The Masters

An so it begins!  Rory’s quest for the Major Slam!  Tiger’s soap opera second comeback story! A player coming out of nowhere to contend for the Green Jacket!  This, without a doubt, is my favorite golf tournament to watch.  Unfortunately, my daughter is playing in a travel soccer tournament this weekend and I’ll be at a soccer field Saturday and Sunday.  Thank God for mobile devices so I can watch between games…and sneak a peek during!

The Masters is the only major that is played on the same course every year.  So, that means we pay attention to tournament history more than we do other majors.  Don’t get me wrong, past performance in other majors is key as to whether or not a guy can handle the pressure and contend.  However, The Masters is probably more about course fit than any other place I know.  I really can’t think of any really good comparable course for Augusta.  I guess that’s why there seems to be an air of mystique that always follows this tournament.

As it is with most majors, the pricing is such that you can get more of the guys at the top ($9K and up) and pair them with guys in the low-$7K range and still sit back, look at your lineup, and not say “who the hell is that guy?”  For instance, if you go with the three lowest-priced guys in the $9K and up range, you still have $7,566 per player left.  This week, my Tiers will go back to what they were simply because there is too much talent from $9K up.  For optimal decision making, I think we’ll start at $9.5K and up.

Key factors this week:

  • Shots Gained Around-the-Green
  • Shots Gained Putting
  • Scrambling

The fairways at Augusta are wide and pretty forgiving.  The greens are large but, if you’ve ever watched, there is a lot of undulation and they are typically fast.  Amen Corner is exactly what it sounds like.  You may want to say a little prayer.  While the holes don’t look that ominous, Holes 11 thru 13 are usually deciding factors – especially on Sunday.  Each of them has water in play with the Par 5 13th offering the biggest risk-reward factor in my opinion with the potential for eagle, but double-bogey isn’t out of the question if you find Rae’s Creek.

Remember, PGA isn’t a “positional” form of DFS and everyone qualifies for every position.  It’s all about price and current form in my opinion.  Like last week, the format will be:

  • Each price range, I will give you my Top 2 (Maybe 3 this week)
  • “Dew Sweepers” – two or three (or four in the Top Tier) contrarian picks that I think will be low owned…or I just have a gut feeling on.
  • At least one “longshot” in the final price range – no Dew Sweepers.
  • Two (or Three) “Cores”
  • Top 20 in my statistical model for those of you wanting stats

Tiers:

$9,500 and Above

$8,500 to $9,400

$7,500 to $8,400

Under $7,500 

As always, when I can’t decide on certain players I like to look at two things as my “tiebreaker” even when the field isn’t loaded (This week, I may lean course history a little more):

Current Form (CF) – if a guy is playing well, it’s reasonable to assume he will continue playing well.  Golf is streaky and if a guy struggled on Saturday and Sunday the week before, I’m going to move him down.

Course History (CH) – as I said, it’s streaky.  If you’re playing bad, the thing that turns you around is usually a good lesson, time off, or a course that fits your eye.  

As I’ve said previously, many times, I’ll start in the low $8K range and build from there.  

NOTE:  All pricing is based on DraftKings


$9,500 and Above

Collin Morikawa ($10,200) – Experience at Augusta is a key factor.  Collin only has two visits but improved from T44 to T18 between the November 2020 tournament and the April 2021 event.  You need a solid overall game here and yes, I’ll say it, Collin reminds me of a young Tiger.

Scottie Scheffler ($11,000) This one has a caveat! I really like the game that Scottie Scheffler has going right now, but two things are making me leery about playing him on DK this week.  One, he’s the most expensive and two, the fact that he is the new #1 player in the OWGR (Overall World Golf Rankings), the casual players may jump to him as the new hot play.  On FanDuel – which I do play – he is more reasonable.

Dew Sweepers:

Masters 2020: Cameron Smith makes Augusta history and still doesn't get a green jacket | Golf News and Tour Information | GolfDigest.com

Xander Schauffele ($9,600) – He, like Brooks Koepka, performs very well at majors.  Unlike Brooks, he hasn’t broken through to the podium yet. I’m sticking with my call that he will win one this year.

Viktor Hovland ($10,100) I love his game and think he will perform very well this week after a T21 last year.  If he has a weakness, it’s around the greens. However, he is so strong with his iron/approach play that he should be fine.  He’s not bad around the greens, he just hasn’t perfected all of the intricate shots yet.

Cameron Smith ($9,900) – three Top 10s here in 4 years.  Won The Players. Any questions?

Rory McIlroy ($10,000) – Rory can win any time he tees it up.  Last week, he seemed very disinterested.  Some will say his game is off.  Personally, I think he was looking ahead.  He will be there on the weekend. Can he win it to complete the career Grand Slam? I’m not that confident, but his price is good for his course history – despite the missed cut in 2021.

I think your highest-owned guys in this tier will be Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth.  You can really play anyone in this grouping, but I like who I like.  You just need to pick a horse – or two – and ride them.

$8,500 to $9,400

It made sense to revise the groupings this week considering the number of high-quality players that are here and the fact that pricing – in order to make it easier for the casual players – is softer than it normally is.  Doesn’t make it any easier to decide which “studs” to play, but balanced lineups look very appealing and even stars-and-scrubs lineups aren’t vomit-worthy!

