Welcome back once again for another weekly PGA DFS preview with @DFSduncan. The Florida Swing continues with the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course. Before we get into that let’s touch on Rory’s first Players Championship victory. He held off a charging Jim Furyk to finally break through in the 2019 season after what seemed like weekly top 5 finishes. You’d be hard pressed to find someone on tour this year who has been as hot and consistent as Rory. Rahm and Fleetwood made up the final group on Sunday and both faded fairly quickly showing signs of nerves. Rahm notably put one in the water at 11 after going for the green in 2 from a fairway bunker without much of an angle at the green. Rahm and Fleetwood can both chalk Sunday up to a learning experience, and they will both certainly be at the top of the leaderboard going into a Sunday in the future.
Course Preview and Key Stats
The Copperhead course is one of the most difficult tracks on tour. It is a par 71 that plays right around 7,300 yards. It is notable that the course has 5 par 3’s to go along with its 4 par 5’s. Most of the scoring for the week will be done on the par 5’s although all 4 holes will be tough to reach in 2 for the vast majority of the field. The course is known for its narrow tree lined fairways and multiple dogleg holes that will force players to strategically work their way around the course rather than bomb and gouge. The course sets up for many long iron approaches compared to other courses on tour. The Snake Pit is made up of holes 16-18 and this stretch of holes will make or break many rounds this week. All 3 holes play over par and the goal for many players will be to simply survive this stretch of holes. Walking away from this 3 hole stretch even for the round is seen as a victory for many. Let’s get into this week’s key stats.
- SG: Approach
- SG: Par 5
- Proximity 175+
- Scrambling Gained
- GIR Gained
Dustin Johnson ($11,500)
DJ is in elite form right now and I think his price is great in this week’s somewhat weak field. He has a top 10 in 4 of his 5 starts so far this calendar year in the US and he’s coming off 2 events in which he put on a ball striking clinic. He gained 9.6 and 7.9 strokes on approach in his last 2 starts. He’s comfortable clubbing down as you’ll from his success at courses like Pebble Beach. With most of the other top players in the world sitting this one out, I think he’s worth the price tag.
Sergio Garcia ($10,100)
Sergio is also coming into the Valspar in great form. He’s gained on approach in all 4 of his events in the US this year which has resulted in 2 top 10’s. He finished in 22ndlast week but that could have been even better if it weren’t for a bit of shaky play around the greens. He came in 8thlast year in this event and I think his game sets up great for this course.
Jason Kokrak ($8,600)
Kokrak has taken a major step forward on tour this year. He’s another guy whose approach game has been strong as he’s gained at least 3.5 strokes on approach in each of his last 5 starts. His putting has let him down a bit but his tee to green game will keep him in it every week. He finished tied for 8thin this event last year and has made the cut 4 of the last 5 years. He clearly likes the track and his game is in a better place than it has been in any of the last 5 years.
Kevin Kisner ($8,500)
Over the past 3 months Kisner has been a model of consistency. He has finished between 22ndand 28thin his last 5 starts which I believe is solid value at this price point for cash games. His GPP upside is a bit lacking but he’s as safe a bet as any to make the cut and play into the weekend. He’s not the longest hitter so the course set up which forces golfers to get around strategically should play to his strengths.
Russell Knox ($8,100)
Knox comes in at 11thin my model this week with his strong iron play being the biggest factor. He’s gained 4.1 and 8.1 strokes on approach his last 2 starts. He’s also made the cut here 4 of his last 5 starts. If his putter can get rolling a bit then he has a good chance to contend on Sunday.
Sungjae Im ($7,700)
Im will be making his first start at the Valspar and is coming off a missed cut at the Player’s last week. His putter really let him down losing 2.6 strokes in just 2 rounds. I think the weekend of rest will do him good and he’ll be able to get his game together to compete this week. He’s 12thin my model due to his strong ball striking and I’m hoping his ownership will be on the lower side after burning people with a MC last week.
K.H. Lee ($6,700)
Lee’s irons have been spectacular lately. He’s gained 5.4 and 6.9 shots on approach his last 2 starts. His game seems to be in a great place right now and at this price point he should definitely help you fit in some $10k+ guys while providing significant upside if his ball striking continues.
Max Homa ($6,300)
I’m going to ride the hot hand down at this price point. Homa has made 4 straight cuts coming into this week and while he has gained quite a bit putting I’m going to hope that continues. He’s finished no worse than 37 in those 4 events so he’s not just making the cut by the skin of his teeth and falling back during the weekend. He’ll be a great salary saver this weekend if he continues his resurgence.
This brings us to the end of my Draftkings preview for the Valspar Championship. Scoring will be tough this week so finishing points will be as important as ever to the final DK standings. Let’s hope we get some guys at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday and they hold on through the Snake Pit! As always feel free to reach out to me on twitter @DFSduncan. You can also find me in the Fantasy Sports Degenerates slack chat.