PGA

PGA DFS: Top Plays, GPP Pivots, and Ownership Projections for the Sony Open

We’re sticking around Hawaii for one more weekend as the Tour makes its way to Waialae CC. If you want a more in-depth look at the trends of how the course is played, head over to the course preview article for this week where you can see the stats I’m targeting when making my player pool. Long story short, it’s a 7,000-yard Par-70 course that allows for some solid scoring.

Two Weeks in Hawaii

There’s a lot of buzz this week about golfers who teed it up at the Tournament of Champions and will also play this weekend. It’s pretty intuitive to be curious about how golfers who’ve made both starts have performed in the past. There’s some survivorship bias there because the golfers who play in the Tournament of Champions obviously won a tournament last season. By default, they will typically be a cut above the rest talent-wise, but it’s still worth checking if there are some trends we can pull out. We’ll go quick hitter style so we can get into ownership for the week:

  • There are 46 golfers that have finished in the top three at the TOC. Just 8 of 46 (17.3 percent) have missed the cut in Waialae.  
  • There have been 140 golfers that finished in the top 10 at the TOC. Just 23 of 140 (16.4 percent) have missed the cut at the Sony the following week.

Checking The Chalk

Up at the top, we have Justin Thomas ($11,400) and Gary Woodland ($10,800) shaping up to be the two highest-owned golfers above $9,500. Thomas makes sense this week as he’s coming off an exceptional ball-striking week with a slight lack of scoring. We like betting on the ball-striking to continue and we’re trying to catch the waves of the putter. In much the same way fantasy production follows targets and air yards in football, DK points follow greens in regulation in golf. Thomas hit nearly 85 percent of greens in Kapalua and finished in a “disappointing” third place. People will be drawn to him as a former winner and as a prime scoring regression candidate. Woodland is dealing with the death of his grandmother which puts his status into question, but assuming he plays (which I do), he’s in great form. He also has the added buzz because of his course history with four straight finishes inside of the top 13.

After the first run of ownership projections, it appears that Charles Howell III ($8,900) and Scott Piercy ($7,600) will be heavily owned. Since 2008, Howell has finished in the top 10 on six separate occasions. He’s coming off of a 14th-place finish, which doesn’t sound impressive when you remember there were less than 40 golfers in the field. But he improved each day and only carded two bogeys over the final two rounds. From a cut equity perspective, even at his price, Howell makes sense. Piercy is another guy who’s going to be heavily owned but seems like a bit of an easier fade to me. He hit just 72 percent of greens last week and didn’t score particularly well on the Par 3s. As we make our way to a Par 70 course, that’s a bit concerning. He came into Kapalua last week with excellent form and maybe he found something over the weekend but we’ve seen this movie before with chalky Piercy.

Stewart Cink ($7,300) will be chalky down in the $7,000 range along with Sam Ryder ($7,200). Both are guys that are near and dear to my #brand but we haven’t seen them in a bit. Cink’s most recent start was at the CJ Cup in October and Ryder played a few weeks after that in Mexico. I think there’s a case to be made for either of these golfers from a cut perspective. Ryder was 18-of-25 in cuts worldwide last season while Cink was 17-of-24.

GPP Pivots

Just a quick note on my intentions for this article each week. It isn’t necessary for me to give out all the guys I think are worth considering for your player pool. The express object of this piece is to give you an idea of where ownership is shaking out and give you an option or two at each price range that makes sense despite the fact that they are projected at lower ownership. If you’re playing GPPs, it’s important to have a pivot or two in each of your lineups.

Marc Leishman ($10,500) is most likely going to be lower owned than Thomas and Woodland. His long-term scoring average is as good as anyone in the field not named Justin Thomas. He’s hit at least 70 percent of his greens in regulation in seven of eight events. Leishman also has just three missed cuts since this time last year. He’s averaging 74 DK points over that span.

Sungjae Im ($7,500) dominated from his first start on during the Web.com season last year. He led the money list wire-to-wire. Im was hit or miss during the fall season with two top 15s, a 41st-place finish, and two missed cuts. Half of his 16 rounds in that time were in the 60s, though, and during that stretch, he was 28-under on the Par 5s. At low ownership, he’s worth a shot in a GPP.

We saw Joel Dahmen’s ($7,200) ceiling in spurts last season. He made five starts over the fall swing. Over that stretch, Dahmen averaged just over 74 DK points and finished in the 60s in 10 of those 20 rounds. When Steve Stricker ($7,300) isn’t dominating the old folks on the Champions Tour he’s grinding out cuts on the PGA Tour. In his last 11 events on the PGA Tour, he’s made nine cuts and averaged 65 DK points. You could do worse at that price.

