DFS analysis

Workday Charity Open 2020 DFS picks: Why this stat might point to a Brooks Koepka win

The CJ Cup - PGA Tour: Round 2

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The Workday Charity Open presents an incredible situation in the world of fantasy golf. Never before have we seen two different events, at the same course, in back-to-back weeks. The Workday Charity Open is “leg one” at Muirfield Village Golf Club, the notorious host of The Memorial Tournament. The Workday Charity Open, replacing the John Deere Classic, features five of the top 10 players of the world this week, including defending champion Patrick Cantlay ($10,600 on DraftKings) and favorite Justin Thomas ($11,100 on DraftKings and the 11-1 betting favorite).

I think there are more high upside and safer plays at the top of the board, particularly a past major champion who seems close to figuring out the weakest part of his game. Read on for my plays throughout the board for your fantasy golf or DraftKings/FanDuel lineups.

$9,000+

High Upside: Viktor Hovland ($9,500 DraftKings | $10,900 FanDuel)

In the same way that a win felt imminent for Bryson DeChambeau, it does for Viktor Hovland. He led the field in strokes gained/tee-to-green last week and lost 3.5 strokes putting. He’s very close to putting it all together, catching a hot putter and winning a golf tournament.

Safest Option: Patrick Cantlay ($10,600 DraftKings | $11,700 FanDuel)

Cantlay has only played once since the restart, a T-11 at the Travelers Championship. Now he begins his “two week title defense” at Muirfield Village. Cantlay won the Memorial last season.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Jon Rahm ($10,900 DraftKings | $11,800 FanDuel)

Simply put, Rahm hasn’t been good since the restart. He’s missed one cut and has two more finishes outside the top 30. More concerning, his flaw has been different each week. He lost four strokes putting at Colonial, lost strokes around the green at Harbour Town and lost a ton of shots on approach at the Travelers. If it was just one issue, I’d have more convince in him figuring it out and finding his way up the leaderboard.

Pick To Win: Brooks Koepka ($10,400 DraftKings | $11,500 FanDuel)

Koepka might have plugged one of the biggest leaks in his game: his putter. Per the RickRunGood.com database, he has now gained strokes putting in each of his past nine rounds. That’s a feat he hasn’t accomplished since 2018, during a stretch in which he won the U.S. Open.

$8,000 to $9,000

High Upside: Joaquin Niemann ($8,400 DraftKings | $10,000 FanDuel)

Niemann is full of upside, evidenced by his win at the Greenbrier and fifth at the RBC Heritage earlier this season. He’s played well in his two loops around Muirfield Village, a 27th last year and a sixth-place finish in 2018.

Safest Option: Matt Kuchar ($8,500 DraftKings | $10,300 FanDuel)

Kuchar has rarely flashed the winning upside but remains a staple in the top 10 of most tournaments. His record at Muirfield Village is elite, winning in 2013 and compiling 11 top-26 finishes in the past 12 years.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Gary Woodland ($8,300 DraftKings | $9,900 FanDuel)

Muirfield Village should be a good fit for Woodland, but there are some disturbing trends in his game right now. He’s now lost 10.77 strokes off-the-tee in his last 11 rounds. That’s shocking for a guy who routinely ranks inside the top 20 of that category nearly every season.

Pick To Win: Marc Leishman ($8,700 DraftKings | $10,100 FanDuel)

Leishman is one of the most volatile players on the PGA Tour, but he carries win equity on a weekly basis. Per the RickRunGood.com stat model, strokes gained/approach is one of the most important stats at Muirfield Village, which plays right into Leishman’s strengths. His results show it as well, he has four top-15 finishes at Muirfield Village in the past five years.

$7,000 to $8,000

High Upside: Kevin Streelman ($7,800 DraftKings | $9,600 FanDuel)

The upside was on full display at the Travelers Championship, as Streelman tried to make things interesting down the stretch before finishing second to Dustin Johnson. He finished fourth at the Memorial last year, which was his fourth top-20 finish in the past five years.

Safest Option: Joel Dahmen ($7,700 DraftKings | $9,300 FanDuel)

Dahmen has been piling up top-20s, to the tune of five such finishes in his past six starts. He quietly ranks 6th in strokes gained/tee-to-Green in this field and can provide some stability to your lineups.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Phil Mickelson ($7,800 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)

The trap has been set: Mickelson held the 36-hole lead at the Travelers, where we saw him last and will now be a high profile ambassador for the Workday Charity Open, one of his biggest sponsorships. Mickelson has lost strokes tee-to-green in six of his last eight measured rounds, a trend that will be difficult to overcome.

Pick To Win: Scottie Scheffler ($7,800 DraftKings | $9,500 FanDuel)

I’ll take the bait. Scheffler disappointed the masses last week after missing the cut by five shots. My optimism lies with his second round which featured a clean 7-under 65. He led the field in strokes gained/off-the-tee on Friday and was third in strokes gained/tee-to-green.

$6,900 and below

High Upside: Seung-Yul Noh ($6,800 DraftKings | $7,800 FanDuel)

Noh is back from his two-year hiatus to fulfill his commitment to military service in South Korea. After a handful of missed cuts to begin the season, Noh is two-for-two since the restart including a T-11 at the Travelers Championship. He has a pure swing that just needs more reps.

Safest Option: Troy Merritt ($7,000 DraftKings | $8,400 FanDuel)

This is your weekly reminder that no golfer in this range is safe, but Troy Merritt is compelling. His T-8 last week marked his fourth cut made in his past five starts, and he finished 17th last year at the Memorial. You could do much worse!

Most Likely To Disappoint: Jason Dufner ($6,800 DraftKings | $8,200 FanDuel)

It’s always tempting to roster a past champion (2017) like Dufner who finished seventh at the Memorial last season. Unfortunately the putter is so bad that he cannot even capitalize on his great ball-striking. He ranks 205th on tour in putting this season.

Pick To Win: Henrik Norlander ($6,500 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel)

Norlander moved into the top 200 in the world after last week’s T-12 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s no stranger to the top of the leaderboard with a T-9 at the Sony Open and T-5 at the RSM Classic this season.

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