Welcome back! I’m going to change it up a bit this week and save the whole intro piece for the podcast you should probably check out – be on the look out over the next day or so. Congratulations to those who trusted Chez Reavie and stayed strong with the once chalky Gary Woodland. Also to those who avoided J.J. Spaun, Jordan Spieth, and Hideki Matsuyama among others (yikes!). I am going to jump right into this week as we have quite a few moving pieces to get sorted out. Let’s do it.
Some background: We are again back to the headache of a multi-course tournament. This week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am is unique in a few different ways. To make a long story short, the 156-man field will play three courses in three days. Each pro will be paired up with an amateur for the duration of the tournament. I am going to skip over breaking this down as it really doesn’t come into play from a DFS standpoint. What does matter, is that each man in the 156-player field will be guaranteed three rounds, one at each course, and the top 60 and ties will move on to Sunday. Yes, top 60 – not your usual top 70. This definitely makes things a bit more interesting, and will surely reward those who get a full lineup through to Sunday.
The 3 Courses: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Monterey Peninsula – all in Pebble Beach, California. Though there are definitely distinctions and differences between the three courses, I am going to cut right to the chase and tell you – they range from just over 6,800 yards to just under 7,000 yards. Pebble Beach and Spyglass are par-72’s and Monterey Peninsula is a par-71. None of the above stand out in terms of distance, but the California-style, coastline golf like we saw a couple weeks ago is again in play. The key difference here is the total yardage. Put simply, the long ball doesn’t matter. We will be targeting accuracy, consistency, dialed in irons and approaches, and most of all – putting. Fairways are not easy to hit. But those who do hit fairways and can manage to stay out of trouble will be rewarded. Greens will be fast and far from “easy”. Taking all of this into consideration, here are the key stats I chose to take a deep dive into this week: SG tee to green, DK points (as always), SG approach, SG putting, good drives gained, SG short game, SG scrambling, and SG par-4’s 400-450 yards. As always, all stats I’ll be mentioning in this article are via fantasynational.com and span over each player in the field’s last 24-rounds. To get started, here’s a breakdown of some notable finishes at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am over the past three years. Again, a bit more extensive than usual, and including last week’s Waste Management Open results to see who’s hot and who’s not:
Studs: $10,000+ (DraftKings)
Dustin Johnson ($11,700): DJ seems to keep doing DJ things and has kept his top-notch play from last season going as we head deeper into 2018. His two starts since the new year have both resulted in top-10’s including his win at the Tournament of Champions, where he looked absolutely dominant. It’s clear he’s comfortable in California and even more so at these three courses, as he finished 4th here in 2015 and 3rd last year. He comes in at the top of my list, some notable items being 8th in the field in SG putting over his past 24-rounds, 7th in good drives gained (they’re long too), 13th in SG short game, and 8th in SG scrambling. $11,700 is a hefty price to pay, but pair him with the right value and you can’t go wrong.
Jason Day ($10,900): A little more risky here in my opinion, but despite any issues with the back or anything else you may have heard, he’s looked great. In his PGA Tour season, he’s made 3 of 3 cuts and finished top-11 each time (11th, 11th, 1st). He grinded out the Farmers Insurance Open in a playoff against Alexander Noren and restored a lot of people’s faith in his game. For the fields last 24-rounds, he’s ranked #1 in DK points scored. Just about everything else is top 25 to 30. On top of that, his past three years at Pebble Beach, he’s finished 4th, 11th, 5th. With that said, I can see a path to fading Day here as he simply hasn’t been your most consistent stud over the past year or so.
Jordan Spieth ($10,700): Here’s an opportunity to get a full fledged stud at a slight discount – why you ask? Because of his relatively shocking MC last week. That’s surely something you don’t see out of Jordan very often. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be thinking about what went wrong and doing what he can to fix it. If he puts up another MC, I’ll start to take some caution. But for now, I’m stay all systems go with him.
