Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: Valspar Championship
We stay in Florida for another week and I guarantee that Adam Scott will not win this week. He’s not in the field. This week’s tournament is the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida for at the Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead course). We have a cut this week so they’ll be a nice Friday sweat. Our friends at DraftKings continue to roll out some fantastic contests. And I’m here to help you win some dough.
It’s a great week to check out DraftKings as they have some top notch contests.
Come on over and take a look.
It’s another Florida course this week, but it’s a bit different than what we’ve seen the last couple of weeks. The Copperhead course at Innisbrook is a tight course which reminds players of days gone by when shot-making was necessary on every course. Copperhead is a 7,340 yard course with a par-71 on the scorecard and bermudagrass on the greens
The weather looks like it will play some games this week. We could see some wind on Thursday and maybe rain on Friday. Check back on Wednesday night to see if there is an advantage to one set of tee times over another.
The field drops off quite a bit from the WGC last week, but that just means more opportunities for us to exploit.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
Copperhead has been the only host for the Valspar so we’ll be able to lean on course history this week.
So, here is the top 20 for the last three years:
Let’s take a look at the statistical angles in for this week’s tournament.
Par 4 Efficiency (400 – 450 yards): Eight of the 10 par 4s here are between 400 and 458 yards. That’s right. 80% of the pars are all in the same neighborhood in terms of length. When we have so many holes with similar lengths we’ll focus on efficiency from that distance.
Bogey Avoidance (BA): There were only nine eagles from the whole field last year. Nine. NINE! We’ve used this as a tiebreaker in past weeks, but it holds more value this week. There just aren’t a lot of chances to make up for mistakes this week.
Birdie or Better % (Fairway): This week we’re going to focus on those players who can score from the fairway. It seems odd that some would struggle from the fairway, but there are golfers who play better here.
Proximity to the Hole (Prox): We want players who can get it close to the hole so the scoring is easier.
Driving Accuracy (DA): Accuracy is a tiebreaker for me this week. I’ll take the more accurate player if all else is equal.
And each week, we’ll look at Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G).
DraftKings Expert Picks
Jordan Spieth | $12,800 – Spieth finished T17 last week at a course that isn’t suited to his game. And that gives us a glimmer that we hope becomes blinding sunlight. He won here last year and profiles as the nearly perfect option this week. With the values at the bottom of the salary range you can easily roster Spieth if you’d like and have money to spend elsewhere.
Henrik Stenson | $11,500 – If you don’t want to spend up for Spieth, you can get the Swedish version for $1,300 less. Nearly everything we said about Spieth applies to Stenson.
Danny Willett | $10,800 – I’m pretty surprised to see Willett at third in salary and I imagine he’s going to disappoint. It’s not that he’s a bad golfer – he’s great. It’s just that he’s going to have to perform nearly perfectly in his debut here to justify his price.
Louis Oosthuizen | $10,600 – Oosty debuted here four years ago and finished a solid T20. Since that debut, Oosthuizen has missed three straight cuts at the Valspar. What gives? It’s not clear why he’s struggled. He comes in playing well so perhaps that overcomes the poor history.
Patrick Reed | $10,400 – Now this is a course that Reed can win at. And he nearly did last year as he lost in a playoff to finish T2. He’s always volatile so I rarely use him in cash games, but in GPPs he’s an excellent option.
Charl Schwartzel | $10,200 – Schwartzel’s played here once (2012) and missed the cut. His current season statistical profile fits the course nicely even if his 2015 stats don’t quite mesh with the course. I’m not too worried about his limited track record here as many of the Euros didn’t play this tournament regularly. But, with the move in schedules we’ve seen a deeper field than years’ past.
Justin Thomas | $10,000 – Thomas has made three cuts in a row so his current form is solid. And in his first trip to the Valspar he finished in a tie for tenth. He also teed it up here at the Southern Amateur in 2011. With all of that, I’m probably going to go down in salary from him as I think his driving accuracy could cause him some issues this week.
Matt Kuchar | $9,800 – Kuchar’s profile works nicely here, but for some reason it hasn’t worked the last two years (T33 and T38). But, prior to those two “disappointing” finishes were all in the top 15. I’ll be running Kuch out there in a lot of cash games.
