At Tour Level, our one and only goal is to help you make the best informed decisions you can make, and hopefully along the way, help you to earn a little profit. All of our content is geared toward providing information that will help you make all your fantasy golf and wagering decisions in the best way you possibly can. The Winning Element goes up and down the odds and salary list, and gives our favorite plays from each price to odds ratio.
Last Week’s Results: Hey! We had 100% last week…but it was a no cut event so that’s not something to really write home about. We had four in the top-10 and 10 in the top-25. Not bad results, but after five straight weeks of picking the winner our run ends. Just in time for us to start a new streak!
The Winning Element
PGA Championship Player Focus:
*Note this article highlights our favorite plays in each tier. If the player is not listed, that does not mean we are recommending fading them, we just simply don’t see them as our play in their respective price category. Players are listed numerical from our favorite play to just some of our favorites.
Criteria qualifications: Must meet 2/3
- DraftKings: 12,000-8,999 —11 Possibilities
- Fan Duel: 11,000-7,999 —12 Possibilities
- Odds: Better than 40/1 — 10 Possibilities
- Hideki Matsuyama (12/1 DK-$10,500 FD-$8,800): If history is any indication as to what’s going to happen this week, then Hideki could run away with it — just as he did last week. We won’t make the same mistake we did last week and not include him on this list, but more importantly, he’s the top play of the week. Hidek’s the hottest golfer on tour with an incredible amount of top 10’s in his last 20 starts…It’s beyond incredible actually: He’s notched five top-15s in his last seven starts. I think he gets over the hump and becomes the first Japanese player to win a major…Ever.
- Rory McIlroy (7/1 DK-$11,800 FD-$10,300): Rory heads back to Quail Hollow where he’s had tremendous history. That fact and his improving form make him the odds on favorite to win, and give him the highest salary on FanDuel. McIlroy will take his strong SG: Off The Tee (OTT) game — where he gained over 1.5 strokes last week — to try and help him earn another major, while preventing Spieth from the career grand slam. His SG: Approach (APP) will need to improve if he expects to win this week — as he lost strokes to the field last week — and that’s probably why you didn’t see him atop the Bridgestone Invitational last week.
- Jordan Spieth (9/1 DK-$11,800 FD-$10,200): A rather lackluster week for Spieth, even with managing a T13. He just couldn’t quite sustain any runs, and struggled Around the Green (ARG), which is very, very unlike him. I don’t expect that trend to continue this week in North Carolina, where he’s only come once before — back in 2013, when he placed 32nd. Obviously Spieth would love to become the youngest golfer ever to complete the career grand slam, and his game couldn’t be in better form to do just that. Let’s see if he can keep up with the two guys above to capture the Wanamaker.
- Rickie Fowler (16/1 DK-$10,700 FD-$9,500): A wonderful finishing 66 holes for Pretty Rickie last week at the Bridgestone. He started +4 and finished the tournament at -7, so he played the last 66 holes in -11… Only Mats beat him there. Rickie will look to carry that strong form into a place that he’s found success at in the past as he searches for that elusive first major title.
Those are our top four plays for this category… We recommend fading Justin Rose in this price category, but the following is how we view the rest of the criterion: Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson
Criteria qualifications: Must meet 2/3
- DK: 8999-8,000 —7 possibilities
- FD:7999-7000 —11 possibilities
- Odds: 40/1 -60/1 — 11 possibilities
- Daniel Berger (55/1 DK-$-7,700 FD-$7,100): For the second week in a row, Berger heads the high-end value section. He may be one of the highest owned guys on DK because of his pricing being quite soft, but sometimes YOU NEED TO EAT CHALK, and Berger set’s up very similarly to the way Kuchar did heading into the British. He had a great interview last night on @golfchannel and positivity and confidence was oozing out of him, while he talked about his kinship that he has with this golf course. He’s one huge finish/win from being talked about in the same sentence as Thomas and a couple wins away from Spieth…(probably a few more than a couple) He also has some experience here at Quail Hollow, finishing T17th and T28th in his only two trips here.
- Justin Thomas (44/1 DK-$8,900 FD-$7,400): These two guys don’t change position from last week. JT seemed to finally find something, at least with his approach shots, as our Cheatsheet points out. He gained 1.541 strokes on approach last week. It was also encouraging to see that he gained strokes of the tee (0.372) as well! This simply means, he couldn’t make enough putts last week to keep him in contention. If he gets that right this week, watch out.
