FantasyDraft PGA: The Masters

FantasyDraft PGA: The Masters

This article is part of our FantasyDraft PGA series.

The Masters
Augusta, Georgia
Augusta National Golf Club - Par 72 - 7,435 yards
Field - 87 entrants
Purse - $11M

The Preview

The PGA Tour's Super Bowl has finally arrived as the greatest spectacle in professional golf generates that similar cliché excitement of waking up on Christmas morning as a kid. The Masters buzz is capable of provoking four straight days of goosebumps as the prestigious green jacket is battled for by 87 qualified entrants. Storylines for the 2018 edition are abundant, so it's bound to be an intriguing week regardless of the outcome. From a fantasy perspective, distance off the tee reigns supreme as a major advantage at Augusta National, along with the usual GIR percentage and SG: Tee-to-Green. Par-five scoring takes precedence over putting, but if the weather gets ugly at any point we could see short-game wizards thrive as well. With so much value in the lower price ranges this week, it's certainly not a bad strategy to roll with a studs-and-duds approach in fantasy lineups. Let's get into a handful of potential targets without further hesitation.

Past Champions

2017 - Sergio Garcia
2016 - Danny Willett
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Bubba Watson
2013 - Adam Scott
2012 - Bubba Watson
2011 - Charl Schwartzel
2010 - Phil Mickelson

FantasyDraft Value Picks - based on $100,000 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Dustin Johnson - $17,400

The world No. 1 actually falls below both Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in salary on FantasyDraft, while it was the infamous fall down a staircase that kept him from a green jacket in 2017. Johnson leads the Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee and birdie or better percentage, averaging nearly five tweeters per round. He's just so sound across the board that it's tough to find a flaw, and he's finished T4-T6 in his past two starts at Augusta. A disappointing T59 at the Match Play might help somewhat keep his ownership in check this week, but he's got the formula for success.

Jordan Spieth - $16,800

Spieth is down to No. 5 on the board in terms of price, despite a track record that includes finishes of T11-T2-1-T2 in his four career starts at the Masters. He appeared to have cured some of the putting issues at last week's Houston Open that have plagued his 2017-18 campaign, eventually placing T3 after failing to make it out of his pool at the Match Play. Putting woes aside, what's exciting about Spieth has been his elite ball-striking. He's top-10 on Tour in GIR percentage, SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green and proximity.

Tiger Woods - $16,500

The man, the myth, the legend has finished T5-T2-12 in his three starts leading up to the Masters, so this isn't just a popularity contest for the four-time champion as Woods is here to contend for real. Sure the reality is a translation to inflated ownership for Tiger, but only 14 of the 87 entrants own more career appearances than Woods owns top-10s (13) at Augusta. In slightly simpler terms, these hallowed grounds have been a hotspot for greatness from the transcendent figure. There's additional optimism surrounding Woods' outlook this week due to the fact he ranks top-15 in SG: Approach, SG: Around-the-Green and SG: Putting this season while also averaging just over 304 yards off the tee.

Glue Guys

Matt Kuchar - $14,100

Kuchar just keeps humming along at his usual pace, as the 39-year-old makes for a safe pick this week due to a trustworthy combination of recent form and course history. He's finished T8 or better in four of the last six years at the Masters, while he most recently notched back-to-back top-10s at the Match Play and Houston Open. Kuchar ranks top-25 on Tour in both SG: Putting and proximity, leading to an under-par scoring average on par-fours this season.

Ian Poulter - $14,100

At least from an American point of view, Poulter has played the foreign villain card to perfection in recent weeks, culminating with his unbelievably clutch victory at the Houston Open in a playoff over the rising Beau Hossler to earn an invite to the Masters during his last possible chance. The Englishman dropped a tournament-best 23 birdies in four rounds at the Golf Club of Houston, where he ranked top-three in both driving accuracy and SG: Approach. Poulter has also made the cut in 11 of 12 career appearances at Augusta National, placing top-20 in three of his last five starts at the event.

Xander Schauffele - $13,400

Plenty of folks like to place an asterisk next to first-timers at Augusta, but the PGA Tour's 2017 Rookie of the Year heads into his Masters debut riding a streak of four consecutive top-20 finishes from the Waste Management Phoenix Open through the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Throughout his 2017-18 campaign to this point, he's 12th on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee, 37th in driving distance, 13th in par-five scoring and 11th in proximity from more than 200 yards out. Schauffele's price doesn't reflect his underappreciated proficiency in those key areas this week due to a lack of course history, but he's one of the better ball-strikers in the field.

Bargain Bin

Bryson DeChambeau - $13,300

There were concerns surrounding DeChambeau's health not too long ago when he withdrew from the Valspar Championship in early March due to a sore back, but those fears were alleviated when he returned to action with a runner-up finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he led the entire field in SG: Tee-to-Green. The fact that he was able to pound the ball off the tee was another good sign, ranking second among the field in driving distance at Bay Hill. He's top-30 on Tour in both GIR percentage and birdie average, while he also owns a bit of Masters experience with a T21 during his debut at the event in 2016.

Zach Johnson - $12,500

This past champion has missed the cut in three of his past four starts at Augusta, but he notched a T9 in 2015 and hasn't missed a cut since the 2017 Northern Trust, while he's recorded seven top-25s in 11 starts since then. Johnson certainly won't wow you with power, but he's up to 20th on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, 10th in SG: Approach, 22nd in birdie average and fifth in proximity. Despite his aforementioned lack of distance off the tee, the Drake University product is still up there at 13th in terms of par-five scoring.

Ryan Moore - $12,400

The 35-year-old veteran will have a decade's worth of experience at Augusta National after the upcoming week, having already made the cut in seven of nine career appearances at the Masters. Moore has finished T14 or better in three of his last seven starts at the major, most recently placing T9 in 2017. His 2018 schedule hasn't been too demanding up to this point with just five starts since the turn of the calendar year, though he's already logged a pair of top-10s at the Genesis Open and Arnold Palmer Invitational. Furthermore, he ranks in the top-50 on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, 15th in SG: Around-the-Green and owns the 15th best scoring average this season.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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