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Daily Fantasy Golf DraftKings Picks (PGA DFS): American Express

DraftKings PGA DFS lineup picks daily fantasy golf

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Kevin Na claimed his fifth title on the PGA Tour, picking up his fourth win in 55 starts. The turnaround for Na has been phenomenal after only finding the winner's circle once in his first 369 events, and it has taken the 37-year-old to a World Ranking of 23rd - just four spots short of his career-high.

We were able to correctly touch on Na during last week's write-up, calling him someone that you should consider because of the possibility he presented in leveraging ownership. My model had him as a marginal DraftKings value upfront, and it didn't hurt the situation that we also saw him come in 28 spots higher than the consensus around the industry when we looked into ownership totals. The model differential feature is one of my favorite tools I have on my Rankings Wizard and is available every week here at RotoBaller in the link below. Be sure to create a copy to get your own custom model and rankings when you alter the weights to fit your viewpoint.

Featured Promo: Golf is back! Come join the fun and win big with RotoBaller. Get our full-season PGA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off! Our exclusive DFS Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, DFS Projections and weekly DFS/betting articles! Sign Up Now!


PGA DFS Rankings Wizard - American Express

We have a special treat for all you RotoBallers and golf enthusiasts. In addition to this article, be sure to also check out Spencer's PGA DFS Rankings Wizarda powerful and interactive data spreadsheet, allowing user inputs to create custom rankings and models for golf. If you would like to create your own spreadsheet, you will need to make a copy under "file, make a copy." We hope you enjoy!


American Express - PGA DFS Overview

I take great pride in the research and energy I put into my selections from a mathematical standpoint, but my numbers or information aren't always the law. If you have any questions about a particular player from a PGA DFS or PGA betting perspective, please feel free to contact me on Twitter @Teeoffsports.

Many golfers barely miss out on being mentioned here by fractions of a percent, and I am more than happy to discuss my feelings or stance on anyone that may have caught your eye. Like always, the purpose of this piece is to help you put together your optimal daily fantasy golf lineups for DraftKings, whether that be from a GPP perspective or a cash-game mentality. Be sure to also read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!


PGA West TPC Stadium Course

7,200 Yards - Par 72 - Greens Bermuda

There are a couple of notable changes to mention this season for the American Express. The event is typically played over three courses during the first three days, with players who made the cut on Saturday coming back to take on the Stadium Course for a second time on Sunday. However, that will not be the case in 2021, as COVID restrictions have taken away the tournament's Pro-AM nature and removed the La Quinta Course from the rotation entirely.

From a handicapping perspective, that is a massive improvement for multiple reasons, and I love the fact that we will get in a standard Friday cut after golfers split their first two days at the Stadium and Nicklaus locations. Anyone who makes the cut will play both weekend rounds back at the Stadium Course, which gives us better clarity for how to proceed with our research. For the record, we have seen the Nicklaus property play nearly two shots easier than this week's primary test, making showdown slates or first-round leader markets potentially attackable for those that are aware of who is playing at what venue.

When we dive back into what PGA West might have in store for players this year, water does come into play on nine of the 18 holes. Extensive bunkering throughout makes it vital to either hit the fairway or clear the sand traps with distance, and we typically see this tournament won or lost at the four par-threes and four par-fives. The plurality of shots this week are struck between 150-175 yards, and opportunities gained will play a critical factor in winning this event since the winning score hasn't been less than 20-under par since 2007.

Note: For an exclusive in-depth look at this week's course, check out RotoBaller's Premium Course Breakdown written by Josh Bennett.


Let's Look At The Stats

Stat Stadium Course Tour Average
Driving Distance 276 282
Driving Accuracy 57% 62%
GIR Percentage 65% 65%
Scrambling Percentage 64% 57%
Average Three-Putts Per Round 0.33 0.55

In Vegas, as of Monday, Jon Rahm leads the way at 7/1 and is followed by Patrick Cantlay at 16/1, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka at 18/1 and Sungjae Im at 22/1.


Key Stats

  • Weighted Par-Five BOB Percentage 20%
  • Overall Birdie or Better Percentage 17.5%
  • Weighted Total Driving 15%
  • Weighted Par-Three 15%
  • Proximity 150-175 Yards 10%
  • Sand Save Percentage 10%
  • Weighted Putting 10%


Fantasy Golf Lineup Picks for DraftKings (PGA DFS)

We have tons of great weekly PGA articles, DFS analysis, tools and DFS advice. Be sure to read our other fantastic articles regarding this week's event.


