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RotoBaller PGA: 2019 PGA Championship DFS Bible


Hello RotoBallers and PGA DFS fans! Thank you so much for joining me here as we prepare for 2019's second major, the PGA Championship. The tournament has a great new slot on the schedule and an amazing host course this year in Bethpage Black. However, even with those positives in its favor, it will be hard for this tournament to top what we all witnessed at the Masters. Of course, there's always the possibility that Masters champion Tiger Woods gets into the mix again at the PGA Championship, which might make our collective heads explode all over again!

Before we dive into the players, let me take a second to say thanks for all of your support throughout the PGA DFS season! This wouldn't be possible without you guys, so let me urge you to spread the word on the great golf content available here each and every week. Follow us on Twitter: @JoeNicely - @RotoBaller - @RotoBallerPGA - @TeeOffSports, and make sure to like and share both this article and our weekly content!

I also want to give a big shoutout of thanks to our friends over at Fantasy National, who are amazing partners and the best in the business at providing comprehensive PGA DFS stats, both to the public and our RB staff, on a weekly basis. All stats used in this article are courtesy of Fantasy National, unless otherwise noted, and my favorite metric of measurement is a player's last 24 rounds.

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!

 

Overview

Hopefully, some of you read my 2019 Masters DFS Bible. The reaction to it was so hugely positive that I decided to tackle a PGA Championship version of 'The Bible'. There are a few differences...the Masters field is always relatively small and DraftKings pricing is posted early, so I have a couple of advantages when writing about it. Because of the size of the PGA field and the inclusion of PGA club professionals, I'm not able to cover every single player like I do for the Masters. And while pricing was posted fairly early on DK this year, I'm still dealing with a pretty tight time window, so there won't be as much written about each player. With all that being said...I still think (hope) you'll find this to be one of the most comprehensive DFS guides available for this year's PGA Championship.

The golfers are listed in descending order of their DraftKings price, just like you would see on DK when building a lineup and any DFS strategies discussed were written with the DraftKings Millionaire Maker tournament in mind.

Some players are discussed more in-depth than others. You can use this preview as a quick reference to get some thoughts on a specific golfer or you can spend some time with it and become familiar with the entire field. However you choose to use it, I hope that every reader will find at least one thing they feel is helpful or interesting.

My goal always remains the same...to create a piece that will be helpful to those of you that might be making your first PGA DFS Golf lineup, while also being interesting to you grinders that are slightly obsessed with this wonderful game! Ok, enough with all the formalities, let's get to the golfers for the 2019 PGA Championship!

 

DraftKings DFS Player Preview for the 2019 PGA Championship

Tiger Woods – $11,300

Notable Bethpage Black Results: Win (2002 U.S. Open), T6 ('09 U.S. Open), T38 ('12 Barclays)

Do you believe in miracles? Tiger Woods capped off perhaps the greatest comeback in the history of sports with a win at the Masters earlier this year! We saw some classic Tiger traits on display at Augusta National...power, control, mental toughness, and even a little intimidation. He'll need all that and more to take down this PGA Championship field that's bursting at the seams with elite players, but he's at the perfect venue to do the impossible, as he's already conquered Bethpage once to win the 2002 U.S. Open and played well on the Black course again in the '09 U.S. Open en route to a T6.

Like Augusta National, Woods knows this course and what it takes to win on it. If he drives the ball as well as he did at the Masters he will be a serious threat. Woods has long struggled with the driver, but things have been much better off the tee this year, as he ranks fourth in the field in Fantasy National's Good Drives Gained metric. We know that Tiger is perhaps the greatest iron player that's ever lived and he's looked every bit the part in 2019...grading out first in this field in Greens In Regulation Gained. Perhaps his greatest weapon at Bethpage will be his tremendous ability with his long irons and it comes as no surprise that he grades out very well in that area as well...he's fifth in the field in proximity from 175-200 yards and 22nd from 200+ yards. He won't need to be on hot fire with the putter in order to win, but like at Augusta, he will need to be timely on the greens and make those key putts that keep rounds going.

DraftKings certainly took notice of Tiger's victory at the Masters. They aren't playing around with him at the PGA and installed him as the highest-priced player on the board. Things will be very interesting from an ownership perspective and I'm interested to see where Tiger's ownership numbers are trending as we get later in the week. You have to think that tons of folks are still in the midst of 'Tiger Mania' and will roster him no matter what, but his huge price tag might give some sharper players pause...especially if we see that his ownership is trending high.

 

Dustin Johnson – $11,100

T40 ('09 U.S. Open), T3 ('12 Barclays), T18 ('16 Barclays)

After starting the season in some vintage dominant DJ form, we've seen a few hiccups from Johnson recently. He played really well at the Masters, logging a runner-up finish, but has had two puzzling final-round collapses in the last six weeks. DJ could only manage a Sunday 74 at a winnable Valspar and suffered through a downright ugly final-round 77 at an RBC Heritage tournament that was really his for the taking. Are these cause for concern? Yes and no. Johnson is perhaps the most talented golfer in the world right now and can dominate any tournament at any time, so he can certainly win this event...BUT if you are rostering DJ at this price then you basically need a win. His final-round failures could definitely cause his backers some anxiety if he's in a bunched-up leaderboard on Sunday at Bethpage.

He has all the tools...he's tremendous off the tee (eighth in SG: OTT), super long (fifth in Driving Distance), and even his once-spotty short game is now a strength (third in SG: Short Game). He's familiar with the Black course and logged a strong T3 at the 2012 Barclays. There aren't really any physical weaknesses in DJ's game, but there is that pesky mental side of golf. Johnson has long been at or near the top of the DK salary scale in major championships, but it is the first time we've seen him priced lower than Tiger Woods. It's only a couple hundred bucks, but it will be interesting to see where DJ's ownership trends in this spot. Love his fit here and his talent, but his failure to close recently does give me some slight pause and will keep me from going 'All In'.

