2017 Dean and DeLuca Invitational – May 25th through 28th
We are staying in Texas this week with the Dean and DeLuca Invitational set to follow up last week’s Byron Nelson. We shift over to Fort Worth and Colonial Country club where players will be dealing with a par 70 7200-yard layout. The Crown Plaza was the title sponsor for this tourney from 2006-2015 so do not be alarmed if you are seeing Crown Plaza Invitational data when looking back over previous years.
One thing to keep in mind is this is an invitational which matters to us in the DFS world. Instead of the usual 150ish players, the field will only be about 120 which means 6/6% gets a nice bump.
Colonial CC is a pretty standard par 70 layout which means players will only have two par 5’s to attack this week. Taking advantage of the Par 5’s is going to be necessary, but it will not be enough to separate so look for players who can score well on par 4’s as they will be dealing with 12 of them, mostly in the 400-475-yard range. I expect most players to club down off the tee as this is a positional golf course and spraying it all over the place will be a fast track to a MC this week. Shots gained on approach will be important as always and with difficult to hit greens having the ability to scramble will help avoid some bogeys at this place.
Wind often plays a factor and so far it looks like it is going to play a major factor this week so make sure to monitor as we get closer to lock.
** Me and Hotmajik are having a show on Wednesday nights that will give updates to what we are thinking as more information will be available so if you are around come check it out **
Less players in the field will make it easier to make the cut as having to only beat 50 players instead of the usual 80 is a big difference. The Euro tour has a big event this week so they have retained all their heavy hitters so there is not a lot of the top international players in this field. There is however someone named Jazz Janewattananond from Thailand who I know literally nothing about but he certainly qualifies for best name in this tourney.
Rahm and Spieth headline the field, Spieth loves this place and is coming off some ugly recent form, it should be interesting to see what people do with him.
Billy Horschel. Man have I been riding that guy through all his missed cuts lately and I guess he was not lying when he said he felt he was turning the corner. Did not have as much Horschel as I have had lately which was not ideal, but it was still nice to finally cash in on him after some ugly weeks when rostering. Full disclosure he made 450 feet of putts during this tourney, which is ridiculous and when you are that hot on the greens it pretty much sets you up to be in the hunt barring you do not implode tee to green.
I was happy with my player pool this week had decent exposure to almost all the top finishers, but just could not avoid some major landmines. Lahiri, JB holmes and his epic -5 strokes lost putting in one day, and DeLaet all killed some really solid lineups, but overall it was a positive week mostly thanks to Jason Day looking like he is back to being the elite putter and player that we are used to seeing.
Jon Rahm (11.8 DK, 18.4 FDraft)/Jordan Spieth (12 DK,18.3 FDraft) – Not breaking any news here with these two although Spieth’s recent putter change is concerning, but not full fade worthy since he absolutely loves this course. Rahm is coming off a ridiculously bad 3rd round at the Players, but that is zero concern to me as that place produces outlier rounds with so much water in play. Things like weather/tee times will probably factor into how much exposure I will have to each, but they are clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field in terms of talent.
Paul Casey $10,200 DK/$16,700 FDraft – For the stats that I am weighing this week Casey grades out right at the top for me which works because I love to play him anyway so that makes it easier. He keeps putting together solid showings, but the upside has been limited this year with only one top ten. I do think he is going to break through and win this year, but as most of you know his putting makes it hard for him to string together enough birdies to get it done most weeks. Interesting price point, if you are not starting with Rahm or Spieth up top Casey allows a ton of flexibility with the rest of your roster. I am not going crazy with Casey, but will be overweight against the field and will have teams with him as the top guy and then ones with him paired with Spieth or Rahm up top.
Jason Dufner $9,000 DK/$16,700 FDraft – Like many I was on him last week and he was very solid coming in 13th. I expected more of Dufner on Sunday and thought he was a dark horse to make a move and get the W, but he never really threatened the leaders. Playing great golf, 6th here last year and has the tee to green game that we are looking for. Dufner also is crushing par 4 scoring so far this year which can make the difference with only two par 5’s on the card this week.
Tony Finau $8,700 DK/$16,200 FDraft – Pretty much same story as Dufner, had him last week and he was solid, but never threatened the lead. Was happy to see him rebound after his miserable Thursday and he proved once again that his putting is what can really hold him back as he missed a bunch of makeable birdies throughout the week. Known as a bomber, but even at a shorter course he can use that length to his advantage and pick his spots to really attack. Shorter shots in should help elevate his Greens in Regulation which will benefit Finau as scrambling is not one of his strong points.
Brandt Snedeker $8,100 DK/$15,600 FDraft – Was more popular than I thought last week coming back from wrist injury and the rust showed with an unimpressive performance. Sneds was solid around the green and putting, but really was off tee to green which he will have to improve on this week to compete. Clubbing down off the tee should help and he has shown solid results at Colonial with a 17th last year and a runner up in 2015. Definitely would not trust him in cash, but like him as a sneaky mid-range GPP play.
Ryan Palmer $7,900 DK/$16,200 FDraft – Member at the course so he has all the local knowledge he will ever need to be ready for Colonial. Great course history which is not surprising given he has played the course so often, and has really rounded into form after an ugly start to 2017. Should be popular, but I will have my shares of Palmer this week on his home track.
Sung Kang $7,400 DK/$15,000 FDraft – Another week another top 25 finish for Sung Kang. He just keeps playing solid golf and making cuts and his price has not jumped. Going to be popular and his range contains other interesting pivots (Charley Hoffman stands out) , but I have absolutely no problem continuing to play Kang while he is on this hot streak.
William McGirt $7,100 DK/$15,000 FDraft – Besides his MC at Wells Fargo McGirt is playing great golf over the last few months. Comes to a course where he should excel as he is an excellent ball striker and has been scoring excellent on Par 4’s so far this year. Made the cut 5 out of the last 6 years here at Colonial and at this price he does not have to rely on a high finish to return value.
Danny Lee $6,900 DK/$14,800 FDraft – Lee was awesome last week and provided a nice pivot off Smylie. Surged on the weekend to end up T5 and hopefully he can carry that momentum into this week. Streaky player, so when he is hot I will keep targeting as once the wheels fall off he can miss a string of cuts in a row, like we saw earlier this year. Bill Haas is also at this price range and has been awful lately with 3 straight missed cuts, but he is a much better player than this price. Buyer beware on him, but I will still have some exposure.
Fades & Notes
Billy Horschel & Si Woo Kim – I know my bias of not playing guys off a win is showing, but I do not love the spot for either player. Horschel was out of his mind on the greens last week and I do not expect that to continue, and Si Woo Kim still has major cut risks associated with him and that price is at a premium off the win. Ownership should be elevated given their recent success and there is a bunch of players I prefer at that ~8k range on DK. If you are MME I can see the merit for some GPP fliers on them, but I will be underweight to possibly having 0% of both.
Good luck everyone!
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