TPC Scottsdale Par 71, 7,261 yards
Defending Champion: Hideki Matsuyama (-17) in four hole playoff over Webb Simpson
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, Proximity, Greens in Regulation
Secondary Stats- Total Driving, Par 5 SG: 550-600
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified.
Roster Lock: 7:20 MST (9:20 EST, 8:20 CST, 6:20 PST)
This may be a perfect weekend to play some weekend golf. After 2 huge withdrawals in Hideki Matsuyama and J.J. Spaun, and some big names missing the cut, such as Jordan Spieth, Ryan Moore, Wesley Bryan, J.B. Holmes, Webb Simpson, Tony Finau, Brandon Harkins, and Ryan Palmer, the 6/6 percentage on DraftKings is around 10%: Lowest this year. I am lucky that I have one of those teams, as I had one team without Hideki, Spaun, or Matsuyama, and it's got a chance to do well this weekend. That team is Rickie Fowler, Patton Kizzire, Chez Reavie, Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar, and Brandt Snedeker. I hope it does well this weekend.
As far as some weekend picks, I'm looking for a few things. First, if I liked them Wednesday night, I still like them. I'm not necessarily going to go with all picks I liked during the week, but it will be considered. Second, who are the big names that may have struggled a bit but still made the cut. Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman jump out to me in that regard. Last, who is striking the ball well Tee-to-Green, but losing strokes Putting. Putting has the highest variance of the stat categories, so if someone is striking it well, I'm going to be on them a little more than others. Here are a few guys I'm looking at for the weekend slate
- Chez Reavie and Bryson DeChambeau (Both 7,500) have both gained over 4 strokes tee-to-green (T2G); but, are about average on putting. Bryson also leading field in Approach, a key stat this week. Third on this list is Nick Taylor (6,900), who has gained 3.5 strokes T2G, but lost nearly 3 strokes Putting. May be a cheap option on the weekend.
- Gary Woodland (7,800) is dominating Tee-to-Green, especially approach. However, his putter is again a weak spot so far. But as someone who can score and has put up 67 and 68 so far, I do like him this weekend.
- Jason Kokrak (7,400) has gained 2.5 T2G, but has lost 1.5 Putting. May be nice option if you want to try to fit some combo of Thomas, Rahm, and Rickie.
- Patrick Reed (7,700) feels a little too cheap for me. He's made most of his ground putting, but a 66 on Friday has him five back going into the weekend. He probably has another low score in him.
Those are just some thoughts. I do like all six of my golfers on my lone 6/6: They do setup well for the weekend. Pricing is soft so avoiding Rahm/Thomas/Fowler should be plenty contrarian. Don't be afraid to leave money on the table as well. Good luck in weekend golf.
75-80 degrees, winds under 5 mph: In other words, perfect golfing weather. No advantage to be had with weather.
Ownership (According to FanShare)
In no particular order, here are the highest projected owned players: Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Brendan Steele, Keegan Bradley, J.J. Spaun, Chesson Hadley, Kevin Chappell, Rickie Fowler.
Core Plays (8 DK Lineups, 1 FD Lineup (Only site I play Cash on), 1 FantasyDraft Lineup). Players on 4 or more teams:
Matsuyama, Steele, Johnson, Spaun, Palmer, Moore (Maybe under 10%, I'm willing to take a chance with his history at class at sub 10%)
Ownership fades: Keegan Bradley (Approx. 20%), Brandon Harkins (12-15%)
It's a fun week to watch golf, as #16 will be raucous. A very good field, more than 50% make the cut, should see a lot of 6/6 lineups unless the chalk doesn't come in. Be on the lookout for a brief article later Friday night about some weekend picks if playing on DraftKings. Enjoy the tournament this week and enjoy Super Bowl 52 on Sunday.
A brief reprieve from multiple golf courses, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is played on one course for all four rounds. With only 126 golfers in the field, more than half will make the cut. The main viewing event is the 16th hole, where the fans will boo a golfer who misses the green, and will cheer loudly for anyone who hits a great shot. The only hole on Tour where you see noise encouraged during a player's shot.
Farmers Insurance Open Recap
I was looking great with all my lineups after Thursday. Cashing 4 or 5 of 10 on DraftKings, Top 10 in everything on Fantasy Draft, and cashing everything on FanDuel. Then, Friday came. The result: 3/6 on FanDuel, 5/7 on FantasyDraft (Seamus Power bogey on last hole to miss cut by one cost me dearly. I missed cash by 7 spots, even with a 5/7), and only one 6/6 on DraftKings; my lone cash. This is why golf can be sometimes frustrating. Another reason is that I can give a pick, get off of him due to an injury, and then he goes and wins by playing great golf Friday-Monday. Jason Day got his first win in two years, reminding us why he was #1 not so long ago. Of course, the big story was a T23 for Tiger Woods in his return. What a great showing; better than I thought. He will tee it up again in a couple of weeks at Riviera, where DJ, Rory, and Spieth are all scheduled to play.
Best Pick of Last Week: Robert Garrigus. I mentioned him in the Wednesday lineup, and he ended up being the reason I nearly cashed a 5/7 on FantasyDraft. An 8th place finish with three rounds under par, I'll take that anytime from a low-owned, near minimum price player.
Worst Pick of Last Week: Stewart Cink. After more Top 25s to start 2018, I thought he was a safe cash game play with some GPP upside at a cheap price. He really never got going and as a result, sunk some of my teams.
National Fantasy Pregame Show
https://www.facebook.com/nationalpregame/. Also on MyFantasyFix. Free to view for everyone
This is the last week of the Free Trial. Subscriptions take effect this Thursday, February 1. $9.99/month and you get the write-up and files, comes out to less than an entry into the big 20-max tournaments on FanDuel and DraftKings each week. If you have enjoyed these articles, please consider a subscription. If this isn't the best time for you (or waiting for that nice tax refund), make sure you cancel by late Wednesday night to avoid getting charged. And then, subscribe when it's best for you.
TPC Scottsdale is a Par 71, meaning there are only three Par 5s: all between 550-600 yards. Approach and GIRs kept popping as key stats, along with good drives (distance and fairway). Those are among the stats to look at, along with Tee-to-Green. The greens are not too hard as we have seen some weaker putters do well and win here.
I think this is my favorite field of the year, and maybe in the past two or three years. There are great options in the top tier, and plenty of good, solid options in the second and third tiers. Depending on your site, you may find some in the bottom tiers as well (Chesson Hadley on DraftKings for example). However, I didn't find much below 8k on FanDuel that I liked. I will focus more on the 8k-11k tier for main writeups, and use the 7k tier to mention a couple of options if you choose to go that low (I don't think you should this week).
Tournament History plays a large role this week. A lot of golfers seem to do well here every year. Just look at Hideki Matsuyama for example. I think your approach with him is the main question you have to answer this week, and I spend about two minutes discussing him on my video. Make sure to give that a watch. As for everyone else, let's see what's out there this week.
Jordan Spieth (12,500)
He checks in as the most expensive golfer on FanDuel, but he's not much more than Fowler, Matsuyama, Rahm, and Thomas. He's played here twice, finishing 7th and 9th, gaining over 8.5 strokes a tournament on the field. He struggled in round one at the TOC, but played the next seven rounds in Hawaii under par. His stats are phenomenal, as you would expect: 1st Tee-to-Green, 4th in GIR, and 8th in Proximity. Early ownership whispers have him being behind Hideki for most popular in this range, so that is a slight concern. But, with two Top 10s here, you can't go wrong if you choose Jordan this week. (Cash and GPP)
Matt Kuchar (11,200)
Kuchar is one I like to play on TPC courses, as he seems to do well on almost everyone one. Kuch finished 9th here last year, with his prior finishes being a 30th and 33rd. Solid in his stats: 12th in Driving, 22nd in both GIR and SG: Tee-to-Green. The only potential concern is that this is the first event of 2018 for Kuchar. But for as consistently as he makes cuts, I'm not as worried with him as I would be with others. He does feel a little overpriced on Fanduel, but is fairly priced on the other two sites. He always has Top 10 upside, but I'm not sure I want to pay this price for him in tournaments with some of the other options just above him. But as a cash game play, there is never a bad week to play Kuchar in cash. (Cash)
Others to Consider:
- Hideki Matsuyama (12,400): See National Fantasy Pregame Show Video. He's my Top play of the week.
- Justin Thomas (12,000) doesn't have the best recent past here with two missed cuts, but hasn't finished worse than 22nd this season in four events. Top 5 in Tee-to-Green and Par 5 SG. Really like his price on DraftKings at 10,300
- Rickie Fowler (11,900) missed the cut at the Farmers, but hasn't played well there for a few years. Here, he has a 2nd and 4th the past two years. Recent stats aren't great, but look better at 50 rounds: Top 30 in everything except Driving.
