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2018 Course Rank: 7th Easiest of 51 Courses (Was -1.585 strokes under par)
Roster Lock: 6:50 am CST (7:50 am EST, 5:50 am MST, 4:50 am PST)
There are a couple of things to look at here. First, the Dallas area has gotten nearly two inches of rain the past day or two, possibly softening up the course at least for Thursday. Temperatures will be in the 70s, so it may not dry out as quickly as usual.
The potential bigger issue is the wind. Winds are very calm Thursday morning, increasing throughout the day to end up around 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph on Thursday afternoon. Friday has winds around 10 mph, but gusts near 25-30 mph in the morning, and lightening up to around 15 mph by the afternoon. This is clearly looking like an advantage is to be had with the Thursday AM/Friday PM groupings. I think this will be mentioned by many in the industry, so expect to see increased ownership on these players. Is this something to significantly change your lineups? Possibly. I think there is a good impact to player selection, but if you really like someone in the Thursday PM/Friday AM tier, I wouldn't get off of them. This may be a decent time to heavily weigh the AM/PM group thought (EX: Using 60-80% of player pool from the AM/PM wave is a decent idea). Of course, tee time stacks are a smart idea.
A little disagreement between Fantasy National and FanShare Sports on ranges of ownership for some of the golfers. Fanshare expects the 10k+ range to be more popular than Fantasy National does (minus Spieth; he's low owned in both places). However, they both are in agreement on the top owned golfer in their projections: Keith Mitchell. His good form and course fit are getting him this attention. Add in the favorable tee time wave and I think we could see 25-30% ownership on him. For the rest, here are the players not in the 10k range or named Keith Mitchell who are expected to get ownership (in no particular order): Sungjae Im, Aaron Wise, RCB, Adam Schenk, Trey Mullinax. Knox, Moore, and Palmer may also see some decent ownership, but should be below this tier.
Wise is the only one I'm not on, as I'm just taking a stand and thinking he may not match last year's winning performance. If you're looking for tee time disadvantages for players, here are the ones I just mentioned with the disadvantage of the PM/AM tee time wave: Stenson, Leishman, RCB, Mullinax, Moore, and Schenk. Out of this group, I can see myself fading Mullinax, as he was already on the bubble for me and now the tee time wave and ownership has me thinking about playing the fade.
- Players that I wasn't necessarily considering, but may end up using due to being the AM/PM Wave; Matt Jones, Troy Merritt, Scott Stallings, Lucas Bjerregaard, and Nate Lashley. I was already on Thorbjorn Olesen, Sepp Straka, and Jim Knous.
- Players that I was originally on, but may reconsider due to weather: Trey Mullinax, RCB, K.H. Lee, Ryan Moore, Dylan Fritelli, and Scottie Scheffler.
- I think of this, I could see myself getting off 1-3 of the Thursday PM golfers and onto 2-3 of the Thursday AM golfers.
- When it comes to my lineup process, I made my core team quite easily (single-entry with all of the other tournaments). I struggled to make lineups two and three. It wasn't because I couldn't eliminate golfers: I just liked too many in the 8k range to make it work. So, I decided to go with 10 toal lineups (Core plus 9) and include the golfers that were on the fringe. I ended up with 17 golfers in that core. It may end up at 18 or 19, depending on what weather impacts I want to make. But, it was a very weird process that led me to this result.
- I think in the end, my One and Done will be Sungjae Im. He's playing really well, and may be slightly less popular to justify him. In my league with James, I will use Keith Mitchell as my second pick.
PGA Championship content should be posted by me by Saturday morning. I believe as of now, I will be jumping on with Lou Blasi and Michael Waldo on the Fantistics Insider Baseball show on SiriusXM on Saturday to talk PGA Championship. Not sure on the time but tune into the show to get my first impressions. James and I will record the full podcast Monday night. Good luck this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic.
Just a quick thought on prices now that I know them
- 10k: Jordan Spieth at 10,300? Not sure I understand that. Stenson being up here is a little suprrising, but no issues or obvious plays for me in this range.
- 9k: Brendan Grace's current form doesn't justify 9,200 to me. Rory Sabbatini at 9,000 is higher than I thought, but has been playing well. James was big on Rory, and he was right when he said Sabbatini would be in the low 9ks. I'm sure he will play him. I like the price on Aaron Wise, as I think it's appropriate and will prevent him from being too chalky.
- 8k: Kevin Na at 8,900 seems a little high to me. But, I do like this tier quite a bit, and think there is some value with RCB at 8,600 and Howell at 8,500. Noren at 8,200 in this field is probably close to right, but still feels a few hundred higher than he should be.
- 7k: Scottie Scheffler at 7,900 will be quite intriguing, after a really good recent run on the Web.com Tour and 20th at Valero. No one else really jumps out at me as a value or overpriced, outside of Adam Schenk at 7,000. It feels like he should be closer to 7,500 after a nice season so far.
- 6k: Nothing surprising here. Jim Knous (6,600), Nate Lashley (6,300), and Sepp Straka (6,200) are my favorite values.
After what has felt like a long string of tougher courses (Masters, Heritage, and Wells Fargo), an easier course pops up with the AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest. This is only the second year the event is being held at Trinity Forest, so I don't think we can factor in past results as much. We can notice some trends, such as Marc Leishman's pretty good track record at this event, and even in Texas, in general. He will be an interesting form vs location dilemma this week.
Last year, the scoring was quite generous, with -3 being the cut. I'm emphasizing scoring stats this week, and looking at ball strikers. I'm omitting Tee-to-Green because if I'm worrying about a player's around the green stats, they are in trouble anyway. You may hear a narrative of playing SMU alums, as this is the home course for Southern Methodist University. However, as it is a newer course, the players in the field from SMU (Kelly Kraft and Colt Knost are the only two I know of right now) didn't play their college golf here. A lot of the big names are at Bethpage Black getting ready for the PGA Championship, but with Koepka and some good players from Europe here, the top of the field isn't the worst we will see. The depth of the field though will be lacking, so finding those gems in the 6k and low 7k range may be a struggle.
Finally, since James and I are doing the podcast on Sunday night, we don't have pricing out. I'm also assuming we won't have full stats from the Wells Fargo. I will update this during the podcast. I may include a Monday Update with pricing and any big changes I noticed in the stats on Fantasy National, once Wells Fargo gets posted.