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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - Masters


Welcome back to the PGA DFS: Vegas Report. Corey Conners became just the fifth player in PGA Tour history to qualify for an event on Monday and capture the title that same weekend. The Canadian provided one of the craziest six-under par rounds you will ever see, making birdie on four of his first five holes of the day before producing bogeys on four straight holes to wrap up his front nine. The back nine presented the same explosion, but this time without the combustibility. Conners caught fire down the stretch, birdieing six of the final nine holes to seize his first career PGA Tour triumph.

While the conquest earned Conners a two-year exemption on tour and an invite into the Masters, we were able to reap some of the benefits with a 200/1 outright winner on the 27-year-old in Texas. It is not every week that you can correctly identify a longshot of that nature, but it is one of the many reasons why you should always check out the 'PGA DFS: Vegas Report' to see who is flying into an event under-the-radar. The victory at the Valero Texas Open gives us our second champion during the season (Matt Kuchar 66/1 at the Mayakoba Classic) and was our 21st top-10 result of the year. Needless to say, it has been a scorching start to 2019.

Not to be outdone, our head-to-head bet of Trey Mullinax (-110) over Justin Harding (-110) might not have been pretty, but it did give us another successful wager to increase our record to (11-4-2). Mullinax suffered an MDF finish on Saturday, but it didn't matter with Harding missing the initial cut on Friday. We have been stressing how important it is to attack tournaments that feature a cut because we can try to pinpoint golfers that may fail to make the weekend, and we have done an exceptional job of that by correctly selecting an opponent that has missed the cut 10 of 17 times. That isn't a sustainable ratio long-term, but it helps to explain why we are correctly hitting 73.3 percent of our wagers at this point. With one of the most significant tournaments of the season this weekend taking place at Augusta National, let's dive into some value plays we will be targeting at the Masters.

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.  Sign Up Now!

For an in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly Horse For The Course that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

To see who the RotoBaller staff is selecting in the weekly 'One and Done' contest, click here

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. 

Sign Up Now!

 

2019 Masters - Augusta National

7,435 Yards - Par 72 - Greens Bentgrass

Ah, yes. The first major of the year is finally here, and there is no arguing that the Masters is 'a tradition unlike any other.' Eighty-seven players will tee it up for the first grand slam event of 2019, and everyone will have their eyes on the coveted green jacket. However, in order to earn the right to wear golf's greatest prize, golfers will need to traverse every part of the facility, and that includes making it through Magnolia Lane and into Augusta National.

That may seem like a foregone conclusion, but Dustin Johnson showed in 2017 that making it to the first tee isn't always a given, as he was forced to withdraw after slipping down the stairs where he was staying and hurting his back the night before teeing off. Assuming that we don't experience any freak accidents this time around, the tournament appears to be as wide open as it has been in years. Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite and is going for the career grand slam, but he hasn't been immune to slipups of his own at the Masters, and it feels as if most of the best players in the world have a realistic shot of walking out of Augusta as the champion.

There are a few key statistics that will prove vital this weekend. Distance off the tee will be a huge separator since fairways are wide and the rough is non-existent. Par-five scoring also becomes necessary with all par-fives playing as the easiest holes at the venue. If we add in touch around the green, strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach and three-putt avoidance, we get a pretty good understanding of what will be needed to find the winner's circle on Sunday. While I am far from a course history matters guy, experience at Augusta is very important. A first-timer hasn't won since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, and older players can compete just by knowing where they can and can not miss certain shots.

Masters Best Bets

I like the broad approach we have taken for the 'PGA DFS: Vegas Report in the past month of recommending 10 potential wagers and highlighting the pros and cons for each specific bet, but that structure feels slightly disingenuous for an event like the Masters. For starters, there are only 87 players total, and the majority of the card would turn into 20/1 to 40/1 options. That doesn't help to decipher the best bets and would only highlight a bunch of second-tiered choices. Here is my official card for the Masters this weekend, although I must admit that it is a little meatier in exposure than usual.

