Each week, “Chalk…or not?” looks at exclusive Tour Level Data and past trends to create a model that projects DraftKings ownership. The golfers with our highest projected ownership percentages and some other potentially low-owned golfers are then analyzed for you to give you a true ownership edge on the competition.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,500, 24.9 percent projected ownership): Hideki-bot is in the zone with no finish worse than 14th in his last five starts. His No. 1 ranking in Recent Form on our Cheatsheet has helped earn him the No. 6 Optimal Rating this week. Hideki’s Strokes Gained: Ball Striking have been off the charts in his recent run and I don’t see that slowing down this week. As noted in The Winning Element, “He’s a form golfer, and he’s in form. If he finds his putter — even just a little bit — he’ll win.
Jason Day ($9,700, 24.7 percent projected ownership): Hump is the president, secretary, and chairman of the Jason Day fan club. I was tweeting his wife trying to get invited to the after-party shortly after Day’s 66 on Friday at the PGA Championship! Predicting J-Day wins is kind of my #brand. I was heavily invested in him at 5.13 percent in the Milly Maker so I’m not about to jump ship now just because he’s chalk. I don’t want to throw the Hump-Hex on my boy, so I won’t predict a win here, but I will say: You’ll want this dude in your lineups come Sunday.
— Kelly McCann? (@Hump_Bumgardner) August 12, 2017
Dustin Johnson ($10,800, 26.6 percent projected ownership): Because it’s easier to jam DJ into a lineup this week than it is Hideki, I believe DJ will be the highest-owned among the $10,000 and up crowd. Johnson finally seems to be finding his form as he’s now posted back-to-back top-20 finishes in two elite fields: WGC: Bridestone Invitational and the PGA Championship.
Paul Casey ($9,000, 25.2 percent projected ownership): Casey is super consistent — he has finished 26th or better with five top-10s in his last 10 tournaments. That said, he seems to lack the chutzpah to finish off his opponents on Sunday. I’d like more upside in my GPP lineups, but he’s a perfect cash-game play as noted by the cash-game GOAT, @ScottiMac11 in this week’s Making The Cut.
Just a friendly reminder that last week I said this about my Fried Egg: “Hump’s been Henrik’d too many times to get all giddy about a chalky Stenson. That said, he’ll likely win the tournament while I regret fading him.” #Humpnostication at it’s finest.
Tony Finau ($7,300, 37.3 percent projected ownership): Holy cow the pricing robot at DraftKings hates Tony Finau. He’s been owned upwards of 30 percent with price tags of $9,100 and $9,500 this season and this week he’s $7,300. Finau has finished in the top-30 in seven of his last nine tournaments without missing a cut. I love Tony as much as the next guy, but if you’re making a limited number of lineups for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs), you might as well roll the dice and pivot. If Finau has a lackluster finish you have the chance of leaping over more than a third of the field.
Hump’s Hacks From The Deep Rough
If you’re feeling brave and do want to pivot off the aforementioned Finau, you could drop down to one of my favorite plays of the week: Rory Sabbatini. This dude has four top-25 finishes in his last five starts and last week at the Wyndham Championship — where he finished T4 and scored 112.5 DK points — Sabbatini didn’t shoot a round worse than 68. Sabbatini checks in with the No. 16 Optimal Rating on our Cheatsheet, thanks in part to showing up 23rd in our Key Rankings this week.
Not your typical hack from the deep rough but… another guy named Rory — Rory McIlroy should tee off with less than 10 percent ownership this week. Hump’s going with a prediction of 8.6 percent in the $4 20-max Fore tournament on DK. With that kind of ownership, playing a few Rory lineups is strongly advised.
Um, excuse me Hump, but have you gone mad? There is no way Rory McIlory will be owned under 10 percent is what you’re thinking. But Jason Day was owned at an average of less than five percent two weeks ago and this week, it’s my belief that McIlory will be owned similarly That said, McIlory does not come without risk this week: A couple of weeks ago he considered sitting out the rest of the season — some have speculated due to his lingering injuries — saying “I’m looking forward to 2018. The next big thing is April and that’s really what my focus will be on from now until then.”