 

Rory McIlroy – $10,900

T10 ('09 U.S. Open), T24 ('12 Barclays), T31 ('16 Barclays)

Like the aforementioned Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlory has spent the majority 2019 exhibiting dominant play, while suffering through some head-scratchingly pedestrian final-round lapses. He was the odds-on and public consensus favorite to win the Masters, but pulled a disappearing act at Augusta National. The freshly-turned 30-year-old won The Players, but could legitimately have four wins on his 2019 resume if not for lackluster final rounds.

McIlroy has been statistically dominant this season. He drives the ball better than anyone on the PGA Tour (first in SG: OTT) and his game has been firing in all areas (first in SG: T2G), but it's fair to wonder which McIlroy will turn up at Bethpage. The dominant player that has won two of his four majors by eight shots? Or the talented, but unsteady player that is in the midst of a five-year major championship drought? I wish I could give you a confident answer, but we have to believe that McIlroy will continue to play really good golf this week. Will that be good enough to win? It's what you will need (and should expect) if you spend up to roster him.

 

Brooks Koepka – $10,400

T70 ('16 Barclays)

This dude is something else. Brooks Koepka spent the majority of 2019 sleepwalking through the run-of-the-mill Tour events before very nearly winning the Masters. If there were any questions about Koepka's 'Majors Switch', they were answered at Augusta National as the three-time major winner flipped it in a big way.

This guy is soooo tough to peg. You basically have to throw stats, recent form, and course history out the window with him at this point. Koepka probably won't be able to hit his driver with impunity at Bethpage, but we kinda thought that would be the case at Shinnecock Hills and you all know how that movie ended. While I actually like and respect Brandel Chamblee, I totally disagree with his Koepka takes. This guy is more than just a bomber, as I think he's really along the lines of an icy, cold-blooded killer cyborg sent from the future to win major championships. Fade him at your own risk, but I do think passing on a popular Koepka would give you some leverage on the field this week.

 

*JUSTIN THOMAS HAS WITHDRAWN*

T10 ('16 Barclays)

There's no concrete medical evidence or reports that I can point to, but JT's wrist just doesn't seem right. Justin Thomas simply hasn't been JUSTIN THOMAS since hurting it at the Honda Classic earlier this year. He recently withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship, and though he's been solid, he hasn't had the explosiveness that we've come to expect from him.

Unfortunately, there's more questions than answers when it comes to his injury, which is a real shame because I think that Thomas is a great fit a Bethpage. He's excellent from tee to green (third in SG: T2G) and has all the tools needed to win on this course. JT's so-so form and injury issues will probably scare a lot of people away this week. DFS players that want to gain some leverage on the huge Milly Maker field might have the perfect player to take a chance on in Thomas. It's a risk, but you have to love the upside he brings to the table at what I'm almost sure will be reduced ownership.

 

Justin Rose – $9,900

M/C ('09 U.S. Open), T46 ('12 Barclays), T31 ('16 Barclays)

I'm not being very articulate here, but the best way I can describe Justin Rose's 2019 campaign to this point is...weird. The Englishman made a somewhat questionable equipment change to start the year, right after winning the FedEx Cup and, I believe, while he was the number-one ranked player in the world. The results have by no means been disastrous, as Rose won the Farmers at Torrey Pines in January, but we've seen his results be more erratic this year than in the past. He missed the Masters cut for the first time in his long career, but did log a solid third-place outing at the Wells Fargo recently.

It used to be that you always knew what you were getting with Rose in a major...an almost guaranteed top-25 with upside for more, and you were maybe willing to sacrifice a little win equity because you didn't have to sweat him. I'm not sure that's where we are with him anymore. Can he win this week? Sure...but he's 38, only has one career major to his credit, has struggled a bit in his previous trips to Bethpage, and must overcome an ultra-talented field full of guys in sharp form.

 

Francesco Molinari – $9,700

T27 ('09 U.S. Open), M/C ('16 Barclays)

If there were any questions about Francesco Molinari's ability to be a true force in major championships, they've been answered over the past year. Moli was sooo close at the Masters on an Augusta National course that he's never really played great on. He has put himself in the elite class of the golf hierarchy and is a player that we must give serious consideration to in all majors going forward.

We haven't seen much of Moli since his heartbreaking Sunday at Augusta outside of a zombie-like appearance at the RBC Heritage immediately after the Masters. I'm willing to throw that start out, but it is legitimate to wonder how much the Masters letdown took out of the Italian. He's been ho-hum in two previous starts at Bethpage, but there's no doubt that Molinari is a different player now than he was in '09 and '16. His stats aren't going to pop in models because he's played a really limited schedule, but if his putting stroke stays anything like what it's been, Moli could once again be a huge factor in a major.

 

Jon Rahm – $9,500

None

Jon Rahm is still searching for that breakthrough victory in a major, but just because he hasn't done it yet, it doesn't mean he can't. He played well at Augusta and has put together a really solid 2019, though a final-round 76 in The Players that included a highly-publicized mental error will probably follow him around for a while.

We know that Rahm is bombs away off the tee (third in SG:OTT) and has plenty of length (eighth in Driving Distance), but I have some concerns about his iron play (53rd SG: Approach) and short game (76th SG: ARG). There's a ton of talent here - enough to win this week - but the lingering questions about his maturity and readiness to win are valid in this type of atmosphere.

