PGA Championship 2015 Sleepers
Let’s take a look at our staff’s picks for the top sleepers for the 2015 PGA Championship, and specifically at our top picks for the PGA Championship DraftKings Millionaire Maker. For the sake of this article, were considering anyone under $7,500 on DraftKings a sleeper.
Steve Stricker – $7,300 – The PGA Championship is a tournament that Stricker always performs well in. He’s finally getting healthier again, overcoming the bulging disc he had earlier in the season, and Whistling Straits is essentially a home course for Stricker. Finished tied for 7th in the PGA Championship last season and tied for 18th the last time the Championship was played at Whistling Straits.
Kevin Kisner – $7,300 – Kisner is quickly and quietly becoming one of my favorite players on the tour. KK tied for 2nd in the Players Championship and tied for 12th at the US Open. He’s got the makeup of a guy that can handle the big stage, and the game to back it up. At $7,300 he’s right in that price range that you will likely load up on if you draft two of the top players.
Danny Lee – $7,100 – As confident as I am in Kisner and Stricker having a consistent 4 days and remaining in contention, I fee like Danny Lee is the opposite end of the spectrum. Having only made 18 out of 30 cuts this season, but with 3 top 4 finishes in his last four tournaments, Lee is a classic boom or bust pick.
Robert Streb – $6,800 – Top 20 finishes in 6 of his last 7 tournaments, Streb has been on a roll deserving of a much higher price than $6,800. Looking at some of the key statistics for Whistling Straits, he has decent length (40th on tour), great greens in regulation (11th on tour), he’s 12th in strokes gained and 19th in ball striking. If there is one part of his game that is worrisome it’s his driver accuracy, but if he manages to stay out of the bunkers early in the week you are going to get 4 days of scoring out of a top 20 player for just $6,800.
Francesco Molinari – $6,800 – Francesco is coming into the PGA Championship on a bit of a roll having made five straight cuts, with two top 25 finishes and one top 5. Last season Molinari shot four par rounds and finished 59th. In 2010 at Whistling Straits he was in contention before falling apart on Sunday and finishing tied for 33rd.
Pat Perez – $6,000 – Pat Perez is arguable playing the best golf of his career. He’s made 19/22 cuts this season, and has 7 top 25 finishes in his last 10 tournaments. At $6,000, he’s a value play that you should be plugging into several of your Millionaire Maker lineups.
The PGA Championship sometimes seems like the odd-one-out of the four major annual golf tournaments. The British Open has its unique features and rich history, the US Open represents an enormous challenge each year and The Masters has its own special traditions that set it apart from the crowd.
The PGA Championship is very similar to the wide array of PGA Tour tournaments that take place throughout the year, but we’ll soon be closing in on the 100th edition of this prestigious tournament and it has an allure all of its own, offering entry to the other majors and a huge prize for the talented winner.
Rory McIlroy won his second PGA Championship last year and, as we approach the 97th edition of this renowned tournament, all sorts of pros will be hoping to make their mark on the scene. From the remarkably talented youngster Jordan Spieth, record-breaking winner of The Masters and US Open tournaments of this year, to the veteran star Phil Mickelson who last won this competition in 2005, there are a lot of big names to consider for fantasy golf players who are looking to win their own prizes during this championship.
Sleeper picks are an important part of any fantasy game and golf contests are no different. In fact, sleepers can be especially profitable in golf as many of the top players are more than capable of springing a surprise or two and walking away with victory. For the PGA Championship, there are certain unwritten rules to follow when selecting your sleepers, but if you can do your research and find some unlikely victors then you could end up winning big. This will be the last real chance for golf enthusiasts to walk away with a huge prize in 2015 as the PGA Championship represents the final major of the season.
Tips for Finding Sleepers
So now, let’s look at some tips and tricks you’ll need to make use of if you want to pick the best sleepers for this tournament. First of all, a great way to find a good golf sleeper is to take a look at recent form. The WGC Bridgestone Invitational is a fantastic place to start and any players who have a good weekend at this event should be ones to watch for the upcoming championship. In fact, many betting and fantasy sites will continue to rank certain players pretty low down the list in spite of a good performance at the invitational, so this is your chance to take advantage of the low prices and nab some good sleeper picks.
You can also take a look at the results of the Quicken Loans National and the RBC Canadian Open for more important statistics and information to help you make your selections. Many players often look too far back when doing their fantasy research; looking at the individual history of a player in a given tournament can be beneficial, but checking out the most recent performances tends to be more useful as this information can show you whether or not a player is in good form and hitting his stride in time for the major.
Using Vegas Odds to Spot PGA Championship Sleepers
Another classic tip when selecting your sleepers is to follow the betting odds. When playing fantasy golf games, a lot of people tend to go for the top-ranked players with the lowest odds but you can find some incredible golfers at odds of 33-1 or higher, and these are the sort of players that could represent excellent sleeper selections. A guy like Bubba Watson is currently ranked at 33-1 but has had a good 2015 so far, coming in second at the recent RBC Canadian Open. The legendary Phil Mickelson has similar odds but there aren’t many players who would rule out a man of his caliber.
Traditionally, when looking for major tournament sleepers, it’s a good idea to look at the history of the course to find players that have done well in the past. However, the PGA Championship rotates each year and this means that it won’t play too big of a role in the way the tournament plays out. It is certainly worth looking at the course closely though and analyzing the various holes; good researchers can easily identify certain features of the course that will suit certain players’ strengths.
In DraftKings PGA Championship Millionaire Maker, you’ll need to choose six players and you can’t select the top six favorites as these players’ salary caps will be too high. Most fantasy owners tend to choose a couple of favorites and fill up the rest of their team with sleeper picks and you’ll need to do the same to have a shot at winning big. So let’s give you a couple of examples of sleeper picks you might be looking at for your own squad.
First up, there’s Marc Leishman who is currently at 80-1 to win the major. The Australian had a rough opening to 2015 but very nearly tasted victory at the British Open, making it to the three-man playoff and just losing out to Zach Johnson at the end. At 80-1, Leishman’s prospects of success are clearly being underestimated and he could represent a great value pick. Another potential sleeper would be Jamie Donaldson, who is rated at 150-1 to walk away with the title. Few will be expecting Donaldson to win the major, but he did well to make the cut at The Open and The Masters. If he can do the same at the PGA Championship, he could be a solid sleeper pick.
These are just a couple of examples of sleepers and it will be up to you to do the necessary research and discover your own selections. There are a lot of golfers to choose from and many of them will be going under the radar as we approach the big tournament, so fantasy owners should take advantage of the situation and give themselves a better chance of success.