Going for The Green: Valspar Championship

 “Going for The Green” – these are five golfers that fit the course well and have good form or course history, and would fit most lineup builds on FantasyDraft (stars & scrubs or balanced).

 

JASON DUFNER – $18,500

When coming to a track as difficult as Copperhead, tournament history is an easy way to tell who has the game for the course. Dufner has been amazingly consistent here over the last five years, finishing in the top 25 each time out. The Bermuda greens that are featured here will be a welcome sight for Dufner, as he gains nearly .8 of a stroke more when putting on these surfaces than he does on their Poa Annua counterparts.

Dufner’s game appears to correlate very well with what’s needed to get around the always difficult Copperhead. One of the biggest advantages Dufner has this week is his ability to avoid big numbers; Jason currently ranks 37th in Bogey Avoidance. Part of that success comes from being able to keep the ball in the short grass. On a course where finding the rough or one of the many bunkers can be very penal, Dufner’s 14th rank in Driving Accuracy will certainly be helpful.

On a week where getting six out of six through the cut will be an even larger advantage than normal, targeting guys who typically play the weekend is never a bad idea; Dufner has made 91% of his cuts over the last year. The $18,500 price tag on FantasyDraft is fairly forgiving for a course horse such as Dufner.

 

BILLY HORSCHEL – $18,200

When the Tour kicked off it’s Sunshine State swing a couple weeks ago, Horschel wasted no time making it known that they were all playing in his backyard; the Florida native and University of Florida graduate shot -7 to bring home a T4 finish. Copperhead’s tree-lined, undulating fairways don’t necessarily resemble the Eastern Florida courses, but Horschel has the game to prevail here despite the differences. Billy Ho’s game seems to check nearly all the key stats for this week:

  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – 31st
  • Greens-In-Regulation – 1st
  • Bogey Avoidance – 23rd
  • Strokes Gained: Approach – 34th

Like Dufner, Horschel is another golfer who usually finds his way to the weekend; Horschel has made the cut 82% of the time over the last year. Pairing Billy Ho with Duff Daddy is a solid start to a very balanced, cut making lineup.

 

CHRIS KIRK – $16,700

Although we haven’t seen Kirk since nearly a month ago at Pebble Beach, he comes with some decent form on the season. In his seven starts on the year, he has four top 25 finishes, three of which are top 10’s. Last year’s Valspar Championship was the start of a very strong run for Kirk where he finished inside the top 25 in five of seven events.

For a player who is usually exceptionally strong tee to green, his current rank of 97th in SG:T2G is somewhat surprising. Despite his SG:T2G leaving a lot to desired, his performance in other corollary stats is very strong. Kirk currently sits seventh in both Bogey Avoidance and Greens-In-Regulation while also ranking 45th in Scrambling.

 

ADAM HADWIN – $15,800 

It seems that in every event he’s played this year that Hadwin has found himself on the first page of the leaderboard at some point over the course of the week. In his last eight events he has finished inside the top 25 four times, including his 2nd place finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge which featured his impressive 59 performance. Hadwin did miss the cut here last year due to an awful first round of 79 which was followed up with a solid second round of 69.

On the season, Hadwin has used his incredible ability to avoid trouble to find success; he currently ranks inside the top 10 in both Bogey Avoidance and Scrambling. Targeting a golfer like Hadwin who performs well on par-3s, on a course that features five them is never a bad idea either; Adam currently ranks 10th in par-3 scoring average.

Hadwin’s salary of $15,800 on FantasyDraft has him as just the 41st most expensive golfer on the slate, creating plenty of room for high priced plays.

 

KYLE STANLEY – $15,500

I’m not sure how many more times I can go to the well on Stanley, but eventually it’s going to pay off. It seems every week his stats suit the course, but this week they do so exceptionally well.

  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – 6th
  • Greens-In-Regulation – 6th
  • Scrambling – 61st
  • Bogey Avoidance – 20th
  • Strokes Gained: Approach – 11th

What’s even more intriguing about Stanley is his performance from the targeted area of approach shots. With more than 55% of all approach shots coming from more than 175 yards, we look at the range from 175-200 and also from 200 plus; Stanley ranks 35th in proximity from both ranges. Pair that with his 15th overall rank in Driving Accuracy and we’ve got ourselves a sleeper pick. A price tag of $15,500 is exceptionally friendly on FantasyDraft for a golfer who has finished inside the top 40 in seven of his nine starts on the year.

 

These five golfers leave you with $15,300 for your final roster spot, which keeps about half of the field in play. Using the “Going for The Green” picks alongside the “Weekend Warriors” on DFSDatalytics.com makes for many great combinations that can take down GPPs.

 

Make sure to check out our site DFSDatalytics.com. Also be sure to get in the PGA LIVE FINAL EVENT for a chance to go to Quail Hollow!

Josh Burkett

Josh Burkett

Josh Burkett is the lead PGA Analyst at DFSDatalytics. Josh can be reached on twitter @GWBuffalo7.

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