The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
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After a couple of star-studded weeks at Jack’s place, we see a significant drop off in talent this week for the second running of the 3M Open. Dustin Johnson ($11,500), Brooks Koepka ($11,200) and Tony Finau ($10,900) all lead what is becoming an increasingly weaker field by the second due to drop-outs. That trio will start to look for some better form prior to the year’s first major. Paul Casey ($10,100) will be making his third start since the COVID-19 stoppage and his countryman Tommy Fleetwood ($10,500) will be making his first. Fleetwood has been playing it safe thus far but plans to play three weeks in a row starting here in Minnesota.
As for the lower end of this field, last year’s inaugural winner of the 3M Open, Matthew Wolff ($9,700), is here and ready to defend, while recent standouts like Chase Seiffert ($7,000) and Henrik Norlander ($8,600) are also in the field. We’re devoid of a ton of star power but should get a very competitive event, nonetheless. With a full 156-man field, the cut will again take place on Friday here with the top-65 players and ties making the weekend.
TPC Twin Cities—Minneapolis, Minnesota
Par 71, 7,164; Greens: Bentgrass
TPC Twin Cities was designed in 2000 by Arnold Palmer and Tom Lehmen. This week will be its second time hosting a PGA TOUR event, but the venue did host a PGA Champions Tour event from 2001-2018.
Redesigned in order to accommodate its new spot on the PGA TOUR rotation, TPC Twin Cities looks like it will play around 7,100-7,200 yards for the week. The venue was one of the easier stops on the Champions Tour, yielding either the first- or second-most birdies on the Champions Tour during the seven seasons it hosted an event (according to pgatour.com). Last year, it produced an exciting finish but played relatively easy for the PGA TOUR pros, yielding the 14th-easiest scoring average of any venue on Tour.
TPC Twin Cities is set in a flat parkland setting with water in abundance around the track. Despite the water and extensive bunkering, the course should appeal to big hitters given its larger flat landing spots off the tee. The fairways here were easy to hit last year as the field averaged 65% driving accuracy, which is up 3-4% off the Tour average. Driving distance by the field was also considerably higher at this venue as players averaged 302 yards off the tee compared to the 293-yard Tour average.
TPC Twin Cities holds three longer par 5s as well which will require good drives in order to reach the greens in two shots and also contains seven par 4s of 440 yards of length or more. The greens and fairways are pure bentgrass and fast greens or wind may be the course’s best defense this week. Another Arnold Palmer designed venue, Bay Hill, looks like a solid comparison as it also features some easier driving holes and long par 5s, with lots of water strewn throughout.
2020 weather: The weather for this week looks a touch interesting for the first couple of days as winds and rain could make the course play a little tougher than last year. Thursday is slated to be “storm-free” but winds are slated to pick up as the day goes on, hitting 10-15 mph by the mid-afternoon. Friday looks set to be the most troublesome day weather-wise as winds are expected to be even heavier in the afternoon, possibly gusting into the 20 mph range. Rain is also possible for Friday morning which could throw another wrinkle into things. The good news is that the weekend forecast has highs in the low 90s, less wind and no rain. It’s definitely suggested to keep checking the early-week forecast as slight advantages could develop for certain waves on the first two days.
Top-Five Finishers from 2019
1. Matthew Wolff -21
T2 Bryson DeChambeau -20
Collin Morikawa -20
4. Adam Hadwin -18
T5 Wyndham Clark -17
Carlos Ortiz -17
Winners Stats and Course Highlights
Matthew Wolff (2019)
· All three par 5s range between 550-600 yards making Par 5 efficiency at least something to consider. Last year’s runner-up Bryson DeChambeau ranked 16th in this stat.
· Last year, players hit over 65% of fairways and averaged 303 yards per drive at this venue, results which are both significantly higher than the Tour average.
· The busiest approach distance was from >200 yards, likely due to the three longer par 5s and five par 4s that measure over 450 yards.
· Matthew Wolff led the field in SG: TTG stats here last year and was second in SG: APP stats, suggesting this was a bit of a ball-striker’s paradise.
This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week:
Luke List +4000 and $8,400
· Henrik Norlander +5000 and $8,600
· Sam Burns +5000 and $8,500
· Doc Redman +5500 and $8,700
Dylan Frittelli +6600 and $7,600
· Chris Kirk +9000 and $7,800
· Will Gordon +7000 and $7,700
· Jhonattan Vegas +6600 and $7,900
**with only one year of course data to go off of, emphasizing recent form this week is more of a necessity
1. Tony Finau ($10,900, Recent finishes: 8th-T53): Finau’s coming off a T8 finish at The Memorial where he gained +6.3 strokes putting for the week. He looked close to having a massive week in his last outing but is still looking for a touch more consistency from his ball-striking.
