The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The PGA Tour will head to Blaine, Minnesota after stopping in Detroit last week. It’s another course with no data to go off of, so once again I’ll be sticking to the basics.
I’ll also be in attendance from Tuesday to Sunday, and will update this article with anything else I might find out while behind the ropes from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Let’s dive in.
I did a full breakdown of TPC Twin Cities that you can read here.
Key metrics: Birdie or better scoring, par-5 scoring, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and Approach.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
Best DFS Plays for the 2019 3M Open
$10,000 and Above (DraftKings Pricing)
Like most weeks, you can make a case for any of the golfers in this price range. Rostering Brooks Koepka ($11,900 DraftKings; $12,600 FanDuel) will leave you with an average salary of $7,620 per player on your roster. He obviously has the most upside in this range, leading the field with 16.4 birdies per tournament while ranking third with his -5.3 adjusted strokes on par 5s. He also ranks first in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and second in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his past 24 rounds.
I normally take a balanced approach to cash game rosters, but there are enough plays in the lower pricing tiers that I don’t totally hate if I decide to pay up for Koepka.
As usual, Hideki Matsuyama ($11,100 DraftKings; $11,500 FanDuel) is in my player pool. He’s in great form, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and eighth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his past 24 rounds. Deki has yet to lose strokes on approach in any tournament this season in which shot link data is available, and despite people hating on him for his putting at the beginning of the year, he hasn’t lost strokes putting since the Wells Fargo Championship in early May.
Bryson DeChambeau ($10,500 DraftKings; $11,000 FanDuel) is starting to turn his game around. He followed his three-straight missed cuts with three-straight made cuts, including an eighth-place finish at the Travelers Championship. More importantly, his putting is coming back and he’s gained strokes on approach in each of his past two tournaments. Overall, his 16.0 birdies per tournament trails only Brooks and his -5.6 adjusted strokes on par 5s leads the field this week.
If you start your roster with some of the guys in the top-priced tier, it’s unlikely you could comfortably make a roster with anyone from this pricing range. But, if you’re taking a balanced approach to roster construction, you can fit at least two of these guys.
Rory Sabbatini ($9,500 DraftKings; $10,000 FanDuel) is hitting his most expensive price point of the year, but he’s hard to ignore considering he has a 68.1 recent Adj Rd Score and ranks third in both Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his past 24 rounds and second in Total Strokes Gained.
Priced right below Sabbatini is Joaquin Niemann ($9,300 DraftKings; $10,200 FanDuel), who is also on the brink of reaching one of highest price points. He’s in excellent form, boasting a 68.5 recent Adj Rd Score, and ranking fifth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds.
Viktor Hovland ($9,100 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) has been outstanding of late:
Per @fantasynational, top five golfers in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over their last 24 rounds:
1st: Corey Conners
T2: Brooks Koepka
T2: Viktor Hovland 👀
4th: Kevin Streelman
5th: Charley Hoffman
— Justin Bailey (@justinbailey32) July 1, 2019
Over that span, Hovland ranks 110th in Strokes Gained: Putting. Now, imagine once his putter starts to fire up — it showed signs of life last week after he gained 4.2 strokes putting.
Last but not least, Sung-jae Im ($9,000 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) ranks second in the field with his -5.4 adjusted strokes on par 5s, and he’s in good form, ranking 14th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 12th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 24 rounds.
I realize I just named four of the five golfers in this price range, but it’s possible to start a roster with Hovland, Im and Niemann and still have $7,533 per player remaining, which is nearly identical to what happens once you start your roster with Brooks.
Kevin Streelman ($8,900 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) was decent last week, but he slid down the rankings on the final day. Still, his 68.2 recent Adj Rd Score is among the best marks in the field and over his last 24 rounds, he ranks second in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and fourth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.
Scott Piercy ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,600 FanDuel) doesn’t have any metrics that jump off the page, but he has missed just two cuts in 14 events this year, and he ranks seventh in Total Strokes Gained over his last 24 rounds.
Collin Morikawa ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,100 FanDuel) has some concern with his par-5 scoring in the limited sample we have for him, but he’s in solid form, evidenced by his 68.8 recent Adj Rd Score. Over that time frame, he’s averaging 16.7 birdies per tournament.
Peter Malnati ($7,800 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel) isn’t someone I normally target as his ball-striking can be sporadic, but he’s gained strokes on approach his past five events and with a presumably easy course on deck again, I’d be willing to take a shot at him with his great iron play of late. Combining that with his lethal putting is a strong combination (field-best 27.9 Putts Per Round).
Cameron Tringale ($7,700 DraftKings; $8,900 FanDuel) doesn’t have the best long-term form, but he’s made six of his last seven cuts while gaining strokes on approach on every cut that he made over that span. He was dialed-in at Detroit last week, gaining 4.3 strokes on approach and 8.1 strokes from tee-to-green.
Jason Dufner ($7,700 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel) missed the cut last week right on the number after the cut moved to -5. However, he still gained strokes on approach last week and Dufner has been solid of late, boasting a 68.6 recent Adj Rd Score and ranking sixth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and Tee-to-Green over the past 24 rounds. Dufner’s long-term birdies are slightly concerning, but he’s averaged 14.0 birdies per tournament over his last four events.
Mackenzie Hughes ($7,400 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel) is another guy in this range who is in good form. He’s averaging 15 birdies and just 7.5 bogeys per tournament over his last four tournaments, resulting in a 68.8 recent Adj Rd Score. He can be volatile with his 45% missed-cut rate, but he’s not a bad option for someone who has gained strokes on approach in five of his six events since May.
Max Homa ($7,000 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel) hasn’t had many high finishes since his Wells Fargo win, but he’s at least making cuts and ranks 13th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds. He’s also striking the ball well, ranking seventh in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.
$6,900 and Below
At the time of writing, there isn’t anybody I am too interested in this range since Homa is sitting right there at $7,000.
I’ll update this section later on in the week if anyone piques my interest.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more golf coverage!
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Photo credit: Viktor Hovland
Pictured: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports