This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Wells Fargo Championship
Course: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm (7,160 yards, par 70)
Winner: $1,620,000 and 500 FedExCup points
Prior to this year, the Wells Fargo Championship had been held at Quail Hollow Club every year since 2003, except 2017 when it was moved to nearby Eagle Point Golf Club as it underwent changes to host the PGA Championship later that year. In 2022 Quail Hollow will take another one-year hiatus to get ready for the President's Cup in late September Enter TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Maryland. This course has hosted a number of previous events across multiple professional tours, most recently being the Quicken Loans National in 2017 and 2018. The par-70 tips at 7,160 yards after the two par-5's were both extended by over 20 yards.
Rory McIlory will make his first start since his runner-up finish at the Masters as he looks to defend his Wells Fargo Championship, albeit under unusual circumstances being a different course. McIlroy has absolutely tore up Quail Hollow throughout his career with three victories, so we'll have to see if he can have success on a course that presents a different kind of challenge. There is certainly a strong international presence at the top of the FanDuel salary board. Of the top seven options, only Tony Finau, who is coming off a runner-up finish in Mexico, is from America.
The first round will present the best weather of the week. That will then be followed by much cooler temperatures over the final three rounds and strong possibilities of rain on Friday and Saturday. That will soften the course up considerably and likely bring better scoring for the field. TPC Potomac played as the toughest par-70 in non-majors in 2017, but then got ripped apart by Francesco Molinari in 2018 when he won by eight at 21-under-par.
2021 – Rory McIlroy (-10)
2020 – None
2019 – Max Homa (-15)
2018 – Jason Day (-12)
2017 – Brian Harman (-10)
2016 – James Hahn (-9)
2015 – Rory McIlroy (-21)
2014 – J.B. Holmes (-14)
2013 – Derek Ernst (-8)
2012 – Rickie Fowler (-14)
Key Stats to Victory
- GIR Percentage
- SG: Approach
- Driving Accuracy
TPC Potomac will be one of the biggest driving tests of the season. There is a lot of trouble just off some of these narrow fairways in the form of winding creeks or thick woods. This isn't a place that really allows for recovery shots if you hit it into trouble. The rough will be trimmed to about 2.5 inches, but the expected rain throughout the tournament will make that play more penal. This is definitely a course that requires decisions off the tee and grabbing driver might not always be the play. The greens here are just below average for the PGA Tour in size and do feature a decent amount of undulation as well. This will be a test of target golf and precision ball-striking, so be sure to place emphasis on driving accuracy and greens in regulation. The bentgrass greens will be prepped to run around 12.5 on the Stimpmeter, but it may slow down over the weekend with the expected precipitation.
FanDuel Value Picks
Corey Conners ($11,700)
TPC Potomac just screams Conners' name. From a ball striking perspective, you'd be very hard pressed to find anyone better over the last three years. He just hits a ton of fairways and greens in regulation and gives himself so many chances. After a difficult start to 2022, Conners is clicking on all cylinders with four top-12 finishes in his last six starts.
Marc Leishman ($11,200)
Leishman has been remarkably consistent this season with just two finishes outside the top 40 on the PGA Tour. The Aussie is gaining strokes in every category this season and ranks 19th in SG: Putting, 46th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 34th in GIR percentage, 28th in scrambling and 14th in birdie average. Leishman has as much course history as anyone in this field scoring a T5 in 2017 and a T13 in 2018.
Gary Woodland ($11,100)
Woodland seems to always play well on courses like this that presents a lot of different options off the tee. Short game and putting have often been his downfall, but this season Woodland is gaining at least a tenth of a stroke per round in every single strokes gained category. That's a big part of the reason he has racked up three top-8s and five top-25s over his last seven starts.
Keegan Bradley ($10,800)
Bradley has played very well recently with four top-11 finishes in his last six starts. He ranks 29th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 24th in SG: Approach, 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green and 15th in proximity to the hole. Bradley's putting and short game have also seen sizable improvements the last couple months. The 2011 PGA Championship winner scored a top-five finish at TPC Potomac back in 2017.
Longer Shots with Value
Brandon Wu ($9,100)
Wu put together his best showing on the PGA Tour last week in Mexico in the form of a T2 finish with an eight-under 63 in the final round. Wu ranked seventh in SG: Off-the-Tee, eighth in SG: Approach, seventh in SG: Putting and T5 in GIR last week. He is a player that showed he had a ton of potential in college and now appears to be finding his groove with finishes of T3-T33-T28-T21-T2 over his last five starts.
Nate Lashley ($8,800)
Lashley has finished top-20 in four of his last six starts and checks in at a very generous price this week. Lashley just missed out on a top-10 in Mexico and ranked top-20 in SG: Approach, SG: Putting, and GIR percentage. There's no reason to jump ship while he continues to produce.
Tyler Duncan ($8,300)
Duncan was a player I was on last week and he ended up missing the cut. With his salary number going down a bit this week, I'm going to stick with Duncan. TPC Potomac should play to his strength even more than Vidanta did with a higher emphasis on hitting fairways and greens. Duncan ranks fifth this season in driving accuracy and eighth in proximity to the hole. Prior to Mexico he had finished top-35 in five of six starts.
Ryan Armour ($8,200)
Armour is a sneaky play because he's made only 11 starts this season but grades out highly in a number of key metrics. He ranks 18th in SG: Off-the-Tee, first in driving accuracy, first in proximity to the hole and 18th in scrambling. Armour also finished runner-up the last time TPC Potomac was on the PGA Tour calendar.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
This is a very deep field that doesn't feel top-heavy at all. With limited course history to go back on and big penalties for missing fairways, it feels like the list of players that could win this week is really wide open. I think that allows DFS players a lot of different options on how to construct their lineups with value all the way down to the $7,000 range. I'm not huge fans of top options Rory McIlroy or Tony Finau this week, because I think this course may take their best club out of their hands this week. Also Patrick Reed being $11,000 this week is a crime. The man ranks 201st in SG: Off-the-tee and 199th in SG: Approach.