 

Rickie Fowler – $9,300

M/C ('09 U.S. Open), T24 ('12 Barclays), T7 ('16 Barclays)

Here we are again. Heading into another major, wondering if this is gonna be the one for Rickie. It's frustrating for golf fans and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for Fowler himself. I know we're always thinking that this could be Rickie's time before every major, but things actually do line up really well for him this week. He's in tremendous form, as he's got a win, two top-fives, and a top-10 at the Masters in 2019.

Fowler is one of those players that doesn't pop-off the page at you statistically, but does everything really, really well...the type of solid tee to green game will be needed at Bethpage this week. He's improved in each of his three starts on the Black course, with a T7 coming in his last appearance in 2016. Fowler will be a popular DFS option, but it's hard to argue that he's not a great value $9.3k. Those that roster him might want to differentiate in other spots in their lineup.

 

Tommy Fleetwood – $9,200

None

We go from one popular player to another. Tommy Fleetwood has turned into a reliable go-to for many DFS players in recent majors, and with good reason, as he hasn't missed the cut in a major championship since the 2017 Masters, and has scored top-fives in the last two U.S. Opens.

Those U.S. Open performances feel especially relevant this week. While Bethpage won't be set up "U.S. Open tough", we know that it's still a beast. Fleetwood's ability to consistently hit the driver straight (fifth in SG: OTT) combined with his improved short game (seventh in SG: ARG) make him very intriguing on these type of tough layouts. He'll once again be popular, but is a great option for those that want to go with a balanced lineup build this week.

 

Xander Schauffele – $9,100

None

With a wink to my buddy Nagels Bagels, I have to ask what Xander Schauffele needs to do to gain some respect?!? $9,100 is practically free!!!

In all seriousness, the X-Man is a really exciting young player that's quickly proving that he can be a force in major championships. His record in majors over the past two years is really as impressive as anyone's: Runner-up finishes at this year's Masters and last year's Open, and a T5 and a T6 in the last two U.S. Opens. The PGA Championship has been Schauffele's worst major, but his solid tee to green game should be a nice fit at Bethpage. While we can call Xander overlooked by the media, I actually think he'll be a popular DFS play at this price. Like Fowler and Fleetwood, he fits nicely in really balanced lineup builds.

 

Jason Day – $9,000

T24 ('12 Barclays), T4 ('16 Barclays)

I actually like Jason Day as a player and a person, but I just can't ever play him in DFS. My stance was a mistake at the Masters, where Day recorded a top-five. It may very well be a mistake again in the PGA. The Aussie has played well in two previous starts at Bethpage.

His great short game (fourth in SG: Putting) will be a huge asset this week, but his loose iron play (86th in SG: Approach) is a concern. Then...there's the injury troubles that come with Day, which I'm not even gonna get into, as they are well documented. At the end of the day, I totally understand why people might want to roster him, but it's just not worth the headache for me. I might sprinkle him into a minimal amount of lineups.

 

Bryson DeChambeau – $8,900

None

Bryson is always an interesting player to evaluate because he just runs so darn hot and cold. His performance at the Masters was a neat microcosm of his season, as he came out firing in the first round and then disappeared for the remainder of the tournament to log a respectable, but underwhelming T29. 'The Mad Scientist' played the RBC Heritage with an Augusta hangover, but hasn't been in action since.

We are kind of guessing as to what type of form he will have at Bethpage. Has he been working non-stop on a range somewhere? Doing some type of swing physics using a complicated string theory? Who the hell knows? What we do know is that Bryson is a very explosive player that can win tournaments when things are humming. He has everything needed to compete this week, but his lack of recent play brings a lot of guesswork into play and makes him a boom-or-bust DFS option.

 

Tony Finau – $8,800

12th ('16 Barclays)

Is Tony Finau gonna turn into Brooks Koepka 2.0 and only show up at majors? It's a question worth asking, as Finau has spent much of 2019 flying under the radar, only to nearly win the freakin' Masters! In his only start since the Masters, the Wells Fargo, Finau was back to being lackluster and logged a disappointing T60.

So which Finau do we get this week? 'Awesome Masters Finau' or 'Meh 2019 Finau'? That's a tough one...we know he has the distance that we want here (Averaging 311.2 yards per drive), but his short game has regressed this season after showing some improvements in 2018 and he ranks an abysmal 133rd in the field in SG: Around the Green. His length will be a huge advantage at Bethpage, but I just don't know if the rest of his game is there at the moment.

 

Matt Kuchar – $8,700

M/C ('02 U.S. Open), M/C ('09 U.S. Open), T38 ('12 Barclays), T64 ('16 Barclays)

It's been a great year for Kuchar on the golf course and a rough one off it. I'm sure Kuch isn't too worried about all those extracurricular things as long as his game keeps humming along. After a strong T12 at Augusta National, Kuchar very nearly logged his THIRD win of the season at Hilton Head, before settling for a runner-up finish.

While you certainly can't argue with his form, the veteran has a surprisingly horrible track record at Bethpage. He's missed the cut in both U.S. Opens with a T38 and a T64 in two Barclays starts. Now it's tough to put a ton of stock in a four-tournament sample size over the past 17 years, but it does take a bit of shine off the Kuchar apple for me. He's a super-solid all-around player (11th in the field in SG:T2G) and he will once again be a popular DFS option, but this miiiiight be a spot to consider a calculated fade. I LOVED him going into the Masters, but I don't feel nearly as confident with him this week.

 

Jordan Spieth – $8,600

T10 ('16 Barclays)

I'm pulling for Jordan Spieth to get things together because I think he is an elite competitor, but he's just not there right now. If he can't get things going at Augusta National is he really going to at Bethpage Black?

