PGA DFS 3M Open Preview

If you need PGA DFS while waiting on reactions to Kawhi Leonard’s decision, you’re in luck! As always, my goal each week is to offer targets in each price range, identifying two to three low-cost/reasonable floor targets as core pieces for all my lineups.

In DFS golf, it’s all about getting your guys to the weekend, first and foremost. Generally, I will fill out my roster with guys in the $7,100-$9,000 range. The factors I consider are event history, course layout versus player strengths, recent form, and prime bounce back candidates who are playing well, but happened to miss the cut the prior week.

One factor does not necessarily outweigh another. And, like any good speculative decision-making process, instincts always play a role. Of course, there’s my personal favorite factor–as is the same with other fringe DFS sports–the DK pricing model has no clue what the fuck it is doing!

All that in mind, let’s take a look at the 3M Open (3MO) information to clarify some unique characteristics that you may want to consider before lineups lock.

Event Information

Course: TPC Twin Cities  Blaine, MN  Par 71  Yardage 7,468

From Detroit to another midwest town just north of Minneapolis, the PGA Tour heads to it’s second newest venue in as many weeks. TPC Twin Cities has been a regular event on the Champions Tour (senior tour circuit) for the past 18 years. It typically plays easy for the blue plate specialers, ranking one or two in birdies in each of the last seven years.

As an addition to the PGA schedule, upgrades have been made. Along with adding about 300 yards in length, they’ve converted one Par-5 into a longer Par-4, giving Twin Cities at least some defense from the scoring a PGA field can do. Based on what we saw at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week and how player friendly this course has been on Champions Tour, I doubt the adjustments will do much to stop this from being another birdie fest.

Keys to Success

My top two stats to weigh this week in order are:

  1. Ball Striking (BS)
  2. Strokes gained: Approach-the-green (SG: A)

Same approach as last week breaking down the field statistically. And why not? Ball strikers that have been consistently highlighted in this metric like Sepp Straka, Hank Lebioda have been returning tons of value week to week. If I would’ve waited until after the Monday qualifier to put together the table, Rocket Mortgage Classic winner Nate Lashley would’ve also showed up toward the top. Yes. I’m bitter.


Additionally, as discussed in previous weeks, without any relevant course history to rely on, ball striking is the best stat to emphasize, regardless of course layout. To help sift through the field regarding just the key stats I put the table below together using all data from the official PGA Tour website. It is listed in order of each players’ composite ranking, an average of each players’ ranking in the two key stats for this week. Sort as you wish:

NameSalaryComposite RankBSSG: A
Keegan Bradley88007.5114
Brooks Koepka119008511
Hideki Matsuyama111008.5143
Corey Conners740012.5421
Kevin Streelman8900251634
Nate Lashley8300294216
Sepp Straka7500292335
Lucas Glover7700322836
Joaquin Niemann930032.53629
Talor Gooch760038697
Troy Merritt690038.52057
Hank Lebioda6900392454
Cameron Tringale770047.56431
Ryan Moore870049.57326
Scott Piercy820049.52079
Jason Day10900511389
Alex Prugh670051894
Adam Schenk6900535155
Bryson DeChambeau1050053.56245
Sungjae Im900053.52582
Sam Ryder710053.55750
Sung Kang750055.55061
Kyle Stanley760056.55459
Charles Howell III840059.56113
Nick Watney790059.53485
Jason Dufner770059.54475
Josh Teater6500607941
J.J. Spaun780060.55962
Keith Mitchell740066.53697
Trey Mullinax690066.58152
Russell Henley7000675480
Shawn Stefani660074.510742
Adam Svensson630074.511237
Charley Hoffman78008013228
Andrew Landry670081.57588
Cameron Davis6300837789
Bud Cauley7300849870
Kevin Na860085.59576
Tony Finau92008810670
Roberto Castro64008913840
Kyoung-Hoon Lee690089.570109
Danny Lee760090.511764
Brendan Steele72009210174
Carlos Ortiz660092.539146
Adam Hadwin81009358128
Cameron Champ75009332154
Dylan Frittelli7200949593
Adam Long68009587103
Martin Laird740095.562129
Bronson Burgoon680095.553138
Anders Albertson610096.512766
Rory Sabbatini95009894102
Johnson Wagner62009879117
Max Homa700098.514849
Luke List7400100.5101100
Brice Garnett680010133169
Jim Knous620010311591
Chesson Hadley730010514763
Tom Hoge630010616646
Scott Stallings6900106.515360
Michael Thompson7100107.5104111
Daniel Berger800010893123
Ryan Armour680010886130
Tyler Duncan660010860156
Sebastián Muñoz6700108.591126
Chase Wright6100109.560159
Phil Mickelson850011012595
Peter Malnati780011418642
Kramer Hickok6400114.567162
Hunter Mahan6100115.539192
Brandon Harkins6700116113119
Roger Sloan6600117124110
Jonas Blixt7200118130106
Ben Silverman6500118.5104133
Austin Cook700012099141
Scott Brown6800122110134
Patrick Reed10000122.5141104
Wes Roach700012378168
Jimmy Walker750013216698
Matt Jones7000132.5101164
Harris English6600133.583184
Fabián Gómez610013481187
David Hearn6700137121153
Seth Reeves630013876200
Robert Streb6400138.5158119
Mackenzie Hughes7400139.5164115
Sam Burns7300140.5122159
Alex Cejka6100141182100
Pat Perez7600141.5162121
Nick Taylor7200142.5150135
Denny McCarthy7100143109177
Roberto Díaz7000147.5125170
John Chin6000147.597198
Sam Saunders6400149171127
Patton Kizzire6500149.5159140
Peter Uihlein7100150151149
Whee Kim6000153181125
Ted Potter, Jr.6700154163145
Brady Schnell6200155.5145166
Wyndham Clark7100156.5120193
J.J. Henry6000157153161
Richy Werenski6100158.5165152
Chris Thompson6000159171147
Beau Hossler6900162127197
Si Woo Kim7300162.5160165
Ben Crane6200163.5183144
Brian Gay6400164149179
Dominic Bozzelli6400165139191
Ryan Blaum6700166.5177156
Freddie Jacobson6200167.5199136
Brian Harman8000168.5155182
Ollie Schniederjans6500168.5166171
Kelly Kraft6300169195143
Joey Garber6600169.5143196
Stephan Jaeger6800171.5176167
Julián Etulain6000171.5194149
Sangmoon Bae6500173157189
Chris Stroud6300173.5199148
Satoshi Kodaira6100175175175
Kyle Jones6000175160190
Anirban Lahiri6500175.5193158
Bill Haas7100180.5188173
Scott Langley6500183180186
Rod Pampling6200185186184
Cody Gribble6100188.5196181
Martin Trainer6200192183201
Michael Kim6000192201183
Curtis Luck6300196.5198195
Viktor Hovland9100000
Collin Morikawa7900000
Matthew Wolff7300000
Doc Redman7200000
Zack Sucher6800000
Martin Piller6600000
Tyrone Van Aswegen6500000
Nicholas Lindheim6400000
Robert Garrigus6400000
Justin Suh6300000
Tom Lehman6200000
Derek Fathauer6200000
Charlie Danielson6200000
Will Claxton6100000
Tom Lovelady6100000
Morgan Hoffmann6100000
Smylie Kaufman6100000
David Berganio6000000
Chad Collins6000000
Kris Blanks6000000
Craig Brischke6000000
Tim Herron6000000
Colt Knost6000000
Alvaro Ortiz6000000

