Fantasy Golf Picks: McIlroy, Rahm & Thomas a class apart at Sawgrass

We're expecting Rory to take The Players Championship title this week, though John Rahm and Juston thomas could have somthing to say about it


By now, you’ve probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don’t worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with Paddy Power Fantasy’s golf offering.

Golf can be one of the most exciting daily fantasy 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.

Read More on The Players Championship at Paddy Power News

But whether you’re brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered with our guide to TPC Sawgrass.

Let’s take a look at some golfers to target this week.

Rory McIlroy

Hit it straight down the middle at Paddy Power Fantasy

Best of the Best

Rory McIlroy (£12,200 | Odds: 13/2) – I’m going to be honest: there is a gap between the top three golfers – McIlroy, Jon Rahm (£12,000), and Justin Thomas (£11,900) – over the rest of the field this week. I factor in other things, but when looking only at my recent stats model, these three guys rank top four (McIlroy is first, Thomas is second, and Rahm is fourth). McIlroy is around 9.1% likely to win, per my simulations. Rahm is at 6.8%, and Thomas is at 4.7%. So this suggests McIlroy is the first place to look, and I can’t argue that. However, TPC Sawgrass has quite a bit of variance to it, as water is in play, and wind can get aggressive. I’m totally fine with any of these three, and I’d rank McIlroy first easily.

Read More: 18/1 DeChambeau to Shine at Sawgrass as Post-Tiger Era Looms

Webb Simpson (£10,700 | 20/1) – Simpson will probably draw ownership – for good reason. He has finished 16th, 1st, and 16th at Sawgrass over the past three years, and he enters with good, albeit sporadic, form. He finished third at the Sony Open, he won the Waste Management, and he was 61st at the WGC-Mexico, when he struggled pretty much everywhere. The approach play had been great entering that event, and elevation changes really screw with golfers at Chapultepec. Webb ranks 11th in strokes gained: approach among the field over the past 50 rounds, and over the past 100 rounds on Bermuda greens, he is 4th in strokes gained: putting.


Mid-Range Options

Marc Leishman (£9,700 | 35/1) – I don’t love Leishman’s overall win odds, but his irons have been spicy recently: datagolf’s adjusted strokes gained data shows Leishman with the fourth-best approach play in the 2020 season. Off the tee and around the green, he’s lacking, yet we’re getting a decent PPF price discount for someone with hefty win odds based on the price. Leishman charged his way to a second at Bay Hill last week and has a recent win at the Farmers.

Read More: Straka can strike 150/1 in first-round leader market

Tyrrell Hatton (£9,000 | 35/1) – Hatton should carry ownership, but the case for him is very easy to make, and that’s who I’m trying to profile here. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week and being priced where he is, Hatton is in the conversation for the most popular golfer in the field for fantasy this week. In a volatile sport like golf, there’s legitimate leverage to be gained by fading him outright. Hatton, though, has elite 2020 stats over just four starts, and he ranks 36th in Bermuda putting over a large enough 54-round sample when compared to every player’s last 100 (when available). Point being: Hatton has an all-around game that should allow him to buck the trend of two straight missed cuts at TPC Sawgrass. For cash games, he’s very promising. For tournaments, well, maybe we avoid him and hope for the missed cut.

Low-Priced Picks

Abraham Ancer (£8,900 | 70/1) – Ancer played here a year ago and finished 12th. He did so by gaining strokes in all four areas, including 3.7 each in terms off-the-tee and approach play. Overall, he ranked eighth in strokes gained: tee to green. Ancer has not shown good putting splits on Bermuda (110th), but he has played the weekend at all five events in 2020. Ancer’s irons are good but not always consistent, yet it’s a week to buy back in on him at such a low salary.

Scottie Scheffler (£8,700 | 70/1) – Scheffler ranks 15th in my stats model, which is really, really good for someone priced down here. We will assuredly see long shots in contention here, and if Scheffler doesn’t implode on the greens (he’s 123rd in Bermuda putting), we could see him near the top again. Just last week, Scheffler lost 4.8 strokes on the greens despite leading the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

Hit it straight down the middle at Paddy Power Fantasy

What do you think?