In this article, I’ll dive into centerpieces to build around and popular plays to fade for leverage, relative to pricing/odds value. All prices below are from Draft Kings, DK Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Jon Rahm (+700, $11,300)
Groundbreaking stuff I know. The #1 player in the world, odds-on favorite, and top-priced DFS player is your favorite play of the week? Thanks for enlightening us, Mr. Tout!
I’m not going to bet Jon Rahm at this number, but I have to have exposure to him in DFS, even at the price premium. He’s got the elite distance, approach, and short game you need to have success at Torrey Pines like few others can compare to. He has three Top-5s in 4 career trips to the Farmers, including a Win in his tournament debut, which nobody else in this Field ever came close to doing. There was reason to be apprehensive about his bag change from TaylorMade to Callaway, but he looked like his normal self at Sentry where he finished T7. Let’s also remember the he’s still carrying the same Spider putter despite the bag change. He was a late withdrawal from The AmEx last week, which some people speculate may bring a lingering injury into the Farmers. For all we know, he could’ve just stubbed his toe around the house, so I’m not putting any stock behind that.
If any of my Outrights don’t cash, I have a feeling it’s going to be because of this guy, so I’ll be overweight on Rahm in DFS to balance out. Plus, #TeamCallaway has won the last two events, so momentum’s on his side.
Tony Finau (+1700, $10,700)
This is, by absolutely no means, an endorsement to bet Tony Finau to win this tournament at +1700 odds. You should absolutely consider betting him to T5 (+450) or T10 (+225), though.
At this point Tony Finau has scorned the entire Golf betting industry with his Sunday play, so he might go more overlooked this week than he deserves to. Nobody has gained more strokes at The Farmers over the last 5 years than Tony Finau, finishing T18 or better every time, including a T6 last year. He’s also finished T11 or better in 8 of his last 14 events and has the distance and all-around game to continue his strong overall play again this week.
Kevin Kisner put it best, you don’t need to play to win every tournament when the other placing positions pay so well. We don’t need Tony Finau to win this week for us to get paid well either. Whaddaya say, T5 Tony?!
Brooks Koepke (+3600, $9,400)
Brooks seems to be flying under the radar this week coming off a disappointing MC at The AmEx last week. I didn’t love his price or course fit last week, and I also did not expect that Field to motivate Brooks to bring his A game.
A week later, all three of those factors have flipped. 36/1 is a fantastic number for Brooks, who finished 7th at The Masters and 5th at the Houston Open within his last 4 starts. He typically skips this early west coast swing, so he’s only played this event twice before with mixed results. But his game is clicking recently, coming into this week #2 in SG: APP last 24 rounds, #10 T2G, and #24 Driving Distance.
Torrey Pines is a special course every professional golfers dreams to win at, so I’m not worried about an unmotivated Brooks this week. With the US Open coming back here in June, we may just get de facto #MajorBrooks this week after all.
Xander Schauffele (+1200, $10,400)
Every single statistical category justifies the 12/1 number and $10.4K price tag. But for whatever reason, Xander Schauffele has the worst track record in this entire Field at Torrey Pines. In 6 career appearances, he has 5 MCs and a T25. That is as bad as it gets for a golfer of Xander’s caliber. Some might say he’s due to break out, others might say a trip to Torrey Pines with no fans is exactly the change of scenery needed for the San Diego local to get over his nerves. I say avoid paying this price for someone who’s missed the cut 83% of the time here.
If Xander had finished T20 in each of his trips here, he would still likely be around the same odds and price. I’m just not willing to completely disregard his Torrey Pines woes like the books are asking us to.
Matthew Wolff (+3400, $9,100)
I love Matthew Wolff and I’m really excited to watch him dominate this game in the decades to come. But the hype behind him this week is getting a little out of control. It’s like people saw Distance & Approach and completely blacked everything else out.
Wolff has looked shaky in his last 4 events since the impressive back-to-back Runner Ups at the US Open & Shriners last Fall. His short game is mostly to blame, as he ranks 131st in the Field in SG: ARG last 24 rounds. This is a long course with small, hazard-laden greens that will see a high percentage of lengthy approach shots from outside the fairway. No matter how strong your approach game is, you are going to miss Greens in Regulation here and need to scramble for Pars. With everything we’ve seen out of him recently, I don’t have any confidence that he can get that done consistently, and actually think the +185 Miss Cut prop is viable.
Everyone else around this price range comes in with better recent form in their last four events and dependable short games. So for those reasons…
Corey Conners (+7000, $7,700)
Corey Conners is not over-hyped this week, but if you’re just blindly riding recent form, you may fall into this trap. Conners comes into this week with 5 consecutive T25s or better, including three Top-10s in that span.
If it’s not clear already, I firmly believe a strong Short Game is crucial to do well at Torrey Pines, and Corey Conners has anything but that. He ranks #2 in the Field in Ball Striking last 24 rounds, which has masked his #77 rank ARG and #110 rank Putting in the same span. This course will really accentuate your flaws, and I expect some regression coming Conners’ way this week.