The return to a traditional golf week feels great after the headache it takes to make all of the combinations just right for the match play. DraftKings brings back what has become the weekly big contest with $200,000 to first for this week’s tournament.
As we’ve seen and discussed throughout the year in this article, one of the main keys is controlling your overall lineup ownership. Week after we there have been lineups finishing at the top of the heap with low combined ownership numbers. Now that we have a decent sample, I have done a review of all of the winning lineups for every event this year, excluding the uniqueness of the Match Play and the small field from the Tournament of Champions.
The average lineup ownership of the winning lineups across those other ten tournaments is 69.08 percent. That number is a bit skewed by the smaller field WGC at Concession, which saw an ownership over 90 percent. The next closest to that outlier was a chalky lineup that won at the Genesis Invitational at more than 86% ownership. Those are the only two that exceeded 80% on the year, while more than half of the lineups checked in at below 66%, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar low ownership win this week at an unpredictable Valero Texas Open, which has seen back to back winners from the +20000 odds to win range.
It’s a fun practice to keep up with to see those trends throughout the year and try to learn from the winning lineups week in and week out. Now, let’s get to the picks of the week, as we look to build a bankroll into the multiple millionaire-maker contests for The Masters next week.
Scottie Scheffler ($10,400 DK/$11,300 FD)
I plan to play the ownership game up top, as I think you can make an argument for or against any of the top three guys. Right now, I see Scheffler projected to come in with the lowest ownership, as I think some are scared off by the amount of golf he played last week at Austin Country Club. I get that theory, but if he’s staying in the field, then I’m not going to overthink it on a player that played supremely well for six out of seven matches last week.
He’s a Texas guy and will have some knowledge of handing anticipated winds in what looks to be the more difficult wave at the start of the week. I’ll continue to monitor that scenario, but at the very least I will limit my field on that side to the elite players on the tougher side of the draw, like Scheffler. Lastly, he appears to be set to check in around 18% owned, which is a decent edge versus Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau at over 22% each.
Hideki Matusyama ($10,100 DK/$10,800 FD)
Matsuyama is one of my favorite leverage plays, as he gets the better end of the draw from the afternoon wave and he’s being completely overlooked. We could see a scenario where he is half of the ownership of those around him, which is understandable at the top end of a traditional field, but not this week. His biggest knock is his ability to close and get a win, which is certainly viable, but the same goes for all of the players surrounding him in Spieth, Finau, Scheffler and Abraham Ancer.
Matsuyama also had a great showing at the Match Play, despite not making it out of group play. He had the unlucky draw of being with Brian Harman and Patrick Cantlay who were 1-2 in setting the pace for best scores on the week. Matsuyama played well in his own right, firing under par rounds and really showing the ball striking we have become accustomed to for the Japanese star. He is making his debut at this tournament, but it’s one that has been won by Corey Conners and his suspect short game, so I see a top result as viable for Matsuyama.
Corey Conners ($9,500 DK/$11,000 FD)
The No. 1 player in my model — and that of CSURam/Peter Jennings on Fantasy Labs — is Corey Conners. It’s impossible to ignore how he stands out to be a fit at this course, and the solid play he has shown coming into the week. My only concern is that he is approaching 25% owned as he is a bit underpriced for this field, especially after Dustin Johnson backed out. As I noted, it will be key to build the right way with a heavy chalk player like Conners and limit your overall lineup ownership to get a bit unique from the field.
Conners has become the staple that shows the mold of player that can win at this course. He’s a pristine ball striker, with a questionable at best short game, but managed to go 20-under to win here by two in 2019. This was after he was the last man in the field as a Monday Qualifying alternate. I’ll keep an eye on how chalky he gets, but he could be a good pair with Hideki for a strong top end with one chalk play and one pivot.
Si Woo Kim ($8,900 DK/$10,200 FD)
I began to do a deep dive into Kim earlier this week and everything I found turned up roses. He played fantastic at the Match Play with multiple under par rounds, but just couldn’t find the mix to win enough to escape group play. He also had a great Top 10 finish at The Players, where he gained more than eight strokes on approach.
