The 2023 PLAYERS Championship is here. So far, the 2023 PGA season has seen plenty of ups and downs and our first major of the season delivers a stellar slate for DFS purposes. Looking at this DFS slate, the PLAYERS Championship delivers some spectacular value plays.
Considering that this is the first Major of the golf calendar, this is where we will learn what golfers are made of. TPC Sawgrass is an iconic course that will certainly deliver a great on-course product. So let’s make some money on a DFS slate this week while enjoying a great tournament on a great course.
2023 The Players Championship DFS: Best Plays in Each Price Range
2023 The Players Championship DFS – $9,000+
Rory McIlroy $11,000
Rory is my initial lead-up top this week. Coming in with a runner-up finish and is playing better than the recent results show. Over the last 20 rounds, Rory leads the field in strokes gained from tee to green. Scheffler and Rahm are next on that list and they hold three wins in that same 20-round stretch.
With each tournament being four rounds, that’s 75% of the win equity over that period. In short, I believe a Rory win is near. Rory has plenty of experience around TPC Sawgrass. He does not have flawless course history but he has a win and three other top-10 finishes.
.@McIlroyRory has arrived.
The 2019 @THEPLAYERSChamp is ready to roll. pic.twitter.com/a55pRIIizD
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 6, 2023
Rory had the chance to get the “single digit under par win” monkey off his back last week at Bay Hill but could not get enough out of the putter. He gained 0.71 strokes putting in his home state of Florida which was a major upgrade from -3.29 and -4.81 in Phoenix and LA. Look for his putter to stay trending in the right direction and match that elite ball striking. Rory will be in the mix again this weekend.
Collin Morikawa $9,500
Collin Morikawa has two trips to TPC Sawgrass which include a missed cut and a 41st-place finish. Combine that with an extremely mediocre missed cut at Bay Hill and you may be thinking, “Why would we click Morikawa this week?”. Well, it’s a few things.
We cannot just disregard his recent play dating back to the Mayakoba. In that stretch, he has played in seven events which include five made cuts with no worse finish than 15th in those starts. TPC Sawgrass is a course that requires accuracy off the tee and you do not need to be overly long to find success. Being long and straight will help but playing out of the fairway is step one and that is what Collin Morikawa will bring to the table as he ranks 3rd on the entire tour in driving accuracy.
This event will more than likely be won in the mid-teens which is key because it will not require Collin to roll in 20+ birdies. Giving himself many chances in the 20-30 feet range will be the key to success. I will not let one bad start at Bay Hill, a course I don’t even love Morikawa on change the narrative going forward. Look for him to find success at the 2023 Players Championship.
2023 The Players Championship DFS – Middle Tier
Will Zalatoris $8,800
Zalatoris was popular last week and will get overlooked this week. Will Zalatoris barely made the cut at Bay Hill and ended up finishing T53. The public got WAY too excited after one good finish in LA. The full fade treated us well last week but we will buy here.
I’m most excited about him gaining 4.7 strokes off the tee which was near the top of the field. That will be a massive boost this week if he can lean into that strength at TPC Sawgrass. Zalatoris has the length but if he can dial in that accuracy and dominate off the tee, he will give himself a lot of mid-irons and wedges to give a lot of birdie looks.
He has played here twice and finished T26 and 21st. Nothing to turn your head at but not a red flag. In eight rounds at TPC Sawgrass, he has gained 14.18 strokes in ball striking which is very impressive. More than anything, I love how under the radar he will be this week. Run out Zalatoris in your DraftKings lineups.
Seamus Power $7,400
Truly not sure what happened with Seamus Power at Bay Hill as he posted the second-worst ball-striking number of his career. He made the cut which is encouraging, but that number is a little scary.
Nonetheless, that is now 10 straight made cuts for our guy Seamy Pow with some decent finishes in there. Including a win, seven of those 10 finishes resulted inside the top 20. Power has two trips to TPC Sawgrass which include a T33 and a T35. A player if his profile with legitimate upside seems mispriced at $7,400. The ball striking will 100% regress in our favor from last week and hopefully, that made-cut stretch stays afloat. Add Power to your lineups for the 2023 Players Championship.
2023 The Players Championship DFS – <$7,000
Tyler Duncan $6,400
Tyler Duncan is my favorite play in this entire range at 6.4K. Running through the entire range, Duncan checks many boxes. He is one of the most accurate drivers on the entire tour and does his best iron work in the 125-200 range which is extremely important at TPC Sawgrass. Duncan has made his last three cuts and is one for two making the cut at this event. You may not be too excited to click this name but I think he is more than live to make the cut this weekend.
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