DraftKings Honda Classic 7 under $7,500

For this week’s DraftKings Honda Classic preview I made a slight change. I increased the seven under $7,000 threshold because I believe the best values this week are in the low 7k range, and I decreased my carb intake because I believe I disgusted myself when I stood on a scale over the weekend. So far, the unwich from Jimmy John’s has been a key factor in successfully abstaining from ordering Jets Pizza with a bucket of the greatest ranch dressing in the world on the side. As for the DK theory, we’ll have to wait and see. I consider getting any suggestion around 7k to the weekend a win. Last week was my best so far with all suggestions making the cut, with four top 25s, and two top 10s.

2017 Results
JDC17 2 6 4 1 0
WYNDHAM 3 4 2 1 0
TOTALS 15 29 11 4 0
2018 Results
Genesis Open 0 7 4 2  0
TOTALS 3 11 5 2 0

Onto Florida!

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(Courtesy Getty Images)

Cink is in a comeback of his own…. (Courtesy Getty Images)

Stewart Cink $6,700

While all of us obsess over Tiger’s 17th comeback campaign that we all know will never result in him attaining anywhere near where he was at the height of his powers, we miss out on the really great genuine comeback stories like Patrick Cantlay, Marc Leishman, and this guy. After winning the Open Championship in 2009, Cink’s career plateaued over the next few years until 2016 when he stepped away from the game to help his wife Lisa in her fight against breast cancer. Through that process, the Hunsville, Alabama native observed the fight in his wife and started to question if he had been battling the same way with his career in recent years. Once Lisa was healthy enough to travel, a re-energized, inspired Cink came back to the tour with a new spirit that was prepared to fight, and put in the effort that once had him considered a top player in the world. And, the results are proving it. In 2017, at 43 years of age, Cink had his best season since 2010 in which he made 20 of 26 cuts, including three top 10s, and went further in the Fed Ex playoffs than he had in the previous six seasons.

Whether it’s fighting through family adversity off the course like Leishman and Cink, recovering from personal tragedy and injuries with Cantlay, or just maturing, getting a little better between the ears in the case of Sergio’s marriage last year–the correlation between a healthy, balanced life off the course is directly connected to having success on it. If you don’t believe me, just ask this guy. Sorry Tiger. It’s true though. Forgive me. In eight 2018 starts, Cink has managed to stay for the weekend five times, and finished 33rd or higher each time. Arriving at Florida this week having missed back-back cuts, I think he is in a prime spot for a bounce back week where he has cashed checks in all seven career appearances at PGA National for the Honda Classic.

(Courtesy Getty Images)

O’Hair had to comeback from life’s most difficult cross to bear–poor parenting… (Courtesy Getty Images)

Sean O’Hair $6,800

No stranger to adversity on and off the course, O’Hair is experiencing a renaissance of his own in his 14th season on tour. The once 12th ranked golfer in the world’s initial career hurdle was breaking up with his first coach/manager whose maniacal methods would make the great music instructor Terence Fletcher blush. It probably made matters worse considering this douche bag also happened to be Sean’s father Marc. And by break up, I mean excommunicated–that article quotes Sean as saying they haven’t spoke in over 13 years.

After that, the Texas native had a mid-career crisis from 2013-2014 frantically switching swing coaches, and tinkering with mechanics to the point he had to earn back his tour card through Web.com tournaments. He fought through and regained his perspective, and identity as a player gradually progressing the last three seasons to 2017 in which he managed more top 10 finishes (5) than he has had since his best year on tour in 2009. He arrives in Palm Beach Gardens making four consecutive weekends in 2018. I like O’Hair to continue his quiet resurgence at PGA National where he’s kept weekend reservations the last three seasons with all his finishes 25th or higher.

(Courtesy Getty Images)

Maybe take a walk? Take a chance?… (Courtesy Getty Images)

Derek Fathauer $6,600

A major key in placing high in any DFS format is finding low cost/used players who strongly out perform their prices. One way of doing this is to anticipate players in the midst of a breakout campaign. It’s fair to speculate this could be the case for Fathauer in his fourth full season on tour where he’s made seven of 10 weekends (career cut % just over 50), one top 10, and an impressive T16 finish last week at the Riviera in a star studded field where he threw up this gem. Oh, and he led the field in strokes gained putting. Winning in these contests is just as much about finding this week’s Scott Stallings or Cameron Smith as it is about picking the right big dogs to splurge on–maybe more. Just ask everyone who refused to set a lineup without DJ or Spieth last week. Is the Florida native really in the midst of breakout year? Who knows! The point is, you have to take chances and be willing to find out if you want to seize true glory like John Beckwith….

"Hi, I'm Luke. I like to wear visors and I own Palm Beach Gardens...." (Courtesy Getty Images)

“Hi, I’m Luke. I like to wear visors and I own Palm Beach Gardens….” (Courtesy Getty Images)

Luke Donald $7,000

Another great reason I like Fathauer’s chances is his uncanny resemblance as a buffer version of one of my favorite movie characters of all time–Hans Klopek. True story: I was once told I looked like Hans from a total stranger who somehow thought this was a compliment. I’m still not over it. Speaking of chances, Donald presents an interesting play this week.

