Fort Worth Invitational picks, sleepers for daily fantasy golf contests

Written By Bennett Bedford

The PGA Tour makes it final stop in Texas this week for the Fort Worth Invitational at the historic Colonial Country Club. This is one of the longest running events on tour and draws a very solid field this week, which is a nice change from the extremely week field that we saw last week at the Byron Nelson. Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, and Players Champion Webb Simpson are among the potential PGA DFS picks making the trip to Fort Worth, and there's also a solid mid-range of golfers that present some interesting game theory angles for us to take advantage of in daily fantasy golf contests.

While Colonial isn’t a Pete Dye design, it might as well be with its emphasis on accuracy off the tee and angles of attack on approach shots. As a Par 70 with fairly difficult Par 5s, scoring will be at a premium this week. While it’s always important to target birdie makers, finishing position should take priority. The traditional style of play here has favored the short hitters, but Rahm bucked that trend last season, opting to blast his driver as much as possible to set up short irons and wedges into the majority of greens. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more players take that approach and go with the big stick instead of clubbing down.

The greens at Colonial are some of the smallest that we’ll see all season, so scrambling to grind out pars will certainly come into play. It’s no coincidence that players with excellent short games such as Spieth, Simpson, and Kevin Kisner have elite track records at this event. This is also a rare week where I’ll be looking at putting as a key stat. Sure, putting is important every week, but Colonial notoriously sees guys who tend to struggle with the flat stick get white hot on the pure bent grass surfaces. Finally, the difficulty of the Par 5s with their extremely low eagle rate will push Par-4 scoring to the forefront this week. 

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Key Stats:

Strokes Gained: Approach 
Par 4 Scoring 
Strokes Gained: Putting

Fort Worth Invitational picks (Daily Fantasy Golf)

Top-Tier Targets

Jon Rahm - DK: $11,000, FD: $11,90

Rahm bucked the less-than-driver trend at Colonial last year and was rewarded with a T-2 finish. I’ll be looking to go in heavy on Rahm for his second appearance at this event, even after his Saturday collapse ruined his chances at TPC Sawgrass for the second year in a row. Rahm should be able to cut the corners on the drives to set up his excellent wedge game. Jordan Spieth is the clear course horse at this event and is likely the better cash game play, but in tournaments it's hard to pass up on the birdie upside of Rahm at likely lower ownership. 

Brooks Koepka - DK: $9,200, FD: $11,400

Everything is right in the world when I can write up Koepka again. He looks all the way back from the wrist injury that hampered him early this season, and he looked great on the weekend last time out at TPC Sawgrass, another short and tight course. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Koepka take the Rahm approach and lean on his driver, which is among the best in the game. The great price on Brooks on DraftKings is just the icing on the cake for a player that is elite in terms of fantasy scoring. 

Others to Consider: Jordan Spieth (Cash), Webb Simpson (GPP)

Mid-Tier Targets

Xander Schauffele - DK: $8,200, FD: $9,900 

‘X’ is has established as one of the best young golfers in the world despite getting much less fanfare than some of the other young guns. He got his huge breakthrough last year at the Tour Championship at East Lake, which is a similarly short and tight Par-70 layout to Colonial. Schauffele isn’t the longest off the tee, but his solid approach game should be more than able to make up for that at a track where approach is still the paramount statistic, despite my love for some of the bombers this week. He doesn’t have much history here, but did make the cut and finish T-48 last season. 

Adam Hadwin - DK: $7,600, FD: $10,600

Another week, another seeming misprice for Hadwin on DraftKings. I’m not sure what Hadwin has to do to get a price raise, but we should continue to cash in on him as long as he is buried in the mid-$7,000s. Hadwin has been one of the most consistent players on tour this season, and his irons continue to stay hot. His main problem has been his putter, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him get it rolling on the pure Colonial surfaces. He has a solid history here as well, going three-for-three in cuts made with a T-5 back in 2015. He’s certainly going to be one of the most popular plays of the week, but he will be making my core plays regardless. 

Danny Lee - DK: $7,500, FD: $8,200 

Lee is a DFW resident and loves the layout of Colonial. He has made the cut in all five of his showings at this event and peaked with a sixth place finish last season. Lee also finally broke out of his slump with a very solid T-7 last time out at The Players, which could have been even better if he didn’t stumble early on Sunday. Lee is too volatile for cash games, but he makes for an excellent tournament pivot off of more popular plays in this price range, such as the aforementioned Hadwin. 

Others to Consider: Bryson Dechambeau, Rory Sabbatini, Si-Woo Kim (GPP) 

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Value Targets 

Sean O’Hair - DK: $7,200, FD: $8,500

O’Hair is a player to target whenever he tees in up in his home state of Texas and is one of the top value plays this week. O’Hair popped with a T-2 finish here last season and popped up again a few weeks ago at Valero with a T-2, as well. However, he really struggled last time out at The Players, so this is by no means a “safe” play. With that said, Colonial's tight layout and emphasis on approach game fit what O’Hair does well, and he has a proven track record playing in the Texas heat. 

Stewart Cink - DK: $6,700, FD: $8,100 

If you are really looking for some salary relief, or simply a cheapie to pair with Jordan Spieth, then Cink is your guy. Cink is the definition of a plodder at this point of his career, but Colonial is a prototypical course where plodders can pop on the leaderboard. He’s also flashed upside at Colonial before with a T-10 last season. A price of $6,700 is just too cheap on DraftKings and puts Cink in play, even in cash games. 

Others to Consider: Nick Watney, Anirban Lahiri

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