This is not a good week to be struggling with the driver and Spieth is capital-S Struggling. He's 136th in the field in SG: OTT and has lost strokes driving in five of his last six measured tournaments. We have seen a few glimmers of hope over the past couple of months (and he's Jordan Spieth so I hate to completely count him out), but I would be shocked if he cracked the top-10 this week, which makes him feel about $1k overpriced to me.

 

Hideki Matsuyama – $8,500

M/C ('16 Barclays)

I admit it...I always fall for Hideki. Those stats just get me and I can't help myself. I mean, he's second in the field in SG:T2G and SG: Ball Striking, fourth in SG: Approach, fifth in SG: Around the Green, and 16th in SG: OTT. There's a lot to love there! Unfortunately, all those amazing statistics have only resulted in a lot of mediocre tournament finishes.

I'm always guilty of taking the position that "Hideki just needs one DECENT putting week to win!" I don't know that I'm hugely off base with that line of thought, but the bottom line is that the hot putting week has never came and Matsuyama sits a vomit-inducing 123rd in the field in SG: Putting. Maybe I'm just suffering from Hideki fatigue, because his ball striking should be a HUGE asset this week, but I really don't want to be a part of another T32.

 

Patrick Reed – $8,400

Win ('16 Barclays)

The 2018 Masters champion has slogged through 2019 for the most part. After getting off to a solid start to the season, Reed's game fell off a cliff in late March when he went 77-75 at the Valspar. His wife called in David Leadbetter around that time and things have steadily improved since.

Reed has played well at Bethpage before, capturing the 2016 Barclays title on the Long Island track on the back of some extremely sharp iron play (he gained a massive 5.9 strokes on approach that week). Something would really have to click for Reed if he were to repeat that performance this week, as he currently stands just 63rd in the field in SG: Approach. Rostering Reed will be contrarian, just because he's one of the least-popular players on the PGA Tour. Say what you want about the tenets of being a total dick, at least it's an ethos...Reed seems totally fine with playing the villain role in professional golf and I'm sure the New York crowd won't be holding much back.

 

Paul Casey – $8,300

M/C ('09 U.S. Open), T31 ('16 Barclays)

Ahhh yes...Paul Casey. My own personal 'Masters disaster'. The Englishman let me (and lots of other people) down with a disastrous opening-round 81 at Augusta. The even-keeled Casey seems like the last player you would expect to suffer a blowup, but between his Masters outing and an abysmal appearance at the Players, we've seen two head-scratching performances from the veteran.

He did bounce back nicely at the Wells Fargo by logging a T4 and he scored a repeat win at the Valspar earlier in the season, so he's got the game to be a factor this week. His two previous starts at Bethpage have been lackluster, but he's got the tools needed to play well here. Casey stands sixth in the field in SG: T2G, ninth in SG: OTT, and 16th in SG: Approach. His lack of prowess on the greens is always a concern (86th SG: Putting), but these Bethpage greens are honestly pretty straightforward. I like Casey again, but will be reducing my exposure just because of my bad personal experience with him at the Masters.

 

Patrick Cantlay – $8,200

None

Young Mr. Cantlay definitely opened some eyes at Augusta National when a weekend charge very briefly gave him a Sunday afternoon lead. The 27-year-old proceeded to go in the tank over the next couple of holes, but made a strong statement with his T9 finish. He kept things going in Hilton Head the following week with a T3 outing, so we have to love Cantlay's form as he heads to Bethpage.

He is solid from tee to green (19th SG: T2G, ninth SG: Total) and is an excellent long-iron player. His short game leaves a little to be desired, but he's by no means terrible and stands 46th in the field in SG: ARG. Even though Cantlay has received a $500 salary increase, he should be a very popular DFS option this week.

 

Adam Scott – $8,100

M/C ('02 U.S. Open), T36 ('09 U.S. Open), 62nd ('12 Barclays), T4 ('16 Barclays)

While I was really wrong about Paul Casey at the Masters, I was really right about Adam Scot...until the weekend anyway. Scott average 30 putts per round at Augusta National and looked totally lost from even five feet and in over the weekend. Scott is really similar to Hideki Matsuyama in that I love his game and ball-striking ability, but he's just so frustrating to roster because he's just a complete mess on the greens.

Statistically things are pretty misleading with Scotty. If you look at his 2019 numbers, you're gonna think he's putting ok, but not striking the ball well. While I love stats, let me tell you that the complete opposite has been true when you put Scott to the eyeball test. Just like Hideki, I love Scott's game and think he can play well at Bethpage, but it's just so frustrating watching him putt throughout the week when he's in your lineup.

 

Bubba Watson – $8,000

T18 ('09 U.S. Open), T10 ('12 Barclays), T13 ('16 Barclays)

For some reason I just never feel great when I plug Bubba into my lineups, but with that being said, I've been doing it pretty often this season. He came through at Augusta with a solid T12 and we're heading to another one of Bubba's "Happy Places" again this week.

The lefty has went T18-T10-T13 in his three career starts at Bethpage. Which, due to Bubba's tendency to repeatedly play well at the same courses, tells us that he has a strong chance to make some noise this week. Outside of his strong track record here, we also have to like his current form. Watson comes into the PGA Championship second in the field in SG: OTT and 12th in SG: T2G. His distance should be a big advantage this week and I like the DFS price tag.

