PGA DFS Core Plays: Fortinet Championship

Top-ranked grinder, Notorious, breaks down his favorite daily fantasy golf plays at various salary ranges for the coming week’s golf tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.

Fortinet Championship

Even though golf has the shortest offseason in all of sports, I missed my PGA DFS last week. Unlike NFL (Raheem Mostert), our PGA lineups aren’t completely dead for at least a few hours. Kidding aside, there is nothing quite like golf when it comes to fantasy sports. The season opener is now called the Fortinet Championship (anyone else first read that as Fortnite?), but was previously called the Safeway Open. The important takeaway is that the event will still be held at the North Course at Siverado Resort and Spa, which is a Par 72 that measures only 7,123 yards.

While this won’t be a complete birdie-fest, we should see a lot of birdies on the scorecard. The last seven winners have all finished at 14-under par or lower. The fairways here are tree-lined and difficult to hit on average. They are 27 yards wide on average, which is more narrow than many of the regular PGA Tour stops. Despite golfers hitting 10% fewer fairways on average, the greens here are actually easy to hit. They are large in size and feature a mix of bentgrass and poa annua grass. Essentially, you can play out of the rough because it’s not overly thick and because you won’t have a ton of long approach shots.

I have mixed feelings on the predictive nature of proximity stats, but I look at them on courses that require a lot of wedges or a lot of long irons. In the past, golfers at this event hit about 20% fewer approach shots from each of these ranges: 150-175 yards, 175-200 yards, and 200-225 yards. This means there will be a ton of wedges hit this week, so the key proximity ranges to look at are 75-100, 100-125, and 125-150 yards. I’m not placing a huge emphasis on short game, as scrambling isn’t overly difficult here and the greens aren’t all that tricky. This aligns with the fact that Brendan Steele and Emiliano Grillo have combined for three wins at this venue.

With this event being in California, I will be looking at golfers with a good track record on the West Coast. I will also be looking at putting on non-bermuda surfaces (combining splits from bentgrass and poa greens). With this event being in Napa Valley, I am also taking a look at strokes gained: wine avoidance. Phil Mickelson does his best to lure golfers into drinking as much wine as humanly possible after rounds. Kidding aside, I’m looking to target good ball strikers that have a good track record here or at other courses in California.

Downloadable Model for the Fortinet Championship

Cut Rule:

  • Top 65 and ties (at least 42% of the field will make the cut)

Key Statistics for the Week

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Good Drive %
  • Birdie or Better %
  • Strokes Gained Putting (Emphasis on Bent/Poa)
  • Proximity from Key Ranges: 75-100, 100-125, and 125-150 Yards
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About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.


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