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FanDuel PGA Lineup Advice: 3M Open

Jul 21, 2020

The PGA Tour heads to Minnesota this week for the 3M Open, and even though the field is not anywhere as strong as it has been, we should still see some exciting golf. In looking at FanDuel this week, there are only five golfers priced at $11,000 or above (compared to nine last week). For some perspective, FanDuel provides DFS players with a salary cap of $60,000 to select six golfers for an average roster spot of $10,000. Dustin Johnson ($12,400) and Brooks Koepka ($12,100) are the class of the field and are the only golfers priced in the 12K range. Tony Finau ($11,600), Tommy Fleetwood ($11,500), and Paul Casey ($11,200) round out FanDuel’s top five highest-priced golfers.

Work at having a solid process week in and week out as opposed to getting bogged down by recency bias or the ups-and-downs of the weekly golf grind. Any golfer is capable of winning, and even the best golfers can miss the cut (e.g., Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau last week). Whether you win or lose, golf is one of the most entertaining fantasy sports to follow because you get four days of action. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun!

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Tournament Notes

  • The TPC Twin Cities, designed by Arnold Palmer, is located in Blaine, MN (just outside of Minneapolis).
  • The Par 71 course measures 7,164 yards.
  • 156 players are scheduled to tee it up this week with the top 65 (and ties) making the cut and playing the weekend. Last year’s cut line was three under par.
  • Water and bunkers are in abundance, but neither of those seem to be an issue off the tee (in comparison to last week). However, an inconsistent approach game will bring the water and bunkers into play.
  • The fairways are generous (about 40 yards wide), and the rough is not very penal. Last year, 66% of tee shots found the short stuff, which was one of the highest numbers of any course on the PGA Tour.
  • The Bentgrass greens are average in size with a speed of 12 on the stimpmeter.
  • The four Par 3s average about 215 yards.
  • There are eleven Par 4s with seven of them at least 440 yards long. The bombers will have short wedges into the greens on these and can go pin-seeking for chip-in birdie attempts.
  • The three Par 5s are all long, but the bombers will be able to reach them. Players must birdie these or lose strokes to the field.
  • The top five from last year’s event were Matthew Wolff (-21), Collin Morikawa (-20), Bryson DeChambeau (-20), Adam Hadwin (-18), Carlos Ortiz (-17), and Wyndham Clark (-17). The average winning score for the last 10 years (including Champions Tour) is 21-under par.

Course Fit & Key Statistics

Overall Statistics
My customized overall stat model measures all stats (driving, approach, short game, putting, etc…) from both a short-and-long-form standpoint. The best golfers, in terms of stats, for my customized model this week (in ranked order) are Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley, Doc Redman, Ryan Moore, Lucas Glover, Tony Finau, Harris English, Erik van Rooyen, and Emiliano Grillo.

Recent Form
The golfers that rate out the best in my customized recent form model (in ranked order) are Tony Finau, Sam Burns, Lucas Glover, Henrik Norlander, Harris English, Matthew Wolff, Charlie Hoffman, Sepp Straka, Russell Henley, and Patrick Rodgers. Richy Werenski, Lucas Glover, and Scott Stallings all have made the cut in their last five events on the PGA Tour, which are the best streaks among the golfers in this week’s field. Paul Casey (88%), Harris English (85%), Stewart Cink (83%), Scott Piercy (80%), and Cameron Tringale (80%) are the only golfers in the field with at least an 80% cut rate this season on the PGA Tour. Tommy Fleetwood hasn’t played a lot this season but has made the cut in 47 of his last 48 worldwide events.

This course is a birdie fest, and the event is similar to a Korn Ferry Tour event. It gave up the most birdies of any course last year and was the 14th easiest course on tour. Playing it safe and collecting pars will not be enough to make the cut, let alone contend. I will be looking at golfers that have the ability to score in bunches and put up low scores. The 10 golfers that rate out the best as having scoring potential on easier courses (in ranked order) include Matthew Wolff, Dustin Johnson, Lucas Glover, Doc Redman, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Long, Richy Werenski, Paul Casey, and Chesson Hadley.

