We have a three-course rotation for the first time this PGA DFS season. The American Express is played on La Quinta Country Club, Nicklaus Tournament Course, and the Stadium Course. Each of the golfers in the field will get a crack at each course before playing the Stadium Course for a second time in the final round. That means 54 holes from each guy that you roster even if they go on to miss the cut. Yesterday, I unveiled Expected Birdies which is a metric I’ve been working on for the past few months. Today, we’ll be looking at a few plays
Buy Or Sell
Sungjae Im ($11,000) has the best combination of Expected Birdies and Power Ranking in the $10,000-plus range. He’s definitely a buy for me this week but you’ll have to find some low-owned options to balance out the total ownership of your roster. Im finds himself in the -1.5 to -1 group this week with just seven golfers above him. Historically, golfers in that group have finished in the top 10 over 15% of the time.
I’m not crazy about Charles Howell ($10,100) at this price typically, but I get the argument for him. He’s right in the middle of the pack as far as Expected Birdies are concerned. Howell’s 23rd in the Power Ranking model. The issue is that his play has been so inconsistent. Howell flashed upside with a T4 at the Safeway Open to kick off his Fall Swing and then followed it up with a 68th place effort. Over the past 100 rounds or so, Howell’s Power Ranking has trended back down towards a Tour Average golfer. I’m pretty indifferent on Howell, to be honest. Nothing would surprise me because the fit is there, but his inconsistency has me leaning away from him.
On Bogey Free, we set Kevin Kisner’s ($9,900) over/under at 18.5.
Kisner has been on a steady climb back towards his 2017 form where he had a victory and seven more top tens in his 26 starts that year. We sam him play extremely well last week in Hawaii. He gained 5.3 strokes on approach and another 1.8 off the tee. With a stronger putting performance, we could’ve been talking about another tour victory for Kisner.
Brendan Steele ($7,500) vs. Harris English ($7,700) is our mid-range matchup this week. Steele is fresh off of squandering a 54-hole lead. English had a solid stretch of golf over the fall swing where finished in the top six in four of five events.
English is another golfer that’s on the ascent over his past 100 rounds or so. Steele’s last performance was excellent and should be applauded but it’s very possible that his Sony Open performance was more of an anomaly. I’ll take English in this matchup and it’ll likely be at a significant ownership discount compared to Steele.
Tony Finau ($10,500) is shaping up to be one of the lower-owned top-end golfers and playing him is making more and more sense as the week goes on. We know that he can score in bunches and he’s been close to that breakthrough victory. Since the start of 2017, he’s made 85 worldwide starts. During that span, he’s finished in the top 10 on 30 occasions. The lack of a win is troubling but even without getting the trophy on Sunday, Finau has shown his upside.
Jhonattan Vegas ($6,800) shows up in birdie fests from time to time. This isn’t some statistically sound play, it’s just a gut feeling. Vegas is a walking GPP. It feels like he is either on the front page of the leaderboard or he’s packing his bags on Friday night.
Remember, the cash locks are guys we’re willing to go all-in on. They will definitely be in cash/single entry teams and often weeks they will approach 100% exposure on our GPP teams.
Brian Harman ($8,600)
Vaughn Taylor ($7,900)
|Byeong Hun An||10300||-0.63||8|
|Charles Howell III||10100||-0.83||16|
|Si Woo Kim||7000||0.42||2|
|Ted Potter Jr||6200||1||0.5|
|Mark D. Anderson||6200||-0.08||0.25|
|Bo Van Pelt||6000||2.34||0|