With no Bryson DeChambeau as a cash staple for lineups this week, daily fantasy players will have to get creative with their lineup builds ahead of this week's Workday Charity Open.
According to FantasyLabs, DeChambeau averaged 31.22% ownership on DraftKings across four of their largest tournaments, including over 27% in the "Millionaire" where there was a $2.5 million total prize pool and $1 million going to first place.
DeChambeau, after seven consecutive top-10 finishes, finally pulled away from the pack. He came back from three strokes down to win on Sunday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
In his betting preview on Monday, SI Gambling analyst Frankie Taddeo points out the unique situation of the next two weeks on the PGA Tour.
“The PGA came up with the decision to scrap the John Deere and instead host back-to-back tournaments at Muirfield Village Golf in consecutive weeks. This week’s Workday Charity Open will replace the John Deere, with the Memorial to be hosted the very next week; on the same course.”
Seven of the top 15 PGA golfers in the world will be competing at this week’s event, including Jon Rahm (2), Justin Thomas (4), and Brooks Koepka (5). Last year's winner, Patrick Cantlay, will also return to Mirfield Village Golf Club.
Once again, we'll break this down into three categories: cash plays, tournament/GPP plays, and fades.
Previous PGA Tour Event Winners & DraftKings Salary
- Rocket Mortgage Classic: Bryson DeChambeau ($11,700)
- Travelers Championship: Dustin Johnson ($9,400)
- RBC Heritage: Webb Simpson ($9,000)
- Charles Schwab Challenge: Daniel Berger ($7,700)
Workday Charity Open Cash Plays
Justin Thomas ($11,100 DK, $12,000 FD)
Thomas is coming off a missed cut at the Travelers Championship before taking off for the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week. He shot a 71 both Thursday and Friday, so he wasn’t great, but not brutal either. In his previous three events, Thomas had finished top 10 in all three, including one of them before the three-month postponement with a top-six in the Mexico Championship in February.
He's elite in almost every major scoring category, including top-five in bridie average, scoring average, sand save percentage, and strokes gained (SG) tee-to-green. He's also top-seven in SG: an approach which is one of the top metrics used to project performance at Muirfield.
Patrick Cantlay ($10,600 DK, $11,700 FD)
While last year's winner at Muirfield, Cantlay won the Memorial (next week's tournament) instead of the Workday Charity Open. Regardless, he's had plenty of success at Muirfield with two top-five finishes in the past two years, and a 35th-place finish in 2017.
His game is perfectly suited for the course, evidenced by both recent success as well as ranking fifth in SG: approach and seventh in SG: tee-to-green.
Both Thomas and Cantlay are about as safe and secure of plays you can find for this week.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,000 DK, $11,300 FD)
With Matsuyama, it's always going to be about the wild swings and inconsistencies on the green. But I'll ride with him this week based on his course history and form starting to come into play. Last weekend in Detroit, Matsuyama made the cut and was brilliant on Saturday, shooting a 7-under 65. He could've been even better if not for one bad double-bogey on 14 on Sunday (brought him down to -1 for the day).
He won at Muirfield back in 2014, and also has two top-six finishes to his name in 2015 and 2019, along with a 13th place finish in 2018.
Adam Hadwin: ($8,200 DK, $9,900 FD)
The 32-year old Canadian has quietly been putting up very solid performances, culminating with a terrific end to the Rocket Mortgage Classic Sunday with a 7-under 65. The great final round gave him a top-four finish, his third top-four finish so far during the 2020 season.
Hadwin’s another great approach golfer currently ranked second in sand save percentage, 10th in greens in regulation percentage, and 13th in SG: total. He also hasn’t missed a cut since the Tour returned at Colonial.
Ryan Armour ($7,400 DK, $9,000 FD)
Armour will garner far more ownership than the 2.6% he received last week. That’s what back-to-back top-six finishes will do for a player who continues to remain incredibly affordable.
He’s also got the local Ohio State connection to the course in Dublin, and it’s a Jack Nicklaus designed course (also an Ohio State graduate). Armour should be fired up to play at Muirfield playing the best golf he’s played in quite some time.
