Yahoo DFS Golf: The Honda Classic Picks and Strategy

Yahoo DFS Golf: The Honda Classic Picks and Strategy

This article is part of our Yahoo PGA DFS Picks series.

The Honda Classic

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
PGA National (Champion Course) - Par 70 - 7,125 yards
Field - 144 entrants
Purse - $8.4M

The Preview

Sandwiched between designated events this season, The Honda Classic takes on the look of a glorified Korn Ferry Tour stop with names like Billy Horschel headlining a feeble field. On the bright side, tournaments like these often allow the more studious DFS competitors to reap the rewards of maintaining a pulse on their favorite hidden gems all year. Adding to our puzzled expectations this week is the water danger that envelops the Champion Course at PGA National, where double bogeys or worse can paint anyone's scorecard. Scoring opportunities are limited with just two par-5s, while all four par-3s measure between 175-226 yards and the infamous "Bear Trap" emphasizes the importance of precision down the stretch. The tough layout becomes even more difficult when the coastal winds howl off the Atlantic, but sunny skies are expected throughout this 2023 edition.

Recent Champions

2022 - Sepp Straka
2021 - Matt Jones
2020 - Sungjae Im
2019 - Keith Mitchell
2018 - Justin Thomas
2017 - Rickie Fowler
2016 - Adam Scott
2015 - Padraig Harrington
2014 - Russell Henley
2013 - Michael Thompson

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Approach
Proximity: 125-200 yards
SG: Off-the-Tee
Bogey Avoidance

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Aaron Wise - $44

Past champion Sungjae Im and last year's runner-up Shane Lowry are likely to soak up a ton of rostership atop the board as the alphas on the slate, so we'll hop down and take a look at a potential pivot option in Wise, who could cause plenty of gamers to hesitate after back-to-back missed cuts at The American Express and the WM Phoenix Open. Wise's short game was extremely sharp from the Shriners Children's Open through the Cadence Bank Houston Open to close out the fall series, and that stretch has helped him land first in scrambling, fourth in SG: Putting and ninth in bogey avoidance over his last 24 rounds. He's gained an average of 3.9 strokes from tee to green across four Honda Classic appearances, resulting in a trio of top-35s with a T13 here in 2021 when he held the 36-hole lead by three shots.

Denny McCarthy - $40

Rostering one of the best putters on the planet at an extremely volatile track like PGA National provides some sense of security, especially when attempting to avoid an expensive land mine in the $40-plus range. McCarthy has gained more than six strokes putting in two of his last three starts, leading to top-15 finishes at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational. He also gained nearly three strokes with his irons throughout his final two rounds at The Riviera Country Club last week, and he's sixth in P3: 175-200 Efficiency over his last 24 measured rounds. McCarthy placed T30-T3 the past two years at the Honda, notably hitting 41 fairways in regulation in 2021.

Glue Guys

Jhonattan Vegas - $36

Vegas figures to pop in a lot of stat models this week given his strong ball-striking metrics from the Farmers Insurance Open through The Genesis Invitational, as he gained a combined 19 strokes from tee to green across his last three outings. His Honda Classic track record includes nine cuts made in 10 total trips to PGA National, so the course history factor could also boost his popularity.

Adam Svensson - $35

Svensson found himself in contention heading into the final round at last year's Honda Classic before carding a three-over 73 on Sunday to fall into a tie for ninth, though he still paced the field with 19 total birdies throughout the week. He's now coming off a top-10 finish at Riviera where he posted the best short-game performance of his entire career, gaining a collective 11 strokes on and around the greens. Over his last 12 measured rounds, the Canadian ranks top-15 in scrambling, bogey avoidance and proximity from 175 to 200 yards.

Min Woo Lee - $34

You might've originally expected Lee to fall somewhat under the radar coming over from the DP World Tour this week, but his affordable $34 salary is entering free-square territory on a red-hot player that's right around 25/1 to win the entire golf tournament. Lee recently has rejoined the top-50 in the Official World Golf Ranking with eight consecutive top-15s internationally from the Spanish Open through the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

Bargain Bin

Joseph Bramlett - $27

After quietly making five straight cuts from the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba to The American Express, Bramlett extended the streak in impressive fashion by notching back-to-back top-15s in his last two showings at the Farmers Insurance Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Over his last 24 measured rounds, Bramlett sits top-10 among this field in scrambling, bogey avoidance, P3: 200-225 Efficiency and P4 Efficiency.

Lee Hodges - $25

Hodges rebounded from five consecutive missed cuts by gaining strokes across the board en route to a top-20 result this past week at The Genesis Invitational, where he tallied just six total bogeys or worse in 72 holes while scrambling at a top-5 clip of 82.76 percent. Despite the previous stretch of MCs, he's still 21st or better in SG: Approach, SG: Off-the-Tee and P4 Efficiency over his last 24 rounds. Additionally, Hodges tied for ninth in his PGA National debut last year, so he'll earn some attention at just $25.

Garrick Higgo - $24

Higgo might not grade all that well for me at PGA National from a long-term analytical perspective, but the inconsistent 23-year-old has gained strokes off the tee in five straight starts and he's worthy of consideration in GPP player pools at $24, which is quite underpriced compared to the betting and DFS markets. Shrinking the sample to his last eight measured rounds, Higgo ranks top-25 in both SG: OTT and SG: Approach.

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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