Each week, including this week’s 2021 The Players 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 !current_user_can(access_s2member_level2)]
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2021 The Players 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 five individual PGA Tour events.
- Patrick Cantlay – 2 – T-3 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-15 Genesis Invitational
- Paul Casey – 2 – T-5 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Tony Finau – 2 – P-2 Genesis Invitational, T-14 WGC Concession
- Matt Fitzpatrick – 3 – T-5 Genesis Invitational, T-11 WGC Concession, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- James Hahn – 2 – T-10 Phoenix Open, T-15 Genesis Invitational
- Charley Hoffman – 2 – T-7 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Max Homa – 3 – T-7 AT&T Pebble Beach, WIN Genesis Invitational, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Viktor Hovland – 2 – T-5 Genesis Invitational, T-2 WGC Concession
- Jason Kokrak – 2 – T-9 WGC Concession, T-8 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Rory McIlroy – 3 – T-13 Phoenix Open, T-6 WGC Concession, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Louis Oosthuizen – 2 – T-11 Phoenix Open, T-6 WGC Concession
- Carlos Ortiz – 2 – T-4 Phoenix Open, T-15 WGC Concession
- Andrew Putnam – 3 – T-7 Phoenix Open, T-5 Puerto Rico Open, T-4 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Jon Rahm – 2 – T-13 Phoenix Open, T-5 Genesis Invitational
- Xander Schauffele – 2 – T-2 Phoneix Open, T-15 Genesis Invitational
- Scottie Scheffler – 2 – T-7 Phoenix Open, T-5 WGC Concession
- Cameron Smith – 2 – 4th Genesis Invitational, T-11 WGC Concession
- Jordan Spieth – 4 – T-4 Phoenix Open, T-3 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-15 Genesis Invitational, T-4 Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Justin Thomas – 2- T-13 Phoenix Open, T-15 WGC Concession
- Will Zalatoris – 2 – T-15 Genesis Invitational, T-10 Arnold Palmer Invitational
Event Finish History
We like to look for potential horses for courses with most PGA Tour events, particularly those with regular host courses. We’re looking at players with multiple top-15 finishes in the last five years.
- Jason Day – 3
- Tommy Fleetwood – 2
- Dustin Johnsnon – 2
- Hideki Matsuyama – 2
- Rory McIlroy – 2
- Francesco Molinari – 2
- Ian Poulter – 2
- Adam Scott – 4
- Justin Thomas – 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 can’t model this week, though, with a new course that’s a one-off for wherever this championship is heading next. However, my hypothesis is that this course will be a lot like PGA National in terms of correlation, so let’s test that.
Here’s the breakout:
Tee to Green: 69%
Off the Tee: 15%
Around the Green: 20%
Some fits include:
Strokes Gained T2G Trends
It’s important when looking at current form to see which players are overperforming and underperforming their long-term trends (last 50 tournaments) compared to short-term trends (last 10 tournaments).
Here are the overperformers:
- Willett, Danny: 1.649
- Casey, Paul: 1.323
- Spieth, Jordan: 1.13
- Putnam, Andrew: 1.084
- Lewis, Tom: 1.032
- Kizzire, Patton: 0.975
- Fleetwood, Tommy: 0.847
- Stallings, Scott: 0.832
- Herman, Jim: 0.771
- Oosthuizen, Louis: 0.767
Here are the underperformers:
- McDowell, Graeme: -1.674
- Stenson, Henrik: -1.385
- Dahmen, Joel: -1.243
- Schenk, Adam: -1.205
- Walker, Jimmy: -1.057
- Swafford, Hudson: -1.019
- Harrington, Scott: -0.985
- Long, Adam: -0.981
- English, Harris: -0.907
- Lahiri, Anirban: -0.898
We also have a new tool which looks at SG T2G over the last 30 tournaments and a player’s relative variance, showing you which players are the most consistent from week to week. Check it out!
This week’s model
Also, we’ve updated our tools comparing players’ strokes gained by course length and par, as well strokes gained putting by grass!
2021 The Players Championship DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have four players (had five) in this group, and I like DJ, Rahm and Rory.
We have 18 players in this group, and this is where we want to make a lineup. I like Morikawa, Simpson, Hovland, Cantlay, Finau, Scheffler, Matsuyama, Spieth (on current form), Hatton, Casey, Fitzpatrick and Adam Scott (on course history).
DraftKings typically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. Cam Smith, Fleetwood, Louis, Niemann (!), Kokrak, Zalatoris, Max Homa, Sergio, Ortiz, Henley, Conners, Griffin, Tringale, Lee Westwood, Bezuidenhout, Matt Jones.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range. Alexn Noren, Branden Grace, Chris Kirk, Brian Harman, Charley Hoffman, Russell Knox, Matt NeSmith.
A sample The Players Championship DraftKings GPP lineup
- Collin Morikawa – $9,400
- Patrick Cantlay – $9,200
- Adam Scott – $8,100
- Cameron Smith – $7,900
- Joaquin Niemann – $7,700
- Will Zalatoris – $7,600