Fantasy Six Pack: Fantasy golf picks for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

March 6, 2019

Welcome to the Fantasy Six Pack! If this is your first time joining us, we highlight six golfers to use in two popular fantasy golf platforms, DraftKings and FanDuel. On each, your fantasy golf picks mean selecting six golfers for your lineup under a specific salary cap. (DraftKings $50,000, FanDuel $60,000.)

A little about me: I’m a golf nut with a 1.3 handicap and a nose for analytics — according to Rotogrinders, I’m one of the top daily fantasy golf players and ranked inside the top 25 of all players. Come check out all of my analysis at Awesemo.com where last week I had a huge week profiting over $14,000!

Recap of last week:

Only Cam Smith let us down last week, as JT/Knox/Furyk/Im and the best of the week my “Out of bounds pick” Lucas Bjerregaard all provided good value.

The tournament: Arnold Palmer Invitational

The course: Bay Hill

Average Winning Score: -15

Average Cut:  +1

Yardage: 7400

Par: 72

Last year’s top finishers:

Tiger Woods

Rory McIlroy

Bryson DeChambeau

Justin Rose

Henrik Stenson

Ryan Moore

Skills emphasized: A combination of strokes gained on approach and making those subsequent putts (strokes gained putting) are the key metrics this week. Even with bombers like Rory and Jason Day winning in recent years, they didn’t do much of their work off the tee, but rather in the aforementioned statistics.

Fantasy Golf Picks

Fantasy Golf Picks

The Favorite(s):

Rory McIlroy (Odds-7/1 DraftKings-$11,400 FanDuel-$12,200) The most expensive golfer across the entire slate, no matter what metric, and deservedly so. He would have won WGC-Mexico by 3 had it not been for DJ, and has two other top 5’s in his previous three starts. Everything seems to be right there, and a win here should, could, and hopefully will give him all the momentum he needs for that special tournament in April he’s yet to win. His putting is a bit of a rollercoaster, but his approaches seem to be in the best form of the year, and last time out the putter did, too. If those trends continue, he’ll cruise to victory this week.

Going Streaking: Players entering this week in the great form

Hideki Matsuyama (33/1, DraftKings $9,700, FanDuel $11,000)

Although we haven’t seen him come back to the form we saw at the end of 2017, Matsuyama seems to be getting much closer. Last year at this event, I walked around with his coach/interpreter for about six holes on Tuesday afternoon. He informed me that the wrist injury wasn’t all that serious, and more of a “stinger” similar to that of Justin Thomas last week, but much more severe. Even with that injury he still was able to make the cut and finish 49th. He has also made the other three cuts since 2015 here with his top finish being 6th in 2016.

Recently Matsuyama has been on a nice stretch of golf earning four straight top 20’s while statistically doing everything well except for putting. Hopefully the switch to Bermuda greens will bring him back closer to the field in that category.

Ian Poulter (Odds 50/1, DraftKings $8,000, FanDuel $10,100)

Whether you’re a fan of Poulter or not, you can’t deny results.  He hasn’t missed a cut here in the last 5 years and is working on three straight top 10’s. No matter what pro tour you are playing, that’s good form. He’s been riding a hot putter, and a hot iron game during this stretch of three starts, a perfect combination as we’ve seen here at Bay Hill in the past. He also doesn’t live too far from the area.

“Looks good off the tee” segment

This section focuses on a golfer that is coming into this week in great form, but may be set for a bad week, or some “regression” off of his recent results.

Michael Thompson (Odds 70/1 DraftKings $7,600 FanDuel $9,600) By letter of the law, Thompson must be put in this category. He may not be the “sexiest name,” but boy has he gotten it done lately, finishing 16th, 7th, 10th and 13th in his last four starts. Still, one would have to think that regression is bound to set in as he comes back to earth from the best golf of his career (outside of his win at the Honda Classic). I’m a bit nervous about him this week and would rather play golfers like Matt Wallace at similar prices.

“Out of Bounds” play of the week:

This section is going to focus on a golfer that may not be well known in the golfing world yet. It should provide some “positive variance” for your Daily Fantasy Contests this week!

Sam Saunders (Odds 225/1, DraftKings $6,500, FanDuel $7,800) Although Sam Saunders may be well known around this tournament and these parts, most of the “gaming” community won’t be playing him this week. The grandson of the man for whom the tournament is named flashed form last week at the Honda Classic before tailing off a bit on the weekend. If that trend, which has been going on now for some time, can subside just for a week, he’s got top 15 upside written all over him. At these prices, why not take a gamble on someone with everything to play for? A big finish at this event is bound to happen sometime in his career. Why not now?

Mulligans: A player who has struggled but expects to play better

Sungjae Im (Odds 75/1, DraftKings $7,000, FanDuel $9,000) Last week, this picked looked incredible through two rounds. Then Saturday happened and well we saw how the mental makeup of a 20-year-old may not always last in a tournament. Two examples for contrast: Koepka arrived at the second tee on Saturday coming off of a birdie, proceeded to hit the left trees and bounced into the water. He wound up making double but bounced right back with a birdie on four and righted the ship to finish one under for the day. Im did the same thing on the second tee, also made double, and never recovered, finishing the day at a seven-over 77. Same double bogey, very different responses. But maybe his Sunday bounceback will give him something positive to take into this week? He’s cheaper than most, and with fewer golfers in the field there’s no reason to stay away from Sungjae this week.

Where to play this fantasy golf this week: Big contests come back this week!

DraftKings:

1. $5 buy-in called “Drive the Green” with a top prize of $150,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $600,000.

2. $ 444 buy-in called “Pressure Putt” with a top prize of $100,000, and a guaranteed prize pool of $250,000.

3. $44 buy-in called “Club Twirl” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $400,000.

FanDuel:

1. $3 buy-in called “Stinger,” with a top prize of $1,500 and a guaranteed prize pool of $1,500
2. $7.77 buy-in called “Eagle,” with a top prize of $25,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $125,000.

3. $333 buy-in called “Monster,” with a top prize of $10,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $40,000.

That’s it for this week, folks! As always, check my bio below if you’d like to get in touch.

Jason Rouslin is the lead golf analyst for Awesemo.com. He has been playing golf for the last 20 years, making fantast for the last five and writing about golf for the last two. Connect with him on Twitter @dfsgolfer23 or check him out on the @rotogrinders live golf show on Tuesdays @ 8 PM and on the live @Awesemo_Com golf show at 9 PM Wednesdays.