PGA DFS Picks - Expert Survey: Valspar Championship

Valspar Championship

Who is your favorite golfer for optimal lineups?

Notorious: Justin Thomas
STLCardinals84: Justin Thomas
redkacheek: Justin Thomas
hondizzle: Justin Thomas

Who is your favorite golfer for large field contests?

Notorious: Matt Fitzpatrick
STLCardinals84: Matt Fitzpatrick
redkacheek: Maverick McNealy
hondizzle: Sam Burns

Who is your favorite salary saver on the board?

Notorious: Mark Hubbard
STLCardinals84: Victor Perez
redkacheek: Kramer Hickok
hondizzle: Lucas Glover

Which value-priced golfer has the best chance of making the cut?

Notorious: Matthew NeSmith
STLCardinals84: Matthew NeSmith
redkacheek: Pierceson Coody
hondizzle: Russell Knox

Which golfer are you afraid of being underweight on compared to the field?

Notorious: Jordan Spieth
STLCardinals84: Sam Burns
redkacheek: Matt Fitzpatrick
hondizzle: Tommy Fleetwood

Which high-priced golfer will you have little to no exposure to in tournaments?

Notorious: Sam Burns
STLCardinals84: Jordan Spieth
redkacheek: Matt Fitzpatrick
hondizzle: Jordan Spieth

What type of golfers are you targeting most? (ie: bomber, short game specialist)

Notorious: Long Iron Studs
STLCardinals84: Long Iron Play
redkacheek: Ball Strikers
hondizzle: Ball Strikers

Which statistic other than Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green are you weighing most?

Notorious: SG: Approach
STLCardinals84: SG: Approach
redkacheek: wGIR
hondizzle: SG: Approach

Predict the top three finishers of the event.

Notorious: 1. Riley 2. Thomas 3. Jaeger
STLCardinals84: 1. Fitzpatrick 2. Thomas 3. Bradley
redkacheek: 1. Clark 2. Thomas 3. Riley
hondizzle: 1. Burns 2. Riley 3. Thomas

Predict the winning score of the week (e.g., E, -5, -10).

Notorious: -8
STLCardinals84: -9
redkacheek: -11
hondizzle: -7

Which useful trend or statistic stuck out most during your research?

Notorious: The Copperhead Course has played a little easier the last two years and the course superintendent is not having it. For this year’s edition, they have grown up the rough to 3.75 inches, they have turned nearly two-thirds of the intermediate areas around the greens into rough, and they have narrowed the fairways to 22 yards wide on average. Add in 20+ MPH gusts in the forecast, and we are going to have an extremely difficult golf course.

STLCardinals84: Fewer than 30% of approach shots are hit with wedges at this course. This is one of the few PGA Tour venues where long iron play is paramount. Don’t be afraid to check into stats like approach play from 150+ yards. We also have a significantly weaker field than we have over the past few weeks, which will skew ownership toward the top golfers.

redkacheek: The Copperhead course is one of the true “OTT does not matter” courses on Tour. Outside of hole 14, potentially 1 or 10, you really cannot overpower this golf course. Everyone will be laying back or playing to the same part of every fairway. There will be a lot of long approaches this week, not only on the Par 3s, but because of the doglegs players will be forced into longer than desired approaches. Look for players with a history of strong wGIR numbers to make the weekend and contend this week.

hondizzle: Players will be treated to a very difficult course this week. Copperhead has historically been one of the harder courses on the tour year in and year out. The rough is up and the wind could blow, making the premium on accuracy and solid course strategy a must. This is kind of a mini grind it out like an U.S. Open type of week. Target players who play well on hard courses and or who can really control their golf ball from tee to green.

Who is your top contrarian golfer (when considering price, key stats, projected ownership, etc.) on the board and why?

