Featuring in-depth analysis of the PGA Championship, 2018. Daily fantasy golf analysis for this week’s DFS slate to help you build winning cash game and tournament lineups on DraftKings.
Welcome to The Primer column for the PGA Championship! We’re thrilled to see the final major on the 2018 PGA schedule, and are here to help you build your DFS lineups for FanDuel, DraftKings or whatever other sites you choose to play on (this article does have a DraftKings bias though).
This year’s PGA Championship takes place at Bellerive Country Club, a par 70 course checking in at 7,300 yards with bentgrass greens. The course is narrow, with tree-lined fairways, many of which get really narrow at about the 300 yard mark – which will give golfers the choice of hitting driver, testing their accuracy on the narrow fairways, or playing it ‘safe’, which would leave plenty of meat on the bone when it comes to the distance required to stick it close on their approaches. Regardless of what route players choose to approach the course, it will be a tough test – which is fantastic, given the fact that it is a major. While bombers will be popular – and for good reason, don’t sleep on accurate players – ones that can grind it out and avoid bogeys, especially when choosing your golfers under the $8k price point.
While it can be difficult to pinpoint the chalk for most events, because of the soft pricing that we see for majors, it is usually pretty easy to find where the masses will be. This week, I see heavy ownership on the following:
- Dustin Johnson
- Justin Thomas
- Brooks Koepka
- Justin Rose
- Jason Day
- Patrick Cantlay
- Tony Finau
- Paul Casey
- Joaquinn Niemann
- Kyle Stanley
All of the above are in great spots this week, and if you prefer cash games, you can likely build a very strong line-up using only the above list. For GPP’s, I am not saying you should fade the above list because they are chalk. Being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian can leave you looking up at the leaderboards week after week. Instead, I recommend going severely overweight with your multi-entry exposure if you love the spot any of the above players are in.
My top 3 out of the chalk options are: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka – though you can’t fit them all in the same line-up of course.
While I may not nail eventual ownership on 100% of the below choices, here are some guys that I think you can get for a fraction of the ownership of ‘The Chalk’ – and it is a list of golfers that are poised for a very strong week for the PGA Championship:
- Francesco Molinari
Molinari posted a T39 at the WCG Bridgestone a week ago, and I am hoping that causes enough people to think that his ‘hot run is over.’ Sure, a T39 is nothing to write home about for a player priced where the Italian is, but he is a grinder – one that has the ability to contend, regardless of the quality of field – as evidenced by his title at The Open. I wouldn’t expect rock bottom ownership here, but he is playing the best golf of his life, and the fact that he likely won’t be the chalk this week is something that I think you can take advantage of. I think he’s in the mix come Sunday.
- Alex Noren
Noren was a pretty popular choice at The Open, and after a solid, but unspectacular finish – I think we will see his ownership levels take a hit for the final major of the season. He won the HNA Open de France at the end of June, before hanging around for a T17 at The Open. He plays tough courses well, and I think he’s in contention this weekend. Priced at $8,600 this week – I love the spot he’s in for the final major of the season.
- Zach Johnson
Not a sexy pick, but for an affordable price – he should hang around for the weekend, and be somewhat relevant. He’s an accurate player, and when his game is firing, he can go low. He’s missed only one cut all season long – and usually seems to be ignored by the masses in favour of some of the more chalky plays in his price range. This week, on a course where length is important, ZJ will go overlooked.
- Ian Poulter
He burned many at The Open, but I like how Poulter has bounced back with two strong showings since. One of the most hated golfers by DFS players, Poulter never seems to garner high ownership levels. If you want a player that has a strong chance of making the cut, and one that can contend when his game is clicking, Poulter is a strong play for $7,400 this week – and will likely be ignored due to his showing at The Open, and the fact that he is not a bomber.
- Thorbjorn Olesen
I think he will be ‘The Chalk’ for sub $7k plays – but as we quite often see with the soft pricing for majors, this price point tends to be ignored. There is some risk here, but pricing came out before the WGC Bridgestone was complete, and I feel he would likely be $500 more if it had waited to be released. If you love recent form, it is hard to argue. He’s rolling right now, and also has a great track record on bentgrass greens.