The unofficial fifth major is upon as TPC Sawgrass once again hosts THE PLAYERS Championship. Justin Thomas took the win last season and he'll be one of the betting favorites to repeat this week.
Looking back at last week's picks, it may have been a first for me in my DFS career. I had all six players make the cut, yet failed to cash.
Marc Leishman had a horrible weekend and Danny Willett and Tom Hoge both imploded on Sunday. The good news, however, is my strategy for the week worked with all six guys making it to the weekend.
The stadium course at TPC Sawgrass isn't a bombers course. It only plays 7,189 yards. However, a poor weather forecast will compound the difficulty this week and good ball strikers will be a necessity.
Because of that, I will be using strokes gained: tee-to-green, strokes gained: approach the green, and strokes gained: putting to determine this week's 2022 PGA DFS: THE PLAYERS Championship FanDuel Picks.
2022 PGA DFS: THE PLAYERS Championship FanDuel Picks
Russell Knox - $7,900
Russell Knox has been as solid as they come this season. He's only missed one cut since the turn of the calendar year. He also has a T7th in that span at the Sony Open.
Knox nails two of my three key indicators for this week as he is a phenomenal 7th in strokes gained: approach the green. He is 25th in strokes gained: tee-to-green. The third key indicator, strokes gained: putting, however, is very poor. Knox currently sits at 199th.
Because of that poor putting ranking, Knox is only $7,900. It is too much potential value to pass up for someone who is such a good ball striker and finished T67th in this event last season even after a poor 4-over 76 on Sunday.
Adam Scott - $9,700
Through 36 holes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, Adam Scott appeared to be on the verge of contending for the win. However, back-to-back rounds of 74 on the weekend plummeted him all the way down to a T26th finish.
Believe it or not, Scott's ball-striking is what caused him issues last weekend. He entered the tournament sitting at 28th in strokes gained: approach the green and enters this week in 59th.
Scott also dropped in strokes gained: tee-to-green. He entered last week at 51st and enters this week at 68th.
He did, however, putt it well again. Jumping from 28th in strokes gained: putting, to 15th this week.
The biggest reason I'm rolling with Adam Scott, however, is his track record in this event. Scott has made the cut in each of his last nine times in this event and has six top-20s in that stretch.
Matthew Fitzpatrick - $9,700
Matthew Fitzpatrick has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour this season. He has finished in the top-10 in his last three events. Last season, he was one shot off of the lead after 36 holes and finished T9th in this event.
He shows very well in each of our three key indicators for this week. Fitzpatrick currently sits T17th in strokes gained: approach the green, despite falling 15 spots after last week. He is 7th in strokes gained: tee-to-green. Lastly, he is T4th in strokes gained: putting.
I'm going to lay one more stat on everyone. Fitzpatrick is second in strokes gained: total. There isn't another player in the world currently who is in better form than him and I like Fitzpatrick to finally breakthrough this week and get his first win.
Will Zalatoris - $10,200
I'm going back to another splendid ball striker with Will Zalatoris. Zalatoris has only one appearance in this event, last season, where he finished 21st. The young ball striker has also been playing well this season. A likely career-worst front-9 of 44 on Sunday took him out of contention at the API where he finished T38th. However, he has been very steady this season and has three top 10s in his last five events.
Zalatoris is currently first on tour in strokes gained: approach the green, which helps make up for his bulky putter. He currently sits 173rd on tour in strokes gained: putting, although he has shown in his short career that it can get hot.
Zalatoris is also a splendid third in strokes gained: tee-to-green. This is another guy, like Fitzpatrick, that has a solid chance at getting their first career win this week.
Daniel Berger - $10,500
I'm going with another guy who is in great form this season, and another great ball striker. Daniel Berger has missed one cut in 2022. He has finished T7th, T5th, T20th, and 4th in the other events he's entered in 2022. His stats back it up.
Although he has been just average with the flat stick, sitting 98th in strokes gained: putting, he's been great in all of the other areas of his game. Berger is third in strokes gained: approach the green and fifth in strokes gained: tee-to-green.
For added measure, he currently sits sixth in shots gained: total.
Berger has also shown well previously in this event. Just last season he finished T9th after a blistering 5-under 67 on Sunday.
Collin Morikawa - $11,800
I have vowed to take Jon Rahm every week until he wins, but I am going in a different direction this week. Basically, bet the farm on Rahm to win since I'm not including him in my lineup.
The reason I'm not including him is that I'm such a big believer in Collin Morikawa this week. Although he finished just T41st in this event last year, he showed that he can go low at TPC Sawgrass. He fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday last season.
Morikawa has also been arguably the best player on the PGA Tour this year. He has entered five events and has the following finishes:
- 2nd - The CJ CUP
- T7th - ZOZO Championship
- T5th - Hero World Challenge
- T5th - Sentry Tournament of Champions
- T2nd - The Genesis Invitational
He has the lowest scoring average on tour this season at 69.181. Although he's elite in all three key indicators for this week, I'm going to go across the board on more than just those three stats.
- Strokes gained: Off-The-Tee - .666 (8th)
- Strokes gained: Approach the Green - .915(4th)
- Strokes gained: putting - .927(4th)
- Strokes gained: Tee-to-Green - 1.587(6th)
- Strokes gained: Total -2.514(1st)
It has been a dominant season so far for Collin Morikawa and he hasn't won yet. That may change this week and he's my top dog for my 2022 PGA DFS: THE PLAYERS Championship FanDuel Picks.
Check out Mark's 2022 PGA TOUR THE PLAYERS Championship Prop Bets Picks!