Welcome to the Fantasy Six Pack, where we highlight six golfers to use in two popular fantasy golf platforms, DraftKings and FanDuel. On each, you must select six golfers for your lineup under a specific salary cap. (DraftKings $50,000, FanDuel $60,000). As a reminder, I’m a golf nut with a 1.3 handicap and a nose for analytics — according to Rotogrinders, I’m one of the top daily fantasy golf players. On tap this week is the “fifth major,” the Players Championship. DraftKings breaks out the heavy artillery this week as we get three contests with over $100K for a top prize! Let’s dive in.
The Tournament: the Players
Average Winning Score: -13
Average Cut: +1
Yardage: 7,200 yards
Skills emphasized: Tiger Woods once said, “You can’t fake it around Sawgrass … especially off the tee.” From the horse’s mouth to our ears, off the tee, good drive percentage and total driving will all be vital to crowning a champion this week.
Top-5 finishers last year:
Recap of last week’s picks:
A strong week, as each of our six picks made the cut. Rory, Reed, Hadley and Finau cracked the top 21, and the Burns/Murray combo was a low-priced option that lasted all four days.
Jason Day (Odds: 13/1, DraftKings $11,400, FanDuel $12,100) The 2016 Players champ enters this week fresh off a win and with his short game clicking. Last week his around-the-green game, and his putter, carried him to his second win of the season. He actually struggled with his irons a bit, ranking 63rd in the field in approaches. But he made up for it while ranking first in strokes gained around-the-green and second in putting. He also went 24-for-31 scrambling on the week. Incredibly impressive stuff. When Jason gets hot like this, he wants to win every tournament he plays in, and he’s got the talent to do so. He and McIlroy are at the top of pretty much every win odds and fantasy salary board out there this week. I like Day to challenge for his second career Players title.
Going Streaking: Players entering this week in great form
Jon Rahm (Odds: 16/1, DraftKings $9,300, FanDuel $11,800) The young Spaniard is my pick to become the worlds next No. 1 golfer. Extremely talented in all facets of the game, Rahm is learning to channel his emotions on the golf course, and he’s working on back-to-back top 5s, including a fourth-place finish at the Masters. He missed the cut last year in his first and only appearance here, but Sawgrass is historically tough on first-timers. For the year, Rahm is second in strokes gained off the tee, 38th in total driving and 36th in tee-to-green. I think he’ll be vying for a title come Sunday.
Bryson Dechambeau (Odds: 50/1, DraftKings $8,300, FanDuel $9,600) The talented, young “scientific” player will play Sawgrass for the first time as a pro. He’s on a good run, which includes a top-5 finish last week Charlotte, and he seems primed for more. He’s ranked eighth in total driving, 14th off the tee and 14th in tee-to-green. His putter was once a sore spot, but lately has turned around as he’s gaining about a ¼ of a stroke in strokes gained putting over the last six weeks. Some gamers may see him as a bit expensive this week, so picking Bryson could prove to be a pivotal choice.
Emiliano Grillo (Odds: 70/1, DraftKings $7,500, FanDuel $9,200) Riding a run of three straight top 16s and six made cuts, Grillo seems to have returned to form we saw when he first broke out on Tour a couple of years ago. He’s ranked eighth in the field in total strokes gained, and in his last six starts is gaining a shade less than ¾ of stroke off the tee. Grillo was in the mix last year here before finishing 11th. There are no signs that this train is stopping anytime soon, and I expect him to hang around the first two pages of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Kyle Stanley (Odds: 100/1, DraftKings $7,200, FanDuel 8,700) Quietly, Stanley is putting together yet another strong campaign. He’s finished inside the top 15 in three of his last four starts, and he’s Stanley known as one of the best ballstrikers on Tour. He’s currently 33rd off the tee and 47th in approaches. He had a top-5 here last year, and if you’re in need of some salary savings, look no further than Stanley.
Mulligans: Players who need a reset and expect to play well this week
Si Woo Kim (Odds: 100/1, DraftKings $7,200, FanDuel $9,100) The defending champ needs a mulligan? Well, a few to be exact, as he should have picked up another win for his resume at the RBC Heritage, but he blew a few short putts down the stretch to allow Satoshi Kodaira to slip in and beat him in a playoff. Imagine he avenges that lose and defends his title this week?
Lastly, a check on Tiger
Tiger Woods (Odds: 60/1, DraftKings $9,100, FanDuel $11,400) First, the good: last week Tiger ranked in tee-to-green. But it was offset by a frigid putter, and he ranked 72nd, or fourth-to-last among guys who made the cut. Still, other areas of his game appear solid, and if he can fix his putting, he’s not far away from contending again.
Where to play this fantasy golf this week
1. $44 Buy-in contest call the “Club Twirl,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a prize pool of $500,000.
2. $555 Buy-in contest called the “Signature Hole,” with a top prize of $150,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $700,000.
3. $5 Buy-in contest called the “Golf’s 5th Major Classic,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $700,000.
1. $9 Buy-in contest called the “Eagle,” with a top prize of $25,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $150,000.
These are just some of the many contests between the two sites. For a full breakdown of all contests and offerings check out the links in my bio. Good luck this week!
Jason Rouslin is the founder of tourlevelfantasy.com. He has been playing golf for the last 20 years, betting on golf for the last five and writing about golf for the last two. Connect with him on twitter @dfsgolfer23.