3M Open 2020 DFS picks: Who’s primed to break out like Matthew Wolff?
You know golf DFS is booming in popularity when DraftKings hosts a Millionaire Maker for the 3M Open. We’ve been spoiled with “major-like” fields since the PGA Tour’s restart, and the pricing this week is enough to do a double take: Take Matthew Wolff, for example. When he nearly won a few weeks ago at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, he was $6,800 on DraftKings. This week? Wolff, the defending champion, is $9,700. The 3M Open field is one of the weakest yet, but it’s filled with opportunity for the sharp golf fan.
TPC Twin Cities will be the anti-Muirfield Village, as we expect it to yield birdies in bunches. Who has the best potential to break out like Wolff did last year? Below, you’ll find my favorite value plays for your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups this week.
High Upside: Bubba Watson ($9,900 DraftKings | $10,700 FanDuel)
There’s very little consistency in Watson’s game from week to week but, statistically, he sets up well for TPC Twin Cities. He can bomb it around without any regard for missing fairways, and his ball-striking numbers last week were sublime. He was second in the field in strokes gaine/ball-striking, which is off-the-tee plus approach. He needs to clean up his short game, but I could see Bubba finding success this week.
Safest Option: Tony Finau ($10,900 DraftKings | $11,600 FanDuel)
There are so many question marks at the top of the player pool, I’m going to go with the guy who has played the best recently, and that’s Finau. I understand the concern about his meltdown over the second half of Saturday and into Sunday but Muirfield Village was creating carnage for every player in the field. Our recency bias penalizes Finau for playing well, then struggling. If he did the opposite, he’d be the most popular player on the slate.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Tommy Fleetwood ($10,500 DraftKings | $11,500 FanDuel)
This is not a knock on Fleetwood’s game, but more about the projected ownership around the industry. Fleetwood’s lack of results makes him an “unknown entity” this week, which is a very popular investment. With other top players like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka carrying significant doubt into the 3M Open, Fleetwood becomes an appealing option. It’s fairly likely that he’s rusty and doesn’t achieve the finishing position needed to pay off his salary.
Pick To Win: Dustin Johnson ($11,500 DraftKings | $12,400 FanDuel)
There is no golfer on tour, or maybe in the world, who has a shorter memory than Dustin Johnson. He has probably already forgotten about the back-to-back 80s he shot at Muirfield Village. Prior to those rounds, Johnson had eight consecutive rounds of 69 or better that led him to a T-17 at the RBC Heritage and a win at the Travelers Championship. I can’t imagine we’ve ever seen a price tag this high on a guy who shot 160 over two rounds the previous week, which means Johnson could be a rare low-owned betting favorite for this week.
$8,000 to $9,000
High Upside: Patrick Rodgers ($8,200 DraftKings | $9,800 FanDuel)
Rodgers has notched top-20 finishes at the Memorial and the Charles Schwab Challenge, which boasted two of the strongest fields in recent memory. Additionally, the Bentgrass greens at TPC Twin Cities should be welcoming. Per the RickRunGood.com database, Rodgers has gained (on average) 0.56 strokes putting on Bentgrass in his career. That’s 12th-best in the field and the best of any golfer with at least 50 rounds played on the surface.
Safest Option: Luke List ($8,400 DraftKings | $10,300 FanDuel)
I cannot believe Luke List appears on any list as “safe,” but here we are. List finished 10th last week but ranked ninth in strokes gained/tee-to-green. That statistical profile has lasting power, and when you consider his T-21 at Rocket Mortgage and his win on the Korn Ferry Tour a few weeks back, List has been in a very good stretch of golf.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Henrik Norlander ($8,600 DraftKings |$9,800 FanDuel)
Norlander has been a DFS sweetheart since the PGA Tour’s restart and rightfully so. He’s made four straight cuts, including a T-6 last week at The Memorial. My concern is how he did it last week, gaining 8.43 strokes putting, second-best in the field and best total of his young career. It’s unlikely that continues and now he captures the highest salary of his career which, together, creates a recipe for disaster.
Erik van Rooyen, who played collegiately at the University of Minnesota, received a sponsor's exemption into the 3M Open as he pursues a full-time PGA Tour card. The South African is now ranked 43rd in the world.
Pick To Win: Erik Van Rooyen ($8,800 DraftKings | $10,200 FanDuel)
Van Rooyen has been feast or famine this season, with three top 25s in his past six starts, along with missed cuts in his other three. He was fifth in strokes gained/tee-to-green last week while losing three strokes putting. That was the worst putting performance of his career, so it’s unlikely to happen a second straight week.
$7,000 to $8,000
High Upside: Si Woo Kim ($7,800 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)
There might be no player in the world with a bigger range of outcomes than Si Woo Kim, but he’s now posted two top-20 finishes in his past four starts. He’s been lights out with his irons at the Travelers Championship and the Memorial, which is a great sign from week-to-week.
Safest Option: Dylan Fritelli ($7,600 DK | $9,300 FanDuel)
His recent tournament history looks worse than it actually is. He has had three missed cuts since the restart but one was a withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. His other finishes were a T-8 at the RBC Heritage and a T-22 last week at the Memorial. He’s also popped up on the first page of the leaderboard at both the Safeway Open and Sanderson Farms this season, which will have a similar field strength as the 3M Open this week.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Sepp Straka ($7,900 DraftKings | $9,700 FanDuel)
There are some major red flags in the statistical profile of Straka from last week. He gained 5.92 strokes putting, seventh-best in the field. Gaining that many strokes on the green is almost a guaranteed top 10, but Straka only finished 61st thanks to his horrific play from tee-to-green. He lost 8.19 strokes in that category, seventh-worst in the field. If he hits it anything like he did last week, it’ll be a short week for Straka.
Pick To Win: Bernd Wiesberger ($7,200 DraftKings | $8,800 FanDuel)
The 29th-ranked player in the world tees it up almost exclusively on the European Tour. He was third in the Race To Dubai last season, which is essentially the European Tour’s playoff system. He won three different times in 2019, so he owns legitimate winning upside. Normally a fixture in only WGC events, this will be, by far, the weakest field that Wiesberger has ever faced on the PGA TOUR.
$6,900 and below
High Upside: Hudson Swafford ($6,700 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel)
Swafford missed the cut in his last start but usually offers a strong tee-to-green game, at least compared to his peers in this pricing range. He gained at least two strokes on approach at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the Honda Classic and the Waste Management Open. All of those have come in his past five starts.
Safest Option: Adam Schenk ($6,900 DraftKings | $8,500 FanDuel)
Schenk has been excellent off-the-tee this season, gaining strokes in that category in 11 of his last 12 starts. For the price tag, you’re not asking for much—making the cut would do just fine and that’s something Schenk has done at both the Workday Charity Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic, his last two events.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Harry Higgs ($6,600 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel)
Once a DFS darling, Higgs has missed three of his last four cuts and doesn’t have a finish inside the Top 35 since the restart. The once strong tee-to-green game has vanished. Per the RickRunGood.com database, Higgs has lost a combined 17.05 strokes in that category in his last five starts. That’s the seventh-worst of anyone in that span.
Pick To Win: Keith Mitchell ($6,900 DraftKings | $8,500 FanDuel)
Mitchell made his first cut last week after missing the previous three, finishing T-22 at the Memorial. There are so few guys in this pricing range that have actual win equity, Mitchell becomes appealing rather quickly. Winner of the Honda Classic last season, Mitchell gained in all four strokes gained categories last week, the first time he’s done that since the RSM Classic in November.
Rick Gehman, founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.