The island green hole returns to the spotlight. Also back is the extensive “fifth major” chatter. The 2021 PGA TOUR season continues at the place where the shutdown started – THE PLAYERS Championship. TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) features a wide range of challenges, holes at varying lengths, crazy angles and hazards as far as the eye can see. Wild and ever-changing leaderboards are common. Past history points to a “stars and scrubs” plan, where talented players with a “bargain bin” price tag must be considered (and found). This leads me to my PGA DFS 2021 PLAYERS Sleepers, a list that outlines my favorite cheaper alternatives on DraftKings, as well as their long-shot odds to win. Each could serve as an option to combine with any of the pricier, more elite DFS options of your choice.
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 on THE PLAYERS:
- During his 2019 victory here, Rory McIlroy (still the defending champion, thanks to the shutdown) gained 13.3 strokes Tee to Green and 6.5 strokes on Approach
- 2018 winner Webb Simpson gained just 5.7 strokes Tee to Green, but 5.0 strokes around the green and 9.4 strokes putting (Translation: big names win in varying ways here)
- The smaller, faster greens at TPC Sawgrass will have an impact. There are different stats to consider, depending on your preference. I completed research tied to a wide range, including SG: Putting (Bermuda and/or Fast), Scrambling, Proximity and SG: Around the Green
- The weather forecast looks better this week as compared to last week’s API. High temps range from the upper 60’s to mid 70’s, there’s no rain in the forecast and winds are calm to moderate (10-15mph is the highest mark, according to The Weather Channel
- Here is the list of starting times for the opening two rounds of the tournament. This is as presented on Twitter by the PGA TOUR Communications account:
Groupings and starting times for the first and second rounds of THE PLAYERS Championship@PGATOUR | @THEPLAYERSChamp pic.twitter.com/fT8Rm9HZE2
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) March 9, 2021
I ran a few models on Fantasy National and checked stats on the PGA TOUR website, with a primary focus tied to my favorite stats for the event. I also checked numbers for the 2021 PGA TOUR season, as well as for recent performance, such as Last 36 rounds, data tied to Pete Dye courses, straight performance on TPC Sawgrass and more. 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 2021 PLAYERS Sleepers: Top DraftKings 6K Range Plays
Emiliano Grillo (DK: $6,700, +20000)
Grillo checks a lot of boxes for the type of low-cost talent that can make a run here. He sits 41st in the field in SG: Approach for the 2021 season and 7th in SG: Off the Tee. He is also 2nd overall in Proximity, which is an intriguing stat considering the smaller, faster greens. Enough pin seeking will eventually lead to more birdies. The alarming stat may be the fact that he’s 138th in Scrambling Gained. If he’s off when it comes to his core strengths, the bogeys will start to pile up. Finally, it should be noted that Grillo has made three straight cuts at TPC Sawgrass, including an 11th place finish in 2017.
Keegan Bradley (DK: $6,900, +15000)
Bradley is on a nice stretch and that includes a T10 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week. He has also made four straight cuts at THE PLAYERS, including a T7 finish in 2018 and a T16 in 2019. For the 2021 PGA TOUR season, he is 4th in SG: Approach, 27th in SG: Off the Tee and 15th in Proximity. On top of his solid run at THE PLAYERS, he is 18th in the field in total strokes gained on Pete Dye courses (last 24 rounds played). His issue is on the greens, ranking 144th in SG: Putting on Bermuda greens. A hot putter combined with his recent form could mean a strong run.
Charley Hoffman (DK: $6,800, +20000)
Hoffman is an interesting case. One can’t argue the recent form, landing two top tens in his last three tournaments played (T10 at the API and T7 at the AT&T Pro-Am). Despite that, his form at TPC Sawgrass is far from ideal, with two T30 finishes and three missed cuts over the last five attempts. For the 2021 season, he’s 26th in SG: Approach and 17th in SG: Off the Tee and 22nd in Bogeys Avoided. For his last 24 rounds played, Hoffman is 30th in SG: Putting on Bermuda greens and 32nd in total strokes gained.
Brian Harman (DK: $6,900, +20000)
The collective stats are hit or miss. Overall, I took Harman as my fourth option this week for a few reasons. First, six straight cuts made, including a top ten at the AmEx in January. He also has two top tens at TPC Sawgrass over the last five attempts, including a T8 in 2019. He is also 21st in the field over the last 24 rounds on Pete Dye courses. Add in 16th in SG: Putting on Bermuda greens (also over the last 24 rounds played).
Other Bargains to Consider on DraftKings – Upper 6K-to-lower 7K Range
Ryan Moore ($6,800), Sam Burns ($7,300), Cameron Davis ($7,100) and Si Woo Kim ($7,200)
Who do you have as your favorite PGA DFS 2021 PLAYERS 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 golf stats and data via PGA TOUR, Fantasy National and Bovada
Image Credit: NBC Sports | TPC Sawgrass (17th Island Green)
If you love The Wife Hates Sports, you can support my work by buying from Fanatics through the site. It’s of no additional charge to you. I simply get a cut of any Fanatics sale purchased through links here. That goes for any Fanatics Experience ad within posts or via the banners on the home page.