What a week to play daily fantasy golf at DraftKings. The PGA Tour heads to Dublin, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament, and the field will be stacked with superstars to select for your teams.
Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, the top three players in the world, will make the trip to Muirfield Village Golf Club, and all are coming off victories in their most recent events. Day won The Players Championship three weeks ago, McIlroy claimed another title at the Irish Open a week later, and this past weekend Jordan Spieth won his first PGA Tour event in his home state at the Dean & Deluca Invitational. All three will look to pick up even more momentum this week ahead of the US Open Championship in June.
Many more big names will be in this week's Memorial Field, including Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar.
As always, there is plenty of great fantasy golf to play on DraftKings. Our feature contest is the $500K Fore, a $4 entry GPP that will pay out $100,000 to the winner. In this article we break down our top plays of the week to help you chase a big payday this weekend.
HOW DRAFTKINGS FANTASY GOLF WORKS
- In each fantasy contest, participants will be assigned a fixed salary cap of $50,000 that they can use to draft their entire six golfer lineup.
- The golfer pool will consist of all golfers expected to be participating in the tournament. Any missing golfers will not be added to the pool once DraftKings starts offering contests for that week. If a golfer is scratched late from an event, he will remain in the player pool, and you must be aware to remove them from your team before the tournament starts. Golfer salaries will also not change once DraftKings starts offering contests for that tournament start time.
- Contest results and winners will be based on the total fantasy points scored across each entrant’s six golfer lineup scoring system.
Muirfield Village Golf Club is a Par-72 course measuring 7,392 yards. The layout was designed by the great Jack Nicklaus, who did a fantastic job creating a course that encompasses an array of challenging shots. Muirfield is similar to Augusta National in that respect. It takes a great overall golfer to win this tournament, as shown by the list of recent champions below.
Length is important this week because all four Par 5s are reachable, but we're more interested in players who can navigate the hilly terrain and hit greens. Stokes Gained Tee-to-Green is a good metric to look at this week when looking for fantasy golfers. Scrambling is also important with lots of trees and bunkers lining fairways throughout the course.
Stats to consider: Par 5 Scoring, Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, Scrambling, Proximity 150-200 Yards
EVENT HISTORY (SINCE 2012)
Event history is one of the key trends to look at when picking your team. Some players perform better at Muirfield Village than others, and it shows up in past results. Here's a look at the top performers since 2012.
|1||David Lingmerth||Hideki Matsuyama||Matt Kuchar||Tiger Woods|
|2||Justin Rose||Kevin Na||Kevin Chappell||Andres Romero (T2)|
|3||Francesco Molinari (T3)||Bubba Watson||Kyle Stanley||Rory Sabbatini (T2)|
|4||Jordan Spieth (T3)||Chris Kirk (T4)||Scott Stallings (T4)||Spencer Levin (T4)|
|5||Jim Furyk (T5)||Adam Scott (T4)||Bill Haas (T4)||Daniel Summerhays (T4)|
|6||Marc Leishman (T5)||Ben Curtis (T6)||Matt Jones (T6)||Jonathan Byrd (T6)|
|7||Hideki Matsuyama (T5)||Steve Stricker (T6)||Russell Henley (T6)||Matt Every (T6)|
|8||Keegan Bradley (T8)||Charl Schwartzel (T8)||Justin Rose (T8)||Justin Rose|
|9||Tony Finau (T8)||Bill Haas (T8)||Charl Schwartzel (T8)||Aaron Baddeley (T9)|
|10||Kevin Kisner (T8)||Three others (T8)||Four others (T8)||Two others (T9)|
World Rank: 18
DraftKings Price: $9,900
Vegas Odds to Win: 20/1
We're going bold this week and skipping over the top five players to build our DraftKings GPP lineups. Instead, we're using two former champions as building blocks. We begin with Kuchar who has made the cut at the Memorial all seven times since 2008 with five Top 10s, including a victory in 2013. The course was built for a steady player like Kuch who ranks in the top 26 on tour this season in four of the key stats we're weighing heavily.
Kuchar is in great form, too, with Top 6 finishes in each of his last three tournaments. We expect that trend to continue this week as he contends for his first win of the 2016 season.
World Rank: 15
DraftKings Price: $10,600
Vegas Odds to Win: 17/1
Matsuyama won here in 2014 and followed it up with a fifth-place effort last year. Hideki has all the shots in his bag and is a dangerous threat to win at the tournament every year. He ranks fifth on tour in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, seventh in Approaches (175-200 yards), 12th in Birdie or Better Percentage and 37th in Scrambling. Statistically he ranks better than Day, Spieth, McIlroy for this course.
Matsuyama is also in exceptional form with Top 11 finishes in each of his last four events. Two of those came against extremely tough fields at the Players and the Masters. He could go underowned this week while many attempt to ride the wave with the Big 3.
Others to Consider: Jason Day ($12,400), Charl Schwartzel ($8,000)
VALUE PICKS AND SLEEPERS
World Rank: 31
DraftKings Price: $7,700
Vegas Odds to Win: 65/1
Haas is a course horse at the Memorial with three Top 20s in a row, including a pair of Top 10s. He has also performed well at Augusta, which compares favorably to Muirfield Village.
Haas ranks well in all of the key statistical categories for this course and is underpriced at $7,700 on DraftKings this week. He makes for a fantastic cash game play and a very playable mid-tier option in GPPs.
World Rank: 75
DraftKings Price: $7,400
Vegas Odds to Win: 85/1
The 33-year-old Italian has been a reliable fantasy option lately with six straight cuts made across the PGA and European Tours. Because he's still not a regular on the PGA he lacks the name value of some of the other mid-tier golfers like Kevin Chappell, Danny Lee and Charles Howell III, so we really like Molinari in GPPs this week. He finished third at Memorial last year and his game lines up extremely well for this course.
World Rank: 77
DraftKings Price: $7,200
Vegas Odds to Win: 100/1
The former World No. 1 is almost a must-play in cash games this week because of the way he has performed at Muirfield Village. Since 2008 he has made the cut six straight times with five top 25s. His worst finish came last year (49th).
Donald is cleaning up his game after spiraling all the way down to No. 95 in the world rankings this year. He's made five of six cuts, including a runner-up finish at the RBC Heritage, and should be able to exceed his DraftKings value easily this week.
World Rank: 209
DraftKings Price: $5,900
Vegas Odds to Win: 250/1
Here's a good salary saver in GPPs this week. Wagner isn't a guy you can trust in cash games but he's always a favorite punt play of ours in GPPs, especially when Par 5 scoring is integral to success. Johnson ranks 47th in that statistic this season and he has also been surprisingly good with his irons, ranking 23rd in green in regulation percentage. He's a horrendous scrambler so he'll need to stay out of trouble this week to be in contention, but this is a guy who is capable of a top 10 finish if he's playing his A game.
Others to Consider: Daniel Summerhays ($6,900), David Hearn ($6,700), K.J. Choi ($6,000), Jim Herman ($5,900)