The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Golf Resort, host of this week’s Valspar Championship, can be one of the more challenging tests on the PGA Tour. The Larry Packard design places more of an emphasis on precision than distance than most tour venues. In order to succeed at Copperhead, you must keep the ball in play off the tee, be above average with irons from 150+ yards, and have an above-average short game.
With that skill set in mind, here are a few players to focus on in your DraftKings and one-and-done fantasy leagues:
Joaquín Niemann $9,100
Niemann finished 37th in his only appearance at the Valspar Championship, so he may not feel like a natural choice. But if you dig deeper, you’ll see that Niemann is a great fit for the Copperhead Course and has been playing well recently. In this field, he is second off the tee, fourth in par-3 scoring, seventh in birdies, and seventh in greens in regulation. Amazingly, he’s also currently on a run of 16 consecutive finishes of 44th or better (that’s not a misprint).
Charley Hoffman $8,600
Hoffman has a lot going for him right now. In his past seven events, he has had five top-18 finishes, and he ranks top 20 in the Valspar field in almost every category: off the yee, approach, putting, par-3 scoring, birdies, greens in regulation, driving accuracy, and long-iron proximity. Combine all of that with a $8,600 price tag, and it’s clear why Hoffman is a good play this week.
Conners will be a popular pick this week, and for good reason. He has finished 17th or better in 11 of his past 16 events, and he’s top five off the tee, on approach, in par-5 scoring, and in birdies. Plus, Conners finished 16th in his only appearance at the Copperhead Course.
If you’re looking to go contrarian this week, Kirk is a great option. He has finished sixth and seventh in his past two events and has missed only one cut in his past 13 events. Like Hoffman, Kirk is strong in just about every measurable skill. He ranks in the top 30 in the Valspar Championship field in the following categories: off the tee, approach, around the green, par-3 scoring, par-5 scoring, birdies, driving accuracy, greens in regulation and long-iron proximity.