You may have played fantasy football before – and used your wildcard three weeks into the season – but Paddy Power Fantasy gives you a chance to play a new fantasy game every week, and across a whole load of other sports. Now is a great time to start, especially with Paddy Power’s FREE £1,000 daily fantasy golf contest for the Travelers Championship this week.
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week. It’s a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.
But whether you’re brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered – let’s take a look at some golfers to target this week.
Key Stats for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Greens in Regulation
- Par 4 Scoring
- Birdie or Better Rate
Shy of 6,900 yards, TPC River Highlands actually rewards strokes gained: off the tee more than the usual course on the PGA Tour Approach play still matters more than that – by about double – but less than usual. The point to me is that ball-strikers are vital this week. We’ve got just two par 5s on the par 70 course, so par 4 scoring makes some sense to bump up the list of importance. With how good the fields have been and how low the scores have gone, birdie conversion rate is something we can’t really ignore for fantasy purposes.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Best of the Best
Rory McIlroy (£11,900) – McIlroy has been cold in the return to golf — cold for him, at least. He’s finished 32nd at the Charles Schwab and then 41st at the RBC Heritage. He’s lost 2.2 strokes putting (ranking him 88th) but has gained 8.7 strokes tee to green (13th-most). McIlroy has a pair of top-20s at this event in 2017 and 2018. He gained 7.0 strokes off the tee in each. Whew. McIlroy is finally not the most expensive golfer in the field for a change but is still the best PPF performer in field-adjusted fantasy points since 2018.
Collin Morikawa (£10,500) – In 21 starts with FanDuel scoring, Morikawa ranks third in field-adjusted fantasy scoring (28.1 points over the field average), which trails only McIlroy (37.6) and Justin Thomas (31.7). He’s not a good Bermuda putter, so that’s a plus in his favour now that he’s back on bentgrass and poa. In 2020, he’s alternated weeks gaining and losing strokes around the green, and that’s problematic. However, the fantasy performances speak for themselves, and at only £10,500, Morikawa is a really good bounce-back pick.
Others to Consider:
Justin Thomas (£12,000) – Deserves to be at the top but likely comes with field-high ownership based on ownership trends.
Dustin Johnson (£11,000) – Cheap price for DJ after a get-right 17th last week on 7.0 strokes gained: tee to green. Yet to gain putting or around-the-green strokes in either start.
Sungjae Im (£10,400) – Missed cut last week did come with lost approach strokes (0.6) but 4.4 on the greens. Super consistent option otherwise.
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Tony Finau (£9,900) – Finau’s approach play in these past two starts hasn’t been good (-1.5 and -0.9), but we shouldn’t put too much stock in to an eight-round sample. He’s 8th overall in my stats-only model, and that includes the fact that he’s 19th in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds. Getting Finau off of Bermuda greens is ideal, and he’s a great fantasy golfer.
Joaquin Niemann (£9,800) – We’re not chasing the top-five finish from last week but instead buying into the elite ball-striking (7.4 strokes gained on approach shots after 2.4 at the Charles Schwab). Niemann is now fourth in strokes gained: ball-striking the past two weeks, which is nothing to ignore in fields this tough. Niemann was fifth at the Travelers last year while gaining 6.5 strokes tee to green.
Others to Consider:
Viktor Hovland (£9,700) – Elite ball-striking (6th in the past two events) and a 54th here last year with great off-the-tee play and terrible short game.
Scottie Scheffler (£9,600) – Didn’t play last week after 55th at Charles Schwab from usual results: great ball-striking and terrible short game.
Brian Harman (£9,200) – Two top-30s since returning, fueled by 5th-most short game strokes gained, but 24th in approach as well; 3 top-10s in past five years here.
Harold Varner (£8,600) – We can keep going to Varner, who ranks 24th in strokes gained: off the tee and is 10th in strokes gained: approach over the past eight rounds on Tour. His long-term form actually puts him in pretty elite company, as well. Varner’s best putting surface is poa, though he’s still a negative putter on the surface.
Doc Redman (£8,100) – Redman has two made cuts in these tough returns and is doing it in the most reliable, predictive way possible: with his approach play. Redman ranks second on the tour in total strokes gained: approach over these two events (12.5, second only to Abraham Ancer’s 16.5). Redman isn’t a good poa putter, but we’re getting a super cheap pick with some red hot ball-striking.
Others to Consider:
Shane Lowry (£9,000) – My modeling likes Lowry more than I do. Two missed cuts since returning but sort of neutral stats. Could bounce back.
Carlos Ortiz (£8,300) – Really good poa putter with poor off-the-tee play in two return starts. Risk/reward play.
Sebastian Munoz (£8,400) – Been around field average in strokes gained the past two starts (cut, 28th). 11th in birdie rate over past 50 rounds.