The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Tools and other industry metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The last regular-season event of the PGA Tour will get underway this week before the FedEx Cup Playoffs start. We’re back to our normal 156-player field where top 70s and ties will move onto the weekend.
Let’s get right into it.
I did a full breakdown of the course. Check it out.
Key metrics: Birdie or better scoring, par-4 and par-5 scoring, Strokes Gained: Approach
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2019 Wyndham Championship
Scott Piercy ($8,100 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) is the fourth-highest rated golfer in the player model I designed for this week’s course. Overall, Piercy has been solid this season, missing just two cuts in his 15 events this year.
Piercy shouldn’t find much trouble off the tee as he’s hit 68.4% of fairways over the last 75 weeks, so he should set himself up for success with his approach shots. His ball-striking has been great over the last six weeks, hitting 79.2% of GIR while sporting a 68.4 recent Adj Rd Score.
Additionally, Piercy has had success here in the past, making the cut in four of his last five appearances, and he ranks 10th in Total Strokes Gained over his last 24 rounds. He’s an excellent building block who will fit in any build you try and implement this week.
Sticking with golfers who are in good form, Vaughn Taylor ($7,400 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel) owns a 68.4 recent Adj Rd Score over his last three tournaments. Over that time frame, he’s averaging an outstanding 20 birdies per tournament, along with with -4.0 adjusted strokes on par 4s and -4.7 adjusted strokes on par 5s.
Taylor probably won’t gain strokes off the tee, but he’s an excellent putter and Bermuda greens are his best surface, per Fantasy National. He doesn’t have the best history here, but it’s mostly due to a cold putter as he’s gained strokes on approach and tee-to-green in three of his last four appearances at Sedgefield. Maybe he hasn’t quite figured the greens out at here, or maybe he just caught a cold putter those weeks. Either way, with his approach game and putting looking good right now (ranks 20th and 10th over last 24 rounds), I’ll ride with him considering he’s now made seven-straight cuts.
Starting your lineups with Piercy, Taylor and Viktor Hovland ($9,400 DraftKings; $11,100 FanDuel) allows you plenty of flexibility in your rosters. You can continue with a balanced build, or even get up to Collin Morikawa.
Hovland has been amazing in his short stint so far. He has plenty of distance (301.7-yard long-term driving distance), and in the same time frame, he’s also hit 73.6% of GIR and 75% of fairways. Looking at those metrics, it isn’t surprising to see that he ranks seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach and third in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee in his 32 rounds with Shot Link data in 2019.
Hovland just hasn’t been able to hit any putts as he ranks 122nd in Strokes Gained: Putting over that time frame. But it’s just not an official PGA DFS week unless you’re rostering an elite ball-striker that’s struggling with their putting. Despite the putting woes, Hovland still has four top-16 finishes in his last five events.
Sandwiched between Lucas Glover and Sung-jae Im — Adam Hadwin ($8,500 DraftKings; $10,300 FanDuel) is an intriguing pivot. This short track should set up well for him. He’s averaged a respectable 17.3 birdies per tournament over his last four tournaments, and his -4.6 adjusted strokes on par 5s ranks inside the top 15 in the field. Additionally, over his last 24 rounds, he ranks 14th in par-4 efficiency on par 4s that are between 400-450 yards, and there are eight par 4s from such yardages at Sedgefield.
Sebastian Munoz ($7,000 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel) isn’t a household name, but he’s made four-straight cuts. His long term metrics are pretty decent, averaging 14.3 birdies per tournament, including -0.9 and -4.7 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. His adjusted strokes on par 4s is actually the seventh-best mark in the field. Furthermore, over his last 24 rounds, Munoz ranks 11th in birdies or better gained and 11th in par-4 efficiency from 400-450 yards.
I’d expect Matthew Wolff ($9,400 DraftKings; $10,800 FanDuel) to have probably at least half the ownership as Hovland, if not more. I think he’ll be one of the lowest owned golfers in this price since he’s only $100 cheaper than Hovland and more expensive than the likes of Chez Reavie, Rory Sabbatini and Joaquin Niemann, who are all exceptional plays.
