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Daily Fantasy Golf DraftKings Picks (PGA DFS): Farmers Insurance Open

DraftKings PGA DFS lineup picks daily fantasy golf

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Si Woo Kim put on a dazzling display at the American Express, capturing his third PGA Tour title in the process. The South Korean entered the final round ranked second in the field in strokes gained off the tee + approach and continued his hot run on Sunday by earning an additional 3.241 shots en route to a bogey-free eight-under total.

From an article and model perspective, last week had a lot to be happy with from an outcome standpoint. We correctly touched on being overly bullish on top-10 performers like Patrick Cantlay, Abraham Ancer, Cameron Davis, Doug Ghim and Brian Harman, but the glaring miss did come with Kim, who I had ranked 50th pre-tournament. Unfortunately, that grade had me lower on the 25-year-old than just about any other person inside the industry, but I think the blunder stemmed more from an inability to adjust to non-analytical information, i.e., Kim's capacity to dominate Pete Dye properties. That wasn't something I put much weight onto because I tend to believe those concepts are arbitrary for individual tournaments, but it did cause my first glaring miss of 2021 that probably could have been partially avoided.

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!

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 - Farmers Insurance Open

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." We hope you enjoy!


Torrey Pines (South)

7,698 Yards - Par 72 - Greens Poa

Our split course rotational run will continue this week at the Farmers Insurance Open. The field will divide their time between Torrey Pines South and Torrey Pines North for the first two rounds and will finish at the South Course for the final two days. We had an interesting run between 2011 to 2018 that saw every winner of the tournament play the South Course Thursday and North Course Friday, but that has since been broken with victories by Justin Rose and Marc Leishman over the past two seasons. It is difficult to identify why this trend remained constant for so many years - perhaps being nothing more than an outlier - but it could have something to do with the grueling nature of playing the South for three straight days. On average, the venue plays two shots more challenging and nearly 440 yards longer than the one-off location, making it one of the most demanding tracks on tour yearly.

Why is it such a severe test? You don't have to look any further than the nearly 7,700 yards that it possesses. Fairways are incredibly challenging to hit, and only 51 percent of all drives find the short grass - the second-lowest on tour to Waialae Country Club. The significant difference is that Waialae's rough still allows short wedges into the greens, whereas the small putting surfaces here require a long iron because of the length of the holes.

The North Course can be viewed more as a plodders paradise, and good iron play and strokes gained around the green will be at a premium. We can’t entirely discount the venue's importance since 18 of the 72 holes will be played at the property, but we also don't want to get too caught up in trying to overly alter our research to account for a single round. Nine of the past 15 winners of the Farmers have finished the season inside the top-25 in driving distance, and seven of the eight par-threes are over 200 yards between the two venues.

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 South Course Tour Average
Driving Distance 284 282
Driving Accuracy 52% 62%
GIR Percentage 62% 65%
Scrambling Percentage 51% 57%
Average Three-Putts Per Round 0.72 0.55

In Vegas, as of Monday, Jon Rahm leads the way at 7/1 and is followed by Rory McIlroy at 8/1, Xander Schauffele at 12/1 and Tony Finau at 20/1.


Key Stats

  • Par-Five BOB Percentage + Prox Over 200 Yards 20%
  • Weighted Total Driving (Geared Towards Distance) 20%
  • OTT+APP 15%
  • Strokes Gained Around the Green 12.5%
  • GIR 12.5%
  • Weighted Poa Putting (Fast Poa, Three-Putt, 5-10 Feet) 10%
  • Par-Four + Bogey Avoidance 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 ($11,300)

After pulling out of the American Express last weekend because of a minor injury, Jon Rahm will quickly find himself back in action at the Farmers Insurance Open. To me, it seems likely that the Spaniard will go off as one of the most popular selections on the board because of his history at California courses, and it shouldn't hurt matters that Rahm has provided three top-fives at the venue over the prior four years. I always cover all names above $10,000 for discussion sake, but you could make a strong argument for any of the players this week and probably wouldn't be wrong in doing so if you could come up with a narrative that others aren't seeing. Personally, I don't love the California take as my sole reason for playing the 26-year-old, but you thankfully can find a lot there to like when you do dive a little deeper. If you are looking for any reason to avoid Rahm, I can come up with two. For starters, it will be only his second tournament with new clubs - not to mention the uncertainty of why he had to miss his last stop. I am not sure any of that makes for a strong enough case to look the other way, but it isn't as if Rahm is immune to failure.

