The PGA Tour’s jaunt around Florida just got a little more intense moving from Orlando and Arnie’s Invitational to The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass – an event that sees the purse go from an excellent $9,000,000 to a whopping $15,000,000. But money isn’t all that lures a field so good that the event is called “the fifth major” – FedEx points and the prestige of winning in Ponte Vedra Beach is a big deal in a Tour players career. This is a big stage that many of the world’s best have performed well on including Mr. Woods twenty years ago.
The Golf Course at TPC Sawgrass
One of the dirty secrets on the PGA Tour is that outside of Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, MPCC, Riviera, Harbor Town, Muirfield Village and where the PGA and U.S. Open are played – they don’t get to play many Top 100 courses. Pete Dye’s TPC Sawgrass is another gem that they get to play that is listed on most respected Top 100 in the United States list. What’s cool about TPC Sawgrass is that if Average Joe weekend golfer wants to play and can come up with about five hundred bucks and has some frequent flyer miles for travel – you too can play where the pros play. This week (and perhaps a little too soon for my tastes – sorry Governor) a limited number of fans will be allowed back on the course. The fans won’t have the same impact as before but there will be some people outside mingling around on the holes. There won’t be the bedlam that normally surrounds the 17th hole but it still should pack some high drama on the weekend with a few unexpected splash-downs.
Like most Pete Dye course designs, there is a lot of trouble and plenty of railroad ties or other wooden structures at TPC Sawgrass. The bunkers are dramatic but not so punitive that there aren’t plenty of opportunities for risk-reward behavior on what has become not a long course for the tour at 7,245 yards. The slope is a beefy 155 and the course rating is an absurd 76.4 so this is no “resort course” even if the public can play it.
The finish at TPC Sawgrass is one of the best in tournament golf with the island green 17th hole being the obvious belle of the ball. With a wedge in your hand, fame staring you in the face and water everywhere – Dye creates a truly dramatic event as the event comes to a close. The best players in the world have plunked one in the drink on this short hole resulting in their dreams crushed. DFS players need to be patient with this much water and trouble around as even the top players might get their Pro V1s wet this week. No. 18 at TPC Sawgrass is no cake walk either with water on the left and a narrow driving area for today’s bombers. Many take three wood off the tee and hit a longer, harder shot into the hole. With a GPP on the line, you will be more nervous than Tony Finau or Jordan Spieth trying to win on tour when you are playing a $0.25 ticket. At least, I will be.
The weather in Florida is unpredictable typically but the long term forecast shows nothing concerning at this point. Winds are predicted to be low and at the most, it will be partly cloudy. That can change in an instant but for now, I am not concerned. Do check in with the link above to see how things progress towards Thursday as weather and DFS PGA Tour golf is a major wild card.
Past Champions at The Players Championship
Dating back to 1974, The Players Championship has a gaudy history of winners who make of some of the best players in the history of the game including Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, Steve Elkington, Lee Trevino, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia.
More modern winners include Rickie Fowler 2015, Webb Simpson in 2018 and Rory McIlroy in 2019. Thanks to COVID, there was no 2020 winner. One DFS pick that I’ve been loving from my “age discrimination” department is Jim Furyk who is eligible for The Champion’s Tour but has a perfect cut record over close to 10 PGA Tour starts. He also has two runners up at The Players in 2014 and more relevantly in 2019. Ian Poulter has been a bit of a DFS bargain in recent weeks and he has a 2017 T-2. There’s nothing not to like about Xander Schauffele in DFS other than his price. He came in T-2 in 2018, the year that Simpson won.
With the scent of a major in the Jacksonville air, it is important to note that Brooks Koepka withdrew despite a very nice performance two weeks ago due to a knee issue. This man gets serious for majors and I would count The Players in the same category but he’s out to there’s one less stud at the top of your shopping list that you don’t have to cerebrate over this week. At The Masters, don’t forget his name but I am getting a little ahead of myself.
