2017 Valero Texas Open DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings
The RBC Heritage was easily my worst showing all year, but if you have to lose 1 to win seven, then I guess it is what it is. We saw a lot of guys in good positions not fully follow through, and things could be the same this week.
Let’s check in with our top 10 from last week to see how they did:
Kisner – T11 / Furyk – MC / Dufner – T11 / Perez – T70 / Kuchar – T11 / Hadwin – T22 / Leishman – T44 / Stanley – T59 / Peterson – MC / Laird – T64
All things considered, I guess it wasn’t horrible, but two missed cuts, especially Furyk, was not good. In addition, no top tens is not something I like to see. In previous breakdowns, we’ve typically had the winner and 2-3 top ten finishes. For this course, we will certainly need to go back to the drawing board in terms of our core stats.
The course this week has been one of the more difficult courses on the tour since its inclusion in 2010. The course was designed by Greg Norman during a period where he was going through a divorce, which is rumored to be why it might be so tough. He got assistance from Sergio Garcia in the design as well. It is a super long Par 72 that sites 7,435 yards long. There are four Par 5’s on this course, including 3 over 591 yards. The 8th and 18th play with a scoring average of over 5, which indicates that it sees their fair shares of bogeys. This is an event where scoring will probably be low.
This week we will go back to listing out our top 6 golfers for the week, according to our PGA model, which I promise, will be coming soon to ResearchFantasy!
Luke List (18100/6600/7600) – For the first few weeks that I’ve been doing this PGA article, our top overall play has usually been someone who was a bigger named play or someone with strong course history. This week, it’s someone that basically isn’t even in the top 30 in pricing this week on either FanDuel or DraftKings. List has made one appearance at this tournament, finishing 29th last year. What stands out to me is that he ranks high in all of the stats I’m using for this tournament, especially being third in overall Driving Distance. While I’ve seen it debated as to whether it should be distance, accuracy or the combo stat, the actual research on the research [sorry for the weird verbiage] indicates that Driving Distance is important. With him being strong in that, as well as top 10 in two of the other 5 stats we use and having nothing lower than a 80th ranking, he comes in as our top value play and top overall play this week.
Brendan Steele (19300/8500/9900) – Brendan Steele comes in as our number two this week. Aside from a missed cut in 2014, Steele has been a course horse notching two top 10’s and a 13th place finish in recent years. He hasn’t been in great form as of late, but it hasn’t been the worst either. He ranks high in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and is top 50 in 4/5 other stats we are considering this week. He is on the higher end of more expensive options, but he should still be a good bet to produce for us this weekend.
Charley Hoffman (19400/8300/10700) – It was only a matter of time before we saw ol’Course Horse Charley show up. Hoffman hasn’t shown below 11th in the last 5 years at this course, so there is literally no reason not to play him. He could very easily repeat a win here and I don’t think anyone in the industry would be shocked. He’s got this courses number down, and comes into the contest in great form. He’s the ideal cash game play here, but in tournaments, unless you think he’s going to be in the Top 5, I could see a fade because he’ll be super owned.
Ollie Schniederjans (17800/7300/8200) – It says something about your skill set for a course when you have no history there, it is heavily weighted in our model, and he still turns up as a top 5 option. He isn’t specifically great in any single statistical category we are looking at, but he does reasonably well on a whole. He ranges between 35-96 in those stats, and while that isn’t eye popping like Dustin Johnson’s stats look like at this point in the year, it shows a model of consistency who has a pretty well rounded game. His recent form could be better, and while I’m not going to be overweight on him, I’ll have my shares.
Tony Finau (18900/8100/8400) – Next up on my list is Tony Finau. I have mixed feelings on Finau, as in the Valspar, he almost missed the cut, but did manage to hold on when I had him at 100% ownership. What can I say? I’m a risk-taker. This week, outside of putting, he comes in top 30 in all the stats we count, and is 41st in recent form. The price is very fair for him, and even though his only finish here was 68th, I think we could see him in the top 10 by Sunday.
Chris Kirk (16900/6100/8000) – Chris Kirk is a course horse in training, finishing 13th and 8th in the last two outings here respectively. He’s an ace when it comes to Par 4 scoring, and since that is what most of this course is made up of, he should be in good shape. His recent form coming in is a bit questionable, but I think he’ll be worth a look based off of his results here over the last 2 years.
The One Guy Who is the Make or Break Player this Week:
Brooks Koepka: When I started researching this tournament, the first thing I saw in Twitter chatter and with some other industry contributors was the talking up of Brooks Koepka. I mean, cool. He looked good in the last few spots that he was in, but I’m just not really buying it this week. He has no course history [in the last 5 years] that suggests he should be the second highest priced golfer on the board, nor do the stats really jump out. Yes, he is top 13 in three of the stats I’m considering, but he is 142-197 in the other three stats – not exactly a vote of confidence. Add to that, his recent form is pretty awful, finding him ranked at 171. If you think you are being contrarian by going with him, fine, but if everyone thinks that, you’ve defeated the purpose. I don’t really care who is contrarian or not. I stick to the stats. That stats tell me to stay away.
Overall Top 25
1 – Luke List
2 – Brendan Steele
3 – Charley Hofman
4 – Ollie Schniederjans
5 – Tony Finau
6 – Chris Kirk
7 – Keegan Bradley
8 – Billy Horschel
9 – Michael Kim
10 – Stewart Cink
11 – Adam Hadwin
12 – Harold Varner III
13 – Martin Laird
14 – Sung Kang
15 – Jamie Lovemark
16 – Ryan Moore
17 – John Peterson
18 – Ryan Palmer
19 – Jhonattan Vegas
20 – J.J. Spaun
21 – Kevin Streelman
22 – Whee Kim
23 – Kevin Na – UPDATE: Kevin Na has withdrawn from the tournament
24 – Bud Cauley
25 – Robert Garrigus
Thanks for reading!