DKNG Stock – PGA DFS DraftKings Picks: Valero Texas Open
Welcome back, RotoBallers! Billy Horschel took down the WGC Match Play competition out in Austin, Texas, capturing his sixth PGA Tour title in the process. Horschel’s path to the winner’s circle wasn’t an easy one, and we saw that with him having to scramble out of group play on Friday in sudden-death fashion, as well as needing a lucky letdown in his elite eight battle against Tommy Fleetwood.
For as volatile as the tournament can be from a DFS and betting perspective, I was pleased with the way we traversed through the festivities last week. Horschel was pointed out in both this article and my Vegas Report as being someone that we should consider as a longshot with a chance, and I was happy to have two of my favorite options, Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman, make it out of the group stage. Like any tournament, there were some letdowns of Russell Henley, Webb Simpson and Daniel Berger, but I’ll never complain about correctly pinpointing seven of the 16 players that advanced during my Bettor Golf Podcast that I host with my good friend StixPicks – especially when we consider only one favorite survived to play on Saturday.
I take great pride in the research and energy I put into my selections from a mathematical standpoint, but my numbers or information aren’t always the law. If you have any questions about a particular player from a PGA DFS or PGA betting perspective, please feel free to contact me on Twitter @Teeoffsports. Many golfers barely miss out on being mentioned here by fractions of a percent, and I am more than happy to discuss my feelings or stance on anyone that may have caught your eye. Like always, the purpose of this piece is to help you put together your optimal daily fantasy golf lineups for DraftKings, whether that be from a GPP perspective or a cash-game mentality. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!
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PGA DFS Rankings Wizard – Valero Texas Open
We have a special treat for all you RotoBallers and golf enthusiasts. In addition to this article, be sure to also check out Spencer’s PGA DFS Rankings Wizard – a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet, allowing user inputs to create custom rankings and models for golf. If you would like to create your own spreadsheet, you will need to make a copy under “file.” We hope you enjoy!
TPC San Antonio
7,435 Yards – Par 72 – Greens Bermuda (Overseeded With Bent/Poa)
When the Valero Texas Open got moved a few years ago to the week before the Masters, we saw the strength of the field diminish to being one of the weaker stops yearly on tour. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that part of the issue stems from the scheduling timeframe of the event, but I wouldn’t entirely discredit the difficulty the tournament presents players.
TPC San Antonio Oaks was designed by Greg Norman in 2010 and featured Sergio Garcia’s help when piecing together the property. Perhaps that pairing helps explain why the course requires pristine ball-striking to get the job done, but it is not as if an all-around game won’t pay dividends.
Eight of the more difficult holes at the course range between 400-500 yards, making par-four scoring a necessity, and there doesn’t appear to be a proximity range that is wildly more essential than the next. I am going to get boring with my research and take the strokes gained approach metrics as one lump sum ranking, but if you are trying to condense things down further for statistical purposes, 150 yards and above would be my preferred target range. Extreme levels of wind have had a propensity in the past to turn this event into madness, but there are even big scores lurking in the calmest of conditions – just ask Kevin Na in 2011 after he carded his infamous 16. With golfers hitting a low percentage of greens in regulation, I am going to attempt to pinpoint strokes gained around the green as one of my key stats, as well as ball-striking, strokes gained off the tee and par-five scoring.
Note: For an exclusive in-depth look at this week’s course, check out RotoBaller’s Premium Course Breakdown written by Josh Bennett.
Let’s Look At The Stats
|Stat||TPC San Antonio||Tour Average|
|Average Three-Putts Per Round||0.56||0.55|
In Vegas, as of Monday, Jordan Spieth leads the way at 15/1 and is followed by Tony Finau and Scottie Scheffler at 18/1, Hideki Matsuyama at 22/1 and defending champion Corey Conners at 25/1.
