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PGA DFS: Horse For The Course - AT&T Byron Nelson

Welcome back RotoBallers! Max Homa? How many of you guys had him winning the Wells Fargo? neither. Homa's victory is a nice reminder that these guys on the PGA Tour are good, ALL of them. While we didn't discuss Homa in last week's article, the Wells Fargo went well for our Horses. We nabbed a top-five (Paul Casey), two top-10s (McIlroy & Mitchell), and a top-20 (Aaron Wise), with a Phil Mickelson missed cut and a Sam Burns WD being our only misses.

This week we head to Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson, an old tournament that's being played in a relatively new setting. Trinity Forest Golf Club made its debut on the PGA Tour schedule in 2018 as the host of the Nelson and is back this year. If we're being honest, a lot of us probably already have one eye on next week's PGA Championship at Bethpage. Don't feel bad, as most of the elite golfers in the world do too. Brooks Koepka headlines a weakish Nelson field that includes defending champ Aaron Wise, Hideki Matsuyama, and hometown boy (and Trinity Forest member) Jordan Spieth.

As far as course history goes, we only have a one-year sample to build on. Those of you that like to look at player's tournament history should keep in mind that Byron Nelsons prior to last year weren't played at this course.

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I try to make HFTC more than just a "picks" column (though you can certainly use it that way if you are in a hurry) by digging deep into each highlighted player. Obviously, our weekly jumping off point is a player's course history, but there isn't a firm set of rules when it comes to who is featured in this article. My goal is to help you succeed as a PGA DFS player. Period. I will touch on different GPP and cash-game strategies throughout the column each week and hopefully have some useful info for both beginners and experienced DFS players. Thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller, let's tee it up!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week.

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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The Course: Trinity Forest Golf Club

Par 71 - 7,371 Yards, Greens: Bermuda

This place is a dump. No, really...Trinity Forest was constructed on top of a former landfill. Despite its name, there isn't a tree to found on this Trinity Forest layout that resembles a links course that might be found in Scotland or England. The pros lit up Trinity Forest last year and it graded out as one of the easiest courses on the 2018 Tour schedule. The combination of huge rolling fairways with no rough to speak of and gigantic greens resulted in 1,970 birdies and eagles being made in last year's Byron Nelson. Marc Leishman logged a first-round 61 and Branden Grace scored a final-round 62 last year and we should again see plenty of fireworks in Dallas this week. A round of 59 isn't something you can ever expect, but we might see someone flirt with that magic number on this layout. We obviously want to target players that can pile up birdies and eagles on this golf course. I'll also be interested in players that are great off the tee and, as always, I'll be trying to squeeze great ball strikers into my DFS lineups.


The Horse

Keith Mitchell (DK - $9,100 & FD - $10,200)

Notable Course History: T3 (2018)
Recent Form: T8 (Wells Fargo), M/C (RBC Heritage), T43 (Masters), T47 (Players), T6 (API), Win (Honda)

Keith...I can't quit you. I wrote up 'Tha Killa' in this article last week for the Wells Fargo and he came through for a T8 at $7.8k. This week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Mitchell's DFS price tag has increased significantly, but my faith remains strong.

Mitchell is admittedly a little more volatile than my usual 'Horse' selections, and prior to last week's top-10 finish at Quail Hollow, Mitchell had logged three straight ugly outings...but I just can't ignore how great his game fits Trinity Forest, especially on a week that we are dealing with a field that's pretty short on depth.

The Chattanooga native (shoutout Tennessee!) is strong with the driver and ranks first in the field in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee over his last 24 rounds. Mitchell also has the ability to score, an ability that will be crucial this week in what should be a birdie-fest. He stands second on the PGA Tour in Total Eagles this season and 23rd in Total Birdies.

One appearance is a tiny sample size, but Mitchell seems extremely comfortable at Trinity Forest. In last year's Byron Nelson he gained strokes across the board, including a massive 12.7 Strokes Gained: Total. The official 'Keith Mitchell Flow Chart' starts with one simple question: "Are the greens Bermuda?"...the answer is "Yes" this week, so we can feel good about considering him for our rosters.

As I mentioned, Mitchell's price has increased across the industry. He comes in at $9,100 on DK which I know is really tough to swallow for a player who hasn't been priced above $7,800 on DK all season, but when we take into account his form, course fit, and the depth of this isn't as outrageous as it seems. There's a chance that Mitchell's shiny, new price tag will put a dent in his ownership, but while some might be scared away by the salary bump, I'll be going right back to the Mitchell well this week.


The Ponies

Brooks Koepka (DK - $11,400 & FD - $12,600)

Notable Course History: None
Recent Form: T2 (Masters), T56 (Players), T85 (API), T2 (Honda)

A quick word about Brooks Koepka, who (with apologies to Hideki Matsuyama) is the best player in this watered-down field. I have no doubt about Koepka's physical tools and I also believe that he should be a perfect fit for Trinity Forest. The concern with Koepka is always where he will be mentally. After demonstrating some truly concerning form this season, he once again flipped the 'major championship switch' to log a T2 at Augusta National.

With the PGA Championship on the near horizon, how motivated will Koepka be to win this tournament? We know that he will bring his 'A game' to Bethpage next week, but it's a bit of a wild card as to where the three-time major champion's head will be in Dallas.

Trinity Forest should be a great fit for Koepka. Its huge fairways are reminiscent of Erin Hills, the course where he won his first U.S. Open. Anytime that Brooks has the opportunity to bomb away off the tee, he must be considered a serious threat to win, and he will have plenty of chances this week. Koepka has the ability to go low and ranks fifth in this field in Birdies or Better Gained and third in Eagles Gained over his last 24 rounds.

