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Strokes gained: approach
Birdie or better % 125-150 yards
Par 4 Scoring
Good Drive %
Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
Jordan Spieth ($10,500) — I may get punished for fading defending champ Dustin Johnson, but I’m going with Jordan Spieth this week. With the extra $1,400 I’ll have the ability to beef up the rest of my lineup. The high altitude mostly neutralizes Johnson’s length advantage, and despite Spieth being the fourth-highest priced player, he is the second-most likely to take home the trophy this week, according to DailyRoto’s win probability model. He showed what he can do here last year, firing a 63 on moving day. However, a 71-72-71 in the other three rounds made him finish T-12th. Spieth is killing it in the key stats so far this year. He’s 22nd in strokes gained: approach, 17th in good drive percentage, 11th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, fourth in birdie or better % from 125-150 yards, and third in Par 4 scoring. Play Spieth for the win this week.
Phil Mickelson ($9,300) — Mickelson can leave his driver, his main weakness, in the bag for most of the week. The 47-year-old is having a renaissance season thus far with Top 6 finishes in his past three starts. In his last 12 rounds, he’s shot in the 60s eight times. Chapultepec will reward great wedge players, so who better to go with than the greatest wedge player this game’s ever seen? He finished seventh here in 2017, perhaps his toughest year in two decades, proving that the course fits his game well. Mickelson ranks 28th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, 12th in Par 4 scoring, and he’s been striping his irons this year, ranking seventh in strokes gained: approach. If Phil can keep it on the golf course, he’ll stick his wedges and short irons all week long.
Daniel Berger ($7,900) — Excluding a rare off week the Genesis Open, Daniel Berger has logged six straight Top 30 finishes. Berger is a Top 10 value play, according to DailyRoto’s value optimization tool, and had a strong showing here last year, finishing T-16. Berger is one of the better players on Tour and he’s one big win away from superstardom. He doesn’t wow in any of the statistical categories, but he does fall in the top half on Tour in all the key stats this week, showing that he really has no weakness. In his past three starts (excluding the Genesis) Berger has averaged five shots gained on the field from tee-to-green, and he’s gaining an average of two putts per tournament as well.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($7,800) — Rafa Cabrera-Bello is another Top 10 value play on DailyRoto’s value optimization tool. His worst start of the 2017-18 season is a T-42 finish in a European Tour event. Cabrera-Bello sets himself up nicely on nearly 90 percent of holes and ranks fourth on Tour in good drive %. He’s second on Tour in shots gained: approach, behind only Graham DeLaet who has only logged 10 rounds this season, Cabrera-Bello has 24. From tee-to-green, Rafa is 12th this season. His ball striking has been superb this year; he just needs a solid week with the flat stick to sneak into the Top 5 and possibly win.
Pat Perez ($7,400) — Pat Perez is No. 1 on DailyRoto’s value optimization tool this week. He’s slowed down a bit since his scorching hot start to the 2017-18 season, but he’s still out there playing solid golf and making cuts every week. There is no cut this week, but you can be confident Perez will give you four quality rounds; and at just $7,400, he’s a steal. He’s inside the Top 40 in strokes gained: approach, and inside the Top 20 in good drive %, birdie or better % from 125-150 yards, and Par 4 scoring. Perez finished middle of the pack last year, but a year can make a huge difference. Feb. 26, 2017, Pat Perez was ranked 67th in the world, he has since shot up to 19th in the world.
Charley Hoffman ($7,200) — Charley Hoffman is the safe play at this price range. Hoffman is known to elevate his game in the strongest fields. He’s proven he can outplay the best in the world at times, he just generally doesn’t finish the job. The most recent example was his runner-up finish at Tiger Woods Hero World Challenge, but with Rickie Fowler shooting a 61 on Sunday, you can’t hold that against him. Hoffman ranks in the top half of all the key stats for the week, and wows by ranking third in birdie % from 125-150 yards. Hopefully, he’s aware of this fact and finds that range repeatedly this week. He’s birdied 12 of the 30 attempts he’s had from that distance.
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