DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP
Daily fantasy golf requires a new approach for each and every event.
The course and field change week after week, making no two contests alike. That means you need to refine your approach for each PGA Tour event to try to find golfers who are primed to excel for your daily fantasy golf lineups.
Each week, we have a course primer to help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP.
|Key Stats for the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino CC|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Performance in Asia|
Let's get to the picks. For details on why these stats stand out this week, check out the course primer.
Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price: $11,800 | Paddy Power Win Odds +750) - Coming off an electric performance at the CJ CUP, Thomas is the rightful favorite and highest-priced golfer. His win at Nine Bridges was his second in three tries, and he's twice won at Kuala Lumpur at the now defunct CIMB Classic in Malaysia. JT is one of the hottest players in the world, with two wins and two more top-five finishes in his last four starts. He won't get credit for specific strokes gained data from last week because there was no ShotLink data, but his numbers befit a golfer who last finished outside the top 12 back in June -- 2nd in strokes gained: tee to green and birdies or better gained, 6th in strokes gained: approach, and 13th in bogeys avoided.
Rory McIlroy ($11,500 | +800) - The defending Player of the Year and FedEx Cup Champion continued his torrid form with a two top-10 showings and a T26 on the European Tour this fall. McIlroy just pulled off one of the most astounding seasons in recent memory with 13 top-10 finishes and 4 wins, and it's no surprise he boasts an elite statistical profile in the recent sample. He is first in strokes gained: tee to green, birdies or better gained, and bogeys avoided -- not just in this small field but on the entire PGA Tour over the last 50 rounds. That type of form is tough to buck, and while his Asian performance in official PGA events is limited to a few decent finishes at Sheshan International, Rory has a solid history in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the European circuit. With tight pricing and Thomas coming off a win and in terrific form himself, McIlroy could be a major ownership leverage play this week.
Adam Scott ($9,900 | +2200) - A lot of huge names fall in the chasm between McIlroy and Scott, but the Aussie offers value and relative price savings this week at $9,900. Scott nails the stats, as always, ranking second in approach, fourth tee to green, and seventh in both bogeys avoided and scrambling gained. He has great form on the Asian swing, with two top 10s at Kuala Lumpur (including a runner up in 2015), three top 20s at Sheshan International, and two top 25s at Nine Bridges. He also popped over to the Japan Golf Tour last week and finished T5 at the Japan Open Golf Championship.
Tony Finau ($9,200 | +3000) - The runner up at Sheshan International last year, Finau has cemented his elite status and continues to play his best golf in big-time events with strong fields. The same may well be true of two young phenoms priced within a few hundred dollars of Finau -- Viktor Hovland ($9,400, +2800) and Collin Morikawa ($9,100, +3000) -- but we haven't seen it yet. The market is itching to be first in line with these two studs, and that allows us leverage Finau at a similar price point in a perfect environment. Finau's fantasy production historically outpaces his finishing position, and in a no-cut event, that scoring difference is a huge advantage.
Byeong-Hun An ($8,700 | +4000) - An was in the mix last week but ultimately couldn't keep up with Thomas, and his T6 was his fourth top 20 in the Asian swing over the past four years. He's also featured well in European and Asian circuits, with top 10s at both Dubai and the Donghan Open in 2018. He came up playing the Challenge Tour before earning his PGA card. He has long been a good driver of the ball and over the last year has made major improvements in his scrambling game. He is first in the field in scrambling gained and third in bogeys avoided.
Marc Leishman ($8,500 | +4000) - If scramblers and putters are what we are looking for, Leishman must be considered in a bounce-back spot after a listless CJ CUP. He is an underrated ball-striker who excels with his long irons, and with all the doglegs and long par 3s on display this week, he should be able to show off all his skills. If the wind picks up and things get dicey, all the better for the Australian. He is 5th in scrambling gained and 21st in approach, and he's fared well in Asia over his career. He won the CIMB Classic last year and was runner up at the CJ CUP the year prior.
Sergio Garcia ($8,300 | +4500) - Garcia has been so up and down over the past couple years, with strong finishes sprinkled among high-profile flame outs. He failed to break 70 at the CJ CUP last week, but has otherwise been good in Asia over his career, with four top 25s in four tries at the CIMB Classic and finishes of T9 and T11 his last two times at the WGC-HSBC Champions. The iron play is still solid, and even with inconsistent form, he ranks 18th in strokes gained: approach. He hasn't finished better than 40th in an official PGA Tour event since the Memorial back in May, but the form is not quite so bleak with three top 10s, including a win on the European Tour since then.
Ryan Moore ($7,800 | +5000) - Moore finished eighth last week at the CJ CUP and is a two-time winner in Malaysia, and he has maintained a quality ball-striking profile over his career. There’s no reason to think he can't succeed on another similar track. He is 10th in strokes gained: approach and 23rd in strokes gained: tee to green, and he has finished inside the top 20 in four of his last six events.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,500 | +5000) - The field and our selections in this space are split pretty markedly -- strong iron players blended with scramblers and putters. Grillo, Garcia, and Moore find themselves in the former camp, and combining them with one of the top guys as part of a balanced build could pay dividends if this course turns into target practice. Grillo was in prime shape heading into the weekend before stumbling to the finish line last week in Korea, and without a cut to worry about, his floor is much higher in these types of events as his field-leading approach game should give him a few extra birdie chances over four full rounds. He played well in Asia last year, finishing T2 at the CIMB Classic, T14 at the WGC-HSBC, and T8 at the Dunlop Phoenix Open on the Japan Golf Tour.
Andrew Putnam ($7,400 | +6600) - On the flip side of the split is Putnam, a short-game specialist who could be paired with Marc Leishman and other good putters and scramblers to follow in Jason Day's footsteps at the Japan Skins contest. Putnam is solid across the board, ranking 15th in birdies or better gained, 22nd in scrambling gained, 25th in strokes gained: approach, and 29th in bogeys avoided. He closed strong for a T18 at the CJ CUP, and last year he played well at both the WGC-HSBC and Dunlop Phoenix Open, finishing T4 and T17, respectively.
Rory Sabbatini ($7,100 | +8000) - Sabbatini rates out very well statistically and is an immediate value at this price. He is 9th in scrambling gained, 10th in bogeys avoided, 12th in birdies or better gained, and 17th in strokes gained: tee to green. He does not make very many trips to Asia but did find a T8 at the CIMB Classic in fall 2014. Sabbatini stands out on the American courses we covered as potential comps in the primer, with a T18 at the Valspar Championship and a T10 at the RBC Heritage last year.
Graeme McDowell ($6,800 | +9000) - McDowell fits the same bill as Sabbatini -- he's been around for awhile but had a bit of a resurgence last season. A T16 finish last week can assuage any doubts around his fitness, and if we are looking for a grinder-centric lineup, then McDowell will be the last man in at $6,800. He is 3rd in scrambling gained and 24th in bogeys avoided.
Kevin Streelman ($6,700 | +9000) - Streelman showed well at the CJ CUP, finishing T12, and like Sabbatini he stands out more for his performance on comparable courses in the United States than in a small sample in Asia. He was T6 at the RBC Heritage, and his T7 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am was his fourth straight top 20. Streelman's long irons are his strength, and he ranks 13th in strokes gained: approach and 20th in strokes gained: tee to green. He is a modest 38th in scrambling gained, but part of that is that he's mostly hitting the green, ranking 7th in greens in regulation gained.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.