Welcome to the sixth edition of the DraftKings Fantasy PGA Sleepers column. I will be here each week to offer a few daily fantasy golf sleepers. 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 are in Humble, Texas just outside of Houston at the Shell Houston Open. The Open is played at the Golf Club of Houston on the Tournament Course. The course measures 7,441 yards with a par 72 scorecard. This is seen as a tune up for the Masters and the course does its best to set up the course like the Masters to attract a top notch list of entrants.
The tournament has been held at the Golf Club of Houston since 2006. Any other data prior to 2006 is not relevant. The weather looks like a little dicey as thunderstorms are possible just about every day and there will be wind most days with it looking a bit worse in the morning (especially Thursday). So, as with last week, watch tee times and weather reports coming out of Humble later this week.
Last year, Matt Kuchar led the field in GIR, winner Matt Jones finished second. Jones also finished first in strokes gained: putting and scrambled relatively week (T28). He drove it well (21st), but also accurately (T25).
Since this course is set up like Augusta, we will find that bombers aren’t the best option and we want to look at mid to long hitters who are accurate and who can either putt well or scramble (or both if that magical player exists). It’s a golf course that tests the all-around game, so well-rounded players are rewarded.
These aren’t high end prices, but we’re looking for premium players at a discount rate.
Lee Westwood ($9,200): Westwood has made the cut each of the last six years and has four top 20s and no finish worse than T30 (2011). He took last week off, but hasn’t missed a cut since the British Open last year. His worst finish this season was a T25 at the Honda. He’s got course history and form on his side.
The Soft Middle
Looking for some soft pricing in the lower tiers.
Shawn Stefani ($7,700): Stefani is from the Houston area and played his college golf at Lamar University. He’s made three cuts in a row and finished in the top 30 in each of those three tournaments. He’s played here the last three years and made the cut twice and had his best finish last year with a T5. Stefani is also underpriced versus bookmakers’ odds with his salary three slots below where his odds say he should be.
El Cheapo Guapo
They won’t cost you much, but they have real upside. And they sure are handsome.
Carlos Ortiz ($6,800): Ortiz makes his debut at the SHO this week, but he’s no stranger to the conditions that Texas will throw at a golfer. He grew in Mexico and played his college golf at the University of North Texas. He showed quite well last week with a T21. He opened with a 79, but rebounded with a 67 to make the cut and shows he can handle just about any type of condition. He’s made three cuts in a row including back to back top 25s.
Angel Cabrera ($5,900): If the Shell Houston Open is a proxy for the Masters, then you have to consider Senor Cabrera. In his last three trips here, he has two top 25s and has made the cut each year. He’s missed his last two cuts on tour, but that seems to be his way. He’s missed the cut in the tournament prior to the SHO each of the last three years and gone on to make the cut here each of those years.
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.
Ryo Ishikawa ($5,000): Since missing four straight cuts, Ishikawa has righted the ship a bit making three of his last four cuts including a T43 in his last time out at Bay Hill. However, he popped onto my radar because he’s underpriced based on the odds. He’s priced 22 spots lower than he should be based on his odds to win and offers the best value in the field with respect to the odds. There is value to be had and he can make a nice addition to a stars and scrubs lineup.