FanDuel PGA Lineup Advice: Workday Charity Open (2020)
The PGA heads to Dublin, Ohio, for the Workday Charity Open this weekend, and there are only six golfers priced at $11,000 or above on FanDuel for the tournament. FanDuel provides DFS players with a salary cap of $60,000 to select six golfers for an average roster spot of $10,000. Justin Thomas ($12,000) is the only golfer priced in the 12K range. Jon Rahm ($11,800), Patrick Cantlay ($11,700), Brooks Koepka ($11,500), and Hideki Matsuyama ($11,300) 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. 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 first of two straight PGA events held at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio (just outside of Columbus). This is a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
- 156 golfers are scheduled to tee it up this week with the top 65 (and ties) making the cut.
- There will be some minor tweaks to the course so that it is not worn out for next week’s Memorial Tournament. Depending on the setup with tee boxes being moved, the Par 72 course will play between 7,300 and 7,400 yards.
- The bentgrass greens should be slow this week as they are being set up at an 11 on the stimpmeter. They are usually set at 13 (or even faster).
- 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 Muirfield Village that are scheduled to play this week include Patrick Cantlay (2019), Jason Dufner (2017), Hideki Matsuyama (2014), Matt Kuchar (2013), Steve Stricker (2011), Justin Rose (2010), K.J. Choi (2007), Jim Furyk (2002), and Vijay Singh (1997).
- 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.
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 Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama, Harold Varner, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Streelman, Joel Dahmen, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, and Corey Conners.
The golfers that rate out the best in my customized recent form model (in ranked order) are Joel Dahmen, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele, Mark Hubbard, Harold Varner, Collin Morikawa, Sungjae Im, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Patrick Cantlay, and Patrick Reed. Among the golfers in this week’s field, Patrick Cantlay has the most consecutive made cuts on the PGA Tour with 15. Ian Poulter (11) is the only other golfer in this field that has a streak in the double digits. Joel Dahmen (9), Xander Schauffele (7), J.B. Holmes (6), Jordan Spieth (6), Viktor Hovland (5), and Jhonattan Vegas (5) have made at least five straight cuts on the PGA Tour.
The golfers in this field that have made at least 85% of their cuts this season include Ian Poulter (100%), Patrick Cantlay (100%), Collin Morikawa (93%), Adam Hadwin (91%), Marc Leishman (91%), Xander Schauffele (91%), Jordan Spieth (91%), Sungjae Im (89%), Matthew Fitzpatrick (89%), Joel Dahmen (87%), Jon Rahm (87%), J.B. Holmes (86%), and Hideki Matsuyama (85%).
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 total strokes (in ranked order): Patrick Cantlay, Byeong Hun An, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Jamie Lovemark, Russell Henley, Sungjae Im, Justin Rose, and Ryan Palmer.
Shots Gained: Approach
The greens are on the smaller side and tend to be undulated. The rough is generally grown-up (though it’s likely that it will be shorter than usual this week and then back to normal length next week). These two factors contribute to the percentage of Greens-in-Regulation hit being lower than other Tour events. 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 Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Gary Woodland, Corey Conners, Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Henley, Emiliano Grillo, Joaquin Niemann, Justin Thomas, and Patrick Cantlay.
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 weekly variance, but these players are the best for a reason. Ten of the world’s top-20 best golfers are playing this week, including Jon Rahm (No. 2), Justin Thomas (No. 5), Brooks Koepka (No. 6), Patrick Cantlay (No. 8), Patrick Reed (No. 9), Xander Schauffele (No. 11), Justin Rose (No. 13), Marc Leishman (No. 16), Matt Kuchar (No. 18), and Gary Woodland (No. 19).
Favorite $11,000+ Plays
Patrick Cantlay ($12,200)
The defending champion at the Memorial was also fourth here in 2018. The world’s eighth-ranked golfer has only played once since the shutdown but was T11 at the Travelers. He hasn’t missed a cut on the PGA Tour since the 2019 PLAYERS Championship. His game is strong in every area. He is my preferred play in this range, but if he ends up being popular, I’m okay with pivoting to any of the other golfers priced around him as they are all solid plays as well. For my higher-priced contests, I may end up just playing the golfer with the lowest projected ownership.
Favorite $10,000 Plays
Viktor Hovland ($10,900)
In the last 12 rounds, nobody has scored more fantasy points than Hovland. During that time, he also ranks first in SG: T2G and SG: BS. Even though his putter has been letting him down, he is still showing up on leaderboards. His amazing tee-to-green performance keeps him in tournaments, but he’ll need a decent putting week if he is to replicate his win in Puerto Rico back in February. He has made the cut in all four events since the shutdown with a T12 last week and a T11 the week before. He is a talented grinder that doesn’t seem to get rattled by any situation or big moment. I see him contending for a win this week.
