FanDuel PGA Lineup Advice: The Memorial (2020)
On the heels of one of the most exciting final rounds in recent memory, the PGA Tour will stay at Muirfield Village for one more week. There is even more excitement this time out, as Tiger Woods will return to action for the first time since February. He’ll compete for his sixth Memorial Tournament title.
Overall, there are nine golfers priced at $11,000 or above on FanDuel this week. FanDuel provides DFS players with a salary cap of $60,000 to select six golfers for an average roster spot of $10,000. Bryson DeChambeau ($12,000) is the only golfer priced in the 12K range. Justin Thomas ($11,900) and Rory McIlroy ($11,800) are closely behind DeChambeau in the pricing. Defending champion Patrick Cantlay ($11,600) and Dustin Johnson ($11,500) 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. Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, and Jordan Spieth 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!
- This is the second straight week a PGA event will be held at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio (just outside of Columbus). The Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course is a Par 72 measuring 7,456 yards.
- 133 golfers are scheduled to tee it up this week with the top 65 (and ties) making the cut.
- The bentgrass greens are known for being fast and firm, with many different levels and undulations to them. They average only about 5,000 square feet, but the stimpmeter usually measures 13 to 13.5. Bad putters tend to struggle. The greens were set up slow for last week’s event, but this week’s event will be back to normal.
- The course has an abundance of water and bunkers (both fairway and greenside). Accurate iron play is required, but the ability to scramble is important when golfers inevitably get themselves in trouble (especially around the greens).
- Each of the four Par 5s is reachable in two. Last year’s top two finishers (Patrick Cantlay and Adam Scott) also gained the most strokes on the Par 5s for the week.
- Previous winners here at the Memorial that will play this week include Patrick Cantlay (2019), Bryson DeChambeau (2018), Jason Dufner (2017), William McGirt (2016), David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014), Matt Kuchar (2013), Tiger Woods (2012, 2009, 2001, 2000, 1999, Steve Stricker (2011), Justin Rose (2010), K.J. Choi (2007), Carl Pettersson (2006), Ernie Els (2004), Jim Furyk (2002), Vijay Singh (1997), and Tom Lehman (1994). Additionally, Collin Morikawa was your winner here last week in a playoff against Justin Thomas.
- This is a thinking man’s course that provides a number of risk-reward holes. The Par 3s are very tough, and golfers can’t always aim for the pin. The pin locations for many of the 18 holes are tricky, especially when you consider the green complexes themselves. Elite putting skills is more important here than at most courses. Additionally, golfers will have to figure out how they want to hit their approach shots so that they give themselves the best putt possible.
- Last year’s 19-under par winning score from Patrick Cantlay was an exception. That was only the second time in the last 10 years that the winning score has been better than 16-under par. Last week’s winning score was 19-under, but the rough wasn’t as high, and the greens were slower, which led to better scores. Expect the winning score to be 14-to-16 under with a cut line around Even Par.
- The top-12 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings are all scheduled to tee it up this week.
Course Fit & Key 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 Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland, Abraham Ancer, Collin Morikawa, Paul Casey, Justin Thomas, Kevin Streelman, Jon Rahm, Daniel Berger, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The golfers that rate out the best in my customized recent form model (in ranked order) are Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Abraham Ancer, Patrick Cantlay, Ian Poulter, and Rory McIlroy. Among the golfers in this week’s field, Patrick Cantlay has the most consecutive made cuts on the PGA Tour with 16. Paul Casey is close behind with 15 straight made PGA cuts. Rory McIlroy (13), Ian Poulter (12), Abraham Ancer (12), and Bryson DeChambeau (10) are the only other golfers in this field that have a streak in the double digits. Xander Schauffele and Daniel Berger each are riding a cut streak of eight events. Viktor Hovland is the only golfer to make the cut in all five events since the restart.
Jack Nicklaus Designed Courses
When looking at the performances on Jack Nicklaus designed courses in the last three years, the following players have gained the most strokes on the field: Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Byeong Hun An, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, Kevin Streelman, and Gary Woodland.
