What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for this week’s stop, The Dean & DeLuca Invitational. First I want to recap how my sleepers did last week at The AT&T Byron Nelson. I got 2/3 of my main picks through the cut, as Smylie Kaufman and Nick Watney both had solid weeks, finishing at T35th and T40th respectively. Now onto The Dean & DeLuca. The Tour remains in Texas this week, with this tournament being held at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. (Par 70, 7,209 yards) The former Longhorn, Jordan Speith, is the defending champ, shooting -17, three strokes over Harris English last season.
It has been the main key stat over the last three weeks, but I think we need to continue to focus on par four scoring again this week. There are 12 par fours at Colonial and it has been very important players shoot low on these holes over the last ten years. Nine of the last ten players who lead the field in par four scoring for their week, have finished inside the top five, including four winners since 2006. Shooting less than par on the two par fives is also key, as the last ten champions have averaged -0.53 on these holes in their wins. (via Fantasy Golf Metrics) As usual we want players who have good approach games, but these golfers will miss some of these greens, so I also think it would be smart to target strong scramblers. Over the last ten years, the winners have shown the importance of being able to get up and down around these greens, posting a high average scrambling percentage of 73.6%. (via Fantasy Golf Metrics)
Lastly, I want to note that this is an invitational event, which means that a smaller percentage of players will miss the cut, as this is a slightly smaller field than your normal PGA event. Also if you want more picks for The Dean & Deluca, be sure to check Geoff’s DraftKings picks and Keegans betting picks. So good luck everyone and if any of these picks help your lineups or if you need any advice, be sure to let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
If you want help with PGA research for DraftKings check out the best fantasy tools out there at FantasyLabs.com
Nick Taylor: (7,300) Taylor’s game just keeps getting better as the season goes on. He was terrific this past week at The AT&T Bryon Nelson, shooting a 66 and a 65 in his last two rounds, resulting in a T9 finish. This was his second straight top ten and he has now made five consecutive cuts and is 10/13 in 2017. His stats have reflected his success and are ideal for this course. He ranks 57th in strokes gained tee to green, 89th in GIR percentage (66.49%), 75th in par four scoring, 14th in par five scoring, 30th in scrambling, and 96th in birdie or better percentage. His 63.4% scrambling percentage for the season is great and will be needed this week, but he has been even better around the greens in his last four starts, averaging a high 72.2% scrambling rate, which is the highest scrambling percentage of any player in this field who has teed it up in the last six weeks.
Also for all the players in the field who have competed in this span, Taylor ranks T1 in par four scoring, shooting at an average of -2 on the par fours per event. To top it all off, Taylor is 2/3 in made cuts at The Dean & DeLuca, making the cut in his last two tries here at Colonial. (T47 in 2016 and T27 in 2015) It’s crazy to think that his $7,300 salary is the highest we have seen him priced this season because there is no way he should be this cheap after the way he has played over the last few months. It’s difficult to guess his ownership this early in the week (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), but no matter if he becomes a popular name or not, Taylor is an excellent value at this price, that I will be using in all formats.
Charley Hoffman: (7,300) If you count his MDF in 2008, Hoffman has never missed a cut in eight starts here at Colonial Country Club. He has three top 20s on this track, with his best finish coming back in 2014, when he finished with a T10. He will miss a cut here and there, but the veteran has been very solid in 2017, making 11/15 cuts, including seven top 25s, and three top tens.
For the season he ranks 42nd in strokes gained tee to green, 99th in GIR percentage (66%), 45th in par five scoring, 52nd in par five scoring, and 38th in birdie or better percentage. Not only does he have nice a track record here, but Hoffman also seems to be underpriced when considering his Vegas odds of winning at 50/1, which are the best current odds for any player under $7,600 this week. (via Fantasy Labs) At only $7,300, Hoffman is a nice value play that presents safety and upside this week.
Steve Stricker: (7,300) He hasn’t played much this season (4/5 in made cuts), but the 50 year old has looked good since missing his first cut of the year at The Valspar, coming off a T14 at The Masters and a T41 at The Players. Just like Hoffman, Stricker has played well here in the past, making 8/10 cuts, including a win in 2009.
He hasn’t played enough to be ranked on The Tour this season, but in these last two finishes, he has been putting a low 27.6 average putts per round, and is playing excellent on par fives, averaging -8 on these holes for each tournament. He is in solid form right now and since he doesn’t play that much anymore, I think Stricker ends up being a forgotten man this week. He has top 20 upside and is very intriguing option that should come with a single digit ownership level in GPPs. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Kevin Tway, Kyle Stanley, Sung Kang, Graeme McDowell, Harold Varner III, Ben Martin, JT Poston (love in GPPs), Wesley Bryan, William McGirt, Billy Hurley III, and Boo Weekley.