The American Express Daily Fantasy Picks and Predictions: Spend on Patrick Cantlay this Week
For many casual fans, Torrey Pines marks the official start of the PGA Tour season. Gone are the days or short courses and birdie fests, and in comes the stalwart, big bad Torrey Pines. The South course, which I will primarily focus my analysis and attention this week on given they will play 3 out of 4 rounds there, stretches over 7700 yards and may be the most demanding Off-The-Tee golf course in the regular season rotation. We have seen enough here to understand that the cream always rises at Torrey, and this is a place where the world's best can really separate themselves from the average Tour Player.
Let's start here, Jon Rahm owns Torrey Pines. This is the destination of his very first win on Tour and also where he secured his US Open title last year. He has the best scoring average on the South course of any player and also holds that mark on the North as well. The main reason why he is so successful here, is that he has become the best long approach-shot player on the planet. He could hit a bucket of balls from 100 yards and appear pedestrian with other Tour players, but have them all hit from 200+ and you will quickly realize why he is world #1.
Looking back at my course notes on Torrey, which are extensive at this point, the most corollary stats that would indicate success are Distance and long-approach play. The fairways are razor thin and dead straight, which means a greater than average percentage of players will be playing their second shot from the rough. With these circumstances, the close you can have into the hole, the better chance of holding the green. I will also look to target aggressive putters who understand the nuances of POA grass. Lastly, should a player not have the pre-requisite distance, they must possess an elite short game and scrambling ability to have any chance of competing. Here are my favorite targets in each price range for DFS this week at Torrey Pines.
There are challenges with stat modeling given the course rotation but we can isolate some similarities that should provide with quality targets. First, they are all short. Wayward misses will be met with sand a rocks off the tee that can present a spectrum of outcomes; from totally fine to DOA. The scoring on all 3 will be low, so targeting players with a solid incoming Birdie or Better rate will be key. Here are my favorite plays in each price range this week.
Farmers Insurance Open DFS Picks
$10k+ Range: Xander Schauffele $10,100
Xander presents the best value in this range coming in priced $1,100 cheaper than Rahm. The tougher the challenge in terms of scoring, the more I like Xander. He ranks #1 in the field in Par 5 Scoring on longer than average golf courses, and also posted the best 3-day total on the South Course last year. I'm banking on him sorting out the kinks with the driver, and taking advantage of his iron play and familiarity with Torrey Pines. Early projections look like he will come in somewhat surprisingly low owned as well.
$9k Range: Bryson DeChambeau $9,900
I've come around to the narrative that the tougher it is to hit fairways, the bigger advantage it is to have the length off the tee of Bryson. He's the longest in the game, which should give him opportunities to attack most of these par 4's at much better trajectory angles than his competitors. The risk of course is that he has never once made the cut at the Farmers. His only two previous appearances though were in 2017 & 2018, where he was a completely different animal. He was right there on the back 9 of the US Open with a chance to win, which I think adds to his confidence coming into this week. Bombs away!
$8k Range: Matthew Wolff $8,500
Galaxy brain move here going back to Wolff after ridiculous ownership last week at the Amex and a terrible performance. I'm willing to let that slide and confident that he's swinging it well and confidently based on his Fall where he led the Tour in scoring average. He gained 6 strokes Off-The-Tee here at the US Open in June and I like his chances to bounce back this week given many of the same reasons I'm high on Bryson. He ranks 2nd in Driving Distance and 2nd on approach shots from 200+ yards.
$7k Range: Cameron Davis $7,300
I've got my narrative and I'm sticking to it this week! Davis's skill set aligns nicely with this golf course. He can move it Off-The-Tee and also ranks top 15 in terms of SG: T2G and SG: Approach on courses over 7,400 yards. He's coming into this week off solid showings in Hawaii and a 32nd place finish at this event last season despite losing 5.2 strokes putting which is pretty astounding. A young player with a great deal of talent and upside that I believe makes a ton of sense at $7,300.
$6k Range: Matt NeSmith @ $6,800
NeSmith finds his way into my lineup because I feel like he's somewhat predictable. He's going to struggle on traditional PGA Tour courses that are long and bent grass, but he tends to have good weeks on shorter Bermuda grass courses where he can play with a lot of wedges vs. long irons. He had a top 15 at the Shriners in the Fall and played great at the Waste Management Open last year which draws a lot of course comps as well.
Thanks once again for reading and good luck this week!
Joe Idone's PGA Tour DFS Picks
Cuts Made: 87/100
Winners Picked: 7
Joe Idone is Golf Betting & DFS enthusiast from South Florida. He has spent the last 12 years focused primarily on PGA Tour analysis and isolating profitable golf wagers. In 2020, he profited over $130,000 in DFS Golf and has a longstanding documented history of hitting outright winners.