Welcome to the eleventh edition of the DraftKings Fantasy PGA Sleepers column. We head to the Wells Fargo Championship this week. 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 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. The course at Quail Hollow is a 7,542 par 72 course with the final three holes comprising “The Green Mile” for one of the toughest finishing stretches on the Tour. The Wells Fargo has been held here every year since 2003. It’s another tough course this week after the challenges of TPC Sawgrass. Remember, this course will hold the PGA Championship in 2017 so it’s major-worthy.
The weather looks good with the only chance for rain on Friday morning. However, it is late Spring in the southeast so rain and wind can kick up at any time. As always, check in on the weather as we get closer to the Thursday start.
You’re going to see us chasing very similar statistical profiles this week as last week.
Par 5 Scoring – Again this week, we are going to look for guys who can score on par 5s. Driving distance seems to be a bit more important this week than last week, but the par 5s are where the players will have to make their marks.
Scrambling – You are going to get in trouble somewhere on the course and you’ll need to get out. There are a ton of bunkers so I’d like to take a peek at scrambling from the sand as well.
Greens in Regulation (GIR) – You need to stay out of trouble at Quail Hollow. Getting to the greens keeps you in the hunt.
Driving Distance – I didn’t mention driving distance last week, but this week it becomes a bit more important (though you still need to say out of the myriad bunkers). But, if J.B. Holmes can win you know that bombers who aren’t the most accurate have a shot here. Since 2009, the winner has been in the top 15 in driving distance every year but 2011.
Proximity to the hole 30’ or greater –Quail Hollow is usually among the longest distances in proximity to the hole. Last year it was 41’ 7” so players who can get it close to the hole from 30 feet or greater out will have a lot of opportunities to flash that skill.
Holmes finished first in driving distance, fourth in strokes gained:putting and T6 in scrambling. He was a solid 49th in proximity to the hole. In 2013, winner Derek Ernst finished 11th in driving distance, T13, in driving accuracy, 11 th in strokes gained: putting, T3 in GIR and T9 in scrambling.
These aren’t high end prices, but we’re looking for premium players at a discount rate.
Patrick Reed ($9,100): Reed is quickly becoming my junior Jason Day. If Reed is in the field, I have to find a way to get him into my lineup. However, there is nothing forced about this pick this week as Reed is 11th in par 5 scoring, third in scrambling, 57th in proximity from 30’ though a middling 107th in GIR. He’s played here twice and finished 32nd both times. He’s made 13 of 14 cuts this season and he’s had seven top 25 finishes in his last eight trips out on Tour.
The Soft Middle
Looking for some soft pricing in the lower tiers.
Rory Sabbatini ($8,200): Sabbatini the season off red hot, but has cooled considerably in the last couple of months. After a T22 at the Waste Management in early February, he’s missed six of eight cuts. However, in those two weekends he’s seen, he’s finished T11 and T6 (last week at THE PLAYERS). His recent history here mirrors his recent run of form with four missed cuts in the last eight years, but three top eight finishes in that same time. He’s a high volatility option for GPPs.
Ryan Moore ($8,000): At first blush, Moore’s record at the Wells Fargo doesn’t look great. However, digging a bit deeper, we see that he struggled in his first four trips to Quail Hollow. Then, something clicked and he made the cut in his last four trips here including three straight top 20 finishes. The only other player in the field this week with three straight top 20s here is Rory McIlroy. He’s 62nd in par 5 scoring and 48th in scrambling so he could challenge this week even off a missed cut at TPC Sawgrass.
El Cheapo Guapo
They won’t cost you much, but they have real upside. And they sure are handsome. We don’t have a lot of cheap options this week and the really cheap golfers are pretty unattractive.
Jason Bohn ($7,000): Bohn is six for 11 in cuts made here, but last year he picked up a solo fourth (his second top 10 finish here). He comes in off back to back missed cuts, but checks a lot of boxes with his standings 50th in par 5 scoring, 59th in scrambling, and 13th in GIR. He’s not long and if he goes off course, he can’t scramble his way back on so he back stay on the straight and narrow.
Ryo Ishikawa ($6,800): Stick with more for a minute. Ryo’s only played here once and finished T50. He’s 85 th in GIR and 70 th in driving distance – neither are great, but together that’s not too bad. However, he doesn’t succeed in any of the other categories we’d like to see. However, he’s made three cuts in a row including his T8 last week where he made 10 of 11 scrambles in his final round. If he can continue to scramble like that he can fire the ball all over the course if he’d like.
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.
Steven Bowditch ($6,200): Bowditch has made the cut both times he’s played here finishing T28 and T61. He’s only made three of his last six cuts and nine of 16 overall this season. With all of that said, he scores high on many of the statistical indicators we are interested in at Quail Hollow. He’s second in scrambling, 16th in proximity to the hole 30’ and out, 28th in driving distance and 88th in par 5 scoring. He struggles to get GIRs as he sits 188th overall, but he’s worth a shot with everything else in play.