Pebble Beach Golf Links Par 72, 6,816 Yards
Monterey Peninsula CC Par 71, 6,958 Yards
Spyglass Hill GC Par 72, 6,858 Yards
All players will play each course once before 54-hole cut on Saturday (Top 60 and Ties). FInal round on Sunday played at Pebble Beach
DRAFTKINGS WEEKEND STRATEGY
This is not going to be a normal weekend slate. First thing, the players are playing the final of the 3 courses in the rotation. Second, the cut will be made after Saturday's round, so that will be something to consider. Finally, with ShotLink only on Pebble Beach, we don't have strokes gained stats on Monterey Peninsula or Spyglass Hill. But what we do have is scoring averages for the first two days on each course. The following information is courtesy of Rob Bolton, fantasy writer on PGATour.Com
Thru 36 holes
- 69.663 = MPCC (-1.337)
- 71.272 = Spyglass (-0.728)
- 71.856 = Pebble (-0.144)
This means that we will want to choose golfers who are playing at Monterey Peninsula. However, there are strong 15-25 mph winds all day, with the strongest in the afternoon, with gusts up to 30. Spyglass Hill is best protected from the wind, with the most trees. I expect Dustin Johnson to be one of the, if not the highest owned player, though he's playing on Pebble. I don't think it's bad to play DJ: But with the expected weather (and exposure to him in week-long), I may play the fade. Final point: I expect the cut to fall around -3 or -4. If the winds are bad, -2 is possible. If the winds don't pick up as much, it could get to -5. Most people are going to avoid golfers in this range of the leaderboard. However, if you have a feeling on someone at -1, you will get them low owned. A great tournament option if you can stomach the risk.
My strategy is to play my golfers from Spyglass and Monterey. I'm not going to play anyone from Pebble. If I play 2 or 3 lineups, I may stack based on starting course. If one lineup, I will probably go 4 Monterey, 2 Spyglass, or 3 and 3. Here are some player notes.
Players to consider:
- Paul Casey (8,900) has been under par both rounds so far and gets Monterey on Saturday, with an earlier tee time. I likeed him coming into the week and don't see a reason to fade.
- Branden Grace (8,500) gets to play early at Monterey Peninsula. I'm looking to play some of those earlier golfers as they should play the most in the calmer winds. Sitting at -4 and a world class player, he's one that is on my radar.
- Patrick Reed (7,900) struggled at Pebble on Thursday, looking like he was done. However, he shot 6 under on Friday to give him a chance to make the cut. He's paired with Casey at Monterey and could be low owned due to people remembering Thursday.
- Russell Henley (7,300) has made 11 birdies so far in the first two rounds and is sitting at -5. He will play Spyglass Hill early on Saturday, so he may avoid the wind for a majority of the round and will score points if he can make it to Sunday.
- Troy Merritt (6,900) may be among the most popular golfers on the weekend slate. He has shot back to back 67s with 11 birdies and an eagle. While he does get Monterey, he will be one of the last groups out. That concerns me a bit and may be enough for me to fade.
- Golfers playing Monterey Peninsula on Saturday that are currently near or making the cut: Ryan Armour, J.B. Holmes, Robert Garrigus, Beau Hossler (currently tied for the lead), Chez Reavie, Stephen Jaeger
- Golfers playing Spyglass Hill on Saturday that are currently near or making the cut: Tyrone Van Aswegen, Julian Suri, Pat Perez, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay
WEDNESDAY UPDATE AND ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth (-19) by four over Kelly Kraft
Primary Stats- SG: Ball Striking, Good Drives (Accuracy), SG: Approach
Secondary Stats- SG: Short Game, Birdies or Better, SG: Putting
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified.
Roster Lock: 8:00am PST (11:00am EST, 10:00am CST, 9:00am MST)
Doesn't appear to be any rain in the forecast and the National Weather Service, with winds around 10mph all three days. However, WindFinder is projecting gusts of 20-22mph on Saturday afternoon. This would give an advantage to those at Spyglass Hill, as that is the only one of the courses not on the peninsula and a bit more sheltered from the wind. It's also the hardest of the three courses, so any wind would only make it tougher. If you are playing multiple lineups, I think making one or two teams where you stack each course (all 6 start on one course on Thursday) is a viable strategy. However, one potential day of high winds is not going to impact my lineup building.