#1 Dustin Johnson - 12/1, DK Price $11,300, FD Price $12,000

Everyone knows of Dustin Johnson's long list of misfortune's in major championship events, but the big-hitting American is being somewhat overlooked entering Augusta. During his last four stroke-play events, Johnson has contributed three top-10 finishes, which includes a victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Of all the travails that the second-ranked player in the world has experienced in majors, the Masters probably has left the 34-year-old with the least amount of scar tissue. Sure, he suffered an embarrassing fall down his stairs in 2017 that forced him to withdraw before the tournament started, but if we exclude that moment, Johnson has found himself gradually improving at the event. The 20-time PGA Tour winner failed to post a top-10 showing in his first five attempts at Augusta National but has broken that barrier the previous three times he has teed it up, including two top-six finishes in 2015 and 2016.

Most of the headlines will be around Rory McIlroy and his quest for the career grand slam, and I like that Johnson is flying into the week overlooked from an outright perspective. In my opinion, Johnson has been the best player in the world since 2015, and it is time for him to start crossing major titles off of his want list. Johnson's game is peaking at the right time, and he has the luxury of playing without all the pressure that most of his main competitors are feeling, which is why he is my favorite to win the 2019 Masters.

#2 Justin Thomas - 18/1, DK Price $10,200, FD Price $11,700

Justin Thomas' record at Augusta might be a reason that some handicappers leave the American off of their cards this weekend but don't overlook the 25-year-old because of a perceived flawed course record. Thomas has bettered his finishing position from 39 to 22 to 17 in his first three attempts and competing at the facility has always been said to take some time for every golfer.

The fifth-ranked player in the world came to the Masters last season at 10/1 after his hot form leading into 2018, but he has gone quietly unrecognized this year. Thomas hasn't been as crisp as we would care to see in his past three events, but four top-nine results in 2019 have been somewhat forgotten because of his inability to provide a knockout during the final round.

The nine-time PGA Tour winner enters the event in 2019 ranked first in par-five birdie or better percentage and second in strokes gained approach on the season, and there isn't a huge learning curve left for Thomas in his quest to capture the green jacket. Priced at $10,200 on DraftKings, the American is projected to be nearly 13 percent owned, but that should make him the least taken player over $10,000. Don't let Thomas' recent form confuse you; he is one of the most likely players to win this weekend and provides an excellent contrarian option at the very top of the board.

#3 Bryson DeChambeau - 35/1, DK Price $9,300, FD Price $11,200

It might be more likely that Bryson DeChambeau will win the Masters in a season or two, but it has become difficult to neglect golf's mad scientist at odds of 35/1. If you haven't already placed a wager on the American, his outright price has seen some of the most substantial drift in the market, even getting to 40/1 on foreign bookmaking websites at the time of writing this article. I would wait until the last minute to place this wager for the best odds possible and do your shopping when it comes to his number. I was able to grab DeChambeau twice in the year 2018. Once at odds of 100/1 in August and again at 60/1 in September. Because of that, DeChambeau would be my biggest win at the event.

The sixth-ranked player in the world has sputtered over his past four events, failing to post a top-15 finish, but the 25-year-old has entered a territory in odds that isn't accurate when it comes to his skill level. On top of that, we have also seen a similar contradiction take place on DFS websites. Despite being the ninth most expensive golfer on DraftKings, DeChambeau is projected to be the lowest owned player of the top 18 options on the board. His 10 percent expected ownership would be respectable on most weeks, but with only 87 players entered into the Masters, he has taken a backseat to the rest of the big names in the field. DeChambeau will be playing in his third Masters and has yet to record a top-20 result, but I think we finally see him break out of his slump and make a run for the title during the weekend.

#4 Bubba Watson - 35/1, DK Price $8,800, FD Price $10,200

Hello, friends. Welcome to the Masters, the primary location of Bubba Watson's happy place.

As many of you already know, the American can be extremely temperamental from week-to-week. Put him at a venue that he fancies, and the sky is the limit. However, when Watson finds a course that doesn't suit his eye, watch out!!!! Mood swings, poor play and a lack of effort will all come into play, and it is one of the many reasons why we see the 40-year-old experience so much variation weekly. AHHHH!!! THE FRUSTRATION OF BACKING BUBBA!!!!!