Will Zalatoris ($9,200) – One trip here and a 2nd place finish.  As for current form, he has 3 Top 10s in his last six events. Now, of course, last year could be an anomaly given that Augusta usually requires a learning curve – Nah! This kid is that good!

Brooks Koepka ($9,400) – I’ve hesitated the last several months to play Brooks. I didn’t think he was healthy (which is why I think he missed the cut last year) and, frankly, he has one of the narrowest “give-a-damn meters” I’ve ever seen. What do I mean? He redlines on the meter for majors.  When it’s not a major, you can’t tell if the meter is on or off.  I think he returns to his Top 10 form from Masters of yore!

Dew Sweepers:

Daniel Berger ($9,000) – He missed the cut here last year, but he also wasn’t playing that well at the time.  Berger doesn’t get the hype so I think he will be lower owned when compared to all of the guys $9K and up. He’s not flashy, but he’s consistent and patient.  Good combination for Augusta!

Shane Lowry ($8,800) – He struggled at Augusta in the beginning of his playing career here.  However, in the last two years he’s been T25 and T21.  His current form is good too with three Top 15s in his last four events.  Also, it’s currently looking like wind may be in play on Friday or Saturday and there’s nothing like an Irishman playing in the wind.

$7,500 to $8,400

There are some very recognizable names in this price range.  You will need these guys to fill out a lineup, especially if you begin your build with the high-priced players.

Corey Conners ($7,600) He will likely be high-owned at this price, but he also stands out as one of the better bets for players under $8K.  He’s one of the best ball-strikers on tour – especially with his current play.  His final round at Valero was a 5-under 67 which is a good momentum build.

Tony Finau ($8,100) – three Top 10s in his last four appearances at Augusta.  While his short game isn’t the best, historically it doesn’t seem to bother him here.  He putts better on bentgrass and has plenty of length off the tee to take advantage of the Par 5s.

Dew Sweepers:

Abraham Ancer ($7,900) – He withdrew last week, but it doesn’t appear injury related like Matsuyama.  I think the match play finish woke him up from his mediocre start this season and I look for him to build on his previous experience here.

Matthew Fitzpatrick ($7,700) – Can I get him at this price every week? I mean really.  Both he and Tommy Fleetwood are the same price. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind starting a lineup with those two and building from there – AND I DID!!

Familiar names abound in this tier.  Honestly, Tyrrell Hatton ($8,000), Russell Henley ($7,800) and Justin Rose ($7,500) are solid plays as well.  It seems overwhelming when pricing is like this, but much like Tier 1, you just need to go with what you like.

Under $7,500

Honestly, I would not focus on anyone in this tier below $6,500.

Billy Horschel ($7,400) – he hasn’t cracked the Top 30 here since 2016.   He also hasn’t played this well for quite some time either.  A safe play in this category.

Patrick Reed ($7,400) – in years past, I’d be all over this play as a start to every lineup.  He’s a past winner here and has been Top 10 the last two years.  He’s struggled a bit this year and missed 3 consecutive cuts.  But, like I said, Augusta is a course for horses and this guy is a HORSE!!  You see why stars-and-scrubs builds are very possible this week without need to hold your nose on a couple of the picks.

Si Woo Kim ($7,100) – Three Top 25s in last four attempts here.  A Top 25 for this price will pay value easily. 

Robert Macintyre ($7,000) – One entry here and a tie for 12th.  It usually takes some time to get used to Augusta, but I think his game plays well here.  He has plenty of length even though that’s not imperative here.  Like Shane Lowry, the Scottish know how to deal with wind and it could be an issue for a couple of the days.  Cold and windy – sounds like Scotland! 

LONGSHOT:

Gary Woodland ($6,900) – His game has turned so far this year and I could possibly see him contending.  If you get a Top 10 at this price, you’re ahead of the game in some GPPs.

Who would I play if forced to go below $6,500

Zach Johnson ($6,400) has the most experience and he played very well in Texas last week.  

CORE #1 (top heavy):

No more fades!  I’m going with the positive.  Here are some potential “Cores” to build with:

Viktor Hovland

Xander Schauffele

Will Zalatoris

(Leaves you $7,033 per golfer) – Doable!

CORE #2 (balanced):

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Daniel Berger

Will Zalatoris

(Leaves you $8,033 per golfer)

FOR THE STATS NERDS AMONG US:

TOP 20 using the model I utilize with 50% Current Form/ 25% Key Stats / 25% Course History:

(V) = Value at $7,500 or less

  • Cameron Smith
  • Justin Thomas
  • Jon Rahm
  • Viktor Hovland
  • Scottie Scheffler
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Will Zalatoris
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (V)
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Adam Scott
  • Sam Burns
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Russell Henley (V)
  • Collin Morikawa
  • Seamus Power (V)
  • Tyrrell Hatton
  • Paul Casey (V)
  • Jordan Spieth

TOP 10 with 50% Course History and 50% Current Form:

  • Jon Rahm
  • Justin Thomas
  • Cameron Smith
  • Will Zalatoris
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Viktor Hovland
  • Scottie Scheffler
  • Adam Scott
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (V)
  • Dustin Johnson

Ask questions on Discord if you have them.  Make sure to tag me so I don’t miss it!

GOOD LUCK!!

Mark Farris