In no particular order, here is who FanshareSports and Fantasy National are projecting as the highest owned players: Dustin Johnson, Kevin Streelman, Chesson Hadley, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Pat Perez, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker
You may have noticed that I did not include Jordan Spieth in my Monday article. I'm playing a complete fade on him, as he just doesn't look like he's in the best form right now. If paying for the Top 5, I'll take the Course Horses in DJ and Day, and get a little exposure to Rory and Rahm. Spieth's putter, usually his strength, is horrible right now, and I think I would rather take a wait and see approach on him. Add in some high ownership, and I'll take my chances with a complete fade.
- My Core Group of Players (8 DraftKings Teams (All GPP), 1 FanDuel Team (Cash and GPP), 1 FantasyDraft Team (Cash and GPP). These players are on at least 4 of the 10 teams: Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak, Chris Kirk, Chesson Hadley, Jason Day
- The only player that I have from the "Others to Consider" list in the 8,000-9,400 range is Russell Henley. I have him both on DraftKings and FantasyDraft (12,600) as he's a really nice bargain on both sites.
- The only other names that I mentioned on Monday that I don't have in a lineup: Bryson DeChambeau (Ownership projected around 10%: Fair, but I'll pass) and Matt Jones (too many better players at price range).
Remember to look for my weekend writeup on Friday night. Also, next week's article may not come out until Tuesday. The video will be posted on Tuesday as always. Good luck this week, and enjoy the views of Pebble Beach!
Back to California goes the PGA Tour, and to one of the most scenic courses in the world: Pebble Beach. This is the second and last Pro-Am on the tour this season, with plenty of celebrities playing alongside the pros. So, if you're watching for the first three rounds, you may not see as much golf on TV as usual.
WM Phoenix Open
My results from last week? Depends on your perspective. Out of 10 lineups, I only cashed in two of them. Hideki Matsuyama and J.J. Spaun withdrawals hurt 7 of those 8 lineups. Jordan Spieth also hurt with his missed cut, but I was able to cash one team on DraftKings with him and Ryan Moore missing the cut. My non Spieth, Hideki, and Spaun lineup: Finished 3rd in the $3-max Tournament on DraftKings for $250. I had both Reavie and Woodland, but needed Reavie in the playoff, as he was lower owned. Woodland won on the first hole, capping a great day where he shot 7 under. Rickie Fowler struggling down the stretch really hurt that team of mine, but still a great finish to make me forget about the other traps that last week brought.
Best Pick I made: Gary Woodland. Was a secondary write-up but gave enough reasons to play him.
Worst Pick I made: Ryan Moore. I can't predict player withdrawals, so I'm not counting them. Moore was someone I went heavy on due to great tournament history and low ownership. He really never got things going for me though.
National Fantasy Pregame Show
https://www.facebook.com/nationalpregame/. Also on MyFantasyFix. Free to view for everyone
I will have this up every week on Friday night. It should be up by midnight most Friday nights. Free for everyone, including non-subscribers.
Another multi-course event will complicate things. It's another 54-hole cut so all golfers get three rounds. The Top 60 and ties will play on Sunday. Anyone who finishes 61-70 after Saturday will technically miss the cut and get paid and FedEx Cup points. But, they won't play Sunday. FYI if you're in a One-and-Done.
You noticed that none of the three courses play over 7,000 yards, so all golfers have a chance. Yet, Accuracy off the tee popped as a key stat (Good Drives). With the courses being right off the Pacific, the wind can be a factor. If you're wondering the order of difficulty for this event, I would say Monterey Peninsula is the easiest, Pebble a close second, and Spyglass Hill the toughest of them all, playing a stroke more than the other two last year (PGA Tour Media). Approach jumped out as another key stat this week. I have paired that with Ball Striking (Tee+Approach) as something to look at. Short Game plays a small factor, along with putting. Finally, with -19 winning last year and pins in easier locations for the benefit of the amateurs, you will want golfers who can get birdies.
