PGA DFS: Desert Classic DraftKings Plays

PGA DFS has created a significant following over the past few years. Which is the best thing that could have happened to the sport, next to Tiger making his all world comeback of course. This overflow of PGA DFS players has snowballed in the right direction, creating a wide variety of contests on our go to DFS sites (DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, and even DRAFT). The players that have put in the work are sharper than ever. The content is vast and can be somewhat overwhelming. If you have ever asked yourself who do I trust? Who am I going to believe in enough to put my hard-earned money on the line for? Raise your hand. My hand is up. Now put your hand down and listen. Here at SCOUT Fantasy Sports we want to take the guess work out of it for you. DFS is a sport in and of itself and if we aren’t willing to put in the research, it will hinder our long-term ROI. Majority of DFS players got into this because they love sports, some got into DFS to make money, and others got into this to TAKE money. That is where we come in at SCOUT Fantasy Sports, we want to TAKE what we deserve because we don’t cut corners, we don’t glance over articles, we don’t throw in uneducated lineups.  We are WINNERS. Now let’s go WIN. 

Your DraftKings lineup is made up of 6 golfers you choose within a $50,000 salary cap. Quick tip: you can create an edge by simply not using all $50,000 of your salary cap. 

Throughout this article, I will be giving you my Top-Notch options, Salary Savers, Tourney Treasures, and one Sneaky Suspicion. I will also provide a FADE of the week to help you create an edge against all competition. Let’s dive in!

COURSE OVERVIEW 

Welcome to lovely La Quinta, CA where not one, not two, but three courses are on the docket for this week’s tournament. The event’s pro-am format will utilize TPC Stadium Course at PGA West (7,113/72),

PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament course (7,159/72) and La Quinta CC (7,060/72) in the first three rounds. All three courses will be played by each golfer and cut day will be on Saturday instead of your normal Friday cut line. Giving golfers a guaranteed 54-hole week, an edge needs to be created by golfers that can score in bunches. The remaining golfers after the 54-hole cut will play the Stadium course for their final round. I’ll note the Stadium Course is a Pete Dye design. His signature courses are littered with deep bunkers, water lined fairways, and raised greens.

Fun Fact– Last year only two golfers in the top 20 started their tournaments at the Stadium Course. Scoring average round 1 at Stadium course was -1.1 compared to -3.5 at La Quinta and -3.3 at Nicklaus course.

 

Tournament History

Past Champions and Runners up

2018- Jon Rahm 1st -Andrew Landry 2nd

2017- Hudson Swafford 1st – Adam Hadwin 2nd

2016- Jason Dufner 1st – 2nd not in field- Phil Mickelson 3rd

2015- Bill Haas 1st – Brendan Steele & Charley Hoffman tied for 2nd

Bill Haas, Adam Hadwin, Ryan Palmer, Brendan Steele, Hudson Swafford, and Charles Howell have gained the most strokes the past five years during this tournament. Other notable golfers who have gained strokes total in this field include Lucas Glover, Bud Cauley, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson, Chez Reavie, and of course Jon Rahm.

Fun Fact– Adam Hadwin has never shot over par in 16 rounds at this event. Super Impressive!

 

Statistical Breakdown

Every Tournament is a little bit different when it comes to statistical breakdowns. I will give my favorite stats that I believe correlate the best to fit our tournament course for that given week. This week is tough, we are not dealing with our normal single course tournament. Remember we are pulling from three different courses this week. The key stats I am narrowing my focus on are as follows:

 

Strokes Gained Tee to Green (SG:T2G)

Top 5– in order over past 36 rounds

Kevin Streelman

Jon Rahm

Si Woo Kim

Roberto Castro

Zach Johnson

 

Strokes Gained Approach (SG:APP)

Top 5– in order over past 36 rounds

Kevin Streelman

Bronson Burgoon

Chez Reavie

Pat Perez

Brandon Harkins

 

Strokes Gained Around the Green (SG:ARG)

Top 5– in order over past 36 rounds

Bud Cauley

Brian Gay

Si Woo Kim

Chad Collins- not playing

DA Points- not playing

 

Birdie or Better % (BoB%)

Top 5– in order over past 36 rounds

Phil Mickelson

Ryan Palmer

Jon Rahm

Bronson Burgoon

Kevin Streelman

 

DraftKings Pts

Top 5– in order over past 36 rounds

Phil Mickelson

Martin Piller

Bronson Burgoon

Kevin Streelman

Jon Rahm

Fun Fact– 8 of the 9 winners of the Desert Classic played in at least 1 of the 2 Hawaii events in the year they won. Additionally, each of the past 6 winners played in the event at least once prior.

These rankings are based on a mixed model created on Fantasynational.com using my personal rankings and other various factors that best fit these three courses specifically.

 

Top Notch Options

My top ranked golfers in the field based on my rankings in order of pricing.

