Club de Golf Chapultepec: Chapultepec, Mexico Par 71, 7,330 Yards
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-14) by one shot over Tommy Fleetwood
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach
Secondary Stats- SG: Putting, Birdies or Better
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified.
Roster Lock: 10:20 am CST (11:20 EST, 9:20 MST, 8:20 PST)
We saw some better scoring on Friday than Thursday, but yet only 11 players are within five shots of the lead, held by 21 year old Shubhankar Sharma from India. More on him in the player notes. I am not cashing anywhere as of now, but have a couple of chances. I ended up with too much Gary Woodland, who is +3. I also have some Matt Kuchar at +6, which also has not helped. But, the beauty of a no-cut event is that both of them get two more rounds and anything can happen.
For weekend golf plays, I'm looking at golfers who are gaining strokes Tee-to-Green (especially Approach), but perhaps are losing strokes putting. Of course, anyone gaining strokes in all aspects of their game are in consideration as well. I wil lbe doing my best to avoid a lot of players, who will be high owned. But, I'm letting two-round stats dictate my picks for the most part this week.
- Shubhankar Sharma (7,000) may be one of the highest owned players in the weekend contests. First off, he's leading the tournament and is only 200 above minimum salary. He's gained nearly 1.9 strokes on Approach, 1.4 Putting, and nearly 3.5 overall. Sharma has been a scoring machine, making 9 birdies, 2 eagles (Hole #1 each day), and only two bogeys. Leader at cheap price who is scoring: Many will use him, so I will play an ownership fade. But, I don't mind him if you want to play him.
- Sergio Garcia (8,800) leads the event in Approach, gaining just over 3 shots there. He's also gained nearly 1.5 strokes Putting. Around-the-Green has been the concern, but with 11 birdies, an eagle, and only two shots off the lead, Garcia is playing well and I'm willing to play him, regardless of ownership.
- Brendan Steele (7,700) leads the field Tee-to-Green, gaining 3.6 strokes, with a +1.6 gain in both Approach and Off-the-Tee. Putting has been his weakness. 10 birdies and an ability to score, Steele is a nice price.
- If I'm looking at two guys who are playing great Tee-to-Green, but losing over a stroke putting, look at Alex Noren (8,900) and Ross Fisher (7,700). Noren is just under two strokes gained, with Fisher slightly over two strokes gained Tee-to-Green. Fisher more dominant in Approach (+2.3), with Noren better Off-the-Tee (+0.68).
- If you're looking for a higher priced golfer, consider Jordan Spieth (9,700) or Rickie Fowler (9,200). Spieth is +1.5 SG Approach, 3.5 Tee-to-Green, but -1.4 SG Putting. Fowler is +2.1 SG Total, with 1.9 being on Approach. He has lost 0.67 Putting. Spieth will probably be more popular, but Fowler is cheaper and depsite my concerns about him coming into the week, he's playing well enough that I think he can be used in weekend golf.
- Of course, Dustin Johnson (10,100) is always a good play, as he is positive strokes gained in every category, and gaining just over 2 strokes Tee-to-Green. If you want to play him, try to avoid playing him with Sharma, as I expect that combination to be popular.
- Other players I am considering (in no particular order): Pat Perez, Kiradech Aphribarnrat, Charley Hoffman, Francesco Molinari.
Forecast according to Accuweather: A little cool, temperatures in the high sixties. However, very little wind with 5-7 mph winds for all four days. No tee time advantages seen.
In no particular order, here is who is trending above 20% ownership, according to Fanshare Sports: Paul Casey, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm
I am not playing Cantlay or Finau due to these ownership concerns. There are too many other options around their price ranges for me to ignore at lower ownership.
Others who could end up popular in their price ranges: Tommy Fleetwood, Dustin Johnson, Dylan Fritelli, Jhonnatan Vegas, Joost Luiten, Phil Mickelson, Thomas Pieters
- I am off of Dustin Johnson. Not because he's not a great player or I don't like him: There just isn't enough value for me to use him on the sites. I don't like the bottom 10-15 golfers on each site, and if that's the case, it's hard to fit in DJ with five other players and feel comfortable. If I'm on DRAFT and get the first pick, he's my pick. But, in the salary cap game, I can't justify it with the lack of value. Plus, listening to a few podcasts this week, someone brought up a good point: people are going to be choosing sub-optimal plays to go with DJ. So if he wins, you're not necessarily out because of the opportunity cost in rostering Johnson. You almost have to get everyone else correct. Instead, I am preferring to go with six players that I think can end up Top 10-15 and hope to get a winner and 1 or 2 others in the Top 5.
