DraftKings PGA Championship Preview

Rose-and-Fleetwood-630x473

Ahead in this week’s DraftKings PGA Championship preview I reveal the title of my Netflix documentary, my DK core five, ditching overblown golf stats for general disposition, and much more! We’ll start off with a couple sleepers–when I say sleepers I’m referring to players priced in the low 7k, or below range that have under told stories/aren’t obvious names in the golf world. I consider making a cut with these selections a victory. Last time out for the RBCCO, I whiffed on both which obviously means I’m due, right? Click here for my full results this season.

(Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

(Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Danny Willett $7,000

FORM ALERT! After years steadily building his career to a watershed moment winning the 2016 Masters (albeit courtesy of a biblical Jordan Spieth meltdown), and finishing that season ranked 11th in the world, the Englishman seemed like he’d be regularly contending for majors in his prime for years to come. However, all the attention that came with being a Masters Champion didn’t really sit well with Willett which he has written about in detail, and was one of the reasons (also went through back pain issues) his game fell off the following year when his world ranking dropped all the way to 117th by season’s end. And, as low as 462nd earlier this year! In fact, his machine like MC/WD performances hadn’t subsided in 2018 until just about one month ago with a T-8 finish at the Italian Open notching his first top 10 finish in his last 28 events.

In his five starts since, the light has started to turn on for Danny with three weekends, another top 10, and an impressive T-24 at an Open Championship venue where several of world’s top players missed the cut. Other folks might point to an advanced metric, or strokes gained stat to demonstrate where the change is coming from in Danny’s game, but the most significant factor in any golfers game is the one that can’t be measured located somewhere between the ears–confidence. If you watched him interviewed at the Open, or have read anything about him since, then you know he’s getting it back.

In any gambling format, it’s important to identify signs of players/teams trending positively and then pouncing while they remain cheap in order to maximize value. And, with an already proven game to demonstrate his upside in majors, I like Willett as a candidate to continue his climb back to the mountain top still in the prime years of his career at the ripe age of 30 years young.

 

(Traci Edwards/Montana Pritchard Photography)

(Traci Edwards/Montana Pritchard Photography)

Joaquin Niemann $7,600

The 19 year-old phenom who hails from Chile is quickly becoming one of golf’s up and coming superstars, and is already a household name in the golf world after earning his PGA Tour card in just eight starts this season! That in itself, should tell you all you need to know about Niemann’s upside heading into his first PGA Championship appearance (third major start overall) this week in St. Louis. With such little experience, he may seem like a long-shot to contend, but so is making the weekend in seven of his first 10 professional starts AND netting four top 10 finishes in the process.

It’s hard to make sense of Niemann’s prodigy like talent at such a young age, but I’ll take a crack at it. You see, I’m guessing that when he looks at a piano he sees a bunch of keys, three petals, and a box of wood. But Mozart and Beethoven, when first saw a piano, it made sense to them–they could just play. Joaquin probably couldn’t paint you a picture, hit the ball out of Fenway, or even play the piano. But, he could be in the mix on Sunday this week because when it comes to placing little white balls of plastic and rubber close to four and a half inch man-made cylinders with metal wrenches–when it comes to stuff like that–he could always just play…

Core Players

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I needed an excuse to watch that for 10,662nd time. Anyway, 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 2,000 times ten minutes before lock. These selections are players that I believe have top 25 floors with top 10 upside, and a reasonable case to win.

Generally, I select four to five guys each tournament which is somewhat high risk, but also can be very rewarding in DFS if the entire core makes the weekend which generally almost locks in positive ROI for the week. For the Open Championship, I went four for five including the winner Francesco Molinari. You can also see more on my general DFS golf approach, and how these selections have fared on my results page.

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

1. Tommy “luscious locks” Fleetwood $9,300

Fleetwood, and his glorious mane, have pretty much always been showing up here in the big events because DK hasn’t figured out he’s just as good as any of their five figured players, and will most certainly win a major championship sooner rather than later. With extremely soft pricing for the field in the bigger events, I’m always fading five figure guys in favor of the Fleetwoods of the world who have proven to possess the same upside at a lesser cost.

He’s playing as good as anyone in the world right now, and has been on the verge of breaking through with his first career win in the states all season. Do not be surprised if it comes in the form of the Wanamaker Trophy at Bellerive on Sunday.

(Getty Images Europe)

(Getty Images Europe)

2. Justin Rose $9,400

Same thinking with Rose who is arguably the safest floor in the field having not missed a cut this season with some of the most consistent high level golf of his career racking up eight top 10s in 13 events, two wins, and a T-2 finish at the OC just two strokes off the winner. Additionally, the Englishman’s accommodating arsenal is as air tight as my tinder game being ranked near the top of the tour in every strokes gained category we can make up which should be helpful at a venue where no one has a course history advantage over the field.