Harris English | $9,600 – English has been playing very well in 2016 with two top 10 finishes in five events. He’s made the weekend in three of four trips to the Valspar including two top 10s. Current form meets course history. The nexus we like to see which means he’ll miss the cut.
Branden Grace | $9,500 – Grace gave us all hope at the end of Sunday’s round last week. He had five birdies and an eagle including a run of four birdies in a row on the back nine. He’s an excellent GPP option as he has top-10 upside and won’t be highly owned.
Jason Dufner | $9,400 – I get that Duf will probably be highly owned this week. For good reason as his profile fits ((34th from the par 4 distance we like this week). He’s also made seven straight cuts here with every finish in the top 30 and four straight top 25s.
Ryan Moore | $9,300 – Moore’s profile works and it showed last year with a solo fifth place finish. He also has two top 15 finishes in three 2016 starts. He’s not terribly exciting, but he’ll likely see the weekend and be one of the contenders. He’ll probably be low owned as he sits between Duf and G-Mac who will be more popular this week.
Graeme McDowell | $9,200 – I might shy away from a debutant at such a tough course, but these are the types of courses the old McDowell would flourish at. We’ve seen some of those old flourishes lately with McDowell. His current form is solid as he was T28 last week at the WGC and fifth two weeks prior at the Honda. His seasonal profile fits very nicely this week as his driving accuracy (fourth so far in 2015-2016) should give him a nice advantage.
Kevin Na | $9,100 – I’m not sure what to do with Na as his current form has fallen off a bit since his hot start to the 2015-2016 season. His profile works and he’s finished in the top 10 in the last two years here. Do you like course history? If so, then roster him with confidence.
Webb Simpson | $8,900 – Check to make sure that Simpson is in the field as he withdrew from the Honda Classic two weeks ago. There is some conjecture that he has a back issue and those can tricky. His profile works perfectly and is a great play if he is in the field.
K.J. Choi | $8,800 – I think a lot of folks will be scared off by this price for what is seen as a “pedestrian” golfer. However, Choi’s current form belies that belief. Choi has two top five and three top 20 finishes in his five 2016 events. His profile works and especially in par 4 efficiency from 400-450 yards. He hasn’t done well at the Valspar recently, but he did win in 2006 and has three top 10s overall at this event.
Ryan Palmer | $8,600 – Palmer is five of seven in cuts made at the Valspar. He has only one top 25 (2006) and his last trip here was 2013 (T30). His profile is quite a good fit for the course and I imagine he won’t be highly owned.
Bill Haas | $8,500 – Haas has made four of seven cuts here with two top 20 finishes. He’s only played here once in the last four years (T14 in 2014). His stats profile is fine for this week and his current form is a bit bumpy with two missed cuts out of four tourneys that actually have cuts. I’m not feeling Haas this week.
Gary Woodland | $8,400 – I like Woodland just about every week. His game has really come around this year and I like him even more. He won here in 2011 and also had a T8 in 2014. Woodland sits 12th in SG:T2G this year and 33rd in par 4 efficiency from 400-450 yards. Take me to the promised land!
Russell Knox | $8,400 – Knox has made three trips to Valspar and has made the cut the last two years. He profile rates as one of the best (especially last year’s stats). He’s made four of six cuts on Tour this year, but hasn’t finished better than T26 (the Honda).
Luke Donald | $8,300 – So, Donald hurt us last year when he finished T53 after finishing in the top six for four straight years. His current form isn’t too great either. But, the course history is just too much to ignore as we’ve seen flashes of the old Donald this year even if not recently.
Kevin Streelman | $8,200 – Streelman has also won here back in 2013. He’s made four straight cuts here. The current form is good (three top 20 finishes in four 2016 starts). The profile works as well especially his work in 2016. He seems like a safe play.
Fredrik Jacobson | $8,100 – FreddieJacs has made the cut in each of his two trips to Innisbrook. There isn’t a lot in his profile to recommend him unless this becomes a putting contest. He’s made four of five cuts in 2016 with two top 10s. He finished T26 at the Honda (as in Florida) two weeks ago.
