2017 Shell Houston Open DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings

We couldn’t cover the Puerto Rico Open last week, but I am back filling in for our golf analyst Matt Tomko, giving my first attempt of covering PGA DFS! I have been pretty successful since jumping into the fantasy golf realm, and our PGA model [available soon] has been giving good results that I hope will carry over into the Shell Houston Open.

The Golf Club of Houston plays as a 7,442 yard, par 72 course that has been the precursor to the Masters for the last two decades. There are a few different ways to approach this: some players are playing for entry into the Masters, whereas we COULD see some golfers withdraw if they are already in the Master’s and aren’t seeing good form. This is something that I am not overly concerned about, though.

One of the key stats I do focus on each week is recent form. While it is not going to be a constant predictor of what will take place, it does identify those golfers who are headedl, or in, the right direction. Other stats I’ve focused on are SG: Tee to Green, Par 4 Scoring, Total Distance and Proximity from 175-225 yards. I think there are trends to confirm that these stats are important to predicting success at the Golf Club of Houston.

I am going to break down our top 6, giving our top overall 25 based off our model and then looking at a few players under $7k on DraftKings.

Golfer (FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings)

Jordan Spieth (22600/10500/12000) – It’s not too surprising to find Speith in here. To start, his history at the course has been very good, aside from the missed cut in 2014. His last two years saw him finish 13th and 2nd respectively. In terms of our key stats, he’s top 10 in all but Total Driving, which is ay 73 and doesn’t concern me too much. He’s been in great form, and quite frankly, it’s easy to see why he’s out top option this week. There is easily enough value out there to build your team around, so I wouldn’t hesitate to create a lot of lineups with Speith.

Rickie Fowler (20400/9500/10000) – Fowler has been playing really solid golf as of late, and that’s always a positive when going into a course like this. His history here is a mixed bag: two top tens, and two below 63 [63 and 71]. I guess if you are a glass half-full type of person you can say at least he made the cut. Much like Speith, he checks in with top 10’s across the board [or close], with the exception being Proximity from 175-225. That is somewhat concerning, but it was still better than average, so he’s someone I will certainly be after this weekend.

Tony Finau (17900/7900/7100) – There’s no doubt about it, at least on DraftKings: Tony Finau is going to be in a TON of lineups. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him 40%+ in tournaments. He’s either going to be the one chalk play that you wish you played, or the guy you are so happy you stayed away from. His relevant stats could in fact be the best across the board, with no single stat seeing him any higher than ranked 39th.  Then you look at the course history. The two times he’s been here, he missed the cut in 2016 and finished 42nd in 2015. While our model does weigh past performance, it still wasn’t enough to drop him any lower than third. I am more interested in what a golfer IS doing than what he DID do, so I am going to be with the crowd on Finau this weekend.

J.B. Holmes (18900/8400/9200) – I would assume that Holmes could be another guy that sees a ton of ownership this weekend based off his course history alone. He’s been here three times in the last five years finishing 1/12/8. That speaks for itself, am I right? Checking in on the course stats, he’s another guy who checks four out of five boxes, with Total Driving his only shortcoming. Again, I’ll be looking past that this week, and I will carry a high-level ownership of Holmes.

Daniel Berger (18400/7600/8800) – I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Berger, and with good reason: a 6th in 2016 and a 25th in 2015. Not to mention, he’s been very, very good in recent form. He also checks off the rest of the stats we are focusing on this week. He doesn’t come in as high as some of the other golfers on this list, but he is well suited for this course to say the least. He’s way too cheap on FanDuel, where I am likely to have a ton of ownership on him and I think that will pay off.

Russell Henley (18800/6900/8700) – The last of our six main golfers will be Russell Henley, who as well has seen a ton of success here. He’s had three straight top 7 finishes, and a respectable 45th back in 2013. His recent form hasn’t been tremendous, but the rest of his actual stats for this course are no worse than 39th. His game is perfectly suited for this course, and if you thought Berger was cheap on FanDuel, Henley is an absolute steal. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him finally take one home this year.

TOP 25

1 – Jordan Speith

2 – Rickie Fowler

3 – Tony Finau

4 – J.B. Holmes

5 – Daniel Berger

6 – Russell Henley

7 – Jim Herman

8 – Kyle Stanley

9 – Lucas Glover

10 – Jon Rahm

11 – Justin Rose

12 – Chez Reavie

13 – Billy Horschel

14 – Charley Hoffman

15 – Lee Westwood

16 – Jhonattan Vegas

17 – Nick Watney

18 – Keegan Bradley

19 – Henrik Stenson

20 – Phil Mickelson

21 – Jimmy Walker

22 – Charles Howell III

23 – Luke List

24 – Matt Kuchar

25 – Brian Harman

Bargain Bin

There are a number of guys who check in as reasonable punt plays in this format. Under $7k on DraftKings, the following players turn up as reasonable plays in our model:

Alex Cejka, Ryan Palmer, John Peterson, Sung Kang, Chris Stroud, Jamie Lovemark, Chad Campbell, Kyle Reifers, Michael Kim and Robert Castro.

I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at this! Good luck this weekend!

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