Noto and STL's PrizePicks PGA Strategy: The PLAYERS Championship
Hey, Grinders! Welcome to our latest PGA strategy discussion for PrizePicks!
PrizePicks has golf contests posted for the first round of The PLAYERS Championship. You need to pick two, three, or four golfers and project whether they will go over or under the projected score that PrizePicks has set. The more players you select, the better your potential winnings become. Note that this is set based on the ROUND, so the initial contests apply to Thursday golf only.
The golf scoring for PrizePicks is very similar to DraftKings, with three points for a birdie, eight points for an eagle, a half point for a par, and a negative half point for a bogey. With that in mind, here are a few of the Round 1 options to consider:
Note – PrizePicks does occasionally move the O/U lines a little bit, so your mileage may vary slightly from the totals shown here.
STLCardinals84’s Favorite Picks
The one thing to note is that the weather at TPC Sawgrass looks to be a bit rough for Thursday, with winds in the 12-15 MPH range. For that reason, I’m generally leaning toward “UNDER” totals for this set of picks.
Justin Thomas UNDER 19.5 – This is by no means a knock on Justin Thomas. I like him this week, and his approach play has been absolutely on point all season long, and he currently leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained on approach. I just have a difficult time doing the math to get anyone to 20+ fantasy points given the projected first-round weather conditions. If he doesn’t make an eagle, he probably needs to get at least five birdies with a clean round in order to make 20. That’s a tough sell for me in these windy conditions.
Sergio Garcia OVER 17.5 – This line is a little more intriguing. A golfer can likely get to 18 fantasy points with four birdies and a solid round, and that’s doable for Garcia. He has made the cut here in each of the last ten editions and has an impeccable course history. TPC Sawgrass is a fantastic fit for his game, and the current form is dialed in as well. Ever since his debacle in Saudi Arabia a month ago, he has looked like a much better golfer. Throw in a morning tee time where the winds should be calmer, and I like this pick a lot for Round 1.
Tony Finau UNDER 17.5 – Finau is generally known as a DFS darling, but the masses are shying away from him this week. He hasn’t been dialed in with all aspects of his game of late, and his history at TPC Sawgrass leaves a lot to be desired. He has two missed cuts and a 57th place finish in his last three trips here, and he also has an afternoon Round 1 tee time, where the winds are expected to be a little brisker. I don’t mind him as a GPP option on the salary cap sites this week, but I’ll take the UNDER on his Round 1 PrizePicks total.
As I stated last week, it will be really interesting to see how the strategy evolves with the PrizePicks format. On days where weather looks to be bad, we can perhaps look at more UNDER plays. On days where weather is sublime, we can look at more OVER plays. The key will be staying on top of trends and what PrizePicks does with the O/U lines. This is a fun format, so be sure to check it out!
Notorious’ Favorite Picks
As Justin mentioned, the weather will play a big role in fantasy golf scoring this week. Since we are only focused on the Thursday round, we can really dive into the hour-by-hour wind forecast. The first tee time for the morning wave is set for 7:40 AM, while the first tee time for the afternoon wave is set for 12:35 PM. A quick glance at the weather report shows that the afternoon crowd could be in for a tough day of golf. Sustained winds of 12-14 MPH are expected all afternoon, which could lead to some brutal scores on a course that features water on 17 of the holes. I will take three afternoon unders.
Tony Finau UNDER 17.5 – While I don’t mind taking an overweight stance on Finau when it comes to FanDuel and DraftKings, it makes sense to short him in a single-day contest where he’s going to get the worst of the weather. He’s typically a golfer that plays well at the same courses each year and TPC Sawgrass hasn’t been too kind over the years. He’s only made one of three cuts here with his best finish being a tie for 57th. It doesn’t help that his worst putting splits come on Bermudagrass where he loses an average of 0.32 strokes per round on the field.
Tiger Woods UNDER 18.5 – If you have ever read my golf article or have listened to the “Drive for Show, DFS for Dough” podcast, you know that I’m the biggest Tiger fan in the industry (at least one of them). So picking the under pains me quite a bit, but it’s a fairly easy decision if I put my bias aside. Tiger has always been a slow starter and this course is no exception. In all of his Thursday rounds throughout his career, he has only shot in the 60s one time. He will also be playing in the gusty afternoon conditions.
Rickie Fowler UNDER 18.0 – Fowler is a golfer that can play well in the wind, but to reach 18 fantasy points with this scoring system, he basically needs to shoot two or three-under par. That’s a tough task when you are dealing with 12+ MPH winds and water in play on nearly every hole. TPC Sawgrass requires perfection from all areas of your game and lately Fowler has been relying on his scrambling and putting. In what may be a surprise to many, Fowler has actually lost strokes ball striking in three of his last five events.