Tournament Preview- Valero Texas Open

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff March 12, 2015 01:32

The PGA Tour leaves Florida this week and lands in San Antonio Texas and the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. The Oaks course is a par 72 and measures 7,435 yards, which is nearly the same length as Bay Hill was last week. It is also the same length as Augusta. It is important that we note that this course opened in 2010, so keep that in mind when analyzing tournament history. The Oaks features very narrow fairways and some very difficult hazards including thick brush, native vegetation, and deep bunkers. The course includes four par three holes and four par fives.

What a phenomenal week last week was for Fantasy Golf Insider members. We heard from many of you who had very profitable weeks. We will continue to build upon our success and keep providing our members with the highest quality content in the industry. Our top stud pick last week Henrik Stenson who delivered with a runner-up finish. Bubba Watson of course withdrew and we knew that ahead of time so we took him out of all of our rosters. Our value picks shined, as we recommended eight and six of them made the cut and most had quality finishes. Some of the highlights were Kevin Na with a T6, Daniel Berger T13, Charles Howell III with a T21, Shawn O’Hair T29, Martin Laird T43, and Justin Thomas T49. We recommended a balanced approach and if you used those six guys you made some money. The only value play that really let us down was JB Holmes. We knew he was going to have very high ownership in DFS and we were correct. The pattern continues that you would have been better off fading the most owned player in DFS. Keep that in mind for future weeks. It is very important to take the lessons that we try and teach you as well as the lessons you learn on your own and build upon them. As with everything else in life, information is power and you can never stop learning and becoming better at your trade, and fantasy golf is no different. We are always striving to be more innovative and find ways to gain an edge over the competition and remain consistently profitable. Keep following us and we will continue to bust our tail to bring you great stuff. Two of our sleepers made the cut with Sam Saunders really stepping up for us with a T29. Outstanding!

Last year at the Valero Texas Open underdog Steven Bowditch captured his first PGA Tour victory by outlasting Will MacKenzie and Daniel Summerhays by a shot. Bowditch opened a three-shot lead heading into Sunday but blew his lead with a front nine of 3-over 39 but was able to survive for the win despite shooting a final round 76.

Every week we analyze several factors in order to determine who some of the best plays are for that given week. Some of those tools include tournament history, current form, sportsbook odds vs. daily pricing (for you DFS players), and statistics (both strokes gained and other course specific statistics relevant for the particular course being played that weekend). Outside of strokes gained this week the statistic that we have discovered to show a lot of success is par 4 scoring. Yes, we know this is an obvious statistic overall but we like the results we have seen in this tournament in this statistical category. Last year 8 of the top 9 players in par four scoring finished T6 or better. With the winner Steven Bowditch finishing second best in par four scoring at -4 and the leader in that statistic Will Mackenzie who finished runner up. In 2013 8 of the top 10 in par 4 scoring finished in the top 15, and in 2012 8 of the top 14 in par 4 scoring finished in the top 10. Several under the radar players have had great success in this tournament, including Charley Hoffman. You should check out who those guys are on our Tournament History Page.

As always, stick to solid lineup building, diversification, smart game selection, and disciplined bankroll management. See: How to win playing daily fantasy golf.

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Top Stud Plays:


Jordan Spieth- The Texas boy going back home, coming off of a tournament win. Seems like it makes sense to choose him. Well, we have been on Spieth all season and even featured him as one of our favorite players in our Crystal Ball for 2015 article before the season. Spieth has all the tools and showed he can deliver in the clutch by draining critical putts in his tournament win at Valspar. Before that he was also playing well with a T17 at WGC Cadillac, T4 at Northern Trust, and T7 at Pebble Beach. Spieth took 10th last year at Valero, missed the cut in 2013, and took 41st in 2012. He is a new player now though, so we weight current form over tournament history with him. Spieth ranks 11th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, the most valuable statistic and 3rd in Total Strokes Gained. His price in DFS is obviously inflated this week, so you might not want to have him on every roster in case he disappoints, but for every other format and some DFS teams he is a solid play.

Jim Furyk- We like consistency, Jim Furyk is consistent, thus we like Jim Furyk. Furyk was very disappointing with a T40 at Valspar and hopefully that will dissuade others from choosing him. Before that, Furyk had a T12 at WGC Cadillac, T14 at Northern Trust, and T7 at Pebble Beach. He has shown a propensity to not be able to win tournaments, but if you give me a guy who will almost certainly take a Top 10 with a chance for better, we will take it. Furyk has had success here in the past two years with a 6th last year and a 3rd the year before. He ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, and 14th in Total Strokes Gained. Plain and simple, the guy can play and we look for a real nice bounce back in San Antonio.

Ryan Palmer– Another Texas guy who has been playing well most of this season. A T12 at WGC Cadillac, T25 at Honda, MC at Pebble, T2 at WM Phoenix, T10 at Humana, and T17 at Sony. He has had mixed results here in the past with a 56th last year, 15th in 2013, 32nd in 2012, MC in 2011, and 9th in 2010. Palmer ranks 9th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 10th in Total Strokes Gained. He is also 4th in Par 4 scoring this season on the PGA Tour. We expect Palmer to deliver for all formats this week.

Dustin Johnson is white hot right now and we like that a lot. He does not have any tournament history, which we do not like. We like him in most formats, but his price is steep in DFS. That doesn’t mean you should avoid him completely, just maybe mix him in a few GPP lineups.


