Though it pains me to say it, another Masters has come and gone and we are left with no choice but to move on to the next one. Patrick Reed is the proud new owner of a green jacket and my man Rickie Fowler checks another runner up box – so close, yet so far. The story lines were ample, the leader board was jam packed, the Tiger crowd joined for a day or two at the least, and the true fans stuck around all the way through the green jacket ceremony on Sunday evening. There is plenty to be discussed and you can bet we’ll be hitting it all on this weeks Lineup Logic PGA Podcast. Tune in later this week for a bit of reminiscing, discussion as to what went right, what went wrong, and of course a complete breakdown of the PGA DFS slate to come. For now, let’s go right ahead and jump into a little preview of this week’s RBC Heritage where we have a… well… we have a field. And a DFS slate. So deal with it!
The Course: Harbour Town Golf Links: 7,099 yards, par 71 – it’s not a long one, but it’s not necessarily an easy one. Three par 5’s, four par 3’s, and the rest par 4’s. The fairways are tight and the greens are very small and very fast. We’re back to Bermuda greens and we’re going to go ahead and get away from those bomber stats like driving distance and strokes gained off the tee. The ideal player will be able to hit fairways on a consistent basis, know the course well enough to place tee shots in the optimal spots to make approaches as feasible as possible, and know how to gain strokes on and around these little greens. We’re back to a full field event, and the top-70 and ties after Friday will make it on to the weekend. Before I get into some of my early favorites by DFS pricing tiers – here’s a breakdown of some of this week’s field’s performance in the RBC over the past five years. Remember, this tournament has been played here for a LONG time – so there are ample stats to drill down on this week. We have 11 former champs, multiple veterans, and some first-timers all lumped into this field. Be wary of those coming off a 4-day run at the Masters. If there is one tournament these guys are exerting maximum amounts of energy (regardless of where they stood in the field), it’s the Masters.
Studs: $9,000+ (DraftKings)
Dustin Johnson ($12,000): If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking to yourself right now, “DJ finished in 10th place last week and I don’t think I remember seeing him hit a single shot on the weekend”. I could be crazy, but DJ wasn’t exactly the focal point of the Masters. With that said, he’s the clear stand out in this week’s RBC Heritage field. He hasn’t played here in ages, and hasn’t exactly been looking like like the sharpest DJ we know – and for that reason I am fully on board with fading him at this price. There is no saying that he’s not going to go out there and blow this field away, but it’s a risk I am personally willing to take to free up some salary down a bit lower.
Matt Kuchar ($10,800): Though we aren’t quite used to seeing Kuchar at this kind of price, if I had to choose one guy in the field that deserves to be priced up this week, Kuchar would be that guy. He’s gained strokes on the field in each of his many outings at Harbour Town and finished in the top-10 three times in his past five attempts. But wait, Kuchar played four days straight at the Masters last week, that can’t be good! That he did. But, he’s also played in the Masters each of the past five years, and finished top-10 in three of those starts too. Kuchar is one of the few players in this field who does this nearly every single year, and keeps things nice and consistent. Starting lineups with Kuchar this week is something I wouldn’t fault you for.
Webb Simpson ($9,400): Another guy you may not be used to seeing at this price range, and again, I can’t blame you for that. At the same time, I think it can be justified. Simpson has had an all around solid season thus far, making 9 cuts in 10 starts including a couple top-5 finishes and a final round 67 Sunday at the Masters. He’s got fantastic stats putting on Bermuda grass greens, and finished T11 here last year. At this price, he stands out to me.
Mid-Range Options: $8,000 – $8,900 (DraftKings)
Luke List ($8,900): In regard to stats I chose to focus on this week, Luke List stats out quite nicely. He hasn’t had much luck here in the past, but he’s a new man as of this 2017-2018 season. He’s notched three top-10 finishes including a runner up at the Honda Classic (we all remember just how difficult that course was playing), and more recently a 7th place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month. He hits the ball a mile, but he’s proven he can also club down and hit fairways. The one warning I’ll throw out there is that his ability to score here will be largely dependent on whether he can get hot on the greens or not. At this price, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Kevin Kisner ($8,700): He’s one of the better long-term putters in the field on Bermuda grass greens and he’s had success here in the past as a result of just that. He notched a runner up finish here in 2015 and finished T11 last year. He didn’t have the prettiest Masters outing this year, but made the cut and showed us what he’s capable of with a third round 69 in the rainy and windy conditions. He’s been up and down this season, but appears to be on the rebound. If he turns out to be someone that’s looking like he’ll be higher owned, I may take some caution. But at first glance, he’s someone took keep an eye on this week.
Emiliano Grillo ($8,600): Grillo is having himself a season – he’s made 12 cuts in 12 starts and already has four top-10’s to his name so far in the year. I can finally say that he’s coming off of a week’s rest, and his last outing was at the Houston Open where he finished in 3rd. Long term, his putting on Bermuda greens isn’t the prettiest, but short term he’s actually toward the top of the field. It’s his first outing there, but going off of recent form, he will likely be in the mix come Sunday.
Other Mid-Range options to consider: Cam Smith, Ryan Moore, Adam Hadwin
Value Options : < $8,000 (DraftKings)
Luke Donald ($7,700): Really all you have to do here is take a look at this guy’s tournament history – In the past five years, he’s finished no worse than T15, and been in the top THREE the other four times out. Believe it or not, this may just be all the reason to fade him and look elsewhere – in GPP’s at least. He has not done anything worth noting so far this season, and I can not get myself to trust tournament history alone.
Bud Cauley ($7,300): As much as a price play as this may be, Cauley has plenty of impressive finished this season and seems to be past his early season slump where he missed back-to-back cuts at the Honda Classic and the Valspar Championship. Since then, he’s finished 14th and 18th in the API and the Houston Open, and on top of that, finished T9 here last year. His putting has improved, so if he can keep the ball straight off the tee, he could be a real threat this week – at a very, very affordable price.
Chris Kirk ($7,100): Kirk’s most recent start resulted in a missed cut at the Houston Open – that alone, combined with the fact he’s mixed into this black hole of a low-to-mid $7k range, will make him a sure thing to go low owned here. He’s showed us what he’s capable of a few times this season, notching two top-10’s in 14 starts. He’s played here the past five years and finished in the top-30 three of those five starts. He’s not your safest option by any means, but he stats out nicely and is sure to go low owned in those GPP’s.
Other value I like at first glance: Zach Johnson, Charley Hoffman, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Kokrak, Ryan Palmer, Kelly Kraft
Note: This price range is very large and in some respect, very “stacked” – for what we’re working with here. There are seemingly endless viable options here from a DFS perspective. For a more in depth breakdown of these players, I urge you to be on the look out for the Lineup l.ogic PGA podcast, coming soon. This is the price range is where the money will be won.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have some luck this week to help ease the pain of that Masters hangover. Follow us on Twitter at: @donaldremington & @LineupLogicDFS