DraftKings Valero Texas Open Preview

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In this week’s DraftKings Valero Texas Open preview I’ll discuss a couple under the radar sleepers to target (one playing much better than his career numbers indicate), core players I’m targeting, why some greatly benefit from not exercising and eating poorly, and much more! Throughout, I’ll also be complaining about Tyrrell Hatton last week… Per usual, 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. Three weeks ago I got my first sleeper win with Ian Poulter providing this Beau Hossler (more on him later) gut shot at the Houston Open. 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 0
HONDA CLASSIC 4 3 0 0 0
VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP 1 3 0 0 0
AP INVITATIONAL 3 0 0 0 0
HOUSTON OPEN 1 2 1 1 1
RBC HERITAGE 0 2 1 0 0
TOTALS 12 21 7 3 1

 

Sleepers

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Peter Uihlein $7,400

I covered Uihlein’s prospects before the Genesis Open where he netted a T-26 finish. The 65th ranked player in the world arrives at San Antonio a bit under the radar after just missing the cut in Houston a few weeks ago. Last season, the American born pro lit it up on the European Tour with six top 10s finishing 18th in the Race To Dubai standings. As he gets acclimated to the tougher fields and courses that life on the PGA Tour presents in his first full season, Uihlein’s world class talent will be enough to contend and rack up some top 10 finishes along the way. The VTO should be an opportune time for Petey to bounce back, and keep his weekend reservations with potential for more once he’s there.

(Credit AP)

(Credit AP)

Scott Piercy $7,400

The Vegas native’s game as of late could be referred to how the gambling community describes as their elite, shrewd bettors–ya know… like me. I mean me before the Tyrrell Hatton Happening last week. Anyway, 11 of his last 12 rounds he’s shot par or better to a cumulative 18 under. The stats suggest Piercy is in command of his wrenches this season where he’s cashed 10 checks in 12 starts with seven top 25s, and these rankings:

  • 1st SG: Approach-The-Green (WAYYYYYYYY up from his normal career levels)
  • 10th SG: Tee-To-Green (ditto)
  • 17th (69.85) in scoring average before the cut

Maybe all the changes he discusses here are what’s to credit for the improved play. Regardless, TPC San Antonio typically sets up nicely for players who demonstrate supreme control in their approach/wedge game which Piercy should benefit from based on his play this season. He’s going for his fourth weekend in fives tries at the VTO where his best finish was T-18 in 2012.

Core Players

Before the Valspar Championship, I started including my core players to build around in all my lineups. I try to identify targets before prices are released to stay focused, and avoid editing my lineup 976 times ten minutes before lock. For example, Mr. List is going in all lineups this week, and probably most weeks to come the way he is playing–I don’t care what his price is. 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 so far this season:

2018 CORE PLAYERS
TOURNAMENT MISSED CUT MADE CUT TOP 25 TOP 10 WINS
VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP 1 3 2 2 0
AP INVITATIONAL 1 3 0 0 0
HOUSTON OPEN 1 3 2 1 0
MASTERS 0 5 3 2 0
RBC HERITAGE 0 4 1 1 0
TOTALS 3 18 8 6 0

 

Note: I did have Lefty for the win at WGC Mexico, but wasn’t documenting core players at that point–check twitter for verification. Another note: I’m still not over calling him as my winner at the Masters.

1. Luke List – Projected Winner

  • As previously stated, if I’m picking one five figure guy to roster this week, it’s this man. He’s arguably playing as consistent as anyone on tour, and is, by far, already having the best season of his career. The only question is: then why the fuck did I roster Tyrrell Hatton over him last week in EVERY SINGLE LINEUP? Whatever… Whether it happens this week or not, the Seattle native believes it’s happening soon, and is sure to be a popular pick to get his first tour win throughout the summer.

2. Pat Perez

  • After shoulder surgery two years ago, and at age 42, the former Arizona St. Sun Devil is playing the best golf of his career with two of his three tour wins coming in the last 18 months. He says he can’t explain it, but will continue his dedicated regimen, “It’s been a lot of work, and a lot of dedication, and it’s just coming together. I’m not getting ahead of myself, I’m not going to look in the past. I’m still not going to work out. I will still enjoy myself, have a bad diet. I’ve got my group of friends, and I’m not going to change anything.” My hero…
  • Four career starts here–all T-22 or higher, best finish was T-5 in 2011.

3. Kevin Streelman

  • Second ranked in GIR on tour this season, and 8th in birdie/bogey ratio (1.80) has helped him already notch more top 10s (3) than he has had in each of his past three seasons (2 all three years). His shaky wand is what has negated his third career PGA Tour victory. However, he got it going last week at the RBCH ranking ninth in the field in SG: putting en route to a T-7 finish. With the GIR already dialed in, the tour vet is one hot flat stick away from contending each week.
  • Offers very reasonable price/floor/upside combo in San Antonio where has cashed checks in all four career appearances with two top 25s.
  • Also ranks one on tour in bogeys per round this season. If I had a dark horse pick this week, it’s Streelman.

4. Zach Johnson

  • Ranked 20th in Bogeys/Round ratio on tour.
  • Ranks T-11 in Birdie/Bogey ratio 1.72 on tour.
  • Ranked 4th (69.43) in scoring average before the cut on tour.
  • Hasn’t missed a cut this season with six top 25s.
  • Made 3/5 cuts here–all finishes inside top 30 including his best, T-6 in 2014.
  • Seems like a nice person.

Projected Lineups

I discussed Xander last week for the RBCH where he ultimately finished in a somewhat disappointing T-32 after heading into the weekend in contention. I regard him as a threat to contend as much as anyone every week he tees it up. And, his floor certainly justifies the investment–I actually think he’s closer to a five figure guy. I also touched on Cink last week, and other numerous times throughout the year. He continues to get the job done cashing checks, but the high place finishes elude him. I remain committed, and believe he’s due to crack a top 25 and/or possibly contend where he’s made the cut in both career appearances including his best VTO performance coming last season in a T-22 finish.

Player Salary
Luke List  $    10,000
Pat Perez  $      8,400
Zach Johnson  $      8,000
Kevin Streelman  $      7,700
Xander Schauffele  $      8,800
Stewart Cink  $      7,100

If I pivot on Xander, I like Hossler at a more reasonable price to free up some capital to include my sleepers, or Bill Haas who just netted his first top 10 of the season last week. Hossler’s all around solid stats with the wand are propelling a very stellar rookie season where he’s managed 12/15 in cuts, six top 25s including three top 10s. Along with being a white dude named Beau, the California native arrives in San Antonio white hot having fired his last eight rounds under par including six in the 60s.

Player Salary
Luke List  $    10,000
Pat Perez  $      8,400
Zach Johnson  $      8,000
Kevin Streelman  $      7,700
Beau Hossler  $      8,100
Bill Haas/Uihlein/Piercy  $      7,600/7,400

Good luck in San Antonio! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock.

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