2023 Players Championship Best DFS Picks & Top Golf Plays
Dan Kilbridge | 6 mins
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The daily fantasy sports and golf betting scenes have been absolutely off the charts in recent weeks, with loaded fields, iconic courses and crazy Sunday finishes. And we’re just getting this thing started, with an elite field ready to go again for this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Defending champ Cam Smith doesn’t have a tee time having defected to LIV Golf last fall, but all the eligible heavy-hitters are heading to Ponte Vedra Beach for the Tour’s flagship event featuring a $25 million purse.
TPC Sawgrass remains one of the best all-around tests in the sport. There’s not one specific skill or mentality that gives a big advantage. Contending at TPC Sawgrass means hitting all the shots throughout the bag and keeping it together between the ears on a nerve-racking closing stretch. As far as drama and on-course action goes, the Players Championship is tough to beat.
Last week: The Arnold Palmer Invitational lived up to its reputation as the toughest non-major on the calendar. Kurt Kitayama shot even-par 72-72 over the weekend to outlast an incredible leaderboard and capture his first Tour victory, carding 9-under for the week at Bay Hill. Priced at $6,800 and included in just 1.5% of lineups for DraftKings' $1 million Pitch & Putt, Kitayama held off the likes of runner-up Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth, all of whom finished in the top five.
2023 Players Championship Key Details
Course Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
TPC Sawgrass, Stadium Course: 7,275 yards, Par 72. Greens: Bermuda
- 2022 – Cameron Smith, 275 (-13)
- 2021 – Justin Thomas, 274 (-14)
- 2020 – Cancelled
- 2019 – Rory McIlroy, 272 (-16)
- 2018 – Webb Simpson, 270 (-18)
- 2017 – Si Woo Kim, 278 (-10)
- 2016 – Jason Day, 273 (-15)
- 2015 – Rickie Fowler, 276 (-12)
- 2014 – Martin Kaymer, 275 (-13)
- 2013 – Tiger Woods, 275 (-13)
2023 Players Championship DFS Picks By Price
11K-9K Range: Best DFS Picks for Players Championship
Rory McIlroy, $11,000: We played McIlroy last week at Bay Hill and he nearly pulled off the win, finishing T-2 one shot behind Kurt Kitayama. The results have been elite lately, with three wins and nine top-10s in his last 11 tournaments. He’s in great form, excelling throughout the bag, and we like him to win at TPC Sawgrass. Few players have a consistently strong track record at this course, but McIlroy is up there with four top-10s and a win in 12 attempts. This should be another top-tier week for him at the Stadium Course.
Max Homa, $9,900: Homa has only played this event twice, finishing T-13 last year after a missed cut in his debut in 2021. We’ll take a strong recent result in this case, especially given the way Homa’s playing at the moment. He led the Arnold Palmer Invitational field in Strokes Gained Approach by a significant margin, finishing T-14 in a week where he didn’t get much out of the short game. He’s made 13 consecutive cuts and has five top-5s and two wins over his last 10 starts. He’s priced with the A-listers every week now, but we’ll take his current form over pretty much anyone else in the field.
9K-8K Range: Best DFS Picks for Players Championship
Viktor Hovland, $8,900: Hovland is already showing a big improvement in his game that should help tremendously at this course – keeping it straight off the tee. Hovland has been far more accurate with the driver and that’s important at the Players Championship, where Hovland shot 68-69 over the weekend for a T-9 finish last year. The 25-year-old had a sneaky-good run at Bay Hill, where he briefly played his way into contention Sunday and finished T-10. He’s now improved his result in three consecutive tournaments, and we love when a player as talented as Hovland is trending like that. We’re definitely getting him in the lineup this week.
Shane Lowry, $8,200: The 35-year-old Irishman is coming off a 67th-place finish at Bay Hill, but that was actually an improvement. It’s never been a good course fit for him and Lowry had missed the cut in four prior attempts. TPC Sawgrass is a different story. Lowry finished T-13 last year and solo eighth in 2021, and he’s always one of the most dependable guys when the wind blows. Given the options in this price range, we’ll gladly take Lowry in the low $8,000s.
8K-7K Range: Best DFS Picks for Players Championship
Si Woo Kim, $7,600: The 2017 Players winner has never missed a cut at TPC Sawgrass – though he did W/D last year after an opening-round 76. Prior to that he was T-9 in 2021, and he’s hitting the ball straighter than ever. Kim is currently in the top 15 in driving accuracy and the putter has been hot at times – he began the year with a win in Hawaii and four consecutive top-25 finishes. He’s still very under-the-radar this week at a course where he knows he can win. That’s always dangerous, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Kim in the mix on the back nine come Sunday.
Matt Kuchar, $7,200: This is one of the few big-time venues where a shorter hitter like Kuchar can still realistically expect to compete. He’s done just that over the years, with a win and seven top-25 finishes in 17 starts at TPC Sawgrass. The game has been up-and-down lately, which isn’t surprising for the 44-year-old. But he proved he’s not finished yet with a T-7 at the Sony Open and solo eighth at the Genesis Invitational over the last two months. We’ve seen past-their-prime players contend here, most recently when then-48-year-old Jim Furyk finished one shot behind Rory McIlroy in 2019. Kuchar is another vet who could make a similar charge if conditions are right.
7K and Below: Best DFS Picks for Players Championship
Jhonattan Vegas, $6,800: We’re surprised to see Vegas priced below $7,000 given the recent run he’s on. The 38-year-old has been top-25 in three of his last four starts, and the irons have been excellent with Vegas gaining strokes in that department in eight consecutive events. The driver has been on point as well, and if he can get a few putts to drop Vegas will have a great week. The course history isn’t bad, either, with two top 10s and six cuts made in nine attempts – including a T-3 in 2019. Vegas should be a very sensible play as a cut man in this price range.
Justin Suh, $6,600: We’ll get one TPC Sawgrass rookie in the lineup in Justin Suh. The 25-year-old has never played this event, but he’s enjoying an excellent run of 10 consecutive cuts made. He seriously contended in difficult conditions at the Honda Classic, finishing T-5, and he logged a very respectable T-24 in brutal conditions a week ago at Bay Hill. We’re not concerned about fatigue at all – Suh’s been waiting for moments like this his entire life and the game will be sharp. The irons and putter have been on fire and that’s a can’t-miss combo at this golf course. We’re all over Suh this week in the bargain bin.
2023 Players Championship, Date & TV
When: Thursday-Sunday, March 9-12
Where: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
TV: Golf Channel, NBC