Here’s an entirely free lineup for you this week with MORE for subscribers (DraftKings Prices)
|Player #1||V. Hovland||$9,300|
|Player #2||T. Finau||$9,100|
|Player #3||J. Kokrak||$7,700|
|Player #4||W. Zalatoris||$7,600|
|Player #5||J. Spieth||$8,600|
|Player #6||B. Horschel||$7,700|
Remaining cash $0
Viktor Hovland ($9,300) is ready to pop for a victory. T-2 at the WGC Workday was a killer payday and good for FedEx points but this young man needs some bling on his resume and a win at The Players will do just that for him. He is perfect on cuts at 11/11 and averages nearly 90 fantasy points a week. He’s good for GPPs and 50-50s. He could win the whole thing and that’s in a star studded field. The only thing he’s missing is the experience and that’s coming soon. Maybe, this week?
Tony Finau ($9,300) I could have found a more expensive player but I just can’t NOT go with Tony Finau this week. There are a bunch of players (see the one above and a few below) who are just on the verge of winning. I think Tony Finau is the most likely as well as the safest DFS bet in that he’s become a predictable Top 10 player every week on the tour. I’d love to be his money manager as he keeps winning in millions of dollars in winnings. He too is a perfect 11/11 on cuts and has an even better fantasy point total average than Viktor Hovland at 93. You could spend more money this week but I wanted to handcuff Hovland and Finau on the high end of my lineup.
Jason Kokrak ($7,700) I have been on the Jason Kokrak bandwagon since Riviera and he hasn’t let me down especially last week at Arnie’s Invitational where he rocked a T-8 position. For the money, this long-ball hitter is trending up and relatively a good value in a very tempting field loaded with great players. His 10/13 cuts makes him a safe bet on that front. His 68.7 fantasy points isn’t great but it isn’t bad considering his recent performances which have been slightly higher.
Will Zalatoris ($7,600) Why is Will Zalatoris priced at $7,600? We’ve been riding this horse for a long time now and I am still not getting off. Even if he blows up this week – he owes us nothing but he isn’t going to blow up as this kid is the real real. 27/28 cuts – are you kidding? 88.8 Fantasy points? Again, are you kidding for $7,600. Oh, and 15/28 Top 10s too, don’t forget. Put this guy in your lineup and rip off the knob.
Jordan Spieth ($8,600) so with the money that I saved with Kokrak and Zalatoris, I was able to go back to the lower levels of the A-list and return to my “on the verge of winning” players in Mr. Spieth. NBC is dying for Jordan to win as he’s a Tour and fan favorite. He’s been knocking on the door since Phoenix and while not priced fantastically, he too could pop this week and nobody would be shocked. He’s 7/11 on cuts which is good but not a total lock. His fantasy point average at 67 isn’t great at all but he is fourth place at Arnie’s event rocked a 93.5. He’s due and we all know it.
Billy Horschel ($7,700) is another value play this week as his impressive second place finish at the WGC has to have caught your attention. He’s been close to winning but he’s not crazy expensive in this loaded DFS field. 9/11 cuts is close to perfect which we love. 71.4 average weekly fantasy points is pretty strong too considering his cost. There are others you could spec into this spot but I like Horschel in this lineup.
Why Should You Spend $99 To Be a Yearly Subscriber?
• The free month program is ending soon. You can read all of our picks for a month for free (for a limited time) over all sports and $99 for a year after that.
• Read my Have’s and Have-not’s lineup that includes a sneaky, cut-making $6,000 player that will be a very low percentage own. A great GPP play
• A super-star not to pick that you might not expect.
Here’s A High-Low Lineup For The Players Championship
|Player #1||D. Johnson||$11,200|
|Player #2||W. Simpson||$9,500|
|Player #3||X. Schauffele||$11,200|
|Player #4||B. Steele||$6,700|
|Player #5||J. Vegas||$6,300|
|Player #6||J. Kelly||$6,000|
$0 leftover salary
Dustin Johnson – I am really going out on a limb here by taking the Number One player in the world who’s been playing pretty damn well lately. He’s perfect on cuts and nearly perfect on Top 10s. He averages close to 100 fantasy points per week. This lineup is about going very hard on the high end and making it up with value later. Dustin is at the top of the high end picks.
