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!
As a Patriots fan I am ecstatic that they captured their 6th (!!!) Super Bowl this past Sunday, since 2001, but the end of the Waste Management provided an equal amount of stress as the big game and was overall significantly more exciting. I didn’t have Rickie as my OAD, or an outright as I saw a ton across the fantasy golf industry did, but I love Rickie as a player and as a person and was happy to see him capture one after a significant drought. He is too talented to not have at least 8-10 victories by now and I really hope this the stepping stone to his first major this year and a multiple win season. I for one was furious with how his penalty played out, resulting in a triple and loss of his 5 shot lead, but as Rickie is known for, he handled it with the utmost class and didn’t bitch or whine or let it decide his tournament. Hats off to one of the best guys on TOUR and I couldn’t be happier that he was able to close it out.
Another successful DK week as double ups hit pretty easily with a 5/6 (Glover with a brutal showing) as Varner, Kuchar, and Webb all finished well and made it pretty stress free. We had around 30-40% exposure to Rickie and a couple of top guys but Bubba’s resurgence on the back nine on Sunday sent many teams down. Some solid exposure to JT, Cam Smith, Snortin the Kokrak, and others saw another successful week. Almost more importantly, I was able to correctly identify the chalk bombs in Talor Gooch and Joel Dahmen… these seemed rather obvious to me as we know how variant putting is and guys aren’t going to gain 6 or 7 strokes on the greens week after week. I hope some took my pivots on OAD (I didn’t and got a 39th out of Horschel) as Chez and Bubba had fantastic weekends as they each finished T4. Onto one of the worst tournaments of the year with AGAIN, multiple courses, terrible TV coverage, and multiple shots of Larry the Cable Guy hacking away… This is once again a 54-hole cut with the Top 60 and Ties making the cut after Saturday and everyone plays Pebble Beach on Sunday.
Course and Weather Notes: This is being written before the tee times have been announced. This is significant because there are some sites predicting moderate wind of around 5-10 MPH while some have the Monterey Course seeing 20-25 MPH gusts on Friday. I would recommend waiting as late as possible to stack courses/tee times. Also of note, the course rotations swap on odd/even years and the course rotation for winners in 2013/2015/2017 have all gone Monterey > Spyglass > Pebble… probably a coincidence but interesting nonetheless.
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 wedges, 100-150 yards)
- SG: Par 5s
- GIRs Gained
- Scrambling/SG: Around-the-Green
- BoB/Opps Gained
- Par 4s 350-400 yards
- Fairways Gained
- DK Points
Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):
9K and Above:
Dustin Johnson ($11,400): Coming back from Saudi Arabi after a win… who cares about possible jet lag. If you have the balls to fade DJ go ahead, but I certainly don’t. I will target minimum 70% exposure.
Matt Kuchar ($10,000): Few have been as hot as this guy over the last several weeks as he has two wins and could have very well gotten a 3rd if he had putted halfway decent and gotten a few breaks this past Sunday. Two wins in his last 5 starts as well as a T4, T19, and T23. Kuch is clearly locked in as he ranks 23rd in the field in SG: BS, 9th in GIRs Gained, 4th in BoB/Opps Gained, 8th in Fairways Gained, and 17th in Scrambling. He will definitely be a core guy for me and a strong consideration for cash. 40-60%.
Others I like as possible core plays: Tony Finau, Jason Day
Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):
Russell Knox ($8,100): Having now made 5 straight cuts, this seems like a great course fit for Knox. After having up and down starts at this course over several years, he finished 15th last year and is coming off a very quietly strong T10 finish at the Waste Management. Stats wise he ranks 20th in the SG: APP blend, 30th in SG: ARG, 35th in Bob/Opps Gained, and 40th in GIRs Gained. These numbers are amazing because he doesn’t have as many rounds on the PGA Tour as most guys in the field do but he is consistently a solid finisher over on the European Tour. Further, if winds do pick up and we see rain, I like Knox’s experience in poor conditions to help him grind it out and not make big numbers. He will be part of my core at 30-40%.
Dylan Frittelli ($7,500): We’re on a bit of Euro kick in this section, but I love Frittelli to contend this week. Hasn’t played a ton on the PGA Tour recently but here are some of his European Stats: 2nd in SG: T2G, 12th in SG: APP, 4th in Par 4 Scoring, 6th in GIR%, and 4th in SG: Off-the-Tee. Frittelli missed the cut in Abu Daubi a few weeks ago but before that had 2 Top 7 finishes in his last 6 starts along with a T12 and T28. He’s likely here to see the course before the U.S. Open but I think we get him well under 10% ownership, maybe even around 5% and he can be a great core player at not a ton of exposure. I will look for around 25-30% exposure.
***Other guys I like in this range: Corey Conners, Chesson Hadley, J.B. Holmes, Talor Gooch, Doug Ghim, Sungjae Im, Michael Thompson, Rafa Cabrera Bello***
Low Tier Options (Under 7K):
Dominic Bozzelli ($6,800): Has only played this event twice and missed the cut both times, but Bozzelli is coming in with some solid finishes lately: a Top 5 a few weeks ago, a 33rd, and an 11th several weeks back during the swing season. Bozzelli can be very volatile but does a ton of DK Scoring, as he’s ranked 23rd in the field in DK Points, and can attack Par 4s, as he ranks 27th in Par 4s 350-400 yards. If Bozzelli can keep it in the fairway and have a solid Ball Striking weekend I could see him sneaking into the Top 20 and returning tremendous value at this price. I will target 10-15% exposure.
My Favorite Cash Game Plays
1) Matt Kuchar
2) Russell Knox
3) Corey Conners
4) Nate Lashley
Fades for Me
Adam Hadwin: Gaining some buzz and has performed well on “course rotation” set-ups but is a bad wind player and his only finish here is a T39
Tommy Fleetwood: Partially an ownership fade but hasn’t played this tournament before and something tells me he’s here more to get a layout of the US open rather than truly contend…
Trey Mullinax: Saw a large price bump and will be chalkier (0ver 10%) due to a solid finish at WMO
Jimmy Walker: Amazing course history but his game is nowhere near where it needs to be
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
- Dustin Johnson
- Chez Reavie
- Matt Kuchar
- Patrick Can’t Get Laid
- Talor Gooch
- Tony Finau
- Jason Day
- Branden Grace
- Paul Casey
- Adam Scott
- Dustin Johnson – 22%
- Jason Day – 20%
- Chez Reavie – 18%
- Rafa Cabrera Bello – 14%
- Tommy Fleetwood – 13%
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!
Corey Conners: 80/1
Pros: Fantastic wedge player, hits a ton of GIRs, makes birdies in bunches
Cons: Can struggle on Par 5s and around the greens
One and Done: Note that not all chalk is bad but if you want to differentiate here are some options
Predicted “chalk” for OAD – Day, DJ, Chez, Snedeker, Phil, Fleetwood
Patrick Reed: Has played well here but form is not good so people will be off; plus, he’s gone from California > Saudi Arabi > California so could have major jet lag concerns
Tony Finau: People will overreact to 1 MC but he’s still a Top 3 player in this field
Patrick Cantlay: People will be off after his brutal MC at Torrey but he’s still in very solid form
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