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DraftKings DFS Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: 2021 PGA TOUR AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks

Geoff Ulrich gets you set for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with winning trends and his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The Cheat Sheet provides DraftKings fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $800K Flop Shot [$200K to 1st]


THE FIELD

The field this week consists of 154 players. Normally, all of the players would be paired with a celebrity amateur partner for the week, but that portion of the event has been scrapped this year due to COVID-19. A lot of things will look different about this event as we also normally get a 54-hole cut in play here too — action typically takes place over three courses on the first three days. This year, the cut will be a regular 36-hole cut (top-65 and ties will play the weekend) and only two courses will be used. The host Pebble Beach will be used for play on the weekend and players will also play a round on Spyglass Hill (either Thursday or Friday).

Editor’s note: Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Field-wise, we’ll be losing a couple of last week’s big names like Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele but past champions playing here include the likes of Dustin Johnson (2009), Phil Mickelson (2012), and Jordan Spieth (2017). The lack of a Pro-Am portion here has also attracted a few different names — the American Express runner-up and world No. 11 Patrick Cantlay is in attendance, along with No. 15 Daniel Berger. Recent winners, like Paul Casey (European Tour) and Si Woo Kim, round out what is a stronger than normal field. This event can often produce surprise winners, but without the Pro-Am and with just two courses in play, expect a closely contested affair with the top players leading the charge.



The Courses

Pebble Beach (main course), par 72, 7,051 yards; Greens: Poa Annua

Spyglass Hill par 72, 7,041 yards; Greens: Poa Annua

As mentioned above, golfers will only rotate between two courses before the 36-hole cut this season—and then those who make the cut will play Pebble exclusively on the weekend. Even though Spyglass Hill can often play slightly tougher than Pebble, it is more wind protected, so having your player there on a windy day isn’t such a bad thing. Last year, weather really made things tough here as Spyglass played to a 72.876 scoring average and ranked as the fifth-toughest course on the PGA TOUR, while Pebble also played tough at a 72.55 scoring average and was the eighth-toughest venue on the PGA TOUR out of 41.

As far as layout goes, the host course (Pebble Beach) is a traditional par 72—with four par 5s and four par 3s. Three of the four par 5s often play under 550 yards in length and only one par 3 is over 200 yards. Even though there are some longer par 4s to deal with, length off the tee isn’t all that essential this week and the average driving distance for the field here is generally 10-15 yards lower than the average PGA TOUR event, as many of the holes force players to club down off the tee. While you don’t want your players to be too inaccurate, it’s worth noting that two of the last four winners here now have lost strokes off the tee for the week.

Despite this being a less than driver course, there is still plenty of trouble lurking around Pebble (most people remember the famous cliffs on 18) and the small greens here means most players will have Greens in Regulation percentages under their season average. As a result, scrambling becomes an important aspect of the game to monitor this week and it’s worth noting that six of the top-seven players here last season gained +1.2 strokes or more around the greens.

One final note, with a course rotation in play, a lot of how the tournaments shapes out can depend on the weather and wind patterns. Wave stacking is something that can be considered more than normal here, especially if we have a windy forecast (see below).

2021 Weather/Outlook: The weather this week isn’t going to be pleasant. The highs here look set to hover around 55-60 degrees all week with cloudy skies dominating early in the week. Rain is also in the forecast for the first day which will only make things less comfortable given the air temperature. Right now Friday afternoon has some patches of sun and that could be the best patch of weather the players see in the first two days. The weekend could be a real suffer-fest as winds are expected to get up to around 12-15 mph on Saturday and Sunday with rain in the forecast for most of Saturday. Good approach and around the green play is going to be needed and with the cold weather and rain, length could prove a more important factor than normal as well given the course will likely play longer than normal.

For more on PGA TOUR weather, click here.

For PGA TOUR scores and odds, click here.


Last 5 winners

2020—Nick Taylor -19 (over Kevin Streelman -15)

2019—Phil Mickelson -19 (over Paul Casey -16)

2018—Ted Potter Jr. -17 (over Dustin Johnson -14)

2017—Jordan Spieth -19 (over Kelly Kraft -15)

2016—Vaughn Taylor -17 (over Phil Mickelson -16)


Winning Trends

  • Since 2000, the winner at Pebble (including the U.S. Open) had a T16 or better in one or more of his previous three starts at Pebble Beach—courtesy @Jude_UT4 on twitter.
  • Recent form is also important this week: six of the last 10 winners recorded a top ten or better in one their previous two starts on the PGA TOUR before winning here.