Danny Lee | $8,000 – He’s not in the best form but his course history here is actually a bit better than it looks at first glance. Lee finished T7 here last year after missing the cut in his first trip two years ago. But, if you look closer you’ll see that Lee actually led two years ago after the first round. He blew up on Friday with a 79 to miss the cut by two strokes.
Charles Howell III | $7,900 – California Charlie may have one more last gasp on the East Coast. He has three top 10s here, has made nine of 12 cuts overall and finished T14 and T10 in the last two Valspars. As per usual, he’s struggled since hitting the East Coast, but this tourney has been different for him recently.
Sean O’Hair | $7,800 – I know his results here look ugly for a long stretch. But, O’Hair isn’t that golfer anymore as it seems he’s found his old game again. The profile works and he finished T2 last year. He also won back in 2008.
Jason Kokrak | $7,800 – Kokrak has finished in the top 15 in back to back years at the Valspar. So, he has to be considered even if his profile doesn’t seem to work.
Sung Kang | $7,700 – I played a round once with a guy who used to be a caddy. It was amazing how much better I played when I had a person who know what he was doing on the course telling me what to do and where to go. Kang’s game has blossomed when Fluff moved to his bag earlier this year. He has three straight top 20s and back to back top 10 finishes. Fluff used to caddy for Jim Furyk and Furyk had tons of success here. You may have voted for Kodos, but I’m voting for Kang this week.
John Huh | $7,700 – Huh is playing some excellent golf this year with five made cuts in six tourneys with three top 15s in the last four starts. And his statistical profile from this year fits the course this week. He made his first cut here last year after four attempts with a T33. His current form makes him dangerous this week.
Charley Hoffman | $7,600 – C-Hoff is six of nine in cuts made without a top 10 finish. He missed the cut last year and has alternated good and bad results the last four years. He’s made four cuts in a row coming in, but the profile doesn’t look good. Pass.
Patton Kizzire | $7,600 – Kizzire finished the Web.com Tour at third in bogey avoidance last year (one spot ahead of Michael Kim). And also knows how to score as he scored on every shape and size of hole on the Web.com Tour. He’s in solid form with five straight cuts made. He’s one of my favorites in this price range.
Martin Kaymer | $7,500 – Kaymer’s form has been pretty poor in 2016 with two missed cuts in four events. He’s made one and missed one cut at the Valspar with a T20 in 2011. IT’s tough to know which Kaymer will show up, but his form is pretty disconcerting.
Graham DeLaet | $7,500 – DeLaet has a nice record here with two top 20 finishes in three starts. The problem is his form is, well, poor. He did make the cut at the Honda (T53) two weeks ago so maybe it’s the start of something. I’ll let you find out.
Ian Poulter | $7,400 – Pouter finished T24 last year at the Valspar in his second trip to the event. He missed two cuts out west, but came back to Florida with a T43 at the Honda. The Englishman’s profile from 2015 fits extremely well, but his work in 2016 doesn’t.
Kevin Chappell | $7,400 – Chappell’s course history here (three missed cuts and a T70 in four trips) has me off Chappell this week.
Keegan Bradley | $7,400 – Bradley’s only start here was in 2011 and he missed the cut. He’s current form is awful with four of five missed cuts in 2016. Oddly, his profile from the last two years fit nicely (and his 2016 is actually better even though he’s not played well).
Chez Reavie | $7,300 – Reavie had back to back top 20 finishes here in 2011 and 2012, but hasn’t had any other results worth mentioning in six trips. He’s one of my top 10 players when looking only at 2016 stats and he closed out California nicely with a T26 and solo seventh.
Russell Henley | $7,300 – Henley makes his debut at the Valspar this week and he is not playing well have missed four of five cuts in 2016. Somehow he’s first in par 4 efficiency in 2016 and so his profile looks good (and his 2016 is OK as well). But, that form is scary. He’ll be low-owned if you want to risk it.
Daniel Berger | $7,300 – It’s not Berger-Time for me this week. His driving accuracy just won’t let him succeed here.