GPP: Matsuyama, Thomas, and Fowler
Ryan Moore (9,700)
One look at Moore on the Tournament History File and you see some bad finishes in 2012 and 2017. In between though, you see four Top 17 finishes, including two Top 10s. He is tied with Brendan Steele for 2nd in this field in Strokes Gained at TPC Scottsdale at 37.8 over the past five years. Moore also fits the stat categories I like this week: 4th in Driving, 7th Tee-to-Green, and 11th in Proximity. He's top-third in the other two categories. Like Kuchar, the only concern is that this is the first start of 2018. An amazing course history and he looks fully healed from wrist surgery that sidelined him for a couple months last season, Moore is a great play under 10k this week, and is a bargain at 13,500 on FantasyDraft. (Cash and GPP)
Patton Kizzire (9,600)
The first thing I look at each week is the tournament history file, just to have an idea who plays well and start the process. Kizzire doesn't jump out there: 57th and 60th. However, he has two wins since then and is still in great form. Yes, a 45th at the CareerBuilder wasn't great, but that's an odd tournament with that Pro-Am format. I like his ability to score, which should set up well here, as he is 6th in Proximity and 11th in GIR. A week off probably did Kizzire some good, after winning at the Sony and playing the CareerBuilder the following week. He's slightly underpriced in my opinion for his recent form, so enjoy the discount and ride the wave with Kizzire. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Others to Consider:
- Zach Johnson (10,600): See National Fantasy Pregame Show Video
- Gary Woodland (10,300) has a 7th and 12th to start 2018. Does have some Top 30s here, but has missed 2 of past three cuts at WMPO. 10th in GIR and 21st in Tee-to-Green.
- Francesco Molinari (10,200): 22nd in only appearance here, a tremendous value at 7,300 on DraftKings. 8th Tee-to-Green, 12th in Proximity, no worse than 27th in the other stats this week.
- Brendan Steele (9,600) See National Fantasy Pregame Show Video
Others you could play: Austin Cook, Shane Lowry, Kevin Chappell, Scott Piercy
Cash:Johnson, Molinari, Steele, Cook
GPP: Everyone in this tier
Keegan Bradley (9,400)
Keegan has not been a model of consistency in recent years but has started this season in great form with a 2nd and ending up 5th last week at the Farmers. In the past six years, he has missed two cuts, but has four Top 25s. He fits statiscally, ranking Top 20 in every stat category except Par 5 SG: 550-600, which is his major weakness. Current form is good, tournament history is solid, and stats are good. I still can't trust him in cash, but is a good tournament play. (GPP)
Ryan Palmer (9,300)
I heard Palmer get interviewed after he was eliminated from the playoff last week at the Farmers. He wasn't down and was pleased with his week and specifically mentioned how he was looking forward to the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Throw out last year, and he has a 2nd and 5th in the past five years here, gaining 23.5 strokes the past five years here. He's solid in the stats: 10th in Proximity, 30th Tee-to-Green, and no worse than 59th in any stat this week (Par 5 SG: 550-600). He's secured his tour this season, and has just about secured it for next season as well. He's relaxed and returning to form. Palmer is playable in any format. (Cash and GPP)
J.J. Spaun (8,800)
I have to overcome a bad memory of the last time I played Spaun at the CareerBuilder, where he missed the cut, though he was under par every round. He was having a good week at the Farmers before getting caught in that bad weather on Sunday. He debuted at this event last year with a 4th place finish. His stats are jumping off the page at me this week, as Spaun ranks 1st in Proximity, 4th in GIR, 9th in Tee-to-Green, and 10th in Driving. Already amassing four Top 25s this season, he's playing well, great stats, and a nice debut last year. He's playable in all formats. (Cash and GPP)
Kevin Streelman (8,600)
I think this is the first time I've written four primary write-ups in the same section; but, as I said on the video, I do like the stud/balanced lineup approach. Streelman does not have a great tournament history: 3 missed cuts and no better finish than 30th the past six years here. His form is great, making all 7 cuts this season, and six of the finishes in the Top 30. Another one with great stats, Streelman ranks 1st in both Driving and GIR, 4th Tee-to-Green, and 7th in Proximity. His 6,800 price on DraftKings is a great price as well, as he's playing too well and too many good stats if you can forgive the course history. (Cash and GPP)
Others to Consider:
- Chez Reavie (9,300) has made all 7 cuts with 6 Top 25s this season. Only knock is he has missed the cut here the past three years. Ranks 2nd in GIR and 3rd in Driving.
- William McGirt (9,200): 5 for 5 both this season and past five years here in making cuts, finishing no worse than 32nd at the WMPO. 2nd in Driving and 22nd in GIR
- Chesson Hadley (8,900): See National Fantasy Pregame Show
- Brandon Harkins (8,600) has three straight Top 25s on Tour. Solid in everything except Proximity, where he ranks near the bottom. However, form too hard to ignore.
Others you could play: Ollie Schniederjans, Xander Schauffele, Kevin Na, Luke List
Cash: Reavie, Hadley, Harkins, Schniederjans
GPP: McGirt, Harkins, Schniederjans, Schauffele, Na, List
I don't really like anyone in this range. But if you must go here, I only have one play
Rory Sabbatini (7,700) was 20th last week and does have good stats: 8th in Par 5 SG: 550-600, and Top 35 in other stat category. (GPP)
I love the mid-tier, and is probably why you saw me focus so much on it and now the lower tier. I'll see if anything changes tomorrow when I analyze ownership and weather concerns. Tomorrow's update will include ownership, weather, roster lock, and some additional golfer information. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.