The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located in Palm Harbor, Florida, and is host to this week’s Valspar Championship. It is a Par-71 course plat plays a lengthy 7,340 yards.
Shot making is key this week as players will find a lot more doglegs than normal. When selecting fantasy golfers this week, look for players who feel confident working the ball both ways. With 5 Par 3s on the course this week, Par 3 Scoring is a key stat too look at. Most of the players will be laying up on the Par 5s, but Par 5 Scoring is still a stat to consider. Also, be sure to look at weather forecast Wednesday night as this part of Florida can get some really high winds.
Key Stats: BoB% (Birdie or Better), SG:T2G (Tee to Green), GIR, Bogey Avoidance (BA), Par 3 Scoring, Putting 10′-20′
With that, let’s look at the top golfers to target on DraftKings for the Valspar Championship.
Justin Thomas ($11,900)
Thomas has shot up to No. 7 in the world and it wasn’t because of his driver tossing skills. So, what skills produced such a quick jump in the OWGR? How about a No. 1 ranking in BoB% and a fifth-place ranking in SG:T2G. He also ranks ninth in approaches 200-225 yards and 13th in SG:Approaches. The youngster has it all and is proving to be one of the best players in the world each week. Thomas has a couple missed cuts this season, but he also has a pair of wins along with a fifth-place result at the WGC last week. He’s a great anchor for your DraftKings lineups in a weaker field event this week.
Henrik Stenson ($11,700)
Stenson is the top-ranked golfer in our Fantasy Fanatics projections model week despite not having many stats to dissect on the PGA Tour this season. What he does have is European Tour stats that are very impressive. He ranks fourth in Stroke Average, fourth in GIR, and sixth in Driving Accuracy. Stenson should be the chalk this week but needs to be played in your lineups as he hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since September (not counting last week’s withdrawal due to sickness). We’re not worried about his WD and you shouldn’t either. He is the top-ranked golfer in the field and has proven to be worthy of it.
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Value Picks and Sleepers
Gary Woodland ($8,900)
Woodland is the hardest golfer to gauge every week. He shows signs of being great, but then has blowups. He has two top 5s in the last four weeks, including a runner-up, and was well on his way to a top 15 last week before firing a 74 (+3) in the third round. Woodland has been known to bounce back as he posted a runner-up finish after a T47 as well as a fifth after a missed cut. He could rebound this week on a course that sets up perfect for him. He ranks 18th in T2G, 15th in SG:App, 27th in GIR and 24th in BA. He also won this event in 2011.
Martin Laird ($7,400)
Laird jumped up our rankings this week and is at a great buy-low candidate. He ranks 31st or better in almost all of our key stats, including 16th in BA, 21st in SG:T2G and 31st in BoB%. He has made five straight cuts in the last seven weeks, although he sandwiched two MDFs in between 8th, 7th and 9th place finishes. Laird missed the cut at the Valspar last year but he did finish fifth here in 2011. Take advantage of this low salary before it climbs again.
Bounce Back Candidate
Bubba Watson ($8,300)
Bubba? The crybaby? Really? Yes, Watson been awful this year. His best finish was a T25th back in January. He has a missed cut and withdrew from an event, too. Why would he be priced over $8,000 this week?
As we’ve stated before, one round and one tournament can adjust your confidence level. Bubba lacked poise entering the WGC event in Mexico last week, especially on the greens with the putter, but he finally started putting pure strokes on it. To post a positive SG:P (.752) in a tournament where he has never seen the greens is a huge win for him. When your putter isn’t working, the other parts of your game struggle too. After regaining some self-confidence, look for Bubba to start posting some low numbers starting this week at Innibrook, a place where he has posted a top 3 before.
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