The Wells Fargo Championship kicks off Thursday from Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. The 7,521-yard Par 71 course is a beast of a course that will favor the bombers from the tee more than any other factor. I laid out the details around that fact in my course preview earlier this week, which can help prepare you for setting up your lineups.
Matt Vincenzi added his stats that matter article, which again highlights the importance of length and off the tee play. Additionally, you can find Landon Silinsky’s cash game plays to help hone in on the safe picks of the week.
As I dive into the GPP plays, I will be looking to grab some of the best players off the tee, and will only be willing to look a tad past that if the player is elite on the greens. In the past three years one thing has consistently stood out, and that is if a player ranked outside of the top third in off the tee, then they almost had to be in the top 20 or better with their flat stick to stay on the first couple of pages of the leaderboard.
Putting is the one area with the highest variance, so my lean will be heavily toward the guys that can really stripe it.
Let’s get into the picks.
Justin Thomas ($11,300 DK/$12,300 FD)
Everything was there in the game for Justin Thomas tee to green last week. He just simply couldn’t find his putter. Thomas lost more than six strokes on the greens at the Valspar, giving away nearly half of the 13 strokes he gained tee to green. His 13th-place finish shows just how well he played despite having issues getting the ball in the cup. I am on board with Thomas, as he has shown an ability to quickly bounce back with his putter. He really likes this course since it’s where he won his PGA Championship.
Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000 DK/$11,900 FD)
I doubt this is a surprise to anyone with the diatribe I went on above about the importance of off the tee. The factor that most don’t put into play with Bryson is just how good he is on the greens as well. He makes the perfect play to start your lineups up top, and he ranks as the best player in my personal model by a solid margin.
It looks like we should get the reigning U.S. Open Champion at a lower ownership than both Thomas and Rahm around him. Ultimately, they are going to divide that ownership up top, so I don’t think the spread will be much, but I’ll happily take any leverage I can get.
Joaquin Niemann ($9,100 DK/$10,500 FD)
I plan to try to jam in both JT and Bryson into some lineups this week, but when I’m not, I will be dropping down to Joaquin Niemann. He is the exact fit of player that I am looking for with his length off the tee, and if he can hit enough greens to keep the chipping game out of play, he can certainly contend on this track. Niemann has been a surprisingly good putter on bermurda greens over the past several months, and as mentioned that combo of length and putting is the fit I am seeking. There are a number of popular players in this range, so I expect ownership to be fairly widespread and a non-factor with him.
Pivot: I almost hesitate to type this because he’s burned me so much lately, but Patrick Cantlay ($9,600 DK/$11,100 FD) is trending to be the lowest owned of all above $9,000 on DK. He has the skillset and talent, though things have been off of late. Cantlay still could be a high-ceiling play to gain leverage on the field.
Sungjae Im ($8,800 DK/$10,400 FD)
The way I plan to build this week, it’s not likely I will be dipping into the $8,000 range much on DK, but Im is my favorite of the bunch. I believe he is close to getting back to the player we have grown to know over the past two years, as he seemed to be finding his irons over the last two events. He is a great player off the tee, even if lacking a bit of distance, and we know he loves bermuda. I liked him enough to make him my favorite bet, and will have some shares in DFS.
Cameron Tringale ($8,400 DK/$10,100 FD)
There may be no player on TOUR that has been more consistent this season than Cameron Tringale. He has been flat out fantastic and I see no reason to jump off. He may get a bit chalky, and that would be the only reason to watch as there are plenty of other names in this area, but in lineups where I get a bit unique with volatility like Cantlay, I’ll likely add the stability of Tringale.
Harold Varner III ($7,600 DK/$9,400 FD)
The best point per dollar play at the top of my model comes in the form of HV3. He’s a North Carolina native, and has the skillset and course knowledge to play well around Quail Hollow. His length off the tee is the biggest advantage he has over the other players in this range, and with his upside, he really looks like a great play.
Matt Wallace ($7,500 DK/$9,400 FD)
I don’t quite understand the pricing and odds around Matt Wallace. I am a bit biased as an admitted truther of his game and ability, but his results over the past five or so events, really show that he has found his game a bit. He finished third at the Valero; 34th at The Masters; 18th at RBC Heritage, as well as a solid showing at the Zurich. This will be his first appearance at this event, but he is showing the form that provides some lineup safety with upside in this range.
Cameron Davis ($7,100 DK/$8,800 FD)
If you’ve been reading this article weekly, you know Davis has been a staple for me each week. He is a scoring machine and when he makes the weekend, he is nearly guaranteed to pay off this type of price. He also has the length and off the tee game to contend on this course, so I give him a bigger upside for finishing position than normal this week. Davis’ biggest issue is avoiding big numbers, which can make him a bit volatile in missing cuts. He appears to be a popular play early in the week, so that will be the thing I’ll keep an eye on with this Australian.
Phil Mickelson ($6,900 DK/$8,600 FD)
I didn’t expect to write up Mickelson much in 2021, but here we are. We know he hits bombs, and at this course he can spray it around a touch more than normal. The big thing for Lefty will be avoiding the big numbers that take him out of playing the weekend. I think he can do that on a course he knows well and has a great history of playing, so I’ll be in and likely tilting him.
Tom Lewis ($6,700 DK/$8,200 FD)
The Englishman Tom Lewis is a player that stuck out to me last week, and had a low round to put his name with the leaders for a bit going into Saturday. He fell off there, but is a great fit here at a similar course now in North Carolina. Lewis is longer off the tee than I imagined, and actually ranks just outside of the Top 20 for me overall. I’ll take some low owned shares here and look for some upside from Lewis.
As I mentioned in the Top Tier, I will be looking to pair Thomas and DeChambeau in the same lineup at times. I just love their upside and this is a course where the longshot players can contend if they hold the right skill set. There are several for me down deep that I will mix and match where needed to jam in some of my top plays. The guys that stand out are long hitters and solid off the tee like Brandon Hagy ($6,400 DK/$7,200 FD), Will Gordon ($6,200 DK/$7,300) and Kristoffer Ventura ($6,200 DK/$7,000 FD).