2023 Masters Golf DFS Fades & Pivots: Shane Lowry a Great Pivot for Windy Weather

The Masters is the first major championship of the year and marks one of the best times to be a daily fantasy golf player. There are currently three DraftKings Fantasy Golf Milly Maker tournaments in the lobby, along with a bunch of other large tournaments across the PGA DFS industry. As such, the aim is to make things easy in terms of lineup building and see where the ownership and scoring projections on Stokastic are leading us this week. Let’s take a look at the top PGA DFS fades and pivots for the 2023 Masters.

PGA DFS Golf Fades & Pivots | The Masters

The Masters tournament starts on Thursday, and with so much on the line, it is worth checking out the tee times and weather just in case a wave split develops. There is a colder forecast in store and gusts are expected to reach 20 mph in spots. Another higher-scoring week like last season’s is likely. The last two seasons have also seen higher winds and placed a greater emphasis on approach and around the green play.

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Augusta National Stats and Info

  • The course contains four par 5’s that players must birdie at a high rate in order to stay near the leaders. Just holding serve at par on the rest of the course can often be good enough to win.
  • Scrambling percentages for the field are typically 5% to 7% lower than the PGA Tour average; three-putt percentages are also much higher than normal — good around-the-green games and three-putt avoidance can be focuses.
  • Expect wind and a course that stretches well over 7,500 yards to produce lots of low greens in regulation. It should place more emphasis on scrambling and precision iron play.
  • In 2021, Hideki Matsuyama ranked fourth in bogey avoidance for the week, and all five of the top players in that stat at this event in 2021 also finished inside the top 5.

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2023 The Masters DFS Golf Fades and Pivots

High-End Fade: Xander Schauffele

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 19.7% | FanDuel: 16.8%

Xander Schauffele will undoubtedly be a popular play at just $9,000 flat on DraftKings. It is nothing against Schauffele — who remains one of the most well-rounded players on the PGA Tour — but he has been outperformed by players both beneath him and just above him in price during the leadup to this year’s event. Both Tony Finau and Jason Day in the high-$8,000 range have been more consistent than him, and a few players just above him like Collin Morikawa have produced a far steadier rate of top finishes. Schauffele is not projecting poorly this week, but with a couple of names exceeding him in the top-6 probability ratings, there is reason to explore fading him in this range and going slightly up or down in price.

High-End Pivot: Patrick Cantlay

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 16.5% | FanDuel: 19.0%

Just up above Schauffele is Patrick Cantlay, who does require expending a little more salary but also has far and away the better output in Stokastic’s PGA DFS projections. He actually has the fourth-best win probability, putting him in territory right below Jon Rahm. Cantlay has looked awfully good over his last few starts, posting a third at Riviera and a fourth at Bay Hill. He has gained over 7.5 strokes ball striking in each of his last four starts as well. Cantlay won’t be sneaky at all, but his PGA DFS projections have his top-6 percentage at 5% to 6% higher in probability than Schauffele’s — and he has lower ownership on DraftKings, where the largest PGA GPPs can be found. For those who can spare the extra salary, Cantlay makes for a worthwhile pivot from the cheaper Schauffele.

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Mid-Range Fade: Sungjae Im

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 23.9% | FanDuel: 16.7%

Sungjae Im is another player who will be very popular this week thanks to a price tag on DraftKings that  has him at just $8,100 in salary. That kind of value is hard to ignore, but he’s also not the only one in this range who has value attraction. Sam Burns ($8,300), Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8,000) and Shane Lowry ($7,900) all have similar pedigree and solid PGA DFS projections. Im is also pushing into a range in the PGA DFS ownership projections where he becomes a kind of “game theory” fade given how many lineups he is likely to be in (potentially more than 1-in-4 lineups on DraftKings). Im is a great player, but he’s in a range where some very attractive and low-owned options exist, making his 20%-plus PGA DFS ownership projections on DraftKings worth fading.

Mid-Range Pivot: Shane Lowry

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 9.1% | FanDuel: 5.9%

Lowry is $200 cheaper than Im on DraftKings and potentially in a great spot to have a big tournament. He won his only major in whipping winds and rain at the British Open in 2019, and with similar weather on tap for this week, it feels like the conditions will play to his strengths once again. Lowry hasn’t posted as many top finishes as Im this season, but there have been some great signs, including a PLAYERS Championship that saw him gain 8.1 strokes ball striking. Having played the Masters seven times, his third-place finish from last year is also eye-catching, as it was his best result and came in tough scoring conditions as well. Lowry is projecting to be in about 10% of lineups or less on DraftKings, making him a great leverage play off the much more popular Im.

Mid-Range Fade: Patrick Reed

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 19.8% | FanDuel: 14%

One of the most difficult tasks for DFS and betting this week will be getting a firm grasp on the form of the LIV golfers. Patrick Reed is listed at a tantalizing $7,300 on DraftKings, and to make things even more difficult, he finally had a decent tournament in the newly formed golf league, placing third, just three shots behind Brooks Koepka. Reed is still a great value at this price tag, but his PGA DFS ownership projections have him as one of the top-eight owned golfers in larger field GPPs. Given how little is known about the state of his game, and the fact he’s in a range chock-full of other legitimate pros, Reed is a player to move off in larger fields on DraftKings — especially in builds with another highly owned name or two.

Mid-Range Pivot: Si Woo Kim

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 7.0% | FanDuel: 7.5%

Kim has had a nice start to the season and projects as one of the stronger plays under $7,500 on DraftKings. While he is behind Reed by a few percentage points in the PGA DFS projections for top 6 probability, Kim has shown he has what it takes to excel against elite fields. He gained over eight strokes tee to green on the difficult TPC Sawgrass and will be making his seventh Masters appearance. Kim has had a great lead in to this event and has made the cut in four of his last five majors. With sub-10% PGA DFS ownership projections, he makes sense for those wanting to pivot off the likely popular Reed and onto a lower-owned player who has similar upside and resume to the 2018 Masters Champion.

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Geoff Ulrich
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