Sanderson Farms Championship 2020 DFS picks: 12 players you need to consider for your lineups
Sean M. Haffey
Out of any player in this field in the past 15 rounds, Sam Burns has gained the most strokes in all categories. Is he a safe play for your lineups this week? (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
This is another week that will reward golf DFS players for sound research. There might be some names in the 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship who are not familiar to you, but it’s an opportunity to really differentiate yourself by making the right choices in each price tier.
The field at the Country Club of Jackson is slightly better than last week’s field. Each of the last two Rookies of the Year are two of the biggest favorites, Scottie Scheffler and Sungjae Im. Louis Oosthuizen has withdrawn, leaving a gap in the top end pricing. This is going to create some interesting roster combinations and concentrated ownership on the top players.
Here are our favorite plays—from upside to value and safest—plus players likely to disappoint for your DFS lineups this week.
Salary range: $9,000+
High Upside: Sam Burns ($9,800 DraftKings | $11,200 FanDuel)
Burns shot the worst round on Saturday (78) at last week’s Corales Puntacana and still finished T-28. That reflects how well he played in the other three rounds and much more reflective of how he has played in the last month. He’s getting used to his name near the top of the leaderboard as evidenced by his T-7 at the Safeway Open and T-13 at the Wyndham Championship. Per the RickRunGood.com database, no golfer in this field has gained more strokes per round than Burns since the tour’s restart (with a minimum of 15 rounds). Throw in the fact that he finished third here two years ago and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Safest Option: Zach Johnson ($9,600 DraftKings | $10,500 FanDuel)
Johnson’s recent run of good form has flown a bit under the radar. The key to his success is that he can land on the first page of the leader board in almost any field, at any course. He posted a T--8 at the U.S. Open and a T7 at the Wyndham Championship in his last three starts. He’s been leaning heavily on his flat stick, but we’ve heard various players say that Country Club of Jackson can turn into a “putting contest.” If that’s the case, Johnson provides a solid floor with plenty of good vibes from his T-14 at this event last year.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Scottie Scheffler ($11,400 DraftKings | $12,300 FanDuel)
This is Scheffler’s first start since his positive COVID test forced him to withdraw from the U.S. Open. Scheffler had been on a stellar run of golf leading into Winged Foot with fourth-place finishes at the PGA Championship and the Northern Trust. He now headlines this field and will garner significant ownership from DFS gamers. Truth be told, this is uncharted territory for Scheffler. He’s 11-1 to win the golf tournament, the shortest odds he’s ever held, and this is only the second time in his career that his DraftKings price tag has been over $10,000. There’s little information on how Scheffler has been spending his last three and a half weeks, and he’ll need to likely post a top-five finish to pay off his salary.
Pick To Win: Doc Redman ($9,700 DraftKings | $10,800 FanDuel)
Redman was the next alternate for the U.S. Open field but never got in the field. That means his last finish was a T-3 at the Safeway Open, the same finish that he posted at the Wyndham Championship. His game continues to mature quickly, built around a skill set that is sustainable on the PGA Tour. He’s one of the best ball-strikers in this field, and he continues to knock at the door of victory.
$8,000 to $9,000
High Upside: Henrik Stenson ($8,900 DraftKings | $10,200 FanDuel)
I threw my hands up with Stenson last week, generally unsure of how he was going to play with limited starts since the tour’s restart. His T-21 was impressive and gives me much more confidence about Stenson moving forward. There’s an argument to be made that he is at least $700 too cheap in terms of fantasy pricing as one of the real contenders in this field.
Safest Option: Patrick Rodgers ($8,200 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)
Rodgers is becoming a staple in lineups during the fall schedule and for good reason. He’s now made the weekend in seven consecutive starts after his T-11 in the Dominican Republic last week. He’s not only making the weekend, he’s doing his best to contend—Rodgers has three top-20 finishes in that stretch. He continues to be the rare profile of golfer that gains significantly off-the-tee and on the putting greens. That combination usually plays well at courses similar to Country Club of Jackson.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Emiliano Grillo ($8,800 DraftKings |$9,900 FanDuel)
If the Sanderson Farms Championship does indeed turn into a “putting contest,” Grillo might be in big trouble. His putting woes are well-documented—he has finished outside the top 180 in putting each of the past two seasons. To Grillo’s credit, he’s still been able to make six consecutive cuts, including three top-25 finishes, thanks to his excellent ball-striking. But his upside appears to be capped, unless he can have a “lightning in a bottle” type putting week.
