The PGA TOUR season continues its west coast swing with the 2021 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. As an invitational, we are looking at an elite field and fewer players in the mix (down to 120, following the WD from Pebble Beach winner Daniel Berger). The cut remains at the top 65 and ties, putting you in a position to require top finishers and 6-for-6 lineups. That means the lower cost, diamonds in the rough will have increased importance. This leads me to my PGA DFS Genesis Sleepers, a list that outlines key cheaper DraftKings alternatives, as well as their long-shot odds to win. Each could serve as an option to combine with the pricier, more elite DFS options.
Oh, and obviously, the term “SLEEPER” can be interpreted in a number of different ways. In this case, it’s the lower cost players that stand out in key statistical areas, specifically the 6K Range on DraftKings.
Before I present this week’s picks, a few additional notes:
- During his 2020 victory here, Adam Scott gained 10.4 strokes Tee to Green and 6.2 strokes on approach. He was in the positives in all key SG categories.
- 2019 Genesis winner J.B. Holmes also gained in SG: Tee to Green (6.9) and on approach (5.4). The main difference was his 8.2 strokes gained putting.
- Riviera is a challenging venue and success on the Par 4’s will be a major key here. Around the green game and high GIR percentages seem to translate into key focus areas.
- If you focus a lot on putting numbers, there are more three putts here than the TOUR average, the greens are Poa Annua and considered fast compared to most.
- The weather forecast looks much more promising than last week’s tournament at Pebble Beach. All four days list sunny skies with no chance for rain. High temps range from the mid-60’s to the lower 70’s. The only windy day in the forecast is currently Saturday.
- If you think the cooler mornings could have a significant enough impact, here is the current list of starting times for the opening two rounds of the tournament, as presented on Twitter by the PGA TOUR Communications account:
Groupings and starting times for the first and second rounds of The Genesis Invitational@PGATOUR | @thegenesisinv pic.twitter.com/zcymzzTyl3
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) February 16, 2021
I ran a few models on Fantasy National, featuring my favorite stats for the event. Most ranks that I outline cover a player’s last 36 rounds versus the field. Based off that data, here are my top 6K range sleepers on DraftKings, accompanied by their odds to win the event (via Bovada).
PGA DFS Genesis Sleepers: Top 6K Range Plays on DraftKings
Harold Varner III (DK: $6,700, +20000)
HV III has missed two of three cuts, but he did finish T13 at the Waste Management two weeks ago and also T13 here at Riviera last year. Over the last 36 rounds played, Varner ranks 27th in the field in SG: Off the Tee and 23rd in SG: Approach. He’s also 7th in SG: Around the Green, which is another key stat to consider at Riviera. Overall, HV III lands in the top 60 in all stat categories I considered, and cracks the top 20 in my primary model for this year’s tournament. He’s an intriguing long shot.
Matthew NeSmith (DK: $6,900, +15000)
Here we go again with “The NeSmith Curse”. Every time I pick the guy, he misses the cut. Ok, it’s only happened a handful of times. Call me bitter. Statistically though, I can’t ignore him this week. While he has yet to play at Riviera, the recent form is there. NeSmith finished T16 at Pebble Beach and T7 at the Waste Management. He’s 4th in SG: Approach and 2nd in GIR Gained (last 36 rounds). That’s bananas for a sub-7K guy. NeSmith also cracks the top 40 in SG on Par 4’s. Sure, he’s 86th in Three Putt Avoidance, but hitting enough greens and navigating the brutal Par 4’s should keep him in contention.
Doc Redman (DK: $6,600, +20000)
Redman has been strong in a lot of key categories, despite missing his last two cuts and finishing 70th at the American Express. Those recent finishes should keep his ownership low. Statistically, the Doc is 31st in SG: Off the Tee, 26th in SG: Approach and 25th in GIR Gained. Again, this is all for the last 36 rounds played. Add in being 17th in the field in strokes gained on Par 4’s. Redman is also 39th in Three Putt Avoidance. Again, he ranks pretty high in the field and should be low on ownership. At this price, that could pay off and allow you to balance him with a 10K range player.
Dough Ghim (DK: $6,900, +20000)
Ghim isn’t much of a secret these days. Per Fantasy National, his ownership numbers are projected to be the highest of this quartet of players. Yet, at this price, he is still a solid option to consider. Overall, Ghim has a nice balance of around the green game (22nd in SG:ARG) and approach game (28th in SG:APP). He is also 13th in the field in strokes gained on the Par 4’s (again, last 36 rounds). Sure, there are no stats for him at Riviera, but the recent form is there, too – including a T21 finish at Pebble, T37 at the Farmers and T5 at the American Express.
Other Bargains to Consider on DraftKings – Mid-to-lower 7K Range
Corey Conners ($7,500), Sam Burns ($7,400) and Henrik Norlander ($7,400)
Last Week’s Sleepers: 2021 Pebble Beach Pro-Am (by DraftKings 6K Range and Odds)
- Josh Teater (DK: $6,600, +25000) – T50
- Seung-yul Noh (DK: $6,300, +25000) – MC
- Jason Dufner (DK: $6,600, +30000) – T26
- Chris Baker (DK: $6,200, 30000) – MC
Additional 6K Options Listed: Hank Lebioda (T39), Joseph Bramlett (T63) and Ted Potter Jr. (MC)
A few decent options from last week, considering the less than elite field. I’m disappointed to have no Top 25 finishers in that group, but still, it could have been much worse.
Who do you have as your favorite PGA DFS Genesis Sleepers on DraftKings? Chime in with your favorite plays below. Either that or stop by to praise or poke fun at mine.
Best of luck and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
All stats and data via Fantasy National and Bovada
Image Credit: Golf Channel
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