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.
I’ve been writing about PGA DFS for nearly two years now, and this might be the weakest field I’ve ever had to write about. Henrik Stenson is currently No. 37 in the Official World Golf Rankings and is the only golf from inside the top 40 who is at this tournament.
Let’s dive in.
As always, I back-tested various metrics in our PGA Models to discover those that have been the most valuable at the Golf Club of Houston, host of this week’s Houston Open. 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 50.78 DraftKings points and a +2.54 Plus/Minus with a 50.4% Consistency Rating to the field.
Metrics that tested with at least a +1.00 Plus/Minus:
- Long-Term Driving Distance: +4.33
- Long-Term Par-4 Scoring: +3.23
- Recent Driving Distance: +3.12
- Long-Term Driving Accuracy: +2.32
- Recent Eagles: +2.26
- Recent Driving Accuracy: +2.02
- Recent Par-4 Scoring: +1.61
- Long-Term Bogeys: +1.27
- Recent Greens in Regulation: +1.17
Key metrics: Par 4 and 5 scoring, birdie or better scoring, greens in regulation, driving distance, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2019 Houston Open
Scottie Scheffler ($9,900 DraftKings; $10,800 FanDuel) checks every box I am looking at for this tournament. He’s long off the tee, evidenced by his 311.8-yard Long-Term Driving Distance (LT DD), he’s hit 71.1% of greens in regulation (GIR) over the last 75 weeks, and in that same time frame, he’s averaging 1.1 eagles and 14.8 birdies per tournament. He also demolished par 4s and 5s, averaging -2.5 and -6.0 adjusted strokes on them.
Lanto Griffin ($8,000 DraftKings; $9,500 FanDuel) has been on fire during the swing season, finishing 18th, 17th, 11th and 13th in his last four events. He has the distance to contend here, boasting a 310.4-yard LT DD and hitting 70% of GIR in the process. Additionally, his eagles (0.7) and birdies per tournament (14.1) and adjusted strokes on par 5s (-5.4) all rank inside the top 10 in the field, but he’s priced as the No. 23 golfer.
Mark Hubbard ($7,100 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel) isn’t that long off the tee, but he’s fairly consistent everywhere else, ranking in the top 25 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds. Overall, Hubbard has had an excellent fall, gaining strokes on approach in every event except Sanderson, which his only missed cut during the fall swing. Otherwise, he’s gained at least 2.3 strokes on approach in three of his four fall events.
After a $3,400 price increase from the week before, I’m not sure how many people will look to Pat Perez ($9,700 DraftKings; $10,600 FanDuel). Aside from having one of the best Instagram accounts on tour, there are other things like about Perez this week. He was dialed in at the Shriners, gaining 2.7 and 2.8 strokes off-the-tee and approach, and hitting 86.1% of GIR. Additionally, He ranks inside the top six in outright and T10 odds. His metrics don’t jump off the page at this course, but that hasn’t stopped him from playing well here in the past.
Another golfer who is seeing a massive price bump is Brian Harman ($10,600 DraftKings; $10,900 FanDuel). He checked in at $7,800 last week with nearly 20% ownership. I’m not sure how many people will be willing to pay almost $11,000 for Harman, especially since at the time of writing he has a Buzz Score of 2.2 in our models. The play isn’t totally egregious given how great he’s been playing. Over his last 24 rounds, he leads the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. In fact, Harman doesn’t rank outside the top 20 in any Strokes Gained metric over that time frame.
- Henrik Stenson ($11,400 DraftKings; $11,900 FanDuel) isn’t too hard to fit in if you’re looking to pay up. He easily stands out in the field with his top outright and T10 odds. He doesn’t have the distance, but he’s the best ball-striker in the field.
- Russell Henley ($10,100 DraftKings; $10,500 FanDuel) hasn’t missed a cut since July and ranks third in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. He also has a wildly good course history, finishing eighth or better in his last six appearances here.
- Sebastian Munoz ($9,400 DraftKings; $10,200 FanDuel) was trending towards another solid finish last week until he was hit with a quadruple bogey. He ultimately missed the cut, but he still fired off a 67 on Friday.
- Kyle Stanley ($9,300 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) ranks second in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds. His irons have been dialed in, gaining 7.0 and 4.9 strokes on approach in his last two events, but the putter has been holding him back in a big way.
- Harris English ($8,900 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) is in tremendous form, boasting a 68.6 recent Adj Rd Score. In that same time frame, he’s hit 80.1% of GIR and averaged 18.7 birdies per tournament.
- Bronson Burgoon ($8,400 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel) has been solid over the last six weeks, averaging -3.8 and -4.8 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. He also ranks fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds.
- Carlos Ortiz ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,500 FanDuel) has made three-straight cuts and is in decent foram, boasting a 69.5 recent Adj Rd Score. In that time frame, Ortiz is hitting 74.3% of GIR and averaging 309.6 yards off the tee.
- Xin-Jun Zhang ($8,000 DraftKings; $8,900 FanDuel) has looked pretty good over his last three events, hitting 69% or more of GIR and finishing 16th or better in two of those three events.
- Robby Shelton ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,300 FanDuel) has averaged -1.1 and -4.5 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s over the last 75 weeks. He’s also in solid recent form, ranking 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and third in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Pictured above: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo credit: Lanto Griffin