Do I care about the WD last week? Nope! Not with the electric enthusiasm like this from twitter! As long as Rose tees it up, I’m treating him as if he’s 100%. At $9,400 give me Rose all day over any of the five figure guys. Oh no! I just inadvertently uttered the most basic white girl phrase maybe ever! It’s that type of hard-hitting analysis you won’t find anywhere else in the industry! You are welcome!

(AP Mike Carlson)

(AP Mike Carlson)

3. Patrick Cantlay $8,400

If you’ve been reading me at all, then you know I’m ALL IN on Cantlay! And, I think others may be starting to feel the same way as his price has spiked up on DK from $7,500 in the OC just a few weeks ago. The former UCLA Bruin just fired back-back 68s over the weekend to finish T-6 adding to his season career high sixth top 10 in 2018. Additionally, it was his best putting performance of the season with over a full stroke gained on the rest of field which is typically the leaky part of his game.

He quietly continues a true breakout year that saw him capture his first PGA Tour win back in November at the Shriners. Coming into this week’s PGA Championship in St. Louis, the 26 year-old makes for one of the field’s best price/floor/ceiling combinations sitting at a still modest price of $8,400 having made 16 of 18 cuts on the year, and his career best finish in a major just a few weeks ago with a T-12 in the Open Championship.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

4. Ryan Moore $7,400

One of Cantlay’s T-12 mates at the OC was Mr. Moore who is also continuing to prove out my “even year guy” theory I discussed earlier in the season. While putting continues to be the bane of his career, the UNLV alum’s numbers are, once again, up across the board in this even year season:

2017 Rank 2018 Rank
 SG: Off-The-Tee  107th  34th
 SG: Approach-The-Green  20th  24th
 SG: Around-The-Green  158th  21st
 SG: Putting  106th  145th
 SG: Tee-To-Green  71st  13th
 SG: Total  69th  24th

 

Similar to Cantlay, Moore shows up with a very solid all around game to fit any course and/or style of play, and is just one hot wand away from contending each week.

In his 11 PGA Championship appearances, he’s made eight weekends including a tie for his best career major finish T-9 way back in 2006. This week, he arrives in St. Louis trending in the right direction with three of his last five starts finishing inside the top 15, and I think he keeps weekend hotel reservations with some upside proving my “even year guy” theory once and for all!

(Reuters)

(Reuters)

5. Ian Poulter $7,400

No special theories here for England’s version of Patrick Reed. Before the RBCCO, I wrote how I wouldn’t let his awesomely shitty OC performance throw me off this arsehole’s (not my words) scent. Good thing I paid attention to myself because Poulter got right back on track with a T-12 in Canada followed up by a T-10 last week at Bridgestone where he was tied for the lead with Fleetwood heading into the weekend.

Like Willett, Poulter’s been on record all year explaining why the sudden renaissance at the age of 42, and it’s not an equipment switch or mechanical change–it’s his head. You can go get fed all that course layout, advanced metric bull-shit analysis elsewhere because I’ll go with a guy who’s at peace upstairs over stats every time especially in a complete mind fuck of a sport like golf.

In already an amazing career resurgence season, I see no reason why he doesn’t keep it going at Bellerive this weekend. Also, selfishly I’m holding out hope that Poulter and Reed can win a major in the same season so I can get going on my Netflix documentary, PGA 2018: Year Of The Asshole.

Other Guys

Here’s a quick list of the rest of the guys I will consider for my sixth spot $8,100 and under:

Name Salary
Tony Finau  $          8,100
Paul Casey  $          8,000
Bryson DeChambeau  $          7,900
Marc Leishman  $          7,800
Webb Simpson  $          7,700
Joaquin Niemann  $          7,600
Thomas Pieters  $          7,600
Zach Johnson  $          7,500
Keegan Bradley  $          7,500
Brian Harman  $          7,400
Kevin Kisner  $          7,300
Luke List  $          7,100
Ryan Fox  $          7,100
Gary Woodland  $          7,000
Danny Willett  $          7,000
Billy Horschel  $          6,900
Beau Hossler  $          6,900
Pat Perez  $          6,900
Anirban Lahiri  $          6,800
Alexander Bjork  $          6,800
Thorbjorn Olesen  $          6,700
Hao-Tong Li  $          6,700

Good luck in St. Louis! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock and don’t hesitate to berate me when I’m wrong!

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