Arnold Palmer Invitational Core Plays: PGA DFS Picks

The Florida swing continues as we enter, what, in my opinion, is the best stretch of golf all season long. With the Players Championship next week and the buildup to the Masters over the next month, there’s no better time to jump into PGA DFS. A key part of my weekly process is the Stokastic PGA Sims tool, which helps me easily identify the best plays on the slate every week using our proprietary hole-by-hole simulation technology. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top PGA DFS picks and core plays for the Arnold Palmer Invitational that the Sims tool helped me identify.

This week presents a daunting challenge for players. Bay Hill measures in at over 7,400 yards, which isn’t a super long course by Tour standards, but when combined with thin fairways, thick rough and numerous water hazards, it presents one of the most difficult challenges these players will face all season. I’ll be targeting golfers who have a strong history playing in this event and excellent ball-striking statistics. Each of these golfers landed within the top 10 in terms of simulated player ROI% after running my customized contest simulations this week. Let’s take a deeper dive into why they performed so well in the simulations.

These Arnold Palmer Invitational core plays and picks will kickstart your PGA DFS process. You can perfect it by reading through Stokastic’s fantasy point and ownership projections, finding high-leverage plays using the top golfers tool or using the PGA Sims tool to build several high-ROI lineups in seconds!


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Arnold Palmer Invitational Core Plays: PGA DFS Picks

Rory McIlroy – $10,600

Of all the stops within the regular rotation on the PGA Tour, course history at Bay Hill is some of the most predictive. Rory loves this place. He has played in this event nine total times in his career with eight top-13 results, including four top-5 finishes and one win.

McIlroy is driving the ball incredibly well at the moment as well, gaining 11.5 strokes off the tee in the last two events alone. Historically, when he’s driving it like this, he is unstoppable. With a star-studded field, his ownership won’t get as high as it probably should. He is my favorite play at the top of the board this week.

Viktor Hovland – $9,900

As another elite driver, Hovland is a great fit for Bay Hill. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks third in strokes gained off the tee, sixth in birdie or better percentage and 15th in bogey avoidance among this field. His combination of power, accuracy and consistency is precisely what I’m looking for. He ranks third in simulated player ROI in my custom pre-contest simulation I ran using our PGA sims product, which makes sense given his profile. I’ll be leaning on Hovland heavily this week.

Keegan Bradley – $7,400

Bradley provides excellent salary relief in the mid $7,000 price range. Given his solid all-around profile from tee to green, he checks a lot of the boxes I’m looking for. His course history here is very solid as well, as he has made the cut 12 straight years, including five top-11 finishes. With numerous approach shots landing in the 200-to-225 yard range on this course, a big key to success will be long iron play. Bradley ranks 11th in the field in proximity to the pin on approach shots from 200-plus yards out. I like him quite a bit as a nice PGA DFS value option this week.

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PGA DFS Flier Pick for the Arnold Palmer Invitational: Emiliano Grillo – $6,900

This season has been sort of all over the place for Grillo. He has been consistent enough to keep himself in the conversation on most weekends but hasn’t had the truly spiked week yet for which he is known. Throughout his career, Grillo has been a below-average putter, consistently losing strokes to the field on the greens while gaining strokes ball striking.

However, this season, Grillo has turned things around with the flat stick. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 10th in this field in strokes gained putting, which is a massive development. Once the ball striking catches up, and it will, he’ll rattle off a streak of nice finishes and likely grab a win. I’m projecting forward a bit, but I want to be early on spots like this rather than late. With Grillo projected for single-digit ownership, I’m willing to roll the dice that this is the week it all comes together.

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