PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: The Masters (2022)
It’s finally here. Yes, the 86th edition of The Masters Tournament will begin Thursday morning at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Expect a massive crowd and high-caliber performances from the star-studded field of 91 players. The last couple of weeks on the PGA Tour have been a respite for stars, while lower-ranked players have competed at smaller events, including a Match Play event at the WGC – Dell Technologies in Austin, Texas. The Valero Texas Open followed it, with 31-year old American J.J. Spaun earning his first win of the 2022 PGA season at TPC San Antonio, finishing 13-under-par. As a result, Spaun will be making his debut at Augusta National on Thursday, along with other winners of previous events such as Luke List and Talor Gooch.
Most notably, Tiger Woods will be competing for his sixth Green Jacket. The iconic superstar is 46 years old and has not competed in a PGA Tour event since drawing a T38 finish at the November 2020 edition of The Masters. Woods’ presence alone will elevate the energy and crowd size at golf’s most prestigious venue. Bubba Watson is the only other multiple Green Jacket winner who will be competing against Woods this weekend. The 43-year old alum of the University of Georgia has had a volatile season thus far. His last win at Augusta came in 2014, so betting on Woods over Watson is a better investment.
There are a lot of players who possess the skill set to produce birdies and climb the leaderboard at Augusta this weekend. I’ve done my best to narrow the field down to six of the best DFS prospects to target when constructing lineups ahead of Thursday morning. Here we go!
- 2021 – Hideki Matsuyama (-10)
- 2020 – Dustin Johnson (-20)
- 2019 – Tiger Woods (-13)
- 2018 – Patrick Reed (-15)
- 2017 – Sergio Garcia (-9)
- 2016 – Danny Willett (-5)
Relevant Betting Stats
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approaching the Green
- Greens in Regulation percentage
- Driving Distance
- Strokes Gained: Putting
Augusta National has had a few holes updated since last April, specifically on the 11th and 15th. It’s a stock par 72 that stretches to 7,475 yards. The Azaleas are in full bloom and should provide a lot of color alongside the tree-lined fairways and red mulch, creating a gorgeous backdrop at one of the PGA’s most demanding courses. There is an even distribution of par 3s and par 5s, four each and eight total, starting at the second hole and ending at the 16th hole. Several par 4s are lengthy, running just south of 500 yards, while the 11th hole par 4 tips just north at 505 yards.
Massive sand bunkers flank the greens, which are deceptively situated. As per tradition, the Stimpmeter, a tool used to measure the surface speed of putts, is banned from being used at Augusta National. Nevertheless, bentgrass greens are relatively common on the PGA Tour, so players with comfort and experience on this surface should have a leg up on the competition. Power and distance on tee shots are essential, but the ability to convert greens in regulation with the approach shot off the fairways will be the difference-maker.
The weather is expected to be mild in terms of temperature and precipitation. However, rain and wind could dampen the Bentgrass greens, slowing the Bentgrass greens to benefit less experienced players at Augusta. After the first two rounds, the cut line will be enforced, eliminating 41 players, while the winds and rain could play an additional factor. Those who make the cut should be treated to warmer, drier conditions on Saturday and Sunday.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Jon Rahm ($10,800)
Jon Rahm became a household name in 2021, as he finished second in the FedExCup rankings. The 27-year old Spaniard has some of the best irons on Tour, and he’s ranked first in Greens in Regulation (GIR) percentage at a blistering 75 percent conversion rate. In addition, Rahm averages 315 yards per drive, adding even more appeal to rostering the blue-chip prospect. However, if he does have an Achilles heel, he tends to struggle with putting and approaching the green, which is vital at Augusta. Nevertheless, you should feel highly confident in Rahm in DFS lineups, as he has four consecutive top-ten finishes at The Masters. In addition, he’s never fallen outside of the top 30 at Augusta, so pay up to acquire the strongest player on the slate.