Pick To Win: Cameron Davis ($8,100 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)
Davis is offering a complete game right now, which is incredibly appealing. Per the RickRunGood.com database, he’s one of the few players in this field who is positive in all four major strokes-gained categories. He joins Sam Burns as the only two golfers to be positive in all four categories and gain at least one stroke per round in the restart. He’s made the cut in five straight starts, but Davis has some bigger in his sights—capturing his first PGA Tour title.
$7,000 to $8,000
High Upside: Sepp Straka ($7,700 DraftKings | $9,300 FanDuel)
Sepp Straka tees off during the second round of the 2020 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Straka might be a name that stands out to you, because he’s “popped” onto the leader board routinely in the past few years. Recently he has a T-14 at the Safeway Open, a T-18 at the 3M Open and two more top-15 finishes at the Workday Charity Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Straka feasts on par 72s, the type of layout we will get in Jackson this week. In fact, Straka has gained 0.96 strokes per round on par-72 courses since the start of 2018. That’s the third most in this field, tied with Scottie Scheffler and Byeong Hun An, behind only Sungjae Im and Henrik Stenson.
Safest Option: Denny McCarthy ($7,900 DraftKings | $9,200 FanDuel)
McCarthy is a noted putting specialist who actually thrives even more on Bermuda greens, like those they’ll be playing in Jackson this week. Per the RickRunGood.com database, he has gained an average of 0.91 strokes putting in his last 84 rounds on Bermuda. That is the best in the field by a significant margin. He has a knack for making the weekend, which he has done in seven of his past eight starts. McCarthy has played this event three times and after missing the cut in 2018, he posted a T-7 in 2019 and a T-18 last year.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Hudson Swafford ($7,300 DraftKings |$8,900 FanDuel)
We couldn’t blame Swafford if he has a bit of a “winning hangover” after last week’s title at Corales, his first win since 2017. In fact, Swafford was in the midst of the longest active cut streak in 2017 prior to his win, and after his victory, he immediately missed his next three cuts. But who can blame him? Even with his title last week, Swafford hasn’t been the model of consistency, missing five of his last eight cuts. Combine all that with the price boost, and I’ll be avoiding Swafford this week in fantasy.
Pick To Win: Kristoffer Ventura ($7,200 DraftKings | $8,800 FanDuel)
Ventura is another golfer who fits the rare combination of great off-the-tee and great on-the-greens. That skill set doesn’t play everywhere, but it will at the Country Club of Jackson. The Oklahoma State alum has made four consecutives cuts including top 20s at the Barracuda Championship and the Safeway Open.
$6,900 and below
High Upside: Robert Streb ($6,600 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel)
He’s been inconsistent, but Streb is starting to show signs of life in the last few weeks. He finished T-5 at the Barracuda Championship then posted a T-21 last week in the Dominican Republic. His only two trips to Jackson have resulted in T-26 and T-23 finishes the past two years. If he gets anything close to that in this edition, he’ll easily pay for himself at this price point.
Safest Option: Adam Schenk ($6,700 DraftKings | $8,500 FanDuel)
Schenk has made eight consecutive cuts on tour, the active longest streak in this field. It should also be no surprise that in his three trips to Jackson, he’s made the cut in each one, including a T-7 two years ago. He just seems to be as solid as they come and finding that level of consistency in this tier is rare and valuable.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Tyler McCumber ($6,800 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel)
McCumber will catch some steam after his solo second last week, which included him posting the clubhouse lead and waiting to see if Swafford would bogey 18 to force a playoff. However, even including last week’s finish, McCumber has still failed to make the weekend in nine of his past 11 starts, and Bermudagrass has been a big issue for him in his young career. He ranks dead last in this field (minimum of 10 rounds) in strokes gained/putting on Bermuda, losing 1.37 strokes per round on the surface. The odds are stacked against McCumber to have another week like he did in the Dominican Republic.
Pick To Win: Davis Riley ($6,700 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel)
Picking someone to win means they have to have winning ability, and Riley certainly has it. He’s won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour this year and ranks second in birdie average on that circuit. He’s played only a handful of events on the PGA Tour, but one of them was last year’s Sanderson Farms, where he finished T-39. This Mississippi kid should be plenty comfortable in Jackson this week.
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.