DRAFT PGA Value Watch: The PLAYERS 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!
The PLAYERS Championship
Golfers I Am Overweight On
Justin Thomas – His game translates to just about anywhere, and he is a fine pick at the top of the first round. His recent history at Sawgrass is better than anything Dustin Johnson has to offer at this venue, and JT currently leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained on approach. If I get the first pick, it’s a close call between Thomas and the following golfer…
Rory McIlroy – I have no issues taking Rory #1 overall, but it feels a bit weird because DRAFT has Rory buried a bit. If you can get him at the back end of the first round, that’s phenomenal value. Are people really coming off Rory because he didn’t bring his “A” game on Sunday at Bay Hill? Yes, he’s struggled in the final round on multiple occasions of late, but there is also the flip side that he is consistently putting himself in position to win golf tournaments. He has now played in five PGA Tour events in 2019, and he’s finished in the top SIX in EVERY event. Let’s not get carried away with one poor round. He ranks inside the top 30 on the PGA Tour in ball striking and strokes gained approach, and the Sunday fade is literally the only question mark with his game right now. Don’t be surprised if he comes out and dominates this week.
Webb Simpson – If you want to play the “familiar with the course in March” narrative, then give a bump to Webb Simpson. His caddie, Paul Tesori, is from the area and has played the course a ton during this time of year. Simpson has said that he will lean on that knowledge this week, and that is likely a very important factor. Simpson should also be playing with confidence after winning this event a year ago. While I generally shy away from defending champions, this is a unique case. I can’t ignore Webb in this spot, and he’s a fine mid round selection.
Sergio Garcia – He is buried on the DRAFT board this week, so don’t forget about Garcia. Things have calmed down for Sergio since his debacle in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago, as he has returned to American soil and posted back to back top ten finishes. His ball striking has always been a great fit at Sawgrass, and I like him even more if the wind picks up and makes the course more challenging. His form has lagged over the last few years at this event, but his overall record at Sawgrass is spectacular, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him sneak inside the top five with a chance to win this weekend. Give him a peek in the later rounds if he sticks on the board.
Ian Poulter – Poulter is dialed in right now and has been flashing elite form for several months. He has finished 2nd and 11th here in the last two editions of this event, and he will get lost in the shuffle a bit in this loaded field. Give him a long look as one of your final picks, as he currently sits at 8th on the PGA Tour in ball striking.
Golfers I Am Underweight On
Justin Rose – I have no issues with Justin Rose, but I’ll temper my expectations with him listed as the top overall option on DRAFT. He was underwhelming over the weekend at Bay Hill and didn’t have his usual tee to green game rolling. His previous start was a missed cut in Saudi Arabia, as well, so things just aren’t clicking for Rose. I’ll throw him in my GPP pool on the salary cap sites, but there are better options in the top five on DRAFT.
Jason Day – After last week’s dearth of news followed by a withdrawal during the front nine on Thursday, the red flags abound with Day right now. There is a 0% chance that I will invest a top pick on a player with a lengthy injury history and plenty of current issues. Pass.
Bryson DeChambeau – I am prioritizing strong approach players this week, and that has been a bit of an issue with DeChambeau in recent weeks. I question how well his game translates to this course generally, and I think the risk outweighs the reward when it comes to utilizing a second round pick on DRAFT. There are better options.
Jordan Spieth – Don’t fall for it. Even if he slips into the later rounds, this is still a spot where you need to be careful. Spieth’s form has been nothing short of awful for months now, and we are approaching a year since his last top five finish. He has missed three of his last four cuts at TPC Sawgrass, and those came when he was generally in much better form than he is now. There’s no reason to torture yourself.
Keith Mitchell – Someone will likely reach for Mitchell this week, and it pains me to put him in this space. I’m a big fan, but there is bound to be a letdown at some point after back-to-back top five finishes. He made the cut here last year but missed the secondary cut after Saturday’s rounds. If he falls to the final round, he’s fine as a final piece, but he likely won’t make it there in most DRAFT games.
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