Welcome back once again for another weekly PGA DFS preview with @DFSduncan. We’re almost to Augusta with only one stop separating us from a tradition unlike any other. That stop is this week’s Valero Texas Open. The Valero Texas Open has replaced the Shell Houston Open as the appetizer for Augusta with the schedule shuffle in 2019. Before touching on this week’s event let’s do a quick recap of last week’s action. The WGC Match Play was won by Kevin Kisner with an impressive performance going 2-1 in pool play in what many though was the group of death, and following that up with victories over HaoTong Li, Louis Oosthuizen, Francesco Molinari, and Matt Kuchar. This was a huge victory for a guy who by own admission almost quit the game back in 2013. With all that being said let’s get into this week’s course preview and key stats.
Course Preview and Key Stats
TPC San Antonio is a par 72 that plays right around 7400 yards. The most distinguishing feature of the course is its extremely narrow fairways that will put a premium on driving accuracy.However, the rough is cut short so bomb and gouge could be a feasible strategy on the course this week. The par 5’s and par 3’s are also much longer than players see on a majority courses on tour. Three of the par 5’s can play over 600 yards depending on where the tees are placed, and the par 3’s average over 200 yards in length. This means par 5 scoring is lower than usual here, and players will have long irons in their hands at many of the par 3’s throughout the week. Some key stats I’ll be weighting heavily in my models this week:• SG: Ball Striking• Good Drives Gained• Par 5 Scoring > 600 yards• Proximity 200-225• GIR Gained• Scrambling Gained
Tony Finau ($10,800)
I’m not going to overthink this up top. I think Finau is the best player in the field and I think he wants to get some momentum going before the Masters next week. He’s been fairly consistenthis year finishing top 25 in all but 2 of his starts in 2019. He’s gained almost 2 strokes on approach in all of his starts outside of Pebble this year so I think his length can help him out a lot this week on a somewhat long course.
Billy Horschel ($9,800)
Horschel isn’t going to pop on many stats models this week but he has superb course history. His last 4 starts here have been T11, MC, T4, and 4. He clearly likes playing here and he hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Canadian Open. His putting has been very solid as of late and he’ll look to keep that rolling into this week.
Jason Kokrak ($9,400)
Kokrak is my favorite play of the week. He ranks 2nd in my model over his last 24 rounds and his form has been stellar as of late. He’ll want to redeem himself from just missing out on a playoff at the Valspar, and a win here will qualify him for the Masters next week.
Joost Luiten ($8,500)
I’m hoping Luiten will fly under the radar a bit as he hasn’t played much in the US. He’s a great iron player and very accurate off the tee, He comes in at 5th in my model over his last 24 rounds. He has 3 top 10’s in Europe this year so his game is in a good place. I like him as an under the radar GPP play.
Russell Henley ($7,900)
Henley is another guy who is accurate off the tee. He won’t blow you away with his length but he’ll keep it in play and give himself a chance to be in the hunt come Sunday. He ranks 3rd in good drives gained and 29th in SG: Ball Striking.
Nick Taylor ($7,200)
Taylor comes into this week in great form. He’s made his last 5 cuts finishing no worse than 33rd in that time period and he’s 7thin the field in GIR gained. If his putter gets hot he’ll be in contention this week.
Jonas Blixt ($6,800)
Blixt’s game seems to set up well for the course this week. He’s above average for the field in all the stats I’m looking at this week and he also has made his last 5 cuts. He scores well on long par 5’s and at this price point you could certainly do worse.
Adam Schenk ($6,700)
I feel like Schenk is underpriced this week. I was expecting him to be over $7k. He’s 17th in my model thanks to his strong ball striking game. He’s made 4 of his last 5 cuts, gaining shots on approach in all 5 events. Outside of a rough week with his irons way back at Riviera he’s gained shots on approach in all of his starts in 2019.
This brings us to the end of my Draftkings preview for the Valero Texas Open. This week is the calm before the DFS madness that the Masters will be, so I think doing some strong research can definitely result in some advantage over most of the field this week. As always feel free to reach out to me on twitter @DFSduncan. You can also find me in the Fantasy Sports Degenerates slack chat.