DFS: Jones | Fort Worth Invitational Picks

The course this week is a very familiar one for the Fort Worth Invitational. Colonial CC is a par 70 that plays a shade above 7,200 yards. As they make their way around the course this week, the field will have to contend with 85 bunkers and 4 water hazards. The greens average right around 4,500 square feet and should be running pretty quickly at approximately 12 feet on the stimp. If you’re looking for the key stats I’m targeting and how the course has played, historically, head over to the preview article.
The article explaining it will be out shortly, but I’m going to start including Rank Advantage moving forward. Rank Advantage is the difference between the DK Points scored by the group of golfers who finish Top 10 (T10) or Top 25 (T25) versus the group of golfers who make the cut but fall outside of the T10 or T25 of that particular stat. It’s an excellent way to measure how different stats are valued on different courses.

Rank Advantage – Colonial CC

Expensive Golfers ($9,500+)

Since the start of 2017, Jordan Spieth ($11,700) has made 31-of-36 cuts including three wins and 14 Top 10s. “Yea, but he hasn’t been putting well lately…what’s up with that?” Well, imaginary arguer, I don’t know what’s up with that. But, he’s been so good with his ball-striking that he leads this field in Strokes Gained: Total despite being 94th in Putting over the past 24 rounds. He’s expensive, and if you want to fade him for that reason I can understand, but let’s not make it seem like the sky is falling on him.
Besides a stretch that included the Memorial and US Open last year, Jon Rahm ($11,000) has never lost strokes off the tee at a PGA Tour event. While he’s considered a bomber for his incredible length off the tee, he performs well when he dials it back and hits fairways. Rahm averages nearly 8 more DK Points when he finishes in the Top 25 in Driving Accuracy. He’s 4th in DK Points over the past 24 rounds. Rahm putts well on bentgrass and should be a good bet to bounce back after a rough finish at The PLAYERS where he lost 6.2 strokes on the greens. Rahm would be a tough fade as he is on a string of twelve straight cuts.
Jimmy Walker ($9,500) is on a streak of seven straight cuts that include three consecutive finishes inside of the top six. He’s a Texas native and has historically done well in his home state. According to Josh Culp’s Future of Fantasy, Walker averages the 5th most strokes gained on Tour in Texas. He seems to have found some accuracy off the tee after losing fairways to the field for eight straight events. Walker scores an extra 12.4 DK Points when he manages to get into the Top 25 of Driving Accuracy for a given week. Walker seems to have put his struggles from last year behind him and looks to be in excellent form heading into Fort Worth this week.

Mid-Range Golfers ($9,500 – $8,500)

Kevin Kisner ($8,100) is the defending champion of this event and historically plays very well in Texas. He’s a fade for me this week, based on current form though. If the Kisner we saw at RBC Heritage shows up, that’s one thing. But the Kisner we saw at Wells Fargo, and The PLAYERS was losing strokes everywhere from tee to green.
If I can find the $700, I’d be taking Bryson DeChambeau ($8,800) instead. Over his past 24 rounds, DeChambeau is 3rd in Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking and 19th in Strokes Gained: Short Game. He’s also 1st in DK Points over that stretch. Bryson is 1st in the course fit model that I specifically built for Colonial CC on Fantasy National this week.
There are going to be many DFS players that click on Emiliano Grillo ($8,600) and Zach Johnson ($8,500). Their stats over the past 24 rounds are nearly identical. Both are ranking out highly in almost all Strokes Gained categories. I’ll bet on ZJ bouncing back from his awful putting performance at The PLAYERS and getting back on track in Texas where he’s historically played very well.

Value Golfers ($8,500 – $7,000)

It’s not often that I get to talk about him because he spends some time on the Champions Tour, but what’s wrong with a little Steve Stricker ($7,900) this week? He’s playing well, coming off of a T2 finish on the Champions Tour and has made 4-of-5 cuts on the PGA this year. Stricker has played this event eight times since 2005. In that timeframe, he’s 7-of-8 in cuts made including a win and four finishes inside of the DK Bonus.
If you believe Vegas odds over DK’s algorithm, Nick Watney ($7,300) and Russell Henley ($7,300) are underpriced. At the time of this writing, they’re 80/1 but surrounded, in DK Salary, by guys who are 125/1 and up. They’re worth some consideration at that price, but I’d go Watney over Henley if I had to choose between the two.
Kevin Tway ($7,400) was a huge part of the #brand right around this time last year and rewarded me with a T18 finish at this track. He’s gained at least two strokes on approach in 4-of-6 starts recently and has been neutral with his putter as of late. Tway gained 1.9 stokes putting here last year. If he can roll it that well this year, he’ll find himself in contention once again this week.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($7,300) is worth a sprinkle in a GPP this week, as well. He managed a 32nd place finish last week despite losing 4.3 strokes putting. Pan was excellent of the tee, gaining 3.2 strokes.

Cheap Dart Throw (Sub – $7,000)

This isn’t the strongest field when it comes to the $6,000 range, but if you’re going to try and squeeze in the Spieths or Rahms of the world, you’ll need to dip down here at some point. Martin Piller ($6,800) is a guy who performs well when he’s hitting fairways. When he finishes in the Top 25 in Driving Accuracy, he averages 16 more DK Points than when he doesn’t. That’s the highest reliance on accuracy in the field. Luckily for us, he’s coming off of a performance where he gained fairways in Dallas. Piller finished in the Top 25 last week and makes for an interesting GPP sprinkle at his price.

mjones

I host a podcast called Bogey Free which can be found on iTunes or YouTube. I'm one of the PGA Analysts at DraftKings. On this site, you can find me talking Football Redraft or PGA DFS. Follow along on Twitter @MattJonesTFR to stay up to date.

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