It’s good to be fully back in the swing of things talking about this week’s Bombs & Values for the 2021 Valspar Championship after a bit of a break with last week’s Zurich Classic Team Stroke Play event. From a betting perspective, there are a number of players I love sub-50/1, and although we’ve had our fair share of non-elite winners here in the past, Copperhead is going to test all of your skills and require a polished all around game for 4 rounds to contend. For that reason, I’m personally a little less bullish on the outright bombs this week, but will definitely be giving the below names a look for T5/T10/T20 placements. To the same end, I’ll be leaning heavily on the value $7K and $6K range in DFS this week as I try to jam in multiple $9K and $10K players. It’ll be an interesting lineup construction week, but plenty of room to get creative with all the below options at your disposal. Let’s get into it!
Pricing from Draft Kings
Denny McCarthy ($7,500)
I’m not sure how popular Denny McCarthy will be in DFS at this point of the week. At the surface, we know Denny as a putting specialist, and given how difficult this course has proven to reach Greens in Regulation, it would seem this is the time to fade putting specialists in favor of elite Approach and ARG play.
McCarthy, however, is setting out to prove he is more than just a putting specialist with what he’s shown us in recent weeks. In addition to his hot putter, which has gained at least 2.7 strokes in his last 7 consecutive starts, Denny has also gained strokes on Approach in 4 consecutive events. He’s made the cut in 5 consecutive events now, highlighted by a T3 at the Honda and T13 at the RBC Heritage, both of which featured Denny’s Grand Slam, where he gained strokes OTT, APP, ARG, and P. He is 2nd in this field in Scrambling and 11th in Par 3 Scoring, which makes him appealing yet again as a fit for Innisbrook.
In his Valspar debut in 2019, Denny finished T9 (also achieving the Denny Grand Slam then). This year, OTT aside, McCarthy’s stats across all other key SG categories rank higher over the last 5 and 10 rounds than in 2019, so we should expect him to continue the momentum and build on his previous success even further.
Brandt Snedeker ($7,300)
I was ready to write up Brandt Snedeker this week regardless of his performance at the Zurich Classic, so his T4 finish with Keith Mitchell was a nice bonus. Before the Zurich Classic, Sneds was showing signs of trending form with a T6 push at Valero and T42 at the RBC Heritage, despite an uncharacteristically poor putting performance at Harbour Town.
There are a few reasons to like Sneds this week, but it starts with his Par 5 Scoring, which ranks 14th in the field. Not exactly what you’d expect from a guy who ranks 138th in this field in Driving Distance, but his strength in Proximity from 75-100 (3rd) and 100-125 (31st) prove he can still make birdies even if he’s not reaching the green in two.
Sneds has also been rock solid at Innisbrook, ranking 15th SG: TOT at this course and notably #1 SG: SG. I also really like that Snedeker has dominated at Torrey Pines, my #1 comp course to Innisbrook, firing 5 career T3-or-better finishes including 2 wins at the Farmers Insurance Open. Making birdies on the Par 5s and showcasing the elite short game to scramble for pars is the formula for success at both, so it’s no wonder Sneds has never missed a cut here over the last 10 years.
Danny Willett ($7,200)
Willett be Danny’s time to shine once again this April down South in the USA? I have never felt compelled to play Danny Willett since his 2016 Masters victory, but even before his surging T8 finish for Team England with Tyrrell Hatton at the Zurich Classic last week, I had my eye on Willett as a very solid course fit to go back to at the Valspar.
As I continue to preach about Par 5 Scoring this week, it may come as a surprise to hear that that is where Willet excels the most, ranking 9th in this field in Par 5 Scoring. His recent results have been inconsistent with a mix of 2 T20s and 2 MCs in his last 4 starts, that’s how he wound up in this odds range in the first place, but he’s the type of player I want to turn to in a difficult scoring week when you only need to shoot a few strokes under par to contend. Willet is 26th in the field in Bogey Avoidance and 13th in Birdies Gained, a deadly combo for this week, and he’s also 28th in the field SG: TOT in Difficult Scoring conditions.
