A much weaker field is on hand this week for the Honda Classic, which means that DFS players are left with a lot of tough choices. There are some pretty average players going off at big prices this week because Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, and a cast of others aren’t in the field.
That means that we really have to dig deep to find good value options at one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour schedule. PGA National and the Bear Trap make life miserable for a lot of players and we’re going to have to be really selective this week with our selections.
Scott Langley ($6,800) – Shorter courses aren’t all that bad for Scott Langley. This course isn’t a beast by any means and it does help to be long off of the tee, but this course is more about precision around the greens and making putts. Scott Langley can make putts. Langley heads into this event leading the tour in strokes gained putting for the season. He parlayed that into a sixth-place finish at Pebble Beach and was 12th at the Desert Classic with 23 birdies and just six bogeys. He doesn’t hit it far, but he keeps it in the short grass, which is a big part of the equation here at PGA National. Langley is also top 50 on Tour in strokes gained around the green, which also goes a long way at this event.
Joaquin Niemann ($7,600) – You might as well use this week to take some shots on guys that have a ton of talent, but haven’t been living up to their potential. Joaquin Niemann fits the bill. Niemann has made seven of nine cuts, but hasn’t finished in the top 40 since November. It’s hard to count the kid out on a course like this because he possesses a lot more raw talent than the majority of the players in the field. Niemann is teeing it up at PGA National for the first time, so we don’t have any course form on him, but maybe the unknown is a positive here. This is a course that has conquered a lot of good players, as well as a lot of bad players. Niemann at least has the talent to attack this course head on.
CT Pan ($7,800) – CT Pan has been one of the more consistent players of the guys in the field this week. He’s made eight of nine cuts, though he really hasn’t had the finishes thus far. Pan did finish in the top 20 here last season with three 71s and a 69. It wasn’t an ideal outcome by any means, but Pan started 66-68 in 2017 before going 73-72 over the weekend. Once again, taking guys with a lot of potential that simply haven’t lived up to it is a decent play this week with the weakened field and the fact that this is a course that is unrelenting and unforgiving. Talent may push some guys through. Without a whole lot of horse for course types of plays, you really do have to take some shots in the dark.
Luke List ($9,200) – You may also simply have to lever up and take some expensive players. Luke List is one of them. List was runner-up last year to Justin Thomas in a playoff, which is why his price tag is so inflated. List also managed a top-10 finish back in 2016 and he played well for 54 holes in 2017 before a final-round 76 pushed him way off the pace. List is a big hitter capable of shortening this course and cutting through the wind. He’s also been one of the most reliable players at PGA National of the guys in this field. Really only Justin Thomas can lay a stronger claim to that distinction and he’s the most expensive guy on the card. Sometimes we just have to look at things for what they are and List is a guy worthy of being on your roster this week, even if you have to pay up for him.
Jason Dufner ($7,200) – Jason Dufner is not in good form at all, but he seems to have fallen through the cracks a little bit as far as this field goes. This is such a tough course and a tough event that players that have played well here are seeing inflated prices. Dufner is not seeing that inflated price, even though he has back-to-back top-20 finishes at PGA National. He was 17th last year and 14th the year prior. He finished outside the top 60 in 2016, but did open with a 68 and made the cut at 1-over. Unless you want to take a stab with somebody like 2014 winner Russell Henley, Dufner is probably the best option among guys at lower prices that have some sort of track record here.