The PGA Course Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Trends Tool and metrics to highlight stats for the upcoming tournament.

We have a slightly stronger field this week Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama all in the mix!

Let’s dive in.

The Course

As always, I back-tested various metrics in our PGA Models to discover those that have been the most valuable at Silverado Resort and Spa. Per our Trends tool, here’s how the top 20% of golfers in various metrics have done at this course (in Plus/Minus valuation).

Historically, this course has yielded averages of 52.24 DraftKings points and a +4.08 Plus/Minus with a 51.9% Consistency Rating to the field.

Metrics that tested with at least a +2.00 Plus/Minus:

  • Long-Term Par-5 Scoring: +7.90
  • Long-Term Missed Cuts: +6.34
  • Recent Eagles: +5.30
  • Long-Term Birdies: +4.90
  • Long-Term Par-4 Scoring: +4.74
  • Recent Par-5 Scoring: +4.56
  • Recent Par-3 Scoring: +4.53
  • Long-Term Par-3 Scoring: +3.22
  • Recent Scrambling: +2.58

Key metrics: Par 4 and 5 scoring, birdie or better scoring, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking

And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.

DFS Breakdown for 2019 Safeway Open

Core Plays

I tend to favor somewhat of a balanced build this week. With the first person in my line being Collin Morikawa ($9,400 DraftKings; $10,600 FanDuel). He’s been dominant in the small sample we have for him in our database, sporting a 68.3 LT Adj Rd Score while averaging -4.7 and -5.3 adjusted strokes on par 5s. All of those marks rank inside the top 10 in the field.

Corey Conners ($8,400 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) missed the cut last week but gained strokes in all facets except around-the-green and with his putter (shocker). If Conners’ putter is even average this week, I like him to bounce back. That said, he’s consistently one of the worst putters, but he’s an excellent striker, ranking sixth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 24 rounds.

None of Adam Hadwin’s ($7,600 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel) jump off the page at you, but I think he’s a bit undervalued as his 69.3 LT Adj Rd Score is the 13th-best mark in the field, but he’s priced as the No. 34 golfer on DraftKings.


Tournament Targets

Francesco Molinari ($9,700 DraftKings; $10,900 FanDuel) had an underwhelming season outside of his win at the API and fifth-place finish at the Masters. He’s coming off a solid 14th-place finish overseas, and he has the fourth-best LT Adj Rd Score (68.5) in the field.

Abraham Ancer ($8,700 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) doesn’t have the strongest approach game, but he crushes off the tee, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee over his last 50 rounds. Consequently, over that time frame, Ancer ranks 20th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Jhonattan Vegas ($7,300 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel) ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 50 rounds, and his 0.5 eagles per tournament ranks inside the top-25 in this field. Vegas is rather volatile with his poor putting and game around the greens, but he’s worth a look in tournaments.


Quick Hits

  • Justin Thomas ($11,600 DraftKings; $12,200): You can’t really make a case against Thomas, it just depends on roster construction. He ranks among the best in the field in LT Adj Rd Score, eagles and birdies per tournament, adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s.
  • What can be said for Thomas can be said for Patrick Cantlay ($11,200 DraftKings; $11,900 FanDuel) — it depends on roster construction. Cantlay is tied with Thomas with his 68.1 LT Adj Rd Score. He’s also effective on par 4s and 5s, averaging -1.1 and -5.1 adjusted strokes on them.
  • Byeong-Hun An ($9,500 DraftKings; $10,800 FanDuel) continues to put together strong performances after his third-place finish last week. He’s a strong option again, ranking ninth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over this last 24 rounds.
  • Emiliano Grillo ($8,800 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) has an abysmal putter and short game, but he ranks second in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and seventh in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds.
  • Kevin Streelman ($8,300 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) bounced back after missing the cut, churning out a fourth-place finish last week. Despite his recent string of missed cuts, he’s been excellent ball-striking wise, ranking eighth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 24 rounds.
  • Bronson Burgoon ($8,000 DraftKings; $9,600 FanDuel) has finished in sixth and 19th over his last two tournaments and over that time frame, he’s averaged 19 birdies per tournament and -7.5 and .5.0 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s.
  • Dylan Frittelli’s ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel) 0.5 eagles and 13.4 birdies per tournament is among the highest marks in his price range. He’s also been exceptional on par 5s, averaging -4.7 adjusted strokes on them over the past 75 weeks.
  • Vaughn Taylor ($7,600 DraftKings; $9,300 FanDuel) doesn’t have the best off-the-tee game, but he does rank 15th in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds. He lost 1.1 strokes on approach last week and missed the cut by just two strokes. I don’t mind looking his way in this price range.
  • Lanto Griffin ($7,400 DraftKings; $9,000 FanDuel) hasn’t disappointed me yet, finishing 11th and 13th over his last two tournaments. Granted, a lot of that has been due to a hot putter, so I’d still tread carefully. But, he’s been great over the past 75 weeks, averaging 0.7 eagles and 13.9 birdies per tournament, along with -0.5 and -5.3 adjusted strokes on par 5s.

Anti-Course Fits

Phil Mickelson ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel) has historically played well here, but he’s in terrible recent form, ranking 133rd in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. His long-term form isn’t much better averaging +1.4 adjusted strokes on par 4s and only -2.9 adjusted strokes on par 5s.

Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more golf coverage or where to bet on golf!


Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.

Pictured above: Collin Morikawa

Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports