DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The Waste Management Phoenix Open
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This week, the tour makes its annual stop in the desert, ushering in the rowdiest crowd in all of golf. The fabled 16th hole Colosseum is one of the sport’s great spectacles. TPC Scottsdale is a par 71 stretching out 7,200 yards across the desert valley, laid out in Bermuda but overseeded with Poa and Rye this time of year. Tom Weiskopf designed the course in the late ’80s. Then, it was renovated after the 2014 edition to put some teeth back into the layout. It’s always a solid ball-striking test with the winning score averaging 17 under.
How it plays
Scottsdale is one of the tougher TPC tracks on tour, averaging only .77 strokes under par. It is designed as a strong risk/reward golf course that encourages players to be aggressive on specific holes. In general, this track favors strong ball striking and allows some of the weaker putters on tour to contend. Distance isn’t required for success here, but the bombers do tend to find themselves leading the pack.
TPC Scottsdale is a dynamic golf course in the sense that the desert differentiates morning vs. afternoon play. The course tends to dry out in the afternoon with extended run out on the fairways and faster greens. This area is also home to a number of tour professionals.
- Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
- Mid & Long Par 4’s
- Par 5 Scoring
- 150-200 Proximity
PGA DFS Picks
Top tier: $11.4k-$9.6k
Hideki Matsuyama ($10.7k)
“Deki” certainly fell out of contention last week. Still, he showed signs of putting his elite game back together early on, just in time to arrive at his all-time favorite track. Having owned this place for the past few years, he was forced to WD last year with an injury. Prior to that, Matsuyama posted a win, another win, a 2nd, and a 4th. Deki boasts the prototypical game for success at this track: hyper-efficient ball striking from tee to green, and he’s longer than most off the tee. Look for Deki to get back to his top 5 ways this week. Model Rank: 3
Xander Schauffele ($10.1k)
Xander finally got the hometown Torrey Pines monkey off his back last week with a 25th-place finish. That’s a big deal for the Cali kid. It should give him enough of a boost to come into TPC Scottsdale aggressive and ready to back up his 17th-place finish from last year. Despite his lack of experience here, “X” sets up very well for this risk-reward course. Xander is a future Major winner in my estimation. Thus, don’t be surprised to see him hoist his second trophy this season. Model Rank: 103
Webb Simpson ($9.7k)
Simpson continues to keep his putter hot from last season after he made the switch back to the longer club. Moreover, he has the kind of steady game that can wear opponents down around a track like TPC Scottsdale. While others may take a few more chances, Webb paces himself with plenty of opportunities. Simpson has posted stellar results at this track as well. Despite his missed cut last year, Webb he finished 8/10/14/2 in his previous four outings, a horse for the course for sure. Model Rank: 7
Others to consider: Jon Rahm is obviously in play, in a home game playing his third event in a row. Then, Justin Thomas has a polarizing record here but can pop at any time. Finally, Gary Woodland is the defending champ, but I don’t see him backing it up.
Middle tier: $9.5k-$7.9k
Tony Finau ($9.5K)
We’re looking at a nice discount for Tony Finau this week after a strong last week. Yet he comes into an event where he’s missed three straight cuts. I suspect the masses will stray a bit from Tony this week due to that shaky history. That said, he is a top-tier talent with a game he’s elevated significantly. Keep an eye on Fanshare tags to gauge his popularity, but a low-owned Tony could be a great GPP target with obvious upside. Model Rank: 4
Rickie Fowler ($9.4k)
Rickie should be a very popular play this week given his track record in Phoenix. He’s finished 11, 4, 2, 46, MC in his last five outings here. A complete player who knows this track well and should be able to capitalize on its high-risk aspects, Rickie may keep folks off him with last year’s disappointing finish. Still, he says his ball change is causing his issues. I, for one, am not buying into that narrative. Rickie is priced right and sets up really well for another top 10. Model Rank: 29
Phil Mickelson ($9.3k)
Phil loves Arizona, and vice versa. The ASU product is an annual fixture at this event and usually appears on the leaderboard as well. Having missed only a single cut in his last seven outings and being a multi-time winner at this event, Phil looks to put another strong performance together at one of his favorite places. Coming off a second-place at The Desert Classic, Phil is clearly in form early this season. Model Rank: 75
Byeong Hun-An ($8.6k)
“Bennie An” is one of the tour’s most consistent ball strikers who’s also classifiable as a bomber, a perfect skill set for this track. Having previously posted a 23rd and a 6th in his only two tries at this event, Bennie is clearly comfortable at TPC Scottsdale. We haven’t seen much of him during the early part of the year, as he’s elected to take some time off. Hun-An should be well rested and ready for another top 20 performance. Model Rank: 2
Daniel Berger ($8.2k)
Berger is coming off an ugly missed cut in his second appearance of the year. To be fair, Torrey doesn’t really suit Berger’s game, but the technical and testy long par 4’s of TPC Scottsdale are right up his alley. A strong long-iron player with a lower ball flight that should keep him out of too much trouble this week, Berger has shown throughout his career that he plays well only on courses that fit his style. It’s safe to say that here. He’s posted four made cuts in his four TPC outings (11, 7, 58, 10). Berger should perform well again this year. Model Rank: 44
Others to consider: Matt Kuchar, Adam Hadwin, Billy Horschel, Alexander Noren
Value tier: $7.8k and lower
Keegan Bradley ($7.8k)
The tour’s biggest Patriots fan yet again tees it up as his favorite team is set to compete for the Super Bowl. Some may wonder if Keegan is fully invested in this event, but I’m not terribly concerned. Keegan has a mixed bag of results at this track (like most). He’s a supremely skilled ball striker who can’t chip or putt to save his life. Keegan’s poor putting has been helped in the recent past by transitioning to a longer putter again and will be further alleviated at this track by the overseeded and mostly flat greens. Bradley has racked up strokes on approach during his last three events. Here’s hoping he gets a hot putter to help carry him through to a top 15 this week. Model Rank: 1
Martin Laird ($7.6k)
Laird is a course horse at TPC Scottsdale, posting a single missed cut in his seven tries while he racked up four top 20s and three top 10s. However, his form leading into this week is suspect at best with back-to-back missed cuts at the Desert Classic and Torrey last week. That will certainly give some pause. But going back to his results, his incoming form hasn’t dictated his level of success at this particular track. Last year, for instance, he missed both previous cuts and went on to nab ninth place. Model Rank: 67
Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($7k)
“The Barn Rat” is back stateside for the second time this season after posting a missed cut last week at Torrey in his debut. Last year around this time, Kiradech went on a run and posted really strong results in deep fields with a lot of talent at the top. Having only one appearance at this event (2014) makes it difficult to handicap Aphibarnrat’s upside, but his game should fit the course. Kiradech is an aggressive player that can get super hot, and a course like this could really reward his game if things go right. At $7K, he simply seems under priced for his upside and scoring ability on a track that he should be able to attack. Model Rank: 34
Others to consider: Brendan Steele,Scott Stallings, Charley Hoffman, Bud Cauley
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