Stuie's SandBaggers - Arnold Palmer Invitational
Welcome back. This is a weekly piece dedicated to providing some value plays across the PGA landscape. I play mostly on Draftkings and Victiv, so I will limit my picks to those two sites. The goal is to give a closer look into some of the lower cost options so that you can squeeze Rory into your lineup. I’ve set the cutoff at $6000 on DK and $5000 on Victiv. Ideally these guys make the cut, which is really all you’re hoping for, but sometimes they finish top 10-20 and that’s when you can really strike gold and take down a GPP.
Instead of going through what happened last week in this space I’ve started to write another piece that I’ll try to get up on Monday’s. Here’s the link to that article in case you missed it https://rotogrinders.com/blog-posts/a-look-back-valspar-championship-620193.
For some reason the blog didn’t make it up last week, not sure why, but it’s a shame because I had Sean O’Hair pegged and rostered him on both sites last week. The numbers warrant his consideration this week, but his price jumped from $5k to $8200 on DK this week, a little too pricey for my liking. However, on Victiv his price is an inexcusable $3500 and he is totally in play. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t over 50% owned there this week.
This week the tour heads to Arnie’s place, Bay Hill and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This is another demanding track that typically plays over par, however we should see better scoring then the few tournaments. It long at around 7,400 yards, but so long that the bombers have a huge advantage. Matt Every won here last year and he is not considered to be one of the longer hitters on tour, i fact he’s currently 165th on tour in driving distance. Every found success here last year by hitting greens and placing 3rd in Strokes Gained Putting for the week. I’d love to endorse Every this week. A past champ at $5200 and i’d typically be licking my chops, but but his current form just doesn’t justify a place in this space this week.
This is a pretty stacked field of 120 golfers, with the usual top 70 plus ties making the weekend. The smaller field allows a unique opportunity to take a few more chances, however its going to be critical to have 6 guys make the cut. If I’m spending the $ this week the easy choice is a red hot Henrik Stenson, but I think Bubba could be a nice pivot for $200 less. Quick note on Bubba, this is the tournament where his “allergies” acted up after posting 83 in the opening round last year. I’m sure he’d like to bounce back and he’s the hottest player on tour in my opinion.
If you want to afford the likes of Stenson or Bubba then you’re going to need to find some value somewhere and thats what we’re here to do. I think there is a lot of mid range value this week, especially on DK, but again we’re looking for the bargains. Some stats i’m keying in on this week are the strokes gained categories, par five scoring and GIR%.
This weeks picks
Lucas Glover $5900 DK, $2600 Victiv – Glover has gone T24, MC, MC T24 in his last four and finished T14 here last year. Always known as a solid ball striker he is currently 3rd ion tour, 8th in GIR% and 10th in strokes gained tee to green. If his putter cooperates look out.
John Peterson $5300 DK, $300 Victiv – I feel like a broken record here, but this guy just keep making cuts. His price is slowly creeping up, but still offers a ton of value. He’s only missed one cut all year and again, I like him on tougher tracks where par is a good score. He’s 29th in both strokes gained tee to green and ball striking and firmly in the middle of the pack in GIR% and par 5 scoring. Similar to Glover, going to need to make some putts to contend, but he should see the weekend.
Chad Campbell $5300 DK, $2700 Victiv – Campbell is this weeks Jonathan Byrd and Sean O’Hair wrapped into one. He’s seen the weekend in 12 straight at the API…yes, you read that right, 12 straight made cuts at this event. Hopefully unlike Byrd last week, he’ll make the cut this week. Just goes to show that course history isn’t always the best indicator. However unlike Byrd who came into last week pretty cold, Campbell has made his last 5 cuts on tour. When current form meets solid course history I’m a buyer. Also, did I mention he won here in 2004? Sure it was 10 years ago, but O’Hairs win at the Valspar came in 08 and we saw what he did last week.
Sean O’Hair $3500 – mentioned him up top. This price is just too low. Get him on your team and don’t worry about ownership %, the value is too strong to pass up.
Sam Saunders $5100 DK, $2700 – Saunders is probably going to be a popular play, but for all the wring reasons and he will not be on any of my rosters. I get it, he’s the hosts grandson and has played this course more then anyone. Blah, blah, blah. This is not the Puerto Rico Open. Yes, he played very well last week at Copperhead, but prior to last week and the PRO he had 6 MC’s and a WD. Don’t get caught up in the narrative here, there are better options.
As always, let me know what you think and good luck this week.