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FantasyDFSExperts Picks for The American Express: January 21 to 24, 2021

Patrick Cantlay
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 17: Patrick Cantlay tees off on the fifth hole during the third round of The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek on October 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV (Photo by Matthew Bolt/Icon Sportswire)

Congratulations to Kevin Na ($9,200 DK $10,800 FD) 259 (-21) for winning the Sony Open last week. There is a 156-player full field this week, with a 36-hole cut. The defending champion, Andrew Landry ($7,000 DK $8,300 FD), won last year at 262 (-26), over Abraham Ancer ($9,100 DK $10,900 FD) at 264 (-24). The pro-am, five-day format of “The Hope,” playing three different courses, has been changed this year due to Covid-19 concerns. La Quinta Country Club has been dropped from the rotation and the TPC Stadium course along with the PGA West Nicklaus Tournament course will field the competition with the final round being hosted at the TPC Stadium course.  

This week at the (PGA West TPC Stadium ) course it will play to a Par of 72 at 7,300 yards. The (PGA West Nicklaus Tournament ) course will play to a par of 72 at 7,160 yards. The tees, fairway, rough areas, and the greens are all Bermuda grass, however they are over-seeded with rye grass for the green color and more robust playing surfaces during the winter months, while the Bermuda is dormant. Expect the putting surfaces to be running at 11.0 feet or more on the stimpmeter. The TPC Stadium course was designed by Pete Dye and the Nicklaus Tournament Resort course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, the legendary, PGA Tour Hall of Fame member. The (American Express Weather Forecast ) Thursday through Sunday, is for temperature highs ranging from 74 degrees on Thursday down to 63 degrees on Saturday, with wind reaching up to 10 to 12 miles per hour on Friday out of the SSE; Thursday, reaching 6 to 8 miles per hour out of the E; Saturday, 6 to 8 miles per hour out of the SW; and Sunday 5 to 7 miles per hour out of the WSW. It appears the most challenging tee time split will be the afternoon on Friday to get by the cut, so you might want to link on to the weather report above to check the hour by hour for Thursday and Friday before selecting your rosters.  

(The American Express – PGA Tour Website ) has produced winner’s that have predominantly gained strokes with ball striking stats with the emphasis from tee to green, on approach, combined with putting. There are quite a few long par three holes on both courses, so there is more emphasis on playing those well amongst previous champions, along with taking advantage of the par five holes. The majority of the previous champions here have been accurate drivers of the ball, hit a high percentage of greens, with many opportunities inside 10 feet. 

In addition to thoroughly combing through the stats prior to preparing my weekly FantasyDFSExperts recommendations, I review other expert’s opinions, I personally evaluate and view players weekly that are covered on television; I also consider recent form, tournament history, as well as current momentum and confidence a player exudes, especially in the aspects of their game that are most important to win or to have a high finish this week.      

FantasyDFSExperts will provide three core roster picks to assist you in building a winning team of six for a weekly competitive GPP play. Then exclusively for FantasyDFSExperts members, I will make additional predictions and recommendations to build the balance of your lineup with supporting statistical and trending analysis from the entire field. Last season I provided valuable insights each week leading to the majority of those recommendations making the cut from the bottom third of the salary rankings to allow you to stack your lineup with top players with a high probability to win. When a different play is in order, I will structure my recommendations accordingly, emphasizing the proper ratio of leaders, core, and dark horse, salary ranked players, to produce a winning ticket. In the 2020 season I predicted several winner’s out of the core category, and even out of the dark horse category, such as Stewart Cink, at the Safeway Classic. I also faded on favorites such as Bryson DeChambeau at The Masters, after he had won the U.S. Open only weeks before, because I did not feel his style of play and-or course history justified his salary, and he would not finish in the top 10 to 20 that week, which proved to be right on the money. I rely not only stats, but intuition and 30+ years of experience in the golf industry as a competitor, instructor, and coach. Knowing a competitor’s game and tendencies in a variety of environments “under the gun,” along with passing the eyeball test from week to week, produced a high probability of accurate predictions in 2020, my first year of providing this service for FantasyDFSExperts members.         

With this week not having many of the highest rated players in the field, I feel it is important to select one of the top salary ranked competitors, such as Patrick Cantlay ($11,100 DK $11,800 FD), or Patrick Reed ($10,200 DK $11,500 FD), combined with another three out of the top 50 ranked salary players such as, Matthew Wolff ($9,700 DK $11,000 FD), or Scottie Scheffler ($9,500 DK $11,300FD), along with Patton Kizzire ($8,400 DK $9,900 FD) or Chris Kirk ($7,600 DK $9,500 FD) to yield a winning roster. The recommended roster picks above and below will be competitors I will be selecting in multiple rosters I will enter in a GPP play this week.

