All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman
Go follow BigBucksNoWhammie (@BPSnow11 on Twitter) for an AMAZING course preview and please check out my 2018 recap and 2019 preview on amateurhourgolfpod.com for most exciting moments from last season, young guys I’m excited for in 2019, early Major predictions, and much more!
Solid DK week and a solid tournament overall as we saw Justin Rose continue to be as impressive as ever and seemingly never falter despite his 3 doubles on the weekend. He is so consistent week in and week out and I agree with something Faldo said on the broadcast on Saturday (which is rare that I agree with Faldo), which is that Rose isn’t going to blow up and shoot 78 on the weekend and will also likely not shoot a 63; if someone wants to catch him they have to go ultra-low and go post a stellar Sat/Sun or at least make a Sunday charge. Rose continued to make birdies and take advantage of unbelievable scoring conditions that made for less drama on Sunday than I would have liked but still incredibly impressive.
From a fantasy perspective it was a very successful one as most of the core made the cut and I had a solid 30% exposure to the #1 player in the world when he was 10-12% in most contests… baffling. Woodland made the cut on the number and proceeded to have a stud -6 round on Sunday to get himself in the Top 10 and boost up about 75% of my teams, while Leishman and Grillo made the cut but both didn’t do a ton on the weekend. Varner had a chance to make it on the 36th hole with about a 10-footer but missed and put around 30% of my teams to a 5/6 through the cut. I get what I get for playing Hadley, but I thought I would take a shot… whoops. Let’s move onto the most fun non-major event of the year and the Waste Management Open. I actually got to play this course 2 weeks ago when everything was set up and it was a truly surreal experience. Fairways were much narrower than I thought, there isn’t much of it but some of the rough is THICK, and those finishing holes are some of the best drama I can think of for the TOUR.
For an in-depth course preview, go check out Bucks’ preview on Gups Corner (@GupsCorner on Twitter).
Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)
In order of importance (excluding SG: T2G since it’s ALWAYS key):
- SG: BS
- SG: APP Blend (emphasis on 175-200)
- SG: Par 5s
- GIRs Gained
- Bogey Avoidance
- DK Points
- 3 Putt Avoidance
- BoB Gained/Opportunities Gained
Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):
9K and Above:
Justin Thomas ($11,000): Not a ton needs to be said to sell Justin Thomas with the exception of maybe that he hasn’t torn this course up (yet) as he has two T17 finishes and two MCs in his four trips here. Stats wise he’s a stud, ranking 4th in SG: BS, 9th in the SG: APP Blend, 12th in SG: Par 5s, 5th in BoB/Opps. Gained, 20th in GIRs Gained, 20th in DK Points, and the list could go on and on. His last 3 starts have resulted in 16th, 3rd, and 12th place finishes and I think he’s most likely primed for another Top 10 at worst this week. I will target around 50% exposure minimum to ensure I double the field.
Webb Simpson ($9,700): We haven’t seen Webb since the tournament of champions where he finished 8th, but he was coming off of a 3rd place prior to that and a 15th back in October. He’s played this event a ton, 8 times in the last 10 years, and it has treated him well with a 2nd (playoff loss), two T8 finishes, a 10th, and a 14th in that span. His stats all rank in the upper tier of the field, with the exception of Par 5s which are still fine, but he ranks 46th; others of a note: 21st in SG: BS, 18th in the SG: APP Blend, 12th in 3 Putt Avoidance, 15th in BoB/Opps Gained, and 12th in Bogey Avoidance. Ever since he found the putter all of 2018, Webb has been one of the most consistent guys on TOUR and I expect that to continue. I will have Webb as one of my highest owned at 50% exposure.
Others I like as possible core plays: Matt Kuchar (#1 in my overall model), Cam Smith, Rickie Fowler
Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):
Billy Horschel ($8,800): Coming off of a solid T8 at the Farmers this past week, it marks Billy’s 3rd straight Top 25 and a continued trend upward. His history here is around average with 6 starts, 1 MC, and an average finish of around 30-35th, which is not exactly groundbreaking but solid for DK purposes. Horschel excels in some of the key facets of TPC Scottsdale as he ranks 13th in GIRs Gained, 18th in SG: Par 5s, 16th in Scrambling, and 25th in SG: BS. Horschel has the potential to pick up some buzz this week after a solid finish as I expect around 15-20% ownership so I will target 40-50% exposure.
