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. Check out how I won a 1,500-person contest using a lineup created from the tourlevelfantasy.com optimizer.
It’s a major week, and that means the Millionaire Maker is back! DraftKings is running their Millionaire Maker contest where one lucky gamer will walk away with the seven-figure grand prize. Just $20 to enter, all eyes will be on this, the last Millionaire Maker of the year. Let’s get to it.
The Tournament: PGA Championship
Course: Bellerive CC
Yardage: 7400 yards
Average Winning Score:-14
Average Cut: +3
Skills emphasized: Funny enough, the course numbers and average winning score are similar to last week at Firestone. In fact we don’t even get out of the same design family, as last week it was a Robert Trent Jones project, and this week we have his son Rees, who redesigned his dad’s original work at Bellerive. Driving the ball well will again be paramount, but a combination of length and accuracy will be key.
Top-10 finishers last year:
Recap of last week’s picks:
Six Pack favorite Patrick Cantlay earned a top 10, along with Dustin Johnson. Noren and Scott had fantastic Saturdays but could not follow it up on Sunday. And finally, Bjork cracked the top 40 and Rahm slipped inside the top 20. All and all, not bad. But not a millionaire-maker. Let’s see if we can find it this week.
Justin Thomas (Odds: 11/1, DraftKings $9,700, FanDuel $11,400) The defending champion seems to be hitting his stride, as all facets of his game clicked during a four-shot win at Firestone. He gained over a stroke with his putter, over two strokes on his ball striking, and he was also a half-stroke better than the field around the green. That’s the perfect recipe to win most tournaments, especially majors. And finally, because most of the salaries came out before his win this past weekend, he’s very reasonably priced this week. He’s going to be a popular pick, and he’s at the top of my board.
Going Streaking: Players entering this week in the great form
If you’ve been reading my article for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of Patrick Cantlay (Odds: 40/1 DraftKings $8,400, FanDuel $9,700). I won’t change my tune this week, but to save you from reading about him again, here are some other ideas.
Tommy Fleetwood (Odds: 25/1 DraftKings $9,200, FanDuel $11,400) He’s played a run of fantastic three-round tournaments, but one round seems to trip him up. Terrible Saturdays at both the US Open and British Open cost him a chance to win, and it happened again at Firestone. But he’s shot some of the lowest scores we’ve seen this summer, including a 64 on Sunday at Shinnecock. Statistically, Fleetwood has a nice combination of driving distance (27th) and driving accuracy (45th). Over the last 10 weeks, Fleetwood has just one missed cut and five top 25s. His day is approaching, and at a course that doesn’t require elite length, it could be this week.
Joaquin Niemann (Odds: 75/1, DraftKings $7,600, FanDuel $9,200) Playing on a special exemption from the PGA Tour, which may draw some controversy, I believe Niemann has earned his spot. The 19-year-old has competed in almost every pro start he’s made this year, and in 10 short weeks he’s risen to No. 164 in the world, thanks to six top 25s. Over those starts, he’s gaining 1.5 strokes tee-to-green, which ranks fifth in the field. His free-flowing swing can get him in trouble, but his combination of length and accuracy should bode well.
Kyle Stanley (Odds: 75/1, DraftKings $7,100, FanDuel $8,500) He’s a streaky player, but Stanley’s upside is undeniable. Stanley is known as an elite ballstriker, and last week he gained 2.4 strokes from tee-to-green, but only .1 with the flatstick. That’s very encouraging for this week. He’s not a big hitter, but his distance numbers have improved, and he’s now another guy with a nice combination of distance and accuracy, our key stat this week. (He ranks 14th in total driving.) At a reasonable price on both sites, rostering Stanley should give you salary flexibility to add some bigger names.
Thorbjorn Olesen (Odds: 75/1, DraftKings $6,700, FanDuel $8,600) Still a relative unknown in the U.S., this Dane is having a career year that includes a win and four other top 5s. He’s fresh off a top 5 at Firestone, and his form and price are way too good to pass up. Last week Olesen gained just about a stroke-and-a-half from tee-to-green, and almost a stroke in putting. That putter will have to remain hot if he wants to contend again this week. He’s made seven cuts in his last 10 events, and each time he’s made the cut he’s finished inside the top 12. Roster him with confidence.
And finally a check-in on Tiger (also this week’s Mulligan)
Tiger Woods (Odds: 25/1, DraftKings $9,900, FanDuel $11,300) There have been only a few instances this year that Tiger needs a mulligan, but after those last 36 holes at Firestone, he now needs one badly. Everything looked sloppy, and at times he looked physically exhausted. Also, he clocked his lowest swing speed of the year. I won’t suggest he’s hurt, but it concerned me nonetheless. It’s likely that his best shot a major this year was the Open at Carnoustie, and given his current form I’d be thrilled seeing him play all four days and maybe squeeze out a top 15.
Where to play this fantasy Golf this week:
DraftKings: (The million-dollar prize is back!)
1. $20 buy-in called “Millionaire Maker,” with a top prize of $1,000,000 and a prize pool of $2,750,000.
2. $55 buy-In called the “Signature Hole,” with a top prize of $250,000, and a guaranteed prize pool of $1,000,000.
3. $4 buy-in contest called the “Fore” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $600,000.
FanDuel: (A six-figure top prize!)
1. $15 buy-in called the “Eagle,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $325,000.
2. $1.00 buy-in called the “Flop Shot,” with a top prize of $1,500 and a guaranteed prize pool of $15,000.
3. $555 Buy-In called the “Monster,” with a top prize of $30,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000.
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 or check him out on the @rotogrinders live golf show on Tuesday’s @ 8 PM!