Before we get into the meat of the strategy talk this week, I'd like to point out that Adam Hadwin has withdrawn from the event. He was set to be a popular option so make sure you remove him from your weekly lineups.
Now let's get our roll on and talk strategy that may help with DFS roster construction this week...
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Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high near 70 degrees. Southeast win 5-to-15 MPH.
Friday (R2): Mostly sunny with a high near 73 degrees. Southeast wind 5-to-15 MPH.
Weekend: Saturday looks similar to the first few days while Sunday presents our only potential trouble. There is a chance of showers/storms in the afternoon. The wind is also set to pick up on Sunday with forecasts in the 15-to-20 MPH range with GUSTS reaching nearly 40 MPH. That should make for a fun finish this week, assuming the storms don't ruin the party and force a Monday finish.
If you're anything like me then you have fallen in love with Daily Fantasy Sports but probably came from a season-long background. The one thing I miss about season-long leagues is the snake drafts. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Jim Furyk (43.2 Projected Pts): The leading money earner at this event, that certainly isn't baked into this projection. He's been really calm this season as he preps for being Ryder Cup captain. Still, he posted a top 10 at the Valspar recently, another course where you don't need to pound drivers.
William McGirt (51.0 Projected Pts): Went to college in South Carolina and resides in South Carolina. He's very comfortable in these conditions and it shows with top 10s in three of his last four visits to the RBC Heritage.
Kevin Na (61.7 Projected Pts): His form doesn't leap off the page but he has beat the field average by 2+ strokes in six of his last 8 rounds played. He also has top 20s in half of his 12 appearances at the RBC Heritage. Some sneaky form with not-so-sneaky course history. Should be a top-10 option this week.
Dustin Johnson (83.9 Projected Pts): He's clearly the class of the field but his projection is through the roof, more than 6 points higher than the next closest. Taking on Harbour Town Golf Links, his distance advantage will get muted a bit this week. That means his scoring potential also gets muted. I'm not saying he CAN'T win this week, I am suggesting that it's worth passing on him and letting someone else take that chance. He's misssed the cut in his only two apeparances here and is only making a return trip to appease his new RBC sponsors.
Matt Kuchar (68.9 Projected Pts): Harbour Town GL has some of the smallest greens on TOUR. It's not a good sign that Kuchar arrives with a negative Strokes Gained Around-the-Green number in four of his last five ShotLink events. Maybe that's making too much out of a small sample but his overall tee-to-green numbers don't look great recently, either. Avoiding Kuchar this week could provide you a huge edge if he continues to struggle in the tee-to-green department. You may not want to avoid him entirely this week, but maybe a slight bump down the pre-rankings could be good.
Charley Hoffman (65.0 Projected Pts): He should be very popular this week due to his Sunday ace that helped people last week at the Masters. However, he now heads to a course where he can't grip it and rip it. Looking at his driving accuracy numbers, he's hit fewer fairways than the field in 9 of his last 11 starts. That is the recipe for potential disaster here at Harbour Town GL. Hoffman had three top 15s at the Heritage but he's finished ouside the top 30 in all of his other five starts here. I would bump him down the board or avoid him altogether this week.
We are heading back to bermudagrass greens this week which often gets the attention of some golfers. Some golfers don't care what they're putting on while some may not care but do perform better on particular grasses.
Looking at performance on courses with bermuda greens since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Frittellit is a smaller sample size so replace him with Kevin Kisner if you don't trust that small sample.
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bermuda greens (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Recommendation: A few names that pop on both lists are: Kevin Chappell, Ollie Schniederjans, Francesco Molinari, Lucas Glover, and Luke List. Consider giving all of these names a boost, although Schniederjans' recent accuracy troubles are a bit concerning.
Francesco Molinari: He's low priced nearly anywhere you play this week. The Italian isn't flashy but Harbour Town Golf Links doesn't appeal to the flashy golfers anyway. Molinari is the prototype for fairways-and-greens golf. If we look at a time-weighted view of total strokes gained on bermuda since 2014, Molinari ranks 4th in this week's field, behind only Kevin Kisner, Brian Harman, and Webb Simpson. You have to shell out a lot more cash for those three but Molinari doesn't break the bank. His form isn't jumping off the page but he has gained 2 or more strokes over the field in six of his last seven starts. With simmering form and a good course fit, Molinari makes for a good core play this week in all formats.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!