2018 Sony Open DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings
Welcome to the first 2018 edition of our PGA DFS picks! 2017 was our first year playing golf, or watching it even. It was a pretty successful year. I almost took down 6/10 tops spots in the Masters tournament on Fanduel, but alas, it was not to be. It was still a very big weekend for us.
This is a much better situation than last week. If I would have done an article last week, it would have said the following: pray, because with only 32 golfers in the field, if you have one that posts further back than 20th, you are going to be in some serious trouble. Unfortunately for me, I ended up with more of the likes of Kyle Stanley, Grayson Murray and Brendan Steele than I would like to admit. At least I only had one Brooks Koepka.
This week sets up much better, as we have more of a wide open field. These tournaments tend to be a little bit better for tournaments, as one missed cut, or poor performance, will not kill you.
For those who are unfamiliar with our articles, they are largely based off a spreadsheet that we put together. It takes a lot of factors into consideration, including course relevant stats, past performance and Vegas odds. It is not a perfect sheet. No one has one. If they did, they sure as hell would not share it with you.
We are going to highlight 4-6 golfers that turn up high in our rankings. Sometimes, we will advocate for them. Sometimes, we will not hesitate to stress caution. We will also include on guy we are fading.
Jordan Spieth (12800/1200) – It should not shock anyone to see Jordan at the top spot. First, I am still going off of 2017 stats, because it is far too early to use 2018 stats. Second, he is the most talented (debatable I guess) golfer in this tournament. His price is high, but so is his upside. The only real downside here is that he needs to finish 3rd or better and you will need the right pieces around him to win big. He fits this tournament like a glove, first in both SG: Approach and Par 4 Scoring. He also rates highly in all other stats as well. He has a 3rd place finish in 2017, but missed the cut in 2014. I would not fear him missing the cut. He did not do well last week at points, but we know the upside is there. He might not be my starting point, but I will have my fair share.
Chez Reavie (9300/8000) – There were two things I was shocked with. First and foremost, it was Reavie’s price. After that, it was the fact that he popped as #2 in our model. This is not a misprint. Reavie has seen some success here, finishing as high as 8th last year. He is 4th in Proximity to the Hole and 6th in Par 4 Scoring. He is no lower than 45th in any of the other key stats. Reavie is a gut call guy for me, who I do have some loyalties to. He won me a fair amount when he went on a nice little run last summer I believe. I think he is a good bet to make the cut, and I am confident he can cash a top 20 finish. That might not be great for the price, but anything above the Top 15 will be great.
Webb Simpson (10800/9300) – Another guy who seems like his price is a bit high is Webb. However, his last 4 finishes here are 13, 13, 13 and 20. He is the 9th most expensive golfer on FanDuel and the 7th on DraftKings. With him, I am much, much more likely to put him in my cash game lineup than tournament, as I think we can find higher upside at prices slightly above or below him. However, I do not think you can hate the consistency. He is 6th in Par 4 Scoring and 10th in Proximity to the Hole and has obviously shown his mastery of this course.
Charles Howell III (101000/8800) – This course definitely suits CHIII. His past five results are: 8/13/26/8/3. His stats do not really paint the best picture for his odds for success, but who cares? This is definitely a situation where I do not care what the stats say. He cleans up here. He is the course horse I am fine with paying up for this week, and so will everyone else. That will not sway me, as I will have a high level of ownership on him.
Hudson Swafford (8800/7300) – Swafford had a really up and down weekend last week, but I would expect him to turn things around this week. He is a bargain for what he could bring to the table if he is able to do what he has done in the past. Over his last four stops here, he finished 13,9, MC and 8. His Proximity to the Hole and Greens in Regulation have been a strength for him in the past, and if he has his putter under control, this is actually a course he could win at. He is my underdog pick to make noise this week.
Jimmy Walker (9800/7200) – Walker is going to be a very interesting case. He did not make the cut last year, but his prior appearances were 13, 1 and 1. Two wins is pretty crazy for someone priced here. Can we count on 2017 being a result of his Lyme disease? Walker missed the cut in his last attempt playing in November. He says he is 80-90% there physically but does not know how things land mentally. If there was any course for him that should inspire confidence, it should be here. I am undecided on his level of ownership. I could see him being very highly owned, or I could see players stay off of him completely. I think I will have something like 20% ownership on him, and I feel like that should be slightly above the field.
The One Guy Who is the Make or Break Player this Week:
Brian Harmann: A lot of the early buzz I see here gives me the feeling that Harmann will be highly owned. He is the 5th highest priced golfer on FanDuel and 4th on DraftKings. His finishes in the 2017/18 season go T5, 8, T4 and 3. There is no denying that he is on fire. In his last five here, he has managed 20, 13, 13, 32 and missed cut. He ranks 16th in our model and if that is where he would finish, it just would not be enough. I will have some exposure, but I will do my best to be under the field. It might break me, but if it does not, it may make me.
Overall Top 25
1 – Jordan Spieth
2 – Chez Reavie
3 – Webb Simpson
4 – Stewart Cink
5 – Bill Haas
6 – Daniel Berger
7 – Kevin Na
8 – Zach Johnson
9 – Marc Leishman
10 – Justin Thomas
11 – Ryan Armour
12 – Kevin Kisner
13 – Charles Howell III
14 – Ollie Schneiderjans
15 – Russell Henley
16 – Brian Harmann
17 – Tony Finau
18 – Danny Lee
19 – Hudson Swafford
20 – Gary Woodland
21 – Jason Dufner
22 – Kyle Stanley
23 – Emilliano Grillo
24 – Vaughn Taylor
25 – William McGirt
Thanks for reading!