Golf Sports

Valspar Championship – Golf Player Matchups

The PGA Tour moves on to Tampa this week with the Valspar Championship. This is always a popular tournament with the world’s top golfers in the build-up to the Masters. After the chaos and frustration of the weather-affected Players Championship, players and fans alike are hoping for a bit more serenity around the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort.

If you want more info on how player matchups work, please click here.

How I Pick My Player Matchups

I find player matchups are a great accompaniment to playing the DFS contests. I’ve already done my research on which players I like on the course and I have rankings based on that.

Using these rankings, I look at the available Player Matchups on FanTeam and spot any major discrepancies. These become my picks.

Valspar Championship Player Matchup Picks

This is a second-shot course so Strokes Gained: Approach (SG:APR) is the most important stat for me. Other stats I’m including are Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG:ARG), Par 5 scoring, and Fantasy scoring. Here are my three favourite matchups picks for this week:

Charl Schwartzel v Adam Svensson

My first choice for player matchups this week is Adam Svensson

This feels like an obvious pick and it basically comes down to this. Charl Schwartzel has missed five cuts in a row. Adam Svensson has made five out of his last six.

Neither player is playing particularly well but Schwartzel is playing so badly, I feel confident picking anyone against him. His stats in the ball striking categories are all negative as opposed to Svensson who is positive in strokes gained: approach.  

This could be one of those cases where neither player makes the cut but even so, I’m fairly confident that Svensson will come out on top.

Denny McCarthy v Lanto Griffin

My second choice for player matchups this week is Lanto Griffin

Lanto Griffin is a top 20 player in my model this week and Denny McCarthy is 94th. These are the sort of discrepancies I like to exploit in player matchups.

In the last 24 rounds, Griffin is positive in the ball-striking categories and McCarthy is negative. With approach play being so important here, that gives Griffin a major advantage. 

The only area that McCarthy has the upper hand is putting but they’re still both positive putters in that timeframe and, as we know, putting is one of the more volatile stats.

Brice Garnett v Austin Smotherman

My third choice for player matchups this week is Austin Smotherman

Smotherman joined the PGA Tour last year and is becoming one of my favourite DFS players. He’s a fantastic ball-striker which is really important on this course and his short game is just good enough to keep him in contention. In his short career, it seems that what he loses in one short-game category, he makes up in the other. 

Garnett has been inconsistent in the ball-striking categories this year and is capable of having a torrid time if he can’t find his form. He also ranks very poorly in my model whereas Smotherman is in the top 30.

As with all young golfers, they can be frustrating at times but Austin Smotherman has shown enough so far that I’m happy to back him against Garnett.

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