2021 Charles Schwab Challenge - PGA Fantasy Plays, Best Bets, and Top Fades

SI Fantasy and Gambling editor Ben Heisler shares his top PGA DFS tiers, best bets, and a top fade for the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
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Previous 2021 PGA Tour Event Winners & DraftKings Salary

  • PGA Championship: Phil Mickelson ($6,700)
  • AT&T Byron Nelson: Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($6,900)
  • Wells Fargo Championship: Rory McIlroy ($10,000)
  • Valspar Classic: Sam Burns ($7,900)
  • RBC Heritage: Stewart Cink ($6,700)
  • The Masters Tournament: Hideki Matsuyama ($8,300)
  • Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth ($10,700)
  • World Golf Championship - Dell Technologies Match Play: Billy Horschel ($7,200)
  • The Honda Classic: Matt Jones ($7,400)
  • The Players Championship: Justin Thomas ($9,900)
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational: Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000)
  • Workday Charity Open: Collin Morikawa ($9,500)
  • The Genesis Invitational: Max Homa ($8,200)
  • AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger ($10,100)
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open: Brooks Koepka ($8,800)
  • Farmers Insurance Open: Patrick Reed ($10,100)
  • The American Express: Si Woo Kim ($8,200)
  • Sony Open: Kevin Na ($7,500)
  • Sentry Tournament of Champions: Harris English ($8,700)

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$9,000+ Range

Collin Morikawa

DraftKings Price: $10,500

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +1400

Last year's Charles Schwab Challenge was a historical marker on the sports calendar. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to take shape in March, wiping out the bulk of live sports, it was Colonial Country Club that brought us back, albeit it with no fans.

We also were treated to a riveting showdown between Collin Morikawa and last year's champion Daniel Berger. Morikawa's putt to extend the playoff lipped out and Berger held on for the victory. 

I'll play along with the narrative that Morikawa will be primed and ready to make up for the one that got away last year, in large part because his recent form has been excellent.

Since the start of 2021, he's finished top 10 in five of eight events, including his last two: The PGA Championship (8), and the RBC Heritage (7). Over his past 24 rounds, he's ranked No. 1 in strokes gained: tee-to-green, ball striking, and approach, as well as No. 4 in strokes gained: total. 

Here's the kicker. When Morikawa putts well, he wins. Because every other part of his game is so consistent, it's the flatstick that consistently makes the difference. In his two previous wins on tour, including last year's PGA Championship, Morikawa was locked in on the green, gaining 12.2 strokes over both tournaments. Interestingly enough, he's lost an average of -2.4 strokes putting over his past two tournaments, and still finished top 7-8! 

Additional Plays to Consider

  • Jordan Spieth ($11,200 | +1000) - Even with a T30 at the PGA, he's still playing some of the best golf of his career. Hefty tag, but dominant at Colonial over his career including a win in 2016 and two runner-ups.
  • Patrick Reed ($10,300) | +1600 - Another Texan playing in a familiar course. Had a brilliant weekend at Kiawah Island to finish T17.
  • Abraham Ancer ($9,700 | +1600) - Three top 8 outings over his last three events.

$7,500 - $8,900 Range

Charley Hoffman

DraftKings Price: $8,700

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +3500

Hoffman will likely gain a bunch of ownership, even at a fairly high price point for him. But it's incredibly difficult to argue the results.

Via Fantasy National, Hoffman over his last 24 rounds is tops in DraftKings points gained, No. 2 in strokes gained: tee-to-green, No. 3 in SG: total and SG: approach, and the weakest part of his game is his putting, which still ranks 35th in the field.

Hoffman has only missed one cut since the beginning of November and has finished Top 20 in seven of his last eight. He did miss the cut last year, but in fairness, it had been three-plus months since the tour had gotten started again.

Additional Play(s) to Consider

  • Matt Wallace ($8,200 | +6600) - Discouraging finish (T55) at the PGA Championship, but still rock solid in his last several outings and ranks 10th in SG: total over his last 24 rounds and 16th in Greens in Regulation (GIRs Gained).
  • Cameron Tringale ($8,100 | +6000) - Great recent form and second in scrambling over his last 24 rounds.
  • Matt Jones ($7,800 | +6600) - Outstanding around the green (3rd) and with his putter (19th). 

$7,400 and Under Range

Kevin Kisner

DraftKings Price: $7,200

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +10000

Sometimes, you just need to go to your happy place to get your game back, and for Kisner, Colonial Country Club may just be the spot.

He's missed the cut in six consecutive events but always seems to play well here. Kisner has a win at the Charles Schwab Challenge back in 2017 and is fifth in the field in total strokes gained over the last five years of the tournament.

I would be stunned if he takes more then 5% ownership this week considering his recent run, but at some point he'll turn it around and I think he's more than capable of doing it here.

Additional Play(s) to Consider

  • Harold Varner III ($7,400 | +9000) - Sandwiched in between two missed cuts include a T2 at the RBC Heritage and a T19 at the Honda Classic. Had the lead headed into the weekend at last year's Challenge.
  • Doug Ghim ($7,200 | +10000) - Top 5 in Good Drives Gained and T6 in GIRs Gained
  • Vincent Whaley ($6,200 | +20000) - Via Rick Gehman, Whaley's nine straight cuts made is now the fourth-longest active streak on the PGA Tour.

Top Fade

Phil Mickelson

DraftKings Price: $8,500

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +6600

Maybe this is a cop-out answer, but Phil likely has other things on his mind after his record-setting performance at the PGA Championship. He's still in search of his final major, the U.S. Open which takes place two weeks after the conclusion of the Charles Schwab Challenge.

His odds are surprisingly high at 66/1 after sportsbooks got cooked over the weekend due to Mickelson's stunning victory, but oddsmakers don't seem to be worried about a back-to-back finish. He gained 14 strokes total on the field last week after losing -2.3 the previous week at the Wells Fargo. Your heart may say to play Phil, but your brain is really telling you to let him go.

Additional Fade(s) to Consider

  • Corey Conners ($9,400 | +1800) - Short game and putting stroke have been letting him down as of late, particularly after holding the lead in the early portion of the PGA Championship. Will need those to turn around at Colonial to have a shot. 

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