Welcome to the seventh edition of the DraftKings Fantasy PGA Sleepers column. It is Masters Week and DraftKings has the $2.2M Fantasy Golf Millionaire Maker – the first huge contest of the year! I’m back this week to offer a few daily fantasy golf sleepers – we’ve expanded the content for this big contest. I will try to weave in players from a few pricing tiers – this won’t be a column on the five cheapest guys each week and why they have a 1% chance of making the cut.
A balanced lineup in Daily Fantasy Golf is important so I want to offer you opportunities to construct lineups with sleepers at a variety of price points. As always, suggestions are appreciated to help improve the column and so we can better meet your DFS needs.
Feel free to take the full video tour of every hole here. The Masters site is one of the finest on the Internet. You can lose yourself for hours.
The Masters has been played here since 1934, but significant renovations from 1999 through 2006 make course history relevant from 2006 onward. Right now, the weather looks like we may see thunderstorms both Thursday and Friday in the afternoon so keep checking up until roster lock to see
One quick note on salaries – they were established a few weeks ago so they were based on the odds and form of the players a few weeks ago so there is certainly value to be found in a lot of places.
Also, there are a number of players in the DraftKings’ player pool who are not playing this week. So, make sure that Tim Clark, Harris English, Alexander Levy, Andy Sullivan and Marc Warren aren’t in your lineup as they won’t be at Augusta. Also, Kevin Stadler hasn’t played in three months since a wrist injury and Marc Leishman has other concerns (his wife is extremely ill) so neither may tee it up.
There are two stats to focus on this week – driving distance and par 5 scoring. With the renovations that ended in 2006, distance has become extremely important as the recent winners usually end up in the top 10 in driving distance. And, when looking at the results, many of the top finishers over the last decade have done all of their scoring on the par 5s with many playing the par 3s and 4s at or above par.
Last year, Bubba Watson led the field in driving distance, T13 in driving accuracy and was 5 th in scrambling. That’s a recipe for a win on any course.
These aren’t high end prices, but we’re looking for premium players at a discount rate.
Jimmy Walker ($9,600): The Texan made his debut last year and overcame the freshman jitters by finishing T8. He ticks the two statistical boxes I want to see this week – 17 th in driving distance and seventh in par 5 performance and fourth in par 5 scoring average. He enters this week as the 16th highest salaried golfer, but the odds makers have installed him as the ninth favorite to win offering a ton of value. He has two wins this calendar year including his last time out at the Valero where he ran away and hid from the field.
Lee Westwood ($8,200): After not finishing worse than T24 this season, Westwood missed the cut last week at the Shell Houston Open. Westwood’s first missed cut since the British Open probably keeps him off of some players’ lists this week. But, that just emboldens me to put him into more lineups.
His worst finish at the Masters in the last five years has been T11. He’s got four top 10 finishes and a T11 in the last five years – let that sink in for a minute. He’s priced just below the average cost of a golfer and has top 10 upside this week.
The Soft Middle
Looking for some soft pricing in the lower tiers.
J.B. Holmes ($7,200): Holmes comes in off a playoff win at the Shell Houston Open. With his recent victory, Holmes will probably be one of the highest owned players. He’s only played here once (T25 in 2008) so he doesn’t have much of a course history. It’s tough to pass up a player of Holmes’ current form as he’s put up over 100 DraftKings’ points in three of his last five tournaments.
He’s also rated 15 spots higher by odds makers than his DraftKings’ salary implies – the best value in the top 50 players based on the odds to win. The caveat with Holmes is that just two winners from the Shell Houston Open have finished in the top 15 at the Masters since 2006. He’s probably going to be owned everywhere so he’s a fade in GPPs, but he’s still viable in cash games.
El Cheapo Guapo
They won’t cost you much, but they have real upside. And they sure are handsome.
Chris Kirk ($6,800): Kirk performed admirably on his maiden voyage at August last year ending with a T20. He comes in with a tidy T19 standing in par five scoring even while being mired in 125th place in driving distance. Something seemed to click at the Valero as he hung in the top 10 all week and finished up &8 with a steady 71-71-73-72.
Kevin Na ($6,000): Na’s history isn’t that great with two missed cuts in four stops and his highest finish was a T12 in 2012. However, he’s playing some of the best golf of his life with three top 10 finishes in his last four tournaments. He took last week off so he might be ignored, but there aren’t too many hotter golfers than Na right now.
Morgan Hoffmann ($5,600): Hoffmann makes his debut at the Masters so he’s likely going to be avoided by many DFS players. However, he’s got two things going his way – driving distance (20th) and par 5 scoring (T48). He’s not an accurate driver of the ball, but he can score on those par 5s so he’s a danger this week.
Each week, I’ll throw one player out there who has one thing working for him. He’s probably got a less than 10% chance of making the cut (of course everyone makes the cut this week), but if you want gamble in larger GPPs you need a unicorn on your side.
Antonio Murdaca ($4,600): Murdaca made the field after winning the 2014 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. He’s the first Aussie to win the Championship since its start in 2009.He’s a two-time Australian Junior Amateur champion.
The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship was held at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. The West Course of the Royal Melbourne was designed by the same architect who designed Augusta – Alister MacKenzie. So, he’s had success on a course that was designed to the same exacting standards as Augusta.