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Brooks Koepka

PGA DFS Picks: The PGA Daily Plug for the Workday Charity Open

The PGA Daily Plug highlights the top PGA DFS picks for the Workday Charity Open contests on FanDuel & DraftKings, then provides strategies on how to build lineups for all contest types.

The PGA DFS picks and advice below is provided by Niromada, a staple in the Occupy PGA Discord channel and perennial top 75 PGA DFS player according to RotoGrinders rankings. Join our Discord channel by becoming a Twitch subscriber.

Note: Niromada will provide picks from his personal player pool -- and they may differ from the rankings in our Occupy Model -- but Niromada is tuned into the golf scene and can provide context that isn't taken into account by the model. We must also remember that the model is built exclusively for high-risk contests, so Niromada can also help us decipher the best plays for low-risk contests the model may overlook. 

For full high-risk rankings on FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo!, dive into the PGA Occupy Model.

UPDATES:

  • Updates will be made here in blue after the Plug is posted Tuesday afternoon. 
  • WEDNESDAY UPDATE:
    • Here is the summary of line moves at Pinnacle Sports so far. The percentage next to the name means the percent that the odds have gotten smaller since the Pinnacle opened their odds on Tuesday morning US time until now, where now is roughly midday in the US on Wednesday.
      • Gary Woodland 31%
      • Sungjae Im 22%
      • Matt Kuchar 22%
      • Collin Morikawa 21%
      • Billy Horschel 21%
      • Matthew Fitzpatrick 21%
      • Joel Dahmen 21%
      • Emiliano Grillo 21%
      • Harold Varner III 14%
      • Jon Rahm 13%
      • Joaquin Niemann 13%
      • Marc Leishman 8%
      • Xander Schauffele 6%
      • Hideki Matsuyama 4%
      • Patrick Reed 3%
      • Viktor Hovland 1%
    • Already 8 moves that are greater than 20%. Lots of movement in the market this week!
    • Nice to see Plug write ups Woodland, Morikawa and Horschel take on some of the bigger moves. Solidifies my position there.
    • Another week, another Pinnacle steambath for Rahm at the top of the market. I really was going to break my tendency and not play much Rahm this week. Rahm will now be back to a solid position within my player pool.
    • If you notice the theme with these line moves - almost every single one of these is towards someone who makes their living with their irons and not their putter. Leishman, Morikawa, Matsuyama, Woodland, Grillo and Dahmen all rank in the Top 20 for Strokes Gained Approach on the PGA Tour this season. This does not mean that a bomber can't win this week (I like Koepka after all), but this can be a useful data point when making decisions between players.
    • I'll post a final update on the Pinnacle line moves tonight in the Discord channel so that they can be covered in the Twitch stream tonight. Be sure to tune in!

Notable Betting Odds:

 

Biggest Favorites (To Win):
Justin Thomas (+1000)
Patrick Cantlay (+1200)
Jon Rahm (+1200)
Brooks Koepka (+1400)
Hideki Matsuyama (+1600)
Xander Schauffele (+1600)
Rickie Fowler (+2500)
Viktor Hovland (+2500)
Justin Rose (+2500)
Patrick Reed (+2800)

Use the PGA Model to look at line movements. With such massive odds disparities, line movement numbers are relative to opening odds for each golfer. Not all similar number moves are the same.

Weather:

We see no major weather impacts on Thursday or Friday of the tournament. 

Course Info:

This is the first of two consecutive events that will be staged at Muirfield Village, a Nicklaus design in Columbus, OH. For this first event, the Tour has stated that it will use some of the shorter tee boxes, cut the rough shorter and have the greens slower than next week. Then, presumably, they will let the greens dry out and get faster while the rough grows higher for next week. Historical Muirfield form and tendencies are still the way to go, but we can give greater attention to the bombers and questionable putters with the rough down and the slower greens. Both this week and next we will want approach play specialists. Accuracy with the irons first and distance second. You must hit the right part of the green on this course or you will have a tough time making par.

Key Stats:

PGA has a lot of data available for you to consider. This week, the following stats are important. This changes week to week based on course characteristics in PGA DFS. 