J.J. Spaun ($7,100): I’m hoping people have soured on Spaun a little bit since he was a chalky pick last week and missed the cut by several shots; however, I think he remains in solid form and a great play this week. Prior to last week, Spaun had made 4 straight cuts, including a 3rd place finish at Mayakoba in October. His course history is interesting as he W/D last year and finished 4th in his debut in 2017, so hard to say if he likes this course or not. Per his stats, he ranks 20th in GIRs Gained, 43rd in SG: Par 5s, 41st in Bogey Avoidance, and 47th in the SG: APP Blend. I think we’re getting Spaun at a great discount this week and won’t need him to win the tournament to return value but get us a Top 25/20 finish or better as part of our secondary core. I will target around 25% exposure depending on ownership.
***Other guys I like in this range: Jason “The Coat Rack” Kokrak aka Jason Snortin the Kokrak, Chez Reavie, Harold Varner III, Lucas Glover, Robert Streb, Sung Kang***
Low Tier Options (Under 7K):
Ryan Armour ($6,900): Very cheap price for a solid ball striker who ranks 25th in Scrambling, 24th in Proximity, 21st in Bogey Avoidance, and 24th in GIRs Gained. Armour has made 3 of his last 4 cuts, finishing 22nd, 15th, and 21st, yet has only played here once, missing the cut. This is more of a low exposure play for me but one I’m interested in as I expect low ownership, Armour has the ability to rack up DK Points (ranks 46th in the field in Last 5 DK Average), and can make the cut, which is all we’re asking for at this price. I expect to have around 15% exposure.
My Favorite Cash Game Plays
1) Webb Simpson
2) Matt Kuchar
3) Lucas Glover
4) Chez Reavie
Fades for Me
Taylor Gooch: Has been playing spectacular the last 2 events (3rd and 4th) but he’s about to be mega chalk and I will steer clear of that
Joel Dahmen (GPPs): I will most likely full fade in GPPs as he’s about to be one of the highest owned players on the slate but am still considering in cash… chalk $6,800 rarely works.
Jon Rahm: Ownership fade and I expect maybe some fatigue? Has played 4 weeks in a row.
Hideki: Astronomical ownership and I will probably eat my words when he finishes in the Top 3
My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 35% Key Stats, 45% Recent Form, 10% Course History, and 10% in Average DK Points in their last 5 events
- Matt Kuchar
- Gary Woodland
- Jon Rahm
- Webb Simpson
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Justin Thomas
- Talor Gooch
- Xander Schauffele
- Tony Finau
- Cameron Smith
- Hideki Matsuyama – 22%
- Gary Woodland – 20%
- Matt Kuchar – 17%
- Tony Finau – 15%
- Joel Dahmen – 15%
Betting/One and Done
Wanted to add to this article to provide possible betting insights and some options for any One and Done pools that you’re in as well as some pivot options. Please note that these are not always one’s that I personally have bet; however, I will note when I have bet them and at what number. Hopefully you either find better numbers, fade me completely, or let me know who you’re betting!
Joel Dahmen: 150/1
Pros: Great form, great Par 5 scorer, doesn’t make a ton of bogeys
Cons: Could be a total chalk bomb and MC; wears bucket hats
Ryan Palmer: 80/1
Pros: Solid ball striker, good on SG: APP, solid Par 5 scorer, makes a lot of birdies
Cons: Has missed his last 2 cuts here; has been known to back down on Sundays
Billy Horschel: 40/1
Pros: Great ball striker, GIRs player, and can get hot (birdies in bunches)
Cons: Has the ability to blow up, can 3-putt
One and Done: Note that not all chalk is bad but if you want to differentiate here are some options
Predicted “chalk” for OAD – Hideki, Rahm, Phil, Kuchar, Woodland, Finau
Chez Reavie: Lost in a playoff last year and this is his home course
Bubba Watson: Not in form but he’s had a bunch of strong finishes here
Keegan Bradley: Solid OTT/approaches/proximity; needs an average putting week
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