Kim was the 54 hole leader at this event in 2019, and looked ready to go wire to wire for the win before Conners passed him Sunday. He clearly has a liking to this course, and there is a ton to see with his play leading up that make him a viable contender this week. Kim is currently projected for less than 15% ownership and I’ll be well above the field on him as I see a scenario where he secures his second win this year.
Cameron Davis ($8,800 DK/$9,800 FD)
My official pick to win on GolfBet is Davis, as he slides in above Kim based on a better number at the books. He is also a strong DFS play even if he doesn’t secure the victory due to his ability to outscore his finishing position week in and week out.
Davis fits the mold of everything we like here at TPC San Antonio, as he checks in as one of the top ball strikers in the field over the last several events. His Australian heritage will help him navigate the wind around this course, and can provide him a path through the cut from the more difficult wave. The key for Davis is always making the weekend as his scoring can take over from there.
Aaron Wise ($8,000 DK/$9,600 FD)
I don’t quite understand the ownership numbers we are seeing on Wise this week. He was in contention throughout the way at The Honda Classic, which was in difficult, windy conditions like we may see this week in San Antonio. He did it that week with solid ball striking and while he’s been inconsistent with results in his career, there is no doubt that the talent is there.
It won’t take much for me to get over the field on Wise this week if he remains in the 5% range, and I’ll happily three times the field for a player I believe has as much upside as anyone in this range. He is also one of the few around here with a win on TOUR, and it was also in Texas.
Harold Varner III ($7,900 DK/$9,700 FD)
One player that stuck out for me this week and it was a bit of a surprise was Varner. He has a solid course history at this event making three of the last four cuts, and finishing in the Top 10 in 2016. He also comes in with a strong ball striking pedigree as he’s had Top-20 finishes in two of his last three events. It looks like Varner will go under the radar, and it should be a course where he can take advantage of a strength of his game with the iron play for a strong finish.
Sam Ryder ($7,400 DK/$8,900 FD)
I have a bunch of high end players at the top, so you will see that I like a lot in the value section and certainly with the sleepers. Ryder kicks us off down here as he is off back to back Top-10 finishes in Puntacana and at The Honda Classic. He is playing some great golf and sticks out as a value with his ball striking ability in this range. My only caveat is if his ownership continues to rise I may jump off here, as he gets the tougher draw and there are just too many options to eat Ryder chalk.
Doug Ghim ($7,300 DK/$9,100 FD)
Many of the guys I will highlight this week have some Texas ties as I think that will be an advantage to navigating the winds and play around this course. Ghim is a former Longhorn and has some strong recent history in his play. His finishing results don’t reflect just how well he has played as he has been in the final couple of groups on Sunday in two of his last three events before tanking outside of the Top 25. This week, he’s cheap enough that just a made cut gives him upside to payoff the price, but he seems to be on the cusp of a breakthrough as well. He will garner some attention in this range at double-digit ownership, but I see him as good chalk from what I see as the better side of the draw.
Matthew NeSmith ($7,100 DK/$8,800 FD)
I like, no, love Harry Higgs as much as anyone but it seems his ownership may go a little crazy this week. I have NeSmith just a couple of spots lower than Higgs in my model, and at half the ownership or better, it makes him a pretty easy decision. NeSmith is a bermuda specialist and a guy that has made his name early in the year with some elite ball striking. He will look to build off the made cut at the Honda with a stronger showing in Texas.
I simply have a bunch of guys that I like in the lower range, so rather than going player by player I will give you a list of them. Unfortunately, several of them got the short end of the draw, which really can be a bit of a separator if you need one. I’ll be targeting some PM/AM players this week and I’ll look to note the draw for each of the sleepers below.
Nick Taylor ($6,900 DK/$8,300 FD) PM/AM
Roger Sloan ($6,700 DK/$8,400 FD) AM/PM
Bo Hoag ($6,400 DK/$7,800 FD) AM/PM
Akshay Bhatia ($6,400 DK/$7,300 FD) PM/AM