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January 29, 2020

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2020 DFS picks: How TPC Scottsdale fits a particular type of player

Hideki Matsuyama 2020 Farmers Insurance Open

(Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This is a week that often gets more casual play than usual, with Super Bowl DFS entrants dabbling a little bit into golf. We're here to help with Waste Management Phoenix Open DFS lineup advice for every level of player, whether you're a weekly golf player or only play a couple times a year.

Course history tends to matter a decent bit at TPC Scottsdale's Stadium course, where only a handful of winners (Brooks Koepka; Kyle Stanley and J.B. Holmes in recent memory) won in their maiden voyage around the Tom Weiskopf- and Jay Morrish-designed course. Just like Weiskopf's strength back in the day, a premium is put on driving, with seven par 4s of 450-500 yards featured on this par 71. It's not a long course, per say, but it's key to leave your golf ball in the correct spots on these greens, which can become difficult with particular hole locations if they're utilized during the week. That's why we've seen players like Chez Reavie and Matt Kuchar, not two of the longest hitters no tour, play well here year after year—but at the same time, bombing it like Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler helps, for sure.

All that being said, here's who our panel likes for this week:

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2020, Under the Radar Picks of the Week

Pat Mayo, DraftKings: Russell Knox (FanDuel: $9,400; DraftKings: $7,700) — Jumping back on the Scot after another quality outing at Torrey Pines. Strangely, despite a T-21 results, akin to Bubba Watson, he did no damage whatsoever on the far easier North Course. He was under Par on the South all three rounds and settled for a 74 on the North. However, Knox has now made eight consecutive cuts after failing to get to the weekend in the season opener at the Greenbrier, and the the driving, once a staple of his game returned a bit last week. And really, that’s never been an issue in Phoenix; in four career starts at TPC Scottsdale Knox is gaining an average of 1.6 strokes/off-the-tee. If he can fuse that with his stellar iron play (gained on approaches in 19 of his past 21 events), he’ll churn out a third Top 15 in five starts at this venue.

Lee Alldrick, FanShare: Ryan Moore (FanDuel: $9,900; DraftKings: $8,000) — As yet, Moore has zero expert tags on the FanShare Pro Dashboard, so looks to be going under the radar this week. Moore has posted 3 top 13 place finishes in his last 4 events so is playing some great golf right now. Moore also knows this course better than almost anyone having played this event 14 times already. In 6 of these times he has recorded a top-20 finish.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel Collin Morikawa (FanDuel: $10,700; DraftKings: $9,200) — Collin Morikawa is a way to spend up to be contrarian this week. According to FanShareSports.com, he’s getting a lot less buzz than a lot of the other tier-two studs this week. Morikawa has shown the ability to stay cool in high-pressure situations, which should suit him for the raucous environment at TPC Scottsdale. He leads the field in strokes gained/approach over the past 50 rounds.

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2020, Value Plays of the Week

Mayo: Hideki Matsuyama (FanDuel: $11,300; DraftKings: $10,100): For the same reasons I like Hideki as my pick to win this week, he will be a staple of most of my lineup builds this week. Hideki has six lifetime starts in Phoenix in his career, four top-four finishes (including two wins) along with a T-15 and a withdraw due to injury. In each of his five full tournaments, Hideki’s failed to gain less than nine strokes/ball-striking. That's an incredible number. He actually would have been in the mix to win last year as well if not for a wonky putter (losing 4.1 strokes/putting), the first time in four years he failed to have a positive putting mark here, enough for us to consider that an anomaly.

Gdula, FanDuel: Adam Hadwin (FanDuel: $8,600; DraftKings: $7,200) — Adam Hadwin ranks 31st in strokes gained/approach over his past 50 PGA Tour rounds, via FantasyNational.com, and he can pick up fairways gained on the field due to his accuracy. He’s one of the few sub-$9,000 plays who really stand out to me this week.

Alldrick, FanShare: Jimmy Walker (FanDuel: $8,000; DraftKings: $7,000) — Walker is ticking a lot of boxes this week. He ranks 26th in the field in strokes gained/tee-to-green over the past two months, and second for Opportunities Gained. A return to fast, Bermuda greens should enable Walker to convert more of these opportunities than he has been. He ranks 17th in the field for strokes gained/putting on these style greens. His 30th-place at Torrey Pines was his best result in eight events, so he should be coming into Phoenix with some confidence. And you just need him to make the cut and put up points to return value.

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2020, Recommended Lineup Builds

Gdula: — It’s always vital to get six of six golfers through to the weekend, and even with the smaller field, the best route to that is to avoid getting too many golfers below $9,000 in your lineups. You can take your pick of a stud at the top between Jon Rahm ($12,100) and Justin Thomas ($11,900), but the $10,000 range is loaded, as is the $9,000 range. It’s not a week to dive too deep for values.

GD Editors: — I really like Justin Thomas this week, so I think it's safe (famous last words) to start most lineups with him. I like him way more than Jon Rahm, so that's an easy pivot. I think you have decent win equity with all the players below, to be honest. Dahmen and Kiradech are favorites to make the cut, based on their odds, so this is a safe lineup with strong upside.

Justin Thomas: $11,200
Matt Kuchar: $9,400
Matthew Wolff: $8,000
Andrew Putnam: $7,500
Joel Dahmen: $7,100
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: $6,800

Alldrick: — I like this DraftKings lineup, as it enables me to have three guys in who I think can win this week without having to drop into the $6,000 range.

Justin Thomas: $11,200
Brandt Snedeker: $8,900 Ryan Moore: $8,000
Brendan Steele: $7,500
Zach Johnson: $7,300
Jimmy Walker: $7,000

And for FanDuel: The pricing on FanDuel is a little more lenient this week so it lets me get in an extra potential winner in Webb Simpson. Kirk should prove a low priced cut maker.

Justin Thomas: $11,900
Webb Simpson: $11,700
Brandt Snedeker: $10,400
Ryan Moore: $9,900
Jimmy Walker: $8,000
Chris Kirk: $7,400

About our experts

Pat Mayo is known as one of the pre-eminent experts in daily-fantasy sports and golf handicapping specifically. Mayo is a 17-time fantasy sports-writers association finalist, the most of any writer this decade, and Mayo won the 2019 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Podcast of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Video award. Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com. Here’s a link to watch his complete DraftKings preview of the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Brandon Gdula, a senior editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 fantasy sports-writers association Golf Writer of the Year (congrats, Brandon!). Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.

Stephen Hennessey and Christopher Powers are Golf Digest's main gambling writers. Listen to this week's Golf Digest podcast, where they break down their favorite bets for the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.

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