The Players Championship: 15 DFS Golf Picks
The Players Championship
Preview for The Players Championship: It's an unofficial major since this field is typically one, if not the best field every PGA Tour season, and as the name implies - it's the player's championship so it's all about the golfers this week. Jack Nicklaus won the first-ever Players Championship in 1974, and he has won this tournament three times in his illustrious career. The record at this event came in 1994 when The Shark, Greg Norman, won by 4 strokes over Fuzzy Zoeller. Winners of The Players Championship over the past five editions include Cameron Smith in 2022, Justin Thomas in 2021, the 2020 tournament was canceled after round 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rory McIlroy in 2019, Webb Simpson in 2018, and Si Woo Kim in 2017.
Tournament purse: The prize money for this week's event is an unheard of $25M, the winner collects a massive $4.5M and also earns himself 600 FedEx Cup points.
Course and key stats: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course) is 7,256 yards in length, is a par 72, and the greens consist of Bermudagrass. The winning score here over the past decade ranges from -10 to -18, so the course isn't super difficult, but it's also not a birdie fest here most years either. Some core key stats to focus on this week, in order, include strokes gained: off the tee, strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: tee to green, driving accuracy percentage, and strokes gained: putting.
The field: We have 144 players competing this week, and the top 65 golfers plus ties after round 2 will move on to play rounds 3 and 4 on the weekend. We again have the world's top players here this week including Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and many other incredible golfers have made the trip to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. On a scale ranging from A to D, I rank the field strength to be an A.
DFS PGA Tour Golf Picks
Make the most of the data, predictions, and insights from this article to help with your fantasy golf picks for The Players Championship. And check out our PGA Projections and Optimizer tools to make more informed player selections for your DFS DraftKings lineups. Best of luck this week!
Three questions that are relevant to The Players Championship this week:
- Which 10 players have gained the most strokes total over their last 24 rounds? Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, and Justin Rose.
- Which 10 players does my custom model like the most? Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Day, Tyrrell Hatton, Will Zalatoris, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, and Sungjae Im.
- Which 10 players gained the most strokes total (minimum 8 rounds) at this event since 2018? Keegan Bradley (16 rounds), Tommy Fleetwood (14 rounds), Justin Thomas (16 rounds), Doug Ghim (8 rounds), Webb Simpson (12 rounds), Jason Day (14 rounds), Tiger Woods (8 rounds), Will Zalatoris (8 rounds), Corey Conners (12 rounds), and Justin Rose (10 rounds).
All the best in your journey to win or at least be in the money in some contests this week - here are (in no particular order) 15 DFS golf picks on DraftKings (DK), plus I also include player salaries for DK. I consistently provide recent and seasonal finishes for each of my picks, their performances at the event over the last five years, and add in some tasty data.
15 Players Who Are Either High-Potential or Solid-Value Plays This Week - Get Them Into Your DFS Lineups
Jon Rahm (Salary: DraftKings - $11.8K) - It was looking like he might walk away with the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week after leading by two strokes after round 1, but he fell apart off the tee and ended up T39. Prior to last week, Rahm won three times in five starts and had seven consecutive top 8's. He hasn't lit this course up yet but did have a T9 two years ago and has two top 12's since 2019. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T55, 2021 - T9, 2019 - T12, and 2018 - T63.
Rory McIlroy (Salary: DraftKings - $11.0K) - He was close to competing in a playoff against Kitayama last week but settled for a T2, and that was despite only gaining 0.71 strokes putting. Rory won here in 2019 through outstanding ball striking and he has five top 12's here since 2013. It's a volatile course as he missed the cut here in 2018 and in 2021 and had his win sandwiched in the middle. He has two wins over his last five starts and is knocking on the door to win another - don't sleep on McIlroy. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T33, 2021 - Cut, 2019 - Won, and 2018 - Cut.
Scottie Scheffler (Salary: DraftKings - $10.6K) - He's consistently in the mix to win tournaments and made a run at it last week but ended up with a T4. He won three starts ago and has eight straight top 12's thanks to incredible ball striking almost every time he tees it up. He missed the cut here in 2021 and had a T55 last year, but that means nothing given the volatility here and the elevation of his game, and should be quite competitive throughout the week. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T55 and 2021 - Cut.
Max Homa (Salary: DraftKings - $9.8K) - Max gained 11.10 strokes ball striking but lost 4.68 strokes with his short game to finish T14 at the API. Before last week, he had three top 3's in four starts including winning the Farmers Insurance Open gaining 16.95 strokes total. He has all of the tools and talent to win any given week and should improve on last year's T13 here if he can figure out these greens which have plagued him so far in his two starts but he showed more promise in 2022. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T13 and 2021 - Cut.
