2022 Pebble Beach Pro-Am Expert Selections, odds, DFS: Maverick McNealy, Daniel Berger standout on PGA Tour this week

HONOLULU, HAWAII - JANUARY 13: Maverick McNealy of the United States plays his shot from the fourth tee during the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on January 13, 2022 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
By Dennis Esser Feb 2, 2022 32

The PGA Tour moves up the coast of California to compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. While Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of the most iconic golf courses in the world, it has not attracted the best players on the PGA Tour for quite a while. I’m not sure if it’s the multiple course format or having to play with amateurs that have the big names on tour cross it off when they set their schedules. With the competing Saudi International drawing 21 of the top 50 in the world, the PGA Tour has come up with some unique rules for those that needed their release to head over and participate. Players like Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau will have to play the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am two out of the next three years in exchange for allowing them to go to participate in the Saudi International this week.

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a 54-hole cut with players playing three different courses the first three days and finishing up at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday. All three courses are under 7,000 yards in length and feature small to medium-sized greens. Spyglass Hill Golf Course is usually the hardest of the three so I would look elsewhere for first-round leader bets and DraftKings Showdown lineups. The weather and the wind can change in a heartbeat along the coast so picking AM or PM waves for Showdown is a solid strategy. Course history versus current form is going to be very interesting this week as we have some course horses coming into this week in bad form such as Jordan Spieth and Kevin Streelman. We can swing for the fences with some low-priced plays that make a ton of birdies that might have more volatility when it comes to missing a cut. We may have to if we want to play two high-priced players in our lineups.

The Farmers Insurance Open was jam-packed with excitement on Saturday. Luke List finally mafra putt on his back nine and it was on the all-important 18th hole in his final round when he needed it to post 15-under par and take the clubhouse lead. Will Zalatoris leaving his birdie putts one revolution short was maddening for all of us who were backing him to win his first PGA Tour tournament. Jason Day holing out for eagle to tie the lead when everyone else looked like they were stuck in neutral. Jon Rahm once again looking like he could steal the tournament late, but failed to convert a birdie on 18 that would have eventually put him in a playoff with Zalatoris and List.

My betting card from last week on the surface looks poor as many missed the cut, but in actuality, it set me up for a very nice week. Will Zalatoris and his 33-1 odds would have been a fantastic winners ticket to cash, but he put me and I hope some of you in a position to hedge the playoff and come out of the tournament with a nice payday. Luke List at +110 to win is still a cashed winner and a great way to keep building that bankroll. I’m a little less confident going into this week because of the relatively weak field and history of players winning out of nowhere. Ted Potter Jr. anyone?

Betting Slip

Daniel Berger +1100 won here last season in impressive fashion. He has gained strokes on approach in 15 straight measured tournaments. He finished 20th last week at the Farmers which doesn’t really suit his game and gained strokes across the board.

Maverick McNealy +2500 is the local player who seems destined to lift a trophy here. His game is improving all around and he’s a solid Sunday away from winning very soon. He closed with a birdie and an eagle last week at the Farmers which vaulted him up the leaderboard and put some big fantasy points on the board. He finished T5 in 2020 and 2nd last season.

Lanto Griffin +3300 is riding a six straight tournament made cut streak with three top 10s included. He finished 3rd at the American Express and then finished 30th at the Farmer Insurance Open gaining over 3.5 strokes on approach. He finished T9 here back in 2020 so he has some positive vibes going in.

Kevin Kisner +5000 has made three out of his last four cuts here with a T10 back in 2017. He comes into this week in fine form from his starts in Hawaii. He finished eighth and third at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open respectively. He gained 5.9 strokes on approach combined in those tournaments and looked to be back to his old self on the greens where he gained 9.4 strokes putting combined.

DFS Plays

Patrick Cantlay $11,200 is priced too low! With this field and the odds that I am seeing on him to win he would have to be $12,000 or more for me to really think about putting the breaks on playing him. The $700 price break down to Daniel Berger probably means we won’t see too many Cash and 50/50 lineups with Cantlay. I’m having no issues putting him in GPP lineups and coming away really happy with the build.

Daniel Berger $10,500 is a core play this week. He has the added distraction of being the returning champion with all of the responsibilities, but this price is just too good to ignore.

Jordan Spieth $10,300 lost strokes on approach in six of his last seven tournaments since his second-place finish at the Open Championship. I’m not sure if he is injured again or has just lost his way. I could see MAYBE putting him in one GPP lineup as a hope and wish with his course history here, but I wouldn’t gamble and play him across the board.

Jason Day $9,900 played decently at the American Express, but I was hesitant to go back to him at the Farmers Insurance Open and I got burned. He looks healthy and is starting to trust his new fade swing off the tee. His putting was as solid as ever this past week, but he did flub a few important chips when he was tied for the lead. He’s finished inside the top 10 in each of the last five years with four of them being top 5s.

Maverick McNealy $9,800 being priced right next to Jason Day is such a dilemma for the average DFS Player. I’m leaning towards playing more McNealy this week even though he is priced much higher than he usually is. I’m hoping that price bumps scares some of the ownership away.

