With a little over fifteen minutes until the roster lock of the year, it’s quiet on the news front. Just a reminder if you are new to DFS and have a concern about the weather in terms of tee time stacking, the format this week features three courses so all golfers will tee off in the same 2-hour window. Good luck this week grinders, as always if any late news breaks we will provide the updates needed. Golf ownership numbers will be up and running within five minutes of roster lock. Make sure to check out Results DB to see how your percentages stack up vs the field.
Aaron Wise made headlines this offseason as he posted social media images of the changes made to his body in preparation for his sophomore season on tour. Wise gained a significant amount of muscle mass this offseason and heads into this week looking to build on a solid debut at last year’s Desert Classic. With one win already under his belt, Wise is considered by many to be one of the more talented young players on tour. With a very reasonable price tag on the week, Wise is the biggest gainer of projected ownership for the week. Using projected ownership is a great way to decide how you feel about a particular player for any given week. With his increase in popularity, there is always a case to be made for looking at potential ownership pivots in the same price range. Although he is an extremely talented young player, if you felt like perhaps this was the week to go under the field on Wise then there are a few decent players in the same price range that have almost half his ownership. The use of projected ownership is a great tool to add to your arsenal of roster building each week. Even if you don’t end up taking a hard stance on a popular play, you will be a better player in the long run for having gone through the process of evaluating the merits of that decision.
It’s really hard to quantify in golf the really thin line between success and failure at the highest level of competition. For example, if you just look at a game log and see a missed cut that will not often tell the story of how a player performed that week. In the case of Pat Perez, game log watchers will see a missed cut at last week’s Sony Open and assume that he played poorly. Perez missed the cut by one shot last week failing to birdie his last hole of the day, a very attackable par 5. If he makes that cut then there is a better than average chance that both his price and ownership are a bit higher for this week’s Desert Classic. That being said, Perez is still an excellent source of value for the week. In addition to his win, Perez has made 9 out of 13 cuts including 4 top 30 or better finishes. Perez is a proven veteran on tour and has more than enough upside to pay off his salary for the week.
Daniel Berger played the last part of the 2018 season with a troublesome wrist injury. The nature of the injury did not allow Berger to practice as much as he would have liked towards the end of the year, and he was forced to miss The BMW Championship in order to prevent further injury. Berger took the fall swing off and is set to make his 2019 season debut this week. According to our predicted ownership, Berger has lost the most interest as the week progresses creating an opportunity to buy low on what is still a very talented golfer. The fear of injury could have lead to the lower ownership number, but since this is a Pro-Am format, players would not make it this far into the week if they were not ready to go. While rust could be a factor to start the season, Berger has played enough PGA Tour golf to know what it takes to be ready for this week. In a format where golfers are guaranteed three rounds of play Berger offers a ton of upside at his discounted price for the week and remains a sneaky GPP flyer to start the west coast swing.
Ben Martin withdrew from The Dessert Classic today and has been replaced in the field by Tyrone Van Aswegen. Martin has six starts left on his major medical exemption and has opted to skip this weeks event after missing the cut at The Sony. Van Aswegen will not be in the DFS pricing pools this week.
PGA Tour veteran Charles Howell ended one of the longest winning streaks on tour with his victory at The RSM Classic during the wrap-around season. For those of you who are new to DFS golf, Howell is the type of player that we love target often this time of year due to his solid play on this stretch of golf know as the west coast swing. Howell’s PGA career has been marred by his inability to win, but from a DFS standpoint, he is a guy worth targeting due to his reliability and steady ball striking. Priced up in this week’s field due to his recent win Howell is player trending towards a lower than expected ownership number. While he may not have the luster of a John Rahm or a Justin Rose, there is a strong case to made for Howell as a top end spend on the week. For starters, we know his track record in events played on the west coast, and more importantly, Howell is playing some of the best golf of his career right now and should have plenty of confidence after his win. If you are looking for a way to gain an edge via ownership then starting your lineups off with Howell provides a completely different roster construction and one could argue that you are not giving up a ton of upside in comparison to other high priced golfers.
Ready to start his 3rd full season as both a healthy and top player on The PGA Tour, Patrick Cantlay will start his 2019 season this week at The Desert Classic. Currently ranked inside the top 20 in the world, Cantlay prepares to improve on a season in which he earned his first PGA Tour win. Cantlay’s road to recovery has been one of the better stories on the tour, and evident by his number of starts last season ( 23), we can expect to see this rising superstar at more events in the future. Despite having only played in this event once, the choice to add The Desert Classic to his 2019 calendar indicates that Cantlay feels like this is an event that suits his game. Ranked near the top of many of the strokes gained stats, Cantlay is an elite ball striker that fits the style of golf needed to play well this week. Priced down from the other big named golfers in this week’s field, Cantlay has all of the makings of a great GPP play for the week. From a long term perspective, California native is the type of player that has winning upside each and every week he plays, so even though he is playing in this event for the first time Cantlay is a player worth adding into your GPP roster build mix.
The start of the 2019 calendar year did not go as planned for PGA Tour veteran Zach Johnson. As one of the more popular picks for the week, Johnson missed a cut at a venue where he historically plays great golf. In the field again this week at The Desert Classic, Johnson will look to rebound from that missed cut as he plays in this event for the ninth time in his career. Priced down to his poor performance last week, Johnson sits as one of the stronger plays in Pt/$/K for the week in our projection model. Johnson will look to build on 4 top 25 or better finishes highlighted by T3 at the 2014 Desert Classic. The ability to have a short memory is a great tool in a game where the line between success and failure is often very thin. The addition of Johnson to your roster build pool is a great way to get exposure to a very talented golfer at a great price.
This week will mark a few firsts for world’s number one ranked golfer, Justin Rose. Not only will Rose make his first start of the 2019 season, but his return to The Desert Classic will also be the first time he plays in a tournament with new equipment. Rose made headlines this offseason as the speculation began to grown around the possibility of joining the up can coming Honma club company. Rose will tee up this week with his new equipment in tow and will play in The Desert Classic for the first time since the 2010 season. Anytime Rose is in the field he would have to be considered a great option for almost any format, and as we have noted with other players switching clubs there should be almost no impact with this change. With over two months of testing and tweaking on the new equipment, Rose will be ready to go this week. With a guaranteed three rounds of play this week there is an easier path to trying to build a stars and scrubs rosters, and Rose is an elite ball striker that has proven worthy of a star spot in your builds.
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