What’s going on guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The Career Builder Challenge. This is a different type of tournament than we are used to with three different Par 72 courses being a part of the tournament. The PGA West TPC Stadium (7,113 yards), The PGA West Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course (7,159 yards), and The La Quinta Country Club (7,060 yards) in La Quinta, California. All three courses have Bermuda style greens with The Stadium course being the most difficult of the three. Jason Dufner is the defending champ shooting -25 last season. Very low scores should happen again this week with an average winning score of -25 over the last three years.
Just like the last few weeks sticking these greens and nailing putts is most important, especially on the par fives. Good ball strikers can dominate here, with distance not being a huge factor. With these golfers playing three different courses, it makes sense to target course managers who don’t make many mistakes. With all this considered this week, I will be focusing on strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained putting, par five scoring, birdie or better percentage, greens in regulation percentage, and bogey avoidance. This is a normal cut event with the cut coming on Saturday, instead of Friday, so every player plays all three courses before the cut. As always if any of these picks help your lineups or if you need any advice this week let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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John Huh: (7,000) Huh didn’t miss a beat in his first tournament of the new year finishing 27th last week at The Sony Open. He has now made ten straight cuts, not finishing worse than 28th in his last four events, with a very respectable 10th place at The Shriners. He isn’t an exciting player, but is the type of player you want to target this week, with his solid all around game. This year on The Tour he ranks 33rd in strokes gained tee to green, 79th in strokes gained putting, 57th in GIR percentage at a high 75%, 95th in birdie or better, and 23rd in bogey avoidance.
He also has played in this event before, making the cut last season finishing in 24th place with a nice 27 average putts per round for the week. Coming into this tournament there isn’t many players this cheap who have been as consistent as Huh. In this current form, he is one of the safer value plays and will be one of my most heavily owned players of the week at a very affordable $7,000.
Anirban Lahiri: (7,000) Lahiri killed a lot of my lineups last week, missing the cut at The Sony Open, but I am going right back to him this week at The Career Builder. Before the missed cut last week, he had made four straight cuts (if you include the Turkish Open), with a 13th at The RSM Classic and a 3rd at The CIMB Classic. This season on The Tour he ranks 64th in strokes gained tee to green, 69th in GIR percentage at 63.7%, 25th in par five birdie or better percentage, and 8th in overall birdie or better percentage. His one weakness in the four tournaments he has played in this season has been his putting, ranking 195th in strokes gained putting.
But he has experience on these greens finishing 28th here last season with a solid 27.8 average putts per round. He has always been a good putter his whole career and I think we see him bounce back this week on these Bermuda greens that he is familiar with. There is obviously risk with him not being in the best form, but I just think Lahiri is a much better player than his price is reflecting in this weak field. He also should come with a lower ownership after burning people last week. Depending on how risky of a DFS player you are, I think he is a viable cash game play with the way he performed here in this same three course rotation last season. But if you can’t bring yourself to playing him in cash, which is very fair, I think he is a player you need to have a share of in GPPs at this discounted price.
Michael Thompson: (6,600) After missing his first three cuts of this season, Thompson has turned in back to back quality finishes, with a T13 at The RSM Classic, and a T20 last week at The Sony Open. He quietly dominated the par fives last week, shooting -10 on the par fives at Waialae, which is the lowest of any player in this field that competed last week. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he had a nice finish last week, as he has always rolled it well on Bermuda greens, with a high 1.023 strokes gained putting on these types of greens. (VIA Fantasy Golf Metrics) Outside of his putting his stats aren’t the best but in 2017 he ranks 14th in strokes gained putting, 171st in GIR percentage at 69%, 125th in strokes gained tee to green, and 163rd in birdie or better percentage.
Last season on these same three courses he finished in 28th place and if he didn’t have a bad third round (73) he would have easily finished inside the top ten, putting a very low 23.8 putts per round for the week. His game obviously relies heavily on how he is putting each week, but I think his success on these three courses and on Bermuda greens in general, makes him a very intriguing play. If he can keep it up on the par fives like he did last week, he has a great chance of making the cut at this event for the second year in a row. Thompson is clearly a risky play, but I think he is worth a shot in GPPs this week after the positive signs he showed at The Sony Open.
Also Consider: Trey Mullinax, Ollie Schniderjans, Soren Kjeldsen, Jhonattan Vegas, Aaron Baddeley, Henrik Nolander, Daniel Summerhays, and Andrew Loupe.