It's a great field with many world class golfers, including some from the Euro Tour making their way over to the US for the first time this season. I will mention them and will be doing some more analysis on them come Wednesday. If you want to see their worldwide form, look them up on the Official World Golf Rankings site (www.owgr.com)
Finally, I use FanDuel prices for this write-up. However, I need to mention that the pricing on DraftKings is horrendous. There are Top 50 golfers and winners from the past year below 7k. If playing there, and running multiple lineups, consider avoiding that tier or going with a balanced lineup, as a stars/scrubs approach should be popular.
Dustin Johnson (12,800)
The last time we DJ, he was nearly acing a Par 4 en route to a dominating win at the Tournament of Champions. He loves Pebble Beach, winning in 2009 and 2010, while having four Top 5 finishes the past six years here, gaining 35.4 strokes. He also has nice stats: 1st in Ball Striking, 6th in Birdies or Better, and 9th in Approach. He is expensive, but he's hard to ignore as a play this week. You can fit him in easily on DraftKings and FantasyDraft. You can on FanDuel, but maybe not as easily as the other two sites. (Cash and GPP)
Jason Day (12,300)
DJ isn't the only golfer that is coming off a win the last time he was seen. Jason Day won the Farmers two weeks ago, overcoming a sore back that made him withdraw from the Pro-Am on that Wednesday. He hasn't missed a cut, worldwide since June and has no finish worse than 25th. Day also has four Top 11 finishes here in the past five years, gaining 42.7 strokes in that timespan. He ranks first in Birdies or Better and 14th in Approach. His Driving Accuracy is the only concern but does well in the other stats. I like him more as a tournament play, since we never know if that back will flare up. He may go a bit overlooked with Spieth and Rahm and Rory all in this price range. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Others to Consider:
- Jon Rahm (12,400) was 5th here last year, and won the last time there was a Pro-Am. If not for a couple of bad Sundays the past two weeks, he may be on a three-tournament winning streak. 3rd in Birdies or Better, 6th in Ball Striking.
- Rory McIlroy (12,000) has three Top 3 finishes in his past four events. His stats aren't great but that's due to struggles in the U.S. last summer. I like this discount on FanDuel.
- Paul Casey (11,600): See National Fantasy Pregame Show Video.
- Matt Kuchar (11,500): See National Fantasy Pregame Show Video
- Gary Woodland (11,100) won last week and was 5th here last year. Hasn't been worse than 12th in 2018 in three events so far. 2nd in Birdies, 4th in Approach, and 5th in Ball Striking. Only question is how he responds the week after winning, which can be a tough thing for golfers.
Cash: Rahm, Casey, Kuchar
GPP: Rahm, McIlroy, Woodland
Patrick Reed (10,700)
I expect Reed to get some ownership on DraftKings, but may go overlooked at this price on FanDuel. A bad first round at the CareerBuilder cost him a made cut, but has finished 17th and 23rd the past two weeks. He has had past success at this event with 2 Top 10s, 2 Top 25s, and no finish worse than 29th the past five years. In that span, he has gained 44 strokes, third best in this field. Reed is 3rd in Short Game and 26th in Putting, with his weakness being off the tee. I think his price is fair here and on FantasyDraft, while getting a slight discount on DraftKings. I like him in tournaments this week. (GPP)
Chesson Hadley (9,500)
I can't seem to get away from Hadley each week, and his bargain price on FanDuel isn't going to get me away from him. He's made all three cuts in 2018, including a 5th last week in Phoenix. He's made two cuts in three trips here, with both cuts made resulting in a 10th place finish. Statistically, he's #1 in my model, ranking 1st in Approach, 3rd in Ball Striking, 5th in Birdies or Better, 12th in Putting, 14th in Good Drives/Accuracy, and 30th in Short Game. Until he cools off or gets priced in the Top 10, I'll keep rolling with him and keep writing him up. (Cash and GPP)
Others to Consider:
- Brandt Snedeker (10,900) has two wins and a 4th the past five years here. Starting to round into form with back to back made cuts. 1st in Short Game, 16th in Putting.
