2019 Desert Classic DraftKings/Betting/OAD 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

Go follow BigBucksNoWhammie (@BPSnow11 on Twitter) for an AMAZING course preview and please check out my 2018 recap and 2019 preview on amateurhourgolfpod.com for most exciting moments from last season, young guys I’m excited for in 2019, early Major predictions, and much more!

A mixed start to the 2019 season last week as I truly had some of the nuts picks in Kuchar/Putnam in a few lineups, while several in my core, Sam Ryder, Adam Scott, and Paul Casey, all woefully missed the cut. Add Casey to the list by the way of guys who I almost never get right as I have now picked him 3 years in a row in OAD and he’s missed the cut each time… yikes. Can’t say I saw Kuchar winning 2 times already this season but here we are and he remains someone to almost always play in cash. Of the top 10 in my model, we saw a winner, a T3 (Reavie), a T10 (Grillo), 3 others in the Top 30, a Woodland MDF, and 3 MC’s with Casey, Scott, and Ryder. Like I said, a mixed bag and we can now move on to what I think is arguably the worst tournament of the year with only 1/3 courses utilizing ShotTracker (in 2019), a weird MDF rule, and a Pro-Am format with horrible TV coverage. This tournament features an automatic 3 rounds followed by a cut in which players will rotate between the Stadium Course (host), La Quinta, and the Nicklaus Tournament course. The MDF rule works as follows: Top 78 and ties make it with a cut after Saturday; however, if more than 78 players are tied, it drops to the Top 60 and ties. Very odd. This course is another birdie fest as La Quinta and Nicklaus qualify as the easiest and second easiest courses on tour, respectively. We need to target guys who can capitalize on the very short Par 5s, can dial in on some longer approaches and rack up DK Points. Let’s get into it.

For an in-depth course preview, go check out Bucks’ preview on Gups Corner (@GupsCorner on Twitter).

Course/Weather Draw: A quick note for this week. There are several guys whom have done some research and found that it is normally very advantageous for players to play in the following rotation: La Quinta, Nicklaus, Stadium Course. The Stadium Course is clearly the hardest of the bunch (although they are all easy) and players can normally capitalize on the momentum gained from the previous 2 days before hopefully playing 2 days in a row on the host course. I would not recommend using only guys in this rotation but rather to take note of it and maybe have a slight lean towards those players (no one in the Top 10 last year had a NT, SC, LQ or SC, LQ, NT draw).


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
  • SG: Par 5s
  • Opportunities Gained/BoB Gained
  • SG: APP (Custom Blend with emphasis on 125-175 yards)
  • DraftKings Points Gained
  • GIRs Gained
  • SG: Par 4s (emphasis on 350-400 yards)
  • Scrambling

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

9K and Above:

Jon Rahm ($11,600): I expect Rahm to be a chalky play but in the interest of not over thinking things he is clearly the best player in the field. The field is weak as it is, Rahm is #1 in my overall model, and also has the best course draw (LQ, NT, SC). His 3 starts are an 8th at ToC, a 1st at the Hero World Challenge in December, and a 4th in Dubai several weeks back. Oh yeah, he also won this tournament last year. I don’t think people need to be convinced on Rahm and I would just go ahead and lock and load him in most or all lineups and move on. I will target minimum 75% exposure.

Luke List ($9,000): We haven’t seen List since the Safeway Open where he finished T4 but he is always one of the elite DK scorers and someone who hasn’t shown the ability to close but dominates Par 5s and is one of the best ball strikers in the field. We know List is a shitty putter, but if he can have an average week on the greens and continue his high GIR %, large quantity of birdies and eagles, he should be able to be in the Top 5 DK scorers despite what he finishes in the tournament. List will generate some buzz and ownership as a DK darling, but I will try to be overweight the field at around 30-40% exposure.

Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):

Ryan Palmer ($8,200): We haven’t seen Palmer in a while either, but his last 2 starts were a 7th at the Shriner’s Open and a 3rd at the CJ Cup Overseas. Palmer is very solid stats wise as he ranks 19th in the field in GIRs Gained, 12th in Opportunities Gained, and 11th in BoB Gained. He will like garner some ownership due to his solid course history in which he’s produced 5/7 cuts made, a 10th, 2nd, 6th, and a 20th last year. I actually like Palmer as a pretty safe play and would strongly consider in cash, but I will look to have him as a strong secondary play at around 20-25% exposure.

