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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: AT&T Byron Nelson (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
May 11, 2022
Scottie Scheffler

Following Max Homa’s second win of the 2022 PGA Tour at the Wells Fargo Championship during a cold and windy weekend in Potomac, Maryland, is the second annual AT&T Byron Nelson hosted at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. The course is much easier to navigate and produce birdies than the brutal terrain and layout at Avenel Farm this past weekend, holding Homa to eight-under-par to secure a two-stroke win. During its inaugural debut in 2021, 30-year-old South Korean K.H. Lee lit up TPC Craig Ranch with a blistering five to seven-under-par in each round, thanks to a phenomenal putter. Lee flaunted his putting, but he also converted his greens in regulation inside the top-five while also ranking inside the top 20 for scrambling.

The most notable news is the return of golf’s new darling, Scottie Scheffler. The 25-year-old Texan is ranked first in the FedExCup and first in OWGR after rattling off four victories, including his first Green Jacket at Augusta National during the 2022 Masters Tournament. Scheffler competed at Zurich, but he has not been in a solo event since donning the Green Jacket, so plenty of rest should give him an even bigger edge over the field of 156 during their return to the Dallas-Forth Worth area. Many talented players will be looking to get off to a hot start and drain birdies at one of the most rewarding and least challenging courses on the PGA Tour circuit.

I’ve narrowed the field to six high-value prospects to target when constructing DFS lineups ahead of Thursday morning’s opening round at TPC Craig Ranch. So let’s dive in and cash out!

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Previous Winners

  • 2021 – K.H. Lee (-25)
  • 2020 – N/A
  • 2019 – Sung Kang (-23)
  • 2018 – Aaron Wise (-23)
  • 2017 – Billy Horschel (-12)
  • 2016 – Sergio Garcia (-15)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Driving Distance
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Sand save percentage
  • Birdie average

Course Overview

TPC Craig Ranch begins with three consecutive par 4s that don’t stretch any longer than 466 yards but challenge with bentgrass greens located in blind spots from approach shots on the fairways. The course is a par 72 that runs to 7,468 yards, but it offers an equal blend of par 3s and par 5s to provide relief and scrambling opportunities for players throughout the weekend. Bermudagrass rough measures up to two and a half inches, and the bentgrass greens are a normal putting surface. This means players should not have difficulties adjusting to the slightly slower velocity at 11.5 feet per putt via the Stimpmeter.

Winds are always a factor in Texas, and TPC Craig Ranch is designed to usher in wind gusts that challenge drives, tee shots, and approach shots alike. Many par 4s obscure the bentgrass greens and have tiered surfaces that can deceive and dump errant approach shots. Water hazards become more prevalent on the back nine, especially at the par 4 14th and the par 3 15th holes. Slopes, hills, and tiered layers create the most frequent obstacles at TPC Craig Ranch. Last year, the course ranked fourth-easiest to save par and ranked seventh-easiest out of 51 courses played. This is good news for salary-saving options to return good value in DFS lineups, but it also means that three to four players will need to be ball-striking savants and elite putters to yield enough fantasy points to stay above the green winning threshold.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Scottie Scheffler ($10,900)
Ignore the salary and insert Scottie Scheffler into lineups as he returns from nearly a month off after winning The Masters. The 25-year-old Texas native will return to his home state at TPC Craig Ranch, where he yielded a T47 finish at 11-under-par in 2021. Several statistics justify rostering the best player in golf right now, including a fourth-ranked GIR percentage at 71.2 percent. In addition, Scheffler is a premier ball-striker, ranking ninth in total strokes gained and 20th in strokes gained putting. Finally, his 4.93 birdie average seals the deal for paying up to build a solid foundation in DraftKings lineups. Scheffler is favored to win at +1000, slightly ahead of Justin Thomas, so invest in the best and watch the points pile up.

Talor Gooch ($8,600)
Talor Gooch has been excellent the entire season and is now rounding into form, logging a T7 finish at Arnold Palmer and T14 during The Masters. The 30-year-old native of Oklahoma has four top-ten finishes and an impressive 11 finishes inside the top 25. You don’t have to worry about missed cuts with Gooch. He’s another talented ball-striker, ranking inside the top 25 in total strokes gained, tee-to-green, approaching the green, and around the green. Gooch leads the Tour in eagles with 15 and averages 4.24. birdies per round, meaning he can produce the necessary currency to win in DFS. Gooch also boasts a 70 percent GIR conversion rate, meaning his floor should be a top 25 finish and his ceiling a top ten finish at TPC Craig Ranch.

Aaron Wise ($8,100)
Aaron Wise won AT&T Byron Nelson back when it was hosted at Trinity Forest Golf Club in 2018, but he’s been playing a great brand of golf lately. The 25-year-old American is a native of Florida but has a T21 finish at RBC Heritage and a T6 finish at the inaugural Mexico Open at Vidanta. This season, Wise has made ten cuts in 14 solo events and has managed a top 25 finish or higher in nine of them. He’s amongst the best at converting his greens in regulation at over 70 percent and is ranked inside the top 36 in total strokes gained, tee-to-green, approaching the green, and off-the-tee. Wise is also equipped with a powerful driver, averaging 305.5 yards per attempt while averaging over four birdies per round. Wise is a fantastic value and salary-saving option during this slate on DraftKings, so fire him up and reap the rewards.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Will Zalatoris ($11,200)
Don’t let his stature fool you. 25-year-old Will Zalatoris burst onto the scene at Augusta National a year ago and hasn’t stopped impressing since. The Dallas native returns home and should have plenty of motivation to leverage his top-tier talent to secure his first win of the season finally. Zalatoris has a shaky putter, but he’s a phenom in ball-striking, ranking 11th or second in all strokes gained categories, excluding putting and around the green. 70.5 greens in regulation percentage, combined with a 4.2 birdie average, make the youngster an appealing prospect despite the high salary. A T17 finish at TPC Craig Ranch in 2021 is encouraging. So is a T6 at The Masters and four other top-ten finishes, making Zalatoris worth every penny ahead of one of the most birdie-friendly courses. Expect plenty of family and friends to turn out for support, motivating Zalatoris to rise the leaderboard en route to his first career win.

Tommy Fleetwood ($9,800)
Dipping into the prospects available at under $10,000 on FanDuel is wise. 31-year-old Englishman Tommy Fleetwood is among the undervalued players set to compete at TPC Craig Ranch this weekend. Fleetwood has one of the best putters on Tour, averaging .747 strokes gained putting to rank eighth. It’s always nice to have a reliable putting game, but TPC Craig Ranch is built for Fleetwood’s game. He should excel in the warm Texas winds this weekend, and he’s also gifted with his irons, ranking 22nd in total strokes gained and fourth in strokes gained around the green. This will be his first appearance at TPC Craig Ranch, but Fleetwood has finished inside the top 25 in every cut he’s made during the 2022 PGA Tour. In addition, his soft touch and accurate putter make Fleetwood a solid investment.

Maverick McNealy ($9,700)
The 26-year-old Californian, Maverick McNealy, is another affordable prospect with high upside at TPC Craig Ranch. It’s his first appearance at the course, but McNealy’s game is solid enough to counter the wind and slopes scattered throughout the North Texas terrain. McNealy averages 4.26 birdies per round and has an excellent putter and iron game. If there’s a weakness in his game, it’s the lack of touch around the green and his driver accuracy. However, with the friendly layout and the frequent opportunities to scramble and recover from errant shots, McNealy will have the tools necessary to climb the leaderboard in a talented field this weekend.

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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 a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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