- Paul Casey (45/1 DK-$7,800 FD- $7,600): Very similar to Danny Berger, I suspect both guys will be near the 30% owned on DK because of their salaries…Casey could go even higher. His recent form isn’t quite as good as Matsuyama’s, because he has no wins, but in his last eight starts his worst finish is 26th. If that’s not consistent then I don’t know what is. It’s not if, it’s where you’d like to EAT CHALK and Casey wouldn’t be a bad choice to do so.
- Phil Mickelson (55/1 DK-$8,500 FD- $7,500): PHIL! A little pricey on DK, Phil comes here with one of the best — probably second best behind Rory — course histories. Especially when you consider recent history: Phil has three finishes of fourth or better in his last four trips, and his worst finish in that run was an 11th in 2014. As it often happens with Phil, he has a bunch of top-5s here, but no win. His form isn’t where we’d want it to be to go out and say Phil could contend, but he’s playing good enough to rack up DK points!
- Adam Scott (40/1 DK-$8,600 FD-$8,400): Baby-Mama-Drama: His wife is pregnant…very pregnant. That’s the only reason he’s not above Phil…If she goes into labor, Scott goes into withdrawal mode — no matter what place he’s in. Scott has not been able to get his putter going this year, and that’s the sole reason he hasn’t entered the winner’s circle yet. If and when it clicks, he’s got a chance to win any golf tournament on any course. Speaking of courses, he came in 17th here last at the Wells Fargo.
Criteria qualifications: Must meet 2/3
- DK: 7999-7000 —23 possibilities
- FD: 6999-6000 — 14 possibilities
- Odds: 66/1- 125/1 — 18 possibilities
- Thomas Pieters (40/1 DK-$7,500 FD-$6,800): I’m sure Hideki’s domination on Sunday took a lot of the wind out of Pieters sails…But he’s in form and can definitely compete on the world’s biggest stage. Now I don’t know if he can win on that stage yet, but I know he can compete. A guy priced at 7500 and 6800 with tons of chalk around him, he shouldn’t get above 20% here. Expect Pieters to be around come late Sunday afternoon.
- Tony Finau (90/1 DK-$7,000 FD-$7,000): DFS darling Finau comes into Quail Hollow on a high! A T5 at the RBC Canadian Open gave him all the confidence he needs to come and try and contend for his first major. His length will certainly help him as the course will be playing quite a bit longer than in years past. Speaking of years past, Finau holds a 2-2 Record here at Quail hollow placing 28th and 16th.
- Kevin Kisner (90/1 DK-$7,000 FD-$6,200): Some on twitter over the past few days have made mention of this: Kisner was everyone’s favorite about a month and a half ago… Now he comes into the PGA barley being talked about, and is actually in some pretty decent form! With other guys at 7K like Kevin Chappell, Ian Poulter, and Tony Finau he could go under-owned on both sites. Also, at 90/1 this guy can absolutely contend and play with the best of them, and represents some really great value.He gained minimal strokes off the tee and just over half a shot in his approaches last week. Lastly he’s 2-5 here placing 38th and 6th in his two made cuts, but he did miss the cut last year.
- JB Holmes (100/1 DK-$7,400 FD-$6,600): Last week started off exactly how we thought it would with Holmes coming out firing… But a dreadful, and I mean really dreadful Saturday pushed him completely out of the tournament. However, he ended his tournament with a hole-out eagle on 18, so maybe that’ll give him a bit of confidence as he heads back to Quail Hollow where he’s won in the past. Value across the board for Holmes, who seems to be flashing some good form. Throw in the facs that he’s a past champion here at Quail Hollow and can bang the ball out with the best of them.
- X-Man Xander Schauffele (100/1 DK-$7,000 FD-$6,200): The SG:APP last week is less than encouraging, where he gained just .01 strokes, but did gain over a third of a stroke off the tee. If he turns his SG:APP game up to U.S Open levels or the win at the Greenbrier caliber, he’ll be right there again.
- Jason Dufner (100/1 DK-$6,700 FD-$6,400): Duff Daddy did his best “Body by Dufner” impression last week in Ohio, making eagles, tons of brides, and lots of bogeys as well.
- Gary Woodland (100/1 DK-$6,700 FD-$6,400): A bogey free Sunday, mixed with really good course history is why Gary makes the list. He’s also priced on DK very low and doesn’t have much risk there.