Willett is 2/2 making the cut at this event in his career, and despite having just 8 rounds under his belt here, he still ranks 16th T2G, 11th APP, and 12th ARG at the Valspar. He’s lost strokes putting in both of his appearances here, but I’m willing to bet that the 24th ranked putter in this field over the last 36 rounds can turn that around this year, and if so, he could make a serious T10 push. He did after all just gain 6 strokes putting last we saw him at the RBC Heritage.
Sam Ryder ($6,700)
Sambitionz az ah Ryder came through for us in DFS last week with a solid T17 finish at the Zurich Classic, and that was despite being paired with a reeling Doc Redman. This week, Ryder’s price has continued to go down, despite the sustained heater he’s on.
Ignore the short game for a minute, and there you have the #23 Ball Striker and #22 Approach player in the field. Sure his Putting and ARG game are near dead last in this field, but that didn’t stop him from finishing T10 at both the API and Farmers, two of the top comp courses to Copperhead, which typically would demand a great short game. Zurich Classic aside, Ryder also comes in with two T10s in his last 3 starts, which is upside you won’t otherwise find in this price range.
Ryder has played this event twice in his career, without much success so far. In 2018 he gained strokes APP & ARG, but lost strokes OTT & P. In 2019 he lost strokes APP & ARG, but gained strokes OTT & P. So he’s proven he can gain strokes in all categories at the Valspar Championship, now he just needs to go out and prove he can piece it altogether in the same tournament.
Chase Seiffert ($6,600)
It wouldn’t be a Bombs & Values article if I didn’t feature Chase Seiffert, right? I think this makes the 4th consecutive week now, if memory serves me, where I’ve felt compelled to highlight the value that Draft Kings has offered us in Chase Seiffert, this time at $6,600.
His pairing with Matthew NeSmith at the Zurich Classic was one of the most chalky plays of the week, thanks in large part to Draft Kings’ steadfast commitment to disrespecting Seiffert with egregious pricing week over week. But while some may jump ship after a disappointing MC, I’m ready to hang tight and write off last week’s transgressions as nothing more than a fluke Team Event gone wrong.
Seiffert ranks out 14th overall in my model this week, a credit to him ranking Top 20 in SG: TOT (L36), GIRs Gained, and Bogey Avoidance. He’s also one of only 4 players this week to rate Top 50 in the field in everyone one of my key stats. The other 3 are Cameron Tringale, Chris Kirk, and Louis Oosthuizen, so I’ll gladly take the $6,600 price discount to join their company.
Chase is a hometown Floridian and FSU grad, so I love the prospect of him heading over to this infamous Florida public track, even if it is his Valspar debut. He comes into this week with 5 straight (Individual Stroke Play) made cuts, and 3 T20s in that span. The last time he teed it up on a difficult Florida track was just one month ago when he fired a T3 at the Honda Classic, so I’m banking on a return to glory for him in this Florida homecoming.
Max Homa (+7500)
75/1 and up counts as a bomb in my book, and while I’m shocked to see a guy who’s playing as well as Homa end up in the Bombs section, that is what the books have decided to hand us this week.
Homa is 4th in the Field SG: TOT coming into this week, 8th SG: APP, 15th SG: T2G, and 14th SG: P. Continuing on, he’s also 3rd in Opportunities Gained, 3rd in Birdies Gained, and 12th in Bogeys Avoided.
I’ll briefly pause here to remind you that at 75/1, the books are giving 25 other golfers in the field a better chance to win this week than Homa.
These stats are all reassuring, but honestly all I needed to know about Homa was that he’s #1 in Par 5 Scoring and I would’ve been in. He’s so hot on Par 5s in fact, he just picked up his first career albatross yesterday in a practice round according to #twitter. Paul Casey was #1 Par 5 Scoring over the same range coming into this event in 2019, so I take it that bodes well for Homa.
It’s not great that Homa rides in with back to back MCs at The Masters and PLAYERS, but prior to that, he had 3 T10s over 4 starts, including a win at the Genesis. As far as bombs go, that’s more than enough ammunition to take a shot on.
Adam Hadwin (+9000)
If Paul Casey can win here twice in two years, why can’t Adam Hadwin win the Valspar twice in four? The 2017 Valspar champion is not the best ball striker in the field, but he makes up for it with exceptional Short Game, which we’ve seen can be a recipe for success at difficult scoring tracks, as Patrick Reed showed us most recently at the Farmers.
