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 Genesis Invitational is over after an exciting Adam Scott win. Next up is a small-field, no-cut event for the WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City.
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-4 and par-5 scoring, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Scores (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2020 WGC-Mexico Championship
Last week, going with a balanced lineup likely worked out for you if you had Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama in the mix. In no-cut events like this week, it’s easy to gravitate towards the stars and scrubs build with four guaranteed rounds from your golfers. However, I may take a similar approach to last week, trying to get in as many golfers that I love from the $8,000-$9,900 range into my lineup. Granted, if one of the heavily owned top-priced guys goes on to win, that could quickly torpedo your team if you’re lacking placing bonuses.
Xander Schauffele ($9,400 DraftKings; $11,100 FanDuel) will be a target for the second week in a row. He was ninth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green last week, but he struggled with his putter, which kept him just outside the top 20. Xander always has a chance to win any week, and he’s a great DraftKings play most tournaments because of his ability to pile on birdies. Additionally, over the last 75 weeks, he’s averaged -1.0 and -6.0 average adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s.
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,200 DraftKings; $11,000 FanDuel) has been playing some exceptional golf over his last four tournaments, finishing 11th, second, second and first. He’s one of the best drivers on tour and has an exceptional approach game, hitting 72.6% of GIR over the last 75 weeks. Fleetwood is solid on par 4s and 5s as well, averaging -1.7 and -5.7 adjusted stokes on them over the same time frame. Even though he’ll come with heavy ownership, Fleetwood is good chalk worth eating.
Using Carlos Ortiz ($6,600 DraftKings; $8,800 FanDuel) will allow for some incredible roster flexibility no matter what build you are implementing this week. Ortiz doesn’t stand out in any single metric, but he has a fairly balanced game, ranking 17th in Total Strokes Gained over his last 50 rounds.
This early in the week, I’m not entirely sure where Tyrell Hatton’s ($7,400 DraftKings; $9,100 FanDuel) ownership will land. Although, this is his first tournament following his wrist surgery in November. If that depresses his ownership under 10%, I’ll take some shots on him.
Jon Rahm ($10,600 DraftKings; $11,800 FanDuel) could offer some leverage in this range if most DFS players are gravitating towards Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson for $900 and $400 more on DraftKings. Rahm has comparable upside with his 17.6 birdies per tournament, along with his -2.6 and -6.6 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. He just hasn’t shown the same success at this course as Rory or DJ.
Most people hate rostering Louis Oosthuizen ($8,900 DraftKings; $10,400 FanDuel), but his 15.9 birdies per tournament are the ninth-best mark in the field. With the options in this range, I wouldn’t expect him to be too heavily owned, especially since this upper $8,000 range is harder to get to if you roster one of the $11,000-plus guys.
Sungjae Im ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel) burned me last week, but he’s the perfect player for DraftKings golf because of his ability to stack up birdies. Overall, his 15.0 birdies per tournament ranks in the top 20 in this field. He’s also a great par-4 and par-5 scorer. At the time of writing, he owns a Buzz Score of just 2.0 in our models, suggesting he may not carry much ownership.
Billy Horschel ($7,300 DraftKings; $9,000 FanDuel) likely deserves some tournament consideration since he’s relatively underpriced, sporting the 14th-best LT Adj Rd Score in the field, but he’s priced as the No. 35 golfer on DraftKings.
If Ortiz turns out to be chalky, I like Sebastian Munoz ($6,800 DraftKings; $7,900 FanDuel) as a pivot. Over his last 50 rounds, Munoz ranks fifth and 35th in par-5 and par-4 efficiency. And surprisingly, he’s inside the top 17 in both eagles and birdies gained over the same time frame.
Update Wednesday night: Adam Scott, Gary Woodland, Mike Lorenzo-Vera
Scottie Scheffler ($7,100 DraftKings; $9,000 FanDuel) is an excellent driver of the golf ball and is incredibly accurate on his second shots, hitting 72.7% of GIR over the last 75 weeks. Over the same span, Scheffler has an absurd -2.8 and -6.6 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. Both of those marks are top-two in the field.
Byeong-Hun An ($7,400 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel) is also a solid birdie-maker, and he ranks 10th in the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
For the second week in a row, Lanto Griffin ($6,700 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel) is under $7,000 on DraftKings. He’s another guy I like to target in no-cut events because of his overall upside and there’s no sweating cut day with him since his approach game can be volatile. Over the last 75 weeks, Lanto has averaged 14.0 birdies per tournament, along with -6.3 adjusted strokes on par 5s. Those stats are easily some of the best marks in his price range.
Webb Simpson ($9,800 DraftKings; $11,400 FanDuel) should be an excellent fit for this course, but he hasn’t quite shown it yet, finishing 39th and 37th in his last two appearances. Overall, Webb is priced as the No. 6 golfer on DraftKings, but his 68.0 LT Adj Rd Score is the second-best mark in the field. He’s accurate off the tee, he can recover from errant approach shots, and his -3.3 adjusted strokes on par 4s leads the entire field.
Bryson Dechambeau ($9,000 DraftKings; $10,800 FanDuel) could be turning his game around after he gained 3.5 strokes on approach last week. He also has gained strokes off the tee in eight-straight tournaments. Bryson certainly has the distance part of his game figured out as he’s averaged 315.6 yards off the tee over his last four tournaments. I really like him in this price range if he can continue his ball striking from Genesis into this week.
I’ve probably written up Collin Morikawa every time he’s been in the field, but it’s always warranted. His irons are too good not to target nearly every week. He leads the field in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 50 rounds, and he was second in Strokes Gained: Approach last week at the loaded Genesis field. Morikawa does everything we want for DraftKings scoring. He has eagle and birdie upside, and he dominates par 4s and 5s.
Despite his 51st-place finish last week, I’ll be back on Patrick Reed ($8,400 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel). He still gained strokes on approach at Genesis, but he lost strokes in all the other categories. It’s not often he loses strokes around the green and with his putting, but that course is one of the most difficult on tour.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Photo credit: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood