MLB Preview, Thursday April 27 – DraftKings & Fanduel

MLB Preview, Thursday April 27 – DraftKings & Fanduel

The Chris Sale train just keeps chugging along! Four straight games of 7+IP to start the season including 35 total Ks over his last three starts. It’s no surprise that his K/9 (12.74) and his xFIP (2.07) are both the best on the slate. He’s going to face the rival Yankees tonight who actually own the league’s best wOBA to this point (.340) but drop down to .318 against LHP, which is about middle of the pack. On a slate that includes Noah Syndergaard in a prime matchup for less money, I wonder how overlooked Sale will be.

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Don’t forget that Julio Urias will be making his season debut for the Dodgers today. The 20 year old lefty made 15 starts for LA last season, posting a solid 9.8 K/9 and only surrendering five homers in 77 IP. He never looked out of place in the Bigs and really settled in towards the end of the season. Over his last 8 appearances (33.2 IP), he boasted a 1.34 ERA while striking out a better per inning. He should benefit from the pitcher friendly park in San Francisco while facing a Giants team that has scored the 6th fewest runs in the league this season with the third worst ISO.

There’s something that doesn’t add up for Jeremy Hellickson. By all accounts, he’s having a great year, but the advanced metrics can’t figure out why. He has a 1.88 ERA but a 5.48 xFIP which is the second worst on the slate. That would indicate there is some type of correction coming for Hellickson who is pitching well above expectation. He’s the type of pitcher we like to target as he only strikes out 3.75 batters per nine (worst on the slate) and his GB% is only 28.8%, second worst on the slate. I mean it’s really amazing that he’s had such a good start to the season because this makes no sense! He will face the Marlins today who are, by most accounts, a very average team but should benefit from the ballpark tonight. The Marlins have scored the 5th most runs on the road this season.

I’m interested in the Houston Astros who have the highest batting average (by far) on the road this season, while scoring the 6th most runs. For the entire season, they check-in with a .329 wOBA which is 7th best in Major League Baseball. There are few road parks more beneficial than Progressive Field which allows the 2nd most fantasy points last season, behind only Coors Field. I suspect the Astros to be significantly under-owned as they face Corey Kluber who is coming off an absolute dime — complete game shutout worth 44.3 DraftKings points. Yes, that is giving me pause, but we’ve seen volatile Kluber this young season as in his first three starts of the year he allowed 13 ER in 18.1 IP.

MLB Preview, Saturday April 22 – DraftKings & Fanduel

MLB Preview, Saturday April 22 – DraftKings & Fanduel

There are only three pitchers on this slate who have more than 10Ks per nine innings this season. They are Jake Arrieta, (our friend) Michael Pineda and Robbie Ray. It’s Ray that leads the slate in this category with a whopping 11.78 K/9 in his three starts this year. He’s fired back-to-back solid outings with 29.6 and 27.3 DK points in his last two starts with the latter coming against the LA Dodgers. That Dodgers team will be his opponent again today with a quick turnaround from whiffing ten times against Ray just five days ago. Plenty of concerns with Ray including that this game is at hitter friendly Chase Field but the Dodgers have been miserable against LHP this season and he’s pitching too well with too many K’s to overlook.

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If you need some value, consider Lance Lynn. Remember that he missed the entire 2016 campaign after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. It’s not shocking that he started slow in his first two starts, getting knocked around a bit (in his defense it was against CHC and WAS) but was rather impressive five days ago against Pittsburgh. Lynn scattered three hits over seven innings and returned his owners 26.2 DraftKings points. Again, I don’t love this matchup with the potent Milwaukee offense, but they are striking out at an incredible 26.9% this season, the second worth rate in the league.

This is a fairly weak pitching slate in my opinion, so this sets up for plenty of stack options today. A really interesting situation

The Mets present an interesting option against Gio Gonzalez. If there’s anything we know about Gio, it’s that he’s just as likely to give up ten runs as he is to throw a shutout. One of the more volatile pitchers in the league will make his first road start of the season against the Mets who will certainly be up to the challenge. The Mets own the league’s third best wOBA against LHP this season. Yoenis Cespedes is technically day-to-day so I suppose there’s a chance he plays today, but probably unlikely. If he does sit, that would certainly make the lineup less potent but should open up potential value.

Speaking of volatile, which version of Steven Wright are we going to get today? In his last outing, he was solid, turning in six innings with only one earned run and notched the win. However, in the outing prior, he was SHELLED for eight hits, eight runs and four dingers in only 1.1 IP. That outing was against the Baltimore Orioles who…Wright will have to face again today.

PGA Preview, Valero Texas Open – DraftKings

PGA Preview, Valero Texas Open – DraftKings

What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone had a profitable, if not enjoyable, RBC Heritage weekend! I apologize for not including Wesley Bryan in my article, but if you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen he was one of my highest owned golfers of the week! I will do better to include the winner in this article going forward…

It’s back to Texas for the Valero Texas Open hosted by TPC San Antonio. This is a long and tough 7,435 yard Par 72 course. Distance off the tee will be important, and could put some longer hitters in good spots to reach these Par 5s in two. This course is known to favor the longer hitters, but if you aren’t super long, you better be fantastic around the green to try and make up for it. I personally will be targeting bombers with good ball striking skills. A stat that is starting to pick up steam across the DFS Golf industry is strokes gained off the tee PLUS strokes gained approach. This will highlight players who are reaching the green in the most efficent manner possible, eliminating the scrambling portion of strokes gained T2G. I will also be focusing on birdie or better percentage like usual, as well as ball striking and green in regulation stats, especially from 175 yards and out.

Alright, let’s get to the picks!

Staples

My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.

Charley Hoffman – $10,700

Take Charley Hoffman in Texas. It has been a narrative for quite a while now and it showed last year when Hoffman won this event. In his four trips prior to his win last year, Hoffman had three top 15s and a T3. The best part about Hoffman this week is that it isn’t just his course history that makes him appealing. He missed the cut last week at the RBC Heritage, which will still be fresh in DFSer’s minds and might scare a few people off. He played very well at Augusta and the two weeks leading up to the Masters. He ranks 8th in strokes gained off the tee and 18th in birdie or better percentage. Charley is a course horse with good recent form and the stats this season to fit the course.

Brendan Steele – $9,900

Brendan Steele is the highest ranked golfer in my model this week, with good reason. He has the complete package when it comes to figuring out who will be my highest owned golfer. In this field, he ranks 1st in strokes gained T2G, 3rd in ball striking, 2nd in bogey avoidance and 14th in birdie or better percentage. His recent form is great and he hasn’t missed a cut since the PGA Championship. Steele won this event back in 2011 and since then has two top 10s and a T13 last year. Steele will likely be the highest owned golfer on the slate, but I am willing to put him in 60%-70% of my lineups this week.

Tony Finau – $8,400

It’s a bombers week, so Tony Finau has to be considered especially at his reasonable $8,400 price tag. Finau has been playing solid this season with two top 5s in his last seven events. His stats line up perfectly for this course, ranking 2nd in strokes gained off the tee plus strokes gained approach. He is an elite ball striker and his hitting a ton of greens in regulation this season. Finau has been known to struggle on Bermuda greens, but this course has allowed bad putters to win in the past. Finau will very popular this week, so if you want to reap the rewards of a high Finau finish, you will need to roster him in over 30% of your lineups.

Sung Kang – $7,400

You know it’s an ugly week when Sung Kang is being considered a staple play, but it is warranted for him this week. Kang has put back-to-back fantastic finishes together with a T11 at the RBC Heritage and a 2nd place finish at the Shell Houston Open. Kang ranks 13th in the field in SG:OTT + APP and 22nd in birder or better percentage. Kang makes for a great tournament play as he has top 5 upside with his current form. It will take some stones to roster Kang in cash, but if you are stuck with only $7,400 left in a nice cash lineup you made, you can definitely do worse than Kang.

Perfect Pivots

Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.

Jimmy Walker – $10,500

In a week where there is no clear cut favorite at the top, or no obvious missed priced golfer at the top to hoard all the ownership, pivoting to Jimmy Walker makes a ton of sense. On FanShareSports.com, Walker has only accumulated 11 tags, 18th most this week. He is surrounded by two guys with more than twice the amount of mentions then him, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore, who will likely soak up a ton of ownership. Walker, the 2015 winner of this event, will be the least owned golfer in the $10K and up range. He is coming in with great form and his and his length off the tee will play well at TPC San Antonio. Pivoting to Walker will set you apart in GPPs.

Byeong Hun An – $8,500

Another popular range this week is in the mid $8,000s. Tony Finau and Ryan Palmer are drawing a lot of attention this week according to FanShareSports. Stuck in the middle of those two is Benny An, who never draws a lot of ownership regardless of the field he is in. His strokes gained off the tee plus strokes gained approach ranks 3rd in the field. Where An struggles is on the green, but you do not have to be a good putter at this course to win. An will be overlooked, even though he is one of the best talents in the field.

Automatic Fades

Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.

Patrick Reed – $9,700

Patrick Reed has been on the struggle bus all season long. His last top 15 finish was at the CareerBuilder in January and has yet to finish inside the top 20 since. He has missed his last two cuts, at the Shell Houston Open and the Masters. The reason Reed is priced so high this week is because of his name value, which will still draw people towards rostering him. His price is way too high to take on the risk he presents right now.

Soren Kjeldsen – $7,500

Length and the ability to make birdies will be major factors this week. Soren Kjeldsen possess neither of these attributes. In this field, he ranks 137th in driving distance and 115th in birdie or better percentage. Soren’s game translates well to a grinders course, where closer to even par will likely be a solid score. But at a course that requires plenty of length off the tee, Soren will be battling to make pars while the leaders are filling the cup with birds.

So you got burned?

Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.

Luke List – $7,600

Oh, it’s a course set up for bombers? Is Luke List in the field? Sold. Add the fact that List missed the cut last week when a lot of people thought he’d be a sneaky play at Harbour Town. List ranks 3rd in my weighted rankings model due to his elite strokes gained stats relative to the field. He has been dominating Par 5s this season and has the second best birdie or better percentage in the field. I am praying enough people got burned by List last week to suppress his ownership a bit, because he sets up perfectly for this track.

Stewart Cink – $7,400

Everyone was onboard Stewart Cink last week. Everyone suffered from his missed cut last week. Now, Cink is merely an afterthought heading into the Valero Texas Open. Cink is still having a phenomenal season for his standards, consistently finishing inside the top 30 and making 11 of his last 13 cuts. He may not possess the winning upside you are looking for a GPP option, but he is still worth a flier in a few lineups due to his knack for playing on the weekend. Need a low owned cut maker with top 20 upside? Cink is the play.

“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”

The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.

Harold Varner III – $7,800

At first glance, Harold Varner III seemed overpriced. If that’s how I saw it, then I assume there is a ton of others in the same boat. However, HV3’s high price is a perfect way to keep his ownership reasonable at a course that will suit his game. Varner and List are very similar types of players, which means most people will gravitate towards the cheaper List. HV3 can bomb it and when he is on with his irons, he is one of the best ball strikers in the field. Taking a few fliers on HV3 is well worth the upside.

Scott Piercy – $6,900

Caveat to this pick is that I am a sucker for Scott Piercy. He has shown the ability to compete with the best players in the world at majors and other full field events. For him to be priced at $6,900 this week is absurd. Obviously it is because he hasn’t been playing well this season, but he is still the third best birdie maker in the field. He has the distance required to get around this course, and showed it with a T18 finish all the way back in 2012. I will be loading up on Piercy in GPPs and am willing to tie my success this week to his play.

Valero Texas Open Research Spreadsheet

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Thanks for reading my Valero Texas Open preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.

Good luck this week everybody and enjoy the best week in golf!

 

 

Valero Texas Open, “The Charts” – DraftKings

Valero Texas Open, “The Charts” – DraftKings

Welcome to “The Charts”, a series that will take a deep dive on a weekly basis into PGA salaries, Vegas odds, Expected Ownership, and last but certainly not least; value. In a world where the edges in daily fantasy are so slim, every informational advantage possible needs to be exploited aggressively without hesitation. This series is designed to help you find that edge.

Salary Vs. Vegas Odds

While I don’t suggest making decision based purely on Vegas Odds when it comes to golf, I think it’s a useful way to determine where you might find golfers with unexpected value. This week we find a standout in a golfer who I have been very intrigued by over the last few weeks.

A staple on the Latin American tour Rafael Campos has made over $100,000 in each of the past two seasons in only two events on the PGA Tour. Campos is quickly raising my eyebrows this year however as he continues to make cuts in a string of gutsy performances. His 100:1 odds at only $6,200 makes him one of the biggest standouts in value we’ve seen this season. I am not 100% sold on Campos, but clearly he can play on the big stage and has shown oddly consistent upside which makes him perfect for GPPs. The only other true standout is Daniel Summerhays who comes in with a lack of strong finishes recently, however has some of the best course history in the field. Summerhays hasn’t finished outside the top 30 at this event in five years and as such probably serves as both a GPP and Cash consideration.

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Salary Vs. Ownership Projections

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, each week I do ownership projections that have stood the test of time, and been proven accurate for over a season now. The ownership projections you see here are my initial projections and will be updated as the week goes on so be sure to follow me on twitter to find out where you can get all the most updated ownership information.

While it’s still early, this week Patrick Reed looks to be a good candidate if you’re looking for low ownership. While it’s clear he isn’t playing great now, his price has continued to drop and at some point you can expect Patrick Reed to bounce back. If he’s going to come at a discount and low ownership that makes him a phenomenal GPP consideration. The only other notable worth mentioning at this point is Chris Kirk which comes as no surprise given he hasn’t finished better than 39th in nearly three months, however it is worth mentioning that his last two appearances have resulted in 13th and 8th place finishes.

Click To Enlarge!

Salary Vs. OWGR

Do you wonder how quickly the salaries are adjusted as a result of player’s performance? Ever wonder if there are players who’s prices don’t reflect their overall skill? These are questions you should be asking every week if you are serious about DFS, and now you can get the answer in one easy chart.

This week is very interesting as Roberto Castro stands out in a massive way in value based on the OWGR. Castro is 88th ranked in the world and comes in at a serious discount at nearly the minimum salary. I won’t be touching Castro in cash game formats but based on talent and price alone I feel compelled to ignore his recent form a bit and take a small percentage of him in my lineups. The other standout comes in Ryo Ishikawa however I will be steering clear of Ishikawa who has recent form that even I can’t ignore.

Click To Enlarge!

Valero Texas Open Research Spreadsheet

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Do you want to see a different set of charts? Let me know if there is information you want to see and how you want to see it, I’m always looking for new ways to analyze information. Get more updates, analysis, and answers to all your questions by following me on twitter.

PGA Valero Texas Open Research Spreadsheet – DraftKings

PGA Valero Texas Open Research Spreadsheet – DraftKings

Valero Texas Open

Defending Champ, Charley Hoffman, will head back to San Antonio, TX to defend his title. This week’s Research Spreadsheet includes:

*NEW* Key Stats – Breakdown and ranking of “Key Stats” for the this tournament, with new scoring system.
Past Performances – How players have fared at this tournament in the past, broken down by year (since 1986)
Historic Performances – How players have fared at this tournament in the past, by totals (since inception – min three appearances)
Recent Performance- Full stats for the L5 years at this tournament and L10 weeks on TOUR.
Full Box Scores – All final performance stats for years 2016, 2015 and 2014.
Betting Odds – Odds for each player to win and top 10
DraftKings Salaries 

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PGA Preview, RBC Heritage – DraftKings

PGA Preview, RBC Heritage – DraftKings

What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! Have you recovered from the Masters? No, not yet? Me neither. What an incredible golf tournament from start to finish. It was great to see Sergio Garcia put on the green jacket, well deserved and long overdue. We were spoiled with exciting golf all week long, from the first tee shot to the final putt. But, the PGA Tour schedule never sleeps and neither do we. It’s time to take on the RBC Heritage.