Vijay Singh | $7,200 –Singh finished T10 last year at the Valspar. And he comes in off his best PGA Tour finish (T6 at the Honda) in more than two years. He’s tenth this season in par 4 efficiency from 400-450 yards. The rest of his profile this year isn’t great though last year’s profile looks better.
Steve Stricker | $7,200 – The Stricker of old would have manhandled this course. And the results show he did with three straight top 15 finishes from 2008 to 2010). He’s not played here since 2010. He’s in off his best finish of 2016 (T11) after missing three straight cuts. He could make an interesting option this week.
John Senden | $7,200 – Senden is a former winner here (2014), but it’s not clear he’s got the same game now. He missed the cut prior to the win and after the win. He finished T10 at the Honda two weeks ago which gives us some hope as he’d been struggling up until then.
Jonas Blixt | $7,100 – Blixt is one for three in cuts made here with his only weekend coming from his debut three years ago. But, he’s a nearly impossible player to call as he goes in and out of form as quickly as any golfer. His 2016 results are a testament to that volatility – MC, T28, T6, MC, third, MC (Honda two weeks ago). Blixt’s profile is a fair match this week and he was 16th last year in par 4 efficiency (400-450 yards). He’s a GPP option if only for the chance he could finish top 10.
Jamie Lovemark | $7,100 – Bomber who is inaccurate off the tee seems like a bad fit this week. He does have one made cut (T44) in two trips.
Blayne Barber | $7,100 – The Florida native played here as an amateur golfer so his missed cut last year wasn’t the first time he’d seen the course. He comes in off his best finish (T3) in ages. There is nothing that screams use me in his profile. But, he’s played these bermudagrass greens his whole life and he can build on his excellent finish at the Honda.
Ernie Els | $7,000 – Els has two top 10s and three missed cuts in six trips to the Valspar over the last 12 years. He’s made five of seven cuts in 2016 across the European and PGA Tours. There isn’t a lot of upside here, but he could be a safe play in a stars and scrubs lineup.
Luke List | $7,000 – List has back to back top 20 finishes on Tour and all three of his made cuts this year have ended in top 20s. He’s also missed four cuts so the consistency isn’t there yet. His profile is OK with one of the more attractive parts being his bogey avoidance which can help.
Cameron Tringale | $7,000 – Tringale has made four straight cuts at the Valspar with three straight top 25 finishes. His current form is awful as he’s made two of five cuts in 2016. The profile works and the course history is excellent. Perhaps that shakes the rust off his game.
Francesco Molinari | $6,900 – The Italian’s inclusion here is based on his 2015 statistical profile. However, he hasn’t shown that same game so far this year. He debuted last year with a T40 and that’s probably his upside this week.
Martin Laird | $6,900 – Laird had a T5 in 2011 here and has made four of five cuts overall. He missed the cut at the Honda two weeks ago, but had made all four of his prior cuts this season.
Jeff Overton | $6,900 – Overton is five for seven at the Valspar with two top 20s (including a T5 in 2012). He finished T21 at the Honda so he’s in Florida form.
Andrew Loupe | $6,900 – That driving accuracy is scary. He’s playing well with five straight cuts made including his T14 at the Honda. He’s shown he can score when he makes the weekend. The problem is that his accuracy could cause him to miss the weekend. He’s a GPP option.
Cameron Smith | $6,900 – Now this is a course my guy can handle. He’s much better on the shorter courses that require some creativity and putting the ball in the right place. Copperhead is that kind of course. The young Aussie is priced near a lot of other more familiar names so ownership levels should be low.
Troy Merritt | $6,800 – Merritt’s solo sixth last year means he should be sprinkled in a couple of GPPs. The profile doesn’t work so you’re banking on that one result.
Will Wilcox | $6,800 – You heard the man! Git to gitting!
Patrick Rodgers | $6,800 – Rodgers played here for the Southern Amateur back in 2011 so it’s not truly his competitive debut this week. He’s missed three of four cuts on Tour in 2016. If you roster him this week it’s based on his Southern Amateur finish of T16. That’s pretty thin.
