After a wet week in New Orleans (has the tournament ended yet?), the PGA Tour heads to Charlotte this week for the Wells Fargo Championship. The big guns will be out in full force as eight of the top 14 in the World Golf Rankings will be in attendance, including defending champ Rory McIlroy who smashed several course records during his incredible run last year. The Irishman will be looking to claim his third Wells Fargo title in Charlotte this week.
Others in the field include Ricky Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, and current Fedex Cup points leader Adam Scott. Jim Furyk, who has been out since September with wrist injury, will make his season debut this week at Quail Hollow.
All of these players and many more are available on DraftKings this week, and there are plenty of great contests to participate in. The $3 Birdie will pay out $275,000 in prizes, with $20,000 going to first place, while the $33 Dogleg will award $100,000 to the winner. In this article we break down our top plays of the week to help you chase a one (or both) of those big paydays.
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.
Quail Hollow Club is a Par-72 course that measure 7,575 yards. Many of the top golfers in the world are making the trip to Charlotte this week because Quail Hollow will be hosting the PGA Championship in 2017. They will get a good look at the famed "Green Mile," considered one of the toughest closing stretches on tour. The final three holes on the course present dozens of trouble areas that can ruin a good round.
Key stats we're considering this week are Total Driving, Par 5 Scoring, Birdie-or-Better percentage, and scrambling. The fairways are very narrow on this long course, so we're mostly targeting good ball strikers to build our fantasy lineups.
EVENT HISTORY (SINCE 2012)
Event history is one of the key trends to look at when picking your team. Some players perform better at Quail Hollow than others, and it shows up in past results. Here's a look at the top performers since 2012.
|1||Rory McIlroy||J.B. Holmes||Derek Ernst||Rickie Fowler|
|2||Patrick Rodgers (T2)||Jim Furyk||David Lynn||Rory McIlroy (T2)|
|3||Webb Simpson (T2)||Martin Flores||Phil Mickelson||D.A. Points (T2)|
|4||Phil Mickelson (T4)||Jason Bohn||Robert Karlsson (T4)||Webb Simpson|
|5||Gary Woodland (T4)||Justin Rose||Lee Westwood (T4)||Ben Curtis (T5)|
|6||Robert Streb (T4)||Brendon de Jonge (T6)||Ryan Moore (T6)||Ryan Moore (T5)|
|7||Geoff Ogilvy (T7)||Kevin Kisner (T6)||Kyle Stanley (T6)||Lee Westwood (T5)|
|8||Justin Thomas (T7)||Roberto Castro (T8)||Kevin Streelman (T6)||Nick Watney|
|9||Jason Bohn (T9)||Rory McIlroy (T8)||Bo Van Pelt (T6)||Jonas Blixt (T9)|
|10||Three others (T9)||Rory Sabbatini (T8)||Six Players (T10)||Five others (T9)|
World Rank: 12
DraftKings Price: $9,700
Vegas Odds to Win: 25/1
You won't find McIlroy on our list this week because a.) obvious play is obvious, and b.) it's not easy to make a team with him this week, especially for cash games. We do like Rory, but we prefer pivoting to this lower price point with a guy like Reed, whose blood is likely still boiling after a second-place finish at the Valero Texas Open last month.
Reed ranks in the top 45 in all of the key stats we're targeting this week and leads the PGA Tour in Top 10s this season. He's certainly good enough to compete with the best in the world. Just ask him.
World Rank: 14
DraftKings Price: $9,300
Vegas Odds to Win: 25/1
Matsuyama also hits on all of the key stats we're looking for at Quail Hollow. He ranks fourth on tour in Strokes Gaines Tee-to-Green, third in Birdie-or-Better scoring, 16th in Par 5 scoring, and 34th in Total Driving. Despite being one of the best ball strikers in the world he will fly a little under the radar this week with all of the big names at the top.
Hideki will be well rested after his seventh-place result at the Masters and has decent history at this tournament, finishing 38th in 2014 and 20th last year. The question of whether he can close is long gone after his victory in Phoenix this year. We're picking him to claim his second win of the season in Charlotte this week.
VALUE PICKS AND SLEEPERS
World Rank: 39
DraftKings Price: $7,700
Vegas Odds to Win: 100/1
Grillo has been brilliant of the tee this season, ranking No. 1 on tour in total driving. He has hit 71% of fairways in 2016 while driving the ball 292 yards on average. If he can keep those numbers in tact at Quail Hollow he'll be in contention on Sunday.
While he doesn't have a Top 10 yet, Grillo has made 8 of 9 cuts this season. That includes a 17th-place finish at the Masters. We like him to improve on that finish in Charlotte this week while making a lot of birdies and piling up DraftKings points.
World Rank: 278
DraftKings Price: $6,300
Vegas Odds to Win: 125/1
We got excited on Friday when Glover climbed into the Top 5 of the Zurich Classic leaderboard, but he fell off the pace while the course was being drenched with rain and eventually finished 31st. We're right back on him again this week because, once again, he fits the key indicators at Quail Hollow. He actually won here in 2011, too.
Glover is having a great year statistically, ranking second on tour in Total Driving, 25th in Par 5 Scoring and 26th in Strokes Gaines T2G. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to crack a Top 10 because of his lousy short game.
World Rank: 76
DraftKings Price: $6,200
Vegas Odds to Win: 225/1
Herman claimed his first PGA Tour title only a few weeks ago with a victory at the Shell Houston Open. That's where we first caught a glimpse of Herman's talents with the driver; with the entire golf world watching he hit a perfect tee shot on 18 to set up an easy par for the win. Herman ranks 9th on tour in Total Driving and has the skills the navigate Quail Hollow this week. He finished 13th here last year and has made the cut three out of four years.
World Rank: 276
DraftKings Price: $5,900
Vegas Odds to Win: 210/1
Castro is our favorite punt play this week. He has great course history at Quail Hollow, making the cut in all three appearances, including an eighth-place result in 2014. His current form is also very solid after making four of five cuts over the past two months. Castro has been traveling a lot, so fatigue might be a factor on this short week, but he's an intriguing option in GPPs if you're looking for a salary saver.
Others to consider: Patrick Rodgers ($7,700), Scott Brown ($7,500), Jason Kokrak ($7,200), John Senden ($6,600)