The Winning Element
This is where we blend the tour level content with tour level data, mix in human element factors to generate this Week’s top 25 leaderboard. Instead of trying to do the impossible and place every golfer in their respective finishing position, we’ve grouped them into their most likely spots with our final piece of written content each week.
Last Weeks Results:
Cuts: 18 of 26
Top 10’s: 5 including both 2nd place finishers
Last week’s Winner Picked- No
The Players Leaderboard
1-5 Most Likely to Win
Adam Scott (40/1 DK-$8,400 FD-$9,300) He stays at the top of the board this week. We know Scott plays a limited schedule, but he does it in such a way that makes him peak for the most important one’s. This one fits that bill. The Tour Level team was out following him today and boy he looked really good. Holing out a shot from 110 yards, and then from a greenside bunker immediately after, Scott seemed to have total control of his golf ball. If he can get the putter going, he’s got a great shot to win. Interesting note: He didn’t actually hit any of the putts from where his approach stopped. Instead he picked it up and religiously practiced from key spots around the green and off the green. His entourage of 4 people, ensured a regimented and focused practice routine throughout. Easily the most intensely focused practice round we witnessed, Scott is ready to win!
Rory McIlroy (10/1 DK-$11,200 FD- $10,500) It was a lot of fun to follow Rory around for a couple of holes today. I wouldn’t read much into the driver he hit into the water on 18, because I think it was just to test his aim point. He dropped another ball and hit this 1 iron he put in the bag for this week, and piped out there 290. I expect this to be a big time weapon for him this week, as a similar approach landed J-Day the trophy last year. Rory was also very relaxed and interacting with the crowd well, wedding swag was in full effect.
Jordan Spieth (12/1 DK- $10,800 FD- $9,700) His CH is rather spotty, and inconsistent, with 2mcs and a 4th. Last year it was his first appearance after the debacle at the Masters, so i’m not surprised he missed the cut, but it seems like he’s in a total different place mentally this year. He’s cut his schedule way back to again try and peak for the big tournaments, which is a much more veteran type of approach, much different than the first few years on tour. He had a chance at back to back eagles on 11 and 12 when we were following him around on Tuesday, and if that’s any indication of how he’s hitting the ball, it could set up for a great week for Mr. Spieth.
Kevin Kisner (50/1 DK-$7,700 FD- $8,300) An MC last week doesn’t make Team Tour Level nervous. If you joined “The Edge” periscope last week Bowdo mentioned that Kisner wasn’t there all week leading up to the tourney, which means he probably wasn’t adequately prepared. This week is much different. With 2 starts here, a MC and a 2nd, we expect to see the latter this weekend.
Hideki Matsuyama (20/1 DK-$9,700 FD- $9,600) #HidekiBot is coming back to TPC Sawgrass having improved every time he has played since 2014 (23/17/7). While we don’t have any form the past few weeks, his 11th at the Masters and his near hole out at 17 today are a pretty good indicator he is in good form and ready to improve on his 7th last year with a win this year. Hideki has been at the top of my overall model over at Tour Level Data on The Tour Model Builder, since the beginning of the week and not much has changed and not much has changed. This course is going to demand a bit of distance and quality ball striking to succeed as it drys out the landing spots will get smaller to hold the greens. Deki could hit a dime from 195 yards and is very good around the greens at 13th, a crucial area this week as the course firms up.
6-10 Outside Chances
Henrik Stenson (33/1 DK-$9,000 FD-$9,000) If you read our new article put out by our new writer Kelly McCann the “Chalk… or not?” report showcased Stenson under Bowdo’s pick from down undah. Coming out of a really tough spirit, in a full field, he will go completely overlooked. It’s only a matter of time before we start to Stenson round into form, and this could be the week to create a great advantage of the good odds and low ownership.
Pat Perez (80/1 DK-$8,100 FD- $6,800) A T2 last week, and a really great Sunday, gives us no reason to take him off the list. A strong field will make it tougher for him to sneak into that position like he did last week, but we don’t expect any drop off in his game.
Paul Casey (40/1 DK- $8,300 FD- $8,800) Well his 70-125 game as mentioned in the “Against the Grain” DK article Casey lost a couple strokes to the field. One glaring mistake was his double from the middle of the fairway 70 yards out. If he fixes that up, his elite ball striking will prevail at Sawgrass. There were some rumors he has a case of Turf Toe, but that shouldn’t really affect him to much.