Other Studs: John Rahm ($11,400) and Rory McIlroy ($11,100): For Rahm, I keep saying – when is this guy going to take a week off. Simply put, I don’t think he’s interested in taking a break on his way to #1 in the world. He finished 5th here last year and has really only had a couple off rounds all year. McIlroy – never say never, but I’m passing. I’ll leave it at that for now.
Mid-Range Options: $8,000 – $9,900 (DraftKings)
Gary Woodland ($9,900): The guy just isn’t slowing down. The Woodland fade has hurt people the last couple weeks without a doubt. BUT – look at that price. To clarify, look at that price and then look at the guys priced around him. I have trouble even saying this after what he’s done lately (in addition to coming in 5th here last year), but it’s too much for me with such solid plays just above and just below him. Maybe more of a reason to not listen to me, here are his 24-round stats in comparison to the field: 7th SG tee to green, 3rd DK points, 15th SG putting, 4th SG approach, 30th good drives gained, 28th SG short game, 90th SG scrambling, and 1st SG par 4 400-450 yards.
Paul Casey ($9,400): It puts a smile on my face to see Paul Casey back in the field. Casey is coming in at 5th overall by my metrics but the one hitch here is he hasn’t played here in the past three years. Looking at 24-round stats, he sits 6th SG tee to green, 8th DK points, 22nd SG putting, 2nd SG approach, 31st good drives gained, 45th SG short game, 61st SG scrambling, and 8th par 4 400-450 yards. In this field, I’d consider this a good price for Casey. I’m into it.
Pat Perez ($8,600): Though we haven’t seen him in a couple weeks, he got some time off after heading back from Dubai where he finished 29th. Prior to that, he was impressive to say the least – he’s made 6 cuts in 6 starts on the season and has three top-10’s, including a win at the CIMB Classic back at the beginning of the Fall run. His short games is outstanding and if he can keep the ball in play, we’ll be seeing him contending this week.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,100): I am staying on the Snedeker train, again. He didn’t disappoint last week and I don’t see him disappointing this week. He’s returning to form and has had great success here in the past. Enough said!
Other Mid-Rage options: Matt Kuchar, Chesson Hadley, Chez Reavie, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Cantlay
Value Options: $7,000 – $7,900 (DraftKings)
Patrick Reed ($7,900): Here’s a guy that I have more or less completely ignored since last August, and for good reason. He’s been struggling. But, it seems that may be coming to and end and this price is very enticing. The last time we’ve seen Reed under $8k was the Hero World Challenge in a very limited field against the best of the best. He finished 17th last week, 23rd the week before, and been in the top-30 at Pebble Beach each of the last three years. If there’s a time to play Patrick Reed without risking all too much, this is it. Viable pivots would be Chez Reavie and Kevin Chappell.
Brian Gay ($7,500): Aside from Patrick Reed, I am currently finding the upper $7k tier somewhat of a disappointment. Luckily, there are some names that stand out both above and below. For starts, Brian Gay – He is in no way a safe play. But for GPP’s – yes. He’s familiar with the track and has the proven ability to at least make the cut. What I do like is his very recent play. He’s fired off a few very low rounds over the past couple weeks and finished 9th last week at the Waste Management Open. After a rough start to the season he’s been making progress and he will surely be very low owned.
Chris Kirk ($7,100): Here’s another guy who has been a bit up and down, but definitely caught the attention of some people out there as his name appears on the leaderboard. He’s made 6 cuts in 8 starts on the season and finished 35th and 19th the past two weeks. His approach game is above average and he’s played the course before. He’s a good lower priced option this week.
Super Value Punts in play (<$7,000): Vaughn Taylor, Bryson DeChambeau, Tom Hoge, Brian Stuard, Ryan Armour
NOTE: A few of these of the real cheap options really stand out to me this week. Especially in GPP’s, this is a good opportunity to ride the hot hand and throw some variation into those lines. Pair one or two of these with some top-tier guys and you may find yourself having a unique lineup with some real upside.
As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out on the Lineup Logic chat, Twitter (@donaldremington), and be sure to catch the podcast and cheat sheet dropping tomorrow. Big things happening here at @LineupLogicDFS