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The Approach – Safeway Open

Nolan Kelly



Welcome to the annual dart throwing contest that is the first PGA tournament of the year. I’m only half-kidding. There’s opportunity here to roster some of the grads coming over from the tour and opportunity to fade them if they become chalk. Last year, we saw Tyler Duncan, Beau Hossler, Chesson Hadley, Austin Cook, Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise, and Abraham Ancer all have success at various points on the PGA calendar after graduating the Some early (Hadley, Landry) some late (Hossler, Ancer, Wise). It’s tough to predict who exactly is going to pop. We’ve seen some safeway/ leaderboard’s peppered with recent graduates and some with just a few.

I asked Awesemo for his take on how to roster some of these grads and here’s what he had to say:

“In general, I would expect the best players from the to be about average in the PGA until I see otherwise. A couple that stand out looking at the sportsbooks are Denny McCarthy and Sungjae Im.  I would take that with a grain of salt though; with Denny McCarthy he is coming off a win last week in the championship so I think they are expecting people to overpay because of recency bias, while Im has great odds compared to people in his price range.”

I’m inclined to agree. The best from the Web, are, for all intents and purposes, average PGA players when they step in. So, don’t get carried away trying to roster them.

The course

Classic, short and scoreable is how Silverado is usually described. At just under 7200 yards, with four reachable par-fives, these players will have plenty of opportunity to go low. We’ll see lots of poa annua putting surfaces on the West Coast swing, so keep that in mind when building rosters – some players love it, some players hate it. The narratives are that this is a ball-strikers course that requires a precision approach game to prevent having to deal to much with these undulating putting surfaces.

The big question

What to do with Denny McCarthy (DK: C, E; FD: D,C). At the top of the list is Tour Championship winner Denny McCarthy, who is overpriced and obviously a terrible value at $9700 on DK and $8400 on FD, but you’re going to get a at extremely low ownership. Three years ago, Emiliano Grillo went back-to-back championship and titles, so it could be a solid form play at low ownership. My take: large GPP very light sprinkle.

The slate

Awesemo’s ranks aren’t providing a ton of high-grade value plays. Only two players on DraftKings received both a “B” points grade and an “A” value. With so much guess work involved this week, lean heavier on Vegas bargain ratings, weighted scoring average and ownership.

The plays:

Anders Albertson: DraftKings, $7000: Grade: C, Value: A; FanDuel, $7100: Grade: D, Value: A

I like the idea of rostering lesser-owned Anders Albertson if you’re going for a graduate from the tour. He finished third on the money list, and first in scoring average last season. Albertson isn’t getting the hype of the Cam Champ’s and Sunjae Im’s, but he is playing well right now, with a 2nd, a 9th and two other top-30s in his last four tournaments. He’s only missed two cuts in 2018. All this and you can get him at under 2% owned, sign me up. stats

  • 27th in ball striking
  • 17th in GIR
  • 1st in P4 Birdie or Better
  • 1st in scoring average

Chez Reavie: DraftKings, $7600: Grade: B, Value: A ; FanDuel, $9500: Grade: B, Value: C

Chez showed signs of life at the end of last season, after five straight missed cuts put an official end to his year-long run of form. Let’s wait and see how ownership falls here – I’ve been hearing his name a lot this week. Chez has the highest bargain rating on the slate on DrafKings and a much lower one on FanDuel that will come with reduced ownership. He hasn’t finished worse than 22nd in the last three years at Silverado.

Note: he’s projected at around 15-17%, as one of the ten highest owned golfers on the slate. At that number and with so much low-ownership value below, it’s probably smart to fade him in GPPs.

The stats:

  • 5th in LT: P4 scoring (key ranges)
  • 21st in SG: APP
  • 17th in SG: APP (key ranges)

Non-Awesemo recommendation

Bronson Burgoon isn’t ranking highly in Awesemo’s models this week (DK: D,D: FD: D,D), but our friends from FanVice are a higher in their projections, ranking him as their 17th highest scorer. He ranks third in my model, sitting near the top in a number of key stats. Burgoon is coming in at 6-8% on both sites.

  • 1st in ST:P5 scoring from 550-600 yards (three holes)
  • 3rd in LT:P5 scoring
  • 2nd in recent Birdie or Better
  • 22nd in MT: SGT2G
  • 22nd in LT: Driving Distance

Ownership fades

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

What’s going on over there on FanDuel. Patrick Cantlay at 50% is downright absurd. He’s 35% on DK too. I’d go hard fade on both.

Low-owned GPP fliers

There are so many decent, low-owned flier options on both sites that it’s difficult to chose. 75% of the field is going to be under 6% owned. Mega-bomber Cameron Champ is just 1% owned on DraftKings, while established names like Anirban Lahiri, Johnny Vegas and Bill Haas are all around that number too. I like a flier on the in-form, poa specialist Carlos Ortiz too.

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in using my technical writing skills to articulate and clarify our content in order to help you become a better fantasy sports players player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing [email protected].

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