Top DraftKings PGA DFS Picks for The PLAYERS 2022
Top DraftKings PGA DFS Picks for The PLAYERS 2022
After last week’s Bay Hill bloodbath, I’m in the mood for a change in scenery. We still eked out a profit, thanks to Benitt and DVA‘s awesome player pools. My favorite leading into last week was Rory McIlroy. He came out roaring with a 65 on Thursday and the 18-hole lead. He proceeded to go eight over par for the weekend and crushed half of my lineups along the way.
DFS amnesia has already kicked in and we are on to The PLAYERS at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Long considered the “fifth major,” the PLAYERS is a true test of one’s golf mettle. Sawgrass is home to the famous island green par-3 17th hole, but that will not be the only daunting challenge this week.
The Pete Dye design is a masterclass in diabolical design work. A par-72 at only 7,200 yards seems like a place where longer hitters can impose their will, but the exact opposite is true. Dye has set this course up to force golfers to think one shot at a time and plan according to forced landing areas on the fairways and severely-undulating Bermuda greens.
This week, the weather will definitely be a factor with rain and wind in the forecast. I have narrowed my scope to three key analysis points to create my PLAYERS pool. TPC Sawgrass requires accurate tee shots and approaches, so the ever-important strokes gained from tee to green (SG: T2G) will be huge.
Secondly, the pitfalls on this course are not unlike last week at Bay Hill, so bogey avoidance will also be paramount.
Lastly, the golfers who win this tournament always do the bulk of their scoring on the gettable par-5 holes. Par-5 scoring will be factored into my player pool decision making. For all of the important metrics and analytics in one place, check out the Team Rise or Fall PGA Study Hub. With that in mind, let’s tee off.
Stick It Close: Studs to Target
Collin Morikawa (DK: $10,700; FD: $11,800; Y!: $44)
Morikawa isn’t just my favorite golfer on tour. He is my favorite at TPC Sawgrass. Morikawa is a master ball-striker, especially on approach. He is fourth in this field in SG: T2G and hot on Jon Rahm’s heels for the number one golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings. Morikawa is exactly the type of player who can maneuver around this course and score on the par-5 holes to win the tournament and the largest cash prize of any single tournament in golf.
Cameron Smith (DK: $9,400; FD: $10,600; Y!: $39)
Along the same lines as Morikawa, Cameron Smith is a grinder. He is another master on approach and one of the best on tour at avoiding bogeys. With inclement weather hitting an already-arduous track, the mustachioed, mullet-wearing Aussie is exactly the kind of golfer I trust to stick with it and keep on the attack. Smith is also an excellent clutch putter, which has served him well in big moments over his career.
Daniel Berger (DK: $8,800; FD: $10,500; Y!: $38)
I’m going all-in on the guys who were so instrumental in tough weather at the Honda Classic two weeks ago. Berger looked as if he was destined to win, with a 5-stroke 54-hole lead. His awful start to the final round quickly dissolved that led to Shane Lowry (another key player) taking his turn at the top.
Ultimately, it was Sepp Straka that won in a back-nine flurry at the Honda, but Berger never relented from his drive to try and win the tournament. He had some very clutch moments that will be needed at Sawgrass this week. In the same price range on DK, you can also slot Will Zalatoris in here too. He will be less chalky.
No Gimme: Tap-In Values
Russell Henley (DK: $7,400; FD: $9,000; Y!: $32)
The bottom of the pricing tier at the PLAYERS is loaded this week. I have decided to flood my player pool with these guys and stick to only a couple studs at the very top. This gives me a ton of leverage on the field in my 20-max tournaments. Russell Henley pops up extremely high in the metrics I’m using. He is seventh in this formidable field in SG: T2G and has had very good recent form, despite not much success to date at Sawgrass. He will draw a low roster percentage and has the potential to return a very high points-per-dollar value, especially on DraftKings.
Talor Gooch (DK: $7,200; FD: $9,100; Y!: $35)
You wouldn’t know it from social media, but Talor Gooch is one of the best all-around golfers in the world right now. He had one terrible round that sunk him at the Genesis, where a lot of sharps had him as a good bet to win. This unleashed a furious back and forth on Twitter between golf heads and Gooch.
I was upset that I was also part of the group that got Gooched, but the guy has been money ever since. Gooch also finished fifth last year at The PLAYERS, which obviously indicates that he is of good enough caliber to compete here. The salary on DraftKings is absolutely insulting, so I was surprised to see he wasn’t considered overly chalky this week in the projections.
Kyoung-Hoon Lee (DK: $6,300; FD: $7,700; Y!: $26)
The magic bullet in an unpredictable, weather-affected tournament like this one is a guy who simply is a lock to make the cut. Enter KH Lee, who is down in the basement of the pricing scale. He has missed two cuts in the last calendar year. Do I ever expect him to contend in a tournament like this with a $15 million purse? Not in the slightest, but Lee offers leverage, stability, and a whole heck of a lot of salary cap relief.
Lee finished 41st at Sawgrass last year, and seems to always hover in the middle of the pack. The reason? He really doesn’t make a lot of bogeys. Lee is a very conservative player, who appears to blend in with the middle of the pack in every stat. He did make two eagles last week, which had him among the best leverage picks again. Don’t sleep on the Panda.
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!