The typical goal for PGA DFS is to have as many of your guys make the cut and hope for the best. There’s not a situation, barring injury, where you really need to worry about that in any other daily sport. The last few weeks have been tough in that regard. Chalky guys like Justin Thomas missed the cut last week, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day missed it the week before. Hopefully you listened last week, played Hideki Matsuyama, and made some money.
Looking ahead to this week, we have a 54-hole cut. The first 3 days will be played on one of the following courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. The fourth and final round will be the field’s second shot at Pebble Beach Golf Links. If history is any indication, accuracy on approach shots is going to be more important than bombing it off the tee.
The Clear Studs ($9,500+)
This tier consists of five players this week. Jordan Spieth ($12,000) is the cream of the crop this week. He’s on a streak of 9 consecutive Top-25 finishes and hits the second most greens behind out next player in the tier, Jason Day ($11,600). Last we saw Day, he was missing putt after putt on the way to not making the weekend. Day has been inconsistent due to injury in his last few starts and I’m not sure he completely puts it together this weekend.
Speaking of missed cuts at the Farmers Insurance Open, Dustin Johnson ($11,800) is playing again this week. Johnson has had 3 Top-5 finishes at this tournament since 2012. Brandt Snedeker ($10,000) finds himself in this price range this week. The 2-time winner at Pebble Beach has played well outside of his missed cut at the Sony Open. Last in the tier is Jon Rahm. Rahm is just two weeks removed from his first PGA victory and has earned the bonus on DraftKings in his last 6 starts. He comes in with a lot of momentum.
It’s difficult to miss with any of these top 5 guys, but if I had to fade one, it’d be Day. Even if I felt confident about his back (which I don’t), his putting at the Farmers was enough to scare me off of him. This is the week that Spieth breaks through for his first victory in a while.
Mid-Range Players ($7,500-$9,500)
Justin Rose ($9,200) and Phil Mickelson ($9,300) are must plays for me this week. Rose comes in off of 2 Top-4 finishes in his most recent starts. He hits the fifth most greens out of anyone in the field and has some of the best proximity stats in the PGA. If Rose’s current form isn’t good enough for you, he finished 6th in this tournament last year. Mickelson has always done well on the west coast swing of the tour. He’s had success with a victory here in 2012 and a runner-up finish last year. Mickelson also hasn’t been outside the Top-25 since early September of last year.
Webb Simpson ($8,200) will be popular this week after his runner-up finish in Scottsdale last weekend. In 2013, Simpson did have a T26 finish at this tournament. Simpson was 8th in strokes gained on approach shots last week. That part of his game will translate to success if he can carry it over to this week.
Jimmy Walker ($8,800) has not finished outside of 21st place in the last 5 years of this tournament, including a win in 2014. Walker is Top 10 in this field for strokes gained on approach shots and greens in regulation. His historical success here and his current form should lead to success this weekend.
As we head down to the under $8,000 range there are some players to consider. William McGirt ($7,500) is popping up in my model for this week despite his missed cut here in 2014 and 2016. He finished 21st in 2015 and 16th in 2013.
If you’re looking for a complete dart throw in a GPP, Stewart Cink is also popping in my model this week. Cink had a T21 finish here last year and finished in the Top 20 at the Farmers Insurance Open a few weeks ago.
Value Plays (Sub-$7,500)
Shane Lowry ($7,000) headlines the top of this tier for Pebble Beach. He’s one of the most mispriced players that we’ve seen on DK this year. He has the 24th best odds of winning according to Vegas but has the 61st highest salary. Lowry has made 8 straight cuts and hasn’t finished outside the Top-40 in his last 4 events.
Vaughn Taylor ($6,900) should be chalky this week as the defending champion. Taylor hasn’t been playing out of this world but he has 9 straight made cuts. He also had a Top 10 finish here in 2015. Taylor should be a relatively safe play considering his salary.
Stay up to date this week and every week by following me on Twitter @MattJonesTFR. Good luck this week.