2. Henrik Norlander ($8,600, Recent finishes: T31-T6): Norlander has been on a bit of a tear of late, posting four made cuts in a row. The Swede has recent finishes of T12 (Rocket Mortgage) and T6 (Memorial) to hang his hat on. His irons have been heating up, but Norlander’s been putting well too, gaining +3.6 and +8.4 strokes on the greens in his two starts at Muirfield Village.
3. Lucas Glover ($9,400, Recent finishes: T38-T31-T20): Glover has been one of the most consistent DFS targets in the game since the restart, going 5/5 in made cuts and landing four top-20 finishes. The American has yet to gain less than +2 strokes on APP in any of his five starts thus far.
4. Harris English ($9,000, Recent finishes: T13, T17): English returned to action last week at The Memorial after a COVID-19 scare and he promptly landed a T13 finish. The American gained strokes throughout the bag last week and has now gained +3.5 strokes or more on APP in two straight starts.
5. Luke List ($8,400, Recent finishes: T10-MC-T22): List had a fantastic week at The Memorial landing a T10 finish, which could been much better if not for a third-round 79. Despite imploding a bit on Saturday, the American ranked third in SG: OTT stats and was also a recent winner on the Korn Ferry Tour. He’s in great form heading into this week’s wide-open affair.
Cash Games: Despite Tony Finau ($10,900) falling back a bit last week, he still looks like a reliable core target for this week in Minnesota. Now almost $11K, he’s still $600 less than Dustin Johnson ($11,500) and finished a tidy T23 at this venue last season, gaining over five strokes on APP. After Finau, the likes of Harris English ($9,000) and Erik van Rooyen ($8,800) have some appeal as they’ve been heating up with their Tee to Green games as well. Sam Burns ($8,500-see below) is also an option for this range and further down the likes of Richy Werenski ($7,400-see below) and Dylan Frittelli ($7,600) both make for good value targets.
Tournaments: Considering he was in the low-$7K range in his last start, I doubt many people will be falling over themselves to roster Russell Henley ($9,200) here at his new price. He likely would have contended at the Workday though if his putter had cooperated and has gained +6 or more strokes on APP now in three of his past four starts. Below him, Luke List ($8,400) serves as an interesting big-field GPP play for similar reasons. He’s gone up nearly $2K in salary this week but is playing inspired golf right now after winning on the Korn Ferry Tour a month ago. Max Homa ($8,000) is another potential upper-tier target who could flip his recent downswing here in this weaker field. Other big-field GPP targets for this week include: Tom Lewis ($7,200), Aaron Wise ($7,100), Charley Hoffman ($7,400) and Cameron Davis ($6,500).
MY PICK: Sam Burns ($8,500)
Burns feels like the type of young player who should thrive in this week’s potential shootout in Minnesota. The 23-year-old has flashed some increasing form since the restart began, landing three top-30 finishes in a row coming into this week. Truth is, Burns would likely be higher on the DraftKings salary scale if he hadn’t imploded slightly in his final round at the Workday Classic two weeks ago. Burns had put together three sub-par rounds at the tough Muirfield Village venue before falling back a touch on Sunday to finish T17. He gained +4.8 strokes on APP at the Workday though, a mark that represents his best achievement in that metric since way back in 2018. When Burns’ irons are firing, he has usually gotten himself into contention, as his previous three weeks on Tour with +4.0 strokes or more on APP all resulted in top-10 finishes. Burns’ best finishes of his career have come at easier scoring venues — T6 this year at the American Express; his win on the Kory Ferry Tour in 2018 also came at 21-under — and he’s coming off a big confidence-building start where he was able to get himself into contention against a WGC-like field. In this week’s birdie-fest, where he’ll be competing against much fewer elite names, he could feature and look to become the second young breakout winner in a row at this event.
MY SLEEPER: Richy Werenski ($7,400)
Werenski has quietly started to play some quality golf of late. The former Big Break star started 2020 in awful fashion, managing just a T73 and three MCs through his first four starts. Lately, the tide has turned for Werenski as he’s now made five straight cuts going back to a T17 finish at the Honda Classic back in March. A strong T21 effort at the Rocket Mortgage was followed up by a T35 at the Workday Open, which was likely better than it appeared on paper. Werenski gained +6.3 strokes on APP alone that week and likely would have challenged if not for some wonky play on the greens and with his driver. The wider fairways and easier green complexes at TPC Twin Cities could be much more inviting for Werenski, who finished T46 at this event last season, despite not holding much form at the time. His $7,400 DK salary looks awfully inviting for a player who has averaged well over 80 DKFP per event over his past three starts, which came against much tougher fields.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.