An In-Depth Examination of the DFS Field for the Wells Fargo Championship
After a “bye week” from DraftKings golf due to the format of the Zurich Classic, we are finally back! If you got a chance to watch any of the Zurich over the weekend, you would have noticed that it was a team event. Golfers were paired up in groups of two with different scoring formats each day. Thursday and Saturday were “Best Ball,” while Friday and Sunday were “Foursomes,” (or alternate shot). The tournament featured walk-up songs for each group at the opening tee box which also added some excitement. I would not be surprised if DraftKings already has something up their sleeve for next year’s Zurich Classic. We saw them roll out contests for the Match Play event a month ago, so maybe they will take on the Zurich Classic next season.
This week the Tour heads to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Championship. This is one of the stronger fields we have recently seen, including 13 of the Top 20 players in the world. This year’s event, as opposed to last, is being played at Quail Hollow Club. Therefore, looking at the leaderboard from last year becomes irrelevant. If you want to see how players fared at the site in 2017, take a look at the PGA Championship leaderboard, which was played at Quail Hollow. The course layout has changed since the 2016 Wells Fargo Championship as it is now a Par 71. That being said, course history should not be weighed as heavily as it is in other tournaments.
- Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee
- Ball Striking
- Driving Distance
With such a loaded field for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, we only find ourselves with four players over the $10k mark, three of which surpass $11k. The favorite, Rory McIlroy leads the way on DK at $11,800. He is followed by Justin Thomas at $11,300, Rickie Fowler ($11,100), and Jason Day ($10,200). With so much value in the low-$7k range, you are able to build around a player from this top range. Though an argument can be made for any of these top four players, I will be leaning towards Justin Thomas ($11,300). We don’t have much of a sample size of this new layout at Quail Hollow, but the first time it played as a Par 71 last season at the PGA Championship, Thomas won by two strokes. Though it might play a little differently since it is not a major, it is something that cannot be ignored. Either way, Thomas has made all seven cuts in 2018 with six of them resulting in top-20’s. While McIlroy is the favorite this week, DailyRoto gives Thomas the best odds to win at 7.40%. Thomas has a nice floor for DraftKings and if you are willing to pay up this week, this is the safest spot.
Fleetwood and Finau Top Second-Tier Options
While paying up this week isn’t all that bad, there is tons of value under $10k due to the strength of the field. Tommy Fleetwood at $9,000 checks all three boxes when looking through the key statistics. Fleetwood currently ranks third in SG: Off-The-Tee, 38th in Ball Striking, and 28th in Driving Distance. Like Justin Thomas, Fleetwood has yet to miss a cut this season. In a range surrounded by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Paul Casey, Fleetwood could go unnoticed.
Tony Finau ($8,700) is also worth a look in this next range. I mentioned early in the season I expect him to get a win at some point this year, and I do not want to miss out. He is 34th is SG: Off-The-Tee and second in Driving Distance just barely behind Trey Mullinax. Finau is coming off of a surprising Top 10 finish at The Masters on a sprained ankle and looked good this past weekend at the Zurich, finishing solo sixth with Daniel Summerhays.
Other Plays: Webb Simpson ($8,400), Alex Noren ($8,100), and Bryson DeChambeau ($8,000).
Nothing But Value at $7,400
It seems as if you could fill a roster with six players priced at $7,400 this week. I mean we have been paying $8,900+ for Luke List the past couple weeks and now we get him for $7,400 after a missed cut at the Valero Texas Open? Sign me up. List is currently eighth in SG: Off-The-Tee, 53rd in Ball Striking, and third in Driving Distance. This distance off the tee should help him on long par fours, as nine of them stretch over 449 yards.
Another player with distance that I will be targeting from this price point is Gary Woodland ($7,400). Woodland fits the mold of the type of player we are looking for as he ranks 13th in SG: Off-The-Tee, first in Ball Striking, and sixth in Driving Distance. However, recent form is an issue as he has made just two cuts in his last five events since his win at the Phoenix Open. The numbers should outweigh where Woodland’s game is at right now. He has rattled off seven straight cuts made at Quail Hollow with his last four being Top 25 finishes (T22, T24, T4, T18). Woodland is a fine cash game play, but will be a nice leverage play in tournaments with many people off of him right now.
Lastly, we find Francesco Molinari also listed at $7,400 and his name is popping more than anyone. Molinari played at Quail Hollow for the PGA Championship a season ago, where he finished T2, and also played it well at the Wells Fargo in 2016 with a T17. He ranks sixth in SG: Off-The-Tee and 23rd in Ball Striking. DailyRoto’s models always love Molinari as well, rating him out as the fifth best value on DraftKings. He has the best odds of any player priced under $8,100 to make the cut (70.75%). Starting a team with List, Woodland, and Molinari would leave you with over $9,200 to spend on your last three roster spots. This could be the way to build in cash games.
Other Plays: Emiliano Grillo ($7,700), Byeong Hun-An ($7,600), Dylan Frittelli ($7,100), Joaquin Niemann ($6,800), and Sam Ryder ($6,500)
Mulligan of the Week
Though you might be a week late to the party, I hope you were able to add Niemann while you still could. The 19 year-old amateur went pro just before the Valero Texas Open, where he finished a solo sixth. Committing to several events through sponsor exemptions, Niemann qualified for this week’s event through his debut Top10 finish. He is now just 269 FedEx Cup points away from earning his temporary tour card. Even if he does not get to that number, Niemann showed how good he really
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