The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The PGA TOUR heads to Bermuda this week for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Port Royal Golf Club will be the host, and it’s a short par 71, measuring at 6,828 yards with Bermuda (obviously) 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
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
Denny McCarthy ($10,400 DraftKings)
McCarthy, to nobody’s surprise based on his skill set, has done very well at Port Royal over the years, making the cut in all three of his starts here while finishing T39, T4, and T15, respectively. This type of setup is absolutely in McCarthy’s wheelhouse since he’s a short hitter who relies heavily on his elite putting and short game. Among golfers in this field who have at least 50 rounds on Bermuda greens, McCarthy ranks No. 1 in SG: Putting per round on this surface by a pretty wide margin.
He’s had a pretty average fall thus far but did post a T25 a few weeks back at the Fortinet. All of the fall swing events so far have had way stronger fields than we will see this week, which is why D-Mac is $10,400. He’s the odds-on betting favorite in most spots and is not even the highest-priced golfer on DraftKings this week, meaning there is value here. His floor remains incredibly high due to his putter, and another top-10 finish is certainly within his range of outcomes in this spot.
Russell Knox (9,200 DraftKings)
It is never fun to play Russell Knox at any tournament, but at a course that rewards accurate off-the-tee play and pinpoint short irons, look no further than the Scotsman. The results back that up as well, as Knox has played this event three times and finished T12, T16, and T11.
His fall swing started off strong, with back-to-back top 25s at the Fortinet and Sanderson Farms, but has since cooled. This would be the prime spot for him to bounce back, however, and his long-term numbers suggest that as well, as he ranks 13th in SG: Approach, 21st in driving accuracy and 10th in greens in regulation percentage.
There are plenty of golfers priced above him with way larger ranges of outcomes. Knox will probably not win, but it’s also highly unlikely he misses the cut here and challenges for another T20 finish.
Robby Shelton ($9,100 DraftKings)
Shelton has been tearing up the Korn Ferry Tour this season, having already posted two wins and an additional runner-up finish since the middle of June. While this event is technically a PGA TOUR event, the field is as weak as we’re going to see all season, hence why Shelton is only 40/1 at most sports books.
Being that off-the-tee play will be a bit mitigated due to how short Port Royal is, both approach and around-the-green play will be paramount. This is great news for Shelton because he ranks 21st in this field in SG: Approach and 11th in SG: Around-the-Green, both over his past 12 rounds. He’s had a nice fall swing so far as well, coming off a T15 at the Shriners, which was on the heels of a T21 at the Fortinet.
He’s firing on all the cylinders that matter for this event, and I like him quite a bit at this price tag.
Adam Schenk ($8,700 DraftKings)
It is not too often we are going to see Schenk in the $8K range this year, but again, everything gets adjusted due to lack of field strength. It’s hard to argue against his recent form as well, as he’s coming off back-to-back top-16 finishes at the ZOZO and Shriners over his past two starts. In addition, only Mark Hubbard ranks better in SG: Approach than Schenk does over his past 48 rounds in this field. In his lone start at Port Royal two years ago, he finished T26 as well, which is nice to see.
He is checking a lot of boxes, while his statistical profile at the moment looks better than most guys priced $1,000 above him. If you choose to not spend up in cash games this week, Schenk makes for a rock-solid option as your second or even third golfer at this mid-range price tag.
PGA DFS Value Picks
Joseph Bramlett ($7,500 DraftKings)
Bramlett has a ton of talent but seems to never put it all together. Surprisingly enough, he’s been pretty decent at Port Royal in his career despite being a bomber, making two of three cuts with a T45 and T31. Obviously, those finishes are nothing to write home about, but he’s been hitting the ball really well for a decent length of time now, ranking second in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green and 15th in SG: Ball-Striking, both over his past 48 rounds.
Bramlett is currently sitting at 60/1 at most sports books, which is shorter than some guys in the $8,000 range. He is a strong value play in all formats this week.
Ryan Armour ($7,400 DraftKings)
There are about two or three tournaments a year where it’s not totally egregious to play Ryan Armour, and this happens to be one of them. He’s played Port Royal three times now, and before his T67 last year, he posted back-to-back T8s. This is legit his Super Bowl.
There’s nothing he does that will blow you away statistically, but he does rank No. 1 in this field in driving accuracy over his past 48 rounds, which will be a point of emphasis this week with distance being a non-factor. He also ranks 17th in SG: Tee-to-Green in the same time frame. He’s been a bit up and down of late but did finish T5 not too long ago at the Shriners, so there is some recent form here. He, for some reason, always gets up for this event, and at just $7,400 we do not need him to do much for us this week outside of making the weekend.
Kramer Hickok ($7,000 DraftKings)
I have no clue what happened to Hickock’s game, but I’m fairly certain that Harris English took his soul at the 2021 Travelers Championship after beating him in what felt like a 15-hole playoff. Since that runner-up, he’s posted a grand total of one top-10 finish in 16 months. I get this is not exactly a ringing endorsement of why you should roster Hickock this week, but he has been playing better lately, ranking 18th in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green and 10th in SG: Ball-Striking over his past 24 rounds.
Another reason I like him is because of his course history, which feels like it matters here quite a bit for some reason, as many of the same guys continue to play well at this track. Hickok has played here three times and finished T30, T8, and T15 respectively. Much like Armour, he is extremely accurate off-the-tee (sixth in DA over his past 48 rounds), which is probably why he’s had the success he’s had here.
At just $7,000 he feels like a strong value.