2020 Mayakoba Golf Classic - PGA DFS Tiers and Top Fade

The SI Golf Fantasy team of Ben Heisler, Alex White, and Mark Farris run through their favorite DFS tiers for this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic, as well as their top fade of the slate.
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Previous 2021 PGA Tour Event Winners & DraftKings Salary

  • RSM Classic: Robert Streb ($6,300)
  • The Masters: Dustin Johnson ($10,000)
  • Vivint Houston Open: Carlos Ortiz ($6,700)
  • Bermuda Championship: Brian Gay ($6,300)
  • Zozo Championship - Patrick Cantlay ($9,400)
  • CJ Cup at Shadow Creek: Jason Kokrak ($7,000)
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: Martin Laird ($6,400)
  • Sanderson Farms Championship: Sergio Garcia ($8,600)
  • Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship: Hudson Swafford ($6,700)
  • U.S. Open: Bryson DeChambeau ($9,900)
  • Safeway Open: Stewart Cink ($6,300)

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$9,000+ Range

Ben Heisler: Abraham Ancer ($9,900) & Corey Conners ($9,000)

Ancer leads off the list of no-brainer plays for me this week in his native country and is a terrific fit for Mayakoba. Via the great Rick Gehman, Ancer ranks 25th in driving accuracy this season playing on a course that plays just over 7,000 yards.

He’s also played well at El Camaleón in the past, with two top 10 finishes in 2019 and 2020. He’s coming in strong with a 13th place finish at the Masters, 4th at the Shriners, and no worse than T35th since the U.S Open.

Meanwhile, Corey Conners is priced at the bare-bones of their top tier, but make no mistake, he will be one of the most popular plays of the slate and should be a staple for cash lineups this week.

Over his last four tournaments, Conners has finished 10th (RSM and the Masters), 24th at the Houston Open, and T8 at the Zozo. He ranks top 10 in strokes-gained total (9th), off-the-tee (4th), and approach (10th) over his last 24 rounds and is in elite form despite an elite price tag. It also doesn’t hurt that he ranks second behind only Justin Thomas in DraftKings points gained as well!

Mark Farris: Daniel Berger ($10,400) & Will Zalatoris ($9,200)

As much as I want to go Brooks Koepka (and I probably will in a lineup), not many people have been as solid this year as Daniel - maybe Harris English. My only holdup with Berger is that he hasn’t played in about a month. That can go one of two ways. The rust will need to be shed in rounds one and/or two and the cut is questionable or he’s well-rested and the game is still on fire. Hoping for the latter.

Honestly, I’m trying to stay away from the obvious here. Will Zalatoris, in his last 16 rounds, ranks first in the modeling tool I use in Shots Gained - Approach & Ball Striking. He’s also 2nd in SG: Tee to Green. His short game is the only thing holding him back but he’s still 20th in Total Shots Gained.

Alex White: Tony Finau ($10,700)

Finau has had a mixed bag of results at the Mayakoba. He has been cut twice with a T16 in his 2018 appearance. The difference in his 2018 finish was the weather. In his two missed cuts at this event the wind has played a huge role. 

This year the weather will play into Finau’s hands: wet with low winds. The driver will give him a clear advantage off the tee this week with little to no rollout on the fairways.

He crushes my statistical model ranking first overall. My key stats this week are Par 4 (400-450), proximity from 200 yards plus, and Birdie or better percentage. Finau ranks 25th, 1st, and 13th with a myriad of other supporting stats. He has all the tools, the weather is in his favor, and it’s the final event of the 2020 season. Still time for the win we have all been waiting for.

$7,500 - $8,900

Ben Heisler: Harold Varner III ($7,800)

It’s always going to be a bit risky playing Varner, but I’ll feel comfortable rolling the dice with him this week despite missing the cut at the RSM.

