DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD
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, and our daily fantasy golf projections and lineup builder can help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD.
|Key Stats for the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (especially shorter than 450 yards)|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
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.
Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price $10,600 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds +1100) – JT once again comes in a few hundred below the top of the market after a T12 finish at THE CJ CUP, making him the instant value option at the top. The price for Rory McIlroy ($10,400 | +1200) is tempting, but Thomas has just been flat out better since the restart and we can’t pull the trigger on Rory until we see some signs of life. Thomas is 2nd in strokes gained: approach and birdies or better gained, 18th in strokes gained: off the tee, and 21st on par 5s. And he is the top par 4 player in the field, ranking 1st on all par 4s, 5th on holes between 400 and 450 yards, and 10th on holes between 350 and 400 yards.
Collin Morikawa ($9,800 | +1600) – A strong effort last week in Vegas puts us right back on Morikawa, who finally showed some life with his approaches last week. After two straight missed cuts and seven straight events where his iron play was not quite up to his standards, Morikawa gained 5.8 strokes on approaches at THE CJ CUP en route to a T12 finish. He ranks 3rd in strokes gained: approach, 3rd on par 5s, 10th in birdies or better gained, and 14th in strokes gained off the tee. He’s a California kid raised in nearby Los Angeles, and with a major championship already on his resume and one of the brightest futures in the sport we can count on him even in the strongest of fields.
Viktor Hovland ($9,200 | +3100) – Hovland is back on the upswing, with finishes of T12 and T13 his last two times out in which he gained strokes off the tee, on approach, around the greens, and putting. The short game is not a strength, but if he’s confident he can get out of trouble it allows him to be more aggressive with this ballstriking, which in turn gives him major upside. Hovland ranks 5th in strokes gained: approach, 5th on par 5s, 13th in birdies or better gained, and 16th in strokes gained: off the tee.
Daniel Berger ($8,900 | +3700) – Berger is the complete package, and his combination of ballstriking, scrambling, along with putting, gives him one of the highest floors and ceilings each week in the second-tier of the salaries on DraftKings. He is 5th in birdies or better gained, 9th in strokes gained: approach and 15th off the tee. He crushes it on our key holes, ranking fourth overall on par 4s and first on holes between 400-450 yards. He hit the ball well at Shadow Creek, ranking 4th off the tee and 33rd on approach, but he lost strokes putting and around the green and failed to break 70 all week. With the translatable parts of his game clicking, now is the time to buy back in on Berger. He’s still playing with the chip on his shoulder from not qualifying for Augusta, and he can channel that into another victory this week.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,400 | +3400) – We are nearing auto-play territory with Niemann on bentgrass greens, gaining in three straight events and now with his typical ballstriking prowess in tow. Niemann gained 3 strokes off the tee and 4.8 on approach last week en route to a T6 finish at THE CJ CUP. He is finally gaining confidence against elite fields, with a 3rd place at the BMW Championship and trending in the right direction to start the new season, with a T23 at the U.S. Open, T13 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and last week’s T6. Long term he’s just what you want — 11th in approach, 13th off the tee, and 10th on par 4s. Look closer into the splits and you’ll find him tied with Morikawa for first in strokes gained on par 4s between 400 and 450 yards.
Abraham Ancer ($7,800 | +5000) – Typically we can find lots of value plays in the $7k range, but much of what we see this week is stars going in the wrong direction — looking at you Rickie Fowler ($7,700 | +4800, Paul Casey ($7,500 | +6500), Justin Rose $7,400 | +9000) — but we’ll try to pinpoint some golfers on the rise down here. Ancer is not quite the high ceiling play, but even in a no-cut event we still need to find a solid floor with our value plays. Ancer is a consistent driver who can score on par 4s, and as he showed in the early going of the restart he’s more than capable of hanging with big-time fields when his irons click. He was runner up at the American Express last year, a rotation event on three short California courses that should translate well.
Phil Mickelson ($7,500 | +6000) – Fresh off his second straight Champions Tour victory to start his career on the senior circuit, Mickelson comes back to the primary Tour to play an iconic course and seek out a big payday. We’ve seen him succeed on these short California courses even in the twilight of his career — 3rd at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last year and the winner in 2018, which was preceded a few weeks earlier by a runner up at the then-dubbed Desert Classic.
Billy Horschel ($7,400 | +8000) – A field like this has the feel of a FedEx Cup Playoff event — strong, short field, a new course, lots of money at stake — and Horschel has shown an ability to shine at the end of the season when his game is right. He’s a former FedEx Cup Champion and posted top-5 finishes in three playoff events in 2018. He looks solid across the board here as well, ranking 10th on par 5s, 23rd in birdies or better gained, 28th off the tee, and 38th on par 4s.
Gary Woodland ($7,400 | +9000) – Woodland might have fit the bill for the stars going in the wrong direction listed below, but he at least still looks like a good value with a major championship victory on a short California course just 18 months in the rearview and two strong outings at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village this past summer (T5 at the Workday Charity Open, T22 at the Memorial Championship). He had a reputation as a big hitter in the early part of his career but has really fallen off with the driver, but he does his best on these short tracks where he can club down and keep it in play but still be aggressive on his second shot.
Corey Conners ($6,600 | +13000) – Conners can keep pace with even the top players in the ballstriking department, as he ranks 9th off the tee and 15th on approach. He was 6th last year at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, albeit under very different circumstances in Japan. But it was a similar field strength and size, and Conners has held his own in the early parts of the FedEx Cup Playoffs the past two years. His last two times out he has been drastically different, gaining 7.8 strokes tee-to-green at the Sanderson Farms Championship then losing 5.0 strokes tee-to-green at THE CJ CUP. He has a wide range of outcomes, but the high end is hard to pass up at this price point.
Kevin Streelman ($6,600 | +10000) – Streelman turned in a solid T21 last week at THE CJ CUP and rates out well again here, ranking 6th on the par 5s and 17th in approach. He has some nice comparables, having played well at Muirfield Village and the Pebble Pro-Am each of the past two seasons. He was T7 at the Workday Charity Open and had finished inside the top 20 the Memorial in four of the prior five seasons before 2020, and he has five straight top 20s at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
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.