What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! If you are reading this, congratulations, you are officially a fantasy golf addict! The Puerto Rico Open brings out the true degenerates who will do whatever it takes just to get a taste of DraftKings golf.
The best players in the world will NOT be here, as they are competing for some World Golf Championship title in Texas. Clearly those guys have their priorities backwards, as we all know the real prestigious event is taking place in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Open will take place at Coco Beach Golf Club in Puerto Rico. It is a 7,500 yard Par 72. I won’t break down the course too much, just know that the main defense this course has is wind. If the wind picks up this week, then this tournament is a bigger crapshoot than it already is.
The stats I am focusing on this week are the basic stats that translate into DraftKings points. Birdie or better percentage will be my most heavily weighted stat to go along with strokes gained T2G and approach, as well as ball striking and Par 5 scoring average. Two of the Par 5s on this course are reachable by most, but the longer hitters will have a chance to make up ground on the Par 5s that are over 600 yards in length.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Luke List – $9,900
Luke List is my favorite play of the week even though he will be the chalkiest of chalk plays. Luke List has been sniffing around leaderboards for quite some time now. He had an outstanding fall swing series and now looks to be rounding into form with a 27th and 17th place finish the last two weeks. He leads the field in strokes gained T2G, driving distance, Par 5 scoring and birdie or better percentage. A clean sweep in the key stats and a lock for well over 50% of my lineups. I’ll be shocked if he isn’t in contention on Sunday.
Danny Lee – $8,700
Danny Lee has been really struggling with his game and had a terrible finish to the 2016 season. However, he is still one of the best golfers in the field and seems to have regained some form within the last two weeks. His T17 last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational saw him gain strokes in the field in everything but around the green. Lee has a second place finish at this event in 2015, the only time he has played here in the last five years. Lee is trending in the right direction and is under priced in a very weak field.
Harold Varner III – $7,300
How in the world is a player of Harold Varner’s caliber priced at $7,300 in this field. Sure he can be inconsistent at times, but in this field, he is easily one of the best. Varner played very well last week at Bay Hill, finishing T34 at a course that was playing much harder than Coco Beach. We all know about Varner’s elite driving distance, which will help him score a ton on these easy Par 5s, but he also brings a strong approach game to Puerto Rico after finishing inside the top 5 in strokes gained approach last week. Varner has no business being priced at $7,300 and is a value that has to be taken advantage of.
Brad Fritsch – $7,100
The Canadian contingent is strong this week, with a lot of attention being geared towards Graham DeLaet and Nick Taylor. However, Brad Fritsch is the canuck that stands out the most to me this week. Fritsch is relatively unheard of in the golf world, as he is an older Web.com Tour grad playing his first season on the PGA Tour. He has made four of six cuts this season on tour and is coming off of a T33 at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In this field, Fritsch ranks 14th in strokes gained T2G, 7th in Par 5 scoring and 8th in birdie or better percentage. He has also made the cut here both times he has played in Puerto Rico. Fritsch may be off the radar for most this week, but if you think the “Canadians are hot” narrative (thanks Hadwin) is a thing, he is the Canadian you want to own.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no shares of.
Scott Brown – $9,800
Scott Brown is drawing a lot of attention from the DFS golf world this week, being tagged the 4th most on FanShareSports.com. Brown is known for his course history, as he is a previous winner here and has multiple top 5 finishes. But this year, Brown is coming in with terrible form, missing his last two cuts and finishing outside of the top 50 nine of his last 11 events. I don’t see Brown regaining his form this week, especially if the winds play a factor. If you are going to tell me Brown is likely going to be highly owned at $9,800 when there are numerous options priced above and below him that are in better form, I will gladly fade Brown.
Tyron Van Aswegen – $8,200
The price on Tyron Van Aswegen just doesn’t line up for me this week, even with the subpar field. I would much rather spend a similar amount on David Hearn, Brandon Hagy or J.J. Spaun. Tyron has suspect results at this event, with no finish inside the top 35 in the last three years. He has very pour ball striking stats and terrible Par 5 scoring average relative to some of the golfers priced around him. Even if I constructed 100 lineups this week, Van Aswegen would not find his way onto a single one.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Graham DeLaet – $10,600
Graham DeLaet may not have burned a ton of people last week, but his missed cut at Bay Hill is still fresh in the memory of lot of people. Don’t let that one missed cut sway you and put you on another top guy that you may not be super excited about. DeLaet has been showing solid form before last week, has a great track record in Puerto Rico and is the best golfer in this field in terms of strokes gained stats. He ranks 1st in my model this week for good reason. If DeLaet is going to win a tournament on the PGA Tour, the Puerto Rico Open is the exact event I’d expect him to take home.
Chris Kirk – $9,100
Chris Kirk strung some solid golf together in the month of February, but has been disappointing his last two events with back-to-back missed cuts. He had been a sneaky play the last couple of weeks because his price was so low and came up empty handed both times. His price tag of $9,100 can still be viewed as a value in this field and with winning upside all know Kirk has. He will likely go overlooked this week due to some very popular names priced right below him. I am willing to gamble on Kirk this week and see if he can regain some confidence in a very watered down field.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Graeme McDowell – $10,300
Let’s face it – the names at the top of the DraftKings pricing are just gross. This is the one week where we see golfers who are typically priced in the $6K-$7K range break the five digit mark. My thinking with Graeme McDowell this week is since there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut top player above $10,000, why not just play the golfer who will have the lowest ownership. As it stands right now, McDowell is the least tagged golfer on @FanShareSports above the $10K threshold, and is drawing less attention than Luke List and Scott Brown. McDowell has the best resume out of anyone in this field. Has shown the ability to play very well on coastal lined courses. If the weather gets ugly and windy this week, I like McDowell chances even more.
Fabrizio Zanotti – $9,500
Similar to McDowell, Fabrizio Zanotti is making the Perfect Pivot portion due to the simple fact that he is getting overlooked at the top, although he is still a favorite to win this event. Zanotti has shown he can compete with the best players in the world, as he finished T12 at the WGC Mexico Championship. He has only been tagged seven times on FanShareSports, compared to List (25) and Brown (20). Pivoting off of the chalk in a field that is full of inconsistent golfers could be a very wise decision. Does anyone else in this field have a win within their last two starts? Nope.
David Hearn – $8,400
The Canadian theme continues in Puerto Rico with David Hearn being a great pivot. As I write this, Hearn has only been tagged twice on FanShareSports, well below almost everyone else priced $8K and above. Hearn has played in Puerto Rico twice, finishing T8 and T24. He has made his last three cuts in considerably tougher fields. Do not sleep on Hearn this week who seems to be flying in under the radar.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.
Willy Wilcox – $7,900
I hate to do this to a fan favorite, but Willy Wilcox does not deserve to be priced $7,900. The form he was showing in early 2016 has completely disappeared, now he finds himself bouncing in between the PGA Tour and Web.com. Tour. He missed the cut at the Valspar, and withdrew two weeks prior at the Honda Classic. He has never played in this event and does not warrant the $7,900 price tag. I don’t expect Wilcox to be very owned this week, with good reason.
Ryan Brehm – $5,900
You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the DraftKings price list to find Ryan Brehm, a golfer who has not missed the cut in 2017, yet DraftKings is basically stating he is one of the worst players who competes in PGA Tour events. I’m not buying it. I will definitely be overweight on Brehm, as he provides the cap relief required to roster two of the top golfers in this field.
Puerto Rico Open 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:
Thanks for reading my Puerto Rico Open 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!