How’s it going everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The 2017 Valero Texas Open. It was a decent week for the sleeper picks last week at The RBC Heritage, getting 2/3 of my main picks through the cut, with Anirban Lahiri finishing T44 and Danny Lee T39, respectively. Now The Tour heads down to TPC San Antonio for The Valero Texas Open. This course is a difficult par 72, measuring in at 7,435 yards. Charley Hoffman won the event last season, shooting -12 for the week. I think there is multiple types of players who can play well here, but I am going to a give a slight edge to longer hitters, with four of the last five winners ranking in the top 20 in driving distance for the week they won. Another stat that stood out when I was doing my research is that par five scoring is crucial here, with three of the last four winners leading the field in par five scoring for those given weeks. I think the par fives will be the difference, but scoring on these ten par fours will also be very important.
Just like last week at Harbour Town, there are some very difficult greens to stick, with the field averaging a low 56% greens in regulation percentage over the last six seasons. (via Fantasy Golf Metrics) That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t target players who rank well in approach and GIR, it just means these players will have a difficult time consistently finding the green, so we have to be sure to find players who can get themselves out of trouble when they miss. The last thing to note is that wind can always play a factor here on this track. The forecast looks okay right now, but it is something to watch as we get closer to the start of the tournament. As usual I will be focusing on strokes gained tee to green, GIR percentage, birdie or better percentage, and strokes gained putting, but also a weight on par four scoring, par five scoring, driving distance, and scrambling.
We get back to the normal full field of 156 players this week, but this is a weaker field of golfers, with Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar being the highest ranked players teeing it up. It is still a good week to play DFS, it just might be a better week to scale back how much bank roll you use. Also if you need more picks for The Valero, be sure to check out Geoff’s DraftKings picks through this link and Keegans betting picks through this link. So good luck and if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, 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
Rafel Campos: (6,300) The 28 year old Puerto Rican player has been an excellent surprise, now making three straight cuts, with a T10 on his home soil at The Puerto Rico Open, followed by a 7th place at The Shell Houston Open, and a T32 last week at The RBC Heritage. Campos was rehabbing a foot injury for five straight months this past fall, but The Web.com player has clearly fully recovered as he is competing at a high level in these PGA events. His stats have been great in these three tournaments, with an adjusted round score of 68.5, a high GIR percentage of 74.1%, and an average putts per round of 28.8.
He isn’t the longest hitter at 283.3 yards, but he should be able to compete here if he keeps up with the rest of this form. His one downfall is that he isn’t the best player around the greens, with a 58.3% scrambling percent in these three made cuts. This for sure is a concern at this course, but at this cheap of a price, he must be considered in this weak field, with the way he has been playing the past three weeks.
Cameron Percy: (6,800) Before last year’s missed cut here, Percy was on a nice roll at TPC San Antonio, making the cut in his past three tries, finishing T22 in 2010, T37 in 2013, and T15 in 2015. He has had a solid campaign so far this season, making 7/9 cuts, with three top 25s, and one top ten at The Pebble Beach Pro Am. His stats really set up well for this tournament, with him ranking 76th in driving distance (292.8 yards), 9th in GIR percentage (72.96%), 93rd in strokes gained tee to green, 77th in scrambling, 55th in birdie or better percentage, and 37th in both par four and par five scoring.
The missed cut here last season may scare some people off him but realistically he is in much better form now, when considering that he has now made four straight cuts, compared to last season when he had missed two of his previous three cuts before heading into The Valero. I think we see him make the cut this week, and at this price, he is a great GPP target that should hopefully come with a low ownership. (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs),
Nick Taylor: (6,500) Taylor is having a nice season making 11/15 cuts, and will be looking to have another good performance in this event, with him finishing 21st in The Valero last season. So far this year he ranks 87th in driving distance (292 yards), 108th in strokes gained tee to green, 116th in GIR percentage (66.9%), 140th in strokes gained putting, 70th in scrambling, and 117th in birdie or better percentage.
These stats aren’t jaw dropping, but the stat that really stands out in his favor for another top 25 showing here in San Antonio, is that he ranks 18th in par five scoring, and is shooting an average of -4.8 on the par fives in his last four tournaments. His current form is strong with him making 5/6 cuts over the last two months and he is one of my favorite sleepers of the week that will most likely go under the radar, with his very low projected ownership of 2-4%. (via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Anirban Lahiri, Soren Kjeldsen, Nick Watney, JT Potson, Jamie Lovemark, Danny Lee, Daniel Summerhays (four straight top 15s here), Trey Mullinax, and Matt Jones.