What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! The Valspar Championship was a treat to watch and was probably the most entertaining event so far this year. Adam Hadwin was able to hang on for his first career title, and as fellow Canadian, it was great to see. It is time to turn the page and move on to what will be the most emotional event of the season.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational will take place at Arnie’s course, Bay Hill, near Orlando Florida. It will be the first time the legend will not be there to hand out the trophy on Sunday, and will be an emotional week for the entire golf world as we remember Arnold Palmer.
Bay Hill has hosted this event for years, but recently was redesigned in 2009 limiting the relevant tournament history we can look at. The design of the course will take driver out of a lot of golfer’s hands.
This is a second shot golf course that will have the players hitting plenty of long irons into these fast greens. The greens are especially hard to hit and golfers who have managed to scramble well have had success here. The stats I am looking at this week are SG-T2G, SG-Around the Green, GIR from 200+, birdie or better percentage and bogey avoidance.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Henrik Stenson – $11,000
The last time I pumped Stenson’s tires, he literally shit the bed. Mexican food and tap water will do that to you. However, after a week of imodium Stenson bounced back with a solid T7 finish at the Valspar, setting himself up nicely at a course he has dominated at in the past. Stenson has four straight top 8 results here. He will be the highest owned golfer this week, but I could careless in cash and I will definitely be overweight in GPPs. Let’s hope he doesn’t hit up any Mexican restaurants in the Orlando area.
Justin Rose – $9,500
Rose will be another lock in my cash lineup. His combination of price, stats, course history and recent form are seemingly perfect. Bay Hill is a second shot course, with most approach shots measuring at 200+ yards. Also, all four Par 3s are 200 yards or longer. I am mentioning this because Rose ranks 3rd in the field in GIR from 200+. Even though he is the 2nd most tagged golfer on FanShareSports, Rose typically doesn’t receive the ownership most elite golfers deserve. I am willing to bet he is lower owned than expected, and I am willing to go all in.
Kevin Na – $7,600
Kevin Na is the bargain bin version of Henrik Stenson. Na has played in the Arnold Palmer Invitational three times in the last five years, finishing inside the top 15 all three times and two inside the top 6. He is coming off the missed cut at the Valspar, which I am hoping will suppress his ownership considerably. Na is has the 8th best Strokes Gained Around the Green stat in the field and does everything else that is required on this course very well. Na will be in my cash game lineup this week.
Lucas Glover – $6,700
Lucas Glover will always pop on my model because he is so ridiculously good until he gets on the green. He is the best ball striker in the field, is exceptional with his long irons, makes bridies and avoids bogeys with the best of them. He is too skilled to ignore at $6,700 and with the amount of variance occurs in putting each week, Glover is well worth the risk. He has made eight straight cuts and his results are trending in the right direction. If he can just putt average compared to the field, he has a great chance of finishing inside the top 5.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no shares of.
Kevin Chappell – $8,000
People may remember and be tempted by Chappell’s 2nd place finish at this event last year, but don’t forget about the two missed cuts in the three years prior. Chappell has been playing terrible lately, showing no signs of regaining the elite tee-to-green he had last season. Chappell is overpriced in this field and shouldn’t be considered when
Bubba Watson – $7,500
WTF is going on with Bubba. It is a question the golf world is asking themselves week in and week out. He has missed two cuts in his last four events, and his withdraw at the Genesis Open was purely because of the weather and the fact he did not want to keep playing. He is showing no desire to battle through this slump, and I am not willing to invest in a cent on him until he figures it out. Take your pink ball and get outta here Bubba.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Louis Oosthuizen – $9,300
Louis excited a lot of DFSers earlier this year with his top 5 finish at the Waste Management. However, he has tailed off a bit, with his most recent finish being a T48 at the WGC event in Mexico. Now, he comes in priced fairly high for his course history and recent form, and will definitely be overlooked. He has only been tagged once on FanShareSports, and is surrounded by very popular plays. Louis is very difficult to predict, but given the magnitude of this event, it seems like an event he could thrive in. Take advantage of low ownership on a golfer who has the upside to win.
Alex Noren – $7,700
Two weeks ago at the Mexico Championship, Alex Noren was inside the top five most tagged golfers on FanShareSports.com. All it took was one subar performance for people to have completely forget about the world’s #11 ranked golfer. His trip to Mexico was the first time he had played in North America since the PGA Championship. Noren’s price jumped $700, yet he is still a decent value play this week. Scrambling will be a major factor this week at Bay Hill, and Noren owns the best scramble rate in the field at 77.4%. I am giving Noren a second chance after breaking my heart in Mexico.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jason Day – $10,600
I am sure Jason Day will be owned somewhere in the 12%-15% range in large field GPPs this week, but that is not enough. He is currently T14 when it comes to tags, with only a 57% start sentiment on FanShareSports. That is incredibly low for the defending champion and his obvious elite skill set. If Day goes overlooked this week, the entire DFS golf community will be kicking themselves as he hoists another trophy. Day seems to always sneak up on us and win events. Spread your ownership evenly for the golfers priced above $10K and you will certainly be overweight compared to the field on Day.
Brandt Snedeker – $9,000
As I write this, Rose, Molinari, ZJ, Hatton and Casey are all inside the top 10 most talked about golfers this week. Brandt Snedeker on the other hand, who is priced in the same range as all of those other guys, has only been tagged once, ranking T55. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! Sneds has two top 15 finishes at Bay Hill in the last three years. He is entering this event with three top 10s in his last four events. He has the 10th best Strokes Gained Around the Green stat in the field, which will come in handy this week. Sneds is in the running for the “Best Perfect Pivot” option of the year.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.
Martin Laird – $8,100
I’m a big Party Marty fan, but I cannot stomach paying $8,100 for him because he won this event in 2011. He has average course history here since his win, making five straight cuts but no finish was inside the top 30. Laird has two top 10 finishes in his last five, but also has three finishes outside of the top 60. He is priced in what looks like to be a dead range, so I will be taking my $500 in savings and going elsewhere.
Wesley Bryan – $7,100
What else does Wesley Bryan need to do in order to get some pricing respect? Three straight top 7s isn’t good enough? There isn’t a player in this field who is entering with better form. Sure, Bryan hasn’t played at this event in his career, but the same could be said about the last three events he played in. With everyone drooling over “Mr. Can’t Win” Charles Howell’s price, Bryan is a much better value with more upside. Bryan seems to have quickly figured out the PGA Tour, and a win is on the horizon in the near future.
Thanks for reading my Arnold Palmer Invitational article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most.
Good luck this week everybody!