Stewart Cink | $6,700 – Cink’s made three cuts in a row in 2016 and had some success a few years ago at the Valspar (T2 in 2008 and two top 20 finishes in 2011 and 2013. And his profile works extremely well. Hmm….he’s certainly an option though his upside is limited.
Padraig Harrington | $6,700 – Paddy’s made three cuts in a row on Tour and has had some success here in the past.
Nick Taylor | $6,700 – Taylor looks to be moving in the correct direction as he’s finished T65, T30 and T26 (NTO) in his last three events. Taylor’s profile works and he finished T24 last year in his debut. He’s a viable option this week.
Boo Weekley | $6,700 – Looking at 2015 stats, Weekley fits nicely. This year? Not so much. He finished second here in 2013, but looks to be the anomaly as he has no other finish better than T22 (in 2002).
Colt Knost | $6,700 – Just makes cuts. At least recently. He’s not had any success at Copperhead in three trips. The 2015 profile works so he could be a safer cut-maker this week to balance out some riskier lineups.
Retief Goosen | $6,600 – Goosen is nine for 12 in cuts made here with three top 10s and a win in 2009. His last three years at Copperhead haven’t been good, but his current form is OK with three straight cuts made. I wouldn’t go crazy here, but he could be safe cut-maker this week.
Daniel Summerhays | $6,600 – T10 last year and picked up a T37 last week at the Honda. The profile’s not great, but it didn’t matter last year.
Lucas Glover | $6,600 – Glover is up to 127th in SG:P this year. For most golfers, that wouldn’t be news, but for Glover it’s a minor miracle. The rest of his stats check out nicely for the Valspar. Glover has three top 25 finishes in the last six years here. He’s made three of six cuts in 2016, but only one of his last four so his form isn’t the best coming in this week.
Brian Harman | $6,600 – Current form is too bad to recommend him even though he’s finished top 25 in two of four trips to the Valspar.
Vaughn Taylor | $6,500 – Taylor’s made only two of six cuts in 2016. But, one of those cuts made as a win. While his profile this year fits he’s quite a volatile option.
Shawn Stefani | $6,500 – Stefani’s form is awful with four missed cuts in five 2016 events. However, he’s finished in the top 20 in his two trips to the Valspar and his stats from last year fit very nicely. It’s a big risk based on his current form, but there could be solid upside here.
Harold Varner III | $6,500 – HVIII has actually done pretty well on par 4s from the key distance this week (55 th overall in 2016). But, he makes a ton of bogeys to go along with that excellent scoring. He’s a GPP option only.
Jerry Kelly | $6,400 – Kelly’s a good fit statistically though he’s only made eight of 13 cuts here with only two top 20 finishes.
George McNeill | $6,400 – Excellent course history. Ugly current form. You choose.
Chesson Hadley | $6,400 – Hadley has made two cuts in two trips in the last two years to the Valspar. He finished T14 two years ago. He’s made three of five cuts in 2016 and had a solid T21 at the Honda two weeks ago.
David Toms | $6,300 – Toms recent record here is poor (three straight missed cuts), but he has had some success in the past. His profile lines up for this course and has made one of three cuts in 2016.
Chad Campbell | $6,300 – Some success here in the distant past, but his current form isn’t too good.
Brett Stegmaier | $6,300 – Stego played his college golf at the University of Florida and his 2016 PGA profile fits pretty well.
Brendon Todd | $6,300 – Awful current form. Solid course history. Lean on the current form and stay away.
Jim Herman | $6,300 – Herman doesn’t do particularly well from the key par 4 distance this week, but the rest of the profile works.
Stuart Appleby | $6,200 – Appleby past offers some hope this week as he put up back to back top 10 finishes in 2008 and 2009. And he’s made back to back cuts on Tour with a T26 at the NTO backed up by a T37 at the Honda. Could offer some safety in a stars/scrubs lineup.
Zac Blair | $6,200 – Blair missed the cut last year in his debut at Copperhead. But it’s a course where it seems he should be able to do well especially with his aptitude on par 4s from 400-450 yards. His form is off so you’re banking on him rounding back into form this week.
Justin Leonard | $6,100 – Leonard is like Appleby (except he’s not Australian). His profile actually fits a bit and he had some success here in the past (three top 20s in four years between 2010 and 2013).
