Welcome to the ninth edition of the DraftKings Fantasy PGA Sleepers column. That Troy Merritt pick certainly worked out, eh? He didn’t win, but he put up 117.5 points so he has that going for him. I don’t promise another unicorn like that this week, but I’m back to build on last week’s success. 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 head just west of New Orleans to the TPC Louisiana a 7,425 yard, par 72 course built in 2004 by Pete Dye (who also designed last week’s course). The Zurich Classic of New Orleans has been played here every year since 2005 with the exception of 2006 when flooding caused a shift in courses.
The weather looks alright though we could be in for some rain early Thursday. The wind also doesn’t look like it will be much of a factor. However, the weather can change here quickly and wind and rain can show up at almost any time. As always, continue to check up until lineup lock on Thursday.
Also, it looks like the rough will be thicker than it has been the last couple of years due to the early rain in the area.
This is a relatively easy course (for PGA Tour players – not for you or me) and it’s a long course. So, I want bombers and I don’t care if they can find the fairway or not. The rough isn’t terribly challenging though there are numerous bunkers along the course. And if a player isn’t a bomber, he better be able to hit the fairways and get to the green expeditiously. Almost everyone will be able to putt well here as the greens are simple.
Driving Distance – I want long hitters. Guys who can muscle up and crush the ball and perhaps cut through the wind if it kicks up.
Greens in Regulation (GIR) – Though I don’t care where the ball goes off the tee, I do want them to get to the green in a timely manner. So, for those less accurate drivers I’d like to see good…
Scrambling – You gotta get out of the mess you made.
Par 5 Scoring – With so many short par 4s, we should see a lot of the field able to score on them so we’ll focus on par 5s.
These aren’t high end prices, but we’re looking for premium players at a discount rate.
Steve Stricker ($9,400): Stricker has played here infrequently since the move to the Louisiana TPC. However, when he has shown up he’s been solid with four top 15 finishes in five trips since 2007. He hasn’t teed it up at the TPC since 2012 when he finished solo sixth. Stricker’s first start of the season was at the Masters where he picked up a T28.
The Soft Middle
Looking for some soft pricing in the lower tiers.
Daniel Berger ($8,400): Berger makes his first trek to the TPC Louisiana. He’s made seven cuts in his last nine tournaments on Tour. His statistical profile ticks a lot of the boxes we like with a ranking of 16th in driving distance, 36th in GIR, fourth in approaches (200-225 yards) which can be a proxy for the par 3 distances this week, 53rd in scrambling and 12th in par five scoring. Berger could be yet another in the long line of first time PGA Tour winners at the Zurich.
Will Wilcox ($7,200): Wilcox snuck into the field after starting the week as the second alternate. In his only trip to the Zurich last year he finished T34. In his last tournament, he picked up a T12 on the WEB.com tour’ s El Bosque Mexico Championship closing the weekend out with a 66 (tied for second best on Sunday). He’s made five straight cuts on the PGA Tour including a T6 in Puerto Rico. He is sixth in GIR and 45th in scrambling and should be able to handle this easier track.
El Cheapo Guapo
They won’t cost you much, but they have real upside. And they sure are handsome.
Lucas Glover ($6,500): Glover’s horrific putting (207th in strokes gained: putting) won’t be as big a deal this week with the lush, even greens. He’s fourth in GIR, 46th in driving distance and 86th in par 5 scoring. He’s made five of six cuts at this course and has four top 10s in that run. He comes in off a T18 at RBC and is a sneaky good play this week.
Alex Prugh ($6,200): Prugh has played the course three times and made the cut twice including a T29 last year. He is 41st in driving distance, 10th in GIR and seventh in par 5 scoring. He checks nearly every statistical box we’d like to see on this course and he won’t cost you much.
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.
Tommy Gainey ($5,200): This is Gainey’s time to shine. He’s missed three straight cuts on the PGA Tour, missed the cut last week on the WEB.com tour. However, he’s never missed the cut here in his four appearances and has two top 10s including a T8 last year. I don’t know why this course fits his eye, but it does.