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PGA DFS: Fortinet Championship 2023 - Picks and Preview



Overview/Recap

Just like that, we are back into another PGA DFS season! With the Fortinet Championship formerly known as the Safeway Open. This tournament has seen 4 straight golfers of 50/1 or high odds win, which points to the idea that the beginning of the PGA season leads to more random results, and this is due to many reasons.


1) A lot of golfers have not played since the playoffs started. (Which is why they are playing in this event to hopefully get some FedEx Cup points early.) More time off = more variance.


2) Golfers that played in the FedEx Cup playoffs went through 3 straight weeks of different goals, some just trying to move on, some trying to secure a PGA Tour Card, some trying to win it all. After 3 straight event of mental grinding it is not a surprise to see someone struggle to be mentally sharp again in the first event back.


3) A lot of "new" golfers on the tour season, whether that being rookie golfers or KFT grads. A lot of the KFT guys had been playing some great golf leading into this event, but mentally where will they be will they be content with making the Tour or will they have the mental strength to continue to play well.


As you can see we have a lot more pieces to the puzzle this week compared to end-of-season golf when it is just, great course history, great stat fit, and great form - a great play. This is why we see a lot more early season variance.


(Note the member's version of this writeup will be completed on Tuesday Evening)


Key Stats:

- Effective Scoring

- Ball Striking

- Good Drive %

- Par 5 Scoring

- SG OT


While strokes gained off the Tee is huge at this course we also see that golfers need to be hitting the ball accurately off the tee. The same goes for them in terms of ball striking leading to those three stats being the most key ones to look at.


Course History:

Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)


Top is Course History Min 2 Starts last 4 years:

1) Chez Reavie

2) Scott Harrington

3) Patrick Rodgers

4) Sahith Theegala

5) Cameron Percy

6) Andrew Putnman

7) Michael Thompson

8) Max Homa

9) Harry Higgs

10) Cameron Champ


SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Yellow/Red

First tournament of the year means we have a lot of unknowns this year. Due to this I will not be attacking this as much as I normally do. On the flip side of that some of my best weeks in DFS have come during the NFL season. People are more or less going through the motions in PGA DFS during this time and it can lead to a bigger edge than we normally get.


Weather:

Weather report is telling us that we should have a pretty nice weekend.


*Note I will continue to attack the SD Slate with the AM tee times until the weather suggests that this is not the way to go.


BETTING

First Round Leader


AM Tee Times

I will be targeting AM Tee Times for FRL betting until further notice (basically if weather tells us not to)


TBD based on AM tee times


Outright Bets:

Corey Conners 16/1

Taylor Pendrith 28/1

Andrew Putnam 50/1

Cam Davis 22/1

Justin Suh 60/1

Michael Kim 150/1

Theegala 28/1


Round 1 Matchup Bets (3 Balls)

TBD based on AM tee times



Placement Bets:


Top 10 Bets:

TBD


Top 20 Bets:

TBD


HIGH-TIER PLAYS: ($9,000 AND UP)

Hideki is a little bit too risky of a play for me this week but I do really like Max Homa, and Corey Conners this week as well as Taylor Pendrith, and Cam Davis.


Max Homa - $10,500 - High Exposure:


Homa made 19 out of 22 cuts last season showing that he was an extremely consistent golfer on the season. He is ranking out as the top play in the 925 model this week. He is also the defending champ, and is also from California. He is a top 6 stat fit, and is in the 2nd best recent form in the field. Really Homa is coming in and checking all the boxes. The only slight worry with Homa is that he is the defending champ, and maybe that adds a little bit of pressure while also throwing off his normal practice schedule.


Corey Conners - $10,300 - Core Play:

Conners is coming into this event as a the top stat rank, as he ranks out top 10 or better in the top 4 key stats for this week. He has finished 13th, and MC at this event over the past 4 years. The biggest worry with Conners is just how much upside does he have? Can he give us that winning upside? Well by now you guys should know my approach, I will just play and bet on the top players in the field, and eventually, they will come through for us for that win. That is going to be my approach with Conners this week.


