A tradition unlike any other, the Masters in… November? There’s a phrase I thought I’d never type.
In mid-fall, Augusta National looks as green as ever and should be an excellent test for the world’s best. For fantasy this week, I’d recommend focusing on players who hit it long off the tee and are above average on approach. Obviously, length is always important in the Masters; it allows players to treat the par 5s as par 4s and rack up birdies. But because of the relatively soft turf, the course will play slightly longer than it does in April, so distance off the tee may be even more crucial.
As usual at Augusta, the undulating greens will place an emphasis on precise approach shots. Those who hit their irons well will be rewarded with makeable putts; those who don’t will be left with tough two-putts or up-and-downs.
Here are a few players that would make smart plays in DraftKings and one-and-done leagues for the 2020 Masters:
Dustin Johnson $10,000
DJ is the most underpriced player in the field. He’s the betting co-favorite and the top-ranked player in the world, yet somehow he is the fifth most expensive player. In the Masters field, he is first in approach, first in birdies, fourth in par-5 scoring, fifth in driving distance, and seventh off the tee. He has finished sixth or better in all of his past six starts. In his past four appearances at the Masters, Johnson has finished in the top 10 every time, including a runner-up last year. All signs point to him being in the hunt come Sunday.
Jason Kokrak $7,000
Since pricing was released a few weeks ago, DraftKings didn’t capture how well Kokrak has been playing recently. He has finished 17th or better in six of his past seven events. This success is due to increased putting prowess combined with his already solid ball-striking. This week, Kokrak is fourth in birdies, 11th in par-5 scoring, 12th off the tee, and 14th in driving distance. If he performs as well on Augusta National’s greens as he has elsewhere lately, he can easily exceed his salary-based expectations.
The two-time Masters champion is trending in the right direction. He has gained strokes off the tee and on approach in each of his past six events, and he has gained a total of 29.8 strokes over his past four events. Prior to his two Masters victories, he gained 33.7 and 41 strokes off the tee and approach combined over his four lead-in events. Bubba ranks second in par-5 scoring, third in approach, fourth off the tee, and 12th in driving distance. So not only could Bubba contend for the title this week, but he may fly a bit under the radar because he isn’t a top-tier pick.
Wolff is going to win a major championship soon, and it could be this week. In both of the majors has played so far, he nearly won (second at the U.S. Open, fourth at the PGA Championship). In each of those events, he gained over seven strokes on approach, and if he does that again this week, he will be in the mix. Wolff is sixth in driving distance, seventh on approach, and eighth in birdies. The young gun makes a great contrarian option against the elite players.