What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! Welcome back from the mini break we had to enjoy some team golf! The Zurich Classic was definitely a success and I hope that DraftKings can find a way to incorporate the team event into their scoring model for next year.
We are BACK (a popular theme this week) with the Wells Fargo Open, which will be hosted at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington North Carolina. This is the first time a PGA event has been held at this course, so we have no course history to look back at, putting a greater emphasis on recent form and trying to figure out exactly what stats correlate to Eagle Point’s set up.
Here is my understanding of the course from what I have read and heard – I will try and keep it as brief as possible for you. This is basically Augusta National. The relationship seems strong between Augusta and Eagle Point, and Steven Bowditch even used the #AugustaPoint this week to describe the course. Here is a blurb I found from StarNewsOnline.com about the relationship with Augusta.
“Eagle Point overseeded its bermuda fairways with rye grass last fall. Bermuda is a warm weather grass that goes dormant (turns brown) in the late fall and winter. Rye thrives in cold weather, however. Augusta National overseeds with rye to create strong turf that radiates on a high-definition screen.
Eagle Point president Bobby Long told media members last month that the club used Augusta National as a model for creating an aesthetically pleasing course. Long is also a member at Augusta National and Eagle Point hired its former superintendent Marsh Benson as a consultant to refine the course over the last two years.”
I have also heard; the rough will not be too penial, this is a second shot golf course, ball striking will be important, the greens are tricky and undulating and the greens have false fronts and collection areas. So, with that being said, I will be looking at Augusta as a corollary course, focusing heavily on strokes gained approach, around the green, ball striking and birdie or better percentage.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Dustin Johnson – $13,000
RENT A BUNGALOW DUSTIN! TAKE THE ELEVATOR! The last time we all uttered the name Dustin Johnson, he was somehow tumbling his way down a set of stairs and taking himself out of the Masters. The world number one is set to make his return this week at the Wells Fargo Open after nearly a month off from golf. That is one of the reasons why he is one of my staples this week. Second, he is priced $2,000 above Jon Rahm, who will likely be the highest owned golfer on the slate, cutting into DJ’s ownership. Thirdly, I think there is plenty of value in the $6K range to build strong lineups while paying for Johnson’s huge price tag. I guarantee you that this week will be the lowest owned we see DJ all season long. The injury, the price and Rahm will all play their role in keeping his ownership below 15%. DJ is a heavy favorite to win this week and will make it four straight while everyone is afraid of the best player in the world.
Paul Casey – $9,900
If one of the narratives this week is how similar this course is playing and looks like Augusta National, then Paul Casey is a must play. He has been near the top of the leaderboard the Masters the last few years and every year is one of the best ball strikers on tour. If the correlation reports are correct, then he sets up perfectly for Eagle Point. His recent form is one of the best in the field, with three top 16 finishes in his last four events. He has elite strokes gained approach and around the green stats, two key areas that translate to solid results at Augusta. Casey is a lock for a top 10 and I will be surprised if he isn’t in one of the last two groups come Sunday.
Kevin Kisner – $8,400
Kevin Kisner has been playing outstanding lately. If you watched any of the Zurich Classic, you would have seen the lights out performance he had on Sunday and clutch eagle on the final hole to force a playoff. Kisner also has three 11th or better finishes in his last five events. He ranks fifth in the field in strokes gained OTT+APP and 18th in BoB%. Kisner is on a heater and his near victory last week at the Zurich should fuel his fire even more. At $8,400, he will fit easily into any sort of lineup construction strategy.
Kevin Tway – $7,200
I am going off the board a bit with this one, but Kevin Tway is playing so well right now he has to be mentioned. If you include last week at the Zurich Classic, Tway has back-to-back T3 finishes. He carried his team last week making numerous birdies in the better ball format. He probably would have shot around -6 on both Friday and Sunday if you know, it was a normal event. Even at the Valero Texas Open, his other T3 result, he gained strokes on the field in all areas, with his strokes gained approach game being his best stat. He is a bomber, ranking 6th in this field in driving distance, but if you combine that with his in form approach game, then Tway will easily find himself on the leaderboard once again this Sunday.
