The big news of the morning is Paul Casey withdrawing from this week's event due to a back injury. Make sure you remove him from all lineups.
Let's do some final prep as we build our DFS lineups for this week's PLAYERS Championship.
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Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high of 85 degrees. Calm winds (5-to-8 MPH).
Friday (R2): Sunny with a high near 88 degrees. Calm winds (5-to-7 MPH).
Weekend: Possible showers on Sunday (30% chance) but otherwise very similar with temps in the mid-80s and calm winds.
Next year when this event moves to March we may have more weather to deal with but this week looks prime with steady temps and calm winds.
If you're anything like me then you have fallen in love with Daily Fantasy Sports but probably came from a season-long background. The one thing I miss about season-long leagues is the snake drafts. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Brooks Koepka (70.6 Projected Pts): Returning from a long injury layoff, Koepka squeezed into a top 45 last week at Quail Hollow Club. That's a course where BK should have been able to thrive with his driver. Instead, he lost more than a stroke off-the-tee. Until he shows return to his normal stats, I will take a pass.
Jon Rahm (81.3 Projected Pts): This projection suggests that Rahm is a sure-fire slam dunk this week. In reality, he's only played one event in Florida during his PGA TOUR career. That came at this event last year where he posted an MDF after firing a 10-over 82 on Saturday. Personally, I will lower him on my board until he proves a comfort on these grasses.
Tiger Woods (39.3 Projected Pts): Still getting no love from the alogrithm, we should continue to boost him up our draft board. This projection clearly takes into account his performance while injured over the last few years. A healthy Tiger deserves a projection of at least 25 points higher.
Tommy Fleetwood (40.9 Projected Pts): The Englishman IS one of the world's best ball-strikers. On a recent No Laying Up podcast he said he really wanted to play Colonial Country Club. That goes to show that despite his length off the tee, he doesn't mind to get his hands dirty on a less-than-driver course. Posted a T41 in his PLAYERS debut last year but he did pop with a 5-under 67 in R2. He deserves to be drafted inside the top 30 for sure. I will have him inside my top 15 on the pre-draft rankings.
TPC Sawgrass, like many courses in Florida, features bermudagrass throughout the property. Golfers that grew up on these grasses might have a slight edge.
Looking at performance on bermudagrass since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
A lot of firepower on that list above, as you'd expect.
Si Woo Kim
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Luke List: Has a reputation (and rightfully so) for being a bomber that often struggles on the greens. However, his recent results suggest his game has more flexibility. Most notable were finishes of T3 (Heritage), T7 (API), T16 (Valspar), and RUNNER-UP (Honda). These are notable because all of these events often take driver out of your hand throughout the round. That will be the case again this week at TPC Sawgrass. However, he'll be able to score for fantasy owners with four par 5s sprinkled throughout the course. He's also proven very comfy in the Sunshine State, posting five top 20s in his last nine starts in Florida.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!