 

Phil Mickelson – $8,000

2nd ('02 U.S. Open), T2 ('09 U.S. Open), T38 ('12 Barclays), T13 ('16 Barclays)

Like many other U.S. Open venues, Phil has a history of heartbreak at Bethpage. Lefty has logged two runner-up finishes at U.S. Opens held on the Black course in his career. We have to be pretty encouraged by what the 48-year-old has been able to accomplish this year. Phil has a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and could've very easily had a victory at the Desert Classic.

He played well at Augusta National, but did fade over the weekend to settle for a T18. The scary thing about rostering Mickelson is his volatility. We saw an example of that in his most recent outing at Quail Hollow when he went 71-75 to miss the cut. Phil has been slightly obsessed with maintaining his distance off the tee over the last couple of years (and that's served him well), but he will need to maintain some semblance of control with the driver if he hopes to get into the mix this week.

 

Henrik Stenson – $7,900

9th ('09 U.S. Open), T54 ('12 Barclays), W/D ('16 Barclays)

The Iceman got off to a sluggish start in 2019, but has the irons dialed in recently. Stenson has gained over six strokes on approach in three of his last four recorded starts...that's STRONG! Unfortunately, the rest of his game is lagging behind his iron play. He's lost strokes putting in his last three tournaments and his preferred weapon of choice off the tee (3-wood) won't get it done at this massive track.

 

Sergio Garcia – $7,900

4th ('02 U.S. Open), T10('09 U.S. Open), T3 ('12 Barclays)

Sergio is always intriguing when he's in this price range. He's just such a good ball striker and has so much physical ability that he's hard to ignore in major championships. Especially this week at a Bethpage Black course that he's thrived on in previous appearances. He hits it long and straight off the tee (17th in Good Drives Gained) and his irons have been fire this year (second SG: Approach). We're all well aware of Sergio's psychological issues - and we've seen a couple of incidents this year - but if he can keep his mind in the right space, his game is a terrific fit here. With his course history and talent, I think we'll see a lot of people going to Sergio at this price.

 

Louis Oosthuizen - $7,800

T5 ('12 Barclays), T18 ('16 Barclays)

The South African has been laying low since the Masters. Oosthuizen played well at Augusta National until a final-round 76 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard. 2019 has been a mixed bag for him overall, as we've seen strong performances ( Valspar & WGC-Match Play) and disappointment (couple of WD's and missed cuts). Nothing about Louis screams 'bomber'(61st in SG: OTT), but he sure does navigate long courses well, including this one...in two Barclays starts he's recorded a T5 and a T18. Louis feels like a nice value, but you are betting on his reputation and experience more than anything that points to him statistically.

 

Marc Leishman – $7,800

M/C('12 Barclays), M/C ('16 Barclays)

There's a lot of question marks surrounding Marc Leishman. He withdrew from last week's AT&T Byron Nelson, he's been in poor form recently, and he's never broken 70 in four career rounds at Bethpage, which has resulted in two Barclays missed cuts. The Big Aussie goes as far as his putter takes him and he's lost strokes on the greens in three of his last four measured starts. With a field full of strong options, I'm not taking any chances with Leishman this week.

 

Kevin Kisner – $7,700

T48 ('16 Barclays)

The Kiz turned into the cheap chalk at Augusta National and returned a solid value on his $6.7k price with a T21. DK has raised Kisner's price by $1k for the PGA Championship and it will probably be a lot tougher for the South Carolina native to help his DFS owners at this price. He's been extremely reliable this season and he's definitely a gritty player. Kiz had an unbelievable streak of seven straight tournaments with a finish between 21st and 28th earlier this season. A result somewhere in that range feels like his ceiling at this long Bethpage track.

 

Gary Woodland – $7,700

T47 ('09 U.S. Open), T4 ('16 Barclays)

Woodland is a really intriguing player on this course. He has the length needed (seventh in SG:OTT) to play well at Bethpage and he logged a T4 on the Black course at the 2016 Barclays. Woodland is one of those players that always seems to be right on the cusp of a huge breakthrough, but never quite gets there. He's definitely had some moments on the PGA Tour, but his output hasn't matched his talent. I think a lot of people are going to go to him this week at this price, and it does make a lot of sense. A probably insignificant note, Woodland did recently WD from the Wells Fargo with an illness.

 

Ian Poulter – $7,600

T18 ('09 U.S. Open), T36 ('12 Barclays),

Ian Poulter just keeps getting it done. He logged an impressive T10 at the Masters and was in the mix all weekend at Augusta. The Englishman followed that up with a strong T10 outing at Harbour Town. We know that Poulter isn't super long, but he gets it done well enough with the driver (34th in SG:OTT) to remain in consideration this week. Similar to the aforementioned Kisner, Poults is a grinder that just finds ways to get the ball in the hole. He's been solid in two previous starts at Bethpage and is a nice, steady option at this price.

 

Webb Simpson – $7,600

M/C ('12 Barclays), T48 ('16 Barclays)

Webb Simpson certainly exceeded what I thought he was capable of at Augusta National this year. The Webber scored a top-five at the Masters and has been rolling ever since, with top-20's at both the RBC Heritage and Wells Fargo. Bethpage doesn't seem like a great fit for Simpson...he's short off the tee (106th in the field in Driving Distance) and hasn't been super-sharp with his irons (43rd SG: Approach), but he's great at finding fairways (fourth in Good Drives Gained) and avoiding big numbers (sixth in Bogeys Avoided). Like the aforementioned Ian Poulter, he's a solid play at $7.6k.

 

Jason Kokrak – $7,600

T7 ('16 Barclays)

This guys is quietly having the best year of his career. Kokrak hasn't missed a cut in 14 starts this season and has ripped off four top-10s since March. He's striking the ball beautifully, standing sixth in this elite field in SG: Approach and eighth in SG: Ball Striking. He has plenty of pop with the driver (21st SG: OTT) and his T7 finish in the 2016 Barclays indicates that he likes the Black course. He doesn't have much of a track record in majors, but he did log a top-20 in last year's PGA Championship. Kokrak might turn into a trendy option in the DFS industry this week, but I've been on him all year and will once again be back on board.

