The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The TOUR heads to Texas this week as TPC Craig Ranch hosts the AT&T Byron Nelson. The course is a par 72, measuring at 7,468 yards with bent grass greens.
I’ll be highlighting the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.
My analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.
Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.
There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
- Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
- Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green
Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.
If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.
PGA DFS Core Picks
Sam Burns ($9,500 DraftKings)
With a projected birdie fest on tap this week, we will start with Burns, who has established himself as one of the elite scorers on TOUR. He ranks seventh on the year in birdie or better percentage and 10th in par-5 scoring, both of which will be crucial to success this week. It feels like people are still unaware of how good a player Burns is, and that usually keeps his DraftKings salary in check.
He finished runner-up to KH Lee at this event one year ago, and while the other top players in this field may be looking ahead to next week’s PGA Championship, we can for sure count on Burns to take this event seriously. He’s already posted two wins on the season and ranks No. 2 in this field in total strokes gained to Justin Thomas across his past 48 rounds. He also ranks second to JT in our Perfect% metric. We’re getting a nice discount from Scottie Scheffler and JT by playing Burns, making him one of the strongest cash game plays on the board.
Talor Gooch ($8,600 DraftKings)
Gooch is another guy who the public is late to the party on, as he’s gotten himself up to No. 34 in the world. He ranks fourth on the PGA TOUR in par-5 scoring and 13th in birdie or better percentage. He’s already piled up a win and 10 additional top-30 finishes on the young season, making him an incredibly reliable cash game option.
Gooch played TPC Craig Ranch last season and finished T39, so he does have some course familiarity as well. He’s about $500 too cheap, so let’s take full advantage this week and roster him in all formats.
Jhonattan Vegas ($8,400 DraftKings)
Vegas is having himself a great season thus far and has really taken a leap to become one of the more consistent PGA TOUR players. He’s finished inside the top 27 in each of his past four starts and is coming off a T15 at the Wells Fargo, where he led the field in SG: Approach.
On the season, Vegas ranks 21st in par-5 scoring and ranks sixth in this field in SG: Ball-Striking over his past 48 rounds. He always plays well in the Lone Star State as he played his college golf at the University of Texas. He finished T9 here a year ago and can definitely post a repeat performance this week.
Aaron Wise ($8,100 DraftKings)
Wise, on the surface, seems like a pretty volatile player; however, he’s been pretty consistent this season, making 10 of 14 cuts with three top-10 finishes. Both his long and short-term form are really strong entering the week, as he ranks 10th in this field in SG: Ball-Striking across his past 48 rounds and fourth over his past 16 rounds.
Wise surprisingly ranks 23rd on TOUR in bogey avoidance while sitting inside the top 50 in both birdie or better percentage and par-5 scoring. He’s a phenomenal ball-striker who does his best work at easier tracks, which we’ll have this week. He’s a good value at just $8,100, and he gets the nod for me over Adam Hadwin ($8,000), who is also strong cash game play.
PGA DFS Value Picks
Seamus Power ($7,900 DraftKings)
Power played pretty well last week except for one bad hole where he made a snowman which prevented him from making the cut. He’s taken major strides this season and ranks inside the top 20 on TOUR in both birdie or better percentage and par-5 scoring. He already has eight top-25 finishes to his name, and he also played very well at TPC Craig Ranch a year ago, finishing T9.
Power should score quite a bit this week and is a really nice value at just $7,900. His make the cut odds are shorter than most players in the $8,000 range and sits eighth in our Perfect% metric. Fire him up in all formats.
Maverick McNealy ($7,800 DraftKings)
Mav has become a cash game staple for us as no matter what he does; his price seems to hover around this upper $7,000 range. He’s now made 13 of his 14 cuts on the season with eight top-30 finishes. He also checks two very important boxes this week as he ranks 10th on TOUR in birdie or better percentage and 14th in par-5 scoring. You really cannot ask for much more at this price. He’s a lock button type of play this week.
Patton Kizzire ($7,100 DraftKings)
If you prefer to pay up for a few studs this week, then you will need some bargain bin values to round out your roster. Look no further than Kizzire, who finished T9 finish here one year ago and ranks 33rd on TOUR in par-5 scoring, including 17th in this field. He’s only missed one cut since the beginning of February and is simply too cheap for his upside this week. Kizzire sits 24th in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 24 rounds and is a great salary saver for your cash game teams.