FanDuel PGA Recommended Plays: Valspar Championship

Mar 7, 2018

The PGA Tour heads back to Florida this week, as we are in Tampa for the annual Valspar Championship. The Valspar this year has a surprisingly strong field, as names like Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, and Tiger Woods are in the field this week. It should make for an entertaining week of drama on tour, and it’ll be interesting to see how Tiger fares since his strong showing at the Honda.

As for the course, Innsbrook CC is a long Par 71 with tight fairways and the infamous “snake pit,” an ending stretch of holes that gives golfers fits at the end of their round. Statistically, we always want to target players who can pound fairways and excel with their long irons, so Driving Accuracy and SG Approach are vital this week for good performance. Specifically, I’ll be looking at these stats this week:

Driving Accuracy
SG APP 175-200
Ball Striking

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Lock of the Week: Henrik Stenson ($11,600)
When ball striking, long irons, and pounding fairways are important on any given week, Stenson must be given a look. Stenson, a personal favorite golfer of mine, is notorious for his long-hitting three metal and great long iron accuracy, allowing him to score well on these tough holes. He hasn’t played on the PGA Tour this year – so his stats are limited – but Stenson in his three starts here has finished no worse than 15th with two Top 10s. He hasn’t played in a few weeks, but his WD the week prior in Mexico last year didn’t deter him from another top 10 finish. I’ll be featuring Stenson in most of my lineups this week.

Value Play of the Week: Cameron Smith ($9,400)
I love this price on Cam Smith, as the Australian has really come into his own this year on tour. He’s made all his cuts this year with an eighth-place finish last week at the Genesis, featuring the consistency we want in a golfer in cash games. Furthermore, his price this week is simply too low for his cut-making equity, as Smith would be more accurately priced $1,000 dollars higher. He’s 50th this year on tour in ball striking and an above average Par 3 scorer, which are both key this week. I like Smith a lot in FanDuel cash games.

Momentum Play: Adam Hadwin ($10,200)
Hadwin will likely be popular this week, but it’s completely warranted. The Canadian has elite current form coming into the Valspar, with back to back Top 10s in his last two starts. On top of this, he won here last year, showcasing the combination of current form and course history that we love to see in PGA DFS. He’s also 41st in SG APP from 175-200, a stat that golfers will need this week, and I like Hadwin in both cash and GPPs as a high-upside option this week.

Off the Cart Path Play: Nick Watney ($8,800)
I may be the only DFS writer to recommend Watney this week, but the former PGA Tour stud has to be considered in cash and GPP games this week. Watney has not only yet to miss a cut on tour this year, but has also never missed a cut at the Valspar, featuring five Top 25s in his last 10 made cuts. Granted, Watney was a better player a while ago than he is today, but he also flashes statically, checking in sixth on the entire PGA tour in approaches from 175-200 yards. Watney checks a lot of boxes this week, and I’m excited to roster the tour vet.

Contrarian Play of the Week: Steve Stricker ($9,300)
Old Man Stricker is fresh off his first Champions Tour win last week, a lifelong dream of his. This begs the question whether we can consider Champions Tour form actual form, as Stricker has a 2nd and a 1st in his previous two starts. Stricker is not the player he used to be – not by a long shot – but he has strong course history here with a bunch of Top 15s and comes in playing good overall golf. You shouldn’t go crazy rostering Stricker this week, but he’s an interesting option who could flash at a course that requires both a lot of patience and plenty of fairways hit.

Don’t Forget About These Guys

John Huh ($8,500)
Jason Dufner ($10,100)
Dominic Bozzelli ($8,000)

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Ari Neugenboren is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Ari, check out his archive and follow him @ari5610.

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