When filling out a DraftKings lineup, picking among the favorites is a fairly safe proposition. It’s when you have to choose between a pool of golfers down the line is where you make or break your chance to win big.
Here’s the critical decisions you’ll face as you fill out your lineup this weekend (with values courtesy of DraftKings).
Golfers Valued $8,000-$8,900
- Abraham Ancer – $8,900
- Graeme McDowell – $8,800
- Jhonattan Vegas – $8,700
- Hao-Tong Li – $8,600
- Joost Luiten – $8,500
- Ryan Palmer – $8,400
- Aaron Baddeley – $8,300
- Charley Hoffman – $8,200
- Denny McCarthy – $8,100
- J.B. Holmes – $8,000
- Luke List – $8,000
It’s a pretty thin offering in this tier of golfers, but Abraham Ancer right at the top of the list should be a solid option for DraftKings this week. Ancer slumped a bit over the last month before finishing T12 at the Players Championship and averaging over two strokes gained tee-to-green per round. Ancer just missed the Top 50 OWGR cutoff to qualify for the Masters, so I expect him to have a bit of a pep in his step to be in contention on Sunday to try and punch his ticket to Augusta.
After missing out himself on the Top 50 cutoff, Joost Luiten is in San Antonio this week vying for his last chance opportunity to return to Augusta National. He’s certainly not a household name in the United States but he’s played tremendous golf on the European Tour this year, ranking 3rd in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green and 4th in Strokes Gained – Approach. He also showed he can hang tough against a strong field with his T10 finish at the WGC Mexico. As one of the more talented players in a very weak field and an incentive to show well, I like Joost as an under the radar pick in DFS.
It’s between Ryan Palmer and Charley Hoffman as the horse for the course in this group, as each has shown very well historically at the Oaks Course. But of the two Ryan Palmer is the one playing much better of late. He’s a bit up and down this year, but when he’s on he’s shown well with three Top 10 finishes and another Top 20 at Torrey Pines to boot. Palmer is a very good driver of the ball and has hit his irons well in 2019, both of which are important attributes to success at TPC San Antonio. He’ll probably have a decent ownership in DFS this week, but that can be mitigated by a few other contrarian plays elsewhere in the lineup.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$8,000
- Russell Henley – $7,900
- Siwoo Kim – $7,900
- Jimmy Walker – $7,800
- Daniel Berger – $7,800
- Sung Kang – $7,700
- Justin Harding – $7,700
- Andrew Putnam – $7,600
- Joaquin Niemann – $7,600
- Ollie Schniederjans – $7,500
- Joel Dahmen – $7,500
In full disclosure, I don’t really like anyone in this tier. This tier screams public plays with a bunch of recognizable names not playing well at the moment that lesser knowledgeable contestants will gravitate towards. If you find yourself struggling with your last pick and have room in your budget for someone in this group, I would recommend either Sung Kang or Joel Dahmen. Kang is at least making cuts consistently and after missing four consecutive cuts Dahmen has three consecutive Top 30 finishes. Otherwise, there are cheaper options down the card I’d rather have to try and utilize a stars-and-scrubs strategy.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
J.T. Poston – $7,400: After scuffling on the PGA Tour for two years, Poston seems to have found some consistency and learned how to make cuts on a more consistent basis. He missed the cut at the Valspar two weeks ago, but that is his only missed cut in a 2019 season that also has five Top 30 finishes. Before the Valspar, Poston had posted solid ball-striking statistics and has putted very well this season. He’ll have to shake off his poor performance in his last outing, but in a weaker field he has a great opportunity to right the ship.
Bud Cauley – $7,400: Bud Cauley has been extremely up and down so far in 2019, and it’s in direct correlation with his putting. In his four made cuts he’s averaged about half a stroke gained on the putting surfaces, and in the four he’s missed the cut he’s lost over a stroke to the field in that category. He’s had pretty good ball-striking numbers in 2019, and when he’s rolled the rock well it’s produced some solid results. Cauley has had some good finishes at TPC San Antonio in his career, so I’m willing to hold my nose and hope the putter shows well this week and slot him in a DFS lineup.
Jonathan Byrd – $6,900: Byrd has feasted on these weak field events in 2019. He has four Top 30 finishes in seven starts this season and hasn’t missed a cut all year. Granted, the competition he’s played against are really scraping at the bottom of the barrel of the priority list, but between his good ball-striking numbers in these events and the lack of competition this week he’s a cheap option I like to slot at the end of a lineup.
Ryan Armour – $6,700: Armour was in a big slump but seems to have figured things out of late. Though he’s missed two of his last four cuts, he’s averaged 0.85 Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green in those four starts and has a pair of Top 12 finishes during that span. Though he doesn’t have all that great of history at TPC San Antonio, there are worse options at this price point.
Others To Consider: Chesson Hadley – $7,300, Adam Schenk – $6,700, Roberto Castro – $6,400, Sam Ryder – $6,300