Top Value Plays:


Kevin Na- Fantasy Golf Insider has been on Na for several weeks now, his results the last 3 weeks- T6 last week at Arnold Palmer, T10 at Valspar, and a T9 at the WGC Cadillac. Na ranks 67 in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 61st in Strokes Gained overall. Na is famous at the Valero for the 16 he had on the par four ninth hole in 2011, and if you have never seen it, I would recommend checking it out, it is quite hilarious Last year at this tournament Na took 11th. We are going to continue to roster Na on his influential run and would recommend you do as well.

Daniel Berger- This kid helped us prove a very important lesson last week, and if you missed it go back and check out the Arnold Palmer Preview. Berger was one of the highest owned players in DFS two weeks ago at the Valspar and he missed the cut. We advised in our Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview to forget about that result. He played fine at Valspar, there was nothing fundamentally wrong with his game, and he just missed the cut by 1 stroke. We knew people would be bitter about that missed cut and banish Berger from their rosters and we were correct as his ownership levels across DFS were sliced. Fortunately for Fantasy Golf Insider readers, we know to not hold a grudge and wash that bad taste out of our mouth quickly, so we recommended Berger last week at the Arnold Palmer and he delivered huge for us with a T13.

Freddie Jacobsen- Probably the best tournament history of anybody in the field this week, over the last 5 years Freddie Jac has a 16th, 15th, 18th, 5th, and runner up finish. He has not been playing great lately, but not terrible either. A T47 at Valspar, MC at Honda, T32 at Farmers, T7 at WM Phoenix Open. He and his caddie smoke cigarettes during the round, which is funny to see and another reason to root for him to be on the leaderboard and shown on the live coverage. In all seriousness, his tournament history is stellar and we look for him to deliver this week again.

Charley Hoffman- Your last memory of Hoffman may be him making an ass of himself shooting a 79-76 and exiting early from Valspar a couple of weeks ago. As we talked about earlier, we need to separate our emotions and not hold a grudge. Hoffman has had really good success in this tournament with an 11th last year, 3rd in 2013, 13th in 2012, 2nd in 2011, and 13th in 2010. Up until Valspar, Charley was not playing bad with a T38 at the WGC Cadillac, T30 Northern Trust, MC at Farmers, T53 WM Phoenix Open, and T2 at Humana. Hoffman is a great example of a great GPP play in DFS, but too much of a gamble for cash games. Choose him and see if he gets hot and carries you to a big win.

Martin Laird- We recommended Laird last week and although he wasn’t a complete bust, we were not completely satisfied either, so we are going back to the well this week for more. His past 5 performances have yielded a T43 at the Arnold Palmer last week, T33 at Valspar, a T7 at The Farmers, T5 at the WM Phoenix Open, and T15 at Humana. He ranks well in many statistical categories including 14th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 15th in Total Strokes Gained, 16th in Greens in Regulation, 32nd in Driving Distance, 6th in Par 4 scoring, and 5th in Par three birdie or better percentage. Laird missed the cut here last year but won it in 2013 and took 9th in 2011.


Top Sleeper Plays:


Marc Warren- If you are looking for a guy who is going to be under the radar this week but could deliver a Top 20 and outperform his price-tag Marc Warren should be your guy. Only one appearance on the PGA Tour, Warren placed T17 at the WGC Cadillac. Before that however he was playing extremely well on the European Tour with a T25 in Thailand, T9 at the Malaysian Open, T13 at the Omega Dubai, and 2nd at the Qatar Masters. He doesn’t shine in ball-striking categories, but the dude can putt. He is ranked 3rd in putting on the European Tour. Last year he had a very impressive showing at the PGA Championship and finished with a T15. Finally, Warren is currently ranked #51 in the World Golf Rankings. A Top 50 ranking means a ticket to the Masters. Think he is motivated?

Martin Flores- We have seen Texas guys play really well in Texas tournaments in the past and Flores is a great example. In the past three years, Flores has taken 16th, 10th, and 24th here. He also has been playing respectably lately with a T16 at Puerto Rico, T17 at Honda, MC at Northern Trust, T53 at Farmers, T46 at Wm Phoenix, T59 at Humana. Those are great finishes for his price in DFS. He doesn’t rank high in any statistical categories, but what do you want for a sleeper? We are pretty confident he is good for a made cut, anything beyond that is gravy.

Brian Harmon- A very inconsistent player, Harmon missed the cut at Valspar, T11 at Honda, MC at Northern Trust, T32 at Farmers, T66 at WM Phoenix, and T13 at Sony. He has played well at the Valero the last three years with a 16th, 22nd, and 18th. He is probably strictly a GPP play for you DFSers, but worth a consideration.


Deep Sleeper:


Justin Leonard- We recommended Leonard as a deep sleeper a few weeks ago and he crapped on our head. We have since wiped off the crap and are ready to give him one more chance. He has been hit and miss this season with a MC at Valspar, T56 at Northern Trust, MC at Farmers, and T53 at Phoenix. Check out his tournament history however- 31st last year, 37th in 2013, 35th in 2012, and 30th in 2011. We think he might be good for a Top 40 again, which would pay off his price in DFS this week. This Texas guy is worth a shot.


As always, best of luck you this week and let us know how you do.

All the best!

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff March 12, 2015 01:32

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