2018 PGA Championship DraftKings Preview

All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman

Hard to believe we’re already at the last major of the year as I feel like I was feeling the Masters hype only a few weeks ago, but alas, let’s get into “Glory’s Last Shot” (For the last time since this tournament is moving to May next year). First, a quick recap of the WGC – Bridgestone. Congratulations to my 2nd favorite player on TOUR, (guess who’s my first) who showed some serious balls on the weekend and held off the likes of DJ, Rory, and Day, among others, to capture the last WGC event to be played at Firestone. Now as happy as I am for JT, I did fade him due to ownership this past week, along with Stanely, DJ, Brooks, Wise, Cantlay, and Day. You will notice those are all Top 10 guys, who yes, I did not have in my very tight core. It was an all or nothing with such a small and loaded field and this week I happened to get burned bad by Scott, Hun An, Xander, and Casey. So it goes and let’s move onto the final major as that is much more exciting! Also, go check out my extensive course preview on amateurhourgolfpod.com to see how the course breaks down and some key corollaries, trends, and more for the PGA Championship.

The PGA Championship

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)

In order of importance (excluding SG: T2G since it’s ALWAYS key):

  • SG: BS (Ball Striking)
  • SG: APP (Custom Blend)
  • SG: OTT
  • Par 4s 450+ Yards
  • GIRs Gained
  • BoB%
  • Putting 5-10 Feet/3 Putt Avoidance
  • Sand Save%/Scrambling

Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):

9K and Above:

Rory McIlroy ($11,000): I’m almost never a Rory guy but with his ability to overpower this long course with his driver, and not being too restricted by narrow fairways, I like him to dominate and possibly win this week. Rory is #6 in the field in SG: OTT, 11th in SG: BS, 4th in SG: T2G, and 14th in Par 4s 450+ yards. Combine his stats with his recent finishes, a 6th at the WGC where he faltered on Sunday and a 2nd at the British Open where he looked very solid on the weekend, he’s my favorite play on the slate. Lastly, maybe “Course History” doesn’t matter a ton this week, but Rory does have 2 PGA Championship wins along with 2 3rd place finishes and an 8th. Pretty solid. 50+%

Rickie Fowler ($10,200): I know we constantly talk about Rickie’s inability to close but this past weekend was just odd the way he played. He followed up a great 1st round 63 with a 74 the next day, only to shoot 65 on Saturday. I’m not entirely sure where that came from but I love Rick this week. He’s 20th in 3 Putt Avoidance, a stat I like this week since these greens are LARGE and lag putting will be key. Further, he’s 9th in Par 4s from 450+ yards and has a decent track record at PGA Championships. A 5th place last year, a 3rd in 2014, and the fact that he wavered again at the WGC makes me hope his ownership is slightly suppressed (it never is for him) and he’s a high upside play. I’ll target 30%.

Upper Mid-Tier Options (8.0K to 8.9K):

Tony Finau ($8,100): This is serious wishful thinking but MAYBE because he’s finally in the 8K range for a major, Finau won’t be mega chalk? Not gonna bet on it. Still, this guy has finished Top 10 in every major this year and also quietly backdoored a Top 10 at the WGC. Finau ranks 18th in SG: T2G, 22nd in my SG: APP blend, 15th in SG: BS, 10th in GIR%, and even 39th in 3 Putt Avoidance. We all know Tony isn’t a good putter so that 3 Putt Avoidance stat surprised me as well. Finau’s last 5 starts include a 5th at the U.S. Open, 9th at the British, and now 10th at the WGC, combined with a 10th at the PGA Champ. In 2015. Finau can get it going this week as I target probably around 40% and maybe double the field?

Paul Casey ($8,000): I don’t understand if the DK team just wants Casey to be the chalk machine at every major, but a price tag of 8K makes absolutely no sense to me. That being said I keep getting burned by Casey so maybe I should take the hint. Casey ranks 3rd in my SG: APP blend, 14th in Sand Save%, 9th in 3 Putt Avoidance, and 3rd in Putts from 5-10 feet. He’s not the biggest bomber in the world and hasn’t racked up those Top 5s and 10s like he normally does but he did finish 7th over in Europe the week after the British and I think a course where scrambling and putting are key sets up well for him. I’ll almost certainly play Casey in cash and try to own him at like 40% in GPPs in order to be overweight.