Cash Locks

With this being the first full-field event of the season, it’s important to find guys that you’re willing to go all in on. Last week, we hit big on both of these picks with Woodland finishing as the runner-up and Jon Rahm finishing in eighth place. Let’s see if we can repeat last week’s results. The two cash locks this week:

  • Marc Leishman ($10,500)
  • Charles Howell III ($8,900)

Ownership Projections - Farmers Insurance Open

Player NameSalaryOwn
Tony Finau990022.4
Tiger Woods1050021.6
Charles Howell III910020.4
Brandt Snedeker840020
Gary Woodland900019.6
Hideki Matsuyama800019.5
Jordan Spieth890018
J.B. Holmes79009.5
Marc Leishman970014.2
Abraham Ancer820015.6
Jon Rahm1140015.4
Rickie Fowler930015.4
Jason Day1010015.1
Xander Schauffele940014.2
Cameron Champ850014
Emiliano Grillo810013
Keith Mitchell700013.2
Alexander Noren860013.1
Luke List770012.8
Patrick Cantlay920012.7
Keegan Bradley830011.9
Justin Rose1080012.2
Rory McIlroy1110012.1
Joaquin Niemann730011.9
Cheng Tsung Pan750010.8
J.J. Spaun730010.8
Harold Varner720010.1
Patrick Reed87008.9
Kyle Stanley75008.4
Beau Hossler74008
Kevin Tway72007.7
Cameron Smith88007.6
Sung-jae Im78007.1
Aaron Wise78006.8
Daniel Berger79006.4
Nick Watney69006.4
Billy Horschel77006.3
Adam Scott75006
Branden Grace76004.9
Dominic Bozzelli69004.5
Brendan Steele71004.1
Sam Ryder67003.8
Ryan Palmer76003.7
Harris English73003.7
Jason Kokrak71003.7
Martin Laird70003.6
Charley Hoffman70003.4
Cameron Davis66003.4
Bronson Burgoon66003.2
Talor Gooch68003.1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat72003
Russell Knox74002.9
Chesson Hadley69002.9
Dylan Frittelli74002.8
Jimmy Walker72002.8
Si Woo Kim74002.7
Brian Harman71002.7
Sam Burns68002.4
Patrick Rodgers71002.2
Richy Werenski70002.2
Jhonattan Vegas69002.1
Adam Svensson68001.9
Trey Mullinax64001.9
Pat Perez72001.8
Carlos Ortiz65001.8
Ryan Moore73001.7
Charl Schwartzel72001.6
Danny Willett71001.6
Satoshi KODAIRA65001.6
Hudson Swafford73001.5
Danny Lee71001.5
Kevin Streelman68001.5
Peter Uihlein71001.4
Joel Dahmen69001.4
Brandon Harkins68001.3
Viktor Hovland67001.3
Rory Sabbatini67001.3
Michael Kim67001.3
Adam Long68001.2
Wyndham Clark63001.1
Denny McCarthy69001
JT Poston71000.9
Stewart Cink70000.9
Anders Albertson70000.9
Sung-Hoon Kang68000.9
Robert Streb67000.9
Ollie Schniederjans67000.8
Chris Kirk70000.7
Scott Langley66000.7
Sam Saunders64000.7
Braden Thornberry68000.6
Sebastian Munoz64000.6
Brice Garnett68000.5
Doug Ghim66000.5
Sean O'Hair69000.4
James Hahn66000.4
Brandon Hagy63000.4
Chris Thompson60000.4
Kramer Hickok64000.3
Meen Whee Kim64000.3
Michael Thompson70000.2
Bill Haas70000.2
Matt Jones67000.2
Tom Hoge67000.2
Scott Stallings69000.1
Bud Cauley69000.1
Ryan Blaum65000.1
Roberto Castro67000.1
Kelly Kraft65000.1
Hunter Mahan66000.1
Nick Taylor66000.1
John Huh66000.1
Roger Sloan66000.1
Alex Prugh65000.1
Stephan Jaeger65000.1
Scott Brown65000.1
Peter Malnati65000.1
Jonas Blixt65000.1
Tyler Duncan64000.1
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez64000.1
Adam Schenk63000.1
Alex Cejka63000.1
Chase Wright63000.1
Julian Etulain63000.1
Grayson Murray60000.1
Nick Hardy64000.1
Fabian Gomez64000.1
Mackenzie Hughes63000.1
Morgan Hoffmann63000.1
Cameron Tringale63000.1
Shawn Stefani62000.1
Seamus Power62000.1
Cody Gribble62000.1
John Senden62000.1
Benjamin Silverman62000.1
Ben Crane62000.1
Jim Herman62000.1
Chris Stroud62000.1
Seth Reeves61000.1
Jim Knous61000.1
Wes Roach61000.1
Henry Lebioda61000.1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee61000.1
Kyle Jones61000.1
Sang-moon Bae61000.1
Nicholas Lindheim61000.1
John Chin60000.1
Josh Teater60000.1
Sepp Straka60000.1
Rod Pampling60000.1
D.A. Points60000.1
Kenny Pigman60000.1
These projections were updated at 9 PM on Tuesday 1/22/2019.

By Matt Jones | @twitter.com/mattjonestfr | Archive