Ownership factors aside, Wolff has been excellent in the limited sample we have for him, averaging 16.4 birdies per tournament and -2.5 and -4.9 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. Anytime Wolff could have single-digit ownership, he’ll have my attention.
Roger Sloan ($7,100 DraftKings; $7,900 FanDuel) has been a volatile option in his long-term form, but he’s gained strokes on approach in his last three tournaments and has finished 21st or better in each of those starts. Josh Perry also likes him as a longshot bet this week.
- Collin Morikawa ($10,400 DraftKings; $11,600 FanDuel): He leads the field with -5.0 adjusted strokes on par 4s, and his 68.1 and 67.6 LT and recent Adj Rd Score. Morikawa will likely find his way onto my cash lineups.
- Webb Simpson ($11,200 DraftKings; $11,900 FanDuel): He’s been dominant at Sedgefield, sporting a 68.4 Course Adj Rd Score, and he’s an excellent fit for this course with his -1.4 and -4.3 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. And despite being a shorter hitter, Simpson’s 0.6 eagles per tournament is tied for the third-highest mark in the field.
- Nick Taylor ($6,800 DraftKings; $8,000 FanDuel): He allows for a lot of roster flexibility if you’re looking to get some of the expensive golfers in. He has just one top 15 to his name over his last six tournaments, but he’s at least made the cut in five of those six tournaments.
- Lucas Glover ($8,700 DraftKings; $10,700 FanDuel): He’ll fit well into balanced builds and has managed three-straight top-20s over his last three tournaments. And over the last six weeks, he’s averaged 17.6 birdies per tournament and has excelled on par 4s (-4.0 adjusted strokes) and 5s (-5.0 adjusted strokes).
- Joaquin Niemann ($9,100 DraftKings; $10,600 FanDuel): He’s one of six golfers in the field who is averaging at least -1.0 adjusted strokes on par 4s over the last 75 weeks. Additionally, Niemann is second in Total Strokes Gained over his last 24 rounds.
- Kevin Streelman ($7,800 DraftKings; $9,300 FanDuel): He hasn’t missed the cut since the Valspar in March and has made all five cuts at Sedgefield. More importantly, Streelman ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and second in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds.
- Sung-jae Im ($8,300 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel): He leads the field with his -5.4 adjusted strokes on par 5s over the last 75 weeks and can fit into most builds. His main concern might be that he ranks 103rd in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds, but he’s managed some damage control with his putting and short game.
- Peter Malnati ($7,100 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel): His 27.9 Putts Per Round (PPR) leads the field over the past 75 weeks, and he’s also in great recent form, ranking seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds.
- Patrick Reed ($9,700 DraftKings; $11,200 FanDuel): He ranks 23rd in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds, but he’s had an uncharacteristically had a cold putter, ranking 115th in Strokes Gained: Putting. Reed is a former winner here and has made every cut in his four appearances.
Brian Harman ($7,600 DraftKings; $9,100 FanDuel) has been in good form of late with his 68.8 recent Adj Rd Score. However, he’s historically struggled at Sedgefield, missing five of six cuts dating back to 2010.
Course history aside, Harman has averaged an abysmal +1.8 adjusted strokes on par 4s over the last 75 weeks and just -3.2 adjusted strokes on par 5s. And over his last 50 rounds, he ranks just 105th in Strokes Gained: Approach. Harman could be in trouble if he regresses to his long-term form.
Even though Jason Dufner ($7,500 DraftKings; $9,100 FanDuel) has made six of his seven cuts here And over the last 75 weeks, Dufner has averaged a woeful +1.7 adjusted strokes on par 4s and a meager -2.9 on par 5s. This will be a classic course history vs. form battle.
Cameron Smith ($9,000 DraftKings; $10,400 FanDuel) has a decent short game and could do well on a shorter course, but his metrics don’t jump off the page, averaging +1.3 adjusted strokes on par 4s and -3.7 on par 5s over the last 75 weeks.
I understand if people want to chase his last three finishes (12th, 20th, 29th) and the fact that he’s made two of three cuts here. And since golfers hit greens here at an above-average clip, it could help mask his struggling iron play, but that’s probably not something I’ll experiment with on my rosters since he ranks 106th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 95th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Collin Morikawa