Each week, including this week’s 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, daily fantasy (DFS) golf players check the DraftKings lobby to see that week’s PGA Tour games, scrutinize the pricing model and try to predict lineups which will perform best in both guaranteed prize pool (GPP) events and cash games.
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2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open preview
The PGA Tour heads to the Phoenix area this week for the biggest party in golf. Yeah, 16 is a great scene at TPC Scottsdale, but it’s a boring hole. No. 17 is way better. No. 18 can be great.
The key here this week is finding a way to go low. Gotta get to at least 16 under to win, and you’ll probably stare down Hideki Matsuyama in the end. Putting doesn’t seem to be a must here, but obviously it doesn’t hurt. Players must take advantage of the short par 4s and the par 5s to make hay on this course.
Guys who come back year after year do it because they like the environment. That makes it tough to trust rookies and newbie players who may not know how they feel about the place yet.
2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open 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.
- Andrew Landry – 2 – T-4 The RSM Classic, P-2 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Austin Cook – 2 – WIN The RSM Classic, T-14 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Brandon Harkins – 2 – T-8 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-12 Farmers Insurance Open
- Bud Cauley – 2 – T-8 The RSM Classic, T-14 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Chris Kirk – 2 – T-4 The RSM Classic, T-10 Sony Open in Hawaii
- Daniel Berger – 2 – T-11 Tournament of Champions, T-14 Sony Open in Hawaii
- Gary Woodland – 2 – T-7 Sony Open in Hawaii, T-12 Farmers Insurance Open
- Harris English – 2 – T-11 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-8 Farmers Insurance Open
- Hideki Matsuyama – 2 – T-4 Tournament of Champions, T-12 Farmers Insurance Open
- Jon Rahm – 2 – 2nd Tournament of Champions, WIN CareerBuilder Challenge
- Marc Leishman – 2 – T-7 Tournament of Champions, T-8 Farmers Insurance Open
- Patton Kizzire – 2 – T-15 Tournament of Champions, WIN Sony Open in Hawaii
- Zach Johnson – 2 – T-8 The RSM Classic, T-14 Sony Open in Hawaii
Event Finish History
Here are the players who finished in the top 15 at this event multiple times in the last five years:
- Brandt Snedeker – 2
- Brendan Steele – 2
- Bubba Watson – 4
- Daniel Berger – 2
- Harris English – 2
- Hideki Matsuyama – 4
- Jordan Spieth – 2
- Martin Laird – 2
- Phil Mickelson – 2
- Rickie Fowler – 2
- Ryan Moore – 3
- Ryan Palmer – 2
- Scott Piercy – 2
- Webb Simpson – 3
- Zach Johnson – 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):
- Jon Rahm
- Steve Stricker
- Harris English
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Ryan Palmer
- Daniel Berger
- 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:
- Andrew Landry
- Brandon Harkins
- Bud Cauley
- Chris Kirk
- Marc Leishman
- Patton Kizzire
- Zach Johnson
2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and they’re all great picks for one reason or another. Obviously, Hideki Matsuyama is the pick. He’s the two-time defending champion and played well last week at Torrey. You only save $100 to get Spieth and $500 to get Rahm. Pick Hideki if you’re going in this category.
We have 13 players in this group, and it seems the high-end play here is Marc Leishman, who has both a good record here and current form. Stay away from Daniel Berger, who performs best on easy courses but is unreliable. Webb Simpson has a great price given current form and track record. Harris English is playing well under the radar, but may be close to overpriced at $8,100, at least relative to this underpriced field.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark.
How can you not be interested in Beau Hossler? He’s making cuts and playing well. He seems to like tough courses most, but he’s figuring out how to cash good checks — and he’s $7,000 this week.
Julian Suri is the world No. 63 after a great 2017 on the Euro Tour. He’s $7,000. Odd.
Bud Cauley at $7,300 is compelling given how he played in the desert. He seems to like these go-low events, too.
It’s time to start trusting Russell Knox again, especially at $7,400.
Zach Johnson is dirt cheap at $7,700, and it’s inexplicable given his current form and past record.
We’re looking for bargains in this range with a threat to top-10.
Chesson Hadley is so vastly undervalued this week, it’s almost criminal at $6,900. He’s cashing checks every week!
Wyndham Clark may be an intriguing play as well, nearly winning on the Web.com Tour last week.