Francesco Molinari (50/1 DK- $7,700 FD $7,600) Holding the lead for much of the tournament, Molinari faded back on Sunday. Still, his game seems to be in form and comes back to Sawgrass where he has a pretty good record, making 3/6 cuts. Every cut he’s made Molinari has finished inside the top 10. Always under-owned in a full field, Francesco provides some nice upside this week.
Martin Kaymer (61/1 DK- $7,300 FD $8,500) The best value on DK by far this week. Last week we saw something very similar in Alex Noren, and I think your risk going Kaymer at this price is very minimal (at least on DK.) He’s 8/8 in his last 8 tries here at TPC Sawgrass, and a winner in 2014. The price and upside is way to good to ignore, no matter what his project ownership is. For more ownership projections click here!
Jason Day (25/1 DK-$10,000 FD $10,300) Defending champ comes into the players playing his first event since “The Masters” where he managed to sneak into the top 25. Eventually his game will round into the world class form that he has. If its this week he could end up going back to back. However, he has missed the cut here a handful of times so if the game is off, a MC could be a real possibility.
Rickie Fowler (22/1 DK- $9,300 FD $9,400) Fowler fresh of SB2k17 comes back to Ponte Vedra, where he will look to relive the glory he found in 2015. Often times referred to as one of the best 9 holes ever played, Fowler also has a runner up finish to go along with that first in 2015(also a sprinkling of MCs). Hey also, he got an ace on 17 today… If that’s any indication of how he’s hitting the ball, watch out for him to make a run for his second Players in 3 years.
11-25 Long Shots
Jon Rahm (20/1 DK- $9,600 FD- $10,100) Listen, RahmGOAT is a superstar. He will reach number 1 in the world, but his first trip to Sawgrass we don’t see him cracking the top 10 this week. However for DFS purposes he’s still a fine play, as he’s a point machine. If he was ever going to miss the cut, it might be this week.
Daniel Berger (81/1 DK- $7,300 FD- $7,300) This is the price range we are much more comfortable with Berger. Coming off a marginal week last week in NC, Berger’s SG BS looked to be above his baseline by a pretty decent amount. That signals to us that he could be rounding into form, and at this price, you can’t really get to hurt rostering him.
Robert Streb (300/1 DK-$7,000 FD- $5,800) Bowdo highlighted Streb in his “ picks from down undah” as a golfer that is really starting to strike the ball well. His SG T2G was +1.7 last week vs the field, which is way over his baseline. This is a big time signal that Streb is very close to a big finish. A 30th here back in 2015, he’ll be improving on that this year.
Charl Schwartzel (80/1 DK$7,100 FD- $7,100) Charl, a world class player, priced probably as the second best value on DK. He’s made his last 4 cuts here, but no finish better than 24th. However he’s coming off a third place finish at Augusta so he seems to understand when he needs to peak, and it looks like he’s done just that. We expect a top 25 at the very least for him this week.
Ryan Moore (80/1 DK-$7,000 FD- $7,500) We are riding the hot form train with Moore, his course history doesn’t suggest he has the game to take advantage of TPC Sawgrass, his form says otherwise. Nothing in particular jumps out with his improved form statistically, but what is meaningful is that across the board he is playing above his ytd averages in strokes gained categories. When a guy is ON they are just ON and Moore should be ON again this week.
Emiliano Grillo (100/1 DK- $7,000 FD- $6,400) Grillo has the type of game that should be able to succeed at Sawgrass, straight with good irons. Sounds like the strength of every other world class ball striker, Grillo is just that. His strokes gained approach are a tick above his already good ytd average, only needing to bring around his putting to put together some low rounds. His MC and experience last year should help him a lot as he looks to improve and take advantage of his strengths that propelled him to a solid finish at the Arnold Palmer earlier this year. Look for Grillo to work on his around the green game and putter to have it ready to go this week and capitalize on his improved ball striking.
Seyung Yul Noh (150/1 DK-$6,700 FD- $5,700) This guy lit up the stat categories that I’m focused on this week, last week at eagle point. He ranked third in scrambling, and in the top 10 in two different key approach yardages. A great way to diversify your lineup for the expected $6,800 chalk level. He struggles with short putt’s believe it or not, and missed a few last week. Had he had made them, he might of just won the tournament. Look for the good form to continue this week as he makes his fourth trip to TPC Sawgrass. 2/3 in his first 3.
