2018 RBC Canadian Open DraftKings daily fantasy golf picks
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2018 RBC Canadian Open DraftKings daily fantasy golf picks

Each week, including this week’s 2018 RBC Canadian Open, 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.

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For as little as $8/year, GNN Plus members get access to our in-depth weekly DraftKings picks, searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present and top-15 PGA Tour trends.

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For $75 per year or $225 for lifetime access, GNN+Forebucks members get even MORE, including our course fit modeling, Quality Stokes Gained data, course demand insights, grass-specific performance and further tools, as well individual access to fantasy expert Ryan Ballengee for your unique questions.



  • Searchable PGA Tour results database — A full database of PGA Tour results dating back to 2011, including strokes gained breakouts, money, designers and grass info.
  • PGA Tour top-15 finish trends — A look at the players who have finished in the top 15 in any of the last five PGA Tour events.
  • Player-course fit modeling — This one is experimental, but I think it has lots of potential. This tool looks at the breakdown of each player’s Strokes Gained Putting, Approach, Off the Tee and Tee to Green when they finish in the top 25 and compare to the averages in those categories for top 25 finishers at each week’s event. I believe similarities in the breakouts can help clue us in to potential course fits (or horses for courses).
  • Player performance comparison — Each player has different strengthes and, therefore, a different path to success, be that finishing in the top 15 or making the cut. So, we compare Strokes Gained Putting, Approach and Off the Tee when each player finishes in those positions to help understand player strengths and weaknesses.
  • Strokes gained putting by grass type — Some guys just putt better on Bermudagrass or Bentgrass, the two dominant strains on the PGA Tour. Always helps to see specialists on either surface.
  • NEW! Strokes gained by course length
  • NEW! Strokes gained by course par
  • Course demands: Each week, you’ll be able to see the strokes gained breakout — putting, approach, off the tee, tee to green — for each host course compared to the PGA Tour as it relates to winners, top-15 finishers and top-30 finishers.
  • Top average Quality Strokes Gained for the year: Our Quality Strokes Gained combines strokes gained and strength-of-field figures into a single statistic, so this data shows the players who perform the best against the best competition.
  • Top 50 QSG performances of the year: We wanted to help you understand Quality Strokes Gained more broadly, so we have the rolling list of the top 50 QSG performances of the year.

To access this research hidden below and MANY more fantasy golf tools, sign up for GNN Plus

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2018 RBC Canadian Open preview

Coming off an incredible Open, we move back into North America and back to Glen Abbey Golf Club for the RBC Canadian Open. This is a Jack Nicklaus design the field absolutely tore up last year in baked-out conditions. Jhonny Vegas is the two-time defending champion, but the leads are Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood.

This is a golf course where 15-under total is a winner most times around, and taking advantage of the par 5s is an absolute must.

2018 RBC Canadian 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.

Finish Trends

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, non-opposite-field, stroke-play PGA Tour events.

  • Bronson Burgoon – 2 – T-6 National, T-2 John Deere Classic
  • Harold Varner III – 2 – T-5 Greenbrier, T-6 John Deere Classic
  • Bubba Watson – 2 – WIN Travelers Championship, T-13 Greenbrier

Event Finish History

Here are the players who finished in the top 15 in this event in the last 5 years:

  • Ricky Barnes – 2
  • Jim Furyk – 4
  • James Hahn – 2
  • Charley Hoffman – 2
  • Dustin Johnson – 3
  • Matt Kuchar – 4
  • Rory Sabbatini – 2
  • Brandt Snedeker – 2
  • Jhonattan Vegas – 2

Course Fits

It seems to me the best way to use Strokes Gained data is to give a sense of a course fit. My working theory is a player is a course fit — or a potential course fit, at least — if their Strokes Gained breakout when they finish in the top 25 is similar to the average for top-25 finishers at this week’s event.

Of course, current form then informs thinking around these possible course fits. However, in concept, many of these names make some sense and help narrow down a potential list of golfers.

The Canadian Open moves around a little bit, so that’s worth noting, but Glen Abbey is a golf course relying heavily on tee-to-green play. Long driving can help, but approach play sets up so many birdies and eagles, and then putting becomes a little more secondary than normal.

Here’s our breakdown for the week:

Off the Tee: 23%
Approach: 35%
Tee to Green: 75%
Putting: 25%

Based on that data, some great course fits include:

  • Corey Conners
  • Gary Woodland
  • Joaquin Niemann
  • Adam Hadwin
  • Bronson Burgoon
  • Jhonattan Vegas
  • Chez Reavie
  • J.J. Henry

2018 RBC Canadian Open DraftKings recommendations

$10,000 and up

We have a mere three players in this group, and I think you can love Dustin Johnson. Great record here, and he’ll crush it after last week. Brooks Koepka is a good choice, too.


We have 19 players in this group, and the strategy this week should really be to build in this price range. Tony Finau and Bubba Watson are good high-end choices, as is Matt Kuchar, who is a horse-for-course/event. Joaquin Niemann and Gary Woodland are good fits for Glen Abbey. Charley Hoffman and Brandt Snedeker are good picks, too.


DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. We have some OK names in this price range, but we can’t sink below $7,000 this week, so we have to play in these waters.

Ben An, Danny Lee and Jhonny Vegas are at the top of the range. I’m very torn on Vegas despite the course record. I would avoid. Joel Dahmen’s hot, and I like his run. Abraham Ancer and Bronson Burgoon have made a LOT of limited status to start the year and continue good play. Harold Varner III is hot of late, too. Jim Furyk has a great Canadian Open record and is at least making cuts.

Below or at $7,000

We’re looking for bargains in this range with a threat to top-10. Please try to avoid this range.

Cameron Champ is MASSIVE and low-priced. Tyrone Van Aswegen is always a good pick to make cuts.

My primary DraftKings lineup

  1. Joaquin Niemann – $9,400
  2. Gary Woodland – $9,200
  3. Charley Hoffman – $8,700
  4. Ben An – $7,800
  5. Joel Dahmen – $7,400
  6. Harold Varner III – $7,100

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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