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DFS Golf Picks This Week & Expert Rankings for the 2022 Valspar Championship

Geoff Ulrich



The PGA Tour ends its Florida swing this week with a visit to the Orlando area and the Valspar Championship. This event was played in May last year, where better conditions allowed the winner to reach 17 under par. Conditions were still tough last year, though, and with some wetness and cooler weather, there should be winning scores to be in the low teens this week. Players with good Florida form who have survived the last few Florida stops could be great targets when making daily fantasy golf picks on DraftKings and FanDuel. The Valspar Championship is hosted by the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, a resort just outside of Tampa. The venue has become known as one of the truest tests on tour (of the regular venues) and played as the sixth toughest on tour in 2019.

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Copperhead sets up as a par 71 but features five demanding par 3’s and four par 5’s, none of which are easy birdie holes. The finishing stretch (the Snake Pit) may actually be the toughest finishing chute in golf as well. The venue has water on as many as 10 holes, but it is more tree lined than traditional Florida stadium venues and has quite a few doglegs. Good approach and solid tee-to-green play is key here. Spraying it off the tee will not help, but it is worth noting that three of the last four winners here did lose strokes off the tee.

DFS Golf Rankings & Expert Picks: Valspar Championship

Copperhead Stats and Info

  • Driving distance tends to be around 10 yards under tour average. Doglegs and thick rough means player chose accuracy over power on many holes.
  • Greens in regulation are also low, as the greens tend to play quite firm and players have a lot of longer approaches thanks to the winding layout.
  • Approaches from 175 to 200 and over 200 yards make up over 47% of the approaches here, so long iron play is crucial.

Putting Splits

The greens at the Valspar Championship are TifEagle Bermudagrass, the same style that was in play the last couple of weeks. The greens at Copperhead were replaced a few years back and have been firmer ever since. Here is a more general look at some of the best and worst Bermudagrass putters in the field, relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these in daily fantasy golf picks; they are not the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.

Positive Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Christiaan Bezuidenhout: +39 strokes on Bermudagrass, +6 on all other surfaces
  2. Kevin Kisner: +34 on Bermudagrass, +8 on all other surfaces
  3. Matthew Fitzpatrick: +45 on Bermudagrass, +18 on all other surfaces
    *+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Negative Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Jason Day: -4 on Bermudagrass, +25 on all other surfaces
  2. Wyndham Clark: +6 on Bermudagrass, +18 on all other surfaces
  3. Tommy Fleetwood: +1 on Bermudagrass, +10 on all other surfaces

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DFS Golf Picks & Fantasy Golf Rankings for DraftKings & FanDuel

Justin Thomas: Grades: A+, Values: C, B

Last week saw Justin Thomas struggle to a 33rd-place finish in his title defense. The week looked worse than it actually was due to a late water ball in the final round, though, which pushed him down the standings. Thomas had a mostly positive week by all indicators at Sawgrass, gaining over two strokes on approach and off the tee. He has been trending well for most of the season, so his down week may work to help keep ownership to a palatable level in large fields, where he projects as a top PGA DFS pick this week in the Awesemo PGA DFS projections.

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Thomas comes in ahead of everyone priced over $10,000 on DraftKings in both PGA DFS point projections and win probability, and he also has one of the best value scores of that group of elite players. He is the most expensive player on the board but is not getting as much respect as other favorites, who have gone off close to $12,000 on the site. Thomas has a great Florida record (two wins), will be playing this event for the sixth time (three top-20 finishes already) and has gone over a year now without a PGA Tour win. It is a good time to back him and make him a core piece of daily fantasy golf lineups.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 24.1% | FanDuel: 21.4%

The Stats:

  • Has gained over eight strokes ball-striking in each of his last three starts.
  • Has gained over 4.5 strokes on approach in his last two Players Championship starts; has finished 12th and 9th in his last two Players appearances.

Aaron Wise: Grades: B, Values: B

If playing the top of the board with the first pick value picks will be necessary to balance things out. Aaron Wise only finished in 50th place last week but was easily one of the best ball strikers in the field at TPC Sawgrass. He gained 5.5 strokes on approach alone but suffered from a pure nightmare week on the greens, where he lost over five strokes putting. The balance on these two ends is impressive, but it also speaks to the fact that Wise seems close to pulling the trigger for a solid week.

It was only last season that Wise showed up in the final group at the Honda Classic — played on another tough Florida course — and also has strong results at Quail Hollow (second in 2018), a great corollary venue for Copperhead. Wise has the best pure points projection of any player under $8,000 this week and looks like a strong value to back in this weaker field. Any kind of improvement on the greens should lead to a big uptick in fantasy production.

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Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 8.8% | FanDuel: 2.9%

The Stats:

  • Has finished 6th or better in three of his four starts of 2022
  • Ranks top 20 in proximity from 200+ yards

Awesemo golf betting experts Ben Rasa and Eytan Shander will be coming to you every week on the OddsShopper YouTube Channel with the Putting for Dough golf betting show, where they give you their expert PGA picks and predictions for the week. This week, they are giving their free golf betting picks for the 2022 Valspar Championship.

Low-Owned Daily Fantasy Golf GPP Flier

Jason Day ($8,900)

The salaries this week have stuck Jason Day in a tough spot. He is not super expensive, but he is also not cheap enough to label as an upside value to take a shot with and be happy with any outcome. He is instead  paired with players who have recent solid results to work off (Alex Noren and Matthew Fitzpatrick) and are also likely cheaper than they should be based on their recent form. That means Day will almost certainly be low-owned in large fields this week, and he is projecting for well under 5% ownership in the early week Awesemo DFS Golf Projections.

Day’s missed cut last week hides the fact he was making birdies early on at Sawgrass before being blown away by the weather, like most in his wave. He has already posted some competitive results this year and has tended to thrive on tougher venues. Day’s win at Quail Hollow back in 2018 shows his upside at a venue like Copperhead, and while he will need his irons to uptick a bit, last year’s champions Sam Burns proved how valuable a hot putter and solid driving can be at this venue. Expect a lack of interest on Day this week, who is only a few starts removed from a top-five finish on a similar venue.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 3.4%

Top Three Under 5% in DraftKings Fantasy Golf This Week

This section will target three players that should end up under or close to 5% ownership in larger DraftKings GPPs. These picks are boom/bust players with an almost 100% focus on the upside.

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Martin Laird ($7,200)

Martin Laird bailed out early last week, but that was mostly the result of him losing six strokes putting in two rounds. He is top 20 in proximity with his approaches from 150 yards out in long-term form and has been striking it well of late. Look for a bounce back from Laird, who has traditionally played this tough Florida stretch quite well.

Jimmy Walker ($6,300)

Former major winner Jimmy Walker continues to grind back the form that made him a prolific winner on the PGA between 2013 and 2016. He has gained over a stroke on approach in his last two starts but has also suffered from a wonky putter of late. Walker is a historically high-end putter, though, and has finished top 30 at this event the last two times he has played. He is a sneaky top-20 bet as well as a solid punt play in DFS golf lineups this week.

Martin Kaymer ($6,800)

When Martin Kaymer is on extremely tough, major-caliber tracks, there is always a chance he will show up and contend. He has played this venue a few times in the past and rebounded nicely from an opening 78 at the Honda to shoot 67. There is little to go off of, and Kaymer is not for the faint of heart, but at under $7,000, there is few in this range with better pure upside.

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

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