DRAFT PGA Value Watch: PGA Championship
Each week, Justin Van Zuiden will list the players he is overweight (heavier exposure than the field) and underweight (lower exposure than the field) on. Dominate your DRAFT drafts with this cheat sheet from one of the best in daily fantasy sports!
Golfers I Am Overweight On
Dustin Johnson – If I get the first pick, I will probably take Dustin Johnson. His length off the tee should be a tremendous advantage at Bethpage Black, and that is the tiebreaking scenario that I am utilizing when stuck between a few players. It’s tough to separate the first six or eight players in this field, and I actually hope that I get a pick toward the back end of the first round, because that might allow you to get…
Rory McIlroy / Tiger Woods – They are my prime choices if I get a later first round pick. We obviously know what Tiger is capable of doing on this course, as he won the 2002 U.S. Open here. As for Rory, you know I’m always a fan of him, especially when DRAFT discounts his projection. He just needs to put four rounds together. If everyone in the field plays their absolute best four rounds of golf, I’m fairly confident that it would be McIlroy coming out on top. His putter failed him over the two weekend rounds at the Wells Fargo, which found Rory fading to eighth place by the time it all ended. Still, a “weekend fade” managed to net him a top ten finish. That’s how electric he is capable of being on the golf course. His stats are elite from tee to green, and I am on board.
Patrick Cantlay – A solid pick in the middle rounds. His last two finishes have both been top tens, with a 9th place finish at The Masters followed by an impressive third place finish at the RBC Heritage. If he hits fairways at a field average (or better) clip, I would be shocked if he finishes outside the top 25. While he will be a popular play in salary cap leagues, he might get overlooked just a bit in the DRAFT format. I’ll happily target him around his projected slot.
Webb Simpson – Simpson is one of the only players I am writing up this week that isn’t super long off the tee, but he makes up for it in the other aspects of his game. His accuracy and approach play are spot on, which gives him a rank of 18th in SG: Tee to Green despite limited distance off the tee. His Vegas odds are hovering in the 60 or 70 to 1 range, which is solid odds for a player priced in his range. He is currently riding a string of three straight top 20 finishes, with two of those coming in strong field events (The Masters and the Wells Fargo). Ride the wave with a middle to late round pick.
Julian Suri – Looking for a late round dark horse to choose as your fifth round selection in larger fields? Enter Julian Suri. His statistical ranks are rock solid on the European Tour, and his form is percolating at the right time, as well. Over the last month and a half, he has four straight top 20 finishes in Europe, and they are in relatively strong field events. Now, even the strongest European Tour events have weaker fields compared to this PGA Championship, but that is reflected in the price tag. Suri is a phenomenal value at this tag, and I think he’s worth an outright betting look at crazy 200-to-1 odds. He has the talent to contend here, and he finished 19th at last year’s PGA Championship at Bellerive.
Golfers I Am Underweight On
Justin Thomas – He withdrew from the event on Monday and has not yet been removed from the DRAFT field. Buyer beware. Don’t take Justin Thomas if DRAFT keeps him in the player pool!
Francesco Molinari – While he’s longer off the tee than he used to be, I still worry about him after his Masters meltdown in the final round. He missed the cut the following week at the RBC Heritage, and now he’s grouped with Tiger Woods again in Rounds 1 and 2 of this tournament. That’s enough to send me running. I’ll happily pivot to one of the other options in the middle rounds.
Jordan Spieth – Let’s not act like he turned a corner because of a 29th place finish in a weak field event on a course that had no hazards. His last top 20 finish was in September of 2018. That’s a long time. He has no top eight finishes in over a year. Despite his discounted projection, I will remain stubbornly underweight here. It hasn’t burned me in months.
Charles Howell III – I am a fan of his game, but he is just off right now. He had missed back to back cuts before withdrawing after the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson last week with a hip injury after losing about four strokes putting in that one round. That kind of form is troublesome at this course, and I’ll swerve to similarly projected players like Henrik Stenson and Jason Kokrak, who have been in much better form lately.
Kevin Na – I am prioritizing distance this week, and Na simply doesn’t make the cut. He ranks just 120th in driving distance this year and seems to have a knack for the “surprise” WD quite often this season. There’s little upside for him on this course and in this field, and the risk outweighs the reward.
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