Sahith Theegala - $10,000 - Mid Exposure:

Theegala somewhat feels like the same play as Homa last year. A California guy coming in off of a good season, a guy that is a fan favorite, and a guy that no one would really be surprised to see win. Theegala has played this course twice finishing 47th last year, and 14th in 2021. He is not the best stat fit only ranking out 25th in the field, but at the same time he does not really have any weaknesses in his game. He is in the 4th best recent form, and has been very close to breaking through for a win. He could be someone that we look at as a FRL as well if he has an AM tee time.


Taylor Pendrith - $9,800 - Core Play

Pendrith is a golfer that is going to be tough not to play this week, as he is coming in as the 2nd best pick in the 925 model. This is because he is coming in on some great form finishing 8th, 68th, 13th, 2nd, 11th, 13th, 13th, and 42nd over his past 8 starts. He ranks out as the 3rd best stat fit ranking out top 10 in GD%, BS, and SGT2G. he also played this event last finishing 36th. On paper we have no reason not to play Pendrith this week.


Cam Davis - $9,600 - High Exposure:

I had forgotten just how well Davis had played at the tail end of the season last year, making the cut in 10 straight starts with 6 oof those being top 20 finishes, and 3 being top 10 finishes. He has made two starts at this event finishing 36th two years ago then going MC, and 17th. He is a top 10 stat fit as well. Really Cam Davis should be a good play, and I see a path where we are starting builds out going Davis, and Pendrith. (WELCOME TO EARLY SEASON PGA DFS)



MID TIER PLAYS: ($8,900 - $8,000)

Now we get into the Mid Tier range which is full of PGA Tour players that should be good plays but you know it is an ugly click to make (Troy "Money" Merritt, Denny McCarthy, Trey Mullinax and Brandan Steele). We also get all of the top KFT players (minus Michael Kim). This is a range that is going to be a lot of fun, but if anyone is chalky here you could easily fade.


Brendan Steele - $8,900 - Low Exposure:

Although Steele ranks out as a top 10 play in the 925 model, I just can't trust him. Even at a course in which he has dominated at. He has been in decent recent form as well making 10 out of his last 12 cuts on the PGA Tour. He also ranks out as a top 15 stat fit so it would not be shocking to see him have a good week, I just have a tough time trusting him.


Taylor Montgomery - $8,500 - Mid Exposure:

Typically I would look the other way when we get a young stud coming in that everyone is excited about, but man was he good on the KFT last year. Basically every made cut was a top 20 finish, and 9 of them were top 10 finishes. He last 4 starts were 9th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd. He is someone I will be looking to play, but you never know exactly how this type of play will go.


Trey Mullinax - $8,300 - Mid Exposure:

Trey Mullinax really ended his season on a strong note going 1st, 21st, 37th, 5th, and 12th to close out the season. The problem is prior to that he was terrible. He has made two starts at this tournament in the past missing the cut twice. He is a decent GPP play but not someone I am going crazy with.


Justin Suh - $8,200 - High Exposure:

Fresh off of his KFT Championship win Justin Suh just might be my make-or-break play. He is a Cali guy from San Jose about an hour in half away from the course. Suh really dominated on the KFT last year ranking out as the best player on the KFT. Not surprising as 10 out of his 21 made cuts last year were top 10 finishes. Suh played at this tournament last year and finished 58th. The data that we have on him in the 925 database is all from his starts on the PGA Tour so it is not pretty, but he still ranks out top 30 in the 925 model. He should be a solid play.


Wyndham Clark - $8,000 - Mid Exposure:

Clark has finished 30th, MC, MC, and 33rd at this event so he is far from a lock. Especially given the fact that his last event was a tournament finish. Still he ranks out top 10 in Recent Form rank, and Stat fit. He could easily have a top 10 finish and it would not be shocking.