The RBC Heritage will be played at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head South Carolina. This is a 7,101 yard Par 71 course, designed by Pete Dye. The designer of this course is very important, as Dye is known as a strategic designer, who takes the driver out of the golfers hands on many holes. Being deadly accurate off the tee will be important, not only to hit the fairway, but to set up the second shot into these hard to hit greens. The greens are below average in size, which will put emphasis on a golfer’s approach game and scrambling abilities. I won’t be looking at driving distance this week, but accurate golfers who have strong approach games and the ability to make a ton of birdies. Scores at this event can creep into the upper teens.

Alright, let’s get to the picks!

Staples

My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.

Martin Kaymer – $9,500

Martin Kaymer is a cut making machine. It has been over a year since his last missed cut, which was the 2016 Valspar Championship. He enters the RBC Heritage with six straight top 25 finishes, including a T16 last week at the Masters. Kaymer put together a great -4 round on Sunday to climb back up the leaderboard at Augusta. Let’s hope that form carries over to this week and Kaymer can anchor your cash game lineup, helping provide a profitable week. Kaymer is $2,000 cheaper that Matt Kuchar, and they are basically the exact same golfer at the moment. I’d argue Kaymer is just as safe and provides a much higher ceiling. Kaymer in cash is a must.

Adam Hadwin – $8,800

Adam Hadwin is playing the best golf of his life right now and there is no reason to get off the train now. Hadwin struggled the first day last week at Augusta, but he quickly figured out how to put on the tough greens and cruised to a T36 finish in his first trip to the Masters. Hadwin ranks 10th in good drive percentage in this field, and because of his elite putting ability, he also has one of the highest scrambling rates. He has played in this event the past two seasons, and now gets to take it on as a completely different golfer. Hadwin could easily get on a role this week and be knocking in putts from all over on his way to his second win of the season.

Jason Dufner – $8,500

Jason Dufner is much like Martin Kaymer this week. He is priced at a tremendous discount off the expensive Kuchar, yet provide a very similar baseline projection. Before last week’s T33 finish, Dufner had five straight top 25 finishes. Duff Man has missed one cut in the last year, providing you the safety required when constructing a cash game lineup. He will be accurate off the tee and constantly be putting himself in great position to attack these hard to hit greens. He has the scrambling ability to make up for any missed greens, and has also turned his putting around this season, making him that much more dangerous. He is Matt Kuchar for $3,000 less. Rostering him is a no-brainer.

Pat Perez – $8,100

This $8,000 range is loaded with plays and is making me think constructing balanced lineups is the way to go. Another player forcing my strategy in that direction is Pat Perez. He is having an outstanding year. Other than his withdraw from the Waste Management Open, Perez has played golf on the weekend in every event he has teed it up in. Perez has finished inside the top 20 in 8/12 events he played in since returning from injury. He has the third best birdie or better percentage in the field as well as owning one of the best short games. Pound the $8K range this week and you will definitely find yourself in the green on Sunday.

Perfect Pivots

Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.

Bill Haas – $9,100

Boring Bill Haas is flying under the radar once again. Haas has just eight tags on FanShareSports.com, just over half the amount Adam Hadwin and Tyrrell Hatton have, who surround Haas in the pricing. Haas ranks second in my weighted stat rankings, coming in at 11th in strokes gained approach and first in strokes gained around the green. Haas came T14 last year at the Heritage, so there is potential he can crack inside the top 15 again. He will be much lower owned then other $9K golfers, setting up the perfect GPP pivot.

