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  • Writer's pictureJake Friedman (@THEJakeFriedman)

The Players Championship DFS & Outright Betting Guide

By: Jake Friedman



Introduction

The PGA Tour staying in Florida for The Players Championship. Many consider this as the "5th major" and have this tournament circled in their calanders every year. Each year this event is played at the iconic TPC Sawgrass and proves to be one of the more challenging courses. The Players has one of the biggest purses the players see on tour which means the cream of the crop of the players left on the PGA Tour will be in attendance.


As always, please refer to Nate's article for a very in-depth breakdown of the tournament's field, course, and more!


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DFS Guide

10k Range

Justin Thomas ($10,600) - I'm turning to the 2021 Players Champion this week to get back in the winners circle and headline a couple of my lineups. I'd argue that Thomas is the player in the best form coming in this week without a win in the 2024 season. In his last 9 starts he has 8 top 15 finishes. We know what we get with Thomas, it's elite irons and around the greens play. It'll come down to putting the ball in the fairway and making a few puts for Thomas this week which I'm confident he can find having won here in recent history.


Patrick Cantlay ($10,300) - When we think of Cantlay we think of one of the most consistent golfers on Tour. To everyone's surprise that has not been the case in the 2024 season. He's made every cut but it's been a mixed bag of top 15 finishes and top 60 finishes. Another player we don't need to cover too much of the stats for as he's above tour average in the 5 main statistical categories (driving distance, driving accuracy, , around the green, and putting). I'm hoping Cantlay comes in as the lowest or second lowest owned in this range which would give us a little bit of an edge in bigger contests.


9k Range

Collin Morikawa ($9,400) - After a 7 over round on Friday to miss the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, I'm interested to see the ownership and how Morikawa plays this week. Personally, I'm happy to throw out last weeks poor outing and focus on how well Morikawa is playing in the 2024 season. He has 3 top 20 finishes in 5 times teeing it up this year. He also won at Zozo at the end of the 2023 season. Morikawa is one of the most elite ball strikers on Tour and is a very accurate driver of the golf ball. He's above average in around the green and where it all comes down to is the putter. Morikawa had a T-13 here last year and when the lights are shining, Morikawa comes to play.


Sam Burns ($9,200) - At this price I think Burns will be pretty highly owned but that doesn't scare me with what we are getting. Burns was right in it last week at the API until his Sunday 78 put him in T-30. With comparable form to Justin Thomas firing off 4 top 10 finishes in his last 5 starts, this feels like a cheap price to get Burns in your lineups. Burns has one of the sweetest putting strokes on Tour and is above average in distance off the tee and around the green. Similar to Thomas, it'll come down to Burns putting the ball in the fairway to score which he has been above the field average in his last 3 tournaments. No great course history here to speak of with a T-26 in 2022 and T-35 last year but with the form we are seeing it's hard not to turn to Sam Burns this week.


8k Range

Matt Fitzpatrick ($8,200) - Stick with me here as I know it's been an extremely poor start to the 2024 season for Fitzpatrick and there is no course history to speak of. His stat profile is appealing for a course like TPC Sawgrass. He is above tour average in driving distance, approach, around the green and putting which can't hurt on any course. These are the same reasons I'm on Justin Thomas and Sam Burns, so why not turn to Fitzpatrick at hopefully a low ownership and high outright number? If he puts the ball in the fairway, I trust him with the irons, around the green, and putting.


Tom Kim ($8,100) - Another player I need you to stick with me for as I know he's also gotten off to a bumpy 2024 season. After a T-17 at the WM Phoenix Open and a T-24 at The Genesis, I thought Tom Kim was going to round out into form for the 2024 season. To my dismay that was followed up with a T-62 at the Cognizant and a T-52 last week at the API. In his only appearance at TPC Sawgrass last year he placed T-51. With all that bad news out of the way let's get into the good stuff. Tom Kim's long term player profile is exactly what you look for in a Players champion. He is accurate off the tee, great with the irons, good around the greens and above average with the ability to get the putter scorching hot. Although that hasn't all clicked in one tournament this season for Tom Kim, this is season to shoot your shot which is exactly what I'm doing here with Tom Kim.


7k Range

Adam Hadwin ($7,500) - Hadwin has had a rollercoaster start to the 2024 season which for DFS purposes is exactly what I'm looking for. 3 top 15 finishes in 4 starts coupled with a T-9 here in 2022 and a T-13 last year is good enough for me to take a shot on Hadwin in the mid 7k range. With a similar stat profile to Tom Kim being accurate off the tee, and above average in approach, around the green and putting, I like how this course fits to that profile.


Alex Noren ($7,200) - One of the least sexy names on the PGA Tour, no matter how well Noren is playing his ownership is always low which is why I'm turning to him here. In his last start he had a T-9 at the Cognizant and although his recent course history isn't stunning, he does have a 10th place finish back in 2017, T-17 finish in 2018, and T-26 finish in 2022. He fits the player mold I'm looking for as being accurate off the tee and above Tour average in approach, around the green, and putting. The cherry on top for Noren is that if the wind starts to blow he is one of the best wind players on Tour. At low ownership I couldn't help myself but to put Noren in my lineups


6k Range

Nick Taylor ($6,900) - Nick Taylor is going to be one of the more popular plays in this price range but for good reason. Accurate off the tee and above average on approach, around the green, and putting. I've talked enough about how that build fits well at TPC Sawgrass. Taylor has 3 top 15 finishes this season including a win at the WM Phoenix Open. The course history is nothing to write home about with his best finish being a T-16 back in 2019 but the form we are seeing from Taylor makes me thing he will have his best finish at this tournament this week.


Aaron Rai (6,400) - Two glove Aaron caught my eye and popped in my model this week. Deadly accurate off the tee and a great iron player, his week will come down to making putts which proves difficult for Rai. His lead in form is good with a T-19 at the Mexico Open and a T-23 in Puerto Rico. We know those aren't the most prestigious events on tour with the loaded fields but his game is trending in the right direction. In his only appearance here he finished T-19 last year in 2023. Not sure you can ask for much more from a mid 6k player.


5K Range

Seamus Power ($5,800) - If you are degenerate enough to dip down into the 5k range I would go with Seamus Power. He's pretty much right at tour average in the 5 main statistical categories I take into account except for around the green where he is above average. In 3 appearances here he has a T-35, T-33 and MC. He played well last week at the API finishing at T-21. Although he hasn't been good by any measure of the term, his game is trending in the right direction if you wanted to take a flier on him.


Steve Stricker ($5,200) - 9 victories in his last 25 starts, Stricker is dominating the Champions Tour. Although it's not as competitive as some of the other tours such as the Korn Ferry or DP World Tour, it's still impressive how well he is playing. His player profile shows a very accurate driver of the golf ball with above average around the green play and average approach and putting. At the bottom of the barrel here if you find yourself in a jam I would go with Stricker.


Outright Betting Card

Justin Thomas (100% betting him but trying to wait out a better number than +2200) 0.80U

Will Zalatoris +2800 0.63U

Sam Burns +4000 0.44U

Matt Fitzpatrick +7000 0.25U

Nick Taylor +20000 0.09U


Follow me on X for my matchup plays and any live adds to my outright betting card!



Good luck in all your action this week and please remember to gamble responsibly!

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