The PGA Course Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Trends Tool and metrics to highlight stats for the upcoming tournament.
The tour will head to Japan this week for the ZOZO Championship. Similar to last week, it’s another small 78-player field with no cut.
Let’s dive in.
The ZOZO Championship will be played at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan. Since this is the first time this course as hosted a PGA event, we don’t have any data to go off of. Normally when this is the case I’ll stick to the basics in terms of metrics I pay attention to.
This course is a par 70, but it features three par 5s and five par 3s. The main gist of Accordia is that it has tight, tree-lined fairways with plenty of bunkers surrounding the greens. And that about sums it up.
Oh, one more thing… each hole has two greens, but if the golfer lands on the wrong green, he’ll get a free drop.
Key metrics: Par-4 and par-5 scoring, scrambling, greens in regulation, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2019 CJ Cup
Last week I was on the pay up for Justin Thomas train, but this week I may opt for a slightly more balanced lineup in another strong field with no cut.
Jason Kokrak ($7,000 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel) is probably too cheap for someone with an excellent approach game. His 70.5% greens in regulation is the ninth-best mark in the field over the last 75 weeks. Additionally, over his last 50 rounds, he ranks 17th in Strokes Gained: Approach. My only concern with Kokrak is his putting and ability to save for par if he gets into trouble, but in a no-cut event, I have no issues taking a solid ball striker who is underpriced.
Rostering Kokrak along with J.T. Poston ($6,600 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel) allows you to construct your roster in any way you deem fit. Poston owns a solid 61.4% scrambling rate, and over his last 24 rounds, he ranks 19th in Strokes Gained: Approach and ninth in Total Strokes Gained.
Viktor Hovland ($9,400 DraftKings; $10,000 FanDuel) seemingly finds his way into my lineup most weeks. His T31 last week was nothing to write home about, but he’s been outstanding overall throughout his short PGA career. Over the last 75 weeks, his 74.2% of GIR, 73.6% of fairways, 15.9 birdies per tournament and -2.1 adjusted strokes on par 4s all rank inside the top four in the field.
His Strokes Gained data is just as good, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, second in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and third in Strokes Gained: Approach.
Lucas Glover ($7,000 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel) is a solid tournament play that hasn’t done much of late. However, his long-term form sets up fairly well for this course, sporting a 63.6% scrambling rate. He’s great at limiting bogeys, averaging just 7.4 per tournament, and his -1.4 adjusted strokes on par 4s is the seventh-best mark in the field.
I’d think Justin Thomas’ ($11,800 DraftKings; $12,200 FanDuel) ownership would be lower in this spot since he’s coming off a win, and DFS players typically don’t like to pay for guys coming off a victory. Thomas has top-two marks over his last 24 rounds in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach. He’s also averaged an absurd -6.2 adjusted strokes on par 5s over the last 75 weeks, that mark leads the entire field.
Louis Oosthuizen ($8,400 DraftKings; $9,300 FanDuel) hasn’t been in a tournament since the BMW Championship in August, which may keep him off people’s radar. Overall, Oosty is priced as the No. 21 golfer, but his 68.8 LT Adj Rd Score is the ninth-best mark in the field.
- Xander Schauffele ($10,400 DraftKings; $11,100 FanDuel) has been on a bit of a hiatus as well. He tends to be hit or miss sometimes, but when he’s dialed in, he’s as good as anyone. Over his last 50 rounds, he ranks eighth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 15th in Strokes Gained: Approach. His poor finishes over the last few months may depress his ownership.
- Adam Scott ($9,900 DraftKings; $10,600 FanDuel) fits well into balanced builds at his price. He’s in fairly good form over his last 24 rounds, ranking seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach.
- Tony Finau ($9,200 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) has the sixth-best LT Adj Rd Score in the field, but he’s priced as the No. 13 golfer. He should dominate the par 4s and 5s here as he’s averaged -1.2 and -5.2 adjusted strokes on them over the last 75 weeks.
- Collin Morikawa ($9,100 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) has top-six marks in the field in LT Adj Rd Score, GIR, driving accuracy, birdies per tournament, adjusted strokes on par 3s, 4s and 5s.
- Joaquin Niemann ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,100 FanDuel) is an excellent fit for the course, averaging -1.7 adjusted strokes on par 4s over the last 75 weeks. Additionally, he’s in solid recent form, ranking 13th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 10th in Total Strokes Gained.
- Adam Hadwin ($8,100 DraftKings; $8,900 FanDuel) is in excellent form, sporting a 67.3 recent Adj Rd Score. Over that time frame, he’s hit 85.4% of GIR and averaged -6.0 adjusted strokes on par 5s.
- Emiliano Grillo ($7,500 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel) may be one of the most frustrating players to roster. He’s excellent with his irons, ranking second in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds, but he ranks outside the top 70 in Strokes Gained: Short Game and Strokes Gained: Putting. Just pray he’s hitting greens in regulation if he makes it onto your team.
- Andrew Putnam ($7,400 DraftKings; $8,500 FanDuel) has been rather consistent with four top-25 finishes over his last five tournaments. He’s not great off the tee, but he’s a consistent putter, a good scrambler and ranks 15th in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds.
- Corey Conners ($7,200 DraftKings; $8,200 FanDuel) would be a dominant force if he even had an average putter. His irons are excellent, and he’s solid off the tee, but similar to Grillo, Conners ranks 63rd in Strokes Gained: Putting and 59th in Strokes Gained: Short Game. He just needs to stay out of the sand.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Pictured above: Viktor Hovland
Photo credit: USA Today