DraftKings PGA Lineup Advice: PGA Championship

Aug 8, 2017

Welcome to the artist formerly known as Glory’s Last Shot. The PGA Championship, of course, dropped that moniker in 2013 when the PGA Tour told them that the glorious (and cash-filled) FedExCup is now Glory’s Last Shot, thank you very much.

Anyway, the 2017 edition of the fourth major of the year will be contested at a known quantity: Quail Hollow Country Club, host of the Wells Fargo Championship. So, while the course was doctored for increased difficulty following the 2016 contesting of that tournament, ignoring players’ past performances at the Charlotte track would be unwise.

Still, as Golfweek’s resident architecture guru writes, players “can toss out their old yardage books and learn the place anew.”

Players will face tight tree-lined fairways off the tee with enough rough to make life difficult. Traditionally, Quail Hollow’s fairways are among the most difficult to find on tour, so you have to target good drivers of the golf ball for big exposure this week.

This means strokes gained: off-the-tee is a necessary priority. And with six par-4s in excess of 460 yards, long-iron approach shots will be key as well.

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If you want to go chalk…

Fade Dustin Johnson. For yet another week, DJ isn’t worth the money. Arriving on the heels of a tie for eighth at the RBC Canadian Open and a tie for 17th at the WGC-Bridgestone, DJ doesn’t look like a man who is going to win this tournament. He’s simply not worth shelling out the third-highest dollar amount for. Three weeks of play in a row is worrying given his lingering back injury.

Top-of-the-Line Considerations

Jordan Spieth: $12,000
The most expensive player this week, Jordan Spieth is a safer bet than either Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson. And he makes more birdies, so fire him up. Two wins and a tie for 13th at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone are the most recent items on his resume. Fourth in total strokes gained. First in birdie average.

Hideki Matsuyama: $10,500
While he’s coming off a win and might appear an auto-fade, it’s worth remembering that PGA Championship prices were released prior to the WGC-Bridgestone, thus you could easily argue Matsuyama ought to be $1,000 more expensive. 11th in strokes gained: off-the-tee, eighth in total strokes gained, second in birdie average, you have to exploit the pseudo arbitrage here.

Deep Sleepers

Gary Woodland: $6,700
Getting no love from the oddsmakers nor DK this week, Gary Woodland was awful in Akron last week. Dude tied for 24th at the Wells Fargo last year. 26th in strokes gained: off-the-tee, 21st in strokes gained: approach, 50th in birdie average. Worth a flyer at this price, for sure.

Charles Howell III: $6,400
Apparently, CH III’s missed cut at the British Open gouged the heart out of his DraftKings price. The guy has been playing good golf this year and did respectable work at the John Deere classic before the British (tying for 19th). 25th in total strokes gained. You have to sign up for Howell at this price.

Birdie Busters

Birdies are the name of the game in GPP. Field leaders in birdie or better percentage, season rank. .

1. Hideki Matsuyama ($10,500)
2. Jordan Spieth ($12,000)
3. Justin Thomas ($8,900)
4. Rickie Fowler ($10,700)
5. Brooks Koepka ($9,200)
6. Anirban Lahiri ($6,700)
7. Luke List ($6,800)
8. Jon Rahm ($10,100)

Core 2

Cheap enough you can buy both. Sure enough that you can have plenty of exposure. Enough upside that you can play them in GPP.

Brooks Koepka: $9,200
BK is a major machine over the past three seasons. The guy just shows up. And at only $9,200, you can afford to build a balanced lineup around him, if you so choose. Fifth in BoB%, 38th in total strokes gained, only two rounds over 70 in his last three starts. Tied for sixth at The Open and for 17th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Paul Casey: $7,800
PC at under $8,000 is a bargain. A top-15 finisher in his last three starts, Casey is third in strokes gained: approach. Ninth in strokes gained: total, sixth in scoring average. A tie for 41st at the Wells Fargo last year isn’t terribly encouraging, but we’ll take it as a positive. He’s seen the course and is in more consistent form at the moment.

Ben Alberstadt is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Ben, check out his archive and follow him @BenAlberstadt.

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