Lower Mid-Tier Options (7.0 to 7.9K):

Bryson Dechambeau ($7,900): Besides being an ass and screwing me over several week now, Bryson is truly an elite talent and at this price I love him as a possible core play this week. He excels as a striker of the ball as he ranks 22nd in SG: T2G and 15th in Par 4s from 450+ yards. He can definitely be sporadic and sometimes when he’s out of it he seems to lose interest, but he is still in great form this year (25th in my recent form model) and would have had his 2nd win over in Europe 2 weeks ago if he hadn’t had an epic collapse on the back nine. I’ll probably target 25-30% Bryson in hopes that people are off of him.

Gary Woodland ($7,000): A staple terrible putter/good ball striker, I’m a complete sucker for Woodland. He does seem to have somewhat shaken off that brutal stretch he had after his win at the Waste Management as he’s finished 22nd and 17th in his last 2 starts. Stats wise, he’s 7th in SG: BS, 6th in SG: OTT, 3rd in GIR% and 23rd in SG: T2G, all which makes him 5th overall in my stats model. I think Woodland is someone who could make a run at a Top 10 on the weekend as long as he doesn’t implode on the greens and miss every 5-footer he stands over. I’ll target 20-25%.

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Russell Henley ($6,700): Henley burned me real bad at the British as he proceed to shoot around an 80 on Friday and miss the cut by about a million but I’m going back to the well. Henley ranks 14th in my overall power rankings and is Top 30 in SG: T2G, Scrambling, Par 4s 450+ Yards, SG: APP blend, SG: BS, Fairways Gained, GIR% and 3 Putt Avoidance. Henley has a 22nd and 12th place finish in previous PGA Championships and despite his MC at the British has 2 To p10s this year and a 25th at the U.S. Open. At this low price I’m all in and might target up to 25-30%, depending on ownership.

Fliers (Take it or Leave it):

Beau Hossler ($6,900): Never played a PGA Championship but is having a good year and is solid on the greens. Definitely worth a flier to me.

Stewart Cink ($6,700): Another guy having a solid year whom I believe is well underpriced given his stats and consistency.

Ryan Amour ($6,300): Very low price and bombs the ball. Hits a lot of fairways and can scramble well, but his week will be decided if he can have even a decent tournament putting.

Adrian Otaegui ($6,600): European Tour guy who I can see just about no one owning. I would take maybe 5% for a guy who won the Belgian Knockout, 2nd in Volvo China Open and Euro Stats are the following: 5th in Par 4 Scoring, 3rd in Scrambling, 28th in GIR%, and 27th SG: T2G. If nothing else, maybe he makes a solid debut… or maybe he shoots 20 over par.

My Favorite Cash Game Plays

1) Justin Rose

2) Paul Casey

3) Tony Finau

4) Zach Johnson

Fades for Me

Joaquin Niemann: Has had a monster debut year but is playing in his first major and at a seriously discounted price than we’ve seen him the last 2 months or so. I assume he’ll garner heavy ownership in this spot and I would much rather pivot to ZJ, un An, Keegan, Poulter, etc. at a lower price.

Dustin Johnson: Ownership. There is absolutely no other reason to fade this man. Can’t own everyone.

Patrick Cantlay: Not only do I expect high ownership but despite Cantlay being an elite ball striker, ranks 77th in Scrambling, 78th in Sand Save%, 78th in Fairways Gained, and 125th in 3 Putt Avoidance. Fade. (He’ll probably win this now and be 8/8 in Sand Saves)

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 40% Key Stats, 45% Recent Form, and 15% Course History

  1. Dustin Johnson
  2. Justin Rose
  3. Rory McIlroy
  4. Brooks Koepka
  5. Justin Thomas
  6. Francesco Molinari
  7. Rickie Fowler
  8. Henrik Stenson
  9. Tony Finau
  10. Paul Casey
  11. Ian Poulter
  12. Patrick Can’t get Laid
  13. Tommy Fleetwood
  14. Russell Henley
  15. Jason Day
  16. Tiger MF Woods
  17. Jon Rahm
  18. Byeong Hun An
  19. Stewart Cink
  20. Thorbjorn Olesen
  21. B. Holmes
  22. Keegan Bradley
  23. Beau Hossler
  24. Louis Oosthuizen
  25. Kyle Stanley

I will try to put out some ownership thoughts on Twitter throughout the week but as of this writing (late Monday afternoon) it is hard to gauge who’s going to be chalk, low owned, etc.

Follow me on Twitter @sscherman and follow @AmateurHour_Pod too for picks, podcasts with FIRE guests, and weekly picks to win!!

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