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
- Henrik Stenson – $8,900
- Patrick Reed – $8,800
- Jason Kokrak – $8,700
- Sungjae Im – $8,600
- Lucas Glover – $8,500
- Charles Howell III – $8,400
- Byeong Hun An – $8,300
- Jhonattan Vegas – $8,200
- Aaron Wise – $8,100
- Luke List – $8,000
- Keegan Bradley – $8,000
Smoke ’em while you got ’em and ride with Jason Kokrak this week. Kokrak has eight Top 20 finishes in his last ten starts on the strength of his performance tee-to-green. Over his last 10 events he’s averaged 1.4 Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green and over a stroke gained on the field in his approach shots.
The question-mark for him is if he can continue to show well on the greens, which is an area that’s haunted him in the past. But he’s been putted well over this ten event run, so continue to ride him in lineups until he shows otherwise.
I’ll save the reader time and lump Byeong Hun An, Luke List and Keegan Bradley all in one paragraph because they all are basically the same player entering this week’s event. All three have been prolific ball-strikers tee-to-green in 2019 and are long hitters off the tee. But all three of them have struggled badly on the greens, with both Bradley and An losing more than half a stroke per round to the field putting, and Luke List losing more than a stroke per round in that area.
The greens this week at Quail Hollow are on fast bermuda surfaces, and generally that tends to level the playing field for all golfers no matter what skill level they have with the flat stick. They’ll have to find something on the greens, but I like all three of these players in the low $8,000 range to translate their strong ball-striking into a good finish at Quail Hollow.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900
- Zach Johnson – $7,900
- J.B. Holmes – $7,900
- Keith Mitchell – $7,800
- Sung Kang – $7,800
- Kevin Streelman – $7,700
- Rory Sabbatini – $7,700
- Daniel Berger – $7,700
- Roberto Castro – $7,600
- Nick Watney – $7,600
- Joel Dahmen – $7,600
- Kyle Stanley – $7,500
- J.T. Poston – $7,500
- Trey Mullinax – $7,500
- Jimmy Walker – $7,500
A very blah selection in this tier, but Keith Mitchell is one of the lone bright spots of the group. He’s struggled a little bit with his ball-striking over his last three tournaments, but one of those events was at a golf course that doesn’t fit his game (Harbour Town) and another was his first start at Augusta National. At a driver-heavy golf course like Quail Hollow, it should allow him to utilize the best parts of his game to give him a chance at a solid finish.
Kevin Streelman has struggled for the better part of the last year despite some fairly solid ball-striking statistics. But he’s finished 6th in his last two starts and warrants consideration for use in DFS this week. On the year he ranks 42nd in Strokes Gained – Tee-to-Green and 25th in Strokes Gained – Off-the-Tee, despite only ranking 134th in Driving Distance. His lack of pop off the tee is a little concerning, but he’s a worthy pick as one of the better ball-strikers of the group.
Like Mitchell, long-hitting Trey Mullinax should feel right at home on a driver heavy golf course. His ball-striking statistics are much improved since last year as he ranks 51st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, 38th in Strokes Gained – Off-the-Tee and 50th in Strokes Gained – Approach in 2019. He missed the cut at Quail Hollow last year, but given his improvements in his game he should fare better in 2019.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
Cameron Champ – $7,200: I’ve been openly hostile towards one-trick pony Cameron Champ since he became the darling of the DFS world in the fall. And yes, I’m fully aware that only once has he recorded positive strokes gained tee-to-green in a 2019 event. But he is prodigious off the tee and if there is any golf course that’ll give him a chance at a solid finish, it’ll be at Quail Hollow. Given how poor his play has been, he should be relatively low owned and offers a huge ceiling on a golf course that should suit his game.
Harold Varner III – $7,000: If I’ve kept your attention until this point, I’m guessing you’re sensing a theme with the types of golfers I like this week. Harold Varner III’s biggest strength in his game is his performance off the tee, so he should be a great option on a driver heavy course like Quail Hollow. Where he’ll have to perform better is with his approach shots, which have been average at best so far in 2019. But if he’s driving the ball as well as he has so far in 2019, he should make life easier on himself with shorter approach shots to get good scoring opportunities.
Hank Lebioda – $6,700: Hammerin’ Hank isn’t exactly the longest hitter on tour, but he’s in the midst of stringing together a streak of solid play and appearances on the weekend. Lebioda has made the cut in seven of his last eight starts and is displaying very solid ball-striking numbers in his rookie season. In 2019 he’s 35th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, 63rd in Strokes Gained – Off-the-Tee and 79th in Strokes Gained – Approach. At his price point, finding someone with as solid of ball-striking statistics as this is rare to find.
Others To Consider: Dylan Frittelli ($7,400), Michael Thompson ($7,400), Matt Jones ($7,200), Adam Schenk ($6,700)