Favorite Play in each tier (will be posted after Podcast)
- 10,000+ Justin Rose and Charles Howell
- 9,000 Phil Mickelson
- 8,000 Sungjae Im and Patton Kizzire
- 7,000 Zach Johnson and Charley Hoffman
- 6,000 Johnson Wagner
Roster Lock: 11:30 am EST (10:30 CST, 9:30 MST, 8:30 PST)
Only one after prices were posted. Ben Martin has withdrawn. He wasn't in consideration for me or James this week, but may have been a name you remembered and were considering.
Rain Wednesday night into early Thursday morning could result in a softer golf course for early Round 1. Outside of that, no higher winds than 10 mph the whole week, with that 10 mph wind Friday afternoon. Interesting thing is there are massive winds Friday Night into Saturday morning, but they should be gone by the time players play on Saturday, which has the calmest winds of the three days. With this being a 3-course rotation, I don't think there's a weather advantage to be had. However, if you want to play the combination of hardest course in calmest conditions, you would then want to play golfers who will play at the Stadium Course on Saturday. A little more about that strategy later on. (Forecast from the National Weather Service)
Ownership and Narratives
A weird week for the most part in this regard. There isn't an overwhelming choice, though there are a few guys that should carry the heaviest ownership. Will anyone get to 30%? I'm not sure. Maybe we see one or two guys above 25%. We'll find out Thursday morning. But for now, here are the top projected owned guys from Fanshare Sports and Fantasy National (in no particular order): Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm, Joaquin Niemann, Corey Conners, and Chez Reavie. There are some other names popping up on each site's list, but this seems to be a consensus Top 5.
A couple of narratives have been discussed this week in articles and podcasts.
- Most of the recent winners (9 out of the past 10 I believe) have played one of the events in Hawaii leading up to this event.
- The past two years, a significant number of the Top 20 finishers in this event have started the week on the Nicklaus Tournament Course or La Quinta.
This means that you could see some lower ownership on players who didn't play in Hawaii (Justin Rose, Daniel Berger), or on players who are starting on the Stadium Course on Thursday (Bill Haas, Adam Hadwin)
This isn't going to be organized in any particular order. This is where I will discuss any additional things worth considering going into final roster lock
- The Course Rotation is as follows: Nicklaus Tournament to Stadium Course to La Quinta. So if your golfer starts at La Quinta, they will then go to the Nicklaus Tournament Course, and then to the Stadium Course. If multi-entering (or possibly doing three lineups with a main lineup and two others like I'm considering), I don't mind buidling teams that stack a rotation (all golfers starting on same course). If I do this, I will be creating teams that start on La Quinta and the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Thursday.
- If you are playing showdown slates, most people will take players at La Quinta. And that makes sense, as it was the easiest course on the Tour last year. Second easiest? The Nicklaus Tournament Course. Mixing in players from there and maybe one player from the Stadium Course will give you tournament leverage.
- If playing the weekend slates, a reminder that the cut will be made after Saturday. Factor that into your roster builds. In tournaments, consider taking someone who needs to shoot in the 60s on Saturday to make the cut; they will be much lower owned due to the fear of missing the cut.
- If you want to have a contrarian build this week, use a player in the 6k range. The highest projected owned player in this range is Dominic Bozzelli at 5-6% ownership.
- One guy I'm not sure I mentioned that I may end up on is Luke List. He's always going to pop out in the stats, but with two 4th place finishes in the Fall, he's deserving of the 9k price tag. I do like him too, as he will make lots of birdies (will give them back with bogies), but three rounds with ideal scoring conditions, I think he is someone viable.
- James asked about the balanced lineup approach this week? I'm not opposed to it: my issue is that I'm not sure there's a huge difference between golfers from 7500-9500. It's a range where I think almost any of them could win and you see quite a few of them finish in the Top 20, with winning upside. I think choosing someone in the 10k+ range and mixing in up to five of these golfers is a great way to go.
- My two favorite plays below 7500: Sam Ryder and Pat Perez. Perez isn't showing up statistically, but had two Top 10s in the fall, and did play in Hawaii last week. Ryder also had two Top 10s in the fall, but ended with two missed cuts and is starting on the Stadium Course. His upside makes him a GPP play only, but you won't find much Top 10 upside at this price point.
- In my One and Done contests, I had a hard time narrowing it down to someone I wanted to take. With one of the smaller purses on Tour, I'm not sure I want to take Rose or Rahm here. The player I ended up taking is one I have taken before in a similar situation: a west-coast course at the beginning of the year and I don't have any definitve player. When in doubt, I take Charles Howell III. Last week, I took Justin Thomas (got me 100k in 15th place or so), but my alternate pick: Matt Kuchar (Won).
That's it for this week. If you have questions about a golfer, strategy, or anything else fantasy golf related, feel free to shoot me a tweet. Once we get to Thursday morning, I may not be able to respond, but will do my best to do so. Also, if you are playing the Conference Championship games this Sunday, including Showdown slates, I will have my article posted by Saturday on those two games. It's from the perspective of the Showdown slate, but still could give you relevant information for the 2-game slate. Finally, the InsiderBaseball show is back on SiriusXM, starting this Saturday at 10:00 am with Lou Blasi and Michael Waldo. They will be discussing both football and baseball. Who knows, maybe some golf talk will emerge as well. Thanks for reading the update and listening to our podcast. If you like what you heard, please give us a review on iTunes, as that will help us improve and know what it is you like. Good luck this week at the Desert Classic and come ready for the Farmers' Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines. There should be a Tiger sighting there.