Top DFS Picks for the 2021 Valspar Championship
Thanks to a bit of shuffling on the schedule, the 2021 Valspar Championship boasts an elite field packed with tons of household names.
Facing the players this week is the Copperhead Course – a brutally difficult assignment that PGATour.com’s Adam Stanley calls “As complete an examination as TOUR players will face all year.”
The par-71 layout sits about 25 miles northwest of Tampa as the centerpiece of Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club. The site of back-to-back victories by Paul Casey has been the home of this event since its inception (2000).
No matter how you slice it, this is a really hard golf course.
For a look at who’s best positioned to tame the “Snake Pit,” here’s a look at my top Valspar Championship DFS picks.
Viktor Hovland – $10,500
Slotted third on DK’s price sheet ahead of guys like Paul Casey and Patrick Reed should help curb Hovland’s ownership %.
And while he’s a newbie when it comes to competing at the Copperhead Course, everything about Viktor’s game screams that he’ll be a great fit.
On top of being long and accurate off the tee, the 23-year-old two-time winner is surgical with his irons.
Armed with just a single missed cut and a boatload of top-10 finishes among his last 27 starts, look for Hovland to continue padding his bank account in Palm Harbor.
Viktor Hovland officially put @PingTour’s i59 irons and Glide Forged Pro wedges in play. Both changes happened to coincide with a switch to @Titleist’s 2021 Pro V1x ball the same week. Hovi’s been busy testing.April 23, 2021
Justin Rose – $8,800
If there’s a time and a place to go back to trusting Justin Rose, this is the week to do it.
7th at the Masters and 11th at the Zurich Classic hint that the former world #1 is regaining his form. Then again, that’s simply just an added bonus after studying his course history at this Larry Packard design.
Rosy has racked up five top-15s at the Valspar Championship, which includes finishing 5th the last time he was here. Going back to the 2014 edition, Justin leads all Valspar Championship participants in SG: Total.
Also worth noting, Rose leads the PGA Tour in par-3 scoring. The Copperhead Course is one of the few on TOUR that features five par 3s.
Emiliano Grillo – $8,300
Penciled in as one of my top DFS picks for the Valspar Championship, Emiliano Grillo’s $8,300 price tag feels like a major discount.
We are talking about a guy who’s finished 2nd and 6th in his last two starts, not to mention he’s one of the soundest ball-strikers you’re ever going to encounter.
Ranked 2nd on the PGA Tour in GIR this year (7th in GIR last season), it’s the noticeable improvements on the greens that’s allowing the Grillo to surge into contention.
|Emiliano Grillo Putting Stats – By the Numbers|
|Year||Putts Per Round||Putting Inside 10′||Putting from 10-15′|
More good golf is in store from the 28-year-old Argentinian.
Chris Kirk – $8,200
While Grillo saunters into the west coast of Florida strapped with back-to-back top-6 finishes, Chris Kirk is right there with him with consecutive top-7s.
Examining his play over the past 12 months, Kirk’s post-pandemic revival is officially in full swing.
- OWGR in June 2020 – #522
- OWGR in April 2021 – #62
Lurking inside the top-10 in both front-nine and back-nine scoring average, Chris is a safe bet to perform favorably this week.
Among my Valspar Championship predictions, Kirk is one of the genuine sleepers to keep an eye on.
Charles Howell III – $7,700
The harder the course plays and the more the wind blows, the more I like Charles Howell III’s chances of success. Enter the Valspar Championship.
After an unexpectedly slow start on the West Coast Swing, CHIII addressed his shortcomings through hard work at home and is back to cashing checks.
Howell gained momentum with a top-10 at THE PLAYERS and is fresh off shooting the low final round at the RBC Heritage (T18).
In case you’re wondering how Charles has played at the Copperhead Course in the past, here’s what I could gather.
He didn’t make the trip to Palm Harbor in 2019, but he made the cut here every year between 2014 and 2018. That includes finishing 14th-10th-5th from 2014-2016.
Jamie Lovemark – $6,400
Likely not on many people’s radar when it comes to Valspar Championship DFS picks, there’s a lot working in Jamie Lovemark’s favor.
First and foremost, Jamie was the runner-up at the MGM Resorts Championship at Paiute (Korn Ferry Tour) two weeks ago. This proves his game is in a good place and that he can persevere through windy conditions.
As if any expectations can be carried into this week, that’s where Lovemark’s fondness for Innisbrook Resort comes into play.
Jamie has played here four times since 2012 – improving his finish each and every time.
|Jamie Lovemark’s – Results at the Valspar Championship Since 2012|
My 2021 Valspar Championship DFS Lineup for GPPs
- Viktor Hovland – $10,500
- Justin Rose – $8,800
- Emiliano Grillo – $8,300
- Chris Kirk – $8,200
- Charles Howell III – $7,700
- Jamie Lovemark – $6,400
Just three Americans are showcased among my top DFS picks for the Valspar Championship and perhaps that’s too many.
Not only is Jordan Spieth is the last American to hoist the hardware in Palm Harbor (in 2015), but the top-6 players on the 2019 leaderboard yielded names from five different countries.
Just a little food for thought before you lock in your Valspar Championship picks. More insight into this week’s festivities can be obtained in the following post.