Stewart Cink – $6,400
Stewart Cink is the most mis-priced golfer this week. At $6,400, DraftKings is pretty much giving you a free square in cash games. Cink has finished inside of the top 30 in six of his last seven events. His missed cut at the RBC Heritage was a surprise, but that course setup is much different than the one we will see at Eagle Point. Cink is as steady as they come, has incredible stats this week and is priced well below where he should be.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Phil Mickelson – $10,200
All of the attention at the top this week is going to Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Paul Casey. People seem to have forgotten that Phil Mickelson is even in this field, and if we are using the Augusta narrative, we cannot exclude one of the best performers at the Masters. Phil Mickelson is a wizard on the course and can pick apart the little nuances of every course better than anyone. Eagle Point hasn’t been played by many, so advantage Mickelson, who will have a better understanding of this course than most heading into Thursday. You do not have to be perfect off the tee to succeed here, which Phil definitely isn’t. He will use his elite wedge game and ability to read tricky greens to his advantage, and put himself in the mix on Sunday. Mickelson only has eight tags on FanShareSports.com, way less than those priced around him on DraftKings. Mickelson makes for a perfect pivot in GPP contests.
Kevin Na – $7,500
Kevin Na may not be my favorite play on the board this week, but if he is going to be overlooked like FanShareSports suggests he will be, I will certainly go overweight on him. Na has one of the best approach games in this field, and if he misses a green or two, his strong strokes gained around the green numbers will help him out. Na is currently being overshadowed by Emiliano Grillo who has the same price tag as Na, but is drawing much more attention. His betting odds suggest he should be priced higher than $7,600 or golfers like Lucas Glover and Rafa Cabrera Bello are $1,000 over priced. It is reasonable to expect Na to finish inside the top 20 this week with a good chance at a top 10, while everyone is out spending their money elsewhere.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Webb Simpson – $9,700
You want me to pay how much for Webb!?! No chance! Just because Webb Simpson is a member at this course does not warrant a price tag that puts him amongst the elite golfers in this field. Webb is coming off a T11 at the RBC Heritage, but that is a much different style of course than one we will see at Eagle Point. Webb has missed the cut in three of his last seven events, making him a risky play even if he was priced $2,000 cheaper.
Rafa Cabrera Bello – $8,600
RCB was the Spanish darling last season on Tour. He had a fine showing the 2016 match play event and carried it with him all season. In 2017, it has been a different story. He has missed his last three cuts on the PGA Tour and has some of the worst strokes gained stats in the field. Bello has been priced in the mid $7K range as of late as well, so his head scratching price increase is another reason why I cannot play him this week. Rafa will need to show some sort of consistency before I can even considering jumping back on.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Pat Perez – $8,900
It seems like it has been a while since we had the chance to get burned by anyone on DraftKings, but the last time Pat Perez swung the sticks, he did just that. At the RBC Heritage, Perez was a popular pick after his strong showing at The Masters and consistent play prior. Perez did make the cut at the Heritage but shot an 81 on the Saturday to derail his tournament. Now, Perez is flying under the radar at a someone expensive price tag. He only has four tags on FanShareSports.com, which is the 30th most in the field. His ownership is going to be extremely suppressed. It is a perfect time to jump back on Perez who is still playing some of the best golf in his career.
Luke List – $6,900
Luke List is every DFSers kryptonite. He has all the tools required to make him a sexy play week in and week out. Long of the tee, solid approach game and has put himself at the top of leaderboards in recent memory. However, the recent memory most of us have of List is him missing the cut at the Valero Texas Open in dramatic fashion, shooting 68-78 to miss by two shots. List still ranks inside the top 10 in this field in strokes gained OTT+APP and has the best Par 5 BoB% in the field. His length will be an advantage this week, giving him shorter distances in to approach these tricky greens. I like List to bounce back this week when less people are on him than usual. The $6K price range is loaded with value, so it will be difficult to see anyone go over owned in this range.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.
Zac Blair – $7,600
If you are on Twitter and saw some of Zac Blair’s Eagle Point footage, be thankful, because that is all we are getting from him this week. He is one of the most overpriced golfers in the field this week at $7,600 when you compare him to his betting odds of 175/1. He is a $1,000 more expensive than Alex Noren at more than triple the betting odds. Blair is the furthest thing from a value play.
Alex Noren – $6,600
Alex Noren could easily be the most overrated golfer in the world, but at this price, you cannot ignore him. He is the 12th ranked golfer in the world and the number 13 ranked player, Jon Rahm, is $4,400 more expensive. His betting odds do not reflect his price at all, but they do reflect his recent form. He is still getting his feet wet on American soil and the results show. His best finish in a stroke play tournament this season is a T49 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With that said, you must take advantage of this pricing error on a golfer who collected four worldwide wins in 2016.
Wells Fargo Championship Research Spreadsheet
Note that this spreadsheet is FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “ERIC” for 15% off:
[ess_grid alias=”PGA Packages”]
Thanks for reading my Wells Fargo Open Preview! 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, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody and enjoy the best week in golf!