This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
AT&T Byron Nelson
Trinity Forest Golf Club (7,371 yards, par-71)
$1,422,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
This is Year 2 of Trinity Forest Golf Club playing host to the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas, Texas and the originally underwhelming field has grown ever so slightly more intriguing after barely any significant names traveled to the unknown venue in 2018. According to the Dallas Morning News, Brooks Koepka liked what he saw out of Trinity Forest on TV and plans to use this week as preparation for the PGA Championship. A majority of the world's best players are already beginning to arrive at Bethpage Black,a nd just 14 of the Official World Golf Ranking's top 50 head to Dallas. On the heels of Max Homa securing a breakthrough victory at last week's Wells Fargo Championship, a weak field this week could provide the opportunity for another relative unknown to secure a 2020 Masters invite.
Recent Past Champions
Key Stats to Victory
Greens in Regulation
Birdie or Better percentage
Putting inside 10 feet
Examining Aaron Wise's 2018 victory as the only past champion at Trinity Forest, he nearly broke the all-time GIR percentage record by hitting 66 of 72 greens in regulation on the way to three strolls of 65 or better and a three-shot win. Despite averaging less than 300 yards off the tee, Wise still managed to lead the entire field in par-4 scoring, at 12-under, and collected a total of 26 par-breakers – and just four bogeys. Driving distance may become a bit more important this year as thunderstorms rolled in Wednesday and softened up the course, though we know birdie or better percentage will still be paramount as scoring opportunities become abundant. The par-3s at Trinity Forest will be set up a bit tougher than they were last year, placing even more of an emphasize on proximity with the irons as well. There's a good chance it's going to take another finishing score near Wise's 23-under, especially given the expected lack of wind throughout at least the final 36 holes.
FanDuel Value Picks
Brooks Koepka, $12,600 - Priced over $1k more than the second-most expensive option, this is a reflection of Koepka's betting odds as the clear favorite against much lesser competition. Still, you can never be totally sure he'll get up for a non-major, especially with his mind potentially set on Bethpage Black and next week's PGA Championship. Koepka harnesses the capability to go low anywhere and Trinity Forest will set up great for him in his first appearance. He currently ranks third on Tour in holes per eagle, 14th in driving distance, 22nd in birdie average and fourth in proximity from 175-200 yards.
Hideki Matsuyama, $11,500 - Residing in the top 30 of each Strokes Gained category other than putting, Matsuyama grades out well from a ball-striking standpoint on a weekly basis. The flat stick is a major drawback, however, and he's disappointed in consecutive showings with results of T31-T32 at the Wells Fargo Championship and the Masters. Matsuyama is long off the tee and precise with his irons, a combination that will go far in stacking scoring opportunities at in Dallas.
Marc Leishman, $10,800 - A bit overpriced on several other DFS sites simply due to his runner-up finish at Trinity Forest last year, this is a much more reasonable expense for Leishman. His past three showings in a stroke-play setting aren't too inspiring, however, finishing MC-T49-T58 from the PLAYERS Championship through the RBC Heritage. Nonetheless, he still ranks sixth in SG: Approach and 14th in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds. Leishman held at least a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson, racking up a trio of eagles in the process.
Charles Howell III, $10,400 - Back-to-back missed cuts at the Wells Fargo Championship and RBC Heritage could help shift ownership away from Howell, but he's still third on Tour in GIR percentage and second in par-4 scoring. He notched a top-10 at Trinity Forest last year, when he carded just two bogeys the entire tournament despite finishing only T54 in GIR percentage.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Thomas Pieters, $9,800 - The fiery Belgian will be looking to fine tune his game ahead of the PGA Championship after struggling to results of T41-MC in his past two starts at the Maybank Championship and Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which came on the heels of nine consecutive top-30s from the CIMB Classic through the Oman Open. Pieters is capable of much more than just a temper tantrum or two: he ranks 12th on the European Tour in birdie average, 30th in driving distance, 22nd in SG: Tee-to-Green and 21st in putts per GIR.
Ryan Palmer, $9,700 - A 42-year-old Texan, Palmer fits the mold for Trinity Forest as he ranks 11th on Tour in GIR percentage, fourth in par-4 scoring and fifth in birdie average. He's finished top-10 in a third of his starts this season and he gained 4.3 strokes putting during his previous showing at the RBC Heritage, rebounding with a top-30 at Harbour Town after missed cuts at the Valero Texas Open and PLAYERS Championship.
Dylan Frittelli, $8,800 - Although he originally hails from South Africa, Frittelli will have the crowd behind him this week as he played a key role in winning a national championship for the University of Texas back in 2012. Since then he's risen as high as 44th in the OWGR, but is most recently coming off a top-25 at the Wells Fargo Championship where he averaged just over four par-breakers per round. Frittelli ranks 36th in SG: Off-the-Tee, ninth in holes per eagle and 24th in par-5 scoring.
Hank Lebioda, $8,100 - Up to eighth among the field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds, Lebioda hasn't missed a cut since February's Puerto Rico Open. He's sneakily 40th in birdie average, 31st in proximity and 45th in total driving on Tour, but will need to make improvements with his putting from inside 10 feet at Trinity Forest.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
Fading Koepka at the top of the board might actually become a contrarian play despite a lofty price tag that would normally reduce ownership, given the fact that Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Henrik Stenson aren't too enticing just underneath Matsuyama. There's much more value in the $10k range, so picking a collection of these options would allow you to stray from dipping too far down when selecting cheaper lineup cabooses such as Lebioda.