DraftKings PGA Lineup Advice: Safeway Open

by Ben Alberstadt | @BenAlberstadt | Featured Writer
Oct 4, 2017

After the shortest offseason in all of professional sports, the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season gets underway this week with the Safeway Open from Johnny Miller’s pet project, Silverado Resort & Spa.

Phil Mickelson headlines the field at Silverado’s North Course this week, and Webb Simpson and Tony Finau are among the oddsmakers favorites. Sangmoon Bae returns to action after two years of mandatory military service in South Korea. Maverick McNealy, former No. 1 amateur in the world, makes his professional debut this week.

The 7,166-yard, par-72 North Course was famously once the estate of a Civil War general. Probably not a significant factor in your lineup construction this week, but cool nevertheless. Johnny Miller renovated both courses at Silverado after purchasing the property with a pair of partners in 2010.

A medium-difficulty course, Silverado’s North course is short by PGA Tour standards. Bentgrass and poa annua greens meet the same combination in the fairway with Kentucky Bluegrass rough that can get a bit sticky. Greens traditionally stimp around 11.5. Fairways are a bit tight (Johnny wants to host a U.S. Open, after all).

In evaluating players this week, preference should go to driving distance and approach play from 150 to 200 yards, along with putting. Strokes gained: off-the-tee is the most significant SG metric.

Try Daily Fantasy Golf at DraftKings now >>

If you want to go chalk…

Finau is worth it. From a Sagarin ranking standpoint (which evaluates a player’s relative performance over the past year) Tony Finau was the No. 15 golfer on the PGA Tour last season. In a weak field, he has a markedly more distinguished pedigree than anyone else (save for Phil Mickelson). Fourth in strokes gained: off-the-tee, 11th in strokes gained: total in 16-17. 11th in birdie average. Finau tied for 26th at the Safeway last year and closed the season with a pair of top-10 finishes. He’s worth the $11,500 price tag.

Top-of-the-line considerations

Webb Simpson: $11,200
In the No. 2 salary slot this week, Webb Simpson is also a golfer with a healthy pedigree. While he isn’t good off the tee, Simpson makes up for it with strong approach play. Could that get him in trouble this week? Perhaps. Considering he’s missed the cut in his last two tries at this event, it’s tough to justify paying top dollar for a golfer who doesn’t look like he has a chance of a top-10 finish.

Zach Johnson: $10,500
ZJ wasn’t a standout in any statistical category in 2016-2017. He finished 50th in strokes gained: total. In this field, however, that places him in the top quartile of golfers. He tied for 20th at the BMW Championship in his most recent action. He traditionally doesn’t play this event. Pretty big “meh” this week; tough to get excited about rostering the Iowan. Do yourself a favor and start your research with Kevin Na at $9,400 and work your way down.

Deep sleeper

Robert Garrigus: $7,100
In the No. 29 price slot, Robert Garrigus is a value at $7,100. A long-hitting birdie machine, Garrigus was 29th in strokes gained: off-the-tee in 2016 and 14th in birdie average. He tied for 26th at the Safeway Open last year.

Birdie brigade

Birdies are the name of the game in GPP. Season leaders in birdie-or-better percentage (BoB%) listed.

9. Luke List ($7,900)
10. Tony Finau ($11,500)
11. Scott Piercy ($7,700)
15. Robert Garrigus ($7,100)
17. Phil Mickelson ($11,000)

Core 2

Kevin Na: $9,400
You always have to favor the California dudes at California events. Na, who grew up in CA, finished inside the top 10 in his last two Safeway Open starts. While he doesn’t gain strokes off the tee, that course history is hard to pass over. 34th in birdie average, Na tied for 20th at the BMW Championship and finished 29th at the Tour Championship in his two most recent starts. Thus, recent form is OK. After a week off, look for him to continue to do good work at Silverado’s North Course. He’s a good building block because you can pay up for a higher-priced player and construct a more stars-and-scrubs lineup, or put together something more balanced with Na as your top dog.

Chez Reavie: $8,900
In the No. 11 price slot, Chez Reavie is a value play at $8,900. Ninth in the field in relative Sagarin ranking, Reavie returns to a course where he’s finished inside the top 25 in his two most recent turns. He ended the year with a tie for 12th at the BMW Championship but didn’t advance any further in the Playoffs. Thus, he should be well rested and practiced and was showing a nice bit of form to end the year, closing with a streak of 11 made cuts. While he doesn’t hit it anywhere off the tee, Reavie is perennially straight. Thus, he’ll avoid the major hazard this week (the rough). 38th in strokes gained: total last year, Chez is a solid all-around player and an excellent building block. Should be a lock for a top-25 finish this week.

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

What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
New players get a free NFL contest every week until they win cash.
Get our Mobile App!

Enter your phone number below, and we'll text you a link to download the app.

1Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
2Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
3Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
4Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
5Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
6James Conner (PIT)RB
7Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
8Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
9Julio Jones (ATL)WR
10Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
12DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
13Sony Michel (NE)RB
14Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
15Davante Adams (GB)WR
16A.J. Green (CIN)WR
17T.J. Yeldon (JAC)RB
18Mike Evans (TB)WR
19Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
20David Johnson (ARI)RB
21Marshawn Lynch (OAK)RB
22Tevin Coleman (ATL)RB
23JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT)WR
24Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
25Stefon Diggs (MIN)WR
26James White (NE)RB
27Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
28Carlos Hyde (CLE)RB
29Travis Kelce (KC)TE
30Robert Woods (LAR)WR
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
3Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
4Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
5Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
6Bryce Harper (WSH)CF,RF
7Manny Machado (LAD)3B,SS
8J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
9Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
10Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
 View All Rankings 
11Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
12Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
13Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
14Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
15Trea Turner (WSH)SS
16Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)LF,RF
17Carlos Correa (HOU)SS
18Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
19Joey Votto (CIN)1B
20Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
21Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
22Chris Sale (BOS)SP
23Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
24George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
25Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
26Luis Severino (NYY)SP
27Andrew Benintendi (BOS)LF,CF
28Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
29Starling Marte (PIT)LF,CF
30Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,CF
1Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
4Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
5Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
 View All Rankings 
11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (TOR)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (HOU)PG
16Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
17Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
18Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests