All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman
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I for one am glad that tournament is over as it’s consistently the worst coverage of the year and toughest to predict as only one course (Pebble) provides ShotLink data and we end up seeing more shots from Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Murray, and Ray Romano than we do of the leaders. Case and point is there was almost no coverage of Paul Casey on Friday or Saturday despite him taking advantage of the soft conditions and shooting 64/67, respectively. I think I speak for most that we’re ready to get out of there, let them spice it up for the US Open in a few months, and move on to this absolutely STACKED field of the Genesis Open. This thing is looking like a major field as I believe 14 of the Top 25 in the OWGR are teeing it up this week. First some results and good and bad…
Some mixed results this past as I managed to escape to a breakeven week, due mostly in part to Streelman who I got on towards the end of last week as he had a solid course draw and I ended up putting him in my cash lineup (he shot the course low along with Phil on Sunday, a 65) and he salvaged what was shaping up to be a down week. Tough to have strong results when you have no exposure to the Top 3 finishers in Phil, Casey, and Scott Stallings, but so it goes and it’s nice to not take a beating.
The Good? Decent exposure to Day, Streelman, Brian Gay, Matt Every, and Matt Kuchar as well as fades of Fleetwood, Jimmy Walker, Snedeker, and Russell Henley
The Bad? Ton of exposure to DJ, Frittelli, Conners, and Finau, whom all didn’t do much or missed the cut and I should have adjusted more, especially with Finau, Conners, and Frittelli to the course/weather draws that I mentioned
Course and Weather Notes: This course is LONG, playing even longer than the official yardage and there is supposed to be quite a bit of rain throughout the week and into Thursday. This doesn’t exclude play of shorter hitters, but it definitely gives a slight advantage, if nothing else, to the bomber type golfer. Lastly, these fairways are extremely tight (about 26 yards on average) and have small greens (around 5000 sq. ft. average), which are both quite low compared to the PGA TOUR average, so we should look to target guys with big GIR% who can consistently hit fairways.
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 150-200 yards)
- SG: Par 5s
- GIRs Gained
- Fairways Gained
- SG: OTT
- BoB/Opportunities Gained
- Bogey Avoidance
- SG: Putting (emphasis on Poa)
Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):
9K and Above:
Justin Thomas ($11,000): Over his last 3 tournaments, JT has gained 10.8 strokes on APP (Tournament of Champions), 5.7 (Sony Open), and 8.4 (Waste Management)… that is unheard of and makes me question HOW he didn’t win one of those. JT finished 9th here last year and is coming off of a 3rd at the WMO where he ran into a hot Rickie and a bad Sunday, and his 3 finishes before that were 16th, 3rd, and 12th. He’ll be chalk but for good reason and is a tremendous play in all formats. 50+% exposure minimum.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,300): Similar to JT, Hideki is a SG: APP machine, having gained strokes on approach in 8 straight tournaments (where it is measured) and managed a 15th at WMO despite losing 4.1 strokes to the field putting (classic Hideki). If we can see an average putting week, Hideki ranks 2nd in SG: BS, 2nd in the SG: APP blend, 8th in GIRs Gained, 15th in BoB, and 11th in Scrambling. We could see him return to the winners circle this week and I want heavy exposure to him when it happens. 50+%.
Others plays in this range: TIGER WOODS, DJ, Bryson
Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):
Tommy Fleetwood ($8,600): FleetGOD has a US win coming extremely soon and it may very well be this week. Per his PGA stats (limited), he ranks 8th in SG: Par 5s, 5th in GIRs Gained, 26th in BoB, and 23rd in the SG: APP blend while also adding a rank of 14th SG: T2G, 18th GIR%, 41st in Driving Accuracy, and 12th SG: OTT on the European Tour. Coming off of 3 Top 16 or better finishes in his last 5 starts, I think Tommy has adjusted to the time zone over in California after last week, is seeing his best of the 3 main putting surfaces, and should shine, as he normally does, in star-studded fields. 40-60% exposure.