Varner’s metrics are exceptional for his price: 1st in SG: around-the-green, 12th in SG: tee-to-green, and 7th in SG: short game. Because his irons weren’t great at the RSM, he missed the cut at just under 20% ownership. He always seems to bounce back after not qualifying for a weekend, finishing 15th at the Houston Open, 29th at the Safeway, and 29th at the PGA Championship following a missed cut this year.

Mark Farris: Brian Harman ($8,400)

Brian has been top 30 in his last four events. The “other site” - which shall remain nameless - has him priced at the minimum and I really not sure why. I guess that’s why we partnered with DraftKings instead. Even at $8,400, the chances of him making the cut, along with his recent form, makes value a high probability. Plus, he’s hungry and the “vacation play date” scenario that I’m afraid of is less likely here. 

As a bonus, something tells me HV3 at $7,800 is going to play well too! (He’s 4th is SG-Total in the model I use for this week)

Alex White: Harold Varner III ($7,800)

HV3 is playing some of his best golf in the past eight months. You just have to pinpoint the weeks he shows up compared to the alternative, when he misses the cut. In his last ten tournaments he has five missed cuts. For those of you that don't follow golf. That's not good. However, when he makes the cut he has finished no worse than 29th, with a top ten and a couple top 15’s mixed in there. The boom or bust saying was made for a golfer like HV3. This week I look at him the same as Finau. The weather will play into his game. He can attack pins and bring us plenty of birdies to vault him up the leaderboards. The salary is priced to pay off. 

$7,400 and Under

Ben Heisler: Doug Ghim ($7,400)

Ghim has averaged at least 80 DK points per event over the last month and is hitting a ton of GIR (greens in regulation) over the last several events.

He currently ranks 5th in SG: total amongst the entire field and has three top 25 finishes in his last three rounds, and four of his last five.

Ghim is accurate off the tee, very solid with his irons (13th in SG: approach) and if the putter decides to show up, he may just win the damn thing!

Mark Farris: Peter Malnati ($7,300)

He ranks 3rd overall in Shots Gained in the modeling tool I use over his last 16 rounds. He also has two top 10s in his last four events and three top 25s. I’m a lover of current form and when you have great current form at this price - you use it! Make the cut and it’s money well spent. He’s been surviving on his short game and struggling off the tee. However, Mayakoba has fairways that are fairly wide and easy to hit. It’s a resort course for God’s sake! I think Mr. Malnati will be money well spent!

Alex White: Kristoffer Ventura ($6,700)

Ventura is a huge risk. I’m taking a chance on this play but at this low price it is a risk worth taking. Ventura has played here once missing the cut by a few strokes. Again this was a missed cut due to weather. He is a solid young player that brings top 10 upside when he is on. In his short full year on the PGA Tour he has already put together three top 10 finishes and a couple more top 20 finishes.

Statistically he lines up very well for this course. In my key stats he ranks 2nd, 17th, and 9th. We just need him to get across the cut line for him to give us value back. Very reasonable in a weaker field like this one. 

Top Fade

Ben Heisler: Rickie Fowler ($9,500)

It appears my colleagues and I are in agreement on Fowler, who comes in overpriced while underdelivering.

He remains a terrific talent, but at $9,500, I’m going to need more than 68th in SG: total, and 78th in SG: approach for me to spend up this week.

A 29th finish at the Masters is promising, but not when I can get either Ancer (see above) at $9,900, Viktor Hovland ($9,700), and Russell Henley ($9,300) for right in the same tier.

Mark Farris: Rickie Fowler ($9,500)

The quality of the player pool this week is surprising to me other than the fact that some of these guys are utilizing this as a vacation from the madness. Personally, I think this is where Rickie is. He may fool me and come out relaxed and light it up, but I’m thinking he goes through the motions. At $9,500, I want more.

Alex White: Daniel Berger ($10,400)

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Berger as much as the next guy. But, he simply hasn’t been producing like he was from February to August. He was the hottest golfer on the planet during that stretch, but reality hit and all good things come to an end. 

He made plenty of money and I'm sure he has enjoyed his short hiatus from the Tour. Now he is back and he must prove his form once again to be played at that price.