Gio on the Greens: PGA DFS – Valspar Championship at Innisbrook

Gio on the Greens: PGA DFS – Valspar Championship at Innisbrook

by April 28, 2021 0 comments

The Valspar Championship at the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Florida is back after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. I’m back with the best golfers to pick for your DFS tournaments, cash games, and hybrid contests. Let’s get right into it.

All prices listed are for DraftKings

Cash Plays

Paul Casey ($10,000)

The obvious play. Casey has won the last two Valspar Championship titles in 2018 and 2019. It would be impossible to make a cash core without documenting the past (and recent) success of Casey. His only PGA tour wins in the last decade have both come at Innisbrook. Chasing success is not a bad strategy here, but it is a strategy that I will be avoiding. 

Jason Kokrak ($8,700)

Kokrak is one of those guys who struggles every time I roster them (I’m looking at you, too, Patrick Cantlay.). Kokrak finished top-10 three of his last five appearances at Innisbrook and has only missed the cut once since 2014. He has four top-10 finishes this tour season including a win at Shadow Creek last October, and he will be another staple of my cash game lineup this week. With that being said, you may want to avoid him due to his track record when I roster him.

Justin Thomas ($11,500)

In my opinion, Thomas is the best golfer in the world right now. He is extremely consistent and ranks fourth of all tour golfers in strokes gained from tee-to-green. I enjoy rostering him because he gets angry when he misses a putt at the same time I get angry when he misses a putt. Thomas is the safest option of all the pay-ups and I’m sure he will come in chalky. 

Corey Conners ($9,600)

Conners has been impressive lately, recording top-15 finishes in five of his last six tournaments. His strokes gained from tee-to-green ranks ninth in golf right now and he seems to be getting better every week. It was a rocky start to the tour season for him, missing the cut in the first two tournaments, but it has been only up from there. He’s going to come in a little too chalky for my liking, but he could easily win the tournament with how he has been performing.

Charley Hoffman ($8,600)

It’s all coming together for Hoffman this season. He’s even sinking his putts, so you know he’s on top of his game. It seems like he’s due for a win after four top-tens this season, and a bunch of top 20s as well. His iron game will determine how successful he is this weekend, as he ranks 105th on the tour in shots gained around the green. He hasn’t received enough respect for the great season he’s putting together, and I think he’s ready to win this weekend.

Other plays to consider: Louis Oosthuizen, Ryan Palmer, Cameron Tringale

GPP

Viktor Hovland ($10,500)

Hovland hasn’t been on tour at Innisbrook before, so taking a chance on him may be a little risky, but the advanced analytics are there. He ranks top-15 in strokes gained from tee to green and has been a model of consistency all year long. He has four top-five finishes this season and just one missed cut. Hovland hasn’t been on the top of his game lately, but look for that to change this weekend.

Patrick Reed ($10,300)

Reed is the best putter on the PGA Tour right now. His rankings in strokes gained off the tee, tee-to-green, etc. are not impressive. However, because he gains an entire stroke from putting alone, he ranks sixth on the tour in strokes gained. Reed also has past success at Innisbrook, with three top-ten finishes (two were runner-up), in his five appearances at the course.

Charles Howell III ($7,700)

This might be my favorite play of the weekend from a GPP standpoint. Howell has made 12/14 cuts at Innisbrook, including four top-tens. He may fly under people’s radars this week, but when you have someone who is a proven competitor at a certain course, ride with it. The price tag for his success is very friendly, and I don’t think he’ll miss his third cut here.

Charl Schwartzel ($7,100)

Coming off a fantastic weekend at Zurich with his partner Oosthuizen, Schwartzel also has had past success at Innisbrook. He has made three of five cuts including two top-10s, one of which was a win. Schwartzel has actually been having a rather underrated season this year. I like to ride people’s success, and compounding it with great course history is a great recipe for a takedown lineup. I think Schwartzel may also come in less-owned than he should be.

Kevin Na ($8,000)

If you take away his awful performance at The Players where he withdrew after day one, Na has done pretty well for himself this season. He has one win; the Waialae Country Club at the Sony Open, as well as three other top-15 performances. He has finished in the middle of the pack a lot this season, but his course history suggests that this could be a big week for him. He has made seven of his last eight cuts at Innisbrook including three top-10s, with the highest finish being second place. Rostering him can be a little scary since he usually finishes better than he starts, but this might be the first time this season he makes one of my lineups.

Other plays to consider: Abraham Ancer, Bubba Watson, Rory Sabbatini

Hybrid

Luke Donald ($6,000)

The same Luke Donald who is two-for-14 on cuts this season? Unfortunately, yes. Donald dominates at Innisbrook. In his last nine appearances, he has made the cut eight times, including five top-10s (three top-fives), and an outright win. He is low-priced, so the risk isn’t insane, because he allows you to get to those safer plays for the rest of your lineup. If he misses the cut, you can still cash with 5/6 making the cut, and if he does dominate like usual, you’re on takedown watch.

Sungjae Im ($9,200)

I was going to write up Im as a cash play, but I like him in every format this weekend. Coming off a very disappointing Masters performance, Im is in a bounce-back spot in the Sunshine State, where he always dominates. He has six top-15s this season, and finished tied for fourth in his only appearance at Innisbrook in 2019. Like Hoffman, Im’s irons will determine his success this weekend, but I think he’s finally turning that corner towards putting it all together.

Joaquin Niemann ($9,100)

People seem to be overthinking this play. He’s 13-for-13 on cuts this year and has three top-10 finishes. He hasn’t been at his best lately, but not many people are going to be interested in rostering a guy with no past course history (T37 in 2019, that’s it). I am. Don’t overthink this play; Niemann has been incredibly impressive and deserves a write up as a top leverage play this weekend.

Other names to consider: Lucas Glover, KJ Choi (same reasoning as Donald), Justin Rose


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