PGA DFS GPP Breakdown: Farmers Insurance Open

Top-ranked grinder, STLCardinals84, will break down his top GPP golf targets for the coming week’s tournament, going over his favorite plays at various price ranges. Who better than PGA DFS master, STLCards, to help you on your way.

Farmers Insurance Open

This is the tournament where we can officially say that the PGA season is back in business. The NFL season is winding down, and we finally get to see our first “true test” of golf at a tougher, traditional venue at Torrey Pines. As was the case with last week’s Pro-Am, we have a different style of event once again this week with two course in play during the first two rounds. Each golfer will play one round on the Torrey Pines North Course and one round on the South Course prior to the cut, before the host South Course handles all of the weekend duties.

The host South Course measures as a healthy par 72 that plays at nearly 7,800 yards from the tips. The North Course isn’t quite as long and generally plays around two to three strokes easier. That differential used to be greater prior to some renovations were done at the North Course a few years ago. Still, we can expect the North Course to yield the better scoring conditions. You will want your golfers to have a good round there. In addition, if you are playing single round slates on DraftKings, prioritizing North Course golfers on the first two days is absolutely essential.

It’s also worth noting that the wind is scheduled to pick up significantly in Round 2. In my mind, I’d rather be playing the easier course that day and not the beast that is the South Course, so I generally prefer golfers starting on the North in Round 1 — but that’s a bit of speculation on my end.

As for the skill set required to succeed at Torrey Pines, you will notice that distance is a key. This is also a course where the “cream usually rises to the top,” as we often see on more difficult tracks. Tiger Woods dominated this place in his prime. Jason Day won twice in a four year span. Jon Rahm won five years ago. Luke List and Will Zalatoris made the playoff last year. Other bombers have peppered the leaderboard in the past, though shorter hitters like Marc Leishman and Patrick Reed have also won here. Those results prove that you can contend with a lights out all around game or a red hot putter, but this place has generally been a bomber’s paradise. I’ll be focusing on driving distance, strokes gained off the tee, ball striking, and bogey avoidance for key stats. This won’t be a shootout as we have seen in other recent events, and I for one am ready for an event like that. The South Course has seven par fours that check in at 450+ yards, so this tournament won’t be a cake walk for any golfer.

With the general information out of the way, let’s get to some of my favorite GPP options!

Tony Finau
DraftKings: $10,500
FanDuel: $11,400
Yahoo: $49

Look, there’s absolutely no doubt that Jon Rahm is the top overall golfer in this field. It’s been a long time since we have seen a golfer sitting at better than 5-to-1 odds to win a golf tournament. That said, Rahm has gotten quite expensive, and early ownership projections have him at MASSIVE ownership. I don’t mind starting a little lower on the salary scale with my builds, and Finau can be a logical starting point. Prior to a missed cut at this event last season, he had logged four straight top 15 finishes at Torrey Pines. His game translates nicely to the South Course, and Finau leads the field in tee to green play over the last 35 rounds. In fact, he ranks ins the top 15 of this field in every strokes gained category during that stretch. He’s the only player in the field that can make that claim.

Will Zalatoris
DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel: $11,100
Yahoo: $48

The results haven’t been elite of late, but that’s going to keep ownership down a little bit. I’ll gladly take that. Zalatoris always performs a lot better on difficult courses, and he nearly pulled off a victory in last year’s edition — losing in a playoff to Luke List. That’s after finishing 7th here the year prior. He leads this field in ball striking over the past 24 rounds, and as long as he can putt it reasonably well, he should be in the mix. I like the floor and the ceiling here.

Maverick McNealy
DraftKings: $8,600
FanDuel: $10,200
Yahoo: $39

Quietly, McNealy is putting together a solid start to the 2022-2023 season. Dating back to October, he has now finished inside the top 20 in six of his last seven starts. That includes a T7 at the Sony Open two weeks ago, where he shot 67 or better in all four rounds. His game translates nicely to difficult courses, and he has three top 30’s here in his last four trips. While the approach numbers have lagged of late, I expect a rebound on a course that fits his playing style.

Taylor Pendrith
DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,500
Yahoo: $36

If you want to play the bomber angle this week, give Taylor Pendrith a long look. He finished T16 in his tournament debut a season ago, and he ranks 2nd in this field in strokes gained off the tee over the last 36 rounds. The approach play has been well above average, too. This profiles as a layout where he should have success, and I hope the ownership dips as a result of last week’s MC (he only missed by two strokes on a week where the cut line was -10 after three rounds).

Ryan Palmer
DraftKings: $7,500
FanDuel: $9,200
Yahoo: $25

Palmer always seems to play the same events well every year, and this just happens to be one of them. Over the last five years, Palmer has finished 2nd, 13th, 21st, 2nd, and 16th at this tournament — gaining over 44 strokes compared to field average during that time. While his form hasn’t been as strong of late, his approach numbers were solid in his last event, and that should give him confidence as he heads to a tournament he always plays well at.

Robby Shelton
DraftKings: $7,200
FanDuel: $8,900
Yahoo: $24

Shelton is my favorite value play on the board this week. He has made the cut in his two previous trips to Torrey Pines, and those were in years where the form wasn’t as strong as it is now. Over the past 24 rounds, he ranks inside the top 20 in this field both on approach and around the green, which is great for bogey avoidance on this course. Throw in a T6 last week, and all the signs are positive for a sub-10% owned value play.

Other risk/reward GPP options: Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland, Thomas Detry

Good luck this week!

Top-ranked grinder, STLCardinals84, will break down his top GPP golf targets for the coming week’s tournament, going over his favorite plays at various price ranges. Who better than PGA DFS master, STLCards, to help you on your way.

Farmers Insurance Open

This is the tournament where we can officially say that the PGA season is back in business. The NFL season is winding down, and we finally get to see our first “true test” of golf at a tougher, traditional venue at Torrey Pines. As was the case with last week’s Pro-Am, we have a different style of event once again this week with two course in play during the first two rounds. Each golfer will play one round on the Torrey Pines North Course and one round on the South Course prior to the cut, before the host South Course handles all of the weekend duties.

The host South Course measures as a healthy par 72 that plays at nearly 7,800 yards from the tips. The North Course isn’t quite as long and generally plays around two to three strokes easier. That differential used to be greater prior to some renovations were done at the North Course a few years ago. Still, we can expect the North Course to yield the better scoring conditions. You will want your golfers to have a good round there. In addition, if you are playing single round slates on DraftKings, prioritizing North Course golfers on the first two days is absolutely essential.

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About the Author

  • Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

  • Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds.

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