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PGA DFS - Sony Open 2020


The first full tournament field of the year is absolutely loaded and is ready for each style of DFS player. For the players that love Studs and Duds approach you can do that for those that love to reduce the risk and play a fair and balanced lineup, you can do that as well. The real only worry with this week is the recent form factor. Most of the recent form we are going off of will be from tournaments that were no-cut events, as we know the mindset players have going into that and while playing in those events is completely different. Also, some of the recent form we are going off of is from a month + out. Still, this should be a solid event with a ton of plays. I think the biggest issue is trimming the players pool down, because of how many great plays that we have this week. Thus I have including an "Others Receiving Votes" category this week for the player pool.


Key Stats This Week: GIR, Ball Striking, and Driving Accuracy


This Week's Strategy: This week's strategy I will try to play it safe, and really gear my cash build to get 6/6 across the cut line. In GPP's I will most likely have one or two value plays in the build to try to maximize my upside.

*By playing value plays you're typically reducing the % chance to get 6/6 across the cut line.

Slate Confidence: RED - With the player pool being as big as it is, and the number of good plays we have this week, it's bound that some of the players explode. I do like this week, but this is just not the week that I want to be overly aggressive. The main reason is that we have a lack of lock and load. "Core Plays". The plays are good for this week, but historically speaking do not rank out as well.


Next tournament will most likely be a RED week as well. Following that is when the weeks should start to get into Yellow, and Green weeks.

 

SLATE BREAKDOWN:


TOP PLAYS THIS WEEK


High Tier:

Webb Simpson: Webb is the highest-priced player that I want to go out of my way to get this week. He is the best overall play on the board this week according to my model. Webb does not have a missed cut at this event in the last four years and has an average finish of 10th in those 3 starts. He is T13 or better in every single stat we are looking at besides Total Driving where he ranks 43. This is absolutely elite! Webb also has an average finish of 9th on his 3 starts this season. Now, this will regress back somewhat eventually by Webb should have a good week this week. Webb has made the most cuts a row in the field, tied with Morikawa at 15 straight.


Sungjae Im: Im is a play that I like a lot this week, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he is not getting talked up. Im has always been a cut maker, and that has extended into the 2020 season where he has made 6 straight cuts, with an average finish of 20th. He played this course last year in his rookie season and finished 16th. The only worry with Im is his GIR, and his Driving Accuracy where he ranks below the top 150, but the rest of his game is elite ranking inside the top 50 in each stat. Im has made 10 straight cuts.


Mid Tier:

Andrew Putnam: Putnam is a very interesting play this week, and I love his upside, but he is not a lock. Putnam has finished 2nd, and T69 at this event the last two years. He is an elite Ball Striker, and Total Driver ranking T37 or better in both stats. He is also the best putter in the field. What hurts Putnam is his Birdie or Better % where he ranks 147. Putnam has had mixed results this season with 2 top 20 finishes to start the year then a T59, and a T36. Still, I like Putnam's chances to make the cut as he has made 13 straights cuts.


Low Tier:

Ryan Palmer: Palmer had made the cut at this event in his last two starts here finishing T58, and T13. If we are looking at the core 3 stats this week (Ball Striking, GIR, and DA) Palmer ranks 5th in the field. He has been sporting some good recent form as well with 3 straight top 20 finishes.


Russell Knox: Knox is the best value across the board this week. He has made 3 straight cuts at this event including a 10th, and an 11th finish here. He is one of the best stat fits in the field ranking inside the top 15 this week. The best part about Knox is that his game does not have a weakness for this course. On the season Knox has missed 1 cut which was the first event of the year. He shot even that week. Since that point, he has an average finish of 30th. His game has also been trending upward. The only concern with Knox is that he last played on 10/31.


Brian Stuard: Stuard is a very interesting play this week. He has zero missed cuts at this event in the last 4 years and has finished inside the top 2 the last two years here. His game is strongly suited for this event as he is an accurate player that puts the ball where he wants to and makes the putts to finish those shots. Stuard is a top 20 stat fit this week. He too missed the first cut of the season but has made 7 straight since that point. Stuard is trending upward to with a T51, T23, and T10 in his last 3 events. I see this more of a high upside GPP play.


Emiliano Grillo: Grillo is checking all the boxes for us this week. I would have liked to have seen a stronger recent finish for him, and I would have liked to form to be trending upward but still, Grillo has made 3 straight cuts here, and on the season. In the two events where he missed the cut he still shot under par. Grillo ranks inside the top 5 when we are looking at the core 3 stats this week. T3 in Ball Striking, 4th in GIR, and 34 in DA. Based on Grillo's likelihood to make the cut his extremely underpriced.


Lanto Griffin: Lanto has only missed one cut this year, and he shot minus three that event. So by any measure, he has had a good season. Heck, all but 2 of his 9 starts have been top 20 finishes this season. Griffin lost strokes putting last week, but he still is ranked top 6 in putting on the year. If he is able to get hot with the Putter again he could easily top 10 this week. Griffin played this course once in 2018 and finished T58. So he has course experience, and he played last week in Hawaii which also gives him a slight bump. Grifin is a top 30 stat fit this week.


Ryan Armour: Armour is essentially a slightly riskier, and cheaper version of Grillo. Ranks top 10 in the core 3 stats this week. Has made 2/2 cuts here, and has made 3 straight cuts. I think he is a fine pay down play.


Value Tier:

Henrik Norlander: It feels weird that I have recommended Norlander more than once this season, but still it seems like Norlander could be this year Jason Kokrak where they could from nowhere and have a career year. Norlander ranks 28th in Total Driver, 8th in Ball Striking, 12th in GIR, and 27th in DA. He had a T20 finish in '17, and a MC in '16. Norlander made his last 4 cuts, with his last start being a T5. Not sure we can play him in cash but I love him for Stud and Dud builds.


D.J. Trahan: Trahan has gone under par in every event this year with only 1 missed cut. His last 3 starts have been great finishing T8, T24, and T45. Trahan doesn't have course history to go off of by his stats are elite. He is 4th in Total Driving, 18th in Ball Striking, 60th in GIR, 34th in Birdier or Better %, and 42nd in DA. If these stats hold true this week for Trahan he will T25.


For the rest of the plays in the player pool with exposures scroll down a bit!

 

Stat Pull

*Basic stat pull for this week. Using Tournament History, Weekly Base Stats, and Core Stats for the Course.


MODEL RANKING:


* Typically the model should be used to determine which player you should be targeting based on their likelihood to make the cut, which is how I have this model skewed towards.


As you can see we still have players that

do not have enough rounds this year to qualify for the stats. This hurts the stat model somewhat as well. The more numbers we have available the more accurate this will be. Still a good reference tool any week.

 

PLAYER POOL:


Others Receiving Votes: Had a lot of players highlighted this week, thus we have a ton of lineup fillers / less than %5 GPP player. Below is the list of "Others Receiving Votes" this week. The list where if you're finding a reason to play a player then you know I saw what you saw.


Jones, Bradley, Piercy, Stanley, Garnett, Kang, Lashley, Taylor (Both), Zhang, Higgs, Swafford, NeSmith, Percy, Harrington, Steele

 

CASH AND GPP PLAYS:

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: Webb, Im, Putnam, Grillo, Palmer, and Armour

GPP: Chez, Howell, Lanto, Stuard, Gay, Norlander, Trahan, and Redman

 

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.


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