Jon Rahm ($11,600) OGWR 7thJon Rahm is deserving of the highest price tag on DK this week. He is an exceptional scorer, with very little weakness in his game he could be one of the few who repeat this season. Not to mention he is top 5 in three of the five stat categories I have listed above. If he gets going early and often, he will be at the top of the leaderboards once again come Sunday.

Justin Rose ($11,000) OGWR 1stWhen we think about consistency we don’t think about the sport of golf. Golf is the most volatile sport known to man. When we think of Justin Rose we think of consistency. This is rare, it’s like finding your golf ball after you just put it in the middle of the water hazard off the tee. Point being- play Justin Rose in Cash and don’t overthink it.

Patrick Cantlay ($10,600) OGWR 19thA pretty steep price to pay for a golfer who hasn’t played competitively since November. Don’t let this price scare you away. There are very few golfers who can adapt to any course and its conditions. This young stud has proven he can compete with best on any given weekend. He has no course history which will scare some away but where others hesitate, we take advantage. Be a wolf, not a sheep. Play Cantlay with confidence.

Adam Hadwin ($10,000) OGWR 70thHe will be heavily touted this week, as he should be. If any golfers deserve the title Course Horse for this tournament it is undoubtedly Adam Hadwin. 2018-tied for 3rd, 2017- solo 2nd, 2016- tied for 6th, 2015- tied for 48th. These are pretty astounding numbers year over year. I do want to mention, I will have less ownership on Hadwin compared to the top 3 listed above.

Chez Reavie ($9,200) OGWR 54th– Chez is the player that your ride when he is hot. Last year I vividly remember him going for back to back 2nd place finishes. He is no slouch when it comes to this track either, having gained over 17 strokes total on the field in this event. I want to hop on Chez before he becomes too chalky. This price might scare some folks away so getting him at a lower ownership is always a bonus!

 

Salary Savers

My value plays, rankings in order of pricing.

Ryan Palmer ($8,200) OGWR 73rdComing off some pretty solid finishes late last season, I believe Palmer can start off this 2019 season with a bang. He is a solid scorer and having three days of Palmer no matter what creates a recipe for birdies in bunches. Good course history as well.

Zach Johnson ($7,700) OGWR 69thIt is always hard going back to a guy that might have burned us a week ago, but he only missed the cut by a stroke. He lost strokes in every category except SG:APP which is a key stat I am targeting this week. If the putter gets hot watch out for ZJ back dooring another top 10.

Bud Cauley ($7,400) OGWR 223rdNow this one is a bit of a stretch, but Cauley has popped on multiple occasions and would be on most radars if he had played most of last season. He has solid course history, he has been a cut maker most of his career with scoring upside. I don’t have a bunch of stats to back him up this week, but he just seems too cheap for what he has done at this course. 2018- tied for 14th, 2017- tied for 3rd, 2016- tied for 14th.

Kevin Streelman ($7,000) OGWR 194thIf you read my Statistical Breakdown you would have seen his name in every single category except SG: ARG. He fits very well in my model and at his price I believe he is a steal this week. I truly think he finishes top 20 this week even though his current form would tell you otherwise. Mark my words if he plays even remotely well here you will see his name once again in next week’s article.

Tourney Treasures– Options that will go overlooked but are worth a shot in a GPP.

Si Woo Kim ($7,500) OGWR 64thDon’t ever sleep on Si Woo. He can get going on any given track, in any given tournament. However, if Si Woo is backed by decent course history (tied for 9th in 2016) and a good price count me in! He is popping on multiple stat categories as well. He is truly a treasure this week.

Sungjae Im ($8,100) OGWR 92ndThis kid is crazy good Tee to Green, one tournament he will put it all together and I don’t want to be kicking myself for not pulling the trigger. I will be heavily invested this week. Fire the young gun up!

 

Sneaky Suspicion

Gut play of the week.

Beau Hossler ($8,000) OGWR 91stHe can pop any given week. He doesn’t pop on my stat model and he even putts much better on Bent grass so proceed with caution, but I will use him in a few GPP lineups this week.

Fade– A golfer that is higher owned and doesn’t deserve a spot on our rosters.

Scott Piercy ($9,100) OWGR 133rdI will never pay $9,100 for Scott Piercy. This guy is my kryptonite every time I buy in, he disappoints. He can strike the ball with the best of them but for him to pay off his price he has to putt very well. I will not bank on that happening this week. He has decent course history, but I advise going elsewhere at this price tag.

 

DraftKings Cash lineup example:

Patrick Cantlay- $10,600

Chez Reavie- $9,200

Ryan Palmer- $8,200

Zach Johnson- $7,700

Bronson Burgoon- $7,200

Kevin Streelman- $7,000

$49,900 total

 

DraftKings GPP lineup example:

Jon Rahm- $11,600

Sungjae Im- $8,100

Beau Hossler- $8,000

Si Woo Kim- $7,500

Bud Cauley- $7,400

Jason Dufner- $7,400

$50,000 total