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
- Jordan Spieth – $8,900
- Bubba Watson – $8,800
- Hideki Matsuyama – $8,700
- Francesco Molinari – $8,600
- Xander Schauffele – $8,500
- Adam Scott – $8,400
- Phil Mickelson – $8,300
- Tony Finau – $8,200
- Louis Oosthuizen – $8,100
- Patrick Reed – $8,000
Right at the top of the list are two golfers who are known as Augusta ringers. But while the recent uptick in play from Jordan Spieth has turned public bettors into crack addicts rushing towards their fix, it’s Bubba Watson as the one I prefer. There’s a very limited slate of tournaments where one should utilize Bubba in a DFS lineup, but the Masters is one of them. Bubba is also in solid form heading into the event, ranking 24th in Strokes Gained (SG) Tee-to-Green and 3rd in SG-Off the Tee. With weather conditions seeming to favor longer hitters this weekend, I feel confident including Bubba in a DFS lineup.
The difference between success and failure for Hideki Matsuyama will be with his putting, because his ball-striking is absolutely good enough to become the first Japanese player to win a major. Hideki checks all the boxes tee-to-green so far in 2019 – he’s 3rd in SG – Tee-to-Green, 29th in SG – Off-the-Tee, 2nd in SG – Approach and 21st in SG – Around-the-Green. But as a golfer who has failed to register positive strokes gained putting in 50% of the tournament’s he’s played in 2019, it hasn’t translated into a win. While that might not be in the cards for him, his spectacular ball-striking should put him in the hunt this weekend and make him a fine addition to a DFS lineup.
Last year’s debut at The Masters wasn’t a noteworthy one for Xander Schauffele. He made the cut, though, and he was able to get a full tournament’s worth of reps on a golf course where experience is a valuable commodity. Now in his 2nd appearance, he comes to Augusta in much better form than last year and is primed to show better than his T50 finish in 2018. Schauffele enters the Masters with two big boy wins at the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and his ball-striking statistics are all around where a contender should be heading in. I expect a much better showing from Xander in 2019.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900
- Matt Kuchar – $7,900
- Marc Leishman – $7,800
- Sergio Garcia – $7,700
- Patrick Cantlay – $7,700
- Henrik Stenson – $7,600
- Ian Poulter – $7,600
- Gary Woodland – $7,500
- Rafa Cabrera-Bello – $7,500
I would feel a lot better about Matt Kuchar if he didn’t have so much wear on his tires over the last 2 weeks. Kuchar played 116 holes of golf at the WGC-Match Play, and instead of taking a week off to cool the jets he opted to play at the Valero Texas Open last week and finished in the Top 10. But he’s on a really nice heater in 2019 with a pair of wins and his ball-striking is right where it needs to be to be a contender at Augusta. He also has a tremendous track record there with four Top 10’s and hasn’t missed a cut since 2010. He’ll likely be a popular pick in DFS lineups, but his form right now is too good for me to pass up.
It feels like a year of redemption for Sergio Garcia at Augusta. One year after winning the Green Jacket for his first career major, Sergio was thoroughly embarrassed in the opening round of 2018 when he recorded a ghastly 13 on Hole 15 to end his tournament in an instant. That seemed to be the theme for Sergio the rest of the season, as his form was truly dreadful. But he’s been much better so far in 2019, ranking 25th in SG – Tee-to-Green and 8th in SG – Approach. Without as much pressure of being the defending champion, he should come in a little more relaxed and ready for a better showing.
Gary Woodland is a guy who does not have a very good track record at Augusta. He hasn’t made the weekend at Augusta since 2014, and with the “experience card” being pounded over everyone’s head this weekend I suspect several contestants will pass him by for those with better track records. But Woodland has never come into the Masters in as good of form as he is this year and I suspect he’ll surpass his recent performance there. Woodland enters the Masters 8th in SG – Tee-to-Green, and his lowest tournament average in that metric hasn’t been below 0.76 since the Farmers Insurance Open. He will have to putt better than he has of late if he wants to make a run at a Top 10, but he should have a high floor with how good he’s struck the ball over the last few months.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
Matthew Fitzpatrick – $7,400: The talented young Englishman finally found some success on the PGA Tour when he contended for the title at Bay Hill. He showed toughness that day staring down Rory McIlroy in the final group, but there was almost nothing he could do to stop Francesco Molinari from stealing the title from him. He also has shown pretty balanced scoring in almost all relevant categories so far in 2019. Fitzpatrick ranks 33rd in SG – Tee-to-Green, 32nd in SG – Off-the-Tee, 50th in SG – Approach, 62nd in SG – Around-the-Green, and 60th in SG – Putting. He’s made the weekend each of the last three years at Augusta and has a Top 10 under his belt, and I expect another weekend appearance in 2019.
Charley Hoffman – $6,800: I don’t know what it is that brings out the best in Charley Hoffman at Augusta, but it’s not often one will find a horse for the course valued this low in DFS. In five career starts, Hoffman has never missed a cut and has a low finish of T29. No matter what his form is heading into the Masters, he always finds a way to play well. That’ll be put to the test this year as he comes into Augusta in pretty mediocre form as he’s struggled with his ball-striking in 2019. But he finished T18 at the Valspar three weeks ago and was very impressive last week at the Valero Texas Open with his runner up finish. Maybe he’s peaking once again on the eve of The Masters.
Kevin Kisner – $6,700: Kisner will likely be a popular cheap option for most DFS lineups but he’s grossly undervalued given his recent play. He’s averaged 1.26 SG-Tee-to-Green over his last three stroke play tournaments, and that doesn’t even include any of his statistics when he won the WGC-Match Play two weeks ago. Kisner is another guy who hasn’t missed the weekend in any of his career starts at Augusta, and given his recent form there’s no reason to think he won’t go all four rounds once again in 2019.