Approach Game
This is truly a second-shot golf course, as most players hit the fairways off the tee. Whoever has the best iron and approach game should put themselves in a position to be successful this week. With the ball being in the fairway, golfers will be able to control their distance and spin, thus giving themselves birdie chances. Last year, Morikawa and Wolff finished first and second in SG: Approach for the week. According to my customized model measuring short-and-long-term form for approach, proximity, and GIR, the ten best golfers in this field (in ranked order) are Emiliano Grillo, Russell Henley, Paul Casey, Doc Redman, Cameron Percy, Chesson Hadley, Harris English, Lucas Glover, Tony Finau, and Russell Knox.

Official World Golf Ranking
All the statistics and course history are good to know, but sports (in particular, DFS golf) oftentimes comes down to playing the best golfers. Sure, salary is involved, but fitting as many of the world’s best golfers in your lineups increases your chances for success. This is probably the weakest field of the season as only four of the world’s top-20 golfers are here this week. The 10 highest ranked golfers (according to OWGR) in this week’s field are Dustin Johnson (No. 4), Brooks Koepka (No. 6), Tommy Fleetwood (No. 12), Tony Finau (No. 17), Paul Casey (No. 27), Bernd Wiesberger (No. 29), Erik van Rooyen (No. 43), Matthew Wolff (No. 55), Bubba Watson (No. 59), and Max Homa (No. 74).

Favorite $11,000+ Plays

Dustin Johnson ($12,400)
I will be playing some Dustin Johnson (and maybe Brooks) in my MME lineups this week. DJ is one of my favorites, and I believe that he can pop at any tournament, especially at easier courses. I worry about his ownership, but my bigger concern is that there are a bunch of journeymen in the 7K and 8K range. The guys above $9,000 are also overpriced, and many of them are suspect, so I don’t want to be forced into playing too many questionable golfers. That will limit my exposure to DJ. Fortunately for us, FanDuel has softer pricing, so we are able to fit him in easier. As for his chances this week, I thought he played decently last week despite shooting 80-80 to miss the cut. He won two starts ago and was T17 before that. He is extremely talented, and this field is not. I will bet on talent.

Favorite $10,000 Plays

Matthew Wolff ($10,900)
The defending champion enters this tournament while riding nice form. That is a decent combination. He was just T22 at a very difficult Memorial Tournament. He was runner-up three weeks ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic despite a rough Sunday. Wolff, however, was the only golfer to shoot 64 on two different days in Detroit. He can score in bunches and has shown that he can outperform his finishing position when it comes to fantasy production. He is second in the field at driving distance, so he will have an advantage and should be able to go flag hunting all week.

Lucas Glover ($10,600)
He has made the cut in all five of his events since the restart. Four of those have resulted in top-25 finishes. He is an elite ball-striker, so it makes sense that he finished T7 here last year. In the last 24 rounds, he is first in SG: Ball-Striking, second in SG: Approach, and second in SG: Tee-to-Green. Overall, he is sixth in total strokes gained during that same time period.

Russell Henley ($10,500)
The guy who rivals Glover as the best ball-striker in the last 24 rounds is Henley. He is first in SG: Approach, first in SG: Tee-to-Green, and fourth in SG: Ball-Striking. Overall, he is second in total strokes gained. Surprisingly, Henley missed the cut here last year. However, putting that in context, he had missed five of six cuts coming into last year’s 3M (ironically, he would be runner-up the next week at the John Deere Classic). His form is solid this year coming off a T7 at the Workday and a T32 at the Travelers. He was also T8 at the Honda and T17 at the Genesis prior to the shutdown.