Greens in Regulation
Fairways Gained
Par 5s
Birdies or Better
Ball Striking
Sand Saves
Putting Variance* - custom Occupy Fantasy analysis built into the Occupy Model

PGA DFS Picks - Top Golfers:

These are the top golfers in my player pool for the Workday Charity Open: 

Brooks Koepka
FanDuel: $11500, FanDuel Proj Own: 13%
DraftKings: $10400, DraftKings Proj Own: 12%
Odds to Win: +1400

  • Usage: Low- and High-Risk Contests
  • Before his withdrawal from the Travelers, Brooks was asked about what it would be like to play in the same tournament as his brother Chase, who Monday qualified.  Brooks: "It's awesome. I'm super excited."  He also said, “I'm super pumped for him.”  The tour has given Chase an exemption into this week’s event after he also withdrew from the Travelers.  This tells me that Brooks will be fully energized and focused for the event this week.
  • When you add in the fact that he should be the lowest owned of the $10K+ salary crowd on DK, I’ll gladly roll those dice.

Collin Morikawa
FanDuel: $10600, FanDuel Proj Own: 16%
DraftKings: $9200, DraftKings Proj Own: 12%
Odds to Win: +3300

  • Usage: Low- and High-Risk Contests
  • After everything I’ve written about the importance of approach play this week, how can I leave out Morikawa?  He leads the tour for the ’19-’20 season with almost 44 strokes gained on approach in 45 measured rounds.
  • His made cut streak is over and that should: a) keep his ownership in check and b) take some pressure off his shoulders.
  • Seeing his good buddy Matthew Wolff almost win during his off week won’t hurt the motivation.
  • Throw in an 80+ OF Index score and we’ve just checked a lot of boxes in the yes column for Morikawa this week.

Bud Cauley
FanDuel: $8500, FanDuel Proj Own: 7%
DraftKings: $7100, DraftKings Proj Own: 7%
Odds to Win: +9000

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • Last seen withdrawing from the Travelers after a first round 69 (he was being cautious after playing with Denny McCarthy who tested positive for Covid), Cauley returns to a course where he has made 4 of 5 cuts and has a Top 10 finish.
  • Not overly long, he makes his living with his irons and appears mis-priced on DK by several different metrics.  I have him as the 24th ranked player in the field, Pinnacle has him 34th in their price rankings, and the OF model gives him an OF Index in the Top 25 for the field.
  • He’s also ranked 27th on Tour for SG Approach for this season.  Yet DK has him priced outside the Top 50.   Value play alert.

Billy Horschel
FanDuel: $9400, FanDuel Proj Own: 4%
DraftKings: $7500, DraftKings Proj Own: 6%
Odds to Win: +6600

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • Feels like Horschel is a forgotten man since the restart.  He’s played 8 rounds since June, fired exactly 70 three times and has five sub 70 rounds.  Doesn’t seem like much is wrong, yet he’s missed two of three cuts.
  • Coming from a week off, we hope that he is just that extra bit sharper as he returns to Muirfield Village where he has 3 Top 15 finishes in his 6 starts here.
  • I rank him as a Top 20 player in this field and Pinnacle gives him a Top 25 ranking, yet he is down the DK price chart due to his two consecutive missed cuts and poor SG Approach numbers for the season.  Let’s buy low.

Corey Conners
FanDuel: $9200, FanDuel Proj Own: 10%
DraftKings: $7600, DraftKings Proj Own: 9%
Odds to Win: +8000

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • I was hoping for a bigger price and projected ownership discount for Conners coming off his missed cut from two weeks ago, but $7600 on DK and high single digits for ownership is good enough.
  • He had a poor opening round at the Travelers but rebounded with a 66 in round two.  I wrote him up for the Travelers and see no reason to stop at a course that should reward his outstanding ball striking.
  • He’s top 20 in my rankings for this field, is ranked 18th on Tour this year gaining 0.66 shots with his approach play every round and has a Top 15 OF Index score in the model.   Oh Canada!  Let’s go.

Gary Woodland
FanDuel: $9900, FanDuel Proj Own: 17%
DraftKings: $8300, DraftKings Proj Own: 14%
Odds to Win: +3300

  • Usage: Low- and High-Risk Contests
  • Woodland is another ball striking type who checks many of the boxes for this week.  He’s ranked 10th on Tour this season for SG Approach and I have him as a fringe Top 10 player in this field and the OF Model agrees with a Top 10 OF Index score despite his low $8300 price tag on DK.
  • He’s coming off a missed cut at The Travelers at 20%+ ownership, so I’m hoping that keeps his ownership below 15%.
  • He’s played here nine times and only missed two cuts and has two Top 10’s and two other Top 25 finishes.
  • We’re getting a nice discount on a player whose upside is not fully accounted for in his DK price.