Notorious: Matt Fitzpatrick – I was tempted to put my favorite punt here (Kevin Roy), but that could end in a disaster. Fitz projects to be the lowest-owned of the four most expensive golfers and I like him more than Spieth and Burns. It’s not great that Fitz has missed a lot of cuts recently or that he’s lost on approach in seven of eight starts, but he’s much better with his long irons than he is with his wedges. At Bay Hill (lot of long irons), he finished T14 and gained 2.1 strokes on approach. He likes difficult tracks and finished T5 here last year.

STLCardinals84: Victor Perez – He isn’t a household name on the PGA Tour because he plays over in Europe most of the time, and that has his ownership sitting in the single digits despite the fact that he has better odds than most players in his DFS pricing tier. Perez has plenty of talent and has finished 1st, 28th, and 13th in his three European Tour starts in 2023.

redkacheek: Maverick McNealy – McNealy has faced some limitations this season due to injury, but his upside on his good weeks has been as good as anyone. With 5 Top-18s already this season, I am leaning on this leverage on a week that really suits his game.

hondizzle: Sam Burns – I really think the early pOWN numbers on Burns will drop this week. Not the best start to the year for Burns, and I expect to see some push back on him as a strong play for the week. I am usually a fade the past champion type of DFS guy, but I think Burns turns it around this week. Saw some signs of his game rounding into form at TPC Sawgrass and I am hopeful that he continues to trend in the right direction as he looks for the three peat.

Who is your top overall golfer (when considering price, key stats, projected ownership, etc.) on the board and why?

Notorious: Justin Thomas – I’m a little worried about fading the Spieth magic (he hit a fan and it saved him from missing the cut last week), but JT rates out so much better. His form doesn’t look amazing, but that’s because his putter has been ice cold. He’s one of the best in the field off the tee, on approach, and around the greens. He’s finished T3 and T13 here the last two years and we know he has all of the shots in his bag. That should come in handy in the wind this week.

STLCardinals84: Justin Thomas – Thomas is clearly the most talented player in this field, and he’s one of the only golfers who doesn’t “feel” like he’s too expensive in this spot. Despite a bit of a lull in his form, he still leads this field in tee to green play and ranks 2nd in around the green play over the last 36 rounds. Those factors will be key on a tough course, and his history here is also solid with T13 and T3 finishes over the last two years.

redkacheek: Justin Thomas – When you lay everything out, it’s really hard to look past JT as your starting point. Admittedly he has not played great this season, but when comparing him to the field, he is still a class above the rest. His course history will lead a lot of people to him, but because of the field I think this is the right strategy. Fire up JT in all formats.

hondizzle: Justin Thomas: Golf is hard and if you watched any of the extended coverage of Thomas playing last week you got a strong glimpse of how difficult the game can play out both physically and mentally. Thomas started off hot and then made a stupid double on the 4th hole at TPC Sawgrass. For the remainder of the tournament he hit plenty of good golf shots but did not convert enough to matter on the weekend. Thomas should be in line to rely on one of the best iron games in the business this week, and if we get some conversions, then there is no doubt he will contend for the win.

What is your hot take of the week?

Notorious: Kevin Roy finishes in the top 20

STLCardinals84: Victor Perez finishes inside the top five.

redkacheek: Pierceson Coody knocks off Davis Riley in a second consecutive Valspar playoff.

hondizzle: Sam Burns wins a three peat wire to wire!!!!

Image Credit: Getty Images

Valspar Championship

Who is your favorite golfer for optimal lineups?

Notorious: Justin Thomas
STLCardinals84: Justin Thomas
redkacheek: Justin Thomas
hondizzle: Justin Thomas

Who is your favorite golfer for large field contests?

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About the Author

  • John Britt (jmbwngfn)

  • One of the top baseball and hockey analysts in the DFS industry, John Britt is a family man hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. A proud graduate of the University of Missouri, John’s passion is hockey but he excels at multiple DFS sports. He has been nominated multiple times for awards for his written work in both baseball (best MLB series) and hockey (3x NHL Writer of the Year nominee) and is now the Lead Editor at RotoGrinders. John can be found on Twitter at the username JMBWngFn.

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