Winners Stats and Course Highlights

2020 Winner: Nick Taylor ($7,600) at 19-under par

2020 lead-in form (T49-MC-T32-MC-T26)

SG: OTT—-0.5

SG: APP—+2.5

SG: TTG—+3.6

SG: ATG—+1.7

SG: PUTT—+5.9

  • SG: Tee to Green is again a metric to emphasize, although you can definitely look to approaches here more than off the tee play.
  • We only have two measured rounds (both on Pebble) to go off for our previous winner’s stats, but the last four winners here ranked no worse than T19 in Approaches.
  • Two of the last four winners here have lost strokes off the tee and still won, so dominant off the tee play is simply not needed, although you don’t want your player missing every fairway either.
  • Around the green play is important given the hard to hit, small greens and six of the top seven finishers last season gained +1.2 strokes or more ATG.

Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.

Matt Kuchar +6600 and $7,900

Editor’s note: Matt Kuchar has withdrawn from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Comparables:

- Phil Mickelson +6600 and $8,600

- Cameron Tringale +6600 and $8,500

- James Hahn +7000 and $8,000

Henrik Norlander +5500 and $8,700

Comparables:

- Rickie Fowler +5500 and $9,200

- Kevin Streelman +5500 and $8,900

- Max Homa +5500 and $8,800

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


HORSES FOR COURSES

Editor’s note: Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

1. Dustin Johnson ($12,000; best finishes: win-2009, T2-2018, 2014): DJ has a long and mostly successful history at Pebble (barring one U.S. Open Sunday meltdown in 2010). In 12 appearances he now has six top 5s and two wins (including a T2 from 2018). It is worth noting that he has struggled here the last two seasons (T45-T32) after playing in Saudi Arabia, where he also played (and won) last week.

2. Phil Mickelson ($8,600; best finishes: win-2012, 2019, 2007, 2005): Phil is a four-time winner of this event after taking it down in 2019. Despite now being the ripe old age of 50 he still competes here season after season and put up a 3rd place finish here last year. Mickelson doesn’t bring in any recent form to this event (two MC’s and a T55 in his last three starts) but ranks second at Pebble Beach in SG: Total stats over the last five seasons.

3. Jason Day ($9,500; best finishes: T2-2018, T4-2014): Day’s record here can be easy to overlook as he’s never won this event. Still, the Aussie has finished T6 or better in six of his last seven starts at Pebble Beach and has dominated West Coast events that feature Poa greens over his career. He leads the field in SG: Total stats at this event over the last five seasons.

4. Jordan Spieth ($9,700; best finishes: win-2017, T9-2020): Spieth’s coming off his best finish in quite some time, after posting a T4 at the WMPO last week. The 27-year-old has played this event five years in a row now and is 5/5 in made cuts with a win from 2017 marking his best finish. He’s gained strokes ATG and PUTT here in each of the last three seasons.

5. Brandt Snedeker ($7,800; best finishes: win-2015, 2013): Sneds has missed the cut at this event the last two seasons but clearly the two-time Pebble winner loves this layout. He’s gained strokes putting at Pebble in seven of his last nine visits so a more positive finish could be in store for him this year. He posted a T32 in his last start at Torrey Pines, another one of his favorite venues.


DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY

Cash Games: Cantlay a worthy anchor

While there’s no doubt that Dustin Johnson ($12,000) is the best player in this field, Patrick Cantlay ($11,300) has been playing at a really high level for a couple of months now. Given the fact DJ is flying in from overseas and Cantlay is $700 cheaper, anchoring with Cantlay here seems fine. He’s 4th in this field in SG: TTG stats and 6th in SG: ATG stats over the last 50-rounds. After him, Kevin Streelman ($8,900) and Brian Harman ($8,200) have to be considered as great cash targets here too. Streelman is coming off a solid ball-striking week and has finished inside the top-10 at Pebble three years running now. Other targets for 50/50 and HU’s Lineups this week include: Kyle Stanley ($7,400), Rory Sabbatini ($7,600) and Peter Malnati ($7,800).

