The most famous island green in golf returns to the spotlight for what is sure to be a wild, wet, and windy weekend.  The PGA TOUR continues its Florida swing with what many call the game’s unofficial fifth major.  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 2022 PLAYERS Championship 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.  That includes the likes of Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and more.

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 $7,000 or less on DraftKings.

Before I present this week’s DFS 2022 PLAYERS Championship sleepers, here are a few additional notes on the tournament at TPC Sawgrass:

  • 2021 winner Justin Thomas gained 12.9 strokes Tee to Green and 6.9 strokes on approach
  • During his 2019 victory here, Rory McIlroy 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 greens at TPC Sawgrass will have an impact on the results.  There are different stats to consider, depending on your preference.  I completed research tied to a range, including SG: Short Game (Around the Green + Putting) and Proximity.
  • SG: Approach is key on Pete Dye courses and I also like SG: Tee to Green here.
  • The weather forecast is a hot mess.  That includes rain, wind, and cooler temperatures.  Thursday opens with a 100% chance for thunderstorms and 10-15mph winds.  Friday is guaranteed thunderstorms and rain in the afternoon (an inch total expected).  Rain is also likely Saturday along with 20-30mph winds.  Sunday there’s no rain, but colder temperatures and 10-15mph winds.  Let’s also assume Monday comes into play, where there will be 10-15mph winds and highs in the mid-60’s.
  • Look for players that can handle the meteorological chaos
  • If you consider pairings (and you should considering the weather forecast), here are the current list of starting times for the opening two rounds of the tournament, as presented on Twitter by the PGA TOUR Communications account:

About Last Year…

Last year’s sleepers at the 2021 PLAYERS yielded some quality selections, including Brian Harman, who finished T3 after a strong performance at TPC Sawgrass.

For this year, 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 24 rounds versus the field.  Based off that data, here are my top sleepers on DraftKings, accompanied by their odds to win the event (via DraftKings Sportsbook).  I follow that with my One and Done pick for the week:

PGA DFS 2022 PLAYERS Championship Sleepers: DraftKings Plays and Odds

Tom Hoge (DK: $7,000, WINNER +15000, Top 5 +2500, Top 10 +1100)

Hoge is on a nice run, including a win at Pebble Beach and a runner-up at The Amex.  Where I get concerned is how he has lost strokes in extreme wind, which we could see on Saturday.  Overall, when considering moderate wind, he ranks 35th in the field over his last 24 rounds playing in those conditions, per Fantasy National.  He is also 8th in SG: Approach and 11th in SG: Tee to Green.  Hoge has gained strokes on approach in four straight tournaments (and seven of nine).  He also ranks 8th in the field in SG: Par 4’s, of which this is a Par 72 with a number of difficult Par 4’s more than 450 yards.  At this price point – and with the recent streak he’s on – he is an intriguing option to consider.

Keegan Bradley (DK: $6,900, WINNER +13000, Top 5 +2000, Top 10 +1000)

You might get annoyed with Keegan’s routine, but you can’t argue against his performance at TPC Sawgrass.  Bradley has made five straight cuts here, including a T8 finish in 2018.  He is coming off three straight solid finishes, including last week’s T11 finish at the API.  Over his last 24 rounds played (via Fantasy National), Bradley ranks 12th in the field in SG: Tee to Green and 28th in SG: Approach.  He is also 23rd in total strokes gained on Pete Dye courses.  Overall, he actually lost 0.3 strokes on approach last week, but gained on approach in his previous five events.

Lanto Griffin (DK: $7,000, WINNER +15000, Top 5 +2500, Top 10 +1100)

We haven’t discussed Lanto much lately.  Although, he has played in three recent events, making the cut in all three.  That includes a T16 finish at Pebble Beach.  Statistically, he’s a steady option that I felt needed to be included.  Over his last 24 rounds (via Fantasy National), Griffin ranks 15th in the field in strokes gained on Par 4’s.  He is 34th in SG: Tee to Green and 32nd in SG: Approach.  It wasn’t a super sexy result, but he did finish T35 here last year.  Lanto has gained on approach in five of his last six events and gained strokes putting in each of his last five.  That kind of consistency is going to keep him in the mix.  That is, if he can handle the elements.

Alex Noren (DK: $7,000, WINNER +10000, Top 5 +1600, Top 10 +800)

Noren holds his own in extreme conditions.  He has gained strokes on approach in five straight events (a key stat on Pete Dye courses).  Dating back to August of last year, Noren has four top ten finishes.  That includes two top six finishes in his last three tournaments.  While Noren missed the cut here in each of his last two tries, he did finish T17 at THE PLAYERS in 2018 and 10th in 2017.  He is strong in windy conditions and on difficult courses.  Over his last 24 measured rounds, he ranks 21st in the field in SG: Short Game (Around the Green + Putting).  Where he lacks in proximity to the hole, he gains it back in getting up and down.  Coming off a T5 finish at the Honda Classic, I like the momentum that he is riding.

Sebastian Munoz (DK: $6,700, WINNER +15000, Top 5 +2500, Top 10 +1100)

Munoz often will lead after the first round and he is also a very streaky player.  Statistically, he pops in a number of key areas.  Over his last 24 rounds played (via Fantasy National), Munoz ranks 8th in SG: Tee to Green, 24th in SG: Approach, and 19th in Proximity.  He has made the cut in three straight events, all finishes of T26 or better.  While he missed the cut here last year, his recent form is solid.  That includes gaining strokes Tee to Green and on approach in four straight events.  Where he struggles is avoiding the big numbers and recovering around the greens.  If he has a solid week in that department, watch out. 


2022 PLAYERS Championship: One and Done Pick

Hideki Matsuyama (DK: $9,600, WINNER +2500, Top 5 +550, Top 10 +250)

My last two OAD picks have left a sour taste.  Two weeks ago, Daniel Berger collapsed at the Honda Classic.  Last week, I nearly picked Viktor Holland, but avoided him due to no legit finishes at the API.  I’ll take the T9 by Matthew Fitzpatrick, but it could’ve been much better.  This week, my original thought was Shane Lowry.  Considering where he’s from, the wind and rain is a common thing.  His recent form has been strong, as well. In the end, I pivoted to Hideki for a few reasons.

Sure, Matsuyama is a bit streaky at this event.  He missed the cut last year and also in 2018.  He posted an opening round 63 in 2020, only to have the event canceled due to the pandemic.  Add in a T8 finish in 2019 and a T7 in 2016.  There are enough positive results to feel good about.  Statistically (via Fantasy National – last 24 rounds), Hideki has gained strokes Tee to Green in seven straight measured events.  He has gained on approach in six of seven.  His shaky putter has even gained in three of five.  Overall, Hideki ranks 9th in the field in SG: Approach and 7th in SG: Tee to Green.  He is 15th in Proximity and 13th in SG: Par 4. 

Finally, I think of Hideki’s run at Augusta.  Matsuyama came out of a rain delay on fire, when all the other players appeared flat.  Rain delays and soft greens.  If it speaks to him at The Masters, it can happen again here.

Others I Considered:

  • Jon Rahm and Shane Lowry


Who do you have as your favorite PGA DFS 2022 PLAYERS Championship Sleepers?  How about your favorite long-shot plays or One and Done picks?

Chime in with your favorite picks 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!

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