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Welcome back RotoBallers! Phil Mickelson (-16) defeated Justin Thomas in a playoff to capture his first win in 97 starts, the last being the 2013 British Open. That was the best tournament of the new year thus far. You had the stars like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Rafa Cabrera- Bello all lurking ready to pounce. And for three days, it was the player from India who nobody had ever heard of, Shubhankar Sharma, leading the way. The moment was too big for him come Sunday as he managed just two birdies.

This week I will be providing you with my DraftKings lineup picks for the Valspar Championship. 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 @Seth_Fink.

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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Valspar Championship

The PGA tour returns to Florida for a two-week stint. The first stop will be at Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) in Palm Harbor, FL. The par 71, 7,340 yard course has four par-3's, nine par-4's, and four par-5's. There are five par-5's that range between 400-450 yards, the most of any range. The greens are Bermuda and there's plenty of water on this course. The last three holes are known as the "Snake Pit." Gary Woodland, who won this tournament in 2011, describes those holes saying, "There is not a birdie hole the last three holes. If you’re two back and have signed your scorecard and the leaders are still out there, you’re definitely hanging around to see what happens."

Past winners include Adam Hadwin, Charl Schwartzel, Jordan Spieth, John Senden, Kevin Streelman, Luke Donald, Woodland, and Jim Furyk.

I'll only be looking at the past two years for my stats because there was a huge remodeling job done to the course before the 2016 Valspar.

My custom stat model will be focusing on a whopping seven stats; strokes gained: ball striking (15%), SG: approach (15%), par 4: 400-450 (%), green's in regulation gained (14%), SG: putting (14%), bogey avoidance (14%) and fairways gained (14%). 

The last two years, SG: APP has been a major determining factor in having a good finish at this event. Players who finished in the top 5 in this metric finishing in the top-15 90% of the time including both winners. Players who finished in the top 5 in SG: Par 4 finishing in the top-20 90% of the time with the 10th guy placing 22nd. Bogey avoidance has also been critical to player success.

I'm also taking into account driving accuracy because several players have said hitting it straight is vital. Ken Duke in 2016 said, "I like it because I hit it straight and you have to hit it straight here. I flight the ball and I have to flight it here because of the wind."

Jordan Spieth has the most total strokes gained at this event the past five years followed by Jason Dufner, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, and Charl Schwartzel.

My custom stat model will focus on the last 24 rounds played with an emphasis on average/difficult scoring, Bermuda greens that are medium/firm.

With the results, I keyed on the following players.

 

Fantasy Golf Lineup Picks for DraftKings (PGA DFS)

High-Priced Players 

There are five players this week priced above $10,000; Jordan Spieth ($11,800), Rory McIlroy ($11,300), Sergio Garcia ($10,900), Henrik Stenson ($10,200) and Justin Rose ($10,000).

Spieth is priced a little too high this week. He's in the DJ range. He's had three consecutive top 20's on tour and at the Valspar include a win in 2016. Although he's 3oth in my rankings, I'll throw him in some of my cash lineups.

McIlroy has no business being ranked this high. He's never competed here and last played a couple of weeks ago at the Honda where he had a T-59. He will need to prove he deserves to priced this high before I build a lineup around him.

Garcia was in contention late last week, but a troublesome back-nine did him in. He played here in 2013 and finished T-7. I do like him this wee to continue his strong play.

Stenson is my guy this week. He's number one in my rankings, but those stats are from last year. Still, he's a lethal ball striker and his the fairway with ease. He's not played in over a month and is making his 2018 PGA Tour debut, but in two of his three 2018 European Tour starts, he had two top-10's. At the Valspar, he’s had a solo fourth in 2015, T-11 in '16, and T-7 last year. He's due to win it this year.

Rose was T-37 last week in Mexico. This will be his 2018 PGA Tour debut. He was cut here in '15 and T-8 in '14. I think he needs one more week to get his game straight.

 

Middle-Priced Players

Tiger Woods ($9,500) - Oh, yes. Not only is it fun to have Tiger in your lineup and be able to root for him, but his game is improving each week especially after a solo 12th at the Honda Classic two weeks ago. And this is CBS Sportsline's pick.

Tony Finau ($9,400) - He had a runner-up at the Honda and a T-27 last week. After missed cuts in 2015 and '16 here, he was fifth last year with strong numbers.

Gary Woodland ($9,000) - After winning the Phoenix Open a month ago, he has a missed cut, T-49, and T-50 last week in Mexico. His best finish at the Valspar was eighth in 2014.

Adam Hadwin ($8,800) - The defending champion is off back-to-back top-10's and his playing arguably the best golf of his career. If he continues to be less than 10% owned, like he's been the past month, he's a steal.

Adam Scott ($8,700) - Scotty is one of my favorite plays this week. His game looked great at the Honda two weeks ago and after last week off, he should be ready to go.

Branden Grace ($8,600) - The way he hits the ball, low like a missile, is perfect for this course.

Louis Oosthuizen ($8,100) - He missed the cut here three years in row, 2013-5, but had a T-7 in 2016. He did not play last year. He had a T-24 at the Honda and T-30 last week in Mexico. He hasn't been able to put together four good rounds yet, but he's a phenomenal putter and always remains composed no matter how bad things are going.

Chez Reavie ($7,900) - The player that America fell in love with after back-to-back runner-ups at the Phoenix Open and Pebble Beach Pro-Am has completely tailed off. That means it's perfect time to buy his stock this week. The last two times out at this event, he finished in the 20's.

Ollie Schniederjans ($7,700) - He is SO hit or miss and the perfect play for a tournament especially with ownership expected to be less 10%. Ollie followed up a T-7 at the Sony Open with a missed cut, then rebounded with a T-3 at Phoenix, then a missed cut at the Genesis to a T-64 at the Honda two weeks ago. It's anyones guess how he'll do this week.

Russell Knox ($7,500) - He's had another up-and-down year like Ollie. After a T-29 at the Farmers, he was cut at Phoenix, then bounced back with a T-15 at Pebble Beach, but then was cut two weeks ago at the Honda.

Bryson DeChambeau ($7,400) - I'll take a flier on him because he won the 2014 All-American Athletic Conference Championship at this course.

Jim Furyk ($7,400) - He has not had a good year, but he's such a seasoned veteran that he can rebound any given week.

Chesson Hadley ($7,400) - He's eighth in my rankings and has made 4/5 cuts in 2018. His best finish at Vlaspar was a T-14 in 2014.

 

Low-Priced Players

William McGirt ($7,300) - He was T-33 last time out at the Honda. He missed both cuts here in 2014 and '15.

Lucas Glover ($7,300) - He's alternated cuts here, and that's bad news because last year he made the cut. But I'll focus on his final round 66 at the Honda two weeks ago and look for him to continue that momentum.

Nick Watney ($7,000) - He's a perfect 5/5 in making cuts this year. He's also made his last three cuts here including a T-14 last year.

 

Best of luck RotoBallers!

Golf DFS News and Player Outlooks

 

Custom Stat Model - DFS Golf Advanced Tools

Here are the players I wrote about and their correlating stats with my custom stat model:

 

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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