Jason Dufner
FanDuel: $8200, FanDuel Proj Own: 3%
DraftKings: $6800, DraftKings Proj Own: 4%
Odds to Win: +15000

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • It’s never easy to click the plus sign next to The Duf’s name.  And it won’t be any easier this week with him coming off the missed cut last week in Detroit.
  • The good news is that Dufner is the epitome of our player profile for a ball striker with a (more than) questionable short game.  He’s played here eight times and missed three cuts, but has four top 25 finishes in those five made cuts including a win and a 7th.
  • He has been playing better this year and the missed cut last week was the first one since the Sony Open to start the year.  He is what he is.  An inconsistent performer who only has upside at certain courses each year.  But this is one of them.

Other golfers I like more than the field: Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman and Cameron Champ.

Final note: I will shift allocations and add players to my pool based on late movement in the betting odds.  The model will update with those line moves, and I'll update the Plug with any changes I see on Wednesday.

Lineup Strategies:

General strategy:

This is a stronger field than last week, but not nearly as strong as we should have next week (Hello Eldrick). Given the top-heavy nature of the field, I do not think we’re going to find much chalk in the $7K range like we have been finding these past few weeks. That should make stars and scrubs builds more contrarian in nature if you can find some $7K and $6K guys that you can get comfortable rostering. One other point. Jason Dufner is “famous” for winning here in 2017 and finishing 47th for the WEEK in Strokes Gained Putting. Point being, we want approach game specialists who pack a little bit of distance. Can’t putt? This is one week where I don’t care.

Low-Risk Contests:

A good general low risk strategy is to cram in as many high projected ownership players with high cut made percentages as possible.  If you can get those first two metrics plus someone with a high OF Index, that’s even better.  I’ll use the preferred player profile to help my search and I almost always choose balanced builds on DK for low risk contests.  It is never easy to get 6/6 across (Hello Sneds and EVR!), so the best way to increase our odds of that happening is to focus on those three metrics.  Morikawa and Woodland would be a good starting point for balanced, low risk builds.

High-Risk Contests: 

Plenty of DFS pros would disagree but building high risk PGA lineups is more art than science.  In general, we want to stay within the Occupy PGA high risk lineup framework for the largest entry GPP’s: 2 players 15%+ ownership, 2 players less than 5% ownership, 2 players in between.  One of the biggest challenges is to find the right level of risk in your lineup construction for high risk contests.  Look to trade upside for projected ownership and taking on risk with some, but not all pieces, of your lineup.  Conners, Horschel and Cauley would be good single-ish digit type ownership pieces to plug into high risk lineups.

Bankroll & Contest Recommendations:

Bankroll/Contest Allocation: 2-3% of bankroll. You can make a case to be a bit below normal right now given the heightened risk from a mid-tournament WD if there is a positive Covid test. Be sure to play within your risk tolerances.

Larger Bankrolls: On DK, the $400K Driver is a $200 SE with $100K. It is 25% bigger than last week and will still fill by Wednesday afternoon. The $888K Signature Hole is a $555 multi entry that pays $200K to first. The $100K Driving Range ($150 entry 3 max) and the $200K Stinger ($100 entry, $50K up top) are also worth a look. On FD, the $400K PGA Monster ($555 entry, $100K up top) and the $50K Albatross ($222 SE with $8K up top) are both 20%+ bigger than last week and should still fill before lock.

Smaller Bankrolls: On DK, the Milly Maker ($20 entry, $1M to first) is the same poor structure as last week with 40% of the prize pool to 1st. I still say, if you have tickets, play it. Otherwise, skip it. The $300K Drive the Green has a more equitable payout structure and a more affordable max entry price point with the $5 entry fee. All of the SE price points here ($33, $12, $5 and $1) are good GPP's and there are plenty of good 3 and 20 max GPP's at price points between $1 and $15. On FD, the $400K PGA Eagle has a lower entry fee from last week ($7.77 entry and $100K up top) and a bigger prize pool. There is also the $125K PGA Stinger with the affordable max entry price point ($3 entry and $10K to first) and the $23K PGA Pin Seeker ($25 SE and $2K to first).

For all bankroll sizes in high-risk contests, remember to target 100-player leagues first and foremost, especially on FanDuel. On DraftKings, these are called "Contests" and range from 29 to 237 players.