Sentry Tournament of Champions
Plantation Course at Kapalua: Maui, HI Par 73, 7,452 Yards
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-24) by 8 over Jon Rahm
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, GIR, SG: Approach, DK Points, Opportunities Gained (Birdie chances from 15 feet or less), Proximity
Secondary Stats- none
All stats come from Fantasy National
Timeframe: All rounds from 2017-2018 season and 2018 Fall Swing
Roster Lock: 3:00 pm EST (2:00 pm CST, 1:00 pm MST, Noon PST, 10:00 am in Hawaii)
Golf Season on MyFantasyFix
Moving forward, we are making some changes. First off, there will not be a main weekly article like this. The weekly article will be around for the Sony Open, but that is the last one. Instead, we will be doing a podcast each week for our main thoughts and analysis. We will be able to discuss more golfers and better tell you who we like and who we don't. It will be free and available on most of the major podcast listening areas (iTunes, Google, Stitcher, etc...). I will be doing the podcast, but fortunately for you all, you don't have to just listen to me. James Adams, who you hear on the InsiderFootball show on SiriusXM, will be joining me each week to look at each event. The podcast will start with the Desert Classic (formerly known as the CareerBuilder) the week of January 14. A link to the podcast, as well as the Tournament History file, will be available here on MyFantasyFix.
The Wednesday Update will still be a thing I do on here, in written form. This allows for updated looks at weather, ownership, and anything else that I may have picked up on throughout the week. The podcast is a first look, being recorded on Monday nights. Things change from Monday to Wednesay and I think the update will help discuss those changes.
Now, maybe the best part of all of this for everyone: It's FREE to all. We are not charging any money for access to either thing. We are focusing a lot of our efforts on the upcoming baseball season as well as football season. If you like what James and I will be doing, and want to support us and My Fantasy Fix, consider subscribing for the baseball and football content, when those packages come out. I thank everyone who has subscribed during the past two years and hope you enjoy the free content moving forward.
It's what you would come to expect Maui: mid-70s, no rain, and lots of wind. The first two days will see 20-30 mph winds. Since everyone is teeing off within 2.5 hours of each other and Friday tee times based off of Day One results, there are no tee time waves to take advantage of. If playing the Thursday Showdown slate, a slight advantage to those going off first. Saturday looks like 15 mph winds with Sunday being calm.
- It's pretty clear at the top: DJ, Rahm, and Bryson. Most of the sub-10% guys are in the 6k range (not including Patton Kizzire, who is about 12-15%). Ian Poulter is an interesting option around 10% in the 6k range, and will be someone I may pivot to. The other name that is going lower owned (10-15%) is Francesco Molinari. The concern is that he doesn't score as much as some of the other names in this range (Reed, Simpson, and Bryson). But, at a 1/3 of the ownership, I am really looking hard at playing Molinari.
- Jon Rahm may have been the exception, finishing second, but there has been buzz about first-timers not playing well here. Combine that with Top 10-15 ownership projections, I will play the odds and avoid Cameron Champ and Aaron Wise. That may come back to bite me, but it's a stand I'm willing to take.
- I'm only seeing about 10-20% difference between Dustin Johnson (highest owned) and Rory McIlroy (lowest owned of 9k+ players). Game Theory says to consider Rory, but if neutral on him, I wouldn't play him just for ownership. If you were considering an ownership fade on DJ, I'm not sure it's worth it, unless you like Brooks or JT just as much and are using it as a tiebreaker.
Welcome back PGA Tour! After taking December off, the tour is back, starting with the small field Tournament of Champions. This is a no-cut, scoring fest. As far as roster construction, it is very similar to the Tour Championship. Also, this is the start of a lot of new things in 2019 for the Tour: New Rules, New Schedule, and New Events. And, a new format for now. If you have read my Showdown Slate articles for NFL, I mention a couple of things for each player, and then mention a few plays in the value section, making a case for or against each one. I'll be doing something similar in each pricing tier.
2019 Golf on MyFantasyFix
We are finalizing what we are going to do. Until we get it set, these will be free. One of the things I'm debating is article vs podcast. If you have a preference, please let me know; either in the comments of this article or tweet me @skeeterrobinson.
This is a tough event for many reason: first, it's a 34 person field, so our lineup selections are limited. I would avoid 150-entry fields unless planning on max entering them. If you wanted to avoid 20-entry fields for this reason, I understand. I'm a one-entry person, so I may play the $3 20-max and then a bunch of single-entries and 3-max contests. Second, we haven't see these golfers play much since September. Some have played a few events in the Fall Swing, but we just don't know how they will do coming off of their break. Finally, with all of these variables, we may want to consider leaving salary on the table and fading the high owned plays. I have a couple of favorite plays; outside of them, if someone else I have is going to be highly owned, I'll play the fade. Ownership projections will be huge this week, and I will go over those on Wednesday.