LOW TIER PLAYS: ($7,900 - $7,000)


Andrew Putnam - $7,700 - Core Play:

Wow going in on Andrew Putnam is a very strange way to start the PGA Tour Season. He is a top 5 specialist in the field, has finished 30th, and 36th at this course, and is in great recent form. He has made the cut in his past 4 starts finished 23rd, 5th, 27th, and 11th. Overall ranking out as a top 10 play in the 925 Model. I might even go crazy and place an outright bet on him.


Nick Hardy - $7,500 - Low Exposure:

Hardy had two bad finishes to his PGA Tour season before going 12th, 28th, and 15th on the KFT Tour. Prior to his two missed cuts on the PGA Tour he had went 58th, 13th, 30th, 8th, and 14th (US Open). So those two MC's look like he just had something off in his game. This is a pretty strong price point for him as a play this week.


Michael Gligic - $7,400 - Mid Exposure:

Gligic has been playing some great golf for a while now, since April he has 2 missed cuts and 12 made cuts. The last three were on the KFT where he went 5th, 4th, and 65th. This is a course that should suit his game as he ranks out as the 23rd best stat fit. He has made 3 straight cuts at this event overall ranking out as the 25th best play in the 925 model.


Mark Hubbard and Patrick Rodgers - $7,300 - Mid Exposure:

Hubbard and Rodgers are the same plays to me on this slate, and they are both strangely cheap. Hubbard has finished top 20 at this event in 2 out of the last 3 years with one MC, and Rodgers has made the cut 4 straight years in a row. Hubbard had two event in a row that he could have won, and then to close out his season he struggled. I think that will be good for him to get a natural mental reset. Rodgers finished his season pretty well down the stretch, and went to school in Cali. Both are plays that should make the cut, and both are play that seem too cheap.


Callum Tarren - $7,200 - Low Exposure: Tarren is a golfer last year that teased us a couple of times as a long shot bet. He showed us that he has the ability to go low, and now he just needs to be more consistent round to round, and he has vocalized that. I think he will come into this season ready to go. He finished last year going MC, 27th, 20th, 7th, 22nd, MC and 6th. It would not be shocking to see him near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.


VALUE TIER PLAYS: ($6,900 - $6,000)

Values like Ben Griffin, and Vincent Norrman are pooping due to small sample sizes going into the data. I would not play them.


Michael Kim - $6,900 - High Exposure: One of my more fall calls last year was Michael Kim as a play at the Barbasol Championship. He had been playing extremely well coming into that event then finished 7th at the event. Since then he has went 3rd, 13th, 5th, 5th, 26th, 34th, and 17th. I really do not get why he is priced this cheap and some of the other studs from the KFT are priced up way more than this. Seems like a great play at a cheap price point.


Michael Thompson - $6,700 - Mid Exposure: Thompson made the cut in 9 out of past 11 starts on the PGA Tour over his past 4 made cut his worst finish was 31st. He is a golfer that has played well at this tournament in the past finishing 69th, 23rd, and 17th in 3 starts over the past 4 years. I think that he has a good chance at making the cut this year.


Sam Stevens - $6,700 - Low Exposure: Another KFT golfer that played well, and is seemingly just too cheap for having played that well. He made 20 out of 25 cuts last year with a majority of his finishes being top 25 or better. Kevin Roy is another golfer that is basically the sam play.


Player Pool

Player Pool Breakdown:

Player Pool is rank in order (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)




 

CASH AND GPP PLAYS:

(Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)

Cash Play: Highest Likelihood to make the cut.

GPP Play: Reduced Likelihood to make the cut, but if they do they have a high likelihood to exceed their salary.


Cash:

GPP:


SAMPLE LINEUP:

*This is a sample lineup for you to use as a reference tool. This is typically the first look lineup that I get onto for the week. Most of the time my main lineup will be adjusted throughout the week as I do a deeper dive. (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)



Ownership Leverage

Taking a look at the players that are under-owned, and too high owned. Talking about why. \

*Tool Update Alert* New to 925s Ownership Leverage Tool - Return Value for Finishing Position: Measuring where a golfer needs to finish to return value based on their current ownership projection at their price point. (Comes out Tuesday Evening)



Over Owned / Under Owned:



 

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