- Pat Perez (10,300): See National Fantasy Pregame Show Video
- Austin Cook (10,000) has continued to play well after his first win in the Fall: 14th, 18th, and 31st in 2018. 5th in Good Drives/Accuracy and 8th in Short Game, no real weakness statistically.
- Chez Reavie (9,700) was the runner-up last week, but played well enough to win. Doesn't have a great history here, but, he didn't last week either and he nearly won. Hasn't missed a cut this season, ranks 4th in Good Drives/Accuracy, no worse than 36th in any stat category I'm looking at this week.
DraftKings Bargains that you can use elsewhere: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Charley Hoffman, Bryson DeChambeau
Cash: Perez, Cook, Reavie, Cabrera-Bello
GPP: Everyone in this tier
Russell Knox (9,300)
Knox had a rough 2017, not performing up to the level he did in 2016. However, he's showing some signs of bouncing back, with a 10th and 2 29th place finishes this season. He did miss the cut by one last week, but bounced back after a 3 over 74 with a 3 under 68. He's 2 for 4 the past six years here, with a 27th and 28th. Statistically, he's good tee-to-green, ranking 2nd in Good Drives/Accuracy. His putting and short game is the weakness. As with many good players this week, he's an absolute bargain on DraftKings, and could go lower owned there. I think he's a better tournament play, but is cash game playable on DraftKings. (GPP, Cash on DraftKings)
Jason Kokrak (9,200)
Add Kokrak to the list of golfers underprice on DraftKings, but is a fair price here on FanDuel. He finished 8th at the CareerBuilder, and 31st last week in Phoenix. In fact, his last 10 rounds on tour have been below par, so he's playing well. A little bit of a mixed bag of results here the past six years: 2 missed cuts, but 4 Top 30s. He doesn't stand out statistically: 20th in Birdies or Better and 29th in Ball Striking, but is solid in every stat category. The more I look at him, the more I am liking him. I think he's playable in all formats. (Cash and GPP)
Others to Consider:
- Chris Kirk (8,900): See National Fantasy Pregame Show
- Stewart Cink (8,700) burned me at the Farmers, but he's been too consistent to forget about due to one missed cut. Was 21st here in 2016. 3rd in Approach and 13th in Ball Striking.
- Kevin Streelman (8,700) has made all three cuts in 2018, and has finished 14th and 17th the past two years here. 1st in Good Drives, 12th in Approach and Ball Striking. Around the Green and Birdies or Better poor; better cash play.
- Tom Hoge (8,400) Had a 3rd and 12th in 2018 before missing his first cut of the year last week. Finished 39th and 41st the past two years here. Ranks 6th in Approach, 8th in Ball Striking, 9th in Birdies or Better, and 10th in Good Drives/Accuracy. Short Game the big weakness.
Others you could play: Russell Henley (DK Specific), Billy Horschel (another bargain on DK, can play on FanDuel), Jimmy Walker, Brandon Harkins, Sam Saunders
Cash: Kirk, Cink, Streelman, Henley on DK
GPP: Kirk, Hoge, Henley, Horschel, Walker, Harkins, Saunders
There are some ok plays here if you need to go this low. But, I'm avoiding this tier if I can. However, if you want to go here, I have one tournament play:
Matt Jones (7,900) would be a tournament history play, with three Top 25s the past three years here, gaining 32.3 strokes during the past five years. Has missed last two cuts. (GPP)
Getting the top tier of golfers correct will be the key to win this week. This feels like a good multi-entry week, and I'll let you know how many lineups I end up with, along with who my core is. Hopefully, no one withdraws this week. The Wednesday update will include ownership, weather, roster lock, and some additional golfer information. I will probably end up fading some of these players I wrote up due to ownership. I will let you know who those players are on Wednedsay. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.