After Rory McIlroy took down a loaded field at the PLAYERS, the PGA Tour continues the Florida Swing with the Valspar Championship. One good thing about the new scheduling is that all these Florida courses have Bermuda grass and fairly similar setups so current form is even more important this week.
Innisbrook Resort(Copperhead Course) is a Par 71 setup that is on the longer side of the scale at 7,340 yards. With tree-lined fairways and tons of bunkers and water in play, we will likely see a ton of '“Less than Driver” strategies off the tee as accuracy and placement is much more important than distance. With that, we are going to see a lot of long approach shots once again and making it more difficult are the smaller greens here. With about 45-50% of all birdies coming from the four Par 5’s I will also be looking closely at Par 5 Scoring.
To discuss the course, stats, targets, strategies, or anything fantasy golf make sure to join me in the RotoPros community chat. Not a member yet? Make sure to get over to www.rotopros.com and get your free trial today.
Let’s take a look at some of the course info, previous winners, and then jump into the picks.
Previous Five Winners
2018 - Paul Casey(-10)
2017 - Adam Hadwin(-14)
2016 - Charl Schwartzel(-7)
2015 - Jordan Spieth(-10)
2014 - John Senden(-7)
Strokes Gained: Approach
Proximity from 175-200 and 200+ Yards
Par 5 Scoring
Let’s now jump in and take a look at some of the top plays in each price range.
Top Tier Target
Jim Furyk(DK - $9,200 FD - $10,000)
It feels a little odd recommending 48-year-old Jim Furyk for cash games but here we are. It is hard to ignore how well he is playing during the Florida Swing as he picked up a T9 at the Honda classic and was runner-up to Rory McIlroy last week at the PLAYERS. That is great news considering he is coming back to a course and event he has been very successful at with a win and three Top 10’s since 2010(seven trips) including a T7 last year. He also fits the stats model ranking 1st in Driving Accuracy, 11th in SG: Approach, 8th in par 4 Scoring, and 5th in Bogey Avoidance. Probably the most shocking thing to most is that Furyk is also #2 to DJ in average fantasy scoring over his last five events. I will have exposure in all formats this week.
Dustin Johnson(DK - $11,500 FD - $12,600)
It is a weak field and the talent really falls off after the top couple players so it makes sense to build around the best player in the world. He is coming in hot with a T5 at the PLAYERS, win at the WGC Mexico, and has shot in the 60’s in 11 straight rounds. He has the stats to back it up as well as looking at the last 24 rounds data(via FNGC), he ranks 1st in SG: Ball Striking(4th OTT, 3rd APP), 3rd in Par 4 Scoring, 16th in Par 5 Scoring, 8th in Birdie or Better Gained, and 1st in Bogey Avoided. He has more upside than anyone in the field and is a great building block in GPP formats.
Mid Tier Target
Russell Knox(DK - $8,100 FD - $9,000)
Knox doesn’t normally jump off the page but sits inside my Top 10 rankings on the sheet this week for a couple of reasons starting with his form and cut making. Since missing the cut at the season-opening Safeway Open, Knox has made nine straight cuts including three Top 20 finishes and also ranks well in my stats model. He sits 14th in SG: Approach, 25th in Proximity from 200+ yards, and 19th n Bogey Avoidance. To top it off, he returns to the Copperhead course with some success having made the cut here in four of five trips including a T16 last year. All things considered, Knox is a terrific mid-range option in all formats.
Kevin Kisner(DK - $8,500 FD - $9,600)
I list Kisner as the GPP play in this range and that is only due to the top heavy field which could have some glossing over this mid to high $8K range on DraftKings. In reality, we should be considering Kisner in all formats with the fantastic form he has right now. He missed the cut at the Mayakoba classic back in mid November but has since made eight straight cuts and with a T22 at last weeks PLAYERS Championship, he has finished inside the Top 30 in five straight events. Looking at the stats model, he ranks Top 30 in SG: Ball Striking and Driving Accuracy and is also 12th in Scrambling and 9th in Bogey Avoidance.
Roger Sloan(DK - $7,000 FD - $8,000)
If we are going to be loading up on DJ this week we are going to need one of two players from this bottom tier to make it work. One that jumped off the page this week is Canadian Roger Sloan who sits at 90/1 to win the tournament which is by far the best odds of any golfer in the sub $7.5K range. He has also been playing really well lately with a T23 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T30 at the Honda Classic, and T2 at the Puerto Rico Open. There is some risk as he ranks outside the Top 100 in Bogey Avoidance but he does make a ton of birdies and it shows as he ranks 13th in Birdie or Better % and 19th in Par 5 Birdie or Better %.
Also Consider: Adam Schenk
Thanks for checking out the article and if you have any questions about the cheatsheet, players I listed, or anything DFS PGA related at all please reach out in the RotoPros Community Chat or on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9). Not a RotoPros member yet? Be sure to get over and SIGN UP for your FREE two-week trial. You won’t be disappointed.