Workday Charity Open Tournament Plays
Justin Rose ($9,700 DK, $10,800 FD)
Rose knows Muirfield well, having played the course 14 times in his career. He's only missed the cut three times and has seven top 10 finishes here. Of those seven top 10's, four have been top five, including a win in 2010.
Sharp DFS players will be aware of Rose's history and likely sprinkle some lineups with him. But I do think the public will fade him off his missed cut at the Travelers and the flexibility to pivot down to Viktor Hovland for less who's been one of the hottest golfers on tour. Recency bias is real, and I think Rose's ownership will be less than it should be given his history.
Patrick Reed ($8,800 DK, $10,500 FD)
Reed averaged just under 17% ownership in the major DraftKings contests last week and missed the cut. He's played all four tournaments since the Tour resumed and has two missed cuts, a seventh-place finish at Colonial and a T24 at the Travelers. He tends to bounce back after missed cuts and has historically played the Memorial well, making all four cuts.
Very high volatility, especially at his price tag, but for tournaments, I think this is the right time to back to him.
Scottie Scheffler ($7,700 DK, $9,500 FD)
Speaking of high volatile options, Scottie Scheffler is back!
He's been flat out terrible the last few weeks. Back-to-back missed cuts at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the Travelers Championship, along with a 55th place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge that should have been better if not for a 73 on the final day.
On that subject, Scheffler shot a 79 on day one from Detroit, basically sealing his fate to miss the cut. Yet he battled back the following day to shoot a 7-under 65. Maybe it’s masochistic to play Scheffler again at this point, but he should see very little ownership given his recent play since golf resumed.
Cameron Champ ($7,700 DK, $9,600 FD)
Champ may be a bit overlooked, having only played the most recent and first tournament on the PGA Tour since play resumed. Still, the 25-year old Californian has quietly put together two Top 14 finishes since the Tour returned, and also won the Safeway Open earlier this season.
I similarly look at Champ to what DeChambeau has accomplished so far this year. He ranks number one on Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee and 20th in strokes gained tee-to-green. The biggest difference is DeChambeau has been incredible with the putter while Champ ranks 116th in SG: putting.
Champ has tournament-winning upside at an affordable price.
Joel Dahmen ($7,700 DK, $9,300 FD)
If we think Champ may have a chance to be low-owned this week, then ownership for Joel Dahmen may be microscopic at the same price on DK.
Dahmen is ranked 13th in SG: approach and SG: tee-to-green and has four top 10 finishes and three top 6 finishes to his name so far in 2020. He's put up better final scores each week he's played, and if Dahmen he can improve on his putting for just a week (145th in SG: putting), I think he makes for an excellent GPP play at Muirfield.
Workday Charity Open Fades
Jon Rahm ($10,900 DK, $11,800 FD)
If I’m spending up on Rahm, I want him locked in. For the second most expensive golfer on the slate, the results don’t justify the price point. Via Rick Gehman, Rahm's game, has had a separate issue each week since the PGA returned.
“Rahm hasn’t been good since the restart. He’s missed one cut and has two more finishes outside the top 30. More concerning, his flaw has been different each week. He lost four strokes putting at Colonial, lost strokes around the green at Harbour Town and lost a ton of shots on approach at the Travelers.”
Normally a target like Rahm would always make for a good tournament play, but I still think much of the public will gravitate towards him with his world ranking and name recognition.
Brooks Koepka ($10,400 DK, $11,500 FD)
Koepka hasn't played the past two weeks after his caddy tested positive for COVID-19. He played well in the two events before that: finishing 32nd at Colonial at the Charles Schwab and seventh at the RBC Heritage. He has yet to shoot above a 69 since his return.
Unfortunately, the left just as soon as he was starting to round out his complete game. This is one of those fades that could come back to bite me, but with Cantlay, Rose, and Matsuyama all in a similar price range, those plays with their course history and recent form all appear to fare better for this week.