Loading scores...
DraftKings Strategy

DraftKings Preview: Shriners Open roster recs

by Will Gray
Updated On: October 7, 2020, 11:14 pm ET

The PGA Tour is ready for a two-week stay in Sin City, and first up is the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.

The par-71 layout typically offers up plenty of low scores, but windy weather forecasts this weekend could complicate plans to go especially low. Newly-minted U.S. Open champ Bryson DeChambeau headlines the field, returning to a course where he won two years ago, and he'll be joined by six other players ranked inside the top 20 in the world.

Among those contenders are past champs Webb Simpson (2013) and Patrick Cantlay (2017), while Kevin Na returns to defend the title he won a year ago in a playoff over Cantlay. But none of those big names make the cut as focal points for this week's DraftKings analysis.

Going beyond the main headliners, here's a look at some of the players you should consider before locking in your lineups for the first of two straight Las Vegas events:

Favorites

Hideki Matsuyama ($9,900 on DraftKings): Going back to the well with Matsuyama, who continues to simmer but has yet to reach a boil. The Japanese phenom has finished T-29 or better in six straight starts, highlighted by a T-3 showing at the BMW and a T-17 finish at Winged Foot. Conditions should be significantly easier this week than either of those two stops, and Matsuyama's tee-to-green prowess should provide ample birdie opportunities. As always the questions will focus on his putting, but his record at TPC Summerlin is pretty stout: seven of eight career rounds have gone for 68 or better, and Matsuyama has finished T-10 and T-16 in his two prior appearances.

Matthew Wolff ($9,600): There's no reason to expect a slowdown from the 21-year-old who finished T-4 and second at the year's first two majors. Wolff has flipped a switch since returning from the break, adding a runner-up at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to his major close calls that included the 54-hole lead at Winged Foot. Already a winner on Tour, he has had a chance to unwind from an emotional U.S. Open and now gets to tackle a course where, like DeChambeau, he'll be able to let it fly off the tee. Wolff doesn't have a ton of experience at most PGA Tour venues, but he does know Summerlin well after posting four straight rounds in the 60s last year en route to a T-18 finish.


Value Plays

Cameron Davis ($8,200): Four years removed from a surprise Aussie winner (Rod Pampling), Davis will look to follow suit after contending at the Sanderson Farms. The 25-year-old's T-6 finish in Jackson was his sixth straight finish of T-36 or better, and that run includes top-15 results at both the 3M and Wyndham. Davis doesn't have a ton of name recognition among American fans, but he proved his mettle by winning the 2017 Australian Open over a pair of proven Tour winners in Jonas Blixt and Matt Jones. He played this event for the first time last year, finishing T-28, and he's now building some consistent results to go along with solid strokes gained figures over the last few weeks.

Charley Hoffman ($7,800): The former UNLV product is back in his old stomping grounds and could be poised for a big week. Hoffman has largely fallen off the map over the past couple years, dropping from a spot on the 2017 Presidents Cup squad to outside the top 150 in the world. But his ranking is on the rebound in recent weeks, as Hoffman has compiled three top-15 finishes in his last four starts, including a T-6 showing last week in Mississippi. He's been admittedly hit-or-miss at this event, mixing a handful of missed cuts with three top-6 finishes, but at this price it could be worth rostering a proven winner with great familiarity on this layout as he makes his 15th tournament appearance.


Sleepers

Denny McCarthy ($7,700): If anyone can follow Na's blueprint from a year ago, it's McCarthy. The putter was the MVP for last year's champ, as Na lost strokes tee-to-green but picked up more than 14 strokes on the greens while making everything in sight. That's a welcome formula for McCarthy, who remains winless but led the Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting each of the last two seasons. McCarthy will need another strong performance on the greens this week if he's going to break through, but there are signs that this could be the week: he enters off a T-6 finish in Mississippi, where he was actually better in SG: Tee-to-Green (12th) than SG: Putting (15th), and he's finished T-15 or better each of the last two years in Las Vegas.

Francesco Molinari ($6,700): It's Vegas, so I'm willing to gamble on a player who might have been close to double this price at this event a year ago. Molinari is making his first start since The Players in March, taking the entire summer off while his family relocated from London to Los Angeles. The former Open champ was candid in his pre-tournament remarks that his game is far from sharp, and that he may not be ready for the Masters in a month's time. But those lowered expectations just might be enough to free up the veteran who has some pertinent course history on his side: his lone appearance came in 2016, when he left with a T-4 finish after torching TPC Summerlin for a final-round 61.

Will Gray

Will Gray joined Golf Channel in 2007 and currently serves as a staff writer for GolfChannel.com. Gray has been covering fantasy golf since 2012 and is a regular contributor to the Golf Central blog and covers several PGA Tour events each year. He's also a regular contributor to several digital properties on GolfChannel.com, including Stat Man, On the Clock, Fantasy Central, Grill Room and the Monday Scramble podcast.