What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! The year of the big dogs has continued! I hope everyone was overweight on Dustin Johnson last week as he steam rolled the field on his way to his first victory of the season.
The Florida Swing is upon us. The touring pros head to the Sunshine State for the Honda Classic held at the PGA National Champion Course. It is best known for the “Bear Trap” – a three hole stretch on the back nine consisting of two tough Par 3s and a Par 4. Whoever survives this stretch the best this week will give themselves a great chance at winning. With all of the chalky winners so far this season, I think it is time we see someone come from out of nowhere and win an exciting tournament. I will not be shocked if it ends in a playoff like each of the past two years.
The PGA National Champion Course is a short, 7,140 yard Par 70 with only two Par 5s and four Par 3s. It is one of the hardest courses on tour due to a ton of water hazards and well positioned bunkers. Accuracy off the tee is crucial, making this more of a second shot course than anything. Scrambling and bogey avoidance will be important as well. My prototypical golfer for this course is an elite ball striker who keeps the ball in play off the tee and can score on Par 4s.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Sergio Garcia – $10,900
The pricing at the top of the DraftKings player pool this week makes it extremely hard to pinpoint one golfer that by far and away has the best chance of winning and is deserving of the highest price. Therefore, I am taking the savings that Sergio Garcia offers and running with him. He does have great course history, coming second last year and T8 in 2014. He is an elite ball striker and played decent last week at the Genesis Open. With the tighter pricing, building lineups this week with a five figure golfer is much more difficult. It’s tough to fade any of these players but if I had to choose one for cash it’s Garcia.
Daniel Berger – $8,900
Daniel Berger is coming home. Berger was born a short 54 minute drive away from PGA National in Plantation Florida. This is just one of the many reasons why I love Berger this week. He came second at this event in 2015, losing in a playoff to Padraig Harrington. Berger missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, snapping his 21 consecutive cuts made streak, but bounced back very nicely with a T7 at the Waste Management. If Berger can carry over his play from Phoenix to the Florida Swing, look for him to win one of these events. I fully expect Berger to be in the hunt on Sunday, and will be a staple for me across all formats.
Rafa Cabrera Bello – $8,000
One of the Europeans who has made his way to the US to prepare for next week’s WGC event and the Masters is Rafa Cabrera Bello. Rafa has been lights out on the European Tour lately, finishing inside the top 25 four out of his last five events. RCB hasn’t missed a cut since the 2016 Players, giving him a streak of 21 consecutive cuts made. He should hit a ton of greens this week, as he ranks as one of the best in terms of GIR on the Euro Tour. He is only the 21st most tagged golfer on FanShareSports.com, meaning he is likely being overlooked even at his safe and affordable price. RCB is locked into my cash game, as I look to take a more balanced approach to roster construction this week.
Stewart Cink – $7,100
Old man Stewart Cink has been quietly putting together some solid results as of late. He has made four of his last five cuts which include two top 28 finishes. Cink comes in ranked 10th in my weighted rankings, standing out as an incredible value play. His stats for coming into this event are impressive as well, ranking top 25 in the field in terms of strokes gained T2G, good drive percentage, GIR from 200+ and scoring average. Cink has made the cut at The Honda Classic each of the last five seasons, and there is no reason to think he won’t be playing golf this weekend either.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no shares of.
Zach Johnson – $9,700
In a week of limited pricing errors, Zach Johnson still managed to fall into that category. At $9,700, I am not sure what you are paying for. He has very mediocre results at this course in the last five years, his best finish being T33. He does have some decent form coming into this event, but even those results have been up and down. In a week where it is extremely hard to find value and you have to nail one of the guys at the top, ZJ is way too risky.
Louis Oosthuizen – $9,400
Louis O finds himself in a very similar spot as Johnson this week. Oosty played very well at the Waste Management Open, as well as last week at the tournament in Perth. However, that flight from Australia isn’t short and we are all well aware of Louis’s strange withdraw history at this event. He has not competed at this event in three years. I am not willing to risk $9,400 on Louis in week where it seems critical to spend every dollar wisely.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Russell Knox -$9,000
It won’t take much convincing to get you to jump back on Russell Knox. It looks as though he is on track to be the highest owned golfer this week according to FanShareSports.com. Knox missed the cut at the Waste Management, but there is no better spot for him to bounce back. Knox has two top 5s in the past three years here, and is one missed cut away removed from a string of nine straight top 25 finishes. He is an elite Par 4 scorer, ball striker and is deadly accurate off the tee. Going overweight on Knox this week is a must. All signs point towards another top 5 finish.
Brooks Koepka – $7,500
Brooks Koepka was $7,100 last week and tempted so many people into rostering him. His reward? A missed cut. Koepka now looks to rebound at the Honda, an event he has made three straight cuts at. Hopefully the shorter PGA National course will force Koepka to hit something other than driver off of the tee. Clubbing down will allow him to hit more fairways and improve his poor strokes gained approach numbers. Koepka is being overlooked this week. He is the 18th most tagged golfer on @FanShareSports with a 67% sentiment rating. Take advantage of a great value play that no one is paying attention too.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Paul Casey – $8,700
The chalk this week will be both Russell Knox and Daniel Berger, both of whom are inside the top 7 most tagged golfers on Fan Share Sports. Paul Casey is conveniently priced right below these two popular golfers, yet has the style of game to be compared to both. Casey came third here in 2015 and T12 in 2014. He is one of the best Par 4 scorers and bogey avoiders on tour. Those two stats alone will put him in contention on Sunday.
Gary Woodland – $8,300
I am not holding true to my brand by recommending Gary Woodland as a pivot play, but his recent form is forcing my hand. He pulled off another top 10 finish with a T5 at The Pebble Beach Pro-Am, further adding to the narrative that Woodland is a short course player even though he can hit it a mile. PGA National will again force Woodland to elect for a 3-wood or long iron off the tee. His approach game as of late has been elite and most certainly will show itself again this week. Woodland makes for a great pivot off of Brendan Steele (10th most tags on Fan Share Sports) and all the Europeans who are invading the PGA Tour this week.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.
Well, after DraftKings spent the last several weeks experimenting with their pricing algorithm, it looks to have returned to it’s regular form, limiting the odd number of outrageous pricing errors. Gone are the days where we could roster Louis Oosthuizen for $6,900 and watch him cruise to a top 5, and now rostering whoever we wanted will be a distant memory. Good times…
Ollie Schniederjans – $7,600
Buying high is typically not a smart business decision, but that is what you would be doing if you roster Ollie Schniederjans this week. Ollie has been playing very well lately, but to pay $7,600 for him at an event he doesn’t have past success at or looks to fit his style of game, is a lot to ask. Ollie missed the cut last year here in his only career trip to this event. He has one of the worst driving accuracy and good drive percentage stats in the field. Both of those will be key this week in hitting fairways, avoiding all of the water and making the cut.
Cameron Tringale – $7,400
One good week and Cameron Tringale’s price jumps to $7,400? He could have been an interesting play if he was sub-$7,000 but his price tag this week is too much to stomach. Before his top 10 last week, Tringale had three missed cuts in his last four events. With no decent course history either, Tringale cannot be played this week. His betting odds suggest he should be priced about $400 cheaper.
Honda Classic 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 Honda Classic preview 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!