I can't help it as I can't help but think of other sports while writing up my 2021 Northern Trust DFS Value Picks.
For one, I feel like the casual golf fan when he or she hears that the PGA playoffs start, they suddenly resemble Pat Mora. Secondly, given that this tournament rotates back and forth between the New York and Boston markets location, I picture some Masshole and stereotypical New Yorker battling it out.
But who should we expect to battle it out on the fairway and greens?
Jon Rham is the top pick with Jordan Spieth a distant second. Colin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schaufele, and Rory McIlroy round out the top six. All six are great picks to bet to win or anchor your DFS team, but I actually think the winner of this tournament is going to come from the tier below those guys.
I like the value that guys like Abraham Ancer and Daniel Berger offer more.
But even they are too expensive to be considered for our value picks. Value picks must be $7,500 or lower on DraftKings and $8,500 or below on FanDuel.
Now that you know the rules, let's talk about some golfers who might be decent plays to get themselves to the next stop on the FedEx playoffs.
2021 Northern Trust DFS Value Picks
Phil Mickelson (FD $8,500, DK $7,300)
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Lefty is our first option by default. There are a number of cheaper options I like better than Mickelson. However, he could be a surprisingly low-owned pivot. Lefty is one of the last few remaining golfers who have been in the FedEx playoffs every year since they started in 2007. And oh yeah, he won the Northern Trust Open in both 2008 and 2009. But that was a long time ago and he's a shadow of his former self, right?
Um...need I remind you that he won another major this year when he won the PGA Championship back in May? Phil's stats don't look pretty but count him out at your own peril.
Seamus Power (FD $8,400, DK $7,000)
Every time I roster Power, I end up with this in my head.....
But Seamus has a lot more staying more than Snap!. Oh really, then why is he only 73rd in the standings, Mark? Well smartypants, it's because he has been limited to 16 starts due to conditional status. But he’s T1 in par-4 scoring and fifth in scrambling. He's also 28th in greens hit and 24th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. It is evidence of his all-around game and one that will fit nicely with the around-all game that Liberty National demands.
Harold Varner III (FD $8,000, DK $6,700)
HVIII is one of those golfers whose smile can light up a room and you can't help rooting for him no matter how well he's playing. He is absolutely one of my favorite golfers on tour, although I am quite envious of his beautiful wife and the ability to make beautiful children with her...
The world better prepare, HV4 is on his way! Amanda and I are excited to welcome our first baby boy into the world this fall. He already can’t sit still, which obviously comes from Amanda. And we got his first J’s so we ready! #WeHere #HV4 pic.twitter.com/IXCrMf3Xir
— Harold Varner III (@HV3_Golf) May 5, 2021
Beautiful wife aside, HVIII has had some beautiful moments on the golf course too. He has eight Top 25s this season including a T2 earlier this year at the RBC Heritage. And lest we forget that Varner crushed at Liberty National in the Northern Trust two years ago, finishing T3 after coming in ranked 102 for the FedEx rankings.
Matt Wallace (FD $7,800, DK $6,500)
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Matt Wallace is a slight bargain on FanDuel this week. Yet his price on DraftKings is a head-scratching but wallet-padding bargain. Wallace was barely inside the bubble having finished 107th in the FedEx rankings. But recall that he basically splits his time between the PGA and European tour. He's 48th in the "Race to Dubai" on the European Tour, which helps explain why he's Top 60 in the OWGR (Overall World Golf Ranking).
When Wallace does tee it up on this side of the pond, he's held his own including a T-34 at the Masters. His highest finish in this country this year was the week before when he finished 3rd at the Valero Open. He's priced like a player outside of the top-50, but he's 21st on Tour in Shots Gained Tee to Green and 30th in Shots Gained Total.
With this being his first FedEx playoffs, the pressure is low. I expect Wallace to play loose and ease his way into another made cut, upping his percentage of 75% PGA cuts made already this year.
Patton Kizzire (FD $7,400, DK $6,500)
Plain and simple, Patton Kizzire is not an elite golfer. He's a very good golfer who has made much of his money by often beating the majority of weaker fields. But at this price, all we need him to do is make the cut. And that is something he can do. He did miss last week's cut at The Wyndham, so be careful. But that was only the 7th cut he missed out of 27 PGA tournaments he played in this year.
And once on the green, he's actually one of the better players on Tour. He's 19th in shots gained putting, a key ingredient to succeed at Liberty National. Add in the fact that he is 14th in birdie average, I'm happy to take a chance on him this week at the 2021 Northern Trust Open.
James Hahn (FD $7,000, DK $6,100)
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Hahn is playing on Major Medical Extension this season, but I just got a hunch that he will be playing on Tour next year without the extension. His year has been a bit uneven. He's missed the cut in 12 of 24 events played, yet has five top-ten finishes. Read that again. Lots of players have five top-ten finishes. Yet how many do you think can say that who made the cut in just a dozen tournaments?
So why am I recommending him? First off, any golfer whose profile on PGAtour.com that lists poker and fantasy football under special interests scores extra points in my book. Secondly, Hahn seems to turn it up come playoff time. Before his injury, he made the playoffs six straight times and made it to the third round of the playoffs three straight years in a row. If you want to go top-heavy and need a super cheap option to complete your lineup, Hahn is the one I recommend.
Good luck with your 2021 Northern Trust entries!
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