The Farmers Insurance Open often marks the beginning of the real meat of the daily fantasy golf season as we move away from the easier, laid-back opening venues and into the heart of the West Coast swing. Torrey Pines South is always one of the toughest courses the players encounter on the regular PGA calendar, and last year it played as the seventh-hardest venue on Tour. The sprawling seaside par 72 carries a lot of bite with thicker Kikuyu rough and bumpy, fast poa greens that often act as a shock to the system for the players who opened their season on the well-manicured Bermuda venues. With that in mind, let’s start to get into some of the DFS golf advice and daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups this week.
The Farmers Insurance Open is also played on Torrey Pines North for at least one of the first two days as players rotate between the North and South courses prior to the cut. The North is newly renovated but still much more forgiving, and players who intend to compete this week will almost certainly need a solid under-par round there to get themselves into contention on the weekend. Strokes gained off the tee and tee to green can and should be emphasized here. Around the green play can be key as well given the greens and fairways here are tough to hit. Last year’s winner Patrick Reed gained over 8.0 strokes around the greens + putting combined.
DFS Golf Rankings & Expert Picks: Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines South Stats and Info
- The most popular basket of approach shots from previous events from Torrey Pines are from over 200 yards, so longer iron shots will be in play this week.
- Hard-to-hit fairways (driving accuracy 8-10% lower than normal) and slightly tougher to hit greens as well; when added with the length of the course (par 72, 7,697 yards), it makes for big emphasis on ball-striking, but also around the green play.
- Bogey avoidance is crucial, and driving distance among top players is generally a couple of yards higher than tour average (aka players will hit tons of drivers this week).
The greens at Torrey South are poa. They are some of the most finicky greens on tour, and typically we see some of the highest three-putt percentages here of any venue on tour. Here is a more general look at some of the best and worst poa putters in the field, relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these in your fantasy golf picks; they are not the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.
Positive Poa Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds
- Maverick McNealy: +22 strokes on poa, +7 on all other surfaces
- Brandt Snedeker: +33 on poa, +18 on all other surfaces
- Hideki Matsuyama: +2 on poa, -27 on all other surfaces
*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost
Negative Poa Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds
- Cameron Davis: -4 on poa, +8 on all other surfaces
- Francesco Molinari: -28 on poa, -18 on all other surfaces
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout: -1 on poa, +37 on all other surfaces
DFS Golf Picks & Fantasy Golf Rankings for DraftKings & FanDuel
Bryson DeChambeau: Grades: A+, Values: B
There will not be a huge amount of buzz around Bryson DeChambeau this week, who seems likely to fall into the “game theory only” type of target in DFS. The Model on Awesemo says we should be taking a more bullish approach on DeChambeau though, as he has the highest projection of any player ranked under $10,000 in salary on DraftKings and (surprisingly) has the second-highest points projection of any player on this slate.
DeChambeau ranks first in strokes gained off the tee in long-term form but has struggled at this event and venue. He has missed the cut in two past Farmers appearances and finished 26th at the US Open at Torrey Pines last summer, but lost an incredible 7.2 strokes around the greens in the process. Big picture though, DeChambeau’s prowess off the tee and his solid putting (13th in strokes gained putting on poa over the last 50 rounds) makes him ideal for these longer West coast setups. The fact he leads the field in birdie or better percentage in long-term form but is still available under $10,000 on DraftKings makes him a great value there too and a player we should highly considering building around at lower ownership numbers in big fields.
The Stats: Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 11.8% | FanDuel: 10.5%
- Leads the field in birdie or better percentage over the last 50 rounds
- Leads the field in proximity from over 200 yards over the last 50 rounds; gained eight strokes ball striking at Torrey Pines last summer at the US Open
Tony Finau: Grades: A Values: B, C
If DeChambeau is set to be the high-priced player we can target with palatable ownership projections, then Tony Finau is likely to be the uber-chalk we need to get a piece of this week. Finau’s record at this event/venue is insanely consistent with four top-six finishes in his last five starts. He has also never missed the cut in seven career appearances at the Farmers, although he did miss the cut at Torrey Pines during the U.S. Open last season. Finau opened his season up in Maui but also played last week and gained an impressive 4.5 strokes ball striking in just two measured rounds on the Stadium Course.
From a DFS perspective, he ranks 8th in DraftKings points gained over the last 50 rounds on difficult courses and also ranks top-30 in long-term form in proximity from 175+ yards or greater. Finau sticks out like a sore thumb this week at just over $9,000 so do not be shocked if his 15% early projection grows — or he just ends up coming in wildly over his ownership projection. Still, he ranks 8th in projected points this week in the Awesemo Model and has the highest projection of any player with a salary of under $9,800 on DraftKings for the week. He is a great upper-tier value and likely pays off big time for DFS players who choose to ride with him again at one of his favorite venues.
- Has never missed the cut in seven appearances at Torrey Pines; gained 4.5 strokes ball striking last week at the American Express
- Ranks top-10 in DraftKings points gained and in strokes gained: tee to green, at difficult courses.
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 15.9% | FanDuel: 11.3%
Low-Owned Daily Fantasy Golf GPP Flier
This is a classic West coast event and as a result, looking into players with good results at other events on this side of the country can often help us find some good sleepers. Maverick McNealy grew up in this part of the country and has already proven his love for the poa tracks out West on the PGA. McNealy landed a runner-up finish earlier this year at the Fortinet Championship, an event he likely would have won if not for a career back-nine holes by Max Homa. He will be playing Torrey Pines for the third time in competition on the PGA Tour this week and has already 29th- and 15th-place finishes at this week’s event.
McNealy also seemed to take a step up in his play over the final few months of 2021 and enters this week having made 13 of his last 14 cuts on Tour. He has now gained over five strokes ball striking alone in his last two PGA starts and had a solid 27th-place finish at the Sony to open his year. McNealy looks primed for a big week and likely will not get much over 10% owned with a DraftKings salary over $8,000.
Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 10.2%
DraftKings Top Three Under 5%
This section will target three players that should end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in bigger DraftKings GPPs. These picks are boom/bust players with an almost 100% focus on upside.
Matthew Wolff ($8,500)
It doesn’t get much more volatile in PGA DFS than Matthew Wolff, who missed the cut badly last week but produced a couple of top-10 finishes over the fall. He finished 13th-place at the US Open held at Torrey Pines last summer and has produced his best golf on these US Open style setups. He is likely to be well under 5% owned this week and makes for a great GPP target.
Cam Davis ($7,300)
Cameron Davis had a very solid open to his season with a couple of good finishes in Hawaii. He leads this field in eagles gained over the past 50-rounds and has made the cut at Torrey Pines in each of his first four visits to the venue. His birdie-eagle rate alone makes him a good DFS roster at under $7,500.
Patrick Rodgers ($7,100)
Patrick Rodgers is a classic course history play, producing two top-10’s at the Farmers in his last six career appearances. He is coming off a solid fall swing and gained strokes on approach last week (a rarity for him). Rodgers is one of the best poa putters in the field, according to strokes gained, so a good week with the flat stick could produce a great week here.
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FantasyDraft DFS PGA rankings for today will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament. Looking for more DFS PGA stats and FanDuel PGA DFS picks? The Yahoo! PGA DFS projections for this week, the PGA DFS showdown projections for today and the FanDuel DFS PGA ownership projections for today are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world.
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