- Weighted Par-Four 20%
- Ball-Striking 20%
- Strokes Gained Approach 15%
- Par-Five Birdie or Better 12.5%
- Strokes Gained Off The Tee 12.5%
- Strokes Gained Around The Green 10%
- Strokes Gained in Moderate to Severe Wind 10%
Fantasy Golf Lineup Picks for DraftKings (PGA DFS)
We have tons of great weekly PGA articles, DFS analysis, tools and DFS advice. Be sure to read our other fantastic articles regarding this week’s event.
High-Priced DraftKings DFS Players
There are four players this week priced above $10,000:
Dustin Johnson ($11,800) Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the field.
Tony Finau ($11,000)
We have reached the point of absurdity regarding Tony’s Finau inability to win a golf tournament since his Puerto Rico Open triumph in 2016. It doesn’t make sense from a statistical perspective, and it probably becomes even more challenging to grasp if you just ran and combined his perceived win equity at specific points of the tournament on any given Sunday. Unfortunately, gamers will be faced with a problematic proposition after DJ’s withdrawal has moved Finau into the top slot on the DraftKings slate. I’d be more inclined to take a shot if he wasn’t garnering a top-10 ownership total early on Monday, and his lack of win equity does become an issue if we are paying top value and top-end ownership to acquire him for the week. Finau is the third-ranked golfer on my model, but I am going to wait and see if we can get a rebate in popularity before proceeding. I do believe there is potential for that to occur; it just hasn’t shaken out in that fashion so far.
Jordan Spieth ($10,700)
The Jordan Spieth run continued at the Match Play competition, posting a share of ninth place in a tournament that he arguably could have won if it wasn’t for his late mishap against Matt Kuchar in the Sweet 16. Spieth’s iron play has been a thing of beauty over the last few months, but there are significant numbers to be posted if his driver decides to get wild. It is hard for me to form an opinion where Spieth doesn’t keep the run going with another top-25 result, but we are going to need more than standard quality if we are going to buy into his salary at $10,700. As was the case with Tony Finau, I’d like a rebate in ownership if we are being forced to pay this amount.
Scottie Scheffler ($10,400)
Oh, how close Scottie Scheffler came to his first title last weekend at Austin Country Club. The American entered the final matchup Sunday against Billy Horschel as a -130 favorite to get the job done but had to settle for second place after being unable to close the show. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some concerns with how much is left in the gas tank after playing seven rounds and an additional sudden-death playoff in five days, but I could be convinced to buy into a marginal number of shares in large-field GPP contests. That isn’t necessarily the route I am looking to go from a mass exposure standpoint, but anything under 10% is the equivalent of gamers entering the same “group-think” mentality.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,100)
Let’s compile a small list of statistics that will be needed at TPC San Antonio: Wind play, strokes gained around the green, overall approach play, strokes gained off the tee, ball-striking… if this is the criteria needed to find success at the Valero Texas Open, why am I not more intrigued by Hideki Matsuyama? That question might be a slight exaggeration because who are we kidding!? I am always interested. But I can’t say that I am overly enthusiastic compared to my normal levels of fascination I bring to the table. Matsuyama hasn’t cracked the top-10 in his last ten starts, and while I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do so this weekend, I have a hard time stomaching the idea of paying the fourth-highest salary cost on the board to find out.
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Mid-Priced DraftKings DFS Players
Abraham Ancer ($9,700)
I was hoping to see Abraham Ancer’s ownership sink after melting down at the Match Play competition last week, but it appears as if the consensus will be jumping back into the fray at his $9,700 price tag. To me, it seems clear that this is going to be one of those weeks where you will be forced to eat a substantial amount of chalk in various locations, and we see that early with eight of the golfers $9,000 or above being ranked inside the top-11 in ownership. There aren’t as many pivots as usual because of the general mispricing for all players after Dustin Johnson withdrew and threw the tournament into a frenzy, but Ancer is probably one of my preferred targets in all game types near the top of the board.