William McGirt – $7,900

Dirt McGirt is coming off of an impressive Masters showing, as his name lingered around the top of the leaderboard for most of the week. Even with last week’s results, McGirt is being overshadowed by other golfers in his price range. Pat Perez, Luke Donald and Wesley Bryan are all drawing more attention this week than McGirt, according to FanShareSports. McGirt has two top 10 finishes at the RBC Heritage in the past three years, as it is expected his style of play would translate well to Harbour Town. He is accurate off the tee and will hit a ton of greens this week. Just like the big man himself, I will be overweight on McGirt.

Automatic Fades

Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no shares of.

Matt Kuchar – $11,500

Who saw Matt Kuchar make a hole-in-one last week? Everyone? Exactly, and for that reason I will be fading the most expensive golfer on the slate. Kuchar will be very popular this week coming off of a T4 finish at the Masters and he demands a huge amount of salary to roster. Kuchar is the perfect cash game play when he is priced in the $7,000 range because of his cut making ability. However, at $11,500, he does not have the winning upside required to make him worth rostering. Is he really $3,000 better than Jason Dufner? You can do a lot with the extra money you will have from fading Kuch.

Matthew Fitzpatrick – $8,300

Matthew Fitzpatrick will be a popular play this week because his name holds value due to his high finishes in prestigious events. But if you look deeper, his stats do not line up with this course at all. In this field, he is 54th in strokes gained approach, 85th in good drive percentage and 103rd in scrambling. His season has been carried by his putting thus far, a stat I do not want to rely on to continue this week. If his approach game is off he will miss more greens than normal. His scrambling won’t be able to save him and will be looking at a lot of long putts for par. That is a terrible recipe for success.

So you got burned?

Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.

Tyrrell Hatton – $9,300

Tyrrell Hatton is the perfect “So you got burned” option this week. He was heavily owned last week and scorched a ton of people with his near dead last finish. Do not let that sway you away from rostering him this week at the Heritage, as he is an elite option at a solid discount off the highest priced golfers. Hatton has had incredible recent form and ranks first in the field in strokes gained approach. He is primed for a bounce back and if he can dial in his irons like he had been a couple of weeks ago, he will find his way to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Russell Knox – $8,000

The peculiar case of Russell Knox continued last week at Augusta. He missed the cut in grand fashion, extending his missed cut streak to four, yet he is one of the best birdie makers in the field. Knox is set up perfectly for this course and it shows with his past results. This course will take driver out of his hand and force him to play the ball positioning game he excels at. This seems like a perfect get right spot for Knox, who has disappointed a ton of DFSers so far this season.

“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”

The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.

Bryson DeChambeau – $8,300

I was all about to jump on the Bryson DeChambeau wagon this week until I saw his price tag. $8,300 isn’t a ton, but it is far too much for someone who hasn’t proven much so far on tour. Yes, Bryson played well here last year, but he was coming off of his made cut at the Masters and could have carried that momentum over. I am not buying into his T2 finish at the Puerto Rico Open as it was a less than average field. For a relatively short hitter, Bryson only ranks 71st in good drive percentage in the field. I am not willing to gamble on Bryson this week, who will likely be one of the higher owned golfers in the $8K range.

Jim Furyk – $7,900

Jim Furyk has been struggling this season, and it shows with his lack of high finishes. He doesn’t have a finish inside the top 30 this calendar year. Harbour Town is the perfect place for Furyk to get back on track, much like Russell Knox. Furyk has had great success at this course, winning this event in 2015 and has two other top 10 results in the past five seasons. He is known for his plotter type style of play, which is exactly what is required at Pete Dye designed courses. He is the fourth most expensive golfer on FanDuel, compared to the 22nd most expensive on DraftKings. That is obvious value.

RBC Heritage Research Spreadsheet

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Thanks for reading my RBC Heritage preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.

Good luck this week everybody and enjoy the best week in golf!