It's only a three-person tier with Justin Rose not playing. One of my favorite plays this week, along with many others who will join me on this, is Dustin Johnson (11,000). The only stats that he isn't first in for me is Approach (2nd) and GIR (3rd). He has played here five times in the past six years with two wins, two 6th place finishes, and a 10th. He just makes too much sense for me to fade, with the only argument for a fade is that he didn't end last season playing his best. Justin Thomas (10,500) is Top 10 in everything except GIR and Proximity. He surrounded his win here with a 21st and 22nd. He's always playable, but I think he ranks third for me in this tier this week. I think Brooks Koepka (10,200) will be the lowest owned. He is the type of scorer we want here (2nd in DK Points, 3rd in Opportunities Gained). I'll have interest if he is lowest owned.
Price Considered Ranks: DJ, Koepka, Thomas
Another tier with only three plays, as Tiger Woods will not be playing. I will suspect Rory McIlroy (9,600) will be most popular due to being the biggest name in this range and because he has the biggest game log of anyone. The Euro Tour events still show up in the Game Logs, so that "history" may attract some to choose him. He ranks Top 5 in the scoring stats (DK Points and Opportunities Gained), so though he's viable, I think I will pass due to ownership concerns. Jon Rahm (9,800) seems to be an early pick to win his first major this year. He was second here a year ago and is 4th in GIR, 7th in DK Points, and 9th in Tee-to-Green. Rahm ended 2018 with a 4th in Dubai and won the Hero World Challenge. Jason Day (9,000) has a 3rd, 10th, and 12th here in the past and only has one missed cut and no finish worse than 24th since the U.S. Open. He doesn't rank well in the stats, but form and history may be enough for me to look at, especially if he's overlooked.
Price Considered Ranks: Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy (All are close together. Not a big gap from Day to McIlroy).
I will not write about everyone in this tier and reasons will be brief. It's my favorite tier as I think there are multiple plays. It may come down to ownership as far as who I play. The only player I am playing, regardless of ownership (unless it's getting above 40 percent) is Bryson DeChambeau (8,700) who caught fire in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and won in his only start in the Fall Swing. He's Top 10 in every stat, with an 8th in GIR being his worst. Webb Simpson (8,500) has two 3rds and an 11th at Kapalua, and four Top 10s in his last seven events. Stats are in the middle in every category; the only thing against him. Patrick Reed (8,200) has a win, 2nd, and 6th in his last three starts here. He was regaining some form at the end of 2018. Cameron Champ (8,100) was the star of the Fall Swing, getting a win to go with a 6th and 10th as well. I worry about his popularity at this price. If he is, I'll look at Gary Woodland (8,000) who also had three Top 10s in the Fall Swing, and ranks 5th in GIR and 9th in Opportunities Gained. I didn't even mention a 2018 favorite of mine, Francesco Molinari (8,400) or Xander Schauffele (8,300). I think both are fine plays: I just like the others at this tier a little more. Playing everyone in this tier in a balanced lineup isn't the worst play ever.
Price Considered Ranks: DeChambeau, Woodland, Simpson, Reed, Champ.
One less person in this tier as Phil Mickelson won't play. I like players in this range, but not as much as I did the 8k range. Aaron Wise (7,500) struggled after his win, but found form at the end of the season, making 7 of 8 cuts, including six Top 16 finishes. 8th in GIR and 10th in DK Points has him in consideration for me. Keegan Bradley (7,300) won in the Playoffs and had a 6th in the Fall Swing. 3rd in Approach, 5th in Proximity, and 8th in Opportunities Gained. Charles Howell III (7,100) won the last Fall Swing event and has been really good at the start of the year. Doesn't pop in the stats but coming off a win and history of hot starts, I will consider him. Billy Horschel (7,000) has a game that fits from Tee-to-Green, ranking 1st in GIR, 7th in Approach, and 10th in Tee-to-Green and Opportunities Gained. Was 11th here last year, with a 6th in the past as well.
Price Considered Ranks: Keegan Bradley, Aaron Wise, Billy Horschel, Charles Howell III
Not much in this tier, but think there are a couple of plays. Ian Poulter (6,800) has a 9th here and just feels underpriced for the 40th ranked golfer in the world. 6th in Proximity and 11th in Approach. If needing to punt, I'm going to go back to a guy I mentioned a couple of times last year, waiting for him to regain form; Patton Kizzire (6,200). Kizzire was 15th last year here and followed that up with a win at the Sony. He did have two Top 25s in the Fall Swing, and at this low price range, I'm just hoping for a lot of birdies and a 15th would be fine with me.
Price Considered Ranks: Patton Kizzire, Ian Poulter
Check back on Wednesday to see if my thoughts have changed, based on other information and/or ownership projections. I wouldn't go crazy with your bankroll this week, due to the limited number of entrants. But, enjoy the return of golf and the beautiful scenery in Hawaii (especially if you are in a northern state, where you have snow and cold temperatures). Also, if playing DFS for the NFL Playoffs, check out our offerings for the the Wild Card Round and beyond. Good luck in all of your DFS contests this week and welcome back golf!