 

Cameron Smith – $7,500

None

After a fire start to the season that included a win at the Australian PGA Championship and a couple of top-10s on the PGA Tour, Cam Smith has been in a huge funk for the last couple of months. The Aussie hasn't logged a top-50 finish since February. Smith is a short-game savant (first in the field in SG: Short Game), but is near the bottom of the field in SG: OTT (130TH). His inability to be effective with the driver consistently puts him in bad spots and forces him into scramble mode. Being short and inaccurate off the tee isn't exactly a recipe for success on the PGA Tour and that's especially the case at a beast like Bethpage. Smith's a promising young player, but I'm gonna pass this week.

 

Brandt Snedeker – $7,500

M/C ('09 U.S. Open), 2nd ('12 Barclays), T48 ('16 Barclays)

Snedeker busted a lot of bubbles at Augusta National. The best way I can describe Sneds is consistently inconsistent. You honestly never know what this guy is going to do on any given week. His Bethpage course history is a perfect example: M/C-2nd-T48...that pretty much says it all. He flashed a little form with a top-five at the Players earlier this year, but hasn't shown us much since. He has a tremendous short game (first in SG:ARG) which should help him get around Bethpage, but he's near the bottom of the field with the driver (127th in SG: OTT). He's not someone I want to rely on, as there are players that I feel much more comfortable with in this price range.

 

Hao-Tong Li – $7,500

None

The young man from China has tons of talent and potential, but it still all just feels really raw and unharnessed. We've seen some explosively-low rounds from Li in some big events and he's coming off a top-five in the Volvo China Open. He's a boom-or-bust type of DFS play, but I would argue that he has much higher upside than some of the 'safer' options in this price range.

 

Tyrell Hatton – $7,400

None

Is Hatton the 'English Brandt Snedeker'? There are definitely some similarities. Hatton is terribly inconsistent, probably due to his erratic ball striking (110th in the field in SG: Approach), but we have seen him pop in some tournaments over the last couple of years. He made his bones on the Euro Tour on the strength of his short game (sixth in SG: Around the Green) which he heavily relies on to get him out of tough spots. His lack of ability off the tee and on approach is a big concern at Bethpage.

 

Sungjae Im – $7,400

None

The hardest working man in golf! Im has already played in 22 events during his rookie campaign on the PGA Tour after dominating the Web.com last year. He's quickly shown that he belongs with five top-10s this season. Im doesn't have much major-championship experience, but all signs indicate that he has the game to handle it. Im is solid in all facets (22nd in SG:T2G) and has the talent to make some noise at Bethpage...really intriguing DFS option.

 

Billy Horschel – $7,400

T13 ('16 Barclays)

We've seen Horschel on some major championship leaderboards in the past, but he hasn't been a factor in a major in quite awhile. Horschel closed out 2018 in excellent fashion and he's been solid this season, but any success he's had in 2019 has been due to an extremely hot putter (16th in SG: Putting). The ball striking hasn't been there this year (128th SG: OTT & 57th SG: Approach) and that's a big concern on a course like Bethpage. Horschel's a grinder that has the ability to hang tough in this type of tournament, but you'd ideally like to see some better ball-striking form heading in.

 

Branden Grace – $7,400

M/C ('16 Barclays)

I don't ever want to gloss over Branden Grace in a major championship (especially on a tough course), but the last couple of months have been pretty ugly for the South African. He hasn't recorded a top-50 finish in a stroke-play event since the WGC-Mexico in March. Grace showed some signs of life at the Dell Match Play, but his subsequent starts have been forgettable. He's struggled badly on the greens (108th in SG: Putting) and would need the putter to significantly heat up this week in order to make a run at Bethpage.

 

Thorbjorn Olesen – $7,300

None

The 'Thunder Bear' spends most of his time on the Euro Tour, but will play big events in the U.S. He's a streaky player that has big upside when he's in the groove, but hasn't been in form for most of 2019. He logged a solid T21 at Augusta, however he's been underwhelming in his other starts on U.S. soil this year. Heads to Bethpage fresh off a missed cut in his tune-up outing at the Byron Nelson.

 

Keith Mitchell – $7,300

None

An exciting young player that's having a breakthrough season. Mitchell is a bomber (sixth in SG: OTT) and tremendous ball striker (10th in SG: Ball Striking) that took down the Honda Classic earlier this year. His style is very intriguing at a course like Bethpage, but Mitchell has repeatedly shown that he's a different player when not putting on Bermuda greens. The Poa Annua that awaits on the Black course could possibly be disastrous to Mitchell's chances. He's a very intriguing DFS option, but his past results off Bermuda is a huge concern.

 

Rafa Cabrera Bello – $7,300

None

Rafa feels underpriced here and I'm sure his ownership will reflect that. He's been rock-solid this year and kicked off 2019 with four consecutive top-25s on the PGA Tour. The Spaniard has been a consistent performer in majors over the last couple of years and logged a T10 in last year's PGA Championship. Rafa doesn't blow you away in one specific facet of the game, but ranks 32nd in this field in SG:T2G. He'll be a popular DFS play, but that popularity is probably warranted at this price.