Is he playing particularly well in PGA Tour events as of late? Nope. Before his T37 in the Genesis Open last week, the Jupiter, Florida resident had missed 11 of 13 cuts going back to last season that ended in a health scare. However, since becoming home to the Honda Classic in 2007, the former Art Theory and Practice major at Northwestern has stayed for the weekend in all seven career appearances at PGA National including four top 10s. Maybe the course fits his game. Maybe he plays better when he can get a good night’s rest back at home 20 minutes away from the course. Maybe he just appreciates the spartan reliance of the Honda Civic year after year. Either way, it doesn’t matter. As Crash Davis explains, no matter what the reason, it’s working because you believe it is. And you should know that!…

(Courtesy nolayingup.com)

“Sex anyone?…” (Courtesy nolayingup.com)

Graeme McDowell $7,300

What was that? You want to know another tour veteran with an immaculate record at the Honda Classic? Like Donald, this Northern Irishman doesn’t fuck around at Palm Beach Gardens where he’s missed only one cut in eight career appearances with four finishes inside the top 10. Not only does McDowell arrive in Florida with an enticing track record, but he also has rededicated himself to the game. And it appears to have his form trending in the right direction as he trailed by only two strokes at the Riviera last Saturday before firing a final round 77 for a T26 finish. There might be enough buzz around him to the point where he isn’t much of a sleeper come Thursday, but the budget friendly price and upside make him worth every DFS penny this week.

(Courtesy asiantour.com)

Lahiri won’t be priced this way much longer… (Courtesy asiantour.com)

Anirban Lahiri $7,000

I made the case for him last week, and he proved me right with T26 finish. If it wasn’t for a final round 74, it could’ve been his third top 10 in seven starts already this season. Until DraftKings catches onto him, I see no reason not to confidently pull the trigger on the 30 year-old who finished in a T11 at last year’s Honda Classic in his second career appearance in the event. Additionally, Palm Beach Gardens is Lahiri’s adopted American home, and, according to twitter, he’s excited to be sleeping in his own bed during the event this week. Also, Florida’s Bermuda-grass greens are similar to what he grew up on playing in India. Yup–he’s in all lineups this week. Real talk: Bud Cauley–another one of my picks last week–had his price increased accordingly on DK to the mid tier range after his strong T20 finish last week in the Genesis Open. He also happens to be a white American. I’m not going to accuse DK’s pricing model of being racist yet, but if this keeps up it will be the feature for my Netflix investigation series–Making A DFS Lineup: Inside America’s True Race Issue.

(Courtesy Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

Saunders has Targaryen like lineage… (Courtesy Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

Sam Saunders $7,100

Another potential breakout player in 2018 is the grandson of golfing legend Arnold Palmer. The 30 year-old Saunders is in his fourth season on tour, and stated in December he thinks about winning golf tournaments now as opposed to just making cuts. His recent play suggests he may be close to bringing thoughts of a first career victory to fruition. The Orlando, Florida native has made four consecutive weekends finishing inside the top 30 each time including one top 10 at the Career Builder Challenge one month ago. In two career appearances at the Honda Classic, the Clemson University product finished inside the top 20 both times with the most recent being a T14 finish in 2016. Similar to Fathauer, identifying and pouncing on guys like Saunders early on has potential to return value all season long. Think Marc Leishman and Patrick Cantlay last year.

Projected Lineups

Sergio and Dufner have never missed the weekend in a Honda Classic since PGA National started hosting in 2007. Brian Harman is quickly becoming one of the world’s top players, and with five top 10s already this season, he threatens to win any week he tees it up. I see him bouncing back strong from his only missed cut this year in his last start at the Farmers Insurance Open one month ago. With this lineup I’m leaving $900 on the table. It feels scary, but it’s an important lesson when playing DFS–you don’t have to spend all your budget. If you prefer certain players to more expensive ones, be a man and stick to your convictions.

Player Salary
Sergio Garcia  $    10,500
Brian Harman  $      8,900
Jason Dufner  $      8,600
Graeme McDowell  $      7,300
Anirban Lahiri  $      7,000
Sean O’Hair  $      6,800

Or, do what every other weasel does that plays DFS and set another 72 lineups! Anyway, Henley seems like a reasonable mid-range play. His last start at Pebble Beach was his best finish so far in 2018 with a T15. He’s cashed four checks in five career Honda Classic appearances at PGA National including one of his three career wins back in 2014.

Player Salary
Sergio Garcia  $    10,500
Brian Harman  $      8,900
Jason Dufner  $      8,600
Graeme McDowell  $      7,300
Anirban Lahiri  $      7,000
Russell Henley  $      7,700

Big Dog to win: Brian Harman (33/1 on Bovada)

Dark Horse to win: Because I’m not prejudice–Lahiri. (100/1 on Bovada)

Tiger Thoughts: That Friday round at Riviera was painful to watch. Hoping for the best, mentally preparing for a WD.

Good luck at the Honda Classic! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock.

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