Welcome to Playing the Tips!
Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our group of fantasy staffers from Rotoworld.com. We’ll have all of our selections from the GolfChannel.com, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf, as well as One-and-Done & DFS recommendations.
Ryan O'Sullivan previewed the course and set out some rankings, check out his Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview.
Stay in touch with what's happening overseas as Dave Tindall breaks down this week's European Tour event in his Hero Indian Open Preview.
To check out what you may have missed last week, Mo Yoshimoto has you covered in his Valspar recap.
Now for the picks...
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
2016 Earnings: $6,525,995
2016 Rank: 4,480 of 34,226
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Graeme McDowell
Group 3: Charles Howell III
Group 4: Scott Brown
ANALYSIS: The Aussie is the hottest golfer on the planet currently, can't blame O for using him here. G-Mac is a good play as his local knowledge should come in handy. CH3 and Brown are both playing good golf, as well.
2016 Earnings: $5,358,115
2016 Rank: 10,726 of 33,903
Group 1: Henrik Stenson
Group 2: Zach Johnson
Group 3: Jason Korak
Group 4: George McNeill
ANALYSIS: I've taken a very course-history heavy approach this week. ZJ is not playing up to his standards, but a return to Bay Hill could really spark him. McNeill always plays well in Florida, and Bay Hill is no exception (6-for-6 with five top 40s).
2016 Earnings: $5,264,832
2016 Rank: 11,298 of 33,903
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Marc Leishman
Group 3: Harris English
Group 4: Retief Goosen
ANALYSIS: A good mix of form and course history here. All four of these guys like to grind it out which is great if Bay Hill returns to it's usual toughness (unlike last year).
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
*Make sure you check our Twitter accounts for any updates before the first tee ball flies on Thursday. Change in weather, tee times, etc. can always lead to last-minute changes and we will let you know through our social media channels.
“Future of Fantasy”
Winter Segment points: 1,642
Jason Day (10): Course history buffs will look right past him, but they shouldn't. Despite his lackluster effort at Bay Hill, he's exceeded the field average by 2 or more strokes in five of his last 12 rounds here. He's very close to unlocking the secret of this venue. With the Masters just around the corner, he's really looking for a confidence booster before then.
Adam Scott (9): In these semi-strong field events, I like to lean on the chalk. The separation of talent between the top 5-to-10 guys from the rest of the field is very noticeable. So, use these studs and worry about starts later.
Gary Woodland, Ryan Moore
Henrik Stenson (9): The Orlando resident is a course horse. Don't get cute with this one. Auto play.
Rory McIlroy (9): Bay Hill is a course where long-iron play is needed. Other than driving, that is where the Northern Irishman excels. He posted a T11 in his debut last year. Should match or exceed that in his second attempt.
Justin Rose (9): Podium finishes here at Bay Hill in two of his past four tries. His long-iron play is elite, so it makes perfect sense.
Hideki Matsuyama (8): Bay Hill is a perfect layout when he's healthy. With the caliber of talent I have in front of him this week, I'm willing to throw in Matsuyama and keep him on the bench until he shows me how his health is treating him. Worst-case: I survive with just starting the three studs in front of him. Best-case: I get a podium finish out of a golfer that many are scared away from this week.
Charles Howell III, Zach Johnson, Jason Kokrak
Paul Casey (8): If starts weren't an issue, I would likely roll with Kuchar, but I want to save Kooch for week's were I need a crutch and also where he sports more reliable course history. The Englishman opened this event with a 64 in 2007 and also a 67 in his 2014 opener. I will use him in R1 and hope for another strong start.
Marc Leishman (10): I had the Swede, Freddie Jacobson, in here. Then I remembered we're playing Yahoo format where slightly above mediocrity does not get rewarded. Leishman on the other hand can go real low, which plays well into this round-by-round scoring format.
Matt Kuchar, Freddie Jacobson
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Winter Segment points: 1,572
Adam Scott (10) and Jason Day (10)
Henrik Stenson (9), Rory McIlroy (9), Hideki Matsuyama (8), and Justin Rose (9)
Paul Casey (9) and Matt Kuchar (9)
Winter Segment Points: 1,451
Segment Ranking: 16,394
Adam Scott (9) and Jason Day (9)
Henrik Stenson (8), Rory McIlroy (8), Harris English (9), Justin Rose (10)
Marc Leishman (10) and Smylie Kaufman (9)
Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]
I will be giving out these selections for one team each week, entered into the $3 Birdie contest.
