PGA DFS Picks: Wells Fargo Championship Cash and GPP Strategy

PGA DFS Picks: Wells Fargo Championship Cash and GPP Strategy

Wells Fargo Championship

Charlotte, North Carolina
Quail Hollow Club - Par 71 - 7,538 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $20M

The Preview

Heavyweights Jon Rahm and Tony Finau emerged from a lackluster field in Mexico last week with Finau eventually capturing his sixth PGA Tour victory by three shots over the Spaniard, but Rahm now joins World No. 2 Scottie Scheffler as absentees from the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship as they'll burn their one-time skip from a designated event. We'll still get to see more than 30 of the top-50 players in the OWGR tee it up this week in Charlotte, however, as Quail Hollow Club plays host to the Wells Fargo Championship after the venue ceded its duties to TPC Potomac in 2022 due to the Presidents Cup landing here on the schedule later in the year.

Much like we saw at Vidanta, length off the tee is heavily factored into the recipe for success at Quail Hollow with driving distance being much more rewarded than tee balls that miss the fairway are penalized. Shorter approaches into fast and firm, but relatively sizable greens provide advantages for the bombers. Late-round drama is made possible by the Green Mile, as players attempt to survive the three-hole closing stretch that generally plays to a +0.8 average in relation to par. It'll be essential to convert par-breaker opportunities on Quail Hollow's three par-5s, but tame winds throughout the tournament should also encourage scoring chances with a chunk of the $20M purse up for grabs.

Recent Champions

2022 - Max Homa (TPC Potomac)
2021 - Rory McIlroy
2020 - None
2019 - Max Homa
2018 - Jason Day
2017 - Brian Harman (Eagle Point Golf Club)
2016 - James Hahn
2015 - Rory McIlroy
2014 - J.B. Holmes
2013 - Derek Ernst

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Off-the-Tee
Proximity: 175-plus yards
Par-4: 450-500 Efficiency and Par-5 Scoring
Driving distance

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Xander Schauffele - $43

Not only are you inheriting $5 in salary relief, but a projected rostership discount also accompanies the drop down from a popular Rory McIlroy ($48) to Schauffele, as the latter could get squeezed out of lineups in this spot with so much talent littered around the $40 mark. Potentially fading an expensive horse for the course isn't quite as frightening this week with McIlroy coming off back-to-back missed cuts at THE PLAYERS Championship and The Masters Tournament in his last two stroke-play outings, which preceded a mental health hiatus. Meanwhile, Schauffele most recently paced the RBC Heritage field in SG: Tee-to-Green en route to a fourth-place finish, not bad for a west coast guy. Schauffele isn't entirely unfamiliar with Quail Hollow, either, having posted a top-15 here in 2021 when he gained strokes across the board.

Viktor Hovland - $40

Hovland's ball striking has been consistently admirable throughout the last couple months, gaining strokes both off the tee and approaching the green in six consecutive starts dating back to the WM Phoenix Open. This has helped guide him to the No. 2 spot in my 24-round custom model, a sample in which he also ranks top-10 in Prox: 200-plus and P4: 450-500 Efficiency. The 25-year-old tied for third in his Wells Fargo Championship debut at the 2021 edition, hitting more than 50 total greens in regulation as he gained 8.8 strokes from tee to green. After losing 7.2 strokes putting at the RBC Heritage, we'll hope for a decent amount of positive regression with the flat stick in Charlotte.

Cameron Young - $40

Young's outright odds to win this event have been steamed all the way into the upper teens on a handful of books, raking in the handle given how well his power and long-iron prowess set him up for success at Quail Hollow. Over his last 24 measured rounds, he's second in driving distance, ninth in Prox: 175-200 and eighth in Prox: 200-plus, which is part of the equation that puts him seventh in Birdies or Better Gained during this span. If the putter cooperates, Young's upside is as high as anyone's this week.

Glue Guys

Wyndham Clark - $30

Clark was a chalky name last week before giving his backers a scare with an opening 73 at the Mexico Open, though he rebounded nicely by playing his final 54 holes at Vidanta in a collective 12-under-par on the way to 19 total birdies. His salary has since deflated back to a proper number due to field strength, so there's value in continuing to ride his strong metrics. He's well known as a bomber, but Clark also comes in at third in bogey avoidance, seventh in SG: Approach and eighth in Par-3 Efficiency across his past 24 measured rounds.

Gary Woodland - $29

Aside from a couple good rounds on Hilton Head Island, Woodland's putter has been nothing but atrocious this season. He just lost 7.4 strokes on the greens in Mexico, and he ranks 147th among this week's field in three-putt avoidance over his last 24 rounds. So what's the draw? Well, he hasn't lost strokes off the tee since September's Fortinet Championship, and Woodland is top 10 in SG: APP, driving distance, Prox: 175-200 and Prox: 200-plus over his last 36 rounds. Such quality ball striking is worth the gamble on putting variance at just $29. When he actually gained strokes putting at the 2015 and 2021 Wells Fargo Championships, he placed top-5 each time.

Patrick Rodgers - $27

Speaking of 2015, Rodgers earned runner-up honors here when he led the field in par-5 scoring while averaging nearly 315 yards in driving distance at Quail Hollow eight years ago. Shifting the examination to his most recent 12 rounds, Rodgers sits third in SG: Tee-to-Green, fifth in Prox: 175-200, eighth in P4: 450-500 and 10th in bogey avoidance, which has resulted in finishes of 5-T19-T10 from the Valero Texas Open through the Mexico Open at Vidanta.

Bargain Bin

Sam Stevens - $25

Despite stringing together back-to-back top-3s at the Corales Puntacana Championship and the Valero Texas Open, Stevens could fly somewhat under the radar at $25 after missing the cut by three shots at Harbour Town, where it was primarily his short game that failed him. He still grades very well in my model, however, residing fourth in Birdies or Better Gained, fifth in Par-3 Efficiency, 10th in P4: 450-500 Efficiency and 10th in par-5 scoring over his last 24 rounds. Additionally, Stevens has been especially solid with his long irons from 175-plus yards this season.

Byeong Hun An - $24

An, who finished top-30 at the 2017 PGA Championship hosted by Quail Hollow, has quietly become one of the longer hitters on Tour as he ranks seventh in driving distance. But he's also No. 2 in SG: Around-the-Green, and he's gained strokes on his approach shots in seven of nine starts dating to the Sony Open. Over his past 24 rounds, An is top-20 in bogey avoidance, three-putt avoidance and P4: 450-500 Efficiency. He's been a cut-making machine and could serve as one of the better cash-game values on this slate, but his power lends him enough upside for GPP consideration as well.

Akshay Bhatia - $20

Bhatia returns to the minimum $20 salary despite rising to contention in Mexico, where he ultimately finished fourth, notably gaining 6.7 strokes with his irons and another 5.5 strokes on the greens. This four-round sample alone will make him a popular target down here, especially in lineups where our competitors heavily pepper the aforementioned loaded $40 range with a stars-and-scrubs strategy.

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