KSCoaches Core Picks:

  1. Patrick Cantlay ($11,100 DK $11,800 FD)
  2. Scottie Scheffler ($9,500 DK $11,300 FD)
  3. Chris Kirk ($7,600 DK $9,500 FD)
  4. _______
  5. _______
  6. Vaughn Taylor ($6,800 DK $8,100 FD)

All of the above picks are based on these players being strong in the most important aspects of their games on these courses, current form, and competitive history at this venue in that order. There are several quality picks that are very undervalued throughout the field, especially in the $6,700 through $8,00 DK and $7,800 through $9,400 FD salary range. This week with a 156-player field, but somewhat watered down, I will recommend choosing a top-half heavy roster with one of the top four player’s, each in separate lineups, with another three to four roster players between the five and 60 ranked salary players, and the final pick as a value to make the cut, have a top 20 finish as your sixth man from the bottom third of the salary ranked competitors. 

FantasyDFSExperts will add to the obvious statistical analysis, with deeper research and the eyeball test. These details and trends from the entire field are only possible to come from someone that is intimately familiar with competitive golf, that is willing to go beyond the numbers and reaches the depth and breadth of the competitor and person to be out in front of positive results. While these are a few teasers for this week, more in-depth analysis and justification for my recommended lineup plays, or don’t plays this week, are exclusively available for members of FantasyDFSExperts.com. Beyond the obvious, pay attention to my free picks, combined with the more in-depth analysis exclusively for FantasyDFSExperts members and you could be cashing a three to six figure ticket. Join me on the members side and be enlightened. 

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The Line-Up Leader DFS Picks for The American Express: 2021

I consider the Leader’s this week to be Patrick Cantlay ($11,100 DK $11,800 FD), Brooks Koepka ($10,800 DK $11,700 FD), Tony Finau ($10,500 DK $11,200 FD), Patrick Reed ($10,200 DK $11,500 FD) Sungjae Im ($9,900 DK $11,100 FD), Matthew Wolff ($9,700 DK $11,000 FD) and Scottie Scheffler ($9,500 DK $11,300 FD). All of these competitors are consistently strong and leaders in the ball striking stats relative to strokes gained, have been in recent good form, most have experience and successful history on this course, with a good putting week, have the prerequisite skills to win and finish in the top 10, with Patrick Cantlay being the odds-on favorite to win. While Brooks Koepka ($10,800 DK $11,700 FD), is a leader that needs to be respected as a contender to win or to have a high finish at any event, he may be a fade this week with starting his competitive year here and being a first timer at this event. Although I do believe he will finish in the top 10 and he will be a good choice if you are selecting two leaders to head a roster with multiple entries, I wouldn’t hesitate to combine him with Patrick Cantlay or Reed in a single entry, then reaching down further in the salary rankings for your core picks.

The Core DFS Picks for The American Express: 2021

These are the core recommendations to fill the two through five spots in a variety of salary ranges that I believe will shine this week to have a top 10 to 20th place finish, hopefully leading to a nice pay day for you. Abraham Ancer ($9,100 DK $10,900 FD)Russell Henley ($9,000 DK $10,700 FD), Adam Long ($8,5000 DK $10,400 FD), Patton Kizzire ($8,400 DK $9,900 FD), Brian Harman ($8,100 DK $9,800 FD), Adam Hadwin ($8,000 DK $9,800 FD), Zach Johnson ($7,900 DK $9,600 FD), Cameron Davis ($7,700 DK $9,300 FD), Chris Kirk ($7,600 DK $9,500 FD), Sepp Straka ($7,400 DK $9,100 FD), and Brendan Steele ($7,300 DK $8,800 FD), all have consistent strokes gained tee to green, on approach, with putting, have been in recent good form, and have experience and positive results at the American Express or a similar course that demands the same skillset as the PGA West courses. With a hot putter, all have the potential to have a top 10 finish or to even win this week. I think there are many good two to five roster selections within the $7,300 to $9,300 DK or $8,800 to $10,700 FD, but these are my favorites. A fade I see in this salary range is Lucas Glover ($7,500 DK $9,300 FD), who is a great player, has not had a start in the new year, has been trending up in ball striking stats at the end of 2020, but is still losing strokes with putting each week. To be helpful in a GPP roster play this week Glover will need to finish in the top 10 to 20 and I do not think that will happen.

The Dark Horse DFS Picks for The American Express: 2021

There are several good values and dark horses that can have some success this week ranging in salary from $6,000 to $7,300 in DK and $7,000 to $8,700 in FD.  Excellent choices in this category are Peter Malnati ($7,200 DK $8,700 FD)James Hahn ($7,100 DK $8,700 FD), Andrew Landry ($7,000 DK $8,300 FD), Nick Taylor ($7,000 DK $8,500 FD), Denny McCarthy ($6,900 DK $8,300 FD), Vaughn Taylor ($6,800 DK $8,100 FD), Mark Hubbard ($6,700 DK $7,900 FD), and Austin Cook ($6,700 DK $7,900 FD). All of the aforementioned have had success during the latter half of the 2020 season with the key stats to excel in this week. A fade in this Dark Horse category, are all competitors in the $6,000 DK and $7,000 FD salary range. 

The aforementioned picks are designed to be for a six man GPP roster play, with the goal being to have all six competitors to make the cut, and to have a top 10 to 20th place finish. If you benefit from these opinions and recommendations, please send us any fodder for the “Wall of Fame” including screenshots. We will put them up on social and proclaim you the DFS champion of the world. Good luck, and Golf On!   

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