Each week, including this week’s 2018 The Honda Classic, Golf News Net offers daily fantasy (DFS) golf advice, picks, lineups and tips for DraftKings PGA Tour games, scrutinizing the pricing model and looking for players who will perform best in both guaranteed prize pool (GPP) events and cash games.[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]
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2018 The Honda Classic preview
The PGA Tour has made its was to Florida for the kick off of the Flexico Swing, with The Honda Classic starting the run in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The tournament, which was the chic event in 2011-2014, has fallen off in terms of field strength in recent years. The past two years, the move of the World Golf Championships March event to Mexico has caused players to think twice about playing at PGA National. It’s a shame, but it’s reality.
We have a good field here, just not as good as it once was. Rickie Fowler defends, and Justin Thomas plays, so will Sergio Garcia and a number of European Tour regulars heading over here to get ready for the Masters.
PGA National’s Champion Course is very penal and almost always has plenty of wind to challenge the players. Hazards abound, particularly on the four-hole closing stretch. If you get to 10-under total, take a knee and hope that’s enough to run out the clock.
2018 The Honda Classic DraftKings picks
Each week, we’ll offer players in 3-5 buckets of pricing so as to offer some mix-and-matching with your lineups based on our recommendations.
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five individual PGA Tour events.
- Brian Gay – 2 – T-9 Phoenix Open, T-8 AT&T Pebble Beach
- Gary Woodland – 2 – T-12 Farmers Insurance Open, WIN Phoenix Open
- Grayson Murray – 2 – T-14 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-8 AT&T Pebble Beach
- Harris English – 2 – T-11 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-8 Farmers Insurance Open
Event Finish History
Here are the players who finished in the top 15 at this event multiple times in the last five years:
- Adam Scott – 3
- Billy Horschel – 2
- Chris Stroud – 2
- Graeme McDowell – 4
- Keegan Bradley – 2
- Luke Donald – 2
- Rickie Fowler – 3
- Russell Henley – 2
- Russell Knox – 2
- Sean O’Hair – 2
- Sergio Garcia – 3
DraftKings salaries change from week to week, depending on field strength and size, 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 at least $500 over their 2017-18 average salary (ranked least to most over average salary):
- Martin Kaymer
- Jason Dufner
- Brandt Snedeker
- Gary Woodland
- Scott Stallings
- Rickie Fowler
- Russell Knox
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Alex Noren
Here are the players playing this week with multiple top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events that are playing AT OR BELOW their 2017-18 average salary:
- Harris English
2018 The Honda Classic DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and we’re really looking at Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia here, almost solely based on their prior success here. Rory McIlroy’s putting is too suspect to love. Justin Thomas has been playing well, he says, but not seeing it in his results. He knows his game, but that’s a huge chunk of salary to risk.
We have 16 players in this group, and the low-end plays appear to be Scott Stallings, who is riding a wave right now, and Ollie Schniederjans, who is at $8,400 and has the game that could be well-suited for wind. Russell Knox at $9,000 may be a smidge overpriced, but he has a good record and is showing a return to form. I like Brian Harman a little more at $8,900.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark.
- Chesson Hadley screams out to me as underpriced here at $7,700.
- Harris English is an all-or-nothing kind of gamble at $7,300. Some very good finishes of late, but also plenty of MCs.
- Shane Lowry is a bit of a guess on my part. He closed the Euro Tour season so well last year, but he’s not shown much in his last three PGA Tour starts.
- Graeme McDowell LOVES the Honda, and he’s at $7,300. He played pretty well for three days last week.
We’re looking for bargains in this range with a threat to top-10.
- Harold Varner III is worth a look, in my opinion, because of his past success (Aussie PGA Championship) in very windy conditions.
- Troy Merritt and Martin Piller are all-or-nothing guys I kind of like here.
- Stephen Jaeger has seemingly done his best work this season in events most exposed to the wind, so I’m going to tepidly suggest him.