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  • Writer's pictureJake Friedman (@THEJakeFriedman)

Valero Texas Open DFS & Outright Betting Guide

By: Jake Friedman



Introduction

The PGA Tour stays in Texas one more week before we head to Augusta, Georgia for The Masters! After an exciting finish last week where Scottie finally didn't win, the field improves this week as a lot of players are looking for some practice before the first major of 2024.


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

Rory McIlroy ($12,300) - The form does not warrant the price tag for Rory and for that reason I think the ownership % will be attractive enough for him to be a play this week. We know what we get with Rory. Bombs away off the tee paired with an above average iron, around the green, and putter. At this price you're paying for a top 5 finish which Rory hasn't delivered on the PGA Tour since the Tour Championship at the end of last year. He 's played this tournament twice in his career missing the cut in 2022 and 2nd all the way back in 2013. If the ownership shakes out to Rory being less than 20%, I think he is a great play in DFS.


Collin Morikawa ($10,100) - Morikawa ended the 2023 season and started the 2024 season guns . He's since cooled off and has never played this tournament before. So why am I turning to him here? He profiles almost ideally for this tournament. He's just below Tour average in driving distance but makes up for it being extremely accurate. He is an elite iron player and decent around the green player. It all comes down to the putter. Corey Conners has won this tournament twice and he is an awful putter so firing up Morikawa here feels like a no brainer.


9k Range

Max Homa ($9,900) - It's been very inconsistent for Homa recently with only 2 top 20 finishes in his last 5 starts. He also has no course history to speak of here with 3 poor starts. But similar to Morikawa, he's going to be looking to get himself right before the Masters next week. Where Homa has been struggling is off the tee, in particular, with his accuracy. The rest of the game has been there. He is an above average with the irons and around the green and he is an elite putter. At a course where missing the fairway by a little won't penalize you at all, Homa can still contend and have a great finish this week.


Corey Conners ($9,400) - The 2023 and 2019 Valero Texas Open winner is going to be relatively highly owned but for good reason. There's something about this course (aka not needing to be a good putter) that fits Conners' eye. He's coming in with some decent form with 3 top 25 finishes in his last 4 starts. Conners is a great driver of the golf ball and an even better iron player. His short game leaves much to be desired but at a course he's had a lot of success at I'm going to put putting him in a few of my lineups this week.


8k Range

Harris English ($8,300) - Quietly in some great form in the 2024 season with 5 top 20 finishes in his 7 starts. English is a player I consider relatively course proof as he is above average in the 5 main statistical categories I look at each week (distance off the tee, accuracy off the tee, approach, around the green, and putting. He's gained across the board, aside from losing off the tee slightly in the API, in his last 3 starts. The win feels like it's coming for English but at worst, he hasn't missed a cut in the 2024 season so he should be a safe DFS play with a high ceiling.


Russell Henley ($8,200) - I would've expected Henley to be at the top of this range or even at the bottom of the 9k range. Even at this low price, I think a lot of other names will take some of the ownership away. Another player I consider course proof as he's consistently in the fairway and brings along above average irons, around the green, and putting. No course history worth speaking of but he's been hit or miss this season so far. In 7 starts he has 2 top 5 finishes which is the ceiling we are looking for in DFS.


7k Range

Akshay Bhatia ($7,700) - After the form we saw from Akshay last week I couldn't help but turn to him again this week. I'll mention again that by hole 3 we will know if it's going to be a T20 or a missed cut. Akshay gained just under 2 strokes per round on approach which is nuclear. If he can carry half of that form over to this week I think we are in for another great finish. He is also long and accurate off the tee which is a rare combination. It comes down to the putter and around the green game for Akshay, but as I mentioned before, if Corey Conners has won a tournament twice, you know short game and putting is not the end all be all.


Erik Van Rooyen ($7,400) - Winner in the swing season and carrying that form through the 2024 season, it feels like EVR should be on people's radars more. He has 6 top 25 finishes in his 9 starts this calendar year. EVR is long off the tee but a little inaccurate which isn't too important this week. He is above average with the irons and with the putter. He struggles around the green but has gained in that area in 4 of his last 6 starts. He has 2 starts at this event which include a T14 in 2021 and a missed cut last year in 2023. At this price he seems like a great DFS option with a high ceiling.


6k Range

Andrew Novak ($6,500) - After burning people last week with a T53, I'm hoping the steam on Novak cools off so we can jump on him this week. Novak has had 3 top 10 and 1 top 20 finish in his last 6 times teeing it up. He is actually the most average PGA Tour player when it comes to his profile. He is either slightly above or slightly below in the 5 main statistical categories I look at. In 2 appearances at this event he has a missed cut in 2022 and a solo 9 last year in 2023. Where his game is at now, I don't see why he can't throw out a lackluster performance last week and get right back into form this week.


Nate Lashley ($6,200) - The epitome of a hit or miss player, Lashey has 6 missed cuts and 2 top 15 finishes this season. In this range you have to take some risks to diversify and that's what I'm looking for with Lashley. He is at, or above average, in driving distance, approach, around the green, and putting. He profiles as a pretty average PGA Tour player. In his last 2 starts he has a T13 at The Players and a T21 last week at the Houston Open. On brand with his season form, at this even in 4 appearances he has 3 missed cuts and a T18 in 2022. High risk, high reward play here.


5k Range

Zach Johnson ($5,600) - U.S. captain ZJ is my solo selection here in the 5k range. With 2 top 25 finishes this season in 5 starts, ZJ has shown he can still get you a decent finish. He is accurate off the tee and bring along a good short game. The approach is what determines his ceiling for this week. His course history is great with back to back wins in 2008 and 2009, but also some good finishes recently like a T13 in 2022 and a solo 5 in 2018. It's an extremely risky play but if he can make the cut and even finish T25, he can be a lineup winner.


Outright Betting Card

Harris English +3500

Akshay Bhatia +6000

Erik Van Rooyen +9000

Andrew Novak +12000


I will update the article as I add to my card and will post my final card on both my X and in our Discord!


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

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