Corey Conners ($9,500)
I will forever hold a special place for Corey Conners after hitting him here two years ago at odds of 250/1. While it sounds like a wild statement to make, the Canadian was the number one golfer in my model during that magical run he had in 2019, and the trend has continued here with him once again topping my list for the week. Unfortunately, Conners’ days being a forgotten commodity should be viewed as a thing of the past, and all signs are pointing towards the 29-year-old being the highest owned player on the board. I don’t love the sounds of that for a golfer that has been known to go ice cold with his putter, but the ball-striking is extremely hard to ignore.
Ryan Palmer ($9,400)
Ryan Palmer has been all over the leaderboard at this event since it moved to San Antonio, posting five top-15s here in his career. The Texas native ranks first in my model in par-five birdie or better percentage and also comes in at a stout 10th in par-four average.
Chris Kirk ($8,600)
With five top-25s for Chris Kirk over his last seven events, there should be a lot of optimism that the 76th-ranked player in the world can keep his hot run going at the Valero. Kirk has posted three top-13 finishes at TPC San Antonio in his last five tries, and while he also has added in two missed cuts into the mix, there is no question that the 35-year-old is playing some of the best golf of his career at this very moment.
Rickie Fowler ($8,100)
Needing to win the event to get into the Masters, I do think we see a top-notch effort from Rickie Fowler – at least one that is as good as can be from him with the current state of his game. The irons have been an absolute atrocity for the last few tournaments, but there are things to like if you dive in a little deeper. Fowler continues to remain overpriced because of name recognition, but that isn’t necessarily a negative when it allows us to grab him at sub-four percent ownership. In my opinion, this is the closest to accurate we have seen in a while for a price tag involving the American, and there is upside there to take a few shots.
Sam Burns ($8,000)
I am not someone who backs Sam Burns in most golf tournaments, but I like the decrease in perception that he has received after missing the last two cuts at the Players and API. It is not as if gamers are going away entirely after getting burned in back-to-back events, but I find it tough to ignore his GPP upside. It is easy to build a card this week after Johnson removed his name from the event, and I will take some shots here and there on a few chalky options that I might have otherwise tried to beat. There will always be places to differentiate yourself in any tournament, and I wouldn’t use Burns’ popularity as the sole reason to fade him in Texas.
Low-Priced DraftKings DFS Players
Harold Varner III ($7,900)
My model tends to like Harold Varner III a little more than most, and we see that with his ninth-place overall rank and sixth-place grade from a statistical perspective. The upside never seems to be as good as my perception is for what he should be accomplishing, but this is the kind of venue I would expect him to finally breakthrough at if it is ever going to happen.
Byeong Hun An ($7,500)
Despite having a seventh-place finish here in 2019, early ownership projections have slotted Byeong Hun An into a three percent total for the week. The two consecutive missed cuts can be blamed for the lack of intrigue most are experiencing for the South Korean, but there are some hidden factors popping out for me that my model isn’t fully catching. Hun An ranks second in this field when it comes to strokes gained around the green over the last two years and comes in at the same rank when discussing proximity from 150-200 yards.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7,400), John Huh ($7,400), Lucas Glover ($7,300), Doug Ghim ($7,300)
It is an intriguing little range here of four players that have a chance to crack the top-25. Doug Ghim is going to carry the majority of the ownership when we look at his 14 percent projection on Monday, but the other three should be options that will go off around four-to-seven percent. Ghim is probably my preferred target for cash-games, and I do like the idea of taking shots with Vegas and Glover in GPPs.
Sub-$6,000 Options To Consider
Nick Taylor ($6,900), Jim Furyk ($6,800), Charl Schwartzel ($6,700), Scott Stallings ($6,600), Kyle Stanley ($6,500), Bo Hoag ($6,400), Austin Cook ($6,200),
***Plays are not limited to those options, but they are some of the ones that popped in my model.
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DKNG Stock – PGA DFS DraftKings Picks: Valero Texas Open
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