Harold Varner III ($7,400): I’m a big fan of Varner and someone who I think could breakout this year or the next. He has played a little more recently than some in the field and in his last 4 starts has finished T15 (Shriners), T6 (Mayakoba), T23 (RSM Classic), and T16 at the Australian PGA a few weeks ago. Similar to List, Varner has the ability to rack up a ton of DK Points as he ranks 20th in the field in that category, 5th in SG: Par 4s (excels on shorter Par 4s as well), and 20th in BoB Gained. He can very streaky so if he can limit the bogeys and capitalize on Par 5s, I could see another strong showing and a Top 10 or better. I don’t see ownership on him of more than 7-10% so I’ll target around 25% exposure.

***Other guys I like in this range: Joaquin Niemann, C.T. Pan, Richy Werenski, Sam Ryder, Anders Albertson, and THE GLOVE Lucas Glover***

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Ryan Blaum ($6,800): Always a very volatile player and never someone I would have too much exposure too, Blaum makes for an interesting GPP option. He doesn’t have any eye-popping stats per say, but he’s a big hitter who can get hot on Par 5s and excels with his long irons. He didn’t play terribly well at the Sony Open, finishing T63, but if he can get a hot putter, as he did at the RSM where he finished 4th, he can become a strong DK scorer. In this range, we’re not looking for guy who will (most likely) win, but a risky GPP option with potential upside and that’s what we have here. I’ll look for around 10-15% exposure.

My Favorite Cash Game Plays

1) Jon Rahm

2) Ryan Palmer

3) Richy Werenski

4) Joaquin Niemann

Fades for Me

Justin Rose: Don’t like his iron switch and he’s never played here before

Andrew Putnam: I assume he’ll garner a ton of ownership due to his last 2 finishes, but he’s gained 6.8 strokes putting and last week 10.9 (wow) in his 2nd place finish… seems regression could be coming

Adam Hadwin: I’m expecting him to be mega-chalk and despite his strong course history, paying 10k for a guy who’s last finish was 57th seems a little bit outrageous

Ryan Armour: Similar to Putnam he’s coming off a tournament in which he gained 5 strokes total, of which 4.5 were putting; he’s lost strokes OTT in 5/6 and approaches have been mixed

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 40% Key Stats, 50% Recent Form, and 10% Course History

  1. Jon Rahm
  2. Charles Howell III
  3. Chez Reavie
  4. Lucas Glover
  5. Richy Werenski
  6. Corey Conners
  7. Patrick Cantlay
  8. Scott Piercy
  9. Justin Rose
  10. Ryan Palmer

Predicted Chalk

  • Jon Rahm – 22%
  • Patrick Cantlay – 20%
  • Justin Rose – 18%
  • Chez Reavie – 17%
  • Corey Conners – 15%

Betting/One and Done

Wanted to add to this article to provide possible betting insights and some options for any One and Done pools that you’re in as well as some pivot options. Please note that these are not always one’s that I personally have bet; however, I will note when I have bet them and at what number. Hopefully you either find better numbers, fade me completely, or let me know who you’re betting!

Value Bets:

Sam Ryder: 140/1
Pros: 8th in field T2G, great approach player, 6th in Opps Gained
Cons: Sucks at putting, has worst course draw (SC, LQ, NT)

Harold Varner III: 70/1

Pros: Good form, good course draw, great short Par 4 scorer

Cons: Worst putting surface is Bermuda, 3 straight MC at this tourney, only average Opps. Gained

Joaquinn Niemann: 60/1

Pros: Unreal stats: 4th T2G, 2nd SG: BS, 3rd GIRs Gained, 8th in Par 4s, 6th in SG: APP Blend

Cons: Coming off 2 straight T60 or worse finishes, not strong on Bermuda

One and Done: Note that not all chalk is bad but if you want to differentiate here are some options

Predicted “chalk” for OAD – CH3, Hadwin, Rahm, Reavie, Cantlay, Swafford, Niemann

Possible Pivots:

Ryan Palmer: Strong course history, strong California player

Luke List: Strong T2G player and historically plays well in weaker fields

C.T. Pan: Elite Par 5 scorer and birdie maker; has been waiting for a hot putter

Anders Albertson: One of my breakout candidates; 10th in SG: BS, 3rd in SG: APP blend, 5th in Opps. Gained, 9th in GIRs Gained

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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