DraftKings Picks for The Masters 2021
It’s Masters week! Augusta National is set to host the most prestigious event in golf for the second time in five months starting Thursday. The world’s best have gathered for the 2021 Masters Tournament and a coveted green jacket is up for grabs. Let’s get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend.
What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week.
Jordan Spieth is back! It was so nice of Dustin Johnson to sit out the Valero Texas Open last week so Speef could get back into the winner’s circle for the first time since 2017 AND just in time for Augusta. The price was low and he was a favorite to win in his home state but his game has been coming together and I think his rise back to the top of the ranks is very much close by. Spieth’s stock had been climbing but his Masters ownership this week has now taken a rocket out of the atmosphere.
The 85th edition of The Masters is upon us and unlike the November 2020 edition, there will be fans gathered around the course this week. The field will consist of 88 players with the top 50 and ties making the cut. DJ is back to defend the 2020 title and will look to put the green jacket on himself and do what only Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods have done, go back to back at Augusta. Or, perhaps Paulina will be called in to do the honor.
Augusta National Golf Club Course Breakdown
Augusta, Georgia boasts one of the most legendary courses on the planet, Augusta National Golf Club. The 7,500 yard par 72 was designed by Allister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones Jr. in 1933. ANGC is one of the only courses to not only have sub-air systems under the greens but also features thermal imaging, system calibration, and computerized irrigation scheduling through various methods on all surfaces. Meaning, the people in charge of the course have complete control over the conditions. And they will press those buttons if the course isn't playing tough enough. ANGC is straightforward when it comes to grass types. Ryegrass grows tee to green with Bentgrass to putt on.
Course history is very plentiful this week but it is important to keep in mind the 2021 Masters, back to its regular spot in the year, will look and play much different than the fall of 2020. The boys tore the place up and the committee at ANGC likely got a little embarrassed. Whispers around the course definitely say it will play firmer and faster. The forecast right now should aid in the defense of the course. Wind will play a factor every day and rain will make things interesting on at least Friday and Saturday, for now. There doesn’t appear to be a wave advantage worth stacking though. With the weather and likely tougher conditions produced by the staff, I would expect a winning score closer to -10 than DJ’s 2020 -20.
When looking at key stats leading to success at The Masters, par 5 scoring is a must as only one player (Willett) has won The Masters without being at least -3. Similar line for the par 3s as every Masters champ in the last 12 years has played the par 3s +1 or better. With wide fairways and easy rough, strokes gained off the tee leads to big strokes. Approach is huge like every week but at Augusta placing the shots is key due to the undulation and slopes that await them on the greens. Greens in regulation are below average at ANGC along with scrambling, and three putt avoidance. Find a guy that smacks a long ball, puts the approaches in the right spots, and putts well on fast and firm Bentgrass greens.
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The Picks & Fades
Each week I will give you my plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range.
Favorite $10k+ Play:
DB: Jon Rahm
Pat: Rory McIlroy
AC: Bryson DeChambeau
DB: Play - Patrick Cantlay | Fade - Jordan Spieth
Pat: Play - Webb Simpson | Fade - Dustin Johnson
AC: Play - Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth | Fade - Collin Morikawa
Every player up here is worthy of the spot. They all check boxes. Most have a decent history. I know Bryson’s isn’t the best but there is no doubt he has been playing some of the best golf in the world the last few months. He tops the field in par 5 scoring and DraftKing scoring. JT looks to have exorcised his mental demons and is coming off a superb win at the Players. He has progressively finished better every year in Augusta. A T3 or better will continue that trend. Jordan Spieth. The win was going to come and now a load of relief is likely off his back. Just in time I think. Ol’ Jordo is pretty much top 10 in every stat except for off the tee and even that has been coming around nicely. Speed wants that jacket. It’s not easy to find a fade up here but with Morikawa’s putting woes and his lack of experience I think he is the easiest to pick on.
DB: Play - Daniel Berger | Fade - Lee Westwood
Pat: Play - Viktor Hovland | Fade - Tyrrell Hatton
AC: Play - Viktor Hovland, Sungjae Im | Fade - Tommy Fleetwood
This is a weird range. Hovland rated out 6th in my model so easily gets the nod with most being well behind. Fact is the young Norwegian is 1st in Fantasy National’s opps gained stat and is top 10 in ball-striking, off the tee, and bogey avoidance. Sungjae was quite impressive during his 2020 Masters run (T2) and the course will likely play harder five months later but his numbers are still great. He is 1st in strokes gained off the tee, 1st in putting and checks the box in 3 putt avoidance, par 3s and par 5s. Fleetwood just doesn’t do it for me. None of his stats jump off the page and his play has definitely been sub par in the new year.
DB: Play - Jason Day | Fade - Sergio Garcia
Pat: Play - Sergio Garcia | Fade - Billy Horschel
AC: Play - Paul Casey, Joaquin Niemann, Max Homa | Fade - Harris English
The $7k range is always my favorite. You can build a whole lineup down here and be very live to get rich one week. Casey ranks 9th in my model with a top 10 in tee to green, 2nd in bogey avoidance, and 5th in scrambling. He’s also 4th in DK scoring. He also has two top 10s here. Niemann and Homa have both only played once, Niemann as an amateur though, but both are young studs. Niemann checks the box in Bentgrass putting as well as solid numbers in off the tee, greens in regulation, and 3 putt avoidance. Homa is 5th in my model. 2nd in off the tee, 4th in par 5 scoring, and 3rd in 3 putt avoidance. He also claimed a victory at the Genesis and played decently at the matchplay, losing to the eventual champ. It pains me to fade the studly Harry English but since his win at the ToC he has been... bad. His numbers are the worst in the range and he hasn’t played ANGC in five years.
DB: Play - Corey Conners, Marc Leishman, Dylan Frittelli
Pat: Play - Corey Conners, Jason Kokrak, Danny Willett
AC: Play - Jason Kokrak, Corey Conners, Matt Wallace
Kokrak and Conners are far and away my favorite plays down here. Both have been striking the dimples off the ball recently. They come in 3rd and 4th in my model respectively and it’s just a field of green. They both rank in the top 10 in every category I'm focusing on; even the ones they don't, they are still better than half of the field. The only thing to worry about is the ownership so taking both might be a challenge. Wallace has made this article a couple times and both times he has underperformed. Last week we hopped off and well… he performed. That bodes well for his confidence this week and I think the price tag is silly for the 48th ranked player in the world.
THE INS & OUTS
There have not been any WDs at the time of this publication.
The field is set at 88.