Last Updated: 2018-01-15
This week’s CareerBuilder Challenge is a really tricky event for bettors and DFS players. This event is played across three different courses, with the players that make the cut after 54 holes playing the PGA West Stadium Course for a second time. The unique format makes it difficult because some players excel on certain types of courses, but they’ll have to play three different ones, including the Stadium Course, which has a lot of hazards and some hilly fairways. Also, we don’t have a lot of star power in this event, so you’re paying higher prices for lower-ceiling players. It’s a tough one.
We’ll try to help you with your daily fantasy golf choices by looking for the top values. Everybody can take the top guys and hope for the best, but it’s often that low-cost missing piece that makes all the difference in your GPPs, 50/50s, or H2H matchups. Keep that in mind as you read through these plays. We’re looking for cheap players with upside.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from BangTheBook Radio on Wednesdays with our resident golf betting expert Wes Reynolds, who outlines players to take a chance on for this weekend’s event. Also, we have golf previews for the PGA event each week.
Adam Hadwin ($7,600) – Adam Hadwin will be a popular streamer this week. Hadwin has played well at this event each of the last two years and very well could be a two-time reigning champion if not for some lackluster final rounds. Hadwin shot a third-round 59 last year en route to finishing second. You’re not exactly buying high on the 30-year-old’s recent form, with no finishes inside the top 30 this season, but that keeps the price low for a guy that has finished second at 19-under and sixth at 20-under in this event over the last two years. Ironically, Hadwin went 66-68 over the final 36 holes in his T-48th finish in 2015. Something similar and he might lift the trophy this time around.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7,500) – In that same price range, Jhonattan Vegas is a past champion of this event and played very well at the Tournament of Champions two weeks ago when he finished seventh. Vegas also has another top-20 finish on his ledger for this season. He shot a second-round 75 that basically eliminated him from contention last year, but made the cut and finished 9-under. He hasn’t had much success here since his win in 2011 with a couple of MCs over the last three years, but he’s worthy of a look this week at a reasonable price point with some past success.
Harold Varner III ($6,800) – Probably my favorite value play on the board this week is Harold Varner III. This will be Varner’s third start in the CareerBuilder Challenge and he has missed the cut in each of his first two tries, but he missed the 54-hole cut in 2016 at 7-under and in 2017 at even par. He shot an opening-round 65, but shot a third-round 77 and got cut from the field. It’s not like HVIII hasp played bad at all in this tournament. He’s been a short here or a shot there from being in pretty good shape. This one should fly under the radar pretty nicely and if he can avoid that big number or a noteworthy blow-up, this could pay handsome dividends.
Sean O’Hair ($7,300) – The profile for Sean O’Hair isn’t the greatest, but he has played well in this event and has played pretty well in his two events this season. He’s missed both cuts, but he’s been 2-under and 1-over, so a shot here or a shot there would have made all the difference. O’Hair finished in the top 10 of this event last year with a 67 and three 69s. He cracked the top 30 in 2016 and was just outside the top 40 in 2015, but that was with a score of 13-under, so he played well. He’s worthy of taking a flyer this week at a reduced price with back-to-back missed cuts.
Scott Stallings ($7,000) – Scott Stallings has made each of the last four cuts in his events, but hasn’t really stood out at all. His best finish is a tie for 39th at the CIMB Classic. Stallings was terrific in this event last year. He shot 15-under, including a final-round 66, which was the second-best score of the day on the Stadium Course. Only Patrick Reed did better with a 65. Stallings shot an opening-round 70 in 2016, but was forced to withdraw. He’s played pretty well here, but that eighth-place finish last year was a highlight for three-time winner. Maybe he can channel some of that magic this week and be another top value play.
-END OF 2018 PICKS-
Sometimes you have a good lie with about 115 to the hole after a 290-yard drive on a par 4. You confidently pull a wedge from your bag and promptly shank your shot 15 yards right of the hole with a greenside bunker to lob over and the pin on the short side. That was me with Justin Thomas in last week’s DFS article. He was elite for the second straight week and was definitely not a player to avoid.
But, we get back on the horse, line up that shot again, and hope to stick it within two feet. This week, the players are stateside for the CareerBuilder Challenge. The challenge of this event for DFS players is that it will be played on three different courses over four rounds. It also features a cut after 54 holes instead of the traditional 36 holes. It’ll be a tough week, but we’ll hope to uncover some good values.
For those that are new to the article, our goal is to help you narrow down the field with some of the top values on the board. Everybody can take the top guys and hope for the best, but it’s often that low-cost missing piece that makes all the difference in your GPPs, 50/50s, or H2H matchups.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from BangTheBook Radio on Wednesdays with our resident golf betting expert Wes Reynolds, who outlines players to take a chance on for this weekend’s event. Also, we have golf previews for the PGA and the European Tour events each week.
All salaries are from DraftKings.
David Lingmerth ($7,300) – David Lingmerth seems to save his best for this tournament. The 29-year-old Swede already has two missed cuts out of the four events that he has played during the 2016-17 season, but he is a two-time runner-up at this event. He was runner-up in a playoff to Jason Dufner last year and also lost in a playoff in 2013 to Brian Gay. Charles Howell III was also in the mix. Lingmerth’s only PGA Tour win came at the 2015 Memorial, but he had a couple of top-25 finishes in majors last year and might be ready to make that next step. He played pretty well in 2015 at 15-under, but that was only tied for 24th because great scores are the norm here.
Ryan Palmer ($8,000) – Another course form pick at a reasonable price this week is Ryan Palmer. Palmer had a good first round last week in Honolulu with a 66, but his second-round 75 ended his tournament early. The nice thing is that he got to leave Hawaii a little early in advance of a tournament that he has played well in over the last few years. Palmer was the runner-up to Patrick Reed in 2014 when Reed shot 28-under and set the 54-hole record with a trio of 63s. Palmer tied for 10th in 2015, including a second-round 61. A final-round 73 on the tough Stadium Course hurt him last year, but he shot 67-66-66 prior to that.
Chez Reavie ($7,500) – Coming off of an outstanding performance last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Chez Reavie is at a very reasonable price this week. Reavie snagged a top-10 finish in Hawaii and has had some quality rounds at PGA West. He wrapped up with a 65-66 last year in this tournament to finish tied for 16th. He made the cut back in 2012 by shooting three 70s and then fired a final-round 66. He’s a little bit of a hit or miss player, but maybe he can build off last week’s momentum to put together a fine showing this weekend.
Daniel Summerhays ($6,700) – If not for the crazy scores that were put up in Hawaii, Daniel Summerhays could have fared a lot better than tied for 36th with a 66-68-66-70 over the weekend. Summerhays has had some really good rounds in this tournament, but the scores get pretty bunched up and the final results don’t look as good. Last year, he shot 71-67-65-73, as his final round dropped him to a tie for 42nd. He narrowly missed the cut in 2015, but it was one of the toughest cut lines of the season. He opened with a 64 in 2014, but finished tied for 58th with a 275, which is 13-under par. All four rounds were under 70 in 2013. He’s a safe play at a good price.
Rory Sabbatini ($6,600) – Rory Sabbatini is a little bit of a blast from the past, but he’s been making himself more and more relevant lately. He shot a respectable 9-under last week at the Sony Open, including a first-round 63. The now 40-year-old opened 68-69 last year before shooting an 80 to miss the cut, but he had a couple of quality rounds. He played well last year at the Czech Masters. In this particular event, he finished tied for 24th two years ago and tied for 38th three years ago. He cracked the top-15 back in 2012. At a price point like this, a top-25 finish is well worth the investment and that seems possible.
Players to Avoid:
Francesco Molinari ($10,300) – This is one that I just don’t really get. Molinari hasn’t really stood out in this particular event, but he’s priced low in the betting markets and had a couple of strong finishes during the fall series of the wraparound. Molinari tied for 62nd last year by barely making the cut and then shooting a 73 in the final round. He did crack the top 10 in 2015, but that was before the Stadium Course was added back into the rotation at this tournament. It just seems like recency bias from the fall events has cranked his price up too high.
Jason Dufner ($9,200) – What do we think about Jason Dufner? Last year’s winner is certainly getting a bump in price from that. He finished eighth in the TOUR Championship and also had a top 10 in the US Open, but he’s been pretty inconsistent over the last few years while going through some personal matters. He missed the cut in 2015, so his win kind of came out of nowhere last year. It feels like this price is a little bit steep, especially with the better consistency from players in the same range.
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