Matt Kuchar ($8,500): Coming up #1 in my overall model, Kuchar is on quite the hot streak right now; he’s finished Top 22 or better (with a win) in his last 4 starts and, predictably, lines up stats wise: 16th in SG: Par 5s, 6th in Bogey Avoidance, 4th in GIRs Gained, 11th in BoB, and 7th in Fairways Gained. Further, Kuchar has been quite consistent at Riviera, racking up 4 Top 25s and a Top 10 in the last 10 years with only 1 MC. He’s an auto cash play for me and heavy GPP exposure as well despite his popularity. 40-50%.
Adam Hadwin ($7,800): Speaking of guys who excel on Poa, look no further than Adam Hadwin who is second to maybe on Jason Day on that green surface and is coming off a 4 straight made cuts, including a 2nd at his seemingly favorite venue, the Desert Classic. An elite SG: OTT player, Hadwin has also made 4 straight cuts at this tournament, a 22nd, 16th, 34th, and a 6th in 2018. Stats wise, he ranks 4th in SG: Par 5s, 17th in Bogey Avoidance, 18th in SG: Putting, 9th in GIRs Gained, 15th in SG: OTT, and 10th in Fairways Gained. Not sure how builds will go, but at this low price, Hadwin will likely be my highest owned GPP play at around 60-75% exposure.
***Other guys I like in this range: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Harold Varner III, Keegan Bradley, Luke List, Charles Howell III***
Low Tier Options (Under 7K):
Jhonattan Vegas ($6,500): Here is a guy who is extremely up and down and can seemingly pop, or miss the cut by 10 shots, at any time. Vegas is popping high in my model as he is coming off a quiet T10 finish at the Waste Management and per his stats, 25th in SG: BS, 13th in Bogey Avoidance, and 9th in SG: OTT, can be a solid cut maker. At this price, and what I presume is extremely low ownership, we’re not banking on a Top 10 but rather a Top 25 or Top 30 that can allow us to get up to some of the studs. Vegas presents a very high risk/high reward, but I can see upside and will allocate 10-15% exposure.
My Favorite Cash Game Plays
1) Hideki Matsuyama
2) Matt Kuchar
3) Adam Hadwin
4) Rafa Cabrera Bello
Fades for Me
Jason Kokrak: Mostly an ownership fade here as he’s about to be mega-chalk and I can see this going similarly to Joel Dahmen chalk week a few weeks ago at the Waste Management
Bubba Watson: Clearly loves this course with 3 wins in 5 years but it’s a high price tag and he could very well approach 25-30% ownership…no thanks
Rory McIlroy: Can’t play everyone and I’ll take the narrative, and he said it straight up, that playing with Tiger affects his game (first 2 rounds they’re paired); he needs a Top 5 to pay off this price, too
Tony Finau: People will chase his 2nd place finish last year but once again you can’t play everyone and Finau hasn’t been as consistent this year as the last few
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
- Dustin Johnson
- Justin Thomas
- Marc Leishman
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Charles Howell III
- Bryson Dechambeau
- Chez Reavie
- Xander Schauffele
- Jon Rahm
- Dustin Johnson – 22%
- Bubba Watson – 20%
- Matt Kuchar – 17%
- Jason Kokrak – 17%
- Justin Thomas – 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!
Luke List: 110/1
Pros: Bomber, hits fairways, and can gouge Par 5s
Cons: Literally one of the worst putters of all time
Keegan Bradley: 125/1
Pros: Very accurate, good around the greens
Cons: Also one of the worst putters of all time
Keegan Bradley Top 5: 16/1
Adam Hadwin Top 5: 10/1
J.T. Poston Top 20: 5/1
Jhonattan Vegas Top 20: 6.5/1
One and Done: Note that not all chalk is bad but if you want to differentiate here are some options
Predicted “chalk” for OAD – Bubba, Xander, DJ, Hideki, JT, Bryson
Chez Reavie: Was heavy chalk 2 weeks ago and proceeded to finish Top 10 then faltered last week; people will be off due to recency bias
Marc Leishman: Playing very well but people will be off due to his weak course history here
Patrick Cantlay: People will be off after his brutal MC at Torrey but he has a 4th here last year
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