- The only player I have added is Justin Rose. I didn't write him up because he's highly priced on FanDuel and fairly priced on DraftKings. However, I find his 15,900 price on Fantasy Draft very nice. He's been one of the best golfers in the world since the fall. Rose ranks 5th in both Birdies or Better and Tee-to-Green, and 13th in Approach.
- Players I wrote about on Monday that are not in my final lineups: Jon Rahm (ownership), Dustin Johnson (too expensive, not enough value to go with him), Patrick Cantlay (ownership), Tyrell Hatton (like others better around price range, would play him if I was playing more than 5 lineups industry-wide this week), Chez Reavie (similar to Hatton, but was my last person I cut from my lineups), and Patton Kizzire (fell into same range as Pat Perez and Russell Henley. Decided to go Henley over Kizzire).
In the end, there are 65 players and lots of good choices. I am taking stands on some players (like no Justin Thomas or Rickie Fowler). If you have a strong feeling on someone, play them. Want to fade someone, have a reason to do so. This is a week I am not playing cash games due to a no-cut event. Good luck however you decide to go this week and be ready for a lot of swings in standings with a no-cut event.
The first of two World Golf Championships in March, WGC-Mexico is the first of the events in a busy March. A limited field means no cut and with only one year of data at Chapultepec, there is a lot that will happen. After last week though, we may be welcoming a No Cut event. Speaking of last week...
Honda Classic Recap
+5 usually means a golfer gets the weekend off. That was the cut last week. And the carnage was huge. Lots of highly owned golfers, including defending champion Rickie Fowler, all had the weekend off. Yet, it was another Top 10 in the world golfer: Justin Thomas, who survived a playoff to win. My week was subpar: Too much Tyrell Hatton, Chesson Hadley, and Russell Knox cost me. I had a couple of cashes on DraftKings, but a down week for myself (and many others as well).
Best Pick of Last Week: Justin Thomas. I wish I had more of him. I had him in one lineup, and nearly thought about playing him over Rickie Fowler, but couldn't pull the trigger. I felt it was coming, though I thought a Top 5 or 10 was most likely, not a win.
Worst Picks of Last Week: Russell Knox, Chesson Hadley, Tyrell Hatton, not having Luke List or Alex Noren. Probably a lot of other ways to go here as well. Just a bad week.
National Fantasy Pregame Show
It will done Friday night this week, probably by Midnight EST. Free for everyone, including non-subscribers.
The course does look long: A Par 71 playing over 7,300 yards. However, this is nearly a mile and a half above sea level. The ball will carry farther than usual, and with the rough being short a year ago, I'm not worried about distance or accuracy. I include Tee-to-Green because it's always an important stat, but I'm emphasizing Approach more. Putting did have some impact last year, so I've included that. The first two days of this event in 2017 had some wind, which kept scores closer to par. The weekend was better and scores improved. I think Birdies or Better will play a role, especially with three Par 5s, and a couple of Par 4s under 400 yards.
With a No Cut event, I think a common temptation will be to punt a position and stack the other five. I don't like this strategy, as having someone finish 50th will not win a tournament this week. I get it on Fantasy Draft, though it's requiring you to have the other six perfect to win. That being said, I think you can take a chance on some higher variance golfers, since everyone will get four rounds. I will look at last year's tournament a little bit, but recent form is what I'm weighing most, followed by stats, and then last year.
Dustin Johnson (12,800)
As you would expect in a World Golf Championship event, lots to like at the top. DJ is the defending champion and though he finished 19th at Riviera in his last start, he's still in good form. With short rough and a mile and a half above sea level expect to see a lot of wedges from Dustin. All of this is why he ranks 1st Tee-to-Green and 2nd in Birdies or Better. The only concern is the price, with not a lot of value out there. If you find the value, he's fine in cash. However, I think there is a lot of talent at cheaper prices in this tier that DJ isn't a must play. But, you better believe I will have my shares of him, because fading him is just way too scary. (GPP)
Phil Mickelson (11,000)
I can't ignore his form: a 2nd, 5th, and 6th his past three starts. How did he do here last year? 7th. Not known for his accuracy, light rough should benefit him just fine (also benefiting him last year was finding a water sprinkler in the middle of a bush on Saturday. Only Phil). Mickelson is 2nd in Approach, 3rd in Birdies or Better, 5th in Putting, and 11th in Tee-to-Green, ranking #1 in my model on Fantasy National this week. He's at a very fair price and will be one that I play often in lineups. (Cash and GPP)
Others to Consider:
- Jon Rahm (12,100) took a needed week off last week. His biggest problem has been the weekend since his win at the CareerBuilder. Third here last year. Ranks 1st in Birdies or Better and 6th Tee-to-Green
- Jordan Spieth (11,900) was a quiet 9th place at Riviera two weeks ago, and was under 10% owned. He looks like he's starting to round into his usual form. 4th Tee-to-Green and 11th in Approach.
