And we’re back! Last week’s Shriners Open didn’t have the craziest field we’ve ever seen, but it sure didn’t fail to disappoint. Ending in dramatic extra-hole fashion, Patrick Cantlay was finally able to grab his first PGA Tour win. Anyone that reads my weekly breakdowns knows that I have been waiting on that to happen for quite some time – and I hope some of you were able to rake some cash in from it. This week brings a field that I would consider to be a step above that of last week, with Rickie Fowler, Pat Perez, and Patrick Reed topping the salary charts and Vegas odds.
Preview & Course: The OHL Classic has been played at El Camaleon Golf Course in Mexico since 2013. The par 71 track isn’t a long one, totaling 6,987 yards, again allowing guys to go pretty low, like we’ve seen quite a bit lately. Winning scores the past three years have ranged from -17 to -21, with individual rounds dipping into the low 60’s. So – as I seem to say most every week, birdies birdies birdies, are big. The course may be short, but it is far from simple. There seems to be trouble just about everywhere – dense forest, bunkers, and plenty of water. To state the obvious, accuracy is going to be a little more important than distance on a course like this. Gaining strokes on the field here will require fairways, accurate approaches, and the ability to scramble when things don’t go as planned. Some stats I have used this week in my research include SG tee to green, SG off the tee, GIR gained, SG approach, SG scrambling, SG putting, SG par 4, SG par 4, birdies gained, bogeys avoided, and proximity 125 – 150 yards (sounds pretty similar to what we looked at last week…?) Our goal as always, is to get a full lineup through to the weekend. For that reason, the stats I will give the most weight are driving accuracy, GIR gained, SG approach, SG scrambling, and birdies gained. I believe these are the stats that will keep guys under par during the first two days, which historically is a pretty good start at looking to make that cut. As always, stats are based on each players standing in the field, over their last 24 rounds played (via fantasynational.com). If I had to guess, based on past results, the cut line will be between -2 and -4. Let’s break this field down.
First off, like I’ve been doing lately, here’s a small breakdown of the top performers of this week’s field over the last three years at the OHL Classic:
Quick disclaimer – DraftKings has officially wiped out last year’s history from player’s stats, so for the sake of saving time and getting this out, I am going to be a little less specific in terms of recent form dating past last year’s playoffs…
Studs: ($9,000+ DK pricing)
Rickie Fowler: He’s got no tournament history, but it’s easy to see that Rickie stands out in this field. It’s his first tournament back this year but for anyone who follows anything Rickie Fowler, we know it’s not like he hasn’t been playing. If he can keep the ball in the fairway off the tee, he will do just fine this week. Also, dating back to June of last year (playoffs included), his worst finish is 26th. For 24-round stats, Rickie is 11th SG tee to green, 8th SG off the tee, 22nd GIR gained, 4th SG putting, 2nd in birdies gained, 4th in bogeys avoided, and 1st SG par 4. I don’t see him finishing far from the top of the field here.
Pat Perez: He is off to a hot start this season and is coming off of a weeks rest. He played in the CIMB, the CJ Cup, and the WGC HSBC (all of which had very strong fields), and finished 1st, 5th, and 24th. And we can’t forget his playoff run from the end of last season, finishing the final three events in 6th, 12th, and 16th. It’s safe to say he’s in good form. Again, he’s a long ball guy, and that’s not exactly the most important stat this week. So, should he keep the ball straight, he should have a shot to be in the mix. For 24-round stats, Perez is 1st in SG scrambling (that could help…), 26th SG putting, 12th in birdies gained, 1st in bogeys avoided, and 2nd in SG par 4. Oh yeah, did I mention he won here last year?
Chesson Hadley: I said it last week and I can say it again this week: What a start to the season. Hadley has three starts in the 2018 season and has finished top-4 in all of them. For 24-round stats he’s 5th in SG tee to green, 19th SG off the tee, 9th in GIR gained, 15th in SG approach, 14th in bogeys avoided, and 30th in SG par 4. Also, he’s priced at a very modest $9,900 on DK – you won’t see that price out of a guy coming off of three consecutive top-5 performances very often.
