This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead Course (7,340 yards, par-71)
$1,206,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
The PGA Tour's ultimate stop along the Florida Swing is persistently a doozie with five of the past six champions winning at 10-under or worse, as defense mechanisms at the Innisbrook Resort include rare elevation changes in the Sunshine State. The Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor is no bomber's paradise and will force the field of 144 entrants to sacrifice distance for precision. The Valspar Championship has seen an international victor in four of the past five editions as well, as Jordan Spieth was the only American to come out on top dating back to 2014. A severely slumping Texan won't be in attendance this time around as he prepares for next week's WGC-Dell Technologies Championship, while the field at Innisbrook includes just 38 individuals from the top-100 in the Official World Golf Ranking as plenty of the game's top talent recuperates following several rounds at a stressful TPC Sawgrass. The weather should remain tame throughout the entirety of the Valspar, with temperatures rising and wind levels dying over the weekend.
Recent Past Champions
2018 – Paul Casey
2017 – Adam Hadwin
2016 – Charl Schwartzel
2015 – Jordan Spieth
2014 – John Senden
2013 – Kevin Streelman
2012 – Luke Donald
2011 – Gary Woodland
2010 – Jim Furyk
Key Stats to Victory
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Putting
Par-3 and Par-5 efficiency
The world's best player in terms of gaining strokes off the tee reached the winner's circle at TPC Sawgrass last week, but there will be a shift in statistical focus at Innisbrook where we see short and accurate hitters such as Hadwin, Donald and Furyk listed as recent champions. A steady short game is essential on one of the more difficult layouts we'll see all season, placing an emphasis on bogey avoidance as entrants attempt to get it up and down on a regular basis, especially throughout the difficult Snake Pit. A combination of five par-3s, numerous dog legs and deep rough bring long-iron play to the forefront, as proximity from over 200 yards is also key given a handful of scoring opportunities on three of Innisbrook's four par-5s. Paul Casey led the field in putting average on the way to his win here last year, which is a bulk of the battle in affiliation with scrambling.
FanDuel Value Picks
Jason Day, $11,800 - Rebounding from the back injury that forced him to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational after just six holes, Day tied for eighth at the PLAYERS Championship where he averaged just two bogeys per round and finished top-10 in both SG: Off-the-Tee and SG: Putting. He's top-4 among the field in SG: Putting and SG: Total in his last 12 rounds. Day is second to only Justin Thomas in birdie average this season, averaging five tweeters per round en route to four top-10s in six made cuts.
Jon Rahm, $11,700 - The Spaniard's frustrating confrontation with his caddie on the way to a final-round 76 at TPC Sawgrass should help limit ownership this week, along with the fact he'll be making his Innisbrook debut. Rahm's fall from atop the leaderboard at the PLAYERS shouldn't be chalked up as a total negative, we saw Rory McIlroy fail to capitalize on being in the final group seven straight times before finally picking up a win last week. Look for Rahm to use the blunder as learning experience, while he still leads this week's field in P3: 200-225 efficiency in his last 24 rounds. He's also second on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee and 14th in birdie average.
Sergio Garcia, $11,300 - The next-best Spaniard is fourth in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green in his last 12 rounds, leading to results of T22-T9-T6 dating to the WGC-Mexico Championship. Garcia has finished top-7 in his last two trips to the Valspar as well, having never missed a cut in six Innisbrook appearances. Furthermore, Garcia has gained a whopping 24.1 strokes tee-to-green over his last four starts.
Jim Furyk, $10,000 - Furyk won this event on the way to Player of the Year honors in 2010, but he still has top-10 betting odds at 48 years old on the heels of back-to-back top-10s at the PLAYERS and Honda Classic. In his last 12 rounds he's third in SG: Total, sixth in proximity and ninth in SG: Putting. Furyk owns four top-10s in 10 career attempts at the Copperhead Course as well.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Ryan Moore, $8,900 - Moore is gaining strokes in every category this season and is sixth in average distance from the edge of the fairway off the tee, leading to a top-10 ranking in driving accuracy. He's also fifth in SG: Around-the-Green and 11th in SG: Tee-to-Green in his last 12 rounds, collecting three straight top-35s in the process. Moore finished 5-3-T18 from 2015 to 2017 at the Valspar Championship.
Adam Schenk, $8,700 - A member of the top-75 in the FedExCup standings, Schenk has missed just three cuts in 14 starts while picking up four top-25s during the 2018-19 campaign thus far. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 21st in SG: Tee-to-Green and 20th in SG: Total among the Valspar field. Schenk has gained strokes approach in six of his last seven measurable events.
J.T. Poston, $8,300 - Poston's short game has been solid during a stretch of eight straight made cuts from the Sony Open to the PLAYERS, as the 25-year-old has gained strokes around the green and with the flat stick in five of his last six starts. He's 11-of-13 on the season with four top-25s, but his DFS price hasn't risen accordingly as he remains extremely affordable. Additionally, Poston notched a top-15 in his Valspar debut two years ago.
Carlos Ortiz, $8,000 - Ortiz has gained strokes approach in four consecutive starts and a hot putter at the Genesis Open led to a top-10 result. He finally made improvements around the green during his last start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, ending in a top-30 finish as well. Ortiz is solid in terms of proximity from over 200 yards but also ranks 26th on Tour in putting from inside 10 feet.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
There are plenty of values in the $9,000s as well and that range shouldn't be ignored as it is above, but I wanted to highlight the fact there are more than enough so-called duds to stack multiple studs at the top despite a significantly weaker field than the PLAYERS. It's even entirely feasible to start your lineup with Dustin Johnson, despite his pricing at nearly $1,000 more than No. 2 on the board. My targets in the $9,000-$9,900 zone would include Jason Kokrak, Kevin Kisner and Russell Knox to name a few.