Rory McIlroy ($11,000)

Technically, I have Rory McIlroy and Tony Finau swapped from where DraftKings priced them, but I think that is more of an indication that either Finau is undervalued in the betting market or McIlroy is overpriced in terms of outright bets - meaning it doesn't change my mind whatsoever on DFS sites. Look, we are nit-picking here to separate Rahm, McIlroy and Finau, and you won't see me talking anyone out of whatever route they decide to go. The only thing I will say is that the seventh-ranked player in the world is making a long flight from Abu Dhabi to California - which could be enough to question the play? Once again, that's not enough for me to become disinterested, and I find it unlikely that we won't see McIlroy flirting with the first page of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Tony Finau ($10,700)

Early on Monday, I've noticed that Tony Finau's letdown at The American Express has caused a reverse reaction from what I thought might happen. At least selfishly, I was hoping that the American would go under-owned at his gaudy $10,700 salary after another Sunday mishap, but man...that does not seem to be the case. Finau is currently the highest projected owned player on the board, and the train appears to be moving 1000 MPH with no end in sight. A high-priced Finau with mass ownership never tends to end well, but I don't see myself getting off the bandwagon this week. There is just too much to like about how his game translates to Torrey Pines and too much past success at the venue to ignore. I've said for four years now that Finau's second win would come at this property, and while I'm past the days of sticking my flag on any victories for him, this is about as good of a shot as he gets yearly.

Xander Schauffele ($10,400)

Not everyone above $10,000 can be $20% owned, which means the reduction has to come somewhere. Look no further than Xander Schauffele. The 27-year-old has built a weird connection with this course in his life, growing up in the area and playing it over a 100 times, but the results have not translated on the PGA Tour after making only one cut in five attempts. The track record doesn't make sense whatsoever, but it becomes even more confusing when you realize that Schauffele's game not only travels everywhere, but it is probably best suited for a venue precisely like Torrey Pines. If you want to blame his past failures on playing in front of family, that pressure should be off this week with no fans in the crowd - making him someone that is ideally suited for the test and under the radar.

Patrick Reed ($10,100)

I feel as if I have taken the top of the slate this week and have decided to sing Kumbaya with them. Maybe that shows the win equity is heavily expanded in this range, but we have to take a stance against someone at some point. I want to make it clear that I don't feel overly comfortable in making myself underweight to the field when it comes to Patrick Reed, but the 30-year-old doesn't grade out the way I would want to see from a statistical sense. Reed does have three straight top-25 finishes at this venue and is the top-ranked Poa putter in the field, but I am willing to use last week's missed cut as even more evidence of why I am going to avoid him in California. There is always a chance that I dig myself a hole in the sand, but we can't play everyone.


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Mid-Priced DraftKings DFS Players

Bubba Watson ($8,800)

I wish this wasn't Bubba Watson's first start since the Masters in November, but Torrey Pines has been one of his happy locations throughout his career. We always discuss how Watson tends to play well on the same tracks yearly, and we see that here with five top-25 finishes over his last six tries, including a victory in 2011. Ranked 104th in strokes gained putting over the last two years, the 42-year-old grades out 38th on my model over his last 100 rounds on fast Poa greens and is also inside the top-15 in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach and par-five scoring with irons from over 200 yards.

Jason Day ($8,600)

There may have been a few clunkers thrown into the mix, but Jason Day ended 2020 on a high note with six top-12 finishes over his last 12 events. It has been a long time coming for the Aussie, who regressed for a few seasons because of ailments in his back, but the hope is that 2021 can be a healthier one for his career. Day has shown in the past that the property fits his eye with a victory in 2018 to go along with two additional top-16 results over the last three years, and he will look to use his masterful short game to make his experience at Torrey Pines another memorable one to begin his season.

Cameron Smith ($8,500)

We will see Cameron Smith go marginally overlooked with all the possible ownership being eaten up in this region, but I would be careful in avoiding the 27-year-old from my core. The natural selling point against the 32nd-ranked player will be that he might have missed his window after a slower start to 2021, but Smith has been as steady as anyone on tour, recording 13 straight made cuts since July. We can argue that his upside might not be as high as other selections in this range, but the ability to leverage ownership is an intriguing factor when it comes to getting some skin in the game, and it is not as if Smith can't walk out of Torrey Pines victorious.

Ryan Palmer ($8,400)

We will see where Ryan Palmer's ownership goes as we get closer to Thursday, but I don't have any issues at his current 15% mark. Palmer has provided three top-21 finishes here since 2018 and has the par-five ability to make Torrey Pines scorable. There are some concerns that I possess if we start seeing this projection run out of control, but it is one that we will have to keep a closer eye on throughout the week.

