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The Approach: Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Expert Rankings for the Houston Open This Week | DraftKings & FanDuel

Geoff Ulrich

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Free Houston Open PGA DFS strategy and daily fantasy golf optimizer picks for DraftKings & FanDuel lineups this week | Tony Finau & more

This event will be taking place in its regular fall slot and at the same venue as last season. The Houston Open used to be played an entirely different venue and time of year, but its switch to its late fall spot and newly renovated venue seems to be working out well. Last year Memorial Park Golf Course gave the players a real test, playing as the 12th-hardest venue on tour. Memorial Park was designed in coordination with Brooks Koepka, who may have a slight competitive edge as a result. Koepka has been in terrible form, though, but his last three missed cuts have resulted in three top-five finishes the weeks after. Carlos Ortiz won last year by two strokes, as he gained over five strokes around the greens and putting. The field is composed of 132 players, 18 of which are within the top 50 in the OWGR. The DFS golf advice provided in this article will be of value when making daily fantasy golf picks this week for DraftKings and FanDuel.

Memorial Park Golf Course Stats and Info

  • Par 70, 7,412; second year in a row this event will play here.
  • Underwent massive renovations last year to be able to be used on tour; played as the 12th-hardest venue last season.
  • Long and tough par 70; players had below-average scrambling rates and greens-in-regulation percentages last year. Ortiz gained over five strokes around the greens in his win.

Putting Splits

The green types at Memorial Park Golf Club are MiniVerde Bermuda and will be a change from last week when the players were on paspalum greens in Mexico. Use caution with these putting splits in 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 Bermuda, +6 strokes on all other surfaces
  2. Patrick Reed: +30 on Bermuda, +16 on all other surfaces
  3. Peter Uihlein: +27 on Bermuda, -3 on all other surfaces

+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Negative Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Jason Day: +2 on Bermuda, +20 on all other surfaces
  2. Jason Kokrak: +2 on Bermuda, +38 on all other surfaces
  3. Maverick McNealy: +2 on Bermuda, +13 on all other surfaces

Daily Fantasy Golf Picks: Houston Open

*Grades are ordered DraftKings, FanDuel. Initial grade indicates a player’s strength of output for the week, with the value grade indicating their strength as a play in relation to their salary.

Tony Finau : Grades: A | Values: C

This event is the second-to-last competition of the year and will also mark the third fall start for Tony Finau. He has not done a whole lot since winning in the playoffs late last summer, but he was in the field last week and finished 45th. Finau has drifted a bit in mid- and short-term form, but he still rates well for daily fantasy purposes. Since his win in the playoffs, Finau has gained strokes on approach in each of his next four starts and played at this event/venue last season, where he finished 24th and gained strokes in pretty much every major category.

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Finau has the length off the tee to compete well at a tougher course like Memorial Park, and he has an aptitude for playing well in tougher events. The scoring and setup should truly favor his strengths, and like last year’s winner Carlos Ortiz, Finau has an underrated short game (15th in strokes gained around the green). He is surprising first in point projection this week, which also makes him one of the best values on the board on DraftKings, where he is only $10,600 and just the fourth-most expensive player this week. The model says start by grabbing the discount on Finau.

The Stats:

  • Ranks 15th in strokes gained around the green and 16th in strokes gained tee to green over the last 50 rounds.
  • Has highest win probability and points projection in Awesemo model this week.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 9.9%

Patrick Reed Grades: A | Values: B, C

Patrick Reed has technically only missed one cut in his last six starts, but it has still been a swingy stretch. He finished 68th in the no-cut CJ Cup event and second at the Bermuda Championship the week after. Reed continues to play a busy schedule and will be making his fifth start of the fall swing, all despite battling a bad infection early in the fall. This week’s setup may be longer, but the tougher scoring should appeal to Reed, who is sixth in strokes gained tee to green and first in DraftKings points on difficult courses over the last 50 rounds.

Reed’s little jolt in performance has not put up his DraftKings price too much either, as he is still available at $9,000 flat, but he rates much in the Awesemo model. Reed ranks eighth in the point projections and has the best value score by a longshot of anyone priced $9,000 or above on DraftKings as well. He will be playing this event/venue for the first time this week, but considering he is a Texas native, it likely will be a short learning curve just in terms of the setting. Look to Reed for some good upper-tier value on DraftKings.

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The Stats:

  • Ranks first in DraftKings points on difficult courses and sixth in strokes gained tee to green.
  • Ranks top 10 in both strokes gained with short game and around the green over the last 50 rounds.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 9.4%


Latest PGA DFS Content


Low-Owned Daily Fantasy Golf GPP Flier

Brooks Koepka

It is never a bad idea to buy the dip on a top-20 player with four major wins in the last five years who is coming into this weaker field with projected ownership under 7%. Brooks Koepka is $9,900 in this event after coming off a missed cut and a 38th place in his last two starts. The fact Koepka is even playing in the fall swing is encouraging as he is coming off another season plagued with knee issues and this week will mark his fourth fall event.

Koepka had a hand in helping design this week’s course, and he loves this type of setup. Koepka ranks first in strokes gained tee to green over the last 50 rounds of play on difficult courses and finished fifth at Memorial Park last year, gaining over six strokes putting for the week. Koepka even rates well in the model (despite the poor finishes of late), as he has the highest point projection of a player under $10,000 on DraftKings. He is a great low sentiment target for GPPs.

Jason Rouslin also loved Koepka at first glance, which he wrote about in his Houston Open First Cut article.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 6.4%

DraftKings Top two Under 5%

I am targeting two players that will end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in larger DraftKings GPPs. This section is searching for boom/bust players with an almost 100% focus on upside.

Luke List ($6,900)

Luke List is Koepka lite. He ranks third in strokes gained tee to green in long-term form and is also top 20 in strokes gained around the green in short-term form. List has a solid record in Texas too, as he has four top-30s at this event in six career starts. He will be playing his fifth event of the fall swing and has already placed 17th and seventh.

Martin Laird ($7,000)

Martin Laird is another player who typically thrives in Texas (and the fall swing), as he grabbed a win at another Texas event (the Valero) back in 2013. Laird has been trending well tee to green of late and ranks top 25 in tee to green and approach on difficult courses long term. He is coming in with little fanfare but already has 11th- and 22nd-place finishes in the fall.


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