Justin Rose ($10,800)
I like Rose to bounce back here after his surprise missed cut at the Travelers. He was T14 at the RBC Heritage and T3 at the Charles Schwab prior to that. The 2010 Memorial champion has also experienced recent success here, as he finished T13 last year, T6 in 2018, and runner-up in 2015.
Collin Morikawa ($10,600)
He missed the cut in his last event, snapping a streak of 22 straight events. He hadn’t missed a cut as a professional! We don’t know how he’ll respond to that, but he took last week off, so he’s had plenty of time to get over it. He is an elite ball-striker that should be suited for this course. In the last 36 rounds, he is second in SG: Ball-Striking, second in SG: Approach, and third in SG: Tee-to-Green. He did have a runner-up finish at the Charles Schwab just a few weeks ago and was T9 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational right before the shutdown. He offers both consistency and upside at this price.
Favorite $9,000 Plays
Kevin Streelman ($9,600)
Overall, I really like the 9K price range and will be doing a lot of mixing and matching in my MME contests. As for Streelman, he is not always the most consistent player, but he is always a possibility to shoot the low round for the day. He has some good course history here going 4-44-13-8-18 in the last five years. He is second in my customized Par-5 model, which is a key statistic here at Muirfield Village. Overall, he is sixth in my customized stat model. He runnerup in his last event (the Travelers). I also like Gary Woodland ($9,900), Adam Hadwin ($9,900), Byeong Hun An ($9,700), and Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,700) in this price range.
Harold Varner ($9,300)
I will continue to ride HV3 as long as he is in this price range. He is doing everything right other than hitting putts. He is not necessarily putting poorly; he is just “meh” with the flat stick. HV3 is going to win a golf tournament one of these days, and I want to be there when he does. He has been hitting the ball great for months now but just has not been able to put together a good putting week. He has made the cut in six of his last seven events. He missed the cut here last year but finished T19 in 2017. In the last 36 rounds played, he is top 10 in SG: T2G, SG: APP, and SG: BS. The only thing holding him back has been six straight events of losing strokes with his putter.
Joel Dahmen ($9,300)
Dahmen is on a streak of eight straight made PGA cuts. He has made 13/15 cuts this season, with eight top-20 finishes. Six of those top-20 finishes have come in his last eight events. During the last 36 rounds (nine events), only Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm have gained more total strokes than has Dahmen. His strong tee-to-green and ball-striking game, combined with his recent form, makes him a strong play this week. He made the cut last year in his only start at Muirfield Village.
Ryan Armour ($9,000)
He comes into this tournament on fire with a T6 at the Travelers and a T4 last week at the Rocket Mortgage. If you just look at those last eight rounds of golf, nobody in this field has gained more total strokes or scored more fantasy points than Armour. He is an absolute value play based on the form he has coming in with this low of a price. When you consider that he’s finished T22 and T23 here in the last two years, he will be a core play for me this week.
Ian Poulter ($9,000)
He has made 11 straight PGA cuts, three of which have come after the shutdown. He probably doesn’t have winning upside, but he’s a strong bet to finish in the top 20, which is very good at this price point. He has five worldwide top-20 finishes this season, including T14 at the RBC Heritage a few weeks ago. In the last 36 rounds played, he is 10th in fantasy scoring, and 13th in total strokes gained. He will be a core play in my cash, single-entry, and three-max lineups this week. He is third in my Par-5 model, which is an important statistic at Muirfield Village.
Favorite $8,000 Plays
Maverick McNealy ($8,900)
His T8 last week made him three-for-three in made cuts since the shutdown and 13 out of his last 14 events. In the last 24 rounds played, he is fourth in total strokes gained on the course. He is not bad from tee-to-green, but he is strong around the greens and with the flat stick. He also rates out 11th in my Nicklaus course model. In the 2020 calendar year, he has four top-15 finishes. I also really Russell Henley ($8,800) and Brian Stuard ($8,700).
Max Homa ($8,600)
In the last 24 rounds played, he ranks seventh in total strokes gained and 13th in fantasy scoring. He has a strong game from tee-to-green, and we hope that the slower greens will negate his shaky game around the green. He finished T37 here last year. He has made the cut in 10 of his last 12 events, including three top-10 finishes during that time. I also like Mark Hubbard ($8,500) and MacKenzie Hughes ($8,400) in this price range.
Favorite $7,000 Plays
Steve Stricker ($7,100)
I don’t normally play many players in the 7K range, but the guy that I am intrigued with the most (and plan on having in my player pool) is Steve Stricker. The 2011 Memorial champion has made the cut 16 of the 17 times he has played Muirfield Village., including a T22 last year. He also finished T6 here in 2014. He made the cut last week at the Rocket Mortgage. He probably doesn’t have top-10 upside anymore, but he will definitely be someone I consider for my three-max lineups this week because I think he can make the cut at this price. Other players in this 7K range I am considering include Adam Long ($7,800), Matthew NeSmith ($7,700), Russell Knox (7,600), Matt Jones ($7,500) K.H. Lee ($7,300), and Jamie Lovemark ($7,000).
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.