Into the Unknown at TPC Craig Ranch: Byron Nelson PGA DFS Preview
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Image Credit: Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Jon Rahm.

We’re heading back to Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson. It’s a brand new course that we haven’t seen on the PGA Tour before. It’s a par 72 that plays around 7,400 yards. How it will play is anybody’s guess … I’m firmly in the camp of betting/rostering talent this week. Look, people are going to look at the scorecard and GPS to try and anticipate approach distances and what stats will be important. But the juice isn’t worth the squeeze there. Approach distances are one of the single-most overrated statistics in golf. People take the bins of historical approach distances and apply them to the entire field which is maybe the laziest analysis possible. Is Bryson DeChambeau, who averages 320 yards off the tee, going to face the same approach distances as Vaughn Taylor, who averages 278 yards off the tee? Of course not. That “information” is always bad, but this week it’s even worse. Ok, rant over. 

Checking the Chalk

A lot of the golfers that are being talked about so far, either played in Texas or are from Texas. Scottie Scheffler ($9,400), Ryan Palmer ($9,100), Jordan Spieth ($10,700) all fit the bill there. We’ll likely see some ownership concentrating among those three. When it comes to the expensive chalk, we know we can pivot elsewhere and see similar results over the long term. Spieth does check both of the boxes that we look for, which should help, but Hideki Matsuyama ($10,300) does as well and could come in at lower ownership. In the $10,000 range, we look for:

  • Golfers that were somewhere between $9,900 and $7,500 in their previous start.
  • Golfers that have a PRK Score of at least 85. 

If you’re looking to pivot off of the Scheffler and Palmer in the next range down, Sam Burns ($9,300) is an intriguing option that could check all of the boxes for this range. We’re searching for:

  • Projected ownership in the bottom half of the price range for that week.
  • PRK Score of 75-plus
  • Previous event salary over $6,500

Perfect Lineup Percentages

From $8,500 and up, the simulator loves Jon Rahm ($11,000) despite his high price tag. If we remove the golfers above $10,000, the two favorites here are Matt Fitzpatrick ($9,500) and Will Zalatoris ($9,700). I have no problem with either of those plays this week, especially Zalatoris. He’s coming off of his first missed cut since October but I don’t think that it’s a sign of things to come from him.  

As we dip our way down to the next range, the two favorites are Carlos Ortiz ($7,800) and Talor Gooch ($7,900). Ortiz has been volatile lately, but that’s pretty much been his #brand since we’ve been following him. When he pops[1] he can compete on just about any course. Gooch is coming off of a T26 finish last week and has made six of seven cuts. 

Once you get below $7,500, the top golfers in perfect lineup percentage are as follows:

  • Patton Kizzire ($7,300)
  • Roger Sloan ($6,900)
  • Doc Redman ($7,300)

 

 

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 In the sim and in real life.

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