 

Joel Dahmen – $7,300

None

Here's a player that's heading to Bethpage on a heater. Dahmen starting popping up on some DFS radars in 2018 and he's had some strong stretches this year. He's recorded top-25's in five of his last six starts, including a runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo and a T12 at The Players. Remarkably, this will be the first start in a major championship for the 31-year-old that's grinded his way up from the Canadian and Web.com Tours. Don't look for the cancer survivor to be too rattled. In addition to being a great story, Dahmen ranks 32nd in this field in SG:T2G.

 

Lucas Glover – $7,300

M/C ('02 U.S. Open), Win ('09 U.S. Open), T70 ('16 Barclays)

You'll hear Glover's name come up a lot this week. He won the '09 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in soggy conditions (not unlike the conditions we're expecting this week) for the only major championship win of his career. Glover has been largely irrelevant in major championships since that win in 2009, but he has played well on the PGA Tour this season. The Clemson alum has recorded four top-10s in 15 starts, due in large part to his massively improved short game (19th in SG:ATG) and his sharp ball striking (27th in SG: Approach). He's had some straight-up ugly outings mixed in this year, but he's an intriguing value option.

 

Si Woo Kim – $7,200

None

Si Woooooo! He is obviously hugely talented, but we also know about his volatility. Kim's upside has been evident in his THREE top-five finishes this year, but we've also seen several head-scratchingly bad missed cuts. He brings an amazing short game (19th SG: Short Game) with him to Bethpage and he played well at Augusta with a T21. It's easy to forget he's still just 23-years-old, but with that youth comes the tendency to check out if he's not playing well early. Interesting risk/reward DFS decision.

 

Ryan Palmer – $7,200

T24 ('12 Barclays), T13 ('16 Barclays)

The Texas ball striker has fared well in his two previous starts at Bethpage. The veteran enters this PGA Championship in good spirits, as he and Jon Rahm recently won the Zurich Classic team event. Palmer is a strong iron player (26th SG: Approach) and solid putter (15th SG:Putting), but his short game leaves much to be desired (122nd SG: ATG). Could be a dangerous player if he's hitting greens and making putts.

 

Shane Lowry – $7,200

None

The big Irishman kicked 2019 off with a bang by winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January. However, Lowry struggled mightily after crossing the pond and had failed to log a top-50 on the PGA Tour this year until a T3 at the RBC Heritage seemingly came out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago. We've seen him flourish at tough golf courses throughout his career, but his iron play (118th SG: Approach) would have to improve by leaps and bounds for him to get into contention this week.

 

Alex Noren – $7,200

None

It has been an abysmal 2019 for the Swede. Normally a reliable option, Noren has struggled horribly in basically every facet of the game (110th SG:T2G) this season. There are a couple of recent positive signs for Noren...he made the cut at the Masters, gained over four strokes on approach en route to a T28 at the RBC Heritage (his best finish of 2019), and he looked solid at the Byron Nelson. Those of you that feel feisty this week might want to throw a dart with Noren if you are multi entering.

 

Keegan Bradley – $7,200

M/C ('12 Barclays), T53 ('16 Barclays)

We've seen some good golf from Keegs this season, but it hasn't really translated into a ton of great finishes. We all know the issues with Keegan...great ball striker (FIRST in the field SG: Approach) and horrendous short game (136th in SG: Short Game). His ball striking ability always makes him dangerous and an intriguing GPP option, but his short game and legendary blow-up factor takes him out of 'core building block' consideration.

 

Zach Johnson – $7,200

M/C ('09 U.S. Open), T38 ('12 Barclays), T48 ('16 Barclays)

It's kinda been a lost season for ZJ. He has just two top-25s since January and the reason he's been struggling is borderline shocking, as I honestly couldn't believe that Johnson is ranked just 120th in this field in SG: Putting over his last 24 rounds. Not at all what we expect from the normally-sharp putting ZJ.

 

Aaron Wise – $7,100

None

After a breakthrough 2018 in which he picked up a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Wise got off to a sluggish start in 2019. He's picked things up significantly recently with a strong outings at the Masters (T17) and Wells Fargo (T18). His world-class ability with the driver (19th SG: OTT) on what should be a soggy Bethpage course automatically puts him in the value play discussion, but his loose iron play (103rd SG:Approach) is concerning. Form is trending in the right direction and brings some upside to the table.

 

Byeong Hun An - $7,100
None

A statistical beast, An is going to pop in a ton of models this week. His numbers are very tempting (FOURTH in the field in SG: T2G & Second in SG: ARG), but Benny is coming off a missed cut in Hilton Head and a WD at the Wells Fargo due to a neck injury. We'll keep an eye on his injury status as we get deeper into the week.

 

Jhonattan Vegas – $7,100

T22 ('16 Barclays)

Vegas has roared back into relevance on the PGA Tour this season. He's knocked out three top-10s, including a couple at big-time events like The Players and the recent Wells Fargo. From a statistical standpoint he appears to be a clear-cut value at this price...he's fourth in this field in SG: OTT and 18th in SG: T2G. Vegas fared pretty well the last time he saw Bethpage in 2016 and I like him to have a solid outing again in this spot.

 

Emiliano Grillo – $7,100

T2 ('16 Barclays)

Emiliano Grillo is one of those players that's just outside the casual golf fan's consciousness, but is well known to DFS regulars. Grinders are aware of Grillo's talent and upside, but are also familiar with his maddening inconsistency. We know that the ball striking will be there (14th SG: OTT & 20th SG: Approach), however his short game is an ongoing train wreck (134th SG: Short Game). Grillo logged a T2 on this course at the 2016 Barclays and that upside is still present with the Argentinian, but he will have to get the short game going to even make the cut.