But there is no need to stress when Watson enters Magnolia Lane and heads down to Augusta National. The birds chirp a little louder, the sky shines a little brighter, and most importantly, all of this doesn't make Watson want to tomahawk a Ruby-throated Hummingbird into the atmosphere.

Part of the reason Watson continually finds success at the course comes from the fact that it suits left-handed golfers and allows players with creativity to thrive. There isn't one specific way to play the venue, and Watson can use his vivid imagination to shape shots. If we add in that distance is needed off the tee, it becomes abundantly clear why the Masters is a place where the 12-time PGA Tour winner has flourished. There is no need to overthink the selection of Watson this weekend. He has GPP winning upside and is coming in at a price that is too inflated given his past success.

#5 Haotong Li - 200/1, DK Price $7,200, FD Price $9,400

Haotong Li has become a weekly fixture lately for me. He was my 'One and Done' selection at the WGC-Match Play, but despite making it to the final 16, the 23-year-old has continued to be disrespected in the outright market.

Last season, Li captured the title at the Dubai Desert Classic, which had been a past indicator for success at the Masters. Danny Willet won both tournaments in 2016, and Sergio Garcia accomplished the feat in 2017. For what it is worth, Bryson DeChambeau seized the trophy this season, and it is one of the many reasons why the young American made my official outright card this year. Unfortunately, Li wasn't able to keep the trend going in 2018, finishing in 32nd place, but it was an impressive first appearance from the Chinese sensation.

The two-time European Tour winner drew an unfavorable draw getting paired with Tiger Woods on Thursday and Friday, but we have seen the 39th-ranked player in the world find success when being matched with superstars like Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson in the past. Yes, Tiger is a different animal and has been known to send the best of the best into a mental breakdown, but I believe Li has enough youth and exuberance to find more success than one might think, and his 200/1 outright number is massive when we consider that he is a top-40 player in the world. I'd prefer to back the youngster as a top-20 bet, but his 200/1 outright price is hard to ignore and is worth a small flier, especially if you have each-way betting as an option this weekend.

Thursday Night Add:

Jason Day


MY TOP 30 RANKED GOLFERS FOR THE WEEK

Key Stats: Strokes Gained Off the Tee 20%, Driving Distance 20%, Strokes Gained Around the Green 17%, Par-Five Birdie Or Better Percentage 15%, Three-Putt Avoidance 15% and Strokes Gained Approach 13%,

50% Stats/20% Form/30% Course History


Head-to-Head Play of the Week

Bubba Watson -115 over Louis Oosthuizen -105
Bubba Watson $8,800 price tag on DraftKings vs. Louis Oosthuizen $8,100 price tag on DraftKings
Bubba Watson 13.2 percent projected ownership vs. Louis Oosthuizen 10.7 percent projected ownership

1.15 Units to Win 1.0

An event like the Masters is complicated to attack with our standard approach of pinpointing players who might miss the cut. It is possible that nearly 75 percent of the field might make the weekend and most that slip up will be amateurs or former champions of the event that are now past their primes. I've gone into great depth about why I like Bubba Watson this weekend, so let's instead look into some of the reasons why Louis Oosthuizen is someone that I am willing to oppose in a wager.

Oosthuizen has been a popular choice circulating throughout the industry to capture the title at Augusta because of his immaculate around the green game, but I worry about everything else that may be going overlooked. The South African has struggled immensely with his irons this season and has failed to score on par-five holes. The combination of those two factors is extremely concerning, and the 36-year-old might not have as much upside as is being projected.

Oosthuizen has been brilliant in the past five seasons at the Masters, but his failure to post a top-10 result in that time frame does make me believe that there is a ceiling for what we should expect him to accomplish. As mentioned above, it is challenging to find a matchup where one player is vastly more likely to make the cut than their opponent, and I like the idea of approaching this more as if it were a no-cut event. In those situations, I look for explosive players and try to target matchups against someone that I think will finish towards the middle-of-the-pack. To me, Watson has winning upside, and I am going in with the mentality that I need to find a player that will exceed my 31st place ranking that I have attached to Oosthuizen. Watson seems like a natural fit when assessing all of those terms, and I think we see this number begin to creep up as the week goes on.

