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PGA DFS: Top Plays, GPP Pivots, and Ownership Projections for The Valero Texas Open

Everyone is getting into Masters mode, but we still have the Valero Texas Open before we head to Georgia. TPC San Antonio will play host once again and it is a par 72 that plays just over 7,400 yards.

The course usually has reasonably fast greens running around 11.5 on the stimp. There are just 54 bunkers and 2 water hazards that the field will contend with. Greens are Bermuda but overseeded with Velvet Bent and Poa Trivialis. For more information on the historical trends this week, head over to yesterday’s article.

Checking the Chalk

Sungjae Im ($10,100) comes in with great form to the Valero Texas Open this week. He has the third-longest active streak on tour of rounds at par or better with nine. This is the first real price jump of his young career, as he goes into the $10,000 range for the first time in a full-field event. Another popular, expensive option this week is Tony Finau ($10,800). He’s made nearly 90 percent of his cuts since the start of 2018. During that span, he’s popped for 12 top-10 finishes including four runner-ups. This event was good to him two years ago as he finished in third place. Finau has scored at least 70 DK points in each of his past four starts.

Jason Kokrak ($9,400) has the second-longest cuts made streak with 17 in a row dating back to The Open Championship. This is the first time in a full-field, regular season event that Kokrak is above $9,000. His current form warrants that price tag, though, as he’s had 10 top-25 finishes during his made cuts streak. Kokrak has hit at least 60 percent of greens in regulation in every start he’s made since last June. Everyone’s favorite golfer to tilt, Luke List ($8,000) is back at it again this week at a price that seems a bit low for the field. After struggling with his irons at the as we went from California to Florida, he seems to have found something again. He’s hit an average of 68 percent of his greens over his past two starts. List struggled to score on the weekend at TPC Sawgrass, but he goes as his putter goes.

I’m not sure how popular he’ll be but this was Joaquin Niemann’s ($7,600) coming out party last year. It was his first professional start and he turned in a T6 performance. He’s one of my guys, but his finishes have been less than stellar recently. Niemann missed the cut last week at the Corales, and hasn’t finished inside of the top 30 since November. His ball-striking has been pretty solid, averaging over 60 percent of GIR over his past five starts, but the putter has really held him back lately.

Note: As always, make sure you check out the model and ownership projections below. As I’m writing this, it looks like these are some of the popular options, but things change as the week goes on.

GPP Pivots

At least one of Rickie Fowler ($11,700) or Matt Kuchar ($11,200) might go slightly under-owned this week. Depending on roster construction in a weak field like this we could see them come in at lower ownership than you’d expect for their name recognition.

Even including a win and a second place finish, Fowler’s stats aren’t necessarily what we’ve come to expect over his past five starts. His ball-striking — both GIR and SG: Off the Tee — are below his average since the start of 2018. His putting has spiked, though, as he’s averaging 4.25 strokes on the greens over that span compared to 1.03 strokes over the 21 starts before that. Per DataGolf, he’s spiked around this level of putting before but it’s approaching unsustainable levels.

fowlerfix

Kuchar seems to be peaking, as evidenced by his spot in the finals at the match play event last week. His putter was trending hard in the wrong direction and has an average of -1.05 SG: Putting over his past five stroke play events. Kuchar’s GIR numbers are a bit inflated over that time compared to his average since the start of 2018 but even if that regresses a little bit and his putter trends upwards a bit we could be looking at another solid performance from the PGA’s newest villain.

kucharfix

It’s not quite ready for prime time yet, but there’s a player comparison tool in the works behind the scenes for RotoViz. When looking for a Kokrak pivot, Jhonattan Vegas ($8,700) popped up as a recent comp. Over their past three starts, Vegas has hit more fairways and more greens than Kokrak while boasting similar distance off the tee. At a slight ownership discount, Vegas could make some sense this week.

Hank Lebioda ($6,400) has made 5-of-6 cuts and has only finished inside of the top 30 once in that span. That might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but he’s been striking the ball well and is very cheap in a weak field. During that span of a half dozen starts, Lebioda has hit at least 60 percent of GIR every time out. The putter hasn’t quite been there for him, but at only a few hundred dollars over the minimum salary here I think he has real cut equity and could pop into the finish position bonus at low ownership.
lebiodafix

Cash Locks

So far this season, the totals for the cash locks are 22/24 made cuts, 16/24 top 30s, and 10/24 top 10s. Let’s keep it rolling with this week’s locks.

  • Byeong Hun An ($9,200)
    • He’s No. 1 in my model this week.
    • An is hitting more fairways with more distance and about the same number of GIR as fan favorite Kokrak. I think he gives you a decent amount of leverage over the field.
  • Jhonattan Vegas ($8,700)
    • For the reasons above.

Model and Ownership Projections

Note: Ownership projections will be added and updated as we get closer to lock.

Player NameSalaryPercentileOwn%
Byeong-Hun An92001.0016.5
Sung-jae Im101000.9919.5
Luke List80000.9918.5
Matt Kuchar112000.9812.5
Rickie Fowler117000.9712.5
Lucas Glover93000.9615.5
Jhonattan Vegas87000.9614.5
Henry Lebioda64000.952
Tony Finau108000.9422.5
Jim Furyk96000.9412.5
Jason Kokrak94000.9324.5
Wyndham Clark71000.925
Jordan Spieth103000.9110.5
Peter Uihlein69000.912
Trey Mullinax74000.9013
Scott Stallings70000.897
Harold Varner66000.895
Ryan Moore91000.8817.5
Bud Cauley74000.875
Josh Teater63000.860.25
Sung-Hoon Kang77000.8610.5
Roberto Castro64000.853
Nick Watney69000.841
Scott Scheffler69000.845
Chip McDaniel60000.834
Julian Etulain67000.822
Andrew Putnam76000.813.5
J.B. Holmes80000.8110.5
Joaquin Niemann76000.8015.5
Chris Kirk71000.795
Joost Luiten85000.7813.5
Kramer Hickok70000.784
Martin Laird70000.772
Cheng Tsung Pan68000.761
Nick Taylor72000.767
John Senden62000.751
Shawn Stefani64000.741
Joel Dahmen75000.738.5
Charley Hoffman82000.7314.5
Adam Svensson63000.721
Matt Jones72000.716
Kevin Streelman70000.712
Beau Hossler68000.701
Brendan Steele72000.691
JT Poston74000.682
Sebastian Munoz64000.680.25
Kyoung-Hoon Lee68000.671
Rory Sabbatini69000.661
Fabian Gomez66000.660.5
Graeme McDowell88000.656.5
Sepp Straka66000.640.5
Jonathan Byrd69000.632
Ryan Armour67000.631
Harris English69000.621
D.J. Trahan67000.6110
Billy Horschel98000.6014.5
Carlos Ortiz65000.601
Ryan Palmer84000.5915.5
Jimmy Walker78000.585.5
Kyle Stanley70000.582
Adam Schenk67000.574
Abraham Ancer89000.5619.5
Adam Long64000.551
Si Woo Kim79000.556.5
Roger Sloan65000.541
Aaron Baddeley83000.5311.5
J.J. Henry62000.530.25
Kevin Tway68000.522
Sam Ryder63000.514
Jim Knous63000.500.25
Ollie Schniederjans75000.505
Dylan Frittelli73000.499
Stephan Jaeger60000.480.25
Lucas Bjerregaard90000.489.5
Russell Henley79000.476.5
Alex Prugh62000.460.25
Benjamin Silverman66000.450.5
Hudson Swafford63000.450.25
George McNeill63000.440.5
Ernie Els68000.430.25
Cameron Tringale60000.420.5
Denny McCarthy81000.423.5
Luke Donald73000.411
Robert Streb61000.400.25
Brian Stuard66000.400.5
Mackenzie Hughes71000.393
Chris Stroud71000.380.25
Danny Lee67000.370.5
Kenny Perry61000.370.25
Tyler Duncan65000.360.25
Peter Malnati65000.350.25
Scott Brown63000.350.25
Seamus Power65000.340.5
Daniel Berger78000.338.5
Cameron Davis66000.321
Padraig Harrington67000.320.25
Martin Trainer64000.310.25
Brian Gay70000.303
Martin Kaymer72000.300.5
Vaughn Taylor68000.291
Austin Cook75000.284
Brian Harman73000.272
Hao-Tong Li86000.279.5
Anders Albertson61000.260.25
Brandon Harkins61000.250.25
J.J. Spaun66000.251
Davis Love III64000.240.25
Chesson Hadley73000.233
Grayson Murray66000.222
Hunter Mahan62000.220.25
Roberto Diaz64000.210.25
Justin Harding77000.2014.5
Kyle Jones62000.190.25
Jonas Blixt68000.190.5
Andrew Landry72000.184
Jim Herman61000.170.25
Sam Burns71000.172
Max Homa64000.161
Scott Langley67000.151
Richy Werenski65000.141
Rufus Brijalba60000.140.25
Sam Saunders63000.130.25
Morgan Hoffmann60000.120.25
K.J. Choi60000.120.25
Rod Pampling60000.110.25
Brandon Hagy61000.100.5
Kelly Kraft69000.091
Curtis Luck67000.091
Cody Gribble60000.080.25
Kristoffer Ventura62000.070.25
Smylie Kaufman61000.070.25
D.A. Points60000.060.25
Seth Reeves63000.050.5
Ryan Blaum65000.040.25
Fredrik Jacobson62000.042
Tom Hoge65000.030.25
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez62000.020.25
Ted Potter Jr61000.010.25
Chase Wright62000.011
Brady Schnell61000.000.25

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