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The Honda Classic seemed all but over as Justin Thomas stood over his third shot of the 72nd hole. With Luke List already on the green, Thomas had to stick his approach and he did just that to force a playoff. However, things did not go List’s way the second time around on 18. After landing in the right rough on his drive and hitting the grandstands on his second shot, List gave himself little or no chance, as Thomas made it onto the green in two. The 24-year-old Thomas went on to pick up his seventh win in the past two seasons on Sunday and now leads the FedExCup Standings.
The Honda Classic was one of the tougher weeks on DraftKings. Most of the DK teams that had four of their six picks make the cut were able to place in the 50/50 or double up games. This was a result of so many big names missing the cut, including 2017 winner Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Tyrrell Hatton, Patton Kizzire, Charles Howell III, and Chesson Hadley. Many of these players were heavily owned, which accounted for some lower scores this week. Martin Kaymer, Danny Lee, and Bud Cauley owners were also short-lived with withdrawals. However, we did get some nice outings out of Tommy Fleetwood, Byeong Hun An, Emiliano Grillo, and Adam Scott.
Next up on the PGA Tour schedule is the WGC Mexico, which will be played at Club de Golf Chapultepec for the second consecutive year. The par 71 hosts a 65-man field featuring 45 of the Top-50 players in the world. With such a small field and no cuts being made, finishes mean everything in terms of DFS. As we know from last year, the elevation here plays a huge factor. Players can club down and give themselves a better chance to hit fairways when needed.
SG: Approach the Green
Par 4 Birdie or Better
Fading the Top Options
As expected, the defending champ and current world No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads the way on DraftKings at the high price of $11,900. Following Johnson is last week’s winner, Justin Thomas ($11,500), then Jon Rahm ($10,600), Jordan Spieth ($10,500), and Tommy Fleetwood ($10,000) round out the top tier. With such a strong field, it’s tough to make an argument against any of the Top 5 priced above $10K. Dustin Johnson is fully expected to be the highest owned player in the field, and Justin Thomas should be right behind him. With price tags well over $11K, both are in a nice spot to fade this week with so much depth behind them.
In the top tier, Jordan Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood make for solid pivot plays. Spieth finished T12 here last year and it seems as if everybody is off him due to his recent form. He has made five of his last six cuts and finished no worse than T20. If you take a look at the Finish Probabilities on DailyRoto, Spieth has the second-best odds to win at 5.92 percent. He is worth a look in all formats at such a discount off the Top 2 and should not see as much ownership as the surrounding players. Tommy Fleetwood checked two of the three boxes in the highlighted key stats above. He currently ranks 16th in SG: Approach the Green, and 11th in Total Driving. He finished a solo second place here a season ago and is a week removed from a solo fourth at the Honda Classic. Look for both Spieth and Fleetwood to go under the radar this week on DraftKings.
The best way to start your team is to drop down into the next range of players from $8,000-$10,000. In fields such as this one, we can expose the low prices of some of the top players in the world because it’s such a strong field.
The first player in this range who should be on your radar is Rickie Fowler ($9.800). Though he’s been somewhat inconsistent early in the season, it’s nice to target him right now when there are no cuts being made. Fowler is coming off a disappointing week as the defending champ at the Honda Classic. Many of those who paid the $11,700 price tag for Fowler a week ago, only to watch him miss the cut, will not be buying in on him again this week. He is reasonably priced in this field but should go overlooked in this spot. I expect Fowler to bounce back this week at the WGC Mexico and be a nice pivot play off the over $10K group.
Another chalky play from this range who also rates out very well is Alex Noren ($8,800). Noren is arguably in the best form of anyone in the field, and he is contending each and every week. In his four starts this year, he has failed to miss a cut and has finished no lower than T21. He went into the clubhouse on Sunday with a slim chance of joining List and Thomas in the playoff before the two-birdied 18. Noren is one of the few players who pops on all three of the key stats this week, as he is 12th in both SG: Approach the Green and Total Driving, and 33rd in Par 4 Birdie or Better %. Noren should be a lock in cash lineups.
Kevin Chappell ($8,100) is another player who showed up on all of the key stats, currently ranking 24th in SG: Approach the Green, eighth in Total Driving, and 14th in Par 4 Birdie or Better %. Chappell has made four consecutive cuts with two of them resulting in Top-10 finishes. Though he did not fare well in his appearance here last year (T55), Chappell now has a win under his belt and is in great form. He is a nice option in large field tournaments on DraftKings and should not have a very high ownership percentage.
Another name that kept showing up in the key stats highlighted above was Gary Woodland ($7,600). His game off the tee should separate himself from the field as he shows a nice balance between Driving Distance & Accuracy. Woodland rates out as the seventh-best value option in DailyRoto’s Projection model for DraftKings. Woodland should be viewed similar to Noren, as he is a solid option to fill one of your roster spaces in cash games.
When looking at DailyRoto’s Projection model, Pat Perez ($7,400) graded as the best overall value on DraftKings when considering Long-Term Form, Recent Form, and Course History while factoring in pricing. The gap between Perez and the golfer with the second- best value is much larger than we would normally see. Many people still fail to realize that Perez is ranked among the Top-20 golfers in the world. He ranks 10th in Par 4 Birdie or Better % and has yet to miss a cut in this young 2018 season. Pat Perez is worth a look in all formats on DraftKings this week.
Hao-Tong Li’s $7,400 price tag should scare many owners off him. In the small sample we have to work with, Li is currently 10th in Sg: Approach the Green, and 19th in Total Driving. He played three strong rounds at the Genesis Open. Hao-Tong Li should be a tournament option only.
Sam Burns, 21, got a lot of camera time playing beside Tiger Woods on Sunday. After making his way into the field at the Honda Classic through sponsor exemptions, Burns made the most of his opportunity with a Top-10 finish. He currently does not have his PGA Tour Card, so it makes for a difficult situation in season-long leagues. Burns is someone to keep an eye on in the upcoming weeks and heading into next season as well.