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 Canada this week as St. Georges’ Golf and Country Club hosts the RBC Canadian Open. The course is a short par 70, measuring at 7,014 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
Scottie Scheffler ($11,100 DraftKings)
This will not be a long write-up. Scheffler is the No. 1 player in the world, and if not for an extreme outlier putting performance during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, he would have claimed his fifth (!) victory of the 2022 season. Absolutely ridiculous.
Scheffler has eight top-10 finishes in 16 starts this season; that’s half of his starts if you’re scoring at home. He ranks 16th in this field SG: Putting, 15th in SG: Around-the-Green, and No. 1 in both SG: Approach and Total Strokes Gained across his past 24 rounds.
He is firing on all cylinders and will no doubt contend yet again this week, making him the safest play on the board even at $11,100.
Rory McIlroy ($10,500 DraftKings)
McIlroy is the defending champion at this event, which was played on a different course two years ago, but nonetheless is still noteworthy. He finished a ho-hum 18th at the Memorial after losing strokes with his irons on both Saturday and Sunday. Before that, the Irishman was on quite the run, posting a runner-up at Augusta, followed by a T5 and T8 at the Wells Fargo and PGA Championship, respectively.
McIlroy is the class of this field and ranks No. 1 in SG: Ball-Striking and No. 2 in Total Strokes Gained both over his previous 48 rounds. He would not show up to Canada one week after playing Memorial with the U.S Open a week later if he did not intend to give it his all.
Outside of Scottie Scheffler, McIlroy is the preferred spend-up option this week.
Matt Fitzpatrick ($9,900 DraftKings)
We will go right back to Fitz after last week’s incredibly disappointing showing. Despite being one of the best putters on planet earth, Fitz lost 7.57 strokes on the greens in just two rounds. I do not expect this to ever happen again in his career. During those same two rounds, he also gained over 2.26 strokes on approach, meaning his ball-striking is right where we want it to be.
Prior to last week, Fitz had posted six top 10s across his previous 10 starts. He will no doubt come out firing this week, and you can expect him to be on the first page of the leaderboard after round one.
This could be the spot for his first career PGA TOUR victory, and I will certainly not be missing out.
PGA DFS Value Picks
Dylan Frittelli ($7,600 DraftKings)
There is really not a ton to love in the entirety of the $7,000 range this week, so we will begin with one of the better cut makers over the past few months. The last time Frittelli failed to make the weekend at a PGA event was at the Waste Management back in early February, which was 10 starts ago for the South African.
During this stretch, Frittelli has been pretty impressive in all facets of the game, ranking 32nd in SG: Ball-Striking, and 22nd in SG: Tee-to-Green. There’s nothing in the data to suggest that he won’t make yet another cut this week in Canada, and he is one of my favorite plays in this range. Fire him up in all formats.
David Lipsky ($7,300 DraftKings)
Another guy who has been making his share of cuts is Lipsky, who’s made four of his past five and five of his past seven, including a pair of top 10s in that stretch. His irons have really come alive, as he sits 12th in this field on approach across his past 24 rounds.
After really struggling early on this season, he’s turned it on, and I feel confident he can make it to the weekend in this field.
Additionally, Lipsky is one of only four golfers in the $7,000 range inside the top 21 in our Perfect% metric, which is how often a particular player will end up in the optimal lineup.
JT Poston ($7,200 DraftKings)
Poston has been pretty hit or miss lately, but if you look closely, you’ll see that his missed cuts lately have come in events with stacked fields. While this event does feature five of the world’s top 10 players, the rest of the field is something you’d see in a fall swing tournament. The good news, however, is that Poston has two top 10s across his past five starts and ranks 12th in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 16 rounds.
The bottom line is with the top-heaviness of this field; there’s simply no way to get around rostering the studs at the top, meaning we will need to hold our breath and take on some additional risk in this range to fill out our teams.
Poston at least has shown signs of life lately, and I am more than willing to take my chances here at just $7,200.
Doug Ghim ($7,000 DraftKings)
Watching Ghim putt the golf ball will make your eyes bleed, but he is such a good ball-striker that you can never quite quit him. Just to give you an example of his stark splits, he ranks 20th in this field in SG: Ball-Striking over his past 48 rounds and 128th in SG: Putting over the same time frame.
He’s coming off a made cut at Memorial and hit the ball incredibly well, despite a 60th place finish. He is simply too talented to be $7,000 in this field when we’ve seen him at similar prices in stronger fields. He will be one of the chalkiest options on the slate but should hopefully make enough putts to make the weekend for us.