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DraftKings Fantasy Preview: AT&T Byron Nelson



Last week we offered HUGE prizes, and it was fitting that I produced my worst-performing starting lineup of the season. If my dry spell continues, all the better for you.

For this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson, DraftKings once again boasts the $100,000 prize pool contest with a $10,000 chunk for the contest winner (and top 7,850 positions earning money). You can enter HERE with a simple $3 entry fee, and we have our usual Beat the Writer contest where if you outperform my main lineup, you are refunded that $3 charge.


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For clarity, to be eligible for “Beat the Writer,” you must create a new DraftKings account through any link in this article. Once you have done so, you are automatically in “Beat the Writer” each week when you set lineup(s).

Anyway, onto my analysis.

The Course

TPC Four Seasons Resort-Las Colinas has a reputation as a driving mecca. Long-hitters are strongly favored, but inaccuracy is punished with a tree-lined landscape and a large number of water hazards.

FourSeasonsTPCSurprise, surprise: I didn’t take these assumptions for granted! I actually expanded my usual analysis by including the top-15 and ties at each of the last five Byron Nelsons, along with golfers who were near the top through three days before a final-round implosion.

And, yeah, not sure I agree with that profile. OK, the long-hitter advantage is indeed quite robust, but approach play came out most important in my sample. And while driving joined in a close second, accuracy is overrated at TPC Four Seasons. Precision off the tee at the Nelson is about as potent as it is at the Wells Fargo (i.e. not useless, but semi-marginal). Let me also note that the course will likely play wet this week, meaning balls will stick and make fairways easier to hit.

In the sample, approach play and driving finished well ahead of short game and putting (despite undulated greens) in facilitating high finishes. So you’ll want to lean toward excellent ball-strikers this week.

It doesn’t really matter how low or high your ball flight is here, just know that this course usually faces some wind (this is Texas!) and there are forecasts for some bigger gusts this week. So I would urge on the side of good wind players.

Six-Man Roster (Last Week: 313 Points, 31,933rd of 38,315) 

  • Jason Day — $11,200
  • Charley Hoffman — $8,400
  • Russell Henley — $7,900
  • James Hahn — $7,700
  • George McNeill — $7,100
  • Morgan Hoffmann — $7,000

Honestly, up until a couple of years ago, Day wasn’t a great approach player, so it’s kind of odd that he finished top 10 his first three trips here, but he did. Now that he has a fiesty iron game in his repertoire, the course is an even better fit. I chalk up his recent 81 at the Players as a fluke.


I flat out love Charley Hoffman. Yeah, I pick him a lot, but these are my results with him at an average mid-tier price: T9, T30, T10. Very solid. He’s just a great player who doesn’t get his due, and I’ll stand by that even if he burns me this week. Not only skilled, the Hoff’s game has been on fire for months and he’s one of the best long-hitting ball-strikers out there.

Henley is my bargain of the week. His game doesn’t scream this course, but neither did Day’s at first. The Bulldog has just been very consistent this year and rounded into great form these last couple of months. If this course gets tough, which I think it might with the wind projections, Henley is at his best when the scores are high.

Moving through the rest, Hahn is a bit of a flyer based on his last two events (73rd-CUT), and also a possible dynamic play because of his game meshing with TPC Four Seasons and his T5 here last year. McNeill is kind of the opposite. His play at the Nelson has alternated between missed cuts and nice finishes for an overall shaky record, but a T12, T17, T28, T5 run in his last four starts this year is something to behold.

And I have to pick Morgan. Super-talented, T36 or better in five of his past six starts and a perfect game for this course as highlighted by T5 and T16 in his first two showings here? Yes, please!

Overpriced Player to Avoid

  • Ian Poulter — $9,600

Poulter’s showing at Colonial wasn’t a surprise if you kept track of his excellent form. I’m cooling on him just for this one week, though, because a long-hitting ball-striker’s track like this is the opposite of the Englishman’s game.


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Cash-strapped Pick to take a chance on

  • Charlie Beljan — $6,200

Beljan’s had some ghastly performances of late, but fits the mold of this course with his long-hitting and outstanding approach play. He also finished T11 at this course last year.

Alternate Six-Man Roster (Last Week: 318.5 points, 31,056th of 38,315)

  • Brandt Snedeker — $10,000
  • Justin Thomas — $9,200
  • Ryan Palmer — $9,200
  • Brooks Koepka — $7,700
  • Luke Guthrie — $6,800
  • D.A. Points — $6,800

I’ll go after Sneds considering he appeared to uncover something at Colonial.


Like everyone, I was on the Thomas train from the start of the year, although I have not picked him in fantasy enough as he’s continued to roll along. Palmer really torched me last week when he finished bogey-double and missed the cut at a course WHERE HE’S A MEMBER! But his record at TPC Four Seasons is similarly spectacular and I’m betting on him not imploding two weeks in a row especially because I love how his game meshes with the layout. I didn’t predict a great year for Koepka and he’s proven me wrong to a degree. He was back to 100 percent at the Match Play last month and I really like the fit here for him.

I’ve been holding out on Guthrie for two weeks and I think this is the time to play. The Illinois grad loves bentgrass greens and has got his game to click again. He was 6-under with six holes to go at the Players (just like Fowler) and had serious birdie spurts, including a closing 29, at Colonial for a T27.

Points, meanwhile, has packed up on four of his past five Fridays. That one made cut was a T12 at Zurich, an event he generally plays well at. He also plays well at the Nelson, I’m taking the chance he follows his New Orleans lead.


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Kevin's fascination with the game goes back as long as he can remember. He has written about the sport on the junior, college and professional levels and hopes to cover its proceedings in some capacity for as long as possible. His main area of expertise is the PGA Tour, which is his primary focus for GolfWRX. Kevin is currently a student at Northwestern University, but he will be out into the workforce soon enough. You can find his golf tidbits and other sports-related babble on Twitter @KevinCasey19. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: September 2014



  1. Kevin Casey

    May 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    URGENT: Twelve players have withdrawn from the Nelson this week, including two of my picks, Jason Day and George McNeill. Very Unforeseen.

    To update, here are my revamped rosters:

    Ryan Palmer, $9,200
    Justin Thomas, $9,200
    Charley Hoffman, $8,400
    Russell Henley, $7,900
    James Hahn, $7,700
    Morgan Hoffmann, $7,000

    Brandt Snedeker, $10,000
    Jimmy Walker, $9,400
    Keegan Bradley, $8,400
    Brooks Koepka, $7,700
    Luke Guthrie, $6,800
    D.A. Points, $6,800

    For an explanation: I had to take out Day and McNeill. I moved up Palmer and Thomas, and had no qualms doing so (I highly considered both of them for the main roster even after I had first completed it.)

    As for the back-up roster, with Palmer and Thomas now gone, I put in Walker and Bradley. Walker is actually kind of a risky pick. He’s been in a slump since the Masters, and he did injure his wrist at Augusta. There’s been no update on that since, which isn’t necessarily good. His wife said immediately after the tournament that it would probably only hurt for a couple more days, but you can’t always trust those amateur initial diagnoses, and Walker noted the previous day that he had plans to have his risk examined. All in all, I’m not totally convinced that his wrist is 100 percent and he’s in bad form, but Walker has had some of his best performances after a sting of mediocre golf. His record at the Nelson the last few years has been thoroughly OK (mills around the 30th position), but this course does really suit his game. He’s very much like Day in that he’s a long wild hitter who has seen serious improvement in his irons. Actually Walker’s iron improvements have been even more drastic and a big key to his rise since 2013.

    As for Bradley, he’s also not coming in on great play, but his record here is a win, a second and two other top-30s. Makes sense because his game is good for this course. A lot of hoopla over his switch to the standard putter and consternation over his drop from top-50 putter to 133rd in strokes gained in 2015. That number is misleading, Keegan has pretty much putted around Tour average this year, save for two tournaments where he had a really tough time on the greens. It’s not like he’s putting consistently poorly, just a pair of awful results are marring his numbers. He’s fine if he putts to his adequate norm or better, which is pretty likely this week on a course he likes.

    • Kevin Casey

      May 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Also, as Poulter has withdrawn, I guess a new big name to avoid. I’ll go out on a limb a bit and say Gary Woodland at $9,200. He’ll like the soft conditions this week being the ultimate bomber for this course. He also has a good record here, including a T7 in 2014. I don’t know, he’s just very streaky though and I think a bad performance is coming this week.

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