His place atop the salary scale reflects his position as the best player in the field, but the scary thing is I don't know that you're really getting much 'safety' by paying up to Koepka, as we've seen him appear completely disinterested in some of his starts this year in the lower-echelon events. However, he does carry huge upside and could legitimately run away with this tournament. I don't think he'll garner tons of ownership, so rostering him might actually be a somewhat contrarian line to take in GPPs.


Rory Sabbatini (DK - $9,000 & FD - $10,100)

Notable Course History: T13 ('18)
Recent Form: T18 (Wells Fargo), T10 (RBC Heritage), T36 (Valero), T39 (Corales), T18 (Valspar)

I really can't believe that I'm writing about Rory Sabbatini in the year 2019, but here we are. Tiger won the Masters again, so I guess anything is possible. Sabbatini has been playing (and partying?) like it's 1999. The South African has ran off seven straight made cuts with a top-20 finish last week at Quail Hollow and a T10 a couple of weeks ago at the Heritage.

He heads to Dallas as one of the guys in the field with some previous experience at Trinity Forest, as he recorded a T13 in last year's AT&T Byron Nelson. Almost unbelievably, Sabbatini ranks seventh in this field in SG: Tee to Green over the last 24 rounds and he's been surprisingly solid in all facets of the game this season. He stands ninth in the field in Fantasy National's Birdies Gained category, not to mention ranking third in Bogeys Avoided. While he's nowhere close to being a bomber, he has handled himself well off the tee and grades out seventh this week in Good Drives Gained.

I know, I's ridiculous to see Rory Sabbatini at $9k! Unfortunately, that's where we are this week. If this price tag is going to scare a lot of people away, I'm willing go the other way and bite on a guy that's been really solid over the last two months.


Matt Jones (DK - $7,500 & FD - $8,900)

Notable Course History: T13 ('18)
Recent Form: T38 (Wells Fargo) T30 (Valero), T18 (Corales), T13 (Valspar), T36 (Honda)

On a week that we get the aforementioned Rory Sabbatini at $9k, Matt Jones is one of the few guys in this field that really jumped off the page at me as actually being underpriced. The Aussie has been under-the-radar good this year and as long as DK wants to keep rolling him out there with a mid to low $7k price tag, I'm staying on board.

One of the problems we face in these less-than-stellar type of fields is the inconsistency that a lot of these players struggle with. Jones doesn't fall into that category, as he's made 10 straight cuts this year. We might be sacrificing some tournament-winning upside when we roster Jones, but he has managed a couple of top-15 finishes in 2019 and a T13 on this course last year.

He has been solid across the board recently, standing 11th in the AT&T field in SG: T2G over his last 24 rounds and 13th in SG: OTT. If Jones has a weakness, it's lackluster iron play. He grades out just 71st in the field in SG: Approach, but might be aided in that department by Trinity's massive greens.

There's a lot to like about Jones' consistent results and DFS price tags this week. He will be a core building block for me in all formats. I'm not usually an 'All In' type of guy, but I'll be heavily invested in Jones in this spot.


Wyndham Clark (DK - $7,300 & FD - $8,500)

Notable Course History: None
Recent Form: M/C (Wells Fargo), T54 (RBC Heritage), T20 (Valero), T37 (Valspar), DQ (Players)

Those of you that read this article regularly probably know that I'm always looking for opportunities to take advantage of any recency bias that might be surrounding a player. Wyndham Clark is in an interesting spot this week. He became a pretty trendy value option last week at the Wells Fargo and proceeded to shoot 74-75 to badly miss the cut.

Folks that rostered Clark last week aren't gonna be in big hurry to jump back on the 25-year-old and he's probably not going to pop in many models thanks to his bad iron play. But...there are some things to like about him at Trinity Forest. He ranks FIRST in this field in Birdies or Better Gained, fourth in SG: Par 4s, and ninth in SG: Par 5s over the last 24 rounds. He's a bomber and stands fifth on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance this season at just over 311 yards per drive. His ability to attack off the tee and take advantage of scoring opportunities should serve him well on this layout that's susceptible to great drivers of the ball that can go low.

Clark is a boom-or-bust GPP option this week. His recent couple of outings have been pretty ugly, but he brings tons of upside and fantasy scoring potential to the table at this price. He's probably not for the faint of heart, but if you're trying to take down a large-field tournament he's a really intriguing value option.


Adam Schenk (DK - $7,000 & FD - $8,500)

Notable Course History: T59 ('18)
Recent Form: T13 (Wells Fargo), M/C (RBC Heritage), T7 (Valero), T33 (Corales), M/C (Valspar)

Adam Schenk isn't exactly a household name, but neither is Max Homa or C.T. Pan...two guys that won on the PGA Tour last month. As I mentioned in the intro, ALL of the guys on this Tour are good. Schenk is just 27-years-old and after struggling through a trial by fire type of season last year, the Purdue product is starting to show that he belongs at this level in 2019.

Schenk logged a quiet T13 at Quail Hollow last week and an impressive T7 a month ago at the Valero. He's doing it on the strength of his ball striking and ranks fifth in the field in SG: Approach and THIRD in the field in SG: Total over his last 24 rounds. He also has some Trinity Forest experience and made the cut (T59) here last year.

Anytime we're dipping down to $7k in what's a weak field, there's naturally some risk involved. Schenk's no magic bullet, but he's a guy that's dialed in with his irons and solid from tee to green. He opens up a lot of options when constructing lineups and makes it possible to roster either Brooks Koepka or a couple of players from the $9k range. He's a great deep-dive GPP play.

Golf DFS News and Player Outlooks


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