DraftKings Picks for the Valspar Championship
Jordan Spieth ($11,800) I’m doubling down on Spieth this week. He hasn’t played his best golf yet this year and is still finding a way to finish inside the Top-20 nearly every week. Spieth is a former champion here and he ranks nicely in the key categories. He’s a good bit above average in birdie or better % from 200-plus yards, 11th in Par 5 scoring, 22nd in strokes gained: approach and 4th on tour in strokes gained: around the green. Spieth is the chalk on the win probabilities chart coming with a projected 6.59 percent chance of winning and 22.87 percent odds at finishing inside the Top 5, nobody else crosses 20 percent in the Top-5 odds.
5. Henrik Stenson
4. Sergio Garcia
3. Tony Finau
2. Jordan Spieth
1. Justin Rose
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 6, 2018
Adam Hadwin ($8,800) Hadwin has all the upside going for him right now. He’s the defending champion and is coming in off back-to-back Top 10 finishes. His hot stretch of golf is thanks to some really good iron-play. In his last two outings, Hadwin’s gained an average of nearly six shots on the field on approach shots. He’s had some of the best touch around the greens all year ranking 12th on Tour in strokes gained there. I’m looking for him to continue riding the wave.
Zach Johnson ($7,700) Zach Johnson is quietly having a bounce-back year after a down year in 2017. He’s finished in the Top 25 in five of his six starts this year and he comes into this week well-rested. At age 42, the month off may be exactly what he needs to head into the Master’s with a full head of steam. Johnson is ranked as the ninth-best value play overall for the week. Known for his wedge and short-game, Johnson actually ranks within the Top 40 in birdie or better % from 200-plus yards. He’s 22nd in Par 5 scoring, 13th in strokes gained: approach, and sixth in Par 3 scoring.
Charles Howell III ($7,400) Charles Howell III disappointed two weeks ago at the Honda Classic in which he was one of the highest-ranked value plays. I’m going to double down on him on a count of the “everyone has a bad week” theory. DailyRoto’s value tool agrees that the down-week was a fluke, as Howell III is ranked as the seventh highest value this week. He’s very solid in all key categories this week as well ranking tenth in Par 3 scoring, 18th in strokes gained: approach, 20th in strokes gained: around the green, 38th in Par 5 scoring, and within the top half in birdie % outside 200 yards.
Austin Cook ($7,100) Austin Cook is on the fast track to rookie of the year. He’s already won a tournament and has six Top 25 finishes in 10 starts on Tour. I like his value at $7,100. He’s a safe play for people like me who lead the team off with Spieth. Cook is a great Par 3 player ranking 10th on Tour this season. He’s also 13th in Par 5 scoring, so with nine of the holes playing at Par 3 or 5, he has a significant advantage on most of the field.
Brandon Harkins ($7,000) Another player in the sleeper aisle. Brandon Harkins! He’s been another impressive rookie, finishing in the Top 25 in seven of his eleven outings this season. Just like Cook, Harkins is at his best on Par 3s and 5s ranking 25th and 18th respectively. He’s also one of the best in birdie or better % 200-plus yards, ranking 31st on Tour. DailyRoto’s value optimization tool has him as a Top-15 value player this week. He’s a good bet to make the cut and has a lot of upside.
Birdie or Better % 200+ yards
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Around the green
Par 3 Scoring
Par 5 Scoring
Also Like: Henrik Stenson, Tony Finau, Keegan Bradley, Byeong Hun-An, Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Streelman
Jordan Spieth Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ryan Kang
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