Each week, including this week’s 2019 Valspar Championship, 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()] [/s2If] [s2If is_user_logged_in()]
2019 Valspar Championship preview
The Players was a great event, and it was a great lead-in to the four majors. The Sunday finish offered pretty much everything you want in a golf tournament. And now we round out the Florida Swing this week with the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook near Tampa.
In some respects, I think Sawgrass is a pretty good proxy for Innisbrook. The tee shots are demanding and long. The course typically plays soft, so length can be an edge, but good ball-strikers prevail. Putting isn’t quite as important on these tricky greens.
2019 Valspar Championship 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 six individual PGA Tour events.
- Wyndham Clark – 2 – T-10 Puerto Rico Open, T-7 The Honda Classic
- Jim Furyk – 2 – T-9 The Honda Classic, 2nd The Players
- Sergio Garcia – 2 – T-6 WGC Mexico, T-9 The Honda Classic
- Lucas Glover – 2 – T-4 The Honda Classic, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Dustin Johnson – 3 – T-9 Genesis Open, WIN WGC Mexico, T-5 The Players
- Jason Kokrak – 2 – T-9 The Honda Classic, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Jon Rahm – 2 – T-9 Genesis Open, T-12 The Players
Event Finish History
We like to look for potential horses for courses with most PGA Tour events, particularly those with regular host courses. We look at the last five years to see which players finish in the top 15 multiple times in that stetch.
- Jason Dufner – 2
- Harris English – 2
- Jim Furyk – 2
- Bill Haas – 2
- Adam Hadwin – 2
- Jason Kokrak – 3
- Ryan Moore – 2
- Kevin Na – 2
- Sean O’Hair – 2
- Patrick Reed – 3
- Charl Schwartzel – 2
- Henrik Stenson – 3
- Steve Stricker – 2
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.
We only have two years of data for this tournament, but it’s worth noting how unimportant strokes-gained putting is relative to strokes-gained tee-to-green compared to other PGA Tour courses. Hitting these smaller greens is more important than anything this week.
Tee to Green: 65%
Off the Tee: 13%
Around the Green: 26%
Some good course fits include:
- Jason Dufner
- Nick Watney
- Charl Schwartzel
- Bud Cauley
- Adam Hadwin
- Kevin Na
- Patrick Reed
2019 Valspar Championship DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and it’ll be a struggle to stick with a team anchored by these guys. However, I like Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Sergio Garcia.
We have 18 players in this group, and this is where we want to anchor our team. I love Gary Woodland as the high pick of the week. I love Patrick Reed, too. Jim Furyk is putting things together, but he’s probably overpriced. Lucas Glover had a bad week at The Players, but that’s OK, same with Rafa Cabrera Bello. Jason Kokrak is on the edge of overpriced. Schwartzel is a horse-for-course, but I can’t recommend him. Kisner and Sneds are good picks given their short games and the emphasis on it here.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. Kevin Na is a good pick here, as is Michael Thompson. As you know, I’m in the tank for Sungjae Im. Steve Stricker can contend here. Nick Watney and Bud Cauley are good choices, too. I like Denny McCarthy on this course, as I do Brian Gay. Chez Reavie is almost always a good pick.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range. I’d like Brian Harman and Hudson Swafford. Harris English makes plenty of cuts and likes this course.
My primary DraftKings lineup
- Gary Woodland – $9,900
- Patrick Reed – $9,500
- Kevin Na – $7,800
- Sungjae Im – $7,700
- Michael Thompson – $7,600
- Bud Cauley – $7,200