DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The Valero Texas Open
Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKings, FanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks at The Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio. We’re back to Texas this week for some wide open, windy tracks that bring all the Texans & Aussies into play this week.
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TPC San Antonio is annually one of the more difficult tracks on tour, averaging 10th most difficult on the rotation since 2009. Once you take a look at the ATK Card below, you will see why.
In general, TPC San Antonio plays much harder than the other TPC locations elsewhere on tour. But what can we expect this week? Expect to see a significantly lower than normal birdie rate on the par 5’s this week. Recently, we have seen weeks with upwards of 40% + making birdie or better on one or more of the par 5’s. That is unlikely the case this week. Nearly all the par 5’s are 3-shot holes, most narrow and demanding of a strong second shot to position yourself for a chance at getting close to the pin. Only the par-5 14th (shortest of the bunch) at 567 yards will see any appreciable amount of eagle chances this week and will be the only par 5 to eclipse the 30% mark for birdies to the field. The other three par 5’s are only allowing a 22-26% birdie rate, far below the rates we have seen lately.
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The Valero is the second course in as many weeks, and only the start of a series of courses, that focus much more on the technical and course management aspects of a golfer’s game, rather than their ability to bomb it out past 340+ yards.
Outside of the par 5’s this week, there is only one other hole that averages under par throughout the years, that being the short par 4 17th. Even though 18 is a par 5 (the toughest of the 4), the 17th is where players stand a better chance of picking up a stroke on the way in. It’s not the shortest par 4 on the course, but it plays the easiest with the widest fairway on the course preceding a large, inviting green. Bomber alert! This hole rewards aggressive play.
Unfortunately, there are only a few holes worth mentioning regarding birdies and the ability to score. Since our golfers will be contending with pars and bogeys slightly more often than birdies and eagles, let’s find out where they are most likely to struggle.
The 4th and 9th are brutal tests for the players. The 4th is a lengthy, 481-yard, downhill, par 4 that plays into the wind. Complicating matters, the 4th has the narrowest fairway on the course. It’s got a difficult and undulating green, and players will find themselves putting for bogey frequently. Meanwhile, the par-4 9th should play downwind and uphill to a green 474 yards away. The distinct absence of bunkering is noticeable on this hole, but what it lacks in sand, it makes up for in approach difficulty. It sports a sharp and closely cropped run off surround the long and narrow green that will test players above the hole with the fastest putt on the golf course. After that description, it should be easy to see why the 9th leaves players frustrated as they make the turn.
The back nine plays a bit easier, but holes 12, 13, and 15 will take their toll on the field throughout the week as they each average bogey 23% of the time. The 13th is the only par 3 to crop up on the list so far. At a lengthy 241 yards, the hole is positioned to overlook downtown San Antonio. Maybe players are distracted by the view since there’s just a scant 8% birdie this hole, the lowest percent of any holes on the course.
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- Strokes Gained Approach
- Birdie or Better %
- Long Par 4 Scoring
- Long Par 5 Scoring
- Approaches from 150-175
- Scrambling (especially if the wind gets up)
PGA DFS Players:
Top Tier: $12K – $10K
Sergio Garcia ($12K) is making his post-Masters debut and a bit under the radar for the guy that is CLEARLY the class of this field. Most will shy away in favor of a balanced lineup and uncertainty due to his epic score at the Masters. That said, Sergio has the perfect game for this course on paper and is one of the elite wind players in the world. Garcia makes for a solid GPP play this week.
Charley Hoffman ($10.9K) is back home and ready to do what Charley does in Texas…CRUSH! The narrative is true and Charley is playing well recently, so I see no reason not to roll him with confidence in cash or GPP this week. He will be the second highest owned player up here, but certainly the one with the highest floor and significant upside as a former winner here. Also, you have to love Charley’s attitude these days, “I’m tired of finishing 2nd all the time!” as he said to his caddy last year while to took 3 wood and went for it. Charley is aggressive and can afford to be on this track where he knows every bump on every green. Oh ya, Charley loves the wind too.