Michael Kim | $6,100 – Kim played well at the Southern Amateur in 2011 finishing T8. And like Patton Kizzire he was excellent in Bogey Avoidance and scored on all types of holes. An intriguing option among many others down here.
Spencer Levin | $5,900 – Levin’s profile works here. He’s made four of five cuts here. He’s made three cuts in a row coming in.
Sam Saunders | $5,900 – Saunders is my guy on Florida courses. He just seems to putt lights out on the bermudagrass. Saunders has actually played this course once and finished at T24. He played well atthe Honda Classic a couple of weeks ago where he finished T14. He led the field at the Valspar last year in par 5 scoring (8-under), but struggled on the par 4s (6-over). He offers tremendous value down here.
Hudson Swafford | $5,900 – Swafford is going to be heavily owned this week as he’s Will Wilcox lite in the DFS world. He’s a guy whose stats check out each week (as they do this week). He is severely underpriced and is a cash game option even if he missed the cut here last year.
Steven Bowditch | $5,800 – Nah.
Brendon de Jonge | $5,800 – De Jonge has some reasonable results here having made five of eight cuts with a top 10 (T5) back in 2011. His profile from last year is an excellent fit for this course. His current form is pretty poor with only two of six cuts made in 2016 and no result better than T33.
Ricky Barnes | $5,700 – Will likely lead in Round 1. Will likely not matter by Friday.
Mark Hubbard | $5,700 – Another odd guy to see down here so low. He’s made four cuts in a row and six of seven in 2016 with a top finish of T26 at Pebble Beach. He’s never played here, but he offers a lot of value at this price.
Erik Compton | $5,600 – Florida guy who can catch lightning in a bottle. Has made two of three cuts here.
Justin Hicks | $5,600 – Hicks is playing on a Major Medical Extension so he needs results to get his card back. He had back to back top 35 finishes in 2013 and 2014 here before missing the cut last year. Perhaps there is something here for Hicks.
Thomas Aiken | $5,600 – Aiken is an accuracy maven, but he just can’t score. He’ll be on every fairway so the chances will be there and he could see the weekend which has value this week.
Gregory Yates | $5,400 – The Texas A&M product turned pro last year. He seems to hit the ball a long way with little idea of where it’s going. He’s not really a fit this week.
Good luck this week! Head over to DraftKings to choose your squad for this week.
Roster size: 6 Golfers
Golfers on each team will accumulate points as follows:
- Per Hole Scoring
- Double Eagle (DBL EAG): +20 PTs
- Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
- Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
- Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
- Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
- Double Bogey (DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Worse than Double Bogey (WORSE DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Tournament Finish Scoring
- 1st: 30 PTs
- 2nd: 20 PTs
- 3rd: 18 PTs
- 4th: 16 PTs
- 5th: 14 PTs
- 6th: 12 PTs
- 7th: 10 PTs
- 8th: 9 PTs
- 9th: 8 PTs
- 10th: 7 PTs
- 11th–15th: 6 PTs
- 16th–20th: 5 PTs
- 21st–25th: 4 PTs
- 26th–30th: 3 PTs
- 31st–40th: 2 PTs
- 41st-50th: 1 PTs
- Streaks and Bonuses
- Streak of 3 Birdies of Better (MAX 1 Per Round) (3+ BIR STRK): +3 PTs
- Bogey Free Round (BOG FREE RD): +3 PTs
- All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (ALL 4 RDS UND 70): +5 PTs
- Hole in One (HOLE IN ONE): +10 PTs
Scoring Notes: Ties for a finishing position will not reduce or average down points. For example, if 2 golfers tie for 3rd place, each will receive the 18 fantasy points for the 3rd place finish result. Playoff Holes will not count towards final scoring, with the exception of the “finishing position” scoring. For example, the golfer who wins the tournament will receive the sole award of 1st place points, but will not accrue points for their scoring result in the individual playoff holes.
Player Lock Notes: All golfers lock at the time the first golfer tees off on day 1 of an event.
Full rules are located here for DraftKings Daily Fantasy golf.