Wells Fargo Championship May 4th – 7th
We are back in action with PGA tour golf with the Wells Fargo Championship from Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, NC. Usually this tournament is held at Quail Hollow, but with that venue being used for the PGA championship later this year we have a new course to breakdown and little to no data to go off of. Sounds like a good time…
Players will be facing a par 72 ~7,400-yard layout here at Eagle Point. Most of the par 4s are coming in around 450 yards and three of the four par 5’s measure out less than 600 yards. There is one short par 4 that should be gettable off the tee, but like most small holes there is a risk reward factoring in going for the green. This is assuming normal wind conditions, but if the wind is in the players face this will make the holes obviously play longer.
With no course history to rely on we will have to try and lean on stats and recent form this week to determine who will be a good fit for this venue. For me precise ball strikers are going to be the key as I want guys who can dial it in with the mid irons and land it close. Course seems to have a lot of runoff so knowing where to land it is also going to be a key factor in figuring out this course for the players.
Like most weeks wind will increase missed greens and increase the emphasis on scrambling and sand saves so keep an eye out as we get closer. This course is coastal so most likely wind is going to be playing a role this week.
Dustin Johnson is back in action after that complete debacle in Augusta so he headlines a decent field this week. Although he is the only top 10 ranked golfer there are plenty of other top 50 players who will be in attendance.
Even though the venue is different, James Hahn is the defending champion after outlasting Roberto Castro in a playoff last year. Humble brag time – last year this was my best event of the year I went Secretariat at the Belmont style and basically went wire to wire in the $300 tournament with a single bullet. Sadly, this has skewed all my golf sweats since because every time I have a 36 or 54 hole lead I just think it is going to hold and that rarely if ever is the case. Still I am excited to try and defend the title and with a new course that should add a new element into the mix this week.
As most of you already know PGA was doing a team style thing last week so no DFS, but congrats to Cam Smith and Jonas Blixt for getting the W. If there were contests it would have just added to the long list of times I rostered Kevin Kisner to have him almost win, but luckily, I did not have to deal with that this week.
Over in Euro Paul Levy got the lead, lost the lead, and then stormed back to win the tourney all during the middle of the night so I did not see much of this take place. Everything lined up nice for me over in Euro except going Aphibarnrat over Levy pretty much everywhere. Missing out on the winner and replacing him with a MC is usually the difference between an awesome week and an uneventful one. Euro was fun, but I am glad to be back breaking down PGA golf and seeing the big prize pools that we are used to back in action.
Adam Scott $10,000 DK/ $9,900 FD/ $17,400 FantasyDraft – As usual you can make a case for any of these elite guys, but since I am focusing on ball strikers I will be starting a lot of my lineups with Adam Scott. He has not had the best 2017, but 9th at the Masters his last time out shows the talent is still there. Nice discount from Rahm with the same upside for me, and I do not expect Scott to be overly popular with so many reasonable options up top.
Paul Casey $9,900 DK/ $9,400 FD/ $17,200 FantasyDraft – Ok Paul this is your time to finally get it done. Casey is the heavy favorite to be my highest owned player, but I always am overweight on him so take that for what it is worth. As often mentioned, he is an elite ball striker and a terrible putter, but he showed at Augusta how good he can be with a late charge into the top 10.
Bill Haas $9,500 DK/ $8,500 FD/ $16,100 FantasyDraft – Apparently, he is a frequent visitor at this place so that has to help and he is a few weeks removed from killing everyone with his abysmal play so that should keep ownership down. Haas unraveled at RBC Heritage, but before that he was his consistent self with 6/6 cuts made and some top 15 finishes. Has not broken through to contend yet this year, but it is only a matter of time with the way he strikes the ball. Bump him up if the conditions seem tough as he is a grinder and not someone who is really built to go super low.
Lucas Glover $8,600 DK/ $6,900 FD/ $13,900 FantasyDraft – Possibly the best ball striker in the field, and has a great history at Quail Hollow. I know this is not being played there, but I do expect some correlation and this type of layout should fit Glover’s style. Putting is always an issue with this guy, but if the winds are really gusting they will have to slow these greens down a bit which can only help him. FanDuel price is super appealing, he will be popular over there, but still like the play.
Kevin Kisner $8,400 DK/ $9,000 FD/ $16,700 FantasyDraft – Not much to say at this point because like Paul Casey I always play this guy and he always does enough to keep me coming back. Kisner was runner up last week in the team competition and is burning the edges this year with multiple leads on Sunday only to watch it all fall apart. As frustrating as it is to watch him blow leads he is playing great golf and is elite with his mid-range irons which will help him a ton this week.
Louie Oosthuizen $8,100 DK/ $8,700 FD/ $15,900 FantasyDraft– Never really know what to expect with Oosty. He has moments where everything is clicking and he seems like a top 10 golfer, and then he has moments where you wonder how this guy ever won a major. Great tee to green game and has enough around the green skill to compete if the winds are wreaking havoc out there. Priced pretty fairly and someone who if they bring their A game could easily excel in this type of field. (Editor’s note: Oosthuizen has withdrawn from the tournament.)
William McGirt $7,900 DK/ $7,400 FD/ $15,800 FantasyDraft – I do love any tournament where I have a chance to take Dirt McGirt. He is playing great golf right now and is rarely highly owned giving him great GPP upside. Cut risk is certainly there with his wide range of outcomes, but McGirt can get red hot and if he can string together a few good rounds he will crush his price. Emiliano Grillo is priced slightly below him on DK and I would lean that way in cash, but like McGirt in tournaments more.
Shane Lowry $6,900 DK/ $7,600 FD – Irishman loves the nasty weather so if it is windy and rainy he is in his element. Great ball striker who’s putting lapses have really hurt him this year, but I still do not mind taking a shot here. Recent form is a little sketchy, but again he has continuously killed his chances at competing with his awful putting performances. Not saying Lowry is going to become Spieth on the greens, but I think some positive regression is in order and with his iron play that could be a recipe for a nice showing this week.
Alexander Noren $6,600 DK/$7,800 FD/ $15,000 FantasyDraft – Noren came over this year and a lot of people (including me) hyped him up as a top 10 talent and he fell flat on his face. He has been bad this year, and I will admit he is not the 12th best golfer in the world as his ranking says, but this price on DK is very tempting. He is better than the players he is priced with and basically just needs to make the cut to return value. Not a slam dunk because of his poor form, but I will gladly take Noren as my last man on teams. Graeme McDowell is also really underpriced in same range, and I do not mind him as well as my last man.
Fades & Notes
Dustin Johnson – I will have maybe 5-10%, but rostering a 13k player who we have no idea if he will be rusty or not is a big risk. At that price, you are going to need him to come top 3 and it also puts a strain on the rest of your team. Far and away the best player in the field, but not an ideal spot to load up on DJ unless you think he comes in way under-owned.
** Quick note – Tee times have not been announced when I wrote this so make sure to keep an eye on the wind because that can change a lot. Right now, it looks like the AM/PM wave has an advantage, but we should know more as we get closer to Thursday morning. **
Good luck everyone!
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