Tournaments: Day and Molinari a tasty GPP duo

Francesco Molinari ($9,300) is coming off a couple of really solid starts and has the type of laser-like approach game and grind it out short game that typically works very well at Pebble. The Italian finished T16 here at the U.S. Open in 2019 and should be buoyed with confidence after playing such good golf after a long drought. Jason Day’s ($9,500) course history also makes him a solid GPP target and the fact he’s coming off two missed cuts should keep ownership down. Other GPP targets to consider this week include the likes of Alex Noren ($8,300), Russell Knox ($7,800), Michael Thompson ($7,200), and Seung-yul Noh ($6,300).


Recent Form

Editor’s note: Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

1. Dustin Johnson ($12,000, win-T11): Dustin posted another win last week in Saudi Arabia to further cement his stranglehold on world number one status. He finished T11 at the TOC in his only PGA TOUR start of 2021.

2. Patrick Cantlay ($11,300, 2nd-T12): Cantlay’s coming off a break of a couple weeks but his last time out he was in brilliant form, posting a solo second place finish at the Amex off the back of a final round 61. He’s now finished no worse than T17 in his last four starts.

3. Henrik Norlander ($8,700, T22-T2-T12): Norlander continued his consistent play last week in Phoenix where he posted a T22. He now ranks third overall in this field in SG: Approach play over the last 50 rounds and is trending very well at the moment.

4. Francesco Molinari ($9,300, T8-T10): Molinari is coming off of two straight bullish starts and he gained over +6.0 strokes ball-striking in his last start at the Farmers. The Italian has been sharp on all levels thus far in 2020, showcasing his major-winning form from two years ago and may be ready to strike soon.

5. Andrew Putnam ($7,400, T7-T21): Putnam comes in a little under the radar but off of two good starts. The American ranks top-15 in both SG: ATG and PUTT stats over the last 50 rounds and also gained nicely on his approaches last week, which allowed him to grab his first top-10 of 2021.


MY PICK: Jason Day ($9,500)

Day comes in here off the back of two missed cuts so I can understand the apprehension to go back to the well too soon. However, diving into those performances should give us a little more confidence that a big week could still be on the horizon soon for the former world number one. Day gained +2.5 strokes through two rounds at the WMPO last week but couldn’t figure out the Bermuda greens there as he lost an incredible -5.2 strokes putting through two rounds. The dip in putting stats shouldn’t be overly concerning though as Day has never played well at TPC Scottsdale and the event also marked just his second start of 2021. Longer term, his outlook still looks solid, as even after the poor week he still comes in ranked 12th in SG: ATG and 26th in SG: PUTT over the last 50 rounds.

Day’s managed to get himself in contention a couple times now over his last 10 starts, and it was just five starts ago now that he was in the final group on Sunday at the Houston Open (T7). Another pop could be coming soon for the Aussie who has gobbled up Pebble Beach throughout his career, posting top-5 finishes here in four of the last five iterations of this event. With the media and golfing world focused on Jordan Spieth ($9,700) Day may make for the better pivot play given he’s cheaper in salary and could be lessor owned in big GPPs off of two missed cuts.


MY SLEEPER: Kyle Stanley ($7,400)

Stanley has been heating up of late. The two-time PGA TOUR winner enters this week off the back of three made cuts in a row and is ball-striking at an elite level once again. Over his last three starts he’s now gained +2.0 or more strokes on approach and ranked first in GIR % last week at the WMPO. Considering the smaller, hard to hit greens we have in play this week at Pebble Beach that kind of ball-striking should be invaluable, especially if conditions get tough, and it looks like cold weather and wind could play a factor.

Stanley’s also found consistency around the greens, which is a huge plus for this week as well given the fact solid scrambling around Pebble is a must. He’s now gained a stroke or more ATG in each of his last three starts and the only thing holding him back from a top-10 or better finish thus far in 2021 is a putter that remains ice cold. Cooler weather and wind could push this event further in favor of the ball-strikers this week though and it’s worth noting that with a lower-scoring event, Stanley’s consistency and placement points will be more valuable here if the birdie opportunities start drying up for the field. He’s a nice top-20 target on DraftKings Sportsbook at +300 and one of my favorite values to target here at just $7.4K in DFS.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $800K Flop Shot [$200K to 1st]



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