RSM Classic 2020 DFS picks: Should you fade high finishers at the Masters?
Whether or not you won big at the Masters with your DraftKings or FanDuel lineups, DFS golf players have a few more opportunities to take some cash home before the PGA Tour takes a break before 2021. This is the 24th consecutive week of golf on the PGA Tour—we’ve been spoiled since golf’s return in June! This is the second-to-last week of official events in 2020 with the Sea Island Resort hosting the RSM Classic.
Similar to the setup of the Farmers Insurance Open, with players teeing it up at Torrey North for one of their rounds, competitors will play the Plantation course either Thursday and Friday, then Sea Island’s Seaside Course will host the other three rounds. This is a sneaky-good field considering we are coming off the Masters last week.
We have a few top tier players and the full depth of the game’s talented young golfers. Here are our favorite plays—and fades—for the RSM Classic.
Price range: $9,000 and above
High Upside: Russell Henley ($10,100 DraftKings | $11,400 FanDuel)
Henley didn’t qualify for the Masters last week, but that’s not because of his recent play. He’s been stellar since the tour’s restart and is in the midst of a nine-event cut streak that has also resulted in four top-10 finishes. Per the RickRunGood.com database, he leads this field in strokes gained/approach and strokes gained/tee to green since the restart.
Safest Option: Harris English ($9,700 DraftKings | $11,000 FanDuel)
English has missed only one cut in his past 11 starts along with eight top-20 finishes during that span. He is one of the few players in this field who gains strokes in all four major strokes-gained categories, which explains his incredible consistency. He doesn’t have one aspect of his game that he relies on or that is a huge flaw for him.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Sungjae Im ($11,000 DraftKings | $11,600 FanDuel)
As much as I’d love to see Im contend this week, I am proceeding with caution. His runner-up finish at the Masters last week was phenomenal, but he is now $11,000 on DraftKings, which marks only the fourth time in his career that he’s been at least this expensive. My concern is that he hasn’t been very consistent in the restart, and he hasn’t posted back-to-back top-20 finishes in full-field events. I expect him to garner plenty of ownership after a great finish on a big stage, so I will tread lightly.
Pick To Win: Webb Simpson ($11,200 DraftKings | $12,000 FanDuel)
Not even a wet, soggy Augusta National could keep Simpson out of the top 10 at Augusta! There used to be “Webb courses” where he would content five-six times per year, but now he’s starting to turn everywhere into a Webb course. He already has two victories in 2020 and heads to the RSM Classic where he’s had plenty of close calls. He has four top-seven finishes in his past seven starts, including a third-place finish two years ago and a runner-up last year.
$8,000 to $9,000
High Upside: Corey Conners ($8,900 DraftKings | $10,300 FanDuel)
After a slow restart for Conners, he’s starting to turn the corner and round back into form. His last three starts have all resulted in top-25 finishes, including a T-8 at the ZOZO Championship and T-10 last week at the Masters. When things are going well for Conners, he’s one of the best ball-strikers around—he will just need the putter to cooperate this week in Georgia.
Safest Option: Brian Harman ($8,500 DraftKings | $10,100 FanDuel)
Harman enters this week with an 11-event cut streak, the fifth-longest active streak on tour and the longest streak of anyone in this field. It’s not just making cuts for Harman, either. He has seven top-30 finishes during that stretch with three top-15 finishes. Harman usually relies on a solid short game, but he’s now gained strokes on approach in five consecutive events. It’s only the second time in the last five years that he’s had a stretch of positive approach golf like that.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Kevin Kisner ($8,600 DraftKings |$10,500 FanDuel)
Kisner will earn the “Course Horse” designation this week, and his ownership will reflect that. He’s won this event and finished inside the top 10 three other times since 2015. Leading into this event, Kisner has been much more volatile. He has the capacity to finish inside the top five but has also missed the cut at both the U.S. Open and Masters. Golf is a fickle game, and I’ll let the masses back Kisner.
Pick To Win: Doc Redman ($8,000 DraftKings | $9,800 FanDuel)
It feels like the victory is coming for Redman. He’s been knocking at the door with “close calls” at the Wyndham Championship, Safeway Open and Bermuda Championship. Of all golfers in this field with at least 20 rounds played in the restart, Redman is fourth in strokes gained/ approach per the RickRunGood.com golf database. His excellent ball-striking will continue to give him plenty of opportunities to raise the trophy on Sunday, especially in weaker fields like this.
$7,000 to $8,000
High Upside: Austin Cook ($7,500 DraftKings | $9,600 FanDuel)
The 2018 winner of this event is starting to find his form again. We haven’t seen Cook play a ton recently, but his runner-up at Shriners and his T-24 at the Houston Open are encouraging signs. Those are his best two finishes in his past 20 starts, so there’s a chance he’s found something as he heads back to Sea Island with plenty of good vibes.
Safest Option: Denny McCarthy ($7,700 DraftKings | $9,800 FanDuel)
The trajectory for McCarthy is very encouraging. Already the best putter on tour, he’s starting to improve in the ball-striking categories, too. He’s been popping up on the first page of the leaderboard with top-10 finishes at the Wyndham Championship, Sanderson Farms Championship and Bermuda Championship. His record at the RSM Classic includes a T-8 last season.
Most Likely To Disappoint: C.T. Pan ($7,900 DraftKings |$9,900 FanDuel)
Pan is a very interesting option this week, considering he’s coming off a seventh-place finish at the Masters. He now gets a $1,800 price increase on DraftKings, and with two top-15 finishes at this event, I think he will garner some attention. I’m not willing to go all-in on Pan, considering his T-7 last week was his only top-10 anywhere in his past 35 starts.
Pick To Win: Harold Varner III ($7,500 DraftKings | $8,800 FanDuel)
This is an excellent price on one of the better ball-strikers in this field, who is coming off a T-15 at the Houston Open. With that finish, it’s the third time in his past six starts that Varner has finished inside the top 15. He’s been building up scar tissue with a few “close calls” at victory over the past two years. This is a great spot for him to break through and raise the trophy on Sunday.
$6,900 and below
High Upside: Martin Laird ($6,800 DraftKings | $8,600 FanDuel)
Don’t forget that Laird won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open just two starts ago! That finish was a bit out of nowhere, but he’s made the cut in three of his last four starts and has proven he possesses the ability to get hot for a week. He’s gone seven consecutive measured events gaining strokes ball-striking (calculated by combining off-the-tee plus approach), which is not something that many golfers in this price tier can boast.
Safest Option: James Hahn ($6,900 DraftKings | $7,800 FanDuel)
Hahn’s worst finish this season was his 50th at the Houston Open. He had finished in the top-10 in each of his previous three starts. He’s been excellent off the tee, gaining strokes in that category in all four starts this season. Per the RickRunGood.com Cheat Sheet, he’s one of the few golfers in this range who has gained strokes in all four major strokes-gained categories this season.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Patrick Rodgers ($6,900 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel)
Rodgers has been one of the most difficult golfers to figure out this year, struggling with the best parts of his game and not turning in enough impressive results. However, he does have two top-10 finishes in his last four starts at Sea Island, including a runner-up in 2019. That may be enough to fire up Rodgers in your lineups, but I’m not as optimistic. He’s missed the cut in three of his last four and finished T-59 in the only event that he found the weekend.
Pick To Win: David Hearn ($6,600 DraftKings | $7,300 FanDuel)
It’s been a decent season for Hearn thus far, making the cut in three of his five events while finishing T-8 at the Bermuda Championship. He’s going to return to an event that has offered plenty of good results. He’s never missed a cut in seven starts and has finished inside the top 30 in each of his past four trips.
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.