2024 PGA DFS THE PLAYERS Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview

by Keith Flemming
2024 PGA DFS THE PLAYERS Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview

This week’s event is deemed by many as the “fifth major” on the annual PGA Tour schedule. In my 2024 PGA DFS THE PLAYERS Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview I'll discuss the venue, recent winner trends, and my favorite DFS plays.

We need to discuss Scottie Scheffler's big win at Bay Hill last week before diving into this week’s event. Scheffler entered last week already a winner on tour this season. Things felt grim with Scheffler despite his earlier win at Phoenix and five top-10 finishes in six events this season.

The uneasy feelings about Scheffler’s game were due to him putting as poorly as any player I've ever seen with his level of talent. What made his putting struggles worse is how great the other aspects of Scheffler’s game have been over the last year. Scheffler’s strokes gained in all non-putting categories have only been matched in the 21st century by prime Tiger Woods.

And entering Bay Hill....

Entering Bay Hill there was buzz surrounding Scheffler changing to a mallet putter for the week. I was watching live as Scheffler hit his first approach inside seven feet. Surely, he would make this first putt from close with his new putter. He then proceeded to hit one of the worst putts you will see from a professional.

Luckily for Scheffler from that first putt on for the rest of the tournament, he putted out of his mind. He ended the week gaining an outrageous 4.347 strokes on the field in putting. That’s over a five-stroke improvement from his weekly average this year on Tour. Scheffler on Sunday put an exclamation point on his great putting week by going 15-for-15 on putts inside fifteen feet.

I wouldn't overreact to Scheffler having a great week on the greens with his change from a blade to a mallet putter, but I wouldn’t dismiss it either. Scheffler has a real chance to grab the title of best player on the PGA Tour in the coming weeks. If he continues to putt anywhere close to the level he did last week. The rest of the players on tour could be playing for second in a lot of upcoming events.

Keep the conversation going with me on Twitter/X @KeithFlemming . You can also find me every Wednesday at 1 pm Eastern on @espnpc1043 Inside Drive talking golf with host Ryan Mulvey during my weekly segment previewing that week's PGA event.

2024 PGA DFS THE PLAYERS Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview

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The Venue (TPC Sawgrass)

The iconic Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has been a staple on the PGA Tour for 50 years.  This venue is known for the way it challenges every facet of a golfer's game. Sawgrass has water hazards that come into play on 17 holes challenging players off the tee and on approaches. The severely undulated greens are surrounded by gnarly rough and lots of bunkers that make scrambling difficult at this venue.

There are several recent trends for THE PLAYERS Championship you should know before finalizing your betting cards/DFS lineups. The first trend started in 2019 when this event was moved from May back to the tournament’s original place on the PGA calendar in March. When the event was held in May scoring was more difficult due to firmer and faster conditions. Below I've listed some other recent winner trends you should know.

Noteworthy Trends
  • 14 of the last 16 winners had an AM/PM tee time
  • 16 of the last 18 winners finished 23rd or better in their previous start at TPC Sawgrass
  • 18 of the last 20 winners were ranked in the top-45 of the OWGR
  • 12 of the last 13 winners had at least five previous starts at this event
  • 10 of the last 12 winners were ranked top-45 in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens
  • 11 of the last 12 winners had a top-5 finish in the calendar year before THE PLAYERS
  • 5 straight winners of this event averaged 1.5 or more strokes gained per round in the four months leading into this event (3 players meet this criteria Scheffler 2.28/Pavon 1.52/Xander 1.51)

Key Stats 

  • Good Drives Gained/ SG: Off The Tee
  • SG: Approach
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Around The Greens/Scrambling
  • Par 4: 450-500 yards
  • Par 5 Scoring
  • SG: Tee To Green (Pete Dye Courses)
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda)

Course Comps 

  • Other Pete Dye Courses
  • Harbour Town
  • TPC River Highlands
  • Waialae Country Club

My 2024 PGA DFS THE PLAYERS Championship DraftKings Lineup

Scottie Scheffler $12.5k

Scheffler enters Players Championship 1st in scoring average, birdies per round, GIR %, strokes gained total, and strokes gained tee to green. He’s second on tour in strokes gained on approach and eighth in strokes gained around the greens. Last week Scheffler picked up his second win in six starts this season and more importantly it appears he fixed his putting issue.

Another option in this price range: Hideki Matsuyama $9.8k/+3500 to win/+800 top-5

Jason Day $8.9k/+5500 to win/+500 top-5

Jason Day is currently 9th on Tour in strokes gained around the greens. He won this event in 2016 and is in great recent form with two top-10 finishes in his last three events. Day gains half a shot or more strokes gained on approach, tee to green, and ball striking for his career at TPC Sawgrass.

Another option in this price range: Sam Burns $9.2k/+4000 to win

Min Woo Lee $8.0k/+5500 to win/+1000 top-5

Min Woo Lee is the best value on DraftKings this week. He’s entering this event in great form having made the cut in fourteen straight events since November of last year. During that stretch, Lee has four top-5 finishes including his recent runner-up finish at another venue with numerous hazards PGA National.

TPC Sawgrass was the venue last year where Lee had his first breakout moment on the PGA Tour where he ultimately finished 6th in his first appearance at THE PLAYERS. It’s rare to have that level of success in your first appearance at the Stadium Course. Lee apparently liked the way Sawgrass fits his eyes as he gained for the week 1.09 strokes on the field tee to green, .74 strokes in ball striking, and .72 strokes on approach.

Tom Hoge $7.8k/+6500 to win/+550 top-10

Tom Hoge is also a real value on DraftKings this week at $7.8k. He’s fared well at this event since it moved to March in 2019 with four consecutive top-33 finishes. The conditions playing softer have allowed Hoge to far exceed his normal tee to green and ball striking strokes gained numbers.

If Hoge can consistently find fairways at Sawgrass he can lean into his approach game. Hoge led the field at Bay Hill in strokes gained approach last week and is currently first on tour in strokes gained approach on the season.

Doug Ghim $6.8k/+1800 top-5/+800 top-10

Ghim missed the cut in this event last season but in his previous two starts at TPC Sawgrass he finished 6th and 29th. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Ghim has played well here when you consider he plays par-5s well. He avoids big numbers. And he’s currently 12th in strokes gained approach and 3rd in strokes gained tee to green.

The other reason you should consider Ghim for DraftKings is his recent form. Ghim’s worst finish is 16th in his last four starts on Tour. He's racked up an impressive 5 eagles and 77 birdies over those four events.

Another option in this price range: Matthieu Pavon 6.7k/+13000 to win/+2200 top-5/+1000 top-10

Chesson Hadley $5.7k/+1800 top-10/+700 top-20

Hadley has made the cut in three of his last four appearances at this event by picking up considerable strokes on the field tee to green, ball striking, and on approach. He’s in good recent form with three top-35 finishes in his last four starts.

Hadley is currently 42nd in total strokes gained, 67th in strokes gained around the greens, 15th in strokes gained putting, and 12th in bogey avoidance. It feels like at this price Hadley is a real value on DraftKings this week and including a player in this range allows you to include Scheffler in your DFS lineup.

Another option in this price range: Brendon Todd $6.5k/+900 top-10

Be sure to check out our show Two off the Tee on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel. Each week, my cohost Allen and I will break down the tournament for that week and give betting/DFS plays.  

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