Top DraftKings PGA DFS Picks for The Honda Classic 2022
Top DraftKings PGA DFS Picks for The Honda Classic 2022
Last week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera was a raging success for Team Rise or Fall and I. We wrapped up the West Coast Swing and headed into Florida with bags full of money. It was such a great player pool that one of my most successful lineups only saw four out of six make the cut! My guy DJ was uncharacteristically bad, but the really painful experienced was getting absolutely Gooched.
I’ll let it slide without too much vitriol, because Talor Gooch pulls no punches in his Twitter game. I’ve also played some horrendous golf in my day and have absolutely no space to talk. We can all take solace in the fact that both the champion (Joaquin Niemann) and runner-up (Collin Morikawa) were at the top of our player pools and exposure percentages.
The Florida Swing kicks off in Palm Beach Gardens at PGA National. This is one of the crown jewels of the PGA tour and one of “Jack’s places.” The Jack Nicklaus design is a par-70 just a smidge over 7,100 yards with Bermuda throughout. 15 out of 18 holes are protected by water hazards, including the infamous (and treacherous) “Bear Trap.”
Holes 15, 16, and 17 are a buzz saw stretch that often decide who prevails on Sunday afternoon. Since PGA National is a lot like TPC Sawgrass, in that it requires “target golf” and great planned shot making, the bombers really hold no advantage this week.
I will be targeting players based primarily on strokes gained tee-to-green, on approach, and around the green. An extra bit of weight is put on that second one, as well as bogey avoidance. The Bear Trap is a real bear, with scoring certainly suppressed from what we have seen on the schedule to date. The best way to have all of this data at your fingertips is with the PGA Study Hub.
The field is also significantly weaker this week, as many of the top golfers in the world use this week to rest up for a torrid spring stretch of events. These six golfers are the ones I will be maxing out exposure (40-50%) on this week in DFS, with hopes that they will catapult my merry band of 20-30 golfers to the top of the leaderboards yet again.
Stick It Close: Studs to Target
Daniel Berger (DK: $10,400; FD: $11,800; Y!: $46)
The Honda Classic field is missing a lot of the top talent on tour, which pushed pricing way up for certain golfers. For example, Sungjae Im is the favorite to win here for good reason. He took home the trophy in 2020 and is playing really well. He has not, however, been priced over $10k since the Sony Open four weeks ago. He has never been priced this high, nor attracted this much chalk.
The only player over $10k this week that warrants it is Berger. His metrics are just as good as Im’s and, other than a balky back, he has shown incredible form this season. He excels on approach and around the green. I will still roster Sungjae Im to a degree, but I will be quite a bit more heavy-handed with Berger.
Shane Lowry (DK: $9,400; FD: $11,300; Y!: $38)
My Irish brother is one of the most underrated golfers in the world. Lowry hasn’t played since January in the UAE, but the 2019 Open Championship winner has played well in the Honda Classic the last three years. Breezy conditions are expected on Thursday and Friday, which also gives the Irishman a distinct advantage. Lowry is an all-around great golfer, but especially tee-to-green and on approach. For his DFS upside and sub 10% projected ownership, Lowry is a screaming value on all platforms.
Matt Jones (DK: $9,000; FD: $10,900; Y!: $31)
To be fair, Matt Jones is known for showing up large in only a few tournaments each year. The Aussie has a masterful short game and holds his own from tee-to-green. The really puzzling tidbit is that Jones won this tournament by five strokes last year. Jones didn’t just win, but he ran away with it. He also made the weekend in 2019 and 2020, finishing 36th and 47th.
Somehow, that has translated into a sparkling 7% expected ownership to go with his rock-bottom salary (especially on Yahoo!). All signs point to another strong performance for Jones at the Honda and a wonderful leverage play in DFS.
No Gimme: Tap-In Values
Ryan Palmer (DK: $7,900; FD: $9,700; Y!: $36)
Palmer isn’t the steadiest play in this field, by any stretch of the imagination. He is someone who plays well at the Honda Classic. Where he is not very good at bogey avoidance, Palmer is an excellent ball striker and ranks sixth in this field in strokes gained from tee-to-green. He is one of my riskier plays this week, but one that could win me a DFS tournament at 6% projected ownership.
The key will be converting on the few birdie opportunities at PGA National and avoiding a meltdown at the challenging Bear Trap. Palmer is sure to fulfill the former, while leaving us holding our breath on the latter.
Ian Poulter (DK: $7,600; FD: $9,600; Y!: $35)
I like Poulter. He is an irritant to many, which stems both from his boastful personality and the daggers he has dropped on the US in Ryder Cup play. A longtime Florida resident, the Englishman has excelled in the state throughout his career. Despite not being an elite ball striker, Poulter’s short game and putting are immaculate and he plans his journey around a golf course with marked precision.
We are getting an absolute steal on DraftKings, with under 5% projected ownership at $7.6k. If it comes down to a clutch putt or two down the stretch this weekend, you can count on Poulter to lock into match play mode and come through with flying colors.
Aaron Rai (DK: $7,400; FD: $8,900; Y!: $27)
Much like Joaquin Niemann, people are going to be talking about Aaron Rai a lot more very soon. The 26-year old Englishman of Indian descent has done very well for himself on the European Tour and is now popping up on the PGA Tour radar. His sixth place finish at the Farmers got my attention.
He navigated Torrey Pines like a seasoned vet and dropped in two eagles that week. Rai has yet to play in the Honda Classic, but he is showing up nicely in our models this week. He is 11th in the field in strokes gained on approach and 15th in strokes gained from tee-to-green. Dropping down too far in salary in an event like this is extremely risky without much reward of upside. Rai is about as low as I’ll dip for the majority of my Bear Trap builds.
I will be with you for an entire PGA Tour season of DFS picks. I hope you join me in victory throughout 2022 and beyond. I promise to be a better DFS golfer than an actual golfer. You can find all of my musings on Twitter. Good luck and hit ’em straight!