Sam Burns ($10,000)
He is someone that consistently outscores his finishing position when it comes to fantasy points. As long as he makes the cut, he will produce in fantasy. In the last 24 rounds, he is fourth in this field in birdie-or-better percentage. He is a big hitter who can also get hot with his approach game. Last year, he was third in driving distance here for the week, which resulted in a T7 finish. He has made the cut in eight of his last 10 events, including three in a row. Each of those three resulted in top-30 finishes, with his best being a T17 at the Workday. I also plan on playing a good deal of Erik van Rooyen at $10,200, as he was my bubble boy in this group. He has been up-and-down this year, but he has as much upside as anyone in this field outside of the top couple of guys. EVR also played golf at the University of Minnesota.

Favorite $9,000 Plays          

Doc Redman ($9,900)
Yes, he missed the cut last week, but so did everyone else it seems. Prior to the Memorial, he had made the cut in all four of the events he played in since the restart. In the three events right before the Memorial, he finished T21-T11-T21. He ranks fourth in my approach model, which I am weighing heavily this week. In the last 24 rounds, he ranks ninth in fantasy scoring among the golfers in this field.

Henrik Norlander ($9,800)
Nobody in this field has gained more total strokes in the last 12 rounds played than Norlander. He has a strong approach game (fourth in the last 12 rounds) and has been good with the flat stick (eighth in the last 12 rounds), so he should have plenty of scoring opportunities. He has played each of the last four PGA events and has made the cut in each, including a T6 last week and a T12 at the Rocket Mortgage. Other golfers in the 9K range that I will be considering are Patrick Rodgers ($9,800), Sepp Straka ($9,700), Max Homa ($9,500), Will Gordon ($9,500), and Scott Stallings ($9,100)

Favorite $8,000 Plays

Wyndham Clark ($8,900)
He is my only play this week that I can’t back up from an approach or recent form standpoint. He has missed the cut or withdrawn from three of his last five events. In the other two, he has finished T64 and T68. He has lost strokes on approach in all five of those events. He is not a safe pick and will be nowhere near my cash or single-entry lineups. However, he crushes the ball and is a very good putter. Last year, he finished first here in driving distance, leading to a T5 finish. This length off-the-tee put him in a position to have scoring wedges into the greens. He would have the best week of his career from an approach standpoint. His second-best tournament for SG: Approach was at the Honda right before the shutdown when he finished T11. This is a gut play, but he has the potential, and I love him for large field GPPs. I will also consider…

Chase Seiffert ($8,600)
He finished T4 at the Workday two weeks ago. Yes, he struggled off the tee, but that’s not a concern here. This is especially true for Seiffert when your irons are as dialed in as his. He hasn’t lost strokes on approach in eight straight events. His approach game is sharp, and his putting is solid. He did miss the cut at the Rocket Mortgage, but he had a terrible Friday after a 66 on Thursday gave him a share of third place. He is definitely a player capable of going low. Other 8K golfers that I may consider are Richy Werenski ($8,800), Talor Gooch ($8,700), Adam Long ($8,400), Scott Piercy ($8,400), and Matthew NeSmith ($8,300).

Favorite $7,000 Plays

Branden Grace ($7,000)
I don’t remember the last time I played Branden Grace, but I will consider him this week because he is significantly underpriced. He is the 75th-ranked player in the world (which makes him the 11th ranked player in this field). Back in February, he was $10,600 at Pebble Beach, and just two weeks ago, he was $9,400. Now, he is the stone minimum in arguably the worst field of the year. I don’t expect much out of him since he has missed three straight cuts. However, he has actually not played poorly; he just hasn’t scored well. I know we want people who can score, but keep in mind that he has the record for the lowest round ever in a major when he shot a 62 in the third round of the 2017 Open Championship. Other players I may consider in the 7K range if I jam in DJ and Brooks are Denny McCarthy ($7,800), Seamus Power ($7,600), Cameron Percy ($7,300), Tyler McCumber ($7,000), Hank Lebioda ($7,000), Ryan Brehm ($7,000), and Jonathan Byrd ($7,000).

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Jamy Bechler is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can send him questions and follow him on his DFS twitter @WinningDFS101. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and a leadership consultant, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommended in this article.

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