We are just two days away from the biggest non-Major tournament of the year, THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass. The field is stacked, the purse is loaded, and a legacy-defining trophy awaits, which should capture the full attention of all 144 players in this field.
Since this is a Sleepers article (check out some more picks here), I’ll simply acknowledge that Paul Casey, Talor Gooch, Brian Harman, and Mito Pereira are all mispriced. These are exceptional values that will command significant ownership in the $7K and $6K ranges on DraftKings.
While they still make for appealing bets, I’ll be focusing this article on less popular values in the same range.
With DFS pricing released early and one of the highest OWGR strength of fields of the year, there’s no shortage of value to choose from this week. Whether playing Daily Fantasy or placing bets, it’s going to be an important week to nail down the right longshot/value plays.
2022 PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP PICKS | DFS VALUE PLAYS & BETTING LONGSHOTS FOR TPC SAWGRASS
The 2021 PLAYERS Championship was nearly a repeat of the preceding Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Bryson DeChambeau and Lee Westwood accompanied each other in the Sunday final pairing after finishing 1-2 at the API the week prior.
Ultimately, it was Justin Thomas who prevailed after catching fire on the weekend, but as it usually does, TPC Sawgrass showed us that there are many different profiles of players who can find success here.
With water in play on 17 holes and annually yielding one of the highest penalty stroke percentages on TOUR, this event has proven to be amongst the most difficult to predict, with favorites regularly failing to see the weekend.
From a DFS lineup construction standpoint, I’m looking to roll out a wider player pool this week, with what looks to be plenty of viable, high-floor players in the sub-$7K range.
Similarly from a betting perspective, I’m looking to build out a longer card of longshots to diversify exposure. The last four winners have either been under 20-1 or over 100-1, so there are plenty of different ways to go about card construction this week.
THE PLAYERS Championship will reward the players who are on their game in Approach first and foremost, while also whittling down the field for anyone who is erratic off-the-tee or inept around the green.
Like most high-profile championship events on the PGA TOUR, TPC Sawgrass will challenge the field’s all-around game and expose the players who enter with shoddy form. Here’s a look at my favorite value leverage plays for the 2022 PLAYERS Championship.
*Betting odds & DFS pricing from Draft Kings are subject to change after writing. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.
Russell Knox (, $7,100)
Some may be surprised to hear that the coastal elite from Scotland has actually made his home right here in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for quite some time now.
He went to college down the road at Jacksonville University, lives around the block from TPC Sawgrass, and practices on their state-of-the-art facilities regularly.
That familiarity with the grounds has manifested in some solid overall history, making it through the cut here in six out of eight career appearances. He may be most well known for making a 9 on the famous 17th hole while in contention on Saturday in 2016, but despite that, he still finished inside the top-20.
I always look to play Knox in high winds or poor weather conditions, and that seems to be what the weather forecast is calling for as of now.
Looking at the key stats for this week, Knox pops as No. 1 in both GIRs Gained and Good Drives Gained, which should be an excellent formula to avoid blow up holes and make it through the weekend.
He’s also top-10 in this loaded field in SG: APP, the most important stat of the week. Surrounded by several other popular big names in this pricing range, Knox profiles as a solid pivot play having made it through the cut in five of his last six starts.
Lanto Griffin (, $7,000)
Speaking of Ponte Vedra Beach residents, Knox’s neighbor Lanto Griffin is also in the field this week! Griffin will be making his second career appearance at THE PLAYERS this week, following up a solid T35 showing is his debut in 2021.
Griffin has quietly strung together a streak of nine consecutive made cuts to open his 2021 season, which includes top-10 finishes at the Shriners, ZOZO, and The AmEx over that span.
While The AmEx as a whole is a pure birdie fest, The Stadium course is one of the better comps to TPC Sawgrass as another Pete Dye design on the same Bermuda over-seeded greens with constant water hazards threatening.
It’s encouraging to see that Lanto’s best finish of the season (T3) has come there, as Si Woo Kim has recently proven the crossover equity between courses.
Lanto isn’t a popper in models, but he has the consistent all around game I like to see in a value player, averaging positive strokes gained across all four major categories over his last five and ten events.
I’ll be looking to get exposure to Lanto in the T30/T40 betting markets and he will be one of my staple DFS plays for the week.
Tom Hoge (, $7,000)
The last time we saw Tom Hoge at a shorter course with high winds that mitigated distance advantage and emphasized elite approach play, he was a popular bet, and he won. That was of course at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and since then he hasn’t shown much of a first-time-winner hangover.
Hoge has gained strokes both OTT and APP in each of his next three starts since winning at Pebble Beach, and those are skills that should continue to pay dividends at TPC Sawgrass.
Hoge rates out 16th overall in my model this week, ranking third in the field SG: APP and top-30 in Good Drives Gained, Par 5 Scoring, and Bogey Avoidance.
He’s a perfect three-for-three in cuts made at THE PLAYERS. Now entering in the best form of his career, it’s reasonable to think Hoge can continue to build on his T30 and T22 finishes in his two prior appearances.
Joel Dahmen (, $6,700)
Now transitioning to another AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am stand-out, Dahmen also profiles as a value player who can keep the ball in play and thrive on a course that mitigates distance advantage to reward the best approach players.
Dahmen has a T6 at Pebble Beach and T5 at the Houston Open within his last eight starts, which is appealing upside as we enter this range of the board.
He has a T12 and MC in his two career appearances at THE PLAYERS; the MC came last year when he negated the 5 strokes gained T2G with 5 strokes lost putting, ultimately missing the cut on the number.
Similar to Knox, Dahmen also excels in Good Drives Gained (5th) and GIRs Gained (17th), which should set him up well for another positive T2G showing on these grounds. If the putter shows any signs of life, we should expect him to find the weekend.
Adam Hadwin (, $6,500)
You can make a case for plenty more players below $6,500 on Draft Kings this week, but with the depth of options in the low $7Ks, I don’t see myself dipping any further beyond Hadwin in this spot.
Despite the price discount, Hadwin pops up 23rd in my model this week, ranking inside the top-20 in SG: Short Game, Good Drives Gained, GIRs Gained, Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling, and P4 <350 Yards.
From a comp course history perspective, I love that Hadwin’s picked up a win at the Valspar, which puts a similar emphasis on positional drives off the the tee and crafty short game on the same variant of Bermuda greens.
He also has excellent history at the Stadium Course with three top-3 finishes since 2018 at The AmEx.
That hasn’t quite crossed over to notable success at THE PLAYERS just yet, with his best finish coming last year at T29, but four made cuts in his last five appearances here is nothing to dismiss at this price tag.