Jason Day (Salary: DraftKings - $8.0K) - Day now has four straight top 10's including a solo 5th at the Phoenix Open, and he's doing it through solid off-the-tee and short game play. Going back further, he has nine top 21's over his last ten starts, so he's been playing great golf since last October. It's also worth noting that he won here in 2016 and has three top 8's since that year. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - Cut, 2021 - T35, 2019 - T8, and 2018 - T5.
Tommy Fleetwood (Salary: DraftKings - $7.9K) - He has had a pretty good track record at this venue earning two top 7's since 2018 and would have had something better than a T22 last year had he not experienced a cold putter as he gained 5.50 strokes ball striking and 2.46 strokes around the green. He had a T20 at The Genesis Invitational in a loaded field two starts ago and should pay off his $7K salary number this week if his sound overall game shows up. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T22, 2021 - Cut, 2019 - T5, and 2018 - T7.
Keith Mitchell (Salary: DraftKings - $7.4K) - He just keeps producing off the tee and that's exactly the type of player that does well at this event - just look at the key stats. He has four top 24's over his last five starts including a T4 at Pebble Beach and a 5th at The Genesis Invitational, and he secured a T13 here a year ago even though he lost 1.17 strokes on approach. He seems like a good value pick to me this week, mix him into some lineups as he appears to be "safe" now and offers some upside also. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T13, 2021 - Cut, 2019 - T47, and 2018 - T77.
Corey Conners (Salary: DraftKings - $7.4K) - Can you tell I like the mid $7K range this week?! I like Conners this week as he has done well at this tournament with a T7 two years ago and followed that up with a good T26 last year thanks to gaining strokes across the board. Conners consistently finishes in the teens and 20's and pops for top 10's when his putter behaves. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T26, 2021 - T7, and 2019 - T41.
Tom Hoge (Salary: DraftKings - $7.4K) - With finishes ranging from T22 to T33 since 2019, Hoge seems like a good bet to replicate that and provide some value to your lineups this week. He has two missed cuts in his last three starts but had a T14 at The Genesis Invitational two starts ago and he's due to get hot in the ball-striking category again soon. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T33, 2021 - T22, 2019 - T30, and 2018 - T72.
Nick Taylor (Salary: DraftKings - 7.0K) - You got to like what Taylor has done since mid-January with four top 33's over his last six starts including a runner-up at the Phoenix Open in a strong field and a T7 at the Sony Open. He has been fine here too, especially in 2019 when he gained 8.16 strokes on approach and finished T16. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2021 - T48, 2019 - T16, and 2018 - T79.
Keegan Bradley (Salary: DraftKings - $7.5K) - Bradley is one of the better players at this event year in and year out, and was outstanding here last year gaining 10.15 strokes ball striking to lock up a top 5 finish. He has made the cut here six straight times and his worst finish over the last four was a T29. He's playing excellent golf lately too with a T10 last week at the API, he has three top 20's over his last four starts, and won the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP last October. He's my favorite mid-tier play this week and I recommend being overweight on Keegan this week. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T5, 2021 - T29, 2019 - T16, and 2018 - T7.
Robby Shelton (Salary: DraftKings - $6.6K) - I like what Shelton brings to the table this week as he's cheap, has made five straight-cut lines and seven out of his last eight starts, and he has three top 21's over his last five starts including a T6 at The American Express. He missed the cut here two years ago in his only look at this tournament, but he's so much better now than he was and should at least make the cut this week to help your stars and scrubs lineups. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2021 - Cut.
Justin Thomas (Salary: DraftKings - $9.4K) - The 2021 champ has been fine for a while now with six straight top 25's including a 4th at the Phoenix Open, he just needs to put four solid rounds together to get back in the hunt to win. In addition to his win two years ago, he had a T3 here in 2016, a T11 in 2018 and has five top 35's here over his last six looks at TPC Sawgrass. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T22, 2021 - Won, 2019 - T35, and 2018 - T11.
Viktor Hovland (Salary: DraftKings - $8.9K) - He's such a pure ball striker and has earned several good finishes since last October including winning six starts ago at the Hero World Challenge. He locked down a top 10 last week through incredible ball striking, but we're waiting for his short game to do better so he can contend again. His top 10 here last year included gaining an all-world 14.17 strokes ball striking which led the field by a lot, but in typical Hovland fashion, he lost big with his short game. Watch out this week if his wedges and putter are even mildly warm. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T9 and 2021 - Cut.
Will Zalatoris (Salary: DraftKings - $8.8K) - We know that he gets up for these big events since his major results have been stellar so far in his young career, so he should be on your radar this week. He had a 4th two starts ago at The Genesis Invitational and seems to be finding his game again after a long layoff between last August and January of this year. Much the same as Viktor above, if Zalatoris' short game is a plus this week, then his result should be a top 20 and potentially even a top 10. Players Championship finishes over the last five years: 2022 - T26 and 2021 - T21.
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Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience - including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings - specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.