Houston Open picks, sleepers for daily fantasy golf contests

The Masters is just a week away, but before then the PGA Tour returns to Houston for the Houston Open, which is held at the Golf Club of Houston. The field is fairly strong with guys like Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson (unfortunately, Tiger Woods isn't playing) all electing to play this week as one final tune up before Augusta. It’s difficult to gauge the interest level that the top players have in actually winning this event, and historically we have seen guys who need to win to get into the Masters get it done on Sunday. I’ll personally be limiting my exposure to this event due to some of these motivation factors, but I do have a lot of interest in completely fading the top end and starting daily fantasy golf lineups with picks in the $9,000 range.

Houston Open picks, sleepers for daily fantasy golf contests

Houston Open picks, sleepers for daily fantasy golf contests

The Golf Club of Houston is a fairly long course at just over 7,400 yards. The rough is short and not penal, possibly to try to mimic Augusta National, and there is water in play on over half of the holes. This leads to strokes gained: off-the-tee being a key stat this week, as players can blast driver off the tee and try to take the water danger out of play with the rough being not being a big factor.

The greens at Houston are bent grass, also to try to mimic Augusta National, and run fast. However, this course is one of the easiest courses to put within 10 feet, so it’s not uncommon to see typically poor putters play well.

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Key Stats:

Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee
Birdie or Better Percentage
Driving Distance
Par 5 Scoring


Houston Open picks (Daily Fantasy Golf)


Top-Tier Targets

Daniel Berger - $9,400

If you’re like me and looking to fade some of the more elite players in the field, then starting your lineup with a guy like Berger makes a ton of sense. Berger has posted back-to-back fifth-place finishes at this event and should fly under the radar coming off a poor showing in the match play. However, Berger is just a bad match-play player, as it is, so there really should be a ton of concern about last week.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello - $9,300

The Houston Open has a long track record of having historically below-average putters win the event, and this year that guy could be Cabrera-Bello. Like Berger, Rafa is in that price tier that I’m looking to build a lot of my lineups around. He is striking the ball great right now and was playing awesome at the match play but just ran into a few other hot players in CH3 and Phil. Rafa is already in the Masters field, but I don’t have too many motivation concerns with him never having won on the PGA Tour before. He also won the Scottish Open the week before last year’s The Open Championship.

Others to Consider: Rickie Fowler, Russell Henley

Mid-Tier Targets

Byeong-Hun An - $8,700

Benny An has been up and down throughout this season, but he's shown some great upside and his game is a nice fit for Houston. He is long off the tee and should be able to take advantage of the Par 5s on this layout, which helps his fantasy scoring upside. Ben An is another guy who is historically a horrendous putter and who may be helped by the ease of these greens within 10 feet.

Thomas Pieters - $7,500

Pieters is another off-the-tee bomber who I’ll be looking at this week and is an excellent value at $7,500 on DraftKings. While he struggled at the match play, Pieters has made every cut this season and can score with the best of them when his game is on. Like Ben An, Pieters should be able to crush the Par 5s and rack up birdies on a course where scoring is necessary.

Others to Consider: Charles Howell, Jason Dufner, Peter Uihlein (GPP)

MORE DFS: Lineup Builder | Strategy

Value Targets

Sean O’Hair - $7,200

The field this week offers some interesting deep plays in the low-$7,000 range, and for tournaments a guy that I really like is O’Hair. He is playing some nice golf right now, with fishes of T-12 and T-7 at the Honda Classic and Bay Hill, respectively, and has a decent track record in Houston. He has posted finishes of T-10 and T-49 here the past two years and should be less than five-percent owned in large-field tournaments.

James Hahn - $7,100

I’ll always look to target Hahn at longer tracks where off-the-tee game is crucial, and I won’t be going away from Hahn this week with him in good form. Hahn has been very consistent this year, going 10-for-10 in cuts made with most of those finishing coming inside the top 35. Hahn doesn’t have a great history at this event but his game should be a good fit on paper, so I’m willing to take a few shots on him in tournaments.

Punt Plays to Consider: Jason Kokrak, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer

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