- Alex Noren (11,600): See National Fantasy Pregame Show
- Tommy Fleetwood (11,300) was 4th last week at the Honda, including a couple of eagles on Saturday. Was the runner-up to DJ last year here. 8th Tee-to-Green, Top 15 in everything except Putting if I narrow sample size down to 12 rounds.
Cash: Spieth, Noren, Fleetwood
GPP: Rahm, Spieth, Noren, Fleetwood
Paul Casey (10,900)
If Casey is playing, he's worth considering. Casey struggled at Riviera but had four Top 11s in the five events prior to that and was 16th here a year ago. He's always a nice statistical fit: 4th in Approach, 8th in Birdies or Better, and 9th Tee-to-Green. He always has Top 10 potential in every event: however, when he's this pricy, I think he makes more sense in cash. He isn't a bad tournament play if you want to go that route, and I will on a couple of teams. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Gary Woodland (10,100)
Woodland struggled on the weekend at the Honda, but WGC-Mexico should fit him better, as he does tend to do better on courses where you can go low (look at his win in Phoenix). He finished 38th last year, but I don't weight last year's results as high, due to him dealing with things in his personal life. Woodland's recent stats are great: 4th in Birdies or Better, 6th in Approach, 10th in Putting, and 14th Tee-to-Green. I think this price is a little low, but is very low on DraftKings at 7,600. He's playable in all formats. (Cash and GPP)
Others to Consider:
- Tony Finau (10,700): See National Fantasy Pregame Show
- Matt Kuchar (10,500) is five for five in making cuts, with a 5th in Phoenix. Was 20th last year and ranks #1 in putting. Like Casey, probably a better cash game play, but certainly a nice play at 7,600 on DraftKings.
- Patrick Cantlay (10,000) has made all six cuts this season, and is coming off a 4th at Riviera. Ranks 10th in Tee-to-Green and Birdies or Better, and 14th in Approach.
- Tyrell Hatton (9,800) missed the cut on the number last week, but should be able to bounce back at a place he was 10th at last year. As a reminder, he had two wins, two other Top 10s, and no finish worse than 19th this season, prior to that missed cut.
Cash: Finau, Kuchar, Cantlay
GPP: Finau, Kuchar (DK), Cantlay, Hatton
Pat Perez (9,300)
Perez continues to make cuts and play well this season, already having a win and two other Top 5s. I still think people underestimate Perez a little bit, and maybe that's why I play him often. Perez ranks 7th in both Birdies or Better and Putting, and is average in Approach and Tee-to-Green. I like his upside at a below average golfer price. Nothing fancy with Perez, but he makes a nice play. (Cash and GPP)
Chez Reavie (9,000)
After an incredible run, Reavie ran out of steam at the Genesis, barely making the cut and struggling on Saturday. However, expect Reavie refreshed after a week off. He still ranks 7th Tee-to-Green and 10th in Approach. He also is in the top half of the field in Birdies or Better and Putting. He will probably be very popular, so a tournament fade isn't the worst idea. But, he's playing too well and too cheap to ignore in cash. (Cash and GPP)
Others to Consider:
- Russell Henley (8,900) has been 15th and 24th the past two weeks. Ranks 5th in Approach and 21st in Birdies or Better.
- Dylan Frittelli (8,800) had a nice weekend at the Honda and should be able to carry that momentum into Mexico. Ranks 11th in Putting.
- Xander Schauffele (8,800) is showing signs of returning to late 2017 form with a 9th and 17th in his last two events. 15th in Tee-to-Green, 17th in Putting, and 22nd in Birdies or Better.
- Patton Kizzire (8,600) did not enjoy the Honda last week, but the last time he missed a cut, he finished 10th the following week. 6th in Putting, 14th in Birdies or Better, and 17th in Approach.
- Charley Hoffman (8,500): See National Fantasy Pregame Show
Cash: Henley, Kizzire, Schauffele
GPP: Henley, Frittelli, Schauffele, Kizzire, Hoffman
No one in this tier. The only one that could intrigue me would be Joost Luiten, as he is coming off a win on the Euro Tour. However, he has struggled in events in North America the past couple of years. Tournament only.
It's a 65-man field with no cut. Consider leaving some salary on the table in tournaments, to differentiate your lineups. Next week, this article will come out on Tuesday. The Wednesday 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.