Hadwin ranks 4th SG: SG, 6th SG: ARG, and 11th SG: P over the last 36 rounds. What I love most about Hadwin though, and what really starts to explain why he’s a previous winner here, is his dominance on Par 3s. He is #1 in the field in Par 3 Scoring. All of the Par 3s this week are between 175-225 yards, and he ranks #1 P3 175-200 and #5 P3 200-225. Assuming he makes it through the cut, that’s 20 holes Adam Hadwin gets to flex his Par 3 muscles on against this field.
Three of Hadwin’s best recent finishes have come at three of the closest comp courses to Copperhead: Farmers (T18), Genesis (T26), and Honda (T8). They are all difficult scoring courses that demand a quality short game to avoid bogeys and make birdie putts when they pop up. If the irons can get sharp again like they did for him at the RBC Heritage last we saw him, we could see another deep run from Hadwin.
Alex Noren (+10000)
Henrik Norlander and Henrik Stenson have had a falling out over the last couple months, and I can only assume that Alex Noren finally caught wind of this to pick up the mantle when Sweden needed a hero, because he has finally started to come back to life over the last few weeks.
Par 5 Scoring is absolutely crucial this week and has steadily predicted success at this event year over year. Coming into this week, Noren ranks #3 in the field in Par 5 scoring, by far the highest rank in this category of anyone else in this odds range. Since half of the holes at Copperhead are either Par 5s or Par 3s, it is important we look into Par 3 Scoring as well, in which Noren ranks #15. He and Charley Hoffman are the only two players this week to rank Top 15 in both Par 3 Scoring and Par 5 Scoring.
This week, a majority of the holes are concentrated into a shortlist of hole ranges: P3 175-200, P3 200-225, P4 400-450, and P5 550-600. Alex Noren is one of only three players in this field to rank above-average in each of those scoring ranges.
Noren has never played in the Valspar Championship before, so that makes me hesitant to pull the trigger on an outright, but he’s worth the gamble on a high finishing bet when considering how positively he profiles across the key metrics this week. His recent strong finishes at the Genesis (T12), RBC Heritage (T25), and Zurich Classic (T21) show his game is trending in the right direction heading into this week as well.
Sam Horsfield (+15000)
I will be the first to admit I have a serious blind spot when it comes to evaluating anything that’s going on on the Euro Tour. I don’t watch it, I don’t get to use any data that comes from it in my Fantasy National models, and generally I just assume that a Euro players isn’t going to just hop across the pond and burst onto the scene on Tour out of the blue.
With Horsfield however, we get a budding 24 year old star Englishman whose rattled off 4 T15s in his only 4 2021 Euro Tour starts since mid March, highlighted by a 4th place finish last week at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open. I have no authority to say how strong his competition was, or how those scoring conditions compare to the carnage we’re about to see at Innisbrook, but when I see a young player burst onto the scene without any missteps so far, it grabs my attention.
Unsurprisingly, he’s never played this event before. He actually has not played an event on the PGA Tour since the 2019 US Open. With that said, our reason for optimism lies in the fact that Horsfield’s only two career Top 40 finishes on the PGA Tour have come in the state of Florida, both at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in 2019 (T33) and 2018 (T14), so it’s worth taking a shot on the blitzing recent form and Florida tear to continue at Innisbrook.
Peter Uihlein (+17500)
The heir to the Titleist throne is picking up steam over the last few weeks. He won the MGM Resorts Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour two weeks ago, used that win to qualify for the Zurich Classic, parlayed that to a T3 finish with Richy Werenski, and used that to once again qualify for the Valspar. Sure, there’s a ton of pressure to play well at an event as difficult as this one while battling week to week for stable Tour status, but he’s had everything on the line the last couple weeks, and that hasn’t stopped him from delivering.
There’s not much else I can really highlight about his game, given he’s been making a living on the Korn Ferry Tour and/or B-level no-ShotLink events. But simply put, Uihlein has made 5 consecutive cuts on Tour in his only 5 opportunities since November and has had two of his best career finishes in the last two weeks, so why not take chance that he continues to ride the hot hand.