Deep Dive — Punting Section
Criteria qualifications: Must meet 2/3
- DK: 6999 and below
- FD: 5999 and below
- Odds: anything greater than 125/1
- Brian Harman (150/1 DK-$6,900 FD-$5,800): Here’s a guy that almost won the U.S Open, and yet has gone almost unmentioned and not talked about. He ran into the worst of the weather at the British, and after a good day one, got killed on Friday and missed the cut. He checks in at No. 17 in our Optimal Rating on our Cheatsheet, and is known as one of the best putters on tour. Some may feel that this course will be too long for him, but here’s the thing: He competed at Erin Hills which is much longer than Quail Hollow. This style of play is much more consistent with Harman’s game, thus I expect a good performance where he will contend for another top-10.
- Patrick Cantlay (175/1 DK-$6,900 FD-$5,000): IT’S PATRICK CANTLY IN A MAJOR!!! WOOOO!! This is the first time we will get to see him compete in a major. In the only other full field event he played, he managed his way around TPC Sawgrass, and was able to place just inside the top-25 there. He’s a tee to green specialist and this is a T2G course… if he hits 80% or more greens, he could even contend to win this thing…He’s that good.
- Charles Howell III (175/1 DK-$6,400 FD-$5,200): This seems absurdly low for Howell, who is also a T2G specialist… After returning from a long layoff Charles lost in a playoff, and hasn’t really found the form again yet. A missed cut at the British will also deter plenty of people off of him, and at this point, across the board, he is a great value play. If he makes the cut, he’s got a chance to give you a 11 or 12x return, which COULD help you win the Millionaire MAKER!
- Chez Reavie (300/1 DK-$6,600 FD-$4,900): Chez gets into the field as one of the last guys in, and I’m sure he’ll relish the chance to play in a major. He’s had a really good season by all accounts and is ranked 66th in the FedEx Cup point standings. Reavie will look for a strong finish here to propel him to his first Tour Championship appearance in quite some time.
- James Hahn (175/1 DK-$6,900 FD-$5,500): The defending champion…of this course… as Hahn took down the 2016 Wells Fargo here last year. He did it with a strong SG:OTT and SG:APP (aka SG:Ball Striking). He also had a hot putter (which is synonymous with most winners) which propelled him to the playoff victory over Roberto Castro. Hahn got into the British because of Brandt Snedeker’s injury and was able to make the cut and play pretty well for his his first ever Open start! He comes back to very familiar territory which should help him calm any “major” nerves he may have. Look for Hahn to be a great upside surprise this week.
- Keegan Bradley (175/1 DK-$6,800 FD-$5,700): Former winner of this tournament, Bradley has had the toughest time adjusting to the anchoring ban… Finally about mid way through the year we saw his SGP stats start to get better every week. The more comfortable he is, the better he will be. His T2G is one of the best on tour, and it this price, you really aren’t taking much risk.
- Ryan Fox(350/1 DK-$6,600 FD- $5,100)- Should have won the Scottish Open, Fox missed the cut at the Open on the number. He comes stateside to try his hand @ Quail Hollow.
- Nicolas Colsaerts(400/1 DK- $6,500 FD-$5,000) A bomber from Belgium. That’s what I got on him.
- Dylan Frittelli(350/1 DK-$6,400 FD-$4,900) – A rising star on the Euro tour, posses a great tee to green game.
- Grayson Murray(300/1 DK-$6,500 FD-$4,600)- Local guy who can bomb the ball and score. That’s pretty much all there is to say there.
- Jordan Smith(400/1 DK-$6,500 FD-$5,000) Smith is coming off a win at the Porsche Open, and has made 18/20 cuts this year. That’s impressive. A great flier here for a young stud on the Euro Tour.
- Jhonthan Vegas(150/1 DK-$6,500 Fd-$5,400): Form golfer… In form… at a Form Tournament and only priced where he is?! Craziness there. It could create a little chalk on the daily side but this can play with the best of them when he’s making putts. Vegas’s has history here and it is ugly: four missed cuts and a 53rd place finish in his last five visits.
- Scott Hend (300/1 DK-$6,400 FD-$5,100): Scott freaking Hend? Yup…. A great finish last week at the Bridgestone will surely give him confidence this week. The courses are similar in nature in terms of length and penalty of missing the fairway. Look for Hend to piggy back his top-5 finish and look for him to end up right around the 25th position come Sunday night.
Three weeks in a row now we had one golfer have each criteria (DK ,FD, and odds) all in different categories… But he’s on our list to play:
Zach Johnson (60/1 DK-$6,800 FD-$6,600): This is by far the best form ZJ has been in all year. This is a form tournament historically, so if that narrative plays out, ZJ could be right in it come Sunday. If and it’s a big if, this tournament gets into the 13 or 14 under range, ZJ will be “priced out”. At 6800 on DK it will create a massive ownership bubble, and one to be cognizant off.
Brandt Snedker again… Nothing else other than that.