Luke List ($10K) is leading the charge this week in terms of ownership & hype, Fansharesports has him ranked #1 in industry tags and it’s NOT close. Leading the field in strokes gained over the last five events, he’s set up extremely well to notch his first victory after showing some Sunday chops right until he gagged. List fits all the trends and has the T2G game to get it done on a track known for first-time winners and breakthrough performances (also known for extremely high variance due to weather). You will need to decide how much exposure you want to a guy that will likely be 30% owned in GPP. From a course history perspective, List leaves a bit to be desired and will need to finish much better than his previous results to pay off this week.
Other to consider: In general, the top end of this field has not paid off their value annually (sans Hoffman), likely due to a few factors. This track is kind of known for first time winners and breakouts, which means a more balanced lineup is likely optimal this week. That is the direction I’ll be tailoring my lineups this week.
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Mid Tier: $9.6K – $8.5K
Adam Scott ($9.6K) has found his ball striking once again this year and is starting to heat up a bit, having plenty of opportunities to score but failing to convert them (story of his career). But at his price tag and projected lower ownership, Scott is the play this week. Elite in the wind, the Aussie native can get a hot putter at this course and cause some damage. His form is generally trending up, so roll Scott in all formats this week.
Billy Horschel ($9.1K) is very annoying to project results for given the amount of variance in his game from week to week. That said, it looks like Billy Ho will be less popular than originally anticipated. Coming off a solid week and into arguably his best course (results wise), the streaky golfer is a target. I might try to ride the hot hand this week in GPP’s with Billy.
Brandt Snedeker ($9K) still looking for that win after coming back from injuries last year. Brandt has certainly gotten himself back on the right track and while he faulted down the stretch on Sunday, it appears that Sneds is ready to pop again. This course fits him well for all the same reasons as the guys above. He’s great in the wind, has an excellent short game, and can putt with the best of them. Now that his irons appear to be working again, look out. I doubt he gets too much ownership, making for a solid GPP pivot off the next guy.
Xander Schauffele ($8.8K) is likely to be the second highest owned golfer this week, and getting plenty of early love from the industry. He’s easily the second most tagged golfer on Fanshare, and for a good reason. X is REALLY good at golf, and has the closing ability to win a tourney when he is on. He’s still adjusting to his new clubs a bit I gather, but definitely on the verge of again being the guy that won the PGA last year.
Ollie Schinderjans ($8.7K) is your GPP pivot off Schauffele. Ollie is still lurking, but can’t seem to put it all together yet. His recent form leaves you wanting, but he fits this course on paper and his game plays well in the wind. He is a good putter and should he get it going this week, can certainly contend and will do so and very low ownership. It seems we have all been waiting for Ollie to break out….just as he tees it up on a course that is kind of known for helping guys break out!
Others to consider: Defending Champ Kevin Chappell
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Value Tier: $8.5K and Lower
Ryan Palmer ($8.3K) is lacking the recent form you want to see, but you can basically copy and paste what I said about Hoffman earlier down here. Palmer is back in Texas and looking for a bounce back season while coming into arguably his favorite course. Elite course history trumps recent form for me, and I have been high on Palmer all year and I’m not jumping off now. You can also pencil in Jimmy Walker for the same reasons as Hoffman and Palmer this week.
Zach Johnson ($8K) is getting his game dialed in at just the right time for his peak part of the season. He’s ready to put the previous year behind him, as his PXG transition seems to be complete. Like Patrick Reed said prior to the Masters, “I finally have my bag dialed in”. ZJ appears to be in that same boat to me, and the big changes have finally come together. His previous results here are good and he can certainly pay off his price with another good week here, while possessing winning upside.
Julian Suri ($7.6K) & Dylan Fritelli ($7.4K) are both coming off the Euro Tour before making their way back to the PGA Tour. And both are in the process of developing some impressive grit and invaluable experience “under the pump on Sunday” (Thanks Bowdo). Both have the ability to win at a tournament like this. And with Fritelli’s local ties, he likely knows the course well despite his lack of professional experience on it. Both have played well overseas in windy conditions, and the field will be similarly talented to those of the Euro Tour.
Jason Kokrak ($7.4K) has better than expect course history here, and has also played well around the greens here in the past which is generally his weak link. His ball striking has been exceptional lately, despite his middling results (poor putting and weak around the greens). I am willing to overlook some of the struggle in those departments and favor his ball striking and length here. At his price, a Top 15 would do nicely.
Others to consider: Kevin Streelman, Martin Laird, Keith Mitchell, Grayson Murray, Jamie Lovemark
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