 

Matthew Fitzpatrick – $7,100

None

The young Englishman has already won multiple times on the European Tour and almost scored a huge U.S. breakthrough earlier this season at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He's put together a solid year on the PGA Tour in 2019. He's competent in most facets of the game, which we like this week, but his lack of length off the tee (96th in Driving Distance) might be a big hindrance to his success at Bethpage.

 

Charley Hoffman – $7,100

M/C ('12 Barclays), T13 ('16 Barclays)

After struggling at the start of 2019, Hoffman put together a nice little stretch recently: Valspar (T18), Valero (T2), Masters (T29). He's strong off the tee (26th SG: OTT) and his iron play is coming around, as he's gained strokes on approach in his last four starts. Might be a sneaky DFS play. We've seen him play good golf in majors before and his game seems to be trending in the right direction.

 

Lucas Bjerregaard– $7,000

None

The young man from Denmark has been tearing up the Euro Tour over the past year and has quickly made his mark on the PGA Tour this season which earned him Special Temporary Membership. Popped up on a lot of radars with his performance at the WGC Match Play, which included a win over Tiger Woods. He's terrific off the tee, but has been helped tremendously by a hot putter.

 

Justin Harding – $7,000

None

Similar to the aforementioned Bjerregaard, Justin Harding has found himself playing some big events in the U.S. due to his strong play on the Euro Tour. The South African recorded a very impressive T12 in his Masters debut. He's an explosive player that is capable of going low.

 

Pat Perez– $7,000

T38 ('12 Barclays)

Has battled injuries for most of 2019, but has put together nice outings in his two most recent starts at the Wells Fargo and Byron Nelson. He's a streaky ball striker with a good short game (10th SG: SHort Game). The West Coast native is excellent on Poa Annua greens which is not something that can be said of most in this field.

 

Best Of The Rest

Jim Furyk – $7,000:

Has played excellent golf in 2019, but has come back to Earth a bit recently. We know that he can play tough golf courses well, but his lack of distance off the tee will place a ton of emphasis on his long irons and short game.

Charles Howell III – $7,000:

Having perhaps the best season of his lengthy career. Things have cooled down significantly for CH3 recently as he heads to Bethpage on the heels of two missed cuts and a WD in his last three starts. The injury is something worth keeping an eye, but was probably precautionary. He garnered lots of ownership for the Masters, but I expect his popularity to diminish this week.

Thomas Pieters – $7,000:

Always interesting due to his raw talent and length off the tee (11th in the field in Driving Distance), Pieters has been relatively quiet in 2019. He had a solid tune-up outing at the Byron Nelson. The mental side of the game gives him problems and his patience might be put to the test at a tough Bethpage track. Intriguing upside at this price.

Graeme McDowell – $7,000:

Appears to be a man on a mission to qualify for the Open Championship on his home track of Royal Portrush. Picked up a win at the lowly Corales Puntacana event, but has sporadically flashed form throughout 2019. We know he can play well on tough courses and he's been tremendous on the greens (third in SG: Putting).

Eddie Pepperell - $6,900:

Everybody's favorite Twitter personality, Eddie Pepperell has played extremely well in 2019. He's dipped his toe into the American waters this year and has a T3 at the Players Championship to show for it. Heads to Bethpage fresh off a runner-up finish at the British Masters. His lack of prowess with the driver (128th SG: OTT) will put him at a big disadvantage this week.

Kevin Na – $6,900:

Na has suffered through an injury-plagued 2019, but has started rounding into form recently. Made the cut at Augusta National and followed the Masters with a top-10 at Hilton Head. His strong short game (18th SG: ARG) should be a big asset this week, but he stands just 119th in SG: OTT.

Luke List – $6,800:

List always seems to pop statistically, especially on long courses like Bethpage. His numbers are tempting...23rd SG: T2G and 15th SG: OTT, but his finishes don't match his statistical output, probably due to his total ineffectiveness on the greens (136th SG: Putting). He has the tee to green game to make some noise, but will need to catch a hot putter this week.

Corey Conners – $6,800:

Conners is really similar to the aforementioned List, with the difference being that he's logged a win this season (Valero). The Canadian is a ball striking machine and stands 13th in SG:T2G, fourth in SG: Approach, and 22nd in SG: OTT. Also like List, he struggles mightily with the flatstick and stands just 113th in SG: Putting.

Kyle Stanley – $6,800:

Another stat king, Stanley has been lost in the wilderness for the majority of 2019, but he's shown some signs of life in his two most recent starts. Stanley logged a top-25 at the Masters - his first since January - and scored a top-10 two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo. He's never fared great in major championships, but he's an interesting dart throw if he is indeed rounding into form.

Matt Wallace – $6,700:

The walls came crashing down on Wallace at the Masters after being on seemingly endless heater. The Englishman was dominant on the Euro Tour to start 2019 and carried that good form to the U.S. by the way of a top-10 at the API. Rebounded nicely from his Augusta National and Hilton Head mishaps with a runner-up finish at the British Masters last week.

Scott Piercy - $6,500:

The early PGA pricing works to our advantage when it comes to Piercy. His $6.5k price tag is looking like an absolute steal after his play of the last few weeks, with top-five finishes at both the RBC Heritage and the AT&T Byron Nelson. Piercy is a streaky ball striker who has the irons on fire at the moment...he's averaged gaining over 6.5 strokes on approach in his last two starts. We've seen him contend on some tough courses before and he'll be a popular value option.

Troy Merritt – $6,200:

Actually had to have a rib removed in January due to complications from a blood clot. Has been working his way back over the last couple of months and popped up for a top-10 at Hilton Head. Merritt is a sharp ball striker (27th SG: Approach) and might be worth a dart throw at this heavily-discounted price tag.

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