Cameron Smith ($9,900)
The 28-year old Aussie has not competed since winning at The PLAYERS Championship back in mid-March, notching his second win of the season. Cameron Smith has been on fire at Augusta since 2018, drawing three top-ten finishes, including two inside the top-five. Smith has never missed the cut at The Masters and has stacked four top-ten wins in only seven solo events this season. He’s ranked second in total strokes gained and third in strokes gained putting, which will be tremendous assets to navigate the Bentgrass greens and doglegged fairways. Smith is averaging 5.58 birdies per round, which is the most on Tour. Since birdies are the most valuable currency in DFS, adding Smith at under $10,000 on DraftKings makes him the best value by a mile.
Will Zalatoris ($9,200)
Another player who made a lasting impression at The Masters in 2021 was 25-year old American Will Zalatoris. The thin-framed youngster packs a punch with his drives and tee shots, ranking ninth in driving distance at 310 yards per attempt. He’s equipped with great irons and is among the most accurate players in terms of strokes gained approaching the green, off-the-tee, and tee-to-green. Zalatoris nearly pulled off the win at Augusta but earned a second-place finish during his debut behind winner Hideki Matsuyama. Expect Zalatoris to be on his A-game with the bitter taste left in his mouth from 2021. He’s dipped a bit in his recent finishes (T26, T38, T26), but he’s shown an ability to climb the leaderboards in his fourth year as a Pro, earning three top-ten finishes. In addition, Zalatoris is cheap and, therefore, a great value due to the talent he possesses and the confidence from his strong debut a year ago at Augusta.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000
Tony Finau ($9,800)
It’s been a bit of a disappointing season for Tony Finau, but he’s delivered a lot of solid finishes at Augusta National. The 32-year old American has three top-ten finishes in his last four appearances at The Masters, which makes him an intriguing prospect to consider inserting at under $10,000 on FanDuel. Finau delivers birdies at a pretty good clip this season, averaging 4.31 per round. He’s also very skilled at converting greens in regulation, averaging over a 70 percent conversion rate. Regarding Finau’s irons, he’s inside the top 50 for strokes gained off-the-tee and tee-to-green. However, his best is reserved for strokes gained approaching the green. A recent T29 finish at Valero indicates that Finau may be back in rhythm after missing three cuts across four events from late January to early March. Due to his previous success and current momentum after a lackluster winter, investing in Finau is wise.
Corey Conners ($9,300)
30-year old Canadian Corey Conners has had a lot of success at The Masters in recent years. This is why he’s one of my favorite value prospects on this slate. Conners has five top-25 finishes in 12 events this season and is a top-three GIR converter, averaging 73 percent. His strength is his irons, which is what Augusta National demands. Conners ranks inside the top 25 in strokes gained off-the-tee, tee-to-green, and total strokes gained. He also can consistently produce birdies, averaging 4.1 per round, which is the most lucrative statistic to follow in DFS lineups. Looking at Conners and his success at Augusta, one realizes that he’s yielded consecutive top-ten finishes, finishing eighth in 2021 and tenth in 2020. It’s for these reasons that Conners has a lot of DFS appeal. Plug him into lineups at a fraction of the cost and watch the points pile up.
Tiger Woods ($8,800)
Tiger Woods opting to enter the field of 91 at Augusta means you have to invest in the superstar. Yes, he has not competed since his last appearance at The Masters in November 2020, during which he yielded a T39 finish. Amid a lot of controversy off the course and extenuating circumstances, the 46-year old American is ready to compete for his sixth Green Jacket. He’s still listed as a game-time decision due to a lower-leg injury. However, it would be shocking to see Woods withdraw with less than 24 hours until the opening round. Woods has won five Masters throughout his career, including his iconic comeback effort during the final round in 2019, where he finished 13-under-par. In a field where several players are making their Augusta National debut, Woods’ experience and confidence are his best weapons on the course. Barring any health setbacks, adding Woods into FanDuel lineups at under $9,000 is an incredible value that will only serve as a net positive once Sunday concludes.
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 a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.