DFS Houston Open

stenson-mickelson

In this week’s DFS Houston Open preview I offer up a few DraftKings sleepers, core targets, and a projected winner. In between, I’ll also spit hot fire about a fitness bracelet, someone’s gram game, and which player I’m choosing almost solely based on his affinity of red wine. As always, I’ll start off with sleepers–when I say sleepers I’m referring to players priced in the low 7k, or below range that aren’t completely obvious household names in the golf world. I consider making a cut with these selections a victory. Here’s a look at my results going back to last season:

2017 SLEEPERS
TOURNAMENT MISSED CUT MADE CUT TOP 25 TOP 10 WINS
TOTALS 15 29 11 4 0
2018 SLEEPERS
AT&T PEBBLE BEACH 3 4 1 0 0
GENESIS OPEN 0 7 4 2
HONDA CLASSIC 4 3 0 0 0
VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP 1 3 0 0 0
AP INVITATIONAL 3 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 11 17 5 2 0

 

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Ian Poulter $7,200

The fiery Englishman got jammed up hard last week when he was told he qualified for the Masters after his win over Louis Oosthuizen in their Saturday morning WGC match play contest. Subsequently, prior to his afternoon match, Poulter was informed there had been a counting error, and he, in fact, had not yet qualified for a trip down Magnolia Lane. Of course, he proceeded to go out and get bombed off the course by Kevin Kisner in his afternoon match losing 8 and 6. Now, similar to the 89′ Cleveland Indians, he only has one option in Houston to qualify for Augusta next week…

In general, Poulter’s play has been solid going back to last season when he was in another tough spot playing just to keep his tour card. He’s only played this event twice in his career (one for two in cuts) so you know he’s motivated, and believes he can get it done. I think he channels his inner Jake Taylor bunting after calling his shot to a top 25 finish with upside.

(Highlighthub.com)

(Highlighthub.com)

Scott Stallings $6,900

The tour veteran’s course history is shit, but it’s his new accessory that might make difference this time. After suffering from medical conditions related to fatigue that lead to an unfortunate doping suspension from the PGA in 2016, the Massachusetts native is healthy and using some sort of fitness band called WHOOP to help him in his training process. After some googling of my own, the entire concept sounds ridiculous, but as long as Stallings believes it’s helping so do I. And, having made nine of 13 weekends (career 48% cut rate) including two top 10s so far this season suggests the magic wrist band really is working. Before just missing the cut line his last time out at the API, the Tennessee Tech alum had made five straight weekends finishing T-31 or higher in all including both of his top 10s this season. I like Stallings and his high performing wrist band to crack the code in Houston where he’s cashed only one check in six career appearances.

(Chris Stroud's twitter)

(Chris Stroud’s twitter)

Chris Stroud $7,000

Admittedly, this one is kind of wishful thinking. Stroud is a hometown guy this week in Houston where he’s been instrumental in raising funds for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. He’s also a guy who almost gave up playing altogether last year from growing frustrations with his game before winning his first PGA event in his 10 year career, followed up by a top 10 in the PGA Championship. Before missing last year’s cut in Houston, Stroud made four consecutive weekends, including two top 25s in this event where he’s played 11 times. With his hurricane relief efforts alone he should have karma on his side in addition to some home cookin from the galleries. And, probably the biggest factor, I appreciate a man that can throw down in the kitchen and enjoys a nice red.

Core Four

Before the Valspar Championship, I started including my core players to build around in all my lineups. These selections are players that I believe have top 25 floors with top 10 upside, and a reasonable case to win. Here’s the results from this season:

2018 CORE FOUR
TOURNAMENT MISSED CUT MADE CUT TOP 25 TOP 10 WINS
VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP 1 3 2 2 0
AP INVITATIONAL 1 3 0 0 0
TOTALS 2 6 2 2 0

 

1. Henrik Stenson – Projected Winner

  • The Swede showed he was back to good form two weeks ago at the API where he led after three rounds ultimately surrendering to Rory’s charge on Sunday for a sole fourth place finish.
  • Before missing the cut last year, Stenson made five consecutive weekends in Houston including three top five finishes. He wouldn’t miss consecutive cuts in Houston, would he?

2. Phil Mickelson

  • My man love for Lefty this season is well documented. I see no reason for him not to contend in his final tune-up before Augusta next week. I think if his DK price was 15k I’d still figure a way to include him in all lineups.
  • Course history: 9 for 10 in cuts made, seven top 25s, two top 5s including a win in 2011.

3. J.B. Holmes

  • The combo of price and course history is enough for me to take a gamble on a streaky guy who hasn’t played up to his ability this season. Over seven career appearances in Houston, he’s cashed five checks including three top 10s, and his last win on tour in 2015. I’ll take a chance Holmes’s yo-yo style results are up this week where he seems to be comfortable.

4. Dylan Frittelli

  • Great price/form/upside play this week. The South African has been white hot coming off a career year where his world ranking has shot up over 100 spots all the way to 47th.
  • Just came off his PGA Tour best finish with a T-11 at the Honda Classic last month.
  • Already has five top 10s in international play this season and currently ranks 10th in the Race To Dubai standings. Only a matter of time until he contends for his first PGA Tour win.
  • Has not played this event in his career, but he does have a solid gram handle.

Projected Lineup

There are tons of high upside plays in the $7,300-7,500 range this week. I’ve been talking up Kokrak all season, and it burnt me a little as a core selection for the API where he missed the cut. Because I’m loyal, stubborn, and might just like the pain, I’m standing by my man expecting a strong bounce back week in his seventh appearance (3/6 cuts, one top 10) in Houston. Vegas is also playing this venue for the seventh time, and seems to like the scenery as he’s managed five weekends in a row, and finished inside the top 20 the past two years.

Player Salary
Henrik Stenson  $    10,500
Phil Mickelson  $    10,200
Dylan Frittelli  $      7,400
J.B. Holmes  $      7,300
Jason Kokrak  $      7,300
Jhonattan Vegas  $      7,300

Good luck in Houston! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock.

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