Elite iron play and a strong approach game is important for most weeks, but it’s especially important at Muirfield Village. This is definitely a second-shot golf course. The greens are on the smaller side and tend to be undulating. The rough is generally grown up. These two factors contribute to the percentage of Greens-in-Regulation hit being lower than other Tour events. According to my customized model that measures short-and-long-term form for approach, proximity, and GIR, the 10 best golfers in this field (in ranked order) are Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Justin Thomas, Doc Redman, Emiliano Grillo, Abraham Ancer, and Patrick Cantlay. Six of the 10 golfers listed here for last week’s Workday Charity Open finished in the top-10, and three others made the cut!
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. There is variance from week to week, but these players are the best for a reason. Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, and Tyrrell Hatton are the only golfers in the world’s top-25 that are missing this event. The best ten golfers (according to OWGR) in this week’s field are Rory McIlroy (No. 1), Jon Rahm (No. 2), Justin Thomas (No. 3), Dustin Johnson (No. 4), Webb Simpson (No. 5), Brooks Koepka (No. 6), Bryson DeChambeau (No. 7), Patrick Reed (No. 8), Patrick Cantlay (No. 10), and Xander Schauffele (No. 11).
Favorite $11,000+ Plays
All the top-tier golfers are good plays this week. My final choice for my main lineup might be whichever guy has the lowest projected ownership. Rory is number one in the world, Bryson is the hottest golfer on the planet, and JT just lost on this same course in a playoff. Cantlay is the defending champion here, coming off a T7 last week. Rahm is the number two player in the world but is priced as only the sixth most-expensive golfer. Morikawa won on this course last week. Viktor Hovland is the only golfer to make the cut in all five events since the restart and finished third this past week. It’s hard to go wrong with any of these guys. The reality, though, is that I will probably end up playing more of Webb Simpson than anyone else.
Webb Simpson ($11,100)
I’m not sure that Webb wins this week, but at his price, I think that he has the “safest” path to return value in the 11K range. He will most likely be a core play for my cash and single-entry lineups. If he is projected for lower ownership, he will be a core part of my GPPs as well. I will mix and match the other 11K guys around him since FanDuel’s pricing usually allows two to three elite players in your lineups. Webb is the only golfer in the last 36 rounds that is ranked inside the top 10 in both SG: Putting and SG: Approach – two crucial areas here at Muirfield Village. Overall, he has made 20/21 PGA cuts and has seven top-10 finishes in his nine starts this season. He leads the FedEx Cup standings partially on the strength of his wins at the RBC Heritage and Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Favorite $10,000 Plays
Tiger Woods ($10,600)
Whenever the GOAT’s price is this low, he’s an auto-play for me. He has won five times on this course and finished ninth last year. There is no way I am betting against him at this low of a price point. He has made the cut in 21 of his last 23 PGA events. He has only played four times this season but has three top-10 finishes, including a win at the ZOZO. By the way, that win came after a two-month hiatus, so I’m not too worried about this week being his first event back after the restart. If you are looking for someone else in this price range, I will also be considering Hideki Matsuyama ($10,900) and Xander Schauffele ($10,800).
Daniel Berger ($10,200)
Just like Webb Simpson, Daniel Berger has been killing it lately with both his approach game and putting. In the last 24 rounds played, he ranks in the top-10 for both those statistical categories. Only Bryson DeChambeau has gained more total strokes and scored more fantasy points in the last 24 rounds than Berger. Berger has five straight top-10 finishes, including a win at the Charles Schwab. Overall, he has made 13/14 cuts, including eight in a row. Gary Woodland ($10,100) and Patrick Reed ($10,000) will also be golfers that I am playing in some of my GPP lineups.
Favorite $9,000 Plays
Overall, the 9K range has some bigger-name golfers (many of whom we’ve had no problem playing at much higher price points this season). I will have plenty of Justin Rose ($9,900), Jason Day ($9,800), Joaquin Niemann ($9,700), Paul Casey ($9,600), Sungjae Im ($9,500), Marc Leishman ($9,500), Jordan Spieth ($9,400), and Byeong Hun An ($9,100) in my MME lineups. This is an exciting range for me to mix and match. My favorite three plays in the 9K range, however, are Abraham Ancer, Kevin Streelman, and Ian Poulter.