2019 Head-to-Head Record (11-4-2)

+8.27 Units Year-To-Date From H2H Bets

Tournament

Head-to-Head Bet

Bet

My Picks Finish

Opponent Finish

Result

Total

Safeway Open

Sangmoon Bae +130 Over Chris Kirk

1.00 Units to Win 1.30

MC (+2)

MC (E)

Loss

-1.00

CIMB Classic

Kevin Na -120 over Kevin Tway

1.50 Units to Win 1.25

T19 (-17)

T27 (-13)

Win

1.25

CJ Cup

Paul Casey +100 over Marc Leishman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T18 (-8)

T18 (-8)

Push

0

WGC-HSBC

Thomas Pieters +120 over Kevin Na

1.00 Units to Win 1.20

T18 (-1)

T54 (+10)

Win

1.20

Shriners

Austin Cook +100 over Russell Henley

1.00 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+1)

MC (-1)

Loss

-1.00

Mayakoba

Kevin Chappell +100 over Charley Hoffman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T41 (-9)

MC (+2)

Win

1.25

RSM Classic

Patrick Rodgers -105 over Bronson Burgoon

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

2nd (-19)

MC (+2)

Win

1.00

Sony Open

Jimmy Walker -115 over Kevin Na

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

T51 (-6)

Did Not Start

Push

0

Desert Classic

Anders Albertson -110 over Anirban Lahiri

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T34 (-14)

MC (-8)

Win

1.00

Farmers Insurance

J.B. Holmes +130 over Branden Grace

0.70 Units to Win 0.91

MC (+4)

MC (+3)

Loss

-0.70

Farmers Insurance

Jordan Spieth -110 over Alex Noren

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T35 (-7)

MC (E)

Win

1.00

Waste Management

Ryan Palmer +105 over Kevin Tway

1.00 Units to Win 1.05

T60 (E)

MC (E)

Win

1.05

Genesis Open

Hideki Matsuyama -110 over Jordan Spieth

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T9 (-7)

T51 (+1)

Win

1.00

Honda Classic

Zach Johnson -115 over Kiradech Aphibarnrat

1.43 Units to Win 1.25

T59 (+3)

MC (+10)

Win

1.25

Arnold Palmer

Chesson Hadley -110 over Chris Kirk

0.82 Units to win 0.75

T17 (-5)

T15 (-6)

Loss

-0.82

Players Championship

Tiger Woods +105 over Rickie Fowler

0.75 Units to win 0.79

T30 (-6)

T47 (-3)

Win

0.79

Valero Texas Open

Trey Mullinax -110 over Justin Harding

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

MDF (+1)

MC (+4)

Win

1.00


2019 Outright Bets That Have Finished Inside the Top-10

Player

Event

Odds

Finish Position

Matt Kuchar

Mayakoba Golf Classic

66/1

1

Corey Conners

Valero Texas Open

200/1

1

Chesson Hadley

CIMB Classic

10/1

T2

Ryan Palmer

CJ Cup

150/1

T3

Sam Ryder

Shriners Hospitals

80/1

3

Chez Reavie

Sony Open

80/1

T3

Justin Thomas

Waste Management

10/1

3

Tommy Fleetwood

Arnold Palmer

35/1

T3

Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Arnold Palmer

60/1

T3

Lucas Glover

Honda Classic

60/1

T4

Jason Day

CJ Cup

13/1

T5

Sergio Garcia

WGC-Match Play

45/1

T5

Zach Johnson

RSM Classic

40/1

T7

Kevin Kisner

RSM Classic

40/1

T7

Webb Simpson

TOC

25/1

T8

Jason Day

Players Championship

40/1

T8

Hideki Matsuyama

Players Championship

40/1

T8

J.B. Holmes

Safeway Open

60/1

9

Gary Woodland

Farmers Insurance

28/1

T9

Hideki Matsuyama

Genesis Open

30/1

T9

Shubankar Sharma

CIMB Classic

150/1

T10

 

Golf DFS News and Player Outlooks

 

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