Welcome to the latest edition of the DraftKings Fantasy PGA Sleepers column. We head to the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament this week. We had another success with our unicorn last week as Colt Knost picked up a top 20 finish and posted a reasonable 79 DraftKings points. That’s back to back weeks for our unicorn hitting!
I’m back to offer a few picks for this week’s PGA slate. As always, 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.
This week we tee it up for the AT&T Byron Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas. The pros will head to the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas Course. The course underwent major renovations in 2007 so any data prior to 2007 isn’t useful. The Las Colinas is a par 70 track that runs 7,166 yards.
The weather for this week looks a lot like last week with relatively high temperatures and the chance for thunderstorms every day. Keep checking back to see if the rain becomes more of a reality. .
The renovation after the 2007 even has made the course a bit tighter and brought trees into play along the fairways. The profile will be similar to last week’s tournament. And with only two par fives, scoring is going to have to come from somewhere else (psst….par fours!)
GIR – Get onto the fairway, get to the green, putt. Repeat.
Scrambling – The top three scramblers last year finished first, T5 and T7. You can’t hit every fairway here so you’ll need a good short game to make it work especially if you can’t find the fairway regularly.
Strokes Gained: Putting – This stat should be on your radar every week, but I’ll put extra emphasis on it this week as the greens are relatively large, but do require skill to navigate.
Proximity to the hole – The leaders in this stat the last two years both finished in third.
Par 4 Scoring – There are only two par fives, so players will need to pick up strokes on the 12 par 4s. You can do well without it as Dustin Johnson showed last year going 7 under on par 3s, 7 under on par 5s and 6 over on par 4s on his way to a T7.
Driving Accuracy – It’s a tight course. The players need to keep the ball on the course and they won’t have much fairway to work with.
As always, you should examine Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green every week.
These aren’t high end prices, but we’re looking for premium players at a discount rate.
Rory Sabbatini ($8,400): He’s made four of seven cuts at the Byron Nelson since the renovations were made after the 2007 event including a win. He’s been up and down recently (mostly down), but has two top 10 finishes in this last three events including the T10 last week at the Crowne. He also fits our statistical model nicely with his standing at 20th in GIR, 34th in scrambling, 96th in SG: Putting and 36th in proximity.
The Soft Middle
Looking for some soft pricing in the lower tiers.
Russell Henley ($7,900): Henley has made 12 of 13 cuts on the season on the back of his putting (seventh in SG: Putting currently). He’s not teed it up here previously, but that shouldn’t hurt him. He’s also nine spots lower in salary than his odds to win the tournament implies so he’s got value oozing in every direction. His only other Texas stop this year ended up with a solo fourth at the SHO.
Brooks Koepka ($7,700): Koepka comes back from Europe to tee it up at the Byron Nelson. He missed the cut here last year in his only time out on this course. However, he’s 14th in SG: Putting and 69th in GIR. Interestingly, he’s not a great overall scrambler, but his 13 for 13 (and in first) on the European Tour in sand saves and has some other intriguing scrambling stats on the PGA Tour (45th from the fringe, 14th from the rough, and seventh from > 30 yards).
El Cheapo Guapo
They won’t cost you much, but they have real upside. And they sure are handsome.
Morgan Hoffmann ($7,000): It is rare to see a variance this large this close to the top of the odds board. Hoffmann has the 18th best chance of winning, but rates only the 77th most expensive golfer this week. He’s been top 20 in his only two trips to the Byron Nelson. He’s made five of six cuts and has been in the top 30 in four of those five. He’s a standout putter (24th in SG: Putting) and is a solid 53rd in proximity.
Jason Dufner ($6,900): Dufner has lost weight and a wife in the last 12 months. However, he hasn’t lost his game. He won here in 2012 and has made the cut each of the last four years at the Byron Nelson with two top 10 finishes. He is fourth in proximity which should help this week which should help as he builds on his recent work (seven of nine cuts made on tour).
Jim Herman ($6,600): Herman comes in on quite a little run with four straight made cuts and two top 15 finishes in that time frame. He’s averaged a tidy 81.5 DraftKings’ points over those four tournaments as well. He sits first overall in GIR, 46th in proximity and a reasonable 97th in scrambling.
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, but if you want gamble in larger GPPs you need a unicorn on your side.
With no one below $6,100 this week, there aren’t a lot of reasons to dip too low. However, if you would like to risk it in a GPP how about…
Kyle Reifers ($6,300): Reifers had been a bargain for most of this season if you could pick when he’d make a cut. He’s 12 of 18 in cuts made this season. In his last 13 tournaments, he’s missed eight cuts and picked up four top 25s including back to back T11s in Texas (where’s this week’s tour stop again?) at the Valero and SHO. He was T56 in his only time here after the renovations.