Welcome back everyone. Alex here and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The Genesis Open. I had a very successful week last week at Pebble Beach with all three of my main picks making the cut. Matt Jones and Steve Stricker both finished T23 and Adam Hadwin finished with a T39 respectively. This week we head to Riviera Country Club in Paslisades, California for The Genesis Open, formally known as The Northern Trust Open. Riviera is a tough course that measures in at 7,322 yards long. Bubba Watson is the defending champion shooting -15 over Jason Kokrak and Adam Scott last season. Even though it isn’t the longest course, distance is key here, with the average drive of the past three winners being 301 yards. These fairways are difficult to hit, so being long off the tee is a huge advantage, with most of these players approaching the green from the rough.
The greens are on the larger side so getting as close to the cup as possible is important. Just like last week these are POA type greens and putting is also a huge factor, with the past three winners putting a low 27.3 average putts per round. Just like most weeks we need to target players who score well, but this week specifically on par fours, with the average distance of these par fours not including the very short tenth hole (310 yards), being a long 456.5 yards. So this week the stats I will be focusing on are driving distance, strokes gained tee to green, greens in regulation percentage, proximity to the hole, strokes gained putting, par four scoring, and birdie or better percentage. This is a very strong field top to bottom. It is a great week for DFS golf with DraftKings posting a ton of huge GPPs. So good luck and as always if any of these picks help your lineups or if you need any advice let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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Brooks Koepka: (7,100) I know Koepka hasn’t looked that great in his last two events, but he is just too cheap when considering his overall talent. Right now he is currently the 20th ranked golfer in the world and is 3/4 in made cuts this season with a 2nd place finish at The Shriners back in November. He has some very impressive stats to start the season ranking 11th in strokes gained putting, 98th in GIR percentage (71.5%), 6th in strokes gained tee to green, 18th in par four scoring, 7th in birdie or better percentage, and 30th in driving distance (301.9 yards).
He has been even longer off the tee in his last two tournaments, with a high average drive of 315 yards, which is the 3rd highest average of the all the players in the field this week over the last six weeks. Koepka has never played here at Riviera, but his elite distance, putting, and par four scoring should help compete this weekend. He is extremely underpriced and, to put this in perspective, Brooks and Patrick Reed who costs $1,800 more currently have the same Vegas odds to win this event at 45/1. At only $7,100 he is one of the best values on the board and is a great play in both cash games and GPPs this week.
Brian Harman: (6,900) Over the last six weeks Harman has been putting lights out, with a low 27.3 average putts per round, which is the best in the field of all the players who have competed in this span. He has now made four straight cuts not finishing outside of the top 25 in all four of the events, with a T9 at The Farmers and a T3 at The Career Builder Challenge. Not only has been excellent on the greens this season ranking 6th in strokes gained putting, he has also improved his distance ranking 70th on The Tour with an average drive of 296.5 yards.
His other statistics also line up for success here, with him ranking 154th in GIR percentage (68.2%), 71st in par four scoring, and 60th in birdie or better percentage. This is going to be Harman’s fifth try here at Riviera with him making 3/4 of cuts on his career with an impressive T3 in 2014. With a bunch of value available this week, Harman may be a forgotten man, with a low projected ownership of 5-8%. (via Fantasy Labs) He is one of my favorite GPP targets of the week that has a nice upside if his hot putting continues.
Brendan Steele: (7,100) Even though Steele has made ten straight cuts, DraftKings has decided to cut his price $1,100 since his last event, The Waste Management Phoenix Open. He has been excellent so far this season making 7/7 cuts, with five top 25s, three top tens, and a win at The Safeway Open in October. Not only is he in some of the best form of his career, but he also has a solid track record here at Riviera Country Club, making five cuts in six tries, with a T10 in 2014, and a T14 in 2015.
He has the perfect skill set for this course ranking 16th in strokes gained tee to green, 64th in strokes gained putting, 54th in driving distance (298.3 yards), 11th in GIR percentage (76.9%), 39th in proximity to the hole, 13th in par four scoring, and 27th in birdie or better percentage. In this current form, he has a great chance to make the cut with top 20 upside this week. He is an absolute steal at only $7,100 and is a cash game lock for me at The Genesis Open.
Also Consider: Adam Hadwin (his $6,600 salary honestly makes no sense. He has now made seven straight cuts and is 2/2 here at Riviera), Jim Furyk (should come with a low ownership, is 16/19 here at Riviera), Webb Simpson, J.B. Holmes, Ollie Schniederjans (Ollie has now made four straight cuts and has a great 2.095 strokes gained putting on POA greens, via Fantasy Golf Metrics), Kyle Stanley, and Jhonattan Vegas.