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above the cut

Above the Cut: PGA DFS Picks for The Memorial Tournament

Ben Rasa

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PGA DFS picks. Daily fantasy golf expert live stream breaking down the ZOZO Championship for DraftKings + FanDuel with Xander Schauffele

The tour packs its bags and heads to Dublin, Ohio, for this week’s PGA Event. It is one of the marquee non-majors on the schedule with The Memorial Tournament set to tee off. This is Jack Nicklaus’ tourney that recently got a makeover, so players will face a new set of challenges this week. Last year there was a unique situation, as the Workday and Memorial Tournament played at this course back-to-back weeks, showing how different the conditions can be. On the daily fantasy side, there is another batch of big-time tournaments and a quality field to construct lineups with. Let’s dive into the daily fantasy golf advice for the course and field to take down some big prizes this week on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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The Course

Muirfield Village is a regular PGA Tour stop, so most players in the field are plenty familiar with the venue. It is a par 72 that has been slightly lengthened and now comes in just north of 7,500 yards. Having four par 5’s to attack is huge, but this course also has six long par 4’s — all over 450 yards — so surviving those will be a key test for the players. The fairways are easy to hit, but bombers need to still be careful, as the rough is unforgiving and there are hazards lurking if they start spraying the ball.

Gamers will want players who hit a bunch of greens in regulation, as consistent scrambling opportunities are a recipe for disaster at this place. Guys who hit driver off the tee are going to be pushing the risk-reward button often, but it still can be beneficial if some of the bombers are keeping it out of the nasty stuff.

The greens are bentgrass, and barring changes from the overhaul, they are usually pretty quick. Overall, putting is secondary to targeting the elite iron players and guys who can give themselves plenty of birdie opportunities. If players are not striking it well, they better have the ability to save out of the sand and hole some long par putts because this course will test both of those things. With the course getting a makeover, course history could be slightly less important, but the main themes of Muirfield Village will remain the same from past year.

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The Field

This is an invitational, so there are just 120 players in the field to choose from. With 65 and ties making the weekend, it is a much easier cut than the typical 156-man field. This doesn’t mean just jam in top-tier players and round out salary with anyone, but it is a little more forgiving at the bottom.

Jordan Spieth continues to hold the top spot after last week’s showing, and he is followed by Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau. With this being Nicklaus’ tournament, there is usually a ton of top-end talent, and this year is no different. There are six players north of $10,000 and another eight in the $9,000 range, all elite talents on tour. The depth is an issue since each price point has fewer options, but this field is on the stronger side.

Working down to the lower ranges, there are still plenty of PGA Tour regulars who have shown the ability to get in contention. Unlike some tournaments where the lower-$6,000 range is virtually unplayable, this week there are options top to bottom. This will make both balanced builds and stars-and-scrubs lineup construction both viable strategies in large-field GPPs. Make sure to check out Awesemo’s Lineup Builder, which can help show the strengths and weaknesses of each type of build.


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DraftKings & FanDuel Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for The Memorial Tournament

Top Priced: Xander Schauffele $9,700 DraftKings; $11,200 FanDuel

With a field this strong, the top-end guys all have the talent to just blow a field away. Small edges like ownership and opportunity cost will ultimately determine how much to have of these guys since it is not possible to have all the top guys. Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas look best among those above $10,000. Rahm is currently projecting sub-10% ownership via Awesemo’s projections, which is very appealing.

As good as the $10,000-plus options are, there is room the next tier, and specifically Xander Schauffele at $9,700. Schauffele isn’t in the best form, but he is playing at a high level and is poised to contend this year. At Memorial in 2020, he gained 12.7 strokes tee to green but only finished 13th due to losing five strokes gained putting. That is atypical for Schauffele, and he should have much better results on the greens this week.

Even with the two missed cuts over the last four events, the 2021 season has been solid for Schauffele. He has six top-10s in 13 starts and seems to be primed to add another win to the resume. His game has no glaring weakness, and coming off a disappointing missed cut at the PGA Championship, he should be at the top of his game here.

Also considering – Justin Thomas, Tony Finau      

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Mid-Range: Emiliano Grillo $7,700 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel

Last week Grillo finished eighth, and he did it leaning on his irons once again. He has gained at least six strokes on approach in four of his last five starts, which is as good as you will find anywhere on tour. If the irons continue to be that dialed in, there is no reason to think this run of form won’t continue.

As important as the approach game, is the change in putting has been the real catalyst for Grillo’s recent success. He has been positive on the greens in three straight events, which hasn’t happened to him since 2018. With his iron play so precise, the ability to bury some of these makeable putts is putting Grillo on the map every week in this mid-range price tag. He also has plenty of experience at The Memorial. One final point is that with the strong field, the ownership is dispersed nicely in the mid-range, according to the Awesemo PGA daily fantasy golf ownership projections, so it seems unlikely Grillo swells to over 20%-plus this week in tournaments.

Also considering – Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rickie Fowler

Lower Priced: Kyle Stanley $6,100 DraftKings; FanDuel N/A

Last week, Vincent Whaley was at the bottom of the pricing and quickly became the popular punt play. The appeal rostering someone near $6,000 is huge because it unlocks a ton of permutations around the salary of the other five players. This week, Kyle Stanley is just $100 north of the minimum price, which is a clear oversight. Of course, low-owned daily fantasy golf chalk can have various drawbacks, so always be aware, but Stanley is firmly in play at this price point.

Stanley is playing very solid golf over the past few weeks. He gained 9.9 strokes tee to green last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and that resulted in an eighth-place finish. Stanley has found the weekend in four of his last five starts, and given his solid course history at The Memorial as well, he checks a ton of boxes. With this being a smaller field, Awesemo’s projections have Stanley around 57% to find the weekend, which puts him around a lot of players priced $500 more than him this week.

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Also Considering – Troy Merritt, Russell Henley


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FantasyDraft DFS PGA rankings will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament. Looking for more DFS PGA and PGA DFS picks? The DraftKings PGA DFS projections, the DraftKings PGA DFS showdown projections for today and the FanDuel PGA DFS ownership projections for this week are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world.

*Ben Rasa (aka Jazzraz)* has been involved with sports and numbers for quite some time dabbling in the poker world , sports wagering and of course finding a home in the DFS world. While he enjoys playing NFL, NCAAF and NBA he has found his best advantage on the links with PGA and the Euro Tour. Jazzraz focuses on GPPs and uses a analytical approach to try and find pricing inefficiencies as well as trying to go against the grain to find those under owned lesser know players that can make the difference in giant field tournaments. You can contact Ben by emailing [email protected].

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