Justin Rose $9,600 had a chance to post a number at the Farmers Insurance Open, but found the water with his second shot into 18 that killed any shot. He looks healthy and solid going into this week. I love the price and would imagine he would be heavily in play for more people if he had more recent results at Pebble Beach. You can’t have all three in your lineups so you may have to mix-and-match and possibly play a few more lineups to get the right balance.

Seamus Power $9,400 has excellent recent form and jumps off the board in my model from a stats perspective. He just doesn’t have a great course history. Much like I have said before with him, you almost have to put his course history in the past and play him like a new golfer. He’s evolved.

Lanto Griffin $8,800 See above.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout $8,700 has made 16 of 17 cuts since 2020 on the PGA Tour. He finished third in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship. He is off to a good start on the PGA Tour this season and looks poised to set up roots over here this year. He has gained 3.4 strokes on approach in two out of his last three tournaments.

Brian Harman $8,600 was not playing well heading into the American Express. He hadn’t gained strokes on his approach shots since his missed cut at the John Deere back in 2021. He’s never going to gain strokes off the tee so he needs to be precise with his irons and especially his wedges to score. He gained 4.6 strokes on approach at the American Express on his way to a third-place finish. I’m going to sprinkle him in some GPP lineups, but I don’t trust him in cash games.

Mito Pereira $8,300 is third in the field in strokes gained approach over his last 36 rounds. He’s been so solid if not spectacular lately. No reason to ignore him this week.

Lucas Glover $7,800 has two straight made cuts here in 2019 and 2020. He followed up his fifth place finish at the Sony Open with a solid top 35 at the American Express. He has actually putt decently the last two tournaments being a slight positive. He has gone to an elongated arm lock putting style.

Matt Kuchar $7,600 has three straight made cuts here and has five straight top 40 finishes on the PGA Tour this season. He finished seventh at the Sony Open and seemed to be in control of his irons. He is first in the field in strokes gained around the greens and that will be an important stat as the greens are small and players will need to be able to get it up and down.

Joel Dahmen $7,500 is 10th in the field in ball striking over his last 36 rounds. He had a strong fall, but so far has been a little slow out of the gate in 2022. His putter will need to get better to build on his 2020-2021 season. He’s got four straight made cuts here so I think he can bounce back.

Nick Taylor $7,300 has made five out of his last six cuts and is a former winner here. He’s gained strokes on approach in two straight tournaments.

Sahith Theegala $7,200 has only two missed cuts since July and gained 3.8 strokes on approach last week at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has a way of making a score whether he is out of position or not. I like his game and his ability to make birdies.

Matthias Schwab $7,100 After finishing eighth at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, he finished his fall strong with top 35s at the Houston Open and the RSM Classic. I keep waiting for him to be a thing and it doesn’t ever seem to happen. I’m going to sprinkle him this week hoping he finally breaks through for a top 10.

Charl Schwartzel $7,100 is probably going to be a bit of a forgotten player down in this price range. The former Masters Champion had a T5 here back in 2020 and has the hands to score on these small greens. He didn’t have a great finish to his fall, but I’m hoping his extended layoff got his game back in order.

Greyson Sigg $7,000 has three straight made cuts and should benefit from all three courses being short. He positions the ball well off the tee and will need to be more consistent on the greens, but tough to ignore at this price. J.J. Spaun ($7,000) may be a good pivot if you build some lineups and want to ride either of the hot hands. Spaun hasn’t played well at Pebble Beach, but his recent form is very good.

David Lipsky $7,000 has made two straight cuts and is one of my favorite young players on tour. He is 27th in the field on approach over his last 36 rounds. He will be involved in my GPP lineups.

Ryan Armour $6,900 played great at the Sony Open and will hope to carry that over into this week despite the two-week layoff. He gained 6.3 strokes on approach as he finished 20th.

Satoshi Kodaira $6,900 has missed two straight cuts here at Pebble Beach but looked really good at the Sony Open where he gained 4.7 strokes on approach for the week. I think he’s a solid gamble.

I really don’t trust anyone below this price. I will make some stars and scrubs lineups and use one player below this 7K line, but it won’t be the same guy used in every lineup.

One and Done

I chickened out in all of my One and Dones and ran with Ryan Palmer instead of taking a chance on Sam Burns at the Farmers Insurance Open. I didn’t update in the comments so I get a big fat zero added to my One and Done totals for us. This week I am all over Jason Day, Maverick McNealy, and Daniel Berger. My plan since last season was to take Maverick McNealy here this week and I don’t see any reason to change my mind right now. Jason Day is awfully tempting with his form and history here. I may flip flop on this so check in the comments on Wednesday night.

My stats come from my go-to site for golf statistics and lineup building: FantasyNational.com. I look forward to bringing you the very best in fantasy golf coverage and betting at The Athletic and interacting with all of you and maybe building some winning lineups and betting cards together. Please leave your questions below or hit me up on Twitter @CoachEsser.

(Photo of Maverick McNealy: Christian Petersen / Getty Images; The Athletic may receive an affiliate commission if you open an account with BetMGM through links contained in the above article.)

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