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The Players Championship Preview

We, along with Draftkings, took last week off, but are back in a big way this week for the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Congrats to World #1 Rory McIroy on a dominating WGC Match Play Victory last weekend. A McIlroy-Spieth rivalry has golf fans extremely excited, and we could see the first of many showdowns as the two best on the planet are paired together on Thursday and Friday, and if there is a golf god, Sunday. Often labeled the '5 th Major," there's always a lot of hype heading into this event. If Victor Dubuisson hadn't withdrawn, the top 50 golfers in the world would have been teeing it up this week. It's one of my favorite tournaments to watch every year for one reason besides the treacherous 17th water hole, the course is damn hard. If you aren't hitting accurate shots and scrambling well, this course will put the gator chomp on you real quick. The 17th is part of one of the toughest three hole finishes in all of golf. The 18th hole doesn't get as much pub, but is statistically one of the toughest finishing holes on Tour almost every year. Buckle up, because we're going to see the best golfers in the world hitting some pressure shots with danger lurking on almost every hole.

Key Stats

Usually on a par 72 layout with four par 5's I will go straight to par 5 scoring as a key stat. I will take a look, but it's not in my top 5 key stats this week. Accuracy has historically been more of a predictor of success at Sawgrass than length and par 5 scoring. My 3 key stats I will hone in on this week are, par 4 scoring (P4S,) Strokes gained tee to green (T2G,) and Proximity to the hole (Prox.) I will also factor in Strokes Gained Putting, as I always do, and Scrambling. A well rounded game is rewarded heavily here, whoever stays away from the water and sand stands a good chance to win come Sunday. Totally avoiding the trouble areas will be impossible over 72 holes, so players that can limit the damage with god scrambling and putting will be cracking my rosters. Twelve of the last fifteen winner have ended the season ranked in the top 73 in P4S. In the last 10 years, no winner has ended the season ranked outside the top 57 in T2G. The pricing is really soft this week, allowing you to construct any lineup you please.

Top Pin Seekers

Jordan Spieth

DK Salary

T2G

P4S

Prox

12,800

5th

2nd

33nd

Maybe people will avoid Spieth because of price, or the fact he was bounced early in the WGC Match Play. I will not be one of those foolish people. Spieth was -15 through 49 holes last week, until bowing out to liquid magma hot Lee Westwood. Every stat points to Spieth being in the mix on Sunday, and his recent form is the best on Tour. GPP Ownership guess – 20-25%


Jason Day

DK Salary

T2G

P4S

Prox

9,900

16th

1st

150th

For cash game purposes, I would play Day over Spieth, because of the almost 3k price difference. I do think Day still makes a fantastic GPP option as well. With this tee to green stats so strong, if he has a hot week with the putter. Limiting damage has always been a strength of Days game, and he's ranked in the top 20 in scrambling. GPP Ownership guess – 11-16%


Henrik Stenson

DK Salary

T2G

P4S

Prox

10,400

1st

3rd

95th

Stenson will probably be a popular play this week, as his stats check out in a big way, and he's had great course history at Sawgrass. He has 4 top 10's in his last nine starts, including a win in 2009. His putter has a tendency to let him down, so I will be praying for a hot flat stick week for him. He's also ranked in the top 50 in scrambling. GPP Ownership guess – 22-27%


Hideki Matsuyama

DK Salary

T2G

P4S

Prox

8,800

4th

3rd

32nd

All signs point to a huge week for Japanese sensation, Matsuyama. He crushes our key stats for the week, and is also ranked in the top 20 in scrambling. His tee to green game is one of the best on the planet, and again with the popular theme of the week, I will be hoping his putter hasn't cooled off since his sublime Sunday Masters display. He will be littered in my GPP lineups, and should be a cash game staple as well. GPP Ownership guess – 8-13%


Middle Tee Plays

Brendon Todd - DK $7,300 – it feels like I rep Todd every week, but his well rounded game shapes up this week – great price point – 29th T2G & 24th in Prox

Webb Simpson – DK $7,100 – One of my least favorite players on Tour, who plays at a tortoises' pace, but the stats and price make him a great play – 11th T2G , 14th Prox & 32nd in SCR

Jimmy Walker – DK $8,800 – Underpriced considering skillset and Vegas odds – 15th T2G & 2nd in P4S

Daniel Berger – DK $7,400 – Great price and good current form –24th T2G, 36th P4S & 50th in Prox

Russel Knox – DK $7,400 – All the stats match, 34th place finish last year in his only appearance - 42nd T2G, 6th P4S & 5th in Prox – start your cash game lineups with a mix of these guys: Knox, Simpson, Todd, Reed and Matsuyama

Patrick Reed – DK $7,600 – ridiculously underpriced, and a proven winner – 21st T2G & 22nd P4S


GPP Dart Board Dreams

Ben Martin – DK $6,000 – 37th T2G & 37th in Prox

Brendon DeJonge – DK $6,500 – 14th P4S & 44th T2G – 2 top 25 finishes in last 3 starts

Brendan Grace – DK $6,800 – great current form – 3rd in SCR


Fades

I will be fading the aforementioned world #1, Rory McIlroy, for two reasons. His price of $13,200 means he basically has to win to return value, and coming off his WGC win, I think his ownership will be around 20% in tournaments. He has a tendency to be loose with his driver when he struggles, and that is bad news on this track. I will have some exposure to him, but likely a lot less than 20%. I will have some exposure to Tiger Woods as well, but it's tough to say how he'll play this week, although he has a solid history here, and will want to get back in the winner's circle as a single man.





Comments
sports_25tolife
Agree on the slowness of Webb Simpson, but I love that price this week.