Abraham Ancer ($9,900)
He has really started to come into his own since his strong performance at the President’s Cup. In the last 36 rounds played, he is fifth in total strokes gained and seventh in fantasy scoring. He is a strong ball-striker that is solid on the greens. Lately, it has seemed that he is so close to a major breakthrough. He has made 12 straight PGA cuts, including a T11 at the Travelers, runnerup at the RBC Heritage, and T14 at Charles Schwab since the restart. He is ninth in my customized approach model. Ancer has not been spectacular here, but he has made the cut each of the last two years.
Kevin Streelman ($9,300)
I love his price, as it dropped by $300 after he finished T7 at this same course last week! Streelman is like Bubba Watson in that there are certain courses he typically plays well at, and Muirfield Village is a course that fits his eye. His T7 last week was his third top-10 finish here in his last five starts. He is fourth in my customized Par-5 model, which is a key statistic here at Muirfield Village. He is seventh in my customized overall stat model, which is quite impressive considering the stacked field. He is a streaky boom-or-bust type golfer with either high finishes or real low/MC finishes. He was runner-up a couple of weeks ago at the Travelers and was also runner-up at Pebble Beach back in February.
Ian Poulter ($9,300)
His price only increased by $300 after a top-five finish last week on this course. The result gave him his 12th straight made cut on the PGA Tour, including four after the restart. He has six worldwide top-20 finishes this season. He seemed to make every putt last week as he gained nearly nine strokes on the green. We can’t expect that kind of brilliance again, but it should be noted that he is a great putter in general. His prowess with the flat stick and around the greens will come in handy this week again, especially with the greens being quicker. In the last 24 rounds played, he is 12th in fantasy scoring. He also plays well on the Par 5s, which comes in handy at Muirfield Village.
Favorite $8,000 Plays
Rory Sabbatini ($8,900)
His T17 last week was his third top-25 finish since the restart. It was also his sixth top-20 finish at Muirfield Village. Overall, he has made 11/13 cuts at Muirfield Village, including a runner-up finish way back in 2012.
Lucas Glover ($8,700)
He has played in four events since the restart and finished in the top 25 in all of them. He is an elite ball-striker, but his short game limits his upside. He has made the cut in each of his last six visits to Muirfield Village, but he has a best finish of 33rd.
Joel Dahmen ($8,300)
He disappointed a lot of DFS players last week with his MC, as he was owned in well over 20% of lineups. His price dropped $1,000 this week. Sign me up for this discount! Make no mistake; he was terrible last week as he lost three strokes to the field on approach in each of his two rounds. However, he had gained on approach in each of his previous six events. The last two times he has missed the cut, he finished T9 and T12 in the following events. Prior to his debacle last week, he was riding a streak of eight straight made PGA cuts. Overall, he has made 13/16 cuts this season, with eight top-20 finishes. Six of those top-20 finishes have come in his last nine starts. I am going to believe his tee-to-green game that we see each week rather than the one outlier last week (fingers crossed). Did I mention that I love his price this week?!?
Favorite $7,000 Plays
Steve Stricker ($7,000)
If you are looking for a punt play, I think Stricker stands a decent chance to make the cut, though PGA upside is limited at this stage in his career. He shot an opening-round 69 last week before eventually finishing T56. This gave the 2011 Memorial champion his 17th made cut in 18 events here at Muirfield Village. He did have a T22 last year at The Memorial. He also finished T6 here in 2014. He made the cut each of the last two weeks on the PGA Tour. Stewart Cink ($7,200) is my other strong consideration way down here at the bottom of the pricing scale after he finished T17 here last week. That was the 21st time in 23 starts at Muirfield Village that he had made the cut, including six top-10 finishes. Other players in this 7K range I am considering in my MME lineups include Bernd Wiesberger ($7,900), Mark Hubbard ($7,900), Jim Furyk ($7,800), Talor Gooch ($7,800), Henrik Norlander ($7,700), Jason Dufner ($7,700), Graeme McDowell ($7,400), Adam Long ($7,300), and Andrew Putnam ($7,000).
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.