*player without data have not played in enough PGA events for stats to qualify

Price Range Targets

Chalky McChalkerson (Five figures to 8.4k–16 players)

Last week’s shallow field setup nicely for Patrick Reed to get his season back on track, heading into the stretch run. And everyone’s loathed Masters Champion did just that.

His season long stats still won’t reflect it, but the Texas native’s ball striking was excellent in Detroit. Reed ended up ranking third in SG: Approach, and sixth in SG: Tee-to-green.

For this range, I’m sticking with the hot hands like Reed and Joaquin Niemann, who was also near the top of the field in ball striking last week.

Sweet Spot (8.3k to 7k–48 players)

That, of course, is the easy part. Hitting some top-10s from this range is where you will likely gain some separation from the DFS pack, and create the cap space for Reed this week.

Tringale looks to stay hot this week (Source: Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America)

A guy in terrific form, quietly having a nice comeback year after missing a whopping 19 cuts in 2018, is Cameron Tringale. He’s catapulted up my key stats metric after ranking second in SG: Tee-to-green in last week’s T-5 finish in Detroit.

As discussed, with unfamiliar courses, ball striking will likely continue to have the strongest correlation to good performances. The combination of that and form are my main focuses this week.

That said, it’s no surprise to see guys like Tringale, Talor Gooch, and Sepp Straka see a price bump this week.

Sneaky Low % Owned (Below 7k ~88 players)

Here is where you can take down a GPP if you guess errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… I mean correctly select players. My favorite safer guys that rank well in key stats, and continue to churn out weekends consistently are Hank Lebioda and Adam Schenk.

Can Lehman make the weekend? (Source: Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America)

From the super deep contrarian department, order me up some Tom Lehman. The Minnesota native and Gopher alum, has been one of the top players on the Champions Tour for the past decade. He’s played this event on that tour for eight consecutive years, and fared well with six finishes inside the top-30, including three top-10s.

Some course familiarity and hometown cookin from the fans is as good a reason as any to play the lotto on this 60 year-old. On the opposite side of his career, rookie Justin Suh will be looking to make it five time’s a charm for a made cut in Minnesota.

Fellow newly turned pros who have had some real success already like Doc Redman, Viktor Hovland, and Collin Morikawa will likely be bathed in chalk. For Suh, it’s just a matter of time until he joins them with a break through performance on the big tour. I’ll run him back as one of my favorite contrarian plays this week.

Best Bounce Back Candidates
  • Corey Conners–Was all over him last week in a tough missed weekend. Great ball striking numbers all season. Should be motivated to get a career year back on track in a thin field.
  • Tony Finau–He can’t miss FOUR in a row, can he?
  • Ryan Moore–Hasn’t missed back to back weekends since early on in the season. Do not see that happening here.
  • Lucas Golver–Cooled off a bit after a sizzling start to the year. Fantastic ball striker all season. Took last week off so he should be refreshed heading into Minnesota.
Best Course History Plays

Nothing to cover here. Might as well get to which core player will ruin my life this week like Conners did in Detroit. Actual footage of me riding in back looking at my phone during Friday’s round…

Core Players

Last season, 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. More detailed results are to come as the season moves along. This week’s selections:

  1. Keegan
  2. Niemann
  3. Reed
  4. Tringale

Good luck in Minnesota! Don’t hesitate to reach out on twitter compliments and insults are always welcome. Also follow my new podcast!


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