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against the grain

Against the Grain: Contrarian Fantasy Golf Picks for the Millionaire Maker at the PGA Championship | DraftKings | 5/18/21

Jason Rouslin



PGA DFS Picks for the ZOZO Championship. FREE DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy golf advice and more on Wednesday, 10/20/21.

The PGA Championship is here and the biggest fantasy golf contests are back. A new millionaire is likely to be crowned at the end of this week, and ownership plays a pivotal role in creating the perfect fantasy golf GPP lineup. Sometimes it’s the 5%-owned diamonds in the rough that make all the difference, and sometimes it’s those 7 to 10% golfers that not everyone wants to play for whatever the reason. Either way, each week in every GPP-winning lineup, there’s at least one golfer that would fit certain categories. This article will go over some of the past millionaire-maker winning lineups and give out some of the top against-the-grain fantasy golf picks for this week’s big contests on DraftKings and FanDuel.


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A follower of the tour will certainly know that winning a major doesn’t come by luck or mountains of birdies, but more grit, determination and an all-around golf game. Over the last 12 majors, consistently the chalk has performed better and better at these events. One of the biggest contributing factors to that is the sharpness of the projection, advice and information available; being able to project out golfers in each salary range has gotten better. Creating other ways to differentiate a lineup should certainly be looked at, and gamers need to understand how to get leverage without using a golfer that’s projected under 5% owned.

One of those ways to differentiate within a higher ownership lineup is to leave salary on the table. Take the most recent winner of the $10 million makers on DraftKings; his total ownership of the lineup was 116%. The lineup wasn’t duplicated either, and the biggest reason was leaving $400 salary on the table. Only 5% of the total lineups did that, and then it becomes a numbers game. If only 5% of the lineups used that amount of salary, which equates to about 10,000 lineups, only 8% are going to have Hideki Matsuyama, dwindling it down to just 800 lineups that had him and left $400 on the table. There likely weren’t any duplicates with that few lineups using him given the player field.

Lastly, it was still important to find that golfer under 10% owned, so maybe the threshold just needs to be lowered a tad.

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Awesemo’s Top 10 Owned Golfers for The PGA Championship

*Data taken on May 18 at 1 p.m. Make sure to check out the full set of projections by clicking here.

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Fantasy Golf Picks for PGA Championship

$9,000 and Above

  • 14 Golfers

When pricing first dropped, Rory McIlroy’s price seemed relatively high for a 156-man field. But taking out the 20 PGA Professionals, and considering the fact that it’s the top 70 and ties make the cut,, it lends itself to being closer to a WGC no-cut event than a regular field. But still, what that’s created is a need for value, and Viktor Hovland with his recent form and expected course fit likely will have one of the top ownerships this week.

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Adding one of the top-three-priced golfers in the field with Hovland will push one out of the running for any golfer priced over $8,000 at the point given the salary used. This is, in effect, creating a spot where all three of the top-priced golfers are trending to be lower than 10% owned: McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.

The ownership does pick up dropping down to Jon Rahm given that his form has been better than Johnson’s as of late, and there are some salary savings there. Then there’s a big drop down in price when getting to Byson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth, who arguably has the best form of anyone priced over $10,000. Those two likely will see the highest ownership of the bunch, and it likely will still be shy of 20%.

There are still a few highly sought-after golfers in this range, including Xander Schauffele, who for the first time in quite some time is priced lower than both Spieth and Collin Morikawa, and the ownership is following. He will come in right at 20%. Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed are trending to be owned just above 10%. At the same time, Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama are all projected to be lower than 10% owned.

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Top Against the Grain Fantasy Golf Picks

Taking a look at the golfers that are projected under 10% owned in this range, gamers can easily remove Koepka, as the injury problems are apparent. Morikawa has played better as of late and seems to be trending in the right direction, whereas Cantlay is going in the wrong direction. Lastly, Matsuyama can’t win two majors in a row … can he?

After the process of elimination seen above, Morikawa is the de facto top against-the-grain pick this week. However, these higher-priced golfers that are between 10 and 20% owned have dominated the leaderboards, so it is not an absolute necessity to roster someone projected under 10% owned in this range.

Mid-Range ($8,900-$7,500)

  • 23 golfers

Fresh off a 62 on Sunday that almost propelled him to the win, Daniel Berger’s price all of a sudden seems rather cheap. That comes with a big price tag in terms of ownership, projected as the third-highest-owned golfer on the slate behind Hovland and Abraham Ancer. Ancer working off of back-to-back top-fives seems to be priced where someone like Matthew Fitzpatrick should be this week, and Fitzpatrick comes in at $8,400.

The same goes for Joaquin Niemann, projected to be around 20% owned but playing just as well as Sungjae Im, who is priced $600 higher. Both Im and Fitzpatrick are trending around the 5- to 10%-owned range.

Tyrrell Hatton is another name that gamers are wanting to buy into this week, projected around 20% owned. The same goes for Corey Conners. The latter is worth a bit more ownership this week, while the former has shown no reason to roster him in majors yet. He has missed three of his last four cuts and has no top-15s in at least the last seven.

The only other golfer that we have projected over 15% from this range is Sam Burns. It is totally warranted given that he has a first and a second in his last two starts. It is tough to fade that any week.

There are only a few other golfers in this price range that are over 10% projected ownership, including Cameron Smith, Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey.

Top Against the Grain Fantasy Golf Picks

Twelve golfers remain — 10 if excluding Fitzpatrick and Im — that are projected for under 10% ownership this week. A few names to include in builds this week are:

  • Bubba Watson
  • Will Zalatoris
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Adam Scott
  • Shane Lowry
  • Marc Leishman
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The Rest ($7,400 and Below)

  • 120 Golfers

Right away, the 20 PGA Professionals can be thrown out. The likelihood of more than one of them making the cut is slim to none. But there are plenty of quality names this week given the depth of the field and a few that are likely to be a bit more targeted than others. The names that are projected to be over 10% owned this week and are priced at less than $7,500 are:

  • Brian Harman
  • Keegan Bradley
  • Jason Kokrak
  • Cameron Tringale
  • Charl Schwartzel

A handful of others are projected to be owned between 5 and 10%, including:

  • Si Woo Kim
  • Matt Wallace
  • Charley Hoffman
  • Harris English
  • Emiliano Grillo
  • Ryan Palmer
  • Stewart Cink
  • Alex Noren

That leaves close to 80 options of golfers that will be less than 5% owned. If looking for someone that isn’t as much of a gamble and off of the above list, Grillo has the most appeal of those golfers given his PGA DFS projection of 46.8 fantasy points.

Follow us on all of our social channels! Check out our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more great Awesemo content. DFS PGA rankings will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament. The FanDuel DFS PGA projections for this week, the PGA DFS showdown projections for DraftKings and the DFS PGA ownership projections for today are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world. Looking for more FanDuel PGA DFS picks and DFS PGA FanDuel picks?

Jason established his roots in the littlest state that could...Rhode Island. But after 29 years of bitter cold, and only being able to play golf 4 months a year, upended those roots and moved to Florida. Now two years later, Jason is a husband to Sarah and father of James as well as two Labradors (Choco and Bella) and he dedicates his time to serve as the lead of PGA content at In the time he is not diving into the PGA stats and covering this week's current tournament, you can find him researching and trading stocks, on the golf course, or somewhere hopefully lost in nature with his dogs guiding him along the way. Want to chat? Have a question about Golf/Stocks or anything else? Hop on twitter and give him a message @dfsgolfer23. You can also contact Jason by emailing [email protected].

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