes him a value here.
- Andrew Loupe ($6,300) — Not a good performance at the OHL Classic, but off to a solid start overall.
- Tyrone van Aswegen ($6,200) — Hell of a weekend feeling terrible at the Frys. Worth a look.
Historically, this event has been a shootout. So, making birdies is a big deal, as is putting. However, winners and contenders here set up those opportunities with modest driving (above 285 yards) and by hitting at least 75 percent of greens in regulation. So, we start with players in the field who are highest ranked on greens in regulation, then looking at their strokes gained putting.
- Stewart Cink — 79.44% (-1.541)
- Patrick Rodgers — 78.82% (-.474)
- Justin Thomas — 77.78% (.717)
- Johnson Wagner — 77.78% (.454)
- Jim Herman — 76.98% (-1.779)