Smylie Kaufman (200/1 DK-$6,900 FD- $5,400) Smylie has found some control with his irons of late and seems to be rounding back into the kind of form he is capable of when he took home his first victory. Coming off his 5th place at Eagle Point, Smylie improved more than a stroke over his ytd average is strokes gained ball striking and it was on display last week. He will use that to his advantage this week to attack TPC Sawgrass but should he miss a few greens this week, Smylie is also out performing his YTD averages in strokes gained around the green as well.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (100/1 DK- $7,000 FD- $6,500) Big talent is wrapped in this little package and Fitz can flat out play. His recent MC at the RBC is disappointing and his MC last year isn’t confidence inspiring however, his 32nd at the Masters in a very difficult field is intriguing. Fitz has the kind of ball striking game needed around Sawgrass. His experience gained last year should help him make the cut and surge on the weekend as the course drys out and plays more into his hands.
Brendan Grace (87/1 DK- $6,600 FD- $7,500) Grace displayed some impressive Tee 2 Green game at the Valero and was struggling to figure out his putter a bit as the week wore on. We know Grace is dialed in with his approaches as plays well on less than driver courses, with a less than stellar course history here it is consistent nonetheless with 3 made cuts and finished outside top 40. That should change this year as Grace is in good form and spent some additional time playing the front 9 alone after his practice with Rory/Sergio strictly working on his putting and I saw him drop a few and look pleased with his efforts. Grace should finish better than his previous attempts here this week.
Ben Martin (285/1 DK- $6,600 FD- $5,000) Coming in hot from his 18th at the Well’s Fargo, Martin is primed to repeat his top 5 performance in 2015 at this tournament. His surge at Well’s last week was largely due to his improved irons and approach game, coupled with a steady increase in his strokes gained around the green, my two most important stats this week. Add in his knowledge and ability to perform in this kind of field at this track makes great play to see the weekend leader board once again this week.
Brooks Koepka (35/1 DK- $8,600 FD- $8,400) Brooks displayed some incredible game as he surged through the field at Valero with and incredible strokes gained approach game. Shockingly his strokes gained off the tee were only slightly above his ytd average. Just goes to show how important ball striking really is. Brooks is ready to shine on the big stage this week with his approach game and aggressive style of play around what isnow a more bomber friendly layout at TPC Sawgrass.
Justin Thomas (28/1 DK- $8,900 FD- $9,100) Looking for his first victory in the contiguous US, JT would love nothing more than to one up his good buddy Rickie Fowler this week and hoist the crystal. JT has state that he really loves this tournament and his history reflects that as well with his only 2 starts going for a 24th and then a 3rd. JT’s is long and aggressive but has really improved on his big mistakes this year and allowing him to capitalize with more birdie looks. J
Zach Johnson (100/1 DK- $7,200 FD- $7,800) Zachy J is starting to find his game again and he flashed it a bit last week at Eagle Point by out performing his ytd average in strokes gained approach by more than a full stroke. ZJ’s iron game is getting close while his course history here is borderline elite, not having missed a cut in the last 8 attempts with 6 top 25’s. Major winning talent, rounding into form on a course he likes…yes please.
Dustin Johnson (7/1 DK-$12,000 FD- $11,200) He’s the number one in the world, so we can’t keep him off the list. However we put him in this category because we don’t think his game is quite back to 100%, and in a full field, we feel he’ll fall a bit behind. He’s never had a top 25 here, at least not in the past 8 years, so it goes to a little more reason why he’s not hire. Honestly he probably should be in the “Heel Bleeders” section as he also hasn’t missed a cut here.
A new section this week, as these are golfers that probably won’t hurt you, but won’t help you either. Just like hitting your driver of the heel, and having it bleed left or right a bit, but not much, we expect these golfers to all make the cut, but not contend this weekend.
- Matt Kuchar
- Jason Dufner
- Patrick Reed
- Patrick Cantlay
- Sergio Garcia
The Power Fade Report:
Each week, it seems that a singular player, and often a highly-owned one sinks a perfect lineup, so our bad chalk report is here to help. We are going to bring you some additional value by helping to identify a player that projects to be highly owned but has the potential to let those that roster him down with a possible MC or a lackluster performance for one reason or another.
Alex Noren (105/1 DK $6,800 FD: $7,100) : Playing at a high level recently but taking a turn for the worse early in Sunday’s final round at the Wells Fargo, suspicion is that he may have injured himself a bit on a shot. According to Nick Faldo who commentated on the shot, his initial feeling after was he tweaked something. From that point on he steadily declined throughout the round. Couple that with the fact that he has never played this course, makes it tough to endorse Noren this week, so he makes the powerfade category since some of the public will be on him since last week.
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