The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and other industry metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The Honda Classic didn’t disappoint with Sungjae Im getting his first PGA TOUR win. The Florida swing continues this week with the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.
Let’s dive in.
I did a full breakdown of the course. Check it out.
Key metrics: Greens in regulation, Birdie or better scoring, Par-5 scoring, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Strokes Gained: Approach, Proximity from 200-plus yards.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Scores (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational
Abraham Ancer ($7,800 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel) will fit into any build you want this week, whether you’re paying up for the top-priced players or making a balanced lineup. He’s in excellent form, gaining strokes on approach in every tournament since July and ranking 16th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee over his last 50 rounds.
It’s hard to pass on both his recent and long-term form at this price tag on DraftKings since he’s priced outside the top 20, but he boasts the 16th-best LT Adj Rd Score.
If I decide to not pay up for Rory McIlroy ($11,800 DraftKings; $12,200 FanDuel), I’ll roll out Xander Schauffele ($10,000 DraftKings; $11,500 FanDuel), who I’ve already bet him at +2500. Over his last 50 rounds, he ranks 12th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 16th in Strokes Gained: Approach. Additionally, he ranks seventh and fourth in par-4 and par-5 efficiency and 15th in proximity from 200-plus yards over the same time frame. Xander checks nearly every box for Bay Hill.
For some salary relief, I’ll look at Carlos Ortiz ($7,100 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel). He doesn’t stand out in any single metric, but he brings a solid balanced game here. He’s top 25 in par-3 and par-4 efficiency over his last 50 rounds and ranks 12th in Total Strokes Gained over the same time frame. Ortiz may not bring a ton of upside to the table, but at his price tag, we don’t need much out of him.
If people have soured on Tommy Fleetwood ($11,000 DraftKings; $11,800 FanDuel) after he didn’t close out the win last week, he makes a lot of sense if his ownership is depressed. Fleetwood is elite off the tee and has great irons — there isn’t much else that needs to be said about the Englishman.
The same could be said for Hideki Matsuyama ($10,600 DraftKings; $11,600 FanDuel). It’d make sense that people either pay for Rory, or look at Xander or Bryson DeChambeau $10,400 DraftKings; $11,700 FanDuel).
This early in the week, I’m not entirely sure where Adam Scott’s ($9,700 DraftKings; $11,300 FanDuel) ownership will land, but I’m on board if it’s on the lower end. Scott ranks in the top 25 in par-3, par-4 and par-5 efficiency, along with ranking second in proximity from 200-plus yards over his last 50 rounds.
Sebastian Munoz ($6,900 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel) is decent with his irons, ranking 24th in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 50 rounds, and he should be able to capitalize on the par 5s given he’s averaged -5.2 adjusted strokes on them over the last 75 weeks.
Others: Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Viktor Hovland, Nick Taylor
Billy Horschel ($8,000 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) is intriguing after he dropped $1,200 on DraftKings. He’s priced just outside the top 20, but he owns the 12th-best LT Adj Rd Score in the field.
Scottie Scheffler ($7,700 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel) is strong off the tee and has great irons, so he should set up relatively well for this course. Scheffler leads the field with -2.8 adjusted strokes on par 4s and ranks third on par 5s at -6.5 average adjusted strokes. As with most players, we just need his putter to show up.
DeChambeau is incredibly enticing with his new-found distance. Over his last three tournaments, Bryson has gained over 3.7 strokes off-the-tee. Overall, he ranks fourth in the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and eighth in Total Strokes Gained over his last 50 rounds.
There’s a golf tournament this week, so that means I need to write up Byeong-Hun An ($8,700 DraftKings; $10,300 FanDuel). After shooting +6 at the Honda Classic in the first round, he turned things around in a big way to finish in fourth place. He crushes with his irons and is strong off the tee — An is exactly the guy we want to target at Bay Hill. He even gained strokes putting last week. If An’s putter is at least neutral in strokes gained, he may put together another high finish.
Collin Morikawa ($8,400 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) seemingly makes my write-ups every week but it’s well deserved. His irons are elite, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Approach, and he has yet to miss a cut in 22 PGA TOUR events. Morikawa rarely finds trouble off the tee, so he should have plenty of clean looks at these greens. His only downfall is his putting and short game, but his approaches are usually so dialed in that he’s typically not scrambling for par very often.
Joel Dahmen ($7,300 DraftKings; $8,900 FanDuel) isn’t long off the tee, but he’s surprisingly good on long approaches, ranking 14th in proximity from 200-plus yards over his last 24 rounds. His entire game has been great over that time frame, ranking 11th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 19th in Strokes Gained: Approach.
Others: Tyrell Hatton, Max Homa, J.T. Poston, Joaquin Niemann
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Photo credit: Angel Castillo/Jam Media/Getty Images
Pictured: Abraham Ancer