Webb Simpson’s history at TPC Sawgrass and his perfect 9/9 cuts made makes him my number two high end pick for this have’s and have not’s lineup. I don’t need to tell you that he’s a killer. 89.4 average fantasy points per week. 4/9 Top 10s. You see where I am going with this line up right.
Xander Schauffele is the last of the very high end players that I can afford in this unbalanced lineup. If past history is an indicator of future performance then Xander is in line for a good week in 2021 at The Players. His average fantasy points at 96.6 is like DJ’s and absurd. A perfect 9/9 cuts made makes him pretty much a lock there this week (we hope) and 5/9 Top 10s is only icing on the cake. Now, we need to go find some cut-making value and this is why you pay us $99 per year.
Brendan Steele, like Will Zalatoris, is our DFS horse that we refuse to dismount. He nearly won at The Sony. He makes a ton of cuts and is always around. At $6,700 in this stacked field, he’s who we start our value picks with. 9/12 cuts, 64.3 FPS and one Top 10. Not bad. Just make the cut this week for us and we are good with the killers that we have in position 1-3 in this line up.
Jhonattan Vegas at $6,300 jumps out at me for this lineup. 7/11 cuts, 59.2 FPS per week and one Top 10 makes him our wanna-be Brendan Steele. Again, just make the cut and we are thrilled with this lineup. He’s not a bad bet to do that but the competition is strong this week as you will see.
Jerry Kelly is the first player that I can remember picking since Stewart Hagestad as an am at The Masters (and he made the cut btw) at $6,000. Age discrimination in DFS pricing is real yet Kelly at the bottom barrel price of $6,000 has 16/17 cuts made. He might not be perfect like Furyk in terms of cut but like his elder Champions Tour buddy, he’s a near lock to make the cut in a normal tour event. Will he a The Players? That’s the gamble. If he doesn’t, we’ve got some serious spank in front of him to hopefully cover the risk.
• If you can’t stomach the risk (and I get it, trust me) on a Champions Tour guy playing in a loaded field at The Players perhaps remove Jerry Kelly ($6,000) and Jhonattan Vegas ($6,300) for a total of $12,300 and look to replace them with the likes of Doug Ghim ($6,200) who is 10/13 for cuts and nearly 70 FPTS per event average or Stewart Cink ($6,200) who has two Top 10s and 7/11 cuts. Sam Ryder ($6,300) is a more risky replacement on the cut front but he’s been playing very well recently.
• I loved Bryson’s win in Orlando but I am concerned about an emotional hangover coming into this week. He’s a killer – don’t get me wrong. I am just going to pass this week because of last week.
• On the high end, I might try to build a lineup like our free one with two high end killers such as Morikawa and Cantlay. You might consider that too. Maybe try one with Berger too, on the high end?
• Sungjae Im speaks to me but he didn’t make these two lineups. 14/15 cuts is good but under 70 FPS for $8,300 made me say no. I hope he doesn’t prove me wrong. Matthew Fitzpatrick has been part of our guidance in the same price range this week but I think the youngster is poised to be overwhelmed with the scope of this event but I could be wrong. I love this kid otherwise.
• Could Rickie Fowler relive the moment and get back to The Masters in dramatic style? Yeah, I didn’t think so either but The Golf Channel won’t stop with the highlights.
This is one hell of a field. Pick carefully as there is so much talent paired with so much value. Not everybody can make the cut. Look to that as a key factor as always.
COVID-19 is as real as a heart attack, and players in all sports are being pulled from action. Keep an eye out for anything fishy, and make changes as needed. This is why we have alternative picks for you offered here.
Go win your lineups and then tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.
Best of luck and have fun!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?