Valspar Championship Preview

The Florida swing hits Palm Harbor, and the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort for the Valspar Championship. This event doesn't have the luster or field of the WGC last week, but there is still some serious talent teeing it up. Defending champion Jordan Spieth is in attendance, as well as Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar. Since 2007, 8 of the last 9 champions at Copperhead have qualified for the final leg of the Fed Ex Cup, the Tour Championship. Copperhead is a par 71 that measures 7,340 yards, with four par 5's and five par 3's. 13 of the top 30 in the Fed Ex Cup standings are in attendance, including Jason Dufner and Kevin Na. The only two time champions of this event are also in the field this week, KJ Choi and Retief Goosen. Copperhead is always high on drama, as the 'Snake Pit' awaits the players on holes 16 through 18, with the 475 yard par 4 16th ranking as the toughest hole on the course. If I had to pick one player to win the tournament, it's Spieth, and I know I'm not exactly going out on a limb there. He hasn't been in contention his last couple starts, and I expect him to be highly motivated to get back in the winners circle.

Key Stats For Copperhead Golf Course

Copperhead is a tricky track, and I've identified three key stats and a couple secondary ones I feel are predictive to success. First, strokes gained tee to green (T2G), as it usually is, has particularly been conducive to success at Copperhead. Since 2011, all but one winner has finished their respective winning season inside the top 40 in T2G. On top of that, the top 3 over the past eight years has been littered with players who've finished inside the top 40 in T2G. In Jordan Spieth's 12 rounds at Copperhead, including last years win, he's gained 6.491 strokes tee to green on the rest of the field (Via Fantasy Golf Metrics), the most by over a full stroke. Next, par 5 scoring (P5S), is very important around Copperhead with four of them, but they don't yield many eagles. Players who make birdies will flourish here, so birdie or better % is another stat I factored in. The last five winners here have all finished that season inside the top 50 in P5S, with three inside the top 20. That's one of the big reasons I like Lucas Glover this week, who has feasted on the par 5's in his 10 appearances at Copperhead. Finally, par 4 scoring (P4S) and par 3 scoring (P3S) round out my list of key stats, with a slight edge to P4S in importance. The three players in last years playoff, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair, all finished the season inside the top 20 in P4S. Spieth finished last year 1st in P4S, and wouldn't you know, he's 1st again so far in 2016. Now onto the picks.....

Top Pin Seekers

Jordan Spieth

DK Salary P5S P4S T2G
12,800 33 1 14

Haven't been right at the top the last couple weeks, but I don't care what Spieths' price is this week, this course is tailor made for him to run away from the field. All the stats check out, and he's a great wind player if the weather starts to act up. With all the value in the sub 7K range, this is the week to get back on the Spieth God train. Oh, and I'll mention again he's the defending champion. $27 GPP Ownership Guess: 18-23%

Patrick Reed

DK Salary P5S P4S T2G
10,400 65 15 67

Reed isn't a favorite among the DFS community right now, but that's more the reason to get on board this week. I'm thinking most players will either pay up for Willett or drop down to a Kuchar, Thomas or Dufner. 2nd here last year $27 GPP Ownership Guess: 5-10%

Matt Kuchar

DK Salary P5S P4S T2G
9,800 10 58 59

In good form and five straight made cuts here, makes him a great cash and gpp play. Top 30 in bogey avoidance and par 3 scoring $27 GPP Ownership Guess: 10-15%

Branden Grace

DK Salary P5S P4S T2G
9,500 24 23 87

Looked really good on Sunday at the WGC, he should be able to attack this course. 23rd in P3S $27 GPP Onwership Guess: 2-7%

Middle Tee Plays

Jason Dufner - DK Salary $9,400 - not worried about playing 7 events in a row, game is set up beautifully here - seven straight cuts made here, all top 30's - top 40 in 3 key stats

Ryan Moore - DK Salary $9,300 - good form, 5th here last year - 2nd P3S, 9th P4S & 31st T2G

Graeme McDowell - DK Salary $9,200 - will be a popular play this week, over 15% ownership - good form - 12th P5S & 29th P3S

Kevin Na - DK Salary $9,100 - back to back top 10's here & six straight made cuts - top 20 in T2G, P3S & P4S

KJ Choi - DK Salary $8,800 - price is a bit high should keep ownership down - good course history and form - 3rd in P3S

Gary Woodland - DK Salary $8,400 - winner here in 2011, 8th last year - top 40 in T2G, P5S & P4S

Luke Donald - DK Salary $8,300 - last five appearances here has a win and three top 6's - top 40 in T2G, bogey avoidance & P4S

Danny Lee - DK Salary $8,000 - 7th here last year - top 60 in T2G & P4S

Charles Howell III - DK Salary $7,900 - top 14 last two years here - top 40 in T2G, bogey avoidance, P4S & P3S

GPP Dart Board Dreams

Chez Reavie - DK Salary $7,300 - in good form, 7th in his last outing - top 30 in T2G, P4S, P3S & bogey avoidance

Vijay Singh - DK Salary $7,200 - in good form, 10th here last year and made last 4/5 cuts - 24th P5S

Steve Stricker - DK Salary $7,200 - game is rounding into form, great putter, played well here in the past - 54th P5S

Jamie Lovemark - DK Salary $7,100 - may be overlooked b/c this isn't a bombers track - top 55 P4S, P5S & bogey avoidance

Francesco Molinari - DK Salary $6,900 - the guy just makes cuts, course fits his style of game - 5th P5S

Jeff Overton - DK Salary $6,900 - in good form, 5th here in 2012 - top 40 P4S, P3S & bogey avoidance

Will Wilcox - DK Salary $6,800 - gave the 'send' on twitter, 33rd here last year - 34th P4S

Si Woo Kim - DK Salary $6,700 - made 6/7 cuts - 33rd T2G

Lucas Glover - DK Salary $6,600 - made 6/9 cuts here - 9th P3S & 11th bogey avoidance

Shawn Stefani - DK Salary $6,500 - will be around 1% owned, not in good form, but has 2 top 20's in only stops here - 58th P5S

Vaughn Taylor - DK Salary $6,500 - top 50 in T2G, P5S, P4S & bogey avoidance

Hudson Swafford - DK Salary $5,900 - great price - 43rd P5S

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