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Welcome back RotoBallers! Football season is in their conference championships, college basketball will soon be entering madness, and the NBA season is picking up. But it's also golf season. It may not feel like it if you live on East Coast or Midwest, and that's why the PGA Tour doesn't come to the Eastern time zone until the first weekend in March.

This is my first golf column of the golf year and I am so excited to get it started. I will be using tool for all my stats information as last year, Fantasy National. It provides incredible advanced DFS Golf stats and even custom stat tools.

In this article, I will be providing you with my DraftKings DFS lineup picks for the Desert Classic. My goal as always is to help put together your optimal daily fantasy golf lineups. If anyone has lineup questions before the start of the tournament Thursday morning, feel free to contact me via Twitter @SethFinkTV.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantasy National have built some incredible DFS Golf lineup tools including a Lineup Optimizer, Stat Engine, Ownership Projections and Course Breakdowns. They are by far the best daily fantasy Golf tools in the industry. Seriously. You can read all about them here and see screenshots. 

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Desert Classic

This tournament used to be called the CareerBuilder Challenger. It was such a fitting name for a tournament with young players looking to build their career. However, the Desert Classic is a cool name for a tournament played in La Quinta, CA.

This tournament is much different than others. It will use three courses; La Quinta Country Club, the Nicklaus Tournament Course, and the Stadium Course. Players will rotate all three and after the 54-hole cut, will play the Stadium Course again. The 54-hole cut means more players will accumulate a lot more points.

All three courses are Bermuda greens, par 72, and play to less than 7,200 yards. These courses all also fairly easy; the last 11 winners have all been 20-under or better and Patrick Reed even fired a 28-under in 2014. To go one further, 2007 was the only time this generation that the winner didn't get to 20-under. This all points to birdies, birdies, and some more birdies.

Let's take a look at the stats of the Stadium Course, where the final round will be played.

Stat Stadium Course Tour Average
Driving Distance 275 283
Driving Accuracy 58% 61%
GIR Percentage 64% 65%
Scrambling Percentage 64% 58%
Three Putt Percentage 35% 56%

Past winners have been Mark Wilson, Brian Gay, Patrick Reed, Bill Haas, Jason Dufner, Hudson Swafford, and Jon Rahm.

The cut line the last three years has been -7, -6, -6.

The past five tournaments; Haas has the most strokes gained with 41.76. Adam Hadwin is next with 38.15. Next comes Ryan Palmer with 36.52 and Brendan Steele, 33.26.

In Vegas, as of Tuesday on, the favorites are Jon Rahm (+650), Justin Rose (+900), and Patrick Cantlay (+1600).

My custom stat model will be focusing on strokes gained: putting, birdies-or-better gained, birdies, and DraftKings points. Using my custom stat model with an equal 25% going to each stat, accounting for the last 24 rounds, I keyed on the following players.


Fantasy Golf Lineup Picks for DraftKings (PGA DFS)

High-Priced DFS Players 

There are five players this week priced above $10,000; Jon RahmJustin RosePatrick CantlayCharles Howell III, and Adam Hadwin.

Rahm ($11,600) is the defending champion. He's started off the season strong with a win at the Hero World Challenge and a T-8 at the Tournament of Champions. His putting may be an issue, but he'll have plenty of birdie chances.

Rose ($11,000) will be playing his first real tournament of the season (the Hero World Challenge is only 18 players). This is also his first time playing here, but  since 2013, he's the third-best player on the California swing.

Cantlay ($10,600) - This is Cantlay's first tournament of 2019. He's never played at this tournament before and with no stats from this year, it's tough to make a prediction for him.

Howell III ($10,300) - He has competed in this tournament five straight years finishing T-58, T-56, T-11, T-12, and T-20. Howell has played well of late finishing T-8 last week. He also won the RSM Classic back in November. Howell is 16th among top performers on California courses.

Hadwin ($10,000) - The Canadian loves playing here. The last three years he's finished T-6, runner-up, and T-3 last year. He was okay last week placing T-57. Hadwin is 12th among top performers on California courses. If there's a guy I like this week among the high-priced players, it's him.

Middle-Priced DFS Players

Chez Reavie ($9,200) - He is fresh off a T-3 in Hawaii. He's played well at this tournament the last three years finishing T-17, T-12, and T-36. Reavie was also great last year on the California swing.

Sungjae Im ($8,100) - I've never heard of this player, but when a 20-year-old shoots three consecutive rounds in the 60's to finish T-16, you know he has talent.

Beau Hossler ($8,000) - He came up fourth in my custom rankings as he's strong in all the categories I'm looking at. This will be his first tournament of 2019, but he did play here last year finishing T-20.

Brendan Steele ($7,600) - He has not played since the first week in November, but he's made the last four cuts here with a runner-up and top-10.


Low-Priced DFS Players

Brian Gay ($7,300) - He finally made a cut at this tournament last year after missing three straight. He's also fresh off a T-22 last week and is a good performer on California courses.

Nick Watney ($7,200) - The California native turned up fifth in my custom rankings. He can make birdies and at this price, that's good enough.

Grayson Murray ($6,600) - When you can find a player who's finished T-12 and T-14 the last two years at this price, you've gotta jump on it. On top of that, he's 14th among top performers on California courses.


Best of luck RotoBallers!

Golf DFS News and Player Outlooks


Premium DFS Golf Tools and Lineup Optimizer

Our friends at Fantasy National have created some game-changing DFS Golf tools, and you can read all about them here. They are hands-down the best daily fantasy Golf tools in the industry.

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