PGA DFS Core Plays: Valero Texas Open

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Top-ranked DFS player, Notorious, breaks down his favorite PGA DFS picks at various salary ranges for this week’s tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.

It feels good coming off a winning week. While Joel Dahmen ruined my DFS dreams, Stephan Jaeger came through as an outright bet at +5000. After so many bad breaks on the outright front to start the season, it was nice to have all of the breaks go my way on Sunday. There were legitimately five golfers that could have tied or passed Jaeger on the back nine. Ultimately, nobody could get a putt to drop, and Jaeger outlasted everyone to claim his first PGA TOUR victory. This offers some nice padding for the bankroll heading into the Masters next week.

Before focusing all of our attention on the year’s first major, we have the Valero Texas Open to break down. There’s a fairly strong field set to tee it up at TPC San Antonio. This course is a Par 72 that measures 7,438 yards. The four par fives are the best way to score on the course, much like we’ll see next week at Augusta National. While I wouldn’t call this a brutal test of golf, the course is regularly in the top 15 in terms of difficulty on the PGA Tour.

Noto’s PGA Model Download & Video for the Valero Texas Open

The fairways at TPC San Antonio are narrow (28 yards wide) and are surrounded by trees and thick rough. Distance off the tee is certainly an advantage on the par fives, but it’s not a prerequisite for success here. Any course where Matt Kuchar posts a top-20 finish every year is not a bomber’s paradise. Rather than focusing on distance or accuracy, I like the idea of using a combination of both (total driving). Leaning on strokes gained off the tee is never a bad strategy, so I’m including that in this week’s model as well.

The greens here are average in size (6,400 square feet) and feature bermudagrass with poa trivialis overseed (similar to what we’ve seen the last few weeks). In 2023, the field was only able to hit 61% of greens in regulation. This places an emphasis on around the green play and why we’ve seen so many good scramblers play well here over the year. In terms of approach shot distances, we are going to see a lot of wedges and short irons.

Course history here has been very predictive over the years, so we can bump up the importance of it this week. I am also taking a long look at overall success in the state of Texas. Based on the early forecast, we are expecting 20+ MPH gusts on three of the four days of the tournament. Similar to last week, I am focusing most of my attention on golfers that are solid tee to green. I’m willing to take a chance on bad putters given the difficulty of the course.

PGA DFS Picks: DraftKings & FanDuel Core Plays for the Valero Texas Open

Field Size:

Cut Rule:

Weather Forecasts

TPC San Antonio – Oaks Course

Event and Course Notes

What to Look For

Core Plays

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Corey Conners

DraftKings: $9,400 / pOWN: 27%
FanDuel: $11,100 / pOWN:
Total Driving: 3
Strokes Gained Approach: 5
Strokes Gained Around the Green: 102
Strokes Gained Putting: 105
Birdie or Better %: 36
Bogey Avoidance: 46

I have mixed feelings about Conners this week, but I am tagging him as a core play because he’s the most logical starting point for cash games and for small-field tournaments. I plan to have a lot of exposure to him in these formats and then be underweight on him in my MME builds. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 at this event in his career with two wins. He’s top five in this field in total driving and in strokes gained approach. And he leads the field in greens in regulation this year. The downside for Conners is usually his short game, but that hasn’t been an issue for him at this course in the past. In five starts here, he has gained a total of 4.4 strokes putting. He clearly loves the course, and his recent ball striking numbers are extremely encouraging. The downside is that he’s going to be one of the highest-owned golfers on the slate.

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About the Author

Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

Derek Farnsworth (aka Notorious) is a lead RotoGrinders Expert and one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Master’s Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the DFS industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in several sports and multiple Live Final appearances. Noto provides expert NBA, NFL, MLB, and PGA analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards. Follow Noto on Twitter – @RG_Notorious