Chez Reavie: You heard it here first. I am still on the Reavie train. $9,200 is a lot for Reavie, but he has been playing very solid golf and finished 4th here last year. For 24-round stats, Reavie is 23rd SG tee to green, 19th GIR gained, 12th SG putting, 27th birdies gained, 25th bogeys avoided, and 8th in SG par 4.
Other studs I like this week: Woodland & Zach Johnson
Probable Stud-Fades: Patrick Reed & Charley Hoffman – Don’t get me wrong, I like both of these guys, and roster them all the time. They just don’t seem like great fits to me here and both haven’t done anything too out of the ordinary for me to justify their prices here.
Mid-range: ($7,600 – $8,900 DK pricing)
Jason Kokrak: Kokrak had a good 2017 season and it appears he’s off to another good year. He has played three events this season and has finished top-20 in each so far. It’s actually a bit of a surprise to me that he’s priced at $8,400 on DK considering how he’s been playing in comparison to the rest of the field. The only real problem is that Kokrak is a known long ball hitter, and this course requires anything but the long ball. I think his 24-round stats do a little something to make me feel more comfortable with him, while keeping that little problem in mind. In the field, Kokrak sits in 7th SG tee to green, 6th SG off the tee, 7th in birdies gained, 6th in bogeys avoided, and 22nd SG par 4. To make him even more enticing this week, he’s finished 16th, 17th, and 15th his last three years at this event, showing he’s comfortable here.
Luke List: This guy has been just about exactly what you look for in a middle of the road DFS start in terms of salary and performance, and I think he should stay that way this week. He too has finished top-20 in his last three starts this season and is priced nicely at $7,900. For 24-round stats in the field, List is 3rd in SG tee to green, 1st SG off the tee, 14th GIR gained, 9th SG approach, and 4th in birdies gained. He finished 7th here last year.
Kevin Streelman: He didn’t have the best week last week, mainly due to his 75 on Saturday. Other than that, he looked just fine. Upside is that we get a nice price cut for him this week. He finished 34th here in 2016 and 4th in 2017. 24-round stats put him in 19th SG tee too green, 11th GIR gained, 20th SG approach, and 22nd bogeys avoided. I think he’s a safe play this week.
Stewart Cink: This course sets up nicely for Stewart Cink and he finished 15th here last year. He has two starts this season: 13th at the CIMB and 33rd at the CJ Cup. Remember, both of these tournaments had very strong fields, and that 33rd included a third-round 77. Two very impressive stats for Cink in terms of 24-round stats compared to the rest of the field are 2nd in GIR gained and 1st in SG approach.
Other mid-range guys I like: Brown, McDowell, Grillo, Garnett, Moore
Value: (<$7,600 DK pricing)
Ryan Armour: He won two weeks ago at the Sanderson Farms Championship and had another solid showing, finishing 20th, at the Shriners Open. His 24-round stats are also impressive: 13th in SG tee to green, 4th in GIR gained, 24th SG putting, 5th birdies gained, and 14th SG par 4. Not bad for $7,500.
Nick Taylor: Even though he didn’t have the best week last week (he also had a rough Saturday), he’s been consistent and is cheap. He’s made all of his cuts and 32nd is his worst finish. He also finished 15th here last year. 24-round stats aren’t anything to write home about but, I’ll be rostering him again this week, mainly due to his price and reliability as of late.
Shawn Stefani: First off, he costs $7,000 on DK, making him a good option to fit in with some studs. He finished 10th at the Sanderson Farms Championship but didn’t have the best showing last week, due to the weekend alone. He started off 68 – 69, and finished 73 – 74. If he has it in him to string 4 rounds together again, this could be a good week to get some value out of him. He’s also proven he likes the track, finishing 2nd here in 2015 and 25th in 2016. His putter is hot and could be his ticket back to the top-10 if he can give himself some good looks.
Other value plays I like: Aswegen, Mahan, Baddeley, Vegas, Gooch, Kizzire, Sabbatini, Wagner, (Bohn?)
I hope to do some more research on the >$8,000 side of this field, and will come back and update as needed. This should give you a good base to start building those lineups and who to build them around. As updates are made I will share on Twitter @donaldremington. Also follow @LineupLogicDFS.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week. Oh yeah, remember to go hard this week because we only have 1 more week after this before a 6-week break 😦