This contest has a large number of entries, with guaranteed prize payouts, which means we can't play it safe if we want to see our name at the top!
Give DFS golf a whirl and draft your team today!
Henrik Stenson ($11,100): This is the one "safe pick" to anchor the team. His local knowledge, course history, and general consistency make him a great play this week.
Zach Johnson ($8,300): This is a pure price play. The 12-time PGA TOUR winner is priced lower due to his recent form. I would be hesitant but his course history draws me back in. He sports five top 15s in 12 starts here at Arnie's Invite.
Byeung-Hun An ($8,100): He disappointed at Doral, but you can't ignore his performance on the European Tour last year. It's just a matter of time before he cracks the whip here in the States. There is a good chance this is the week since he still calls Tampa Bay home and this is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Jason Kokrak ($7,900): Still on the short list to breakout and Bay Hill has been very good to him over the past two runnings. In 2014 he finished fourth and last year he returned with a T6.
Francesco Molinari ($7,200): Rule #1 of DFS, play good golfers. The Italian fits the bill since he's a golfer that would be priced above $9,000 when he's in top form. He's almost a clone of ZJ (above) and we've seen both take a liking to Bay Hill Golf and Lodge, which forces golfers to club down on many of the par 4s.
Will Wilcox ($6,600): When he says to "send" on Twitter, you lock him in. He gave the go-ahead last week and gave the thumbs up again. It helps that the stats back up the play.
Other Picks to Consider
Jason Day ($10,800): We always talk about finding low-owned golfers with winning upside. The Aussie fits that mold this week as he arrives in poor form (for his standards). I expect him to knock off the cobwebs this week and grab a top 10 to boost his confidence heading into the Masters.
Matt Jones ($7,900): Another course horse. He can lap the field on the greens when his putter gets hot. When it's just mild, he can still crack at top 30.
Bud Cauley ($6,300): He's got a long history with Bay Hill, even before he finished T4 in his 2014 API debut. Back in his AJGA days, he teed it up here on multiple occasions. His price tag makes it an easy reach since he won't kill your lineups if he duds.
Each week I think aloud to provide you with my One-and-Done selection as well as a few alternatives. Fade or Follow? You decide!
For this week's Arnold Palmer Inviational, I will take a look at golfers that have greatly exceeded expectations here. That includes: Matt Every, Ian Poulter, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Francesco Molinari, and Sean O'Hair. Kokrak pops out as someone who could actually rise up and finally win. However, none of these options are really trustworthy.
Instead, I'm going to look at the class of the field. That shortlist would include Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, and Henrik Stenson. The Swede has the best course history, but I've already burned him (last week). McIlroy is in play anywhere, but you want to maximize your potential $ earned and wait for a WGC or major. Day doesn't have the course history I desire in a OAD pick. The other Aussie just had a week off to think about his back-to-back wins. A letdown week would not surprise me in the slightest. That leaves me with Justin Rose as my pick this week. He's in good form and also sports podium finishes at Bay Hill in two of his past four appearances here.
Valspar: Didn't trust any of the course horses, so I went with Stenson and got a T11 out of it. This is not my seventh finish between 10th and 17th since the start of 2016.
WGC-Cadillac: A T3 for Rory McIlroy as he recorded just one birdie in the final round. Slightly disappointing.
Honda Classic: T61 for Donald as he performed the worst of the three I had narrowed down. Our worst showing yet, but at least he made the cut!
Northern Trust: I didn't get a win, but I chose the second-best option of the five I was considering. Holmes and his T11 will suffice.
AT&T Pro-Am: A third-round 63 saved the week for Jimmy Walker as he finished T11. Not terrible, but Phil obviously would have been the best pick of the three I had it narrowed down to.
WMPO: Bubba Watson backdoored a T14 after slipping on Saturday with a 2-over 73. Not the podium finish we hoped for, but it will suffice.
Farmers: My decision to save Sneds looked good on Friday as he snuck into the weekend. A big pile of WELP was served though as Snedeker came from behind to grab a victory. A T17 from Charles Howell III is not too disappointing though.
CareerBuilder: Kevin Na pulled through with that podium finish we asked for. Successful week.
Sony Open: Matt Kuchar teased us but fought his way back to a T13, which is acceptable.
Hyundai TOC: Dustin Johnson finished T10, not killer but I really wanted a little more out of my DJ usage.