High-Priced DraftKings DFS Players 

There are five players this week priced above $10,000:

Jon Rahm ($11,500)


Patrick Cantlay ($11,100)

It is funny how one player removing their name from the field suddenly turns this into a much more wide-open tournament. To me, this event doesn't seem nearly as strong as it did when we woke up on Monday morning, and it has presented Patrick Cantlay with a rare opening to be listed as the man to beat on the betting board and DraftKings slate. Maybe you could point towards Cantlay's struggles between 150-175 yards with his irons or his up-and-down nature on par-three holes, but it is hard for me to argue against him being the best player in this field. The price is fair.

Brooks Koepka ($10,800)

What to do with Brooks Koepka? Isn't that the question that repeats itself in every non-major? Through a 14 round sample size in 2021, Koepka is the top-ranked player on tour in sand save percentage - a stat that could prove crucial in salvaging pars at some of the more problematic par-three holes. All of that does add some hope that we get the best form out of the four-time major winner, but the massive reduction in driving distance that the Stadium Course presents does play against his advantages. I am going to see where Koepka's ownership is trending as we get closer to Thursday, but he will most likely be a wait and see for me until we get some consistency from the 12th-ranked player in the world.

Tony Finau ($10,500)

Tony Finau will eventually win one of these weekends, but it is hard for me to accept paying over $10,000 on a golfer that has continuously failed to get himself across the finish line. You can say that his overall safety makes him someone worth considering, but that is more of a cash-game mentality than someone you want to spend over 20% of your weekly budget rostering in GPP contests. The potential to leverage ownership is there if we see him go wildly under-owned, but this is another wait and see spot.

Patrick Reed ($10,200)

Patrick Reed is always tough to assess from a statistical perspective, especially when you don't place a broad emphasis on putting numbers. I have the American inside the top-five this week in both strokes gained putting and sand save percentage, but there is a red flag for those that dive a little deeper into his par-three scoring. Reed's volatility takes him out of consideration for me when constructing cash-game builds, but his ability to make birdies in bunches does make him one of the favorites to capture this title. I'll most likely be just a little above market value on him in La Quinta when it comes to GPP lineups, but I don't mind a slightly more aggressive approach. Reed and Cantlay would be my two favorite places to start builds up top, and I will get a better understanding of how aggressive I want to be with Reed based on his ownership projections.


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Mid-Priced DraftKings DFS Players

Rickie Fowler ($9,300)

Similar to the improvement we have seen from Marc Leishman since the restart, there are reasons to be optimistic that Rickie Fowler might provide a quick start to 2021. Fowler executed a 10th place showing at the American Express last season and does rank sixth in this field when it comes to Bermuda putting over his previous 100 rounds. Selecting the American is nothing more than a GPP contrarian dart throw, but it won't take much exposure for us to become some of his biggest shareholders in the market, especially if projections stay under five percent.

Abraham Ancer ($9,100)

When we look at ball-striking from the Sony Open, it might be a surprise to some that Abraham Ancer finished the first two rounds ranked 12th in the field after missing the cut. A shoddy short game saw him lose everything he gained with his driver and irons, but one would have to imagine some positive regression is in store for him on the greens. Ancer is ranked 27th in strokes gained putting when looking at his two-year baseline compared to this field, and while Bermuda is his worst surface metrically, we are only talking about a deviation of about 0.15 strokes per round between that and his preferable Poa setup. Ancer's two straight top-20s at the property should bode well for an excellent bounce-back opportunity, and I could see myself being overweight if early projections hover around just 15 percent.

Brian Harman ($8,100)

There are a lot of spots where ownership will get condensed in this lower $8,000 range, but I like the idea of pivoting some of my exposure away from Sam Burns ($8,300) and onto Brian Harman ($8,100). Burns is currently showing to be one of the top-five owned players in the field for La Quinta, and I do understand the intrigue around him with back-to-back top-18 finishes at the property, but we are getting a similar option with Harman, who has also provided four top-20s over the last five years. For the record, Burns is not a fade for me and will be in my player pool, but I'd rather swap my exposure between the two and let Harman try to lead the way in this mid-tier section.


Low-Priced DraftKings DFS Players

Cameron Davis ($7,700)

Like my thought process on Matthew Wolff this week, I wonder if the Stadium Course takes away Cameron Davis' most significant strength of using his driver to find success. I believe there is a chance of that occurring, but I also find it an intriguing spot to make some builds that might feature some of the bombers into one lineup. I prefer pairing Wolff and Davis together when constructing my rosters and like the fact that both men grade inside the top-20 for me statistically, even though the American Express wouldn't be the tournament I would think of when trying to build a layout for them.