Adam Scott ($8,300)

We finally get Adam Scott away from Bermuda and onto his preferred Poa surface. In the past, that has been enough to get him over the hump and into the winner's circle at a venue like Riviera Country Club, and the similarities between the two properties did stick out when looking at past leaderboards. The Aussie's second-place finish here in 2019 has propelled him to be one of the chalkiest selections on the board, but I can't say that I don't see where gamers are coming from with the way he fits the property. My hope is that the early intrigue subsides as the week progresses, but we definitely don't have any promises of that being the case.


Low-Priced DraftKings DFS Players

Cameron Champ ($7,900)

It's funny because I was all out on Cameron Champ last week and pivoted my exposure to Cameron Daivs, but we might have a situation to flip back onto Champ with the two men being listed at the same price for Torrey Pines. I want to stress that my model has both tied at 22nd place for the week, but I am all for the 10% reduction in ownership if it means I can pivot onto just about the same caliber of player. Champ's short game is extremely susceptible to finding trouble, but his length will come back into play at a venue where he finished 16th last season.

Corey Conners ($7,700)

If you asked just about anyone how Corey Conners has been performing recently, I don't think many would realize the Canadian has been in stellar form. Not only has Conners made nine of his previous 11 cuts, but the seven made weekends he has strung together in a row have resulted in six top-25 results. The 29-year-old is a far superior player than he was a few seasons ago, and his 29th place result in 2018 should add some reassurance that his ball-striking acumen plays nicely at the track.

Carlos Ortiz ($7,500)

Even though I am not a course history guy, I generally would be a little alarmed with back-to-back missed cuts from a player at a course, but I am willing to ignore those finishes for a few reasons when it comes to Carlos Ortiz. The Mexican golfer has taken massive strides with his game since the last time he teed it up at Torrey Pines, and I don't mind stepping out on a bit of a limb by calling him a "late bloomer" that is just starting to come into the best version of himself. Ortiz checks a lot of boxes for safety this week if we exclude his past failures at the property, and his $7,500 DraftKings salary and roughly five percent ownership total are both too minimal for a golfer with six straight made cuts and a victory at the Houston Open.

Lanto Griffin ($7,400)

We have a stronger field for the Farmers Insurance Open than we did in La Quinta, but it doesn't take away from the fact that DraftKings has had a difficult time pricing Lanto Griffin over the last year. We far too often have seen him as an extreme value below $7,000, but I thought we had an equally egregious price with him last weekend at $8,600 at the American Express. I believe Griffin is a golfer that should be in the mid-to-high $7,000s for most events and believe a quality bounce-back might be in order for the 32-year-old.

John Huh ($7,000)

I get that a 30-year-old playing the best golf of his career out of nowhere is challenging to grasp, but these prices on John Huh remain criminal. Huh has produced 10 made cuts over his last 11 tournaments, has finished inside the top-21 four of the previous five events and only has missed one cut at Torrey Pines in nine tries. If DraftKings wants to keep treating Huh as someone who doesn't warrant more respect, I will keep writing this same write-up weekly until something changes.

Matt Jones ($7,000)

I was extremely impressed with the way Matt Jones played at TPC West last week. His 21st-place finish felt like it had an opportunity to end inside the top-five during one point of his round on Sunday, but a quadruple-bogey at the seventh and double-bogey at the 13th unrailed an otherwise brilliant week. Amazingly, Jones was still able to muster together an even-par 72 for the round, highlighting just how brilliantly he was striking the ball in La Quinta. Jones has added a little distance to his game so far in 2021, and it is showing with back-to-back top-25 results to begin his year.

Jhonattan Vegas ($6,500)

The more recent form isn't quite as encouraging for Jhonattan Vegas than the broad outlook of his talent, but I am willing to take a shot in the dark at his $6,500 price tag. Vegas has made seven of 10 cuts at this event, with five finishes coming inside of the top-30. His 20th-place at the Mayakoba during his last start is encouraging, and he ranks seventh in this field over his last 24 rounds off the tee.

Will Gordon ($6,300)

I honestly don't know what I think about Will Gordon anymore. I write about him just about every week and almost never end the tournament feeling satisfied with his performance. However, if there is one location where I am willing to give him a final shot to exceed my expectation level, it would be here at Torrey Pines. Gordon is 1-for-1 in his career at the venue after finishing 21st place in 2020, and his top-10 ranking in both driving distance and long iron proximity should bode well for the American to finally get out of his slump.


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