Chris Kirk ($7,600)

It has been a hot run for Chris Kirk over the last few events, recording four straight made cuts between the Houston and Sony Open. The American is one of the better par-three scorers in this field between both 150-175 yards and 200+ yards, and the perception around Kirk this week is going to be to avoid him after the good performance we saw at Waialae. Kirk's price tag is still cheap enough that I am fine riding the form, and the talent is there for him to record another top-30 result at subsided popularity.

$7,500 - $7,300 Range

Options like Doc Redman ($7,500), Talor Gooch ($7,400) and Sepp Straka ($7,400) are probably my three favorite golfers in this range, but we are littered with potential choices. In my model, Lucas Glover ($7,500), Charley Hoffman ($7,400), Cameron Tringale ($7,400), Keegan Bradley ($7,400), J.T. Poston ($7,300) and Maverick McNealy ($7,300) are all also listed as positive expected values at their current price tags, making it a section I will find myself fitting into builds whenever possible. I believe Redman, Gooch and Straka have the best win equities and will be fitting the trio in a handful of lineups this week.

Jon Huh ($7,200)

It still is up for discussion if we are experiencing a short-term statistical anomaly from Jon Huh, but the American has been sensational in recent months. Huh's only real downside has come from his inability to score on lengthier par-fives, but we see him ranked inside the top-10 in this field in multiple categories, including his first-place stature in par-three scoring and overall birdie or better percentage. If most of the industry wants to continue to overlook Huh's recent form, I will be a buyer at this price tag until we see something change.

Kevin Streelman ($7,200)

In three of his five attempts at this event, Kevin Streelman has outperformed his current DraftKings price tag. It must be noted that he has also missed the cut during his other two appearances, but we shouldn't ignore the American's upside for GPP contests. Early returns have Streelman as someone that might get popular quickly if his name is mentioned enough throughout the industry, but there is value to be had at his condensed going rate. The 42-year-old ranks 17th compared to the field over his last 24 rounds and is 28th in par-five scoring over the last two years.

Matthew NeSmith ($7,100)

It will take a lot of gumption to go back to Matthew NeSmith after the letdown he presented users at the Sony Open. The American personally burned me in just about every sector of the market possible, but perhaps it wasn't an unexpected outcome. NeSmith has had a habit recently of following up one excellent performance with a dud (8th, MC, 15th, MC), and perhaps his failure in Hawaii will open up a window of opportunity to grab the 199th-ranked player in the world at a reduced ownership rate. If that chance does arise, I won't be afraid to jump back in. However, I also don't see the point in forcing a selection if everyone is ready to go back for round 2. I'll probably need around five percent projections to buy back into the fray fully and might look elsewhere if that doesn't come to fruition.

Michael Thompson ($7,100)

Here's a first...Michael Thompson is listed as the 28th best golfer on my model this week. I'm not even joking when I say that I double-checked to make sure one of the formulas wasn't corroded on my spreadsheet. Thompson is 2-for-4 at this venue in made cuts, but his two positive showings have equated to top-30 finishes, which includes a ninth in 2019. His 21st-place result at the Tournament of Champions is slightly misleading with it only being a 42-man field, but the 35-year-old has generated three straight top-25 results and ranks seventh in this field over his last 100 rounds on Bermuda greens. I am not necessarily predicting a victory, but another top-25 would put DFS lineups in an advantageous position if ownership remains consistent.

Below ($7,000)

I'd be lying if I said I loved the $6,000 range this week, but there are a handful of options worth considering. Mark Hubbard ($6,700) Doug Ghim ($6,800) and Anirban Lahiri ($6,500) might be the three safest routes to go in my eyes (if we can call them that), but there is an opportunity to get a little wonky if we are looking for high-risk, high-reward choices. Ahskay Bhatia ($6,500), Bronson Burgoon ($6,200), John Augenstein ($6,500), Will Gordon ($6,400) and Sean O'Hair ($6,400) all have a decent deal of GPP upside that is worth mentioning, and I don't mind mixing and matching some of these golfers into builds to save up on salary. I don't think that is necessarily a route we will be forced to go with a top of the board that lacks in usual strength, but I don't mind the occasional outlier thrown into the mix.


Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

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