Welcome to Playing the Tips!
Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our fantasy staffers at Rotoworld.com.
Fantasy Race to Dubai
Dave Tindall is our main man in Europe. In addition to his weekly previews of European Tour events on Mondays, he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.
Format: Pick 6 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Captain’s points are doubled. Unlimited team changes can be made each week.
Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)
Last week: Quiet but Eddie Pepperell’s good finish meant a rise of 28 spots.
Shane Lowry: Absolutely thrives when playing in front of packed UK crowds and he’ll love the atmosphere. Decent warm-up when T29 in Portugal last week.
Sergio Garcia: Should be able to show his class again on return to Europe. T12 and T10 in final two FedExCup Playoff events.
Matthew Fitzpatrick: Will enjoy this test which requires brain not brawn. Short journey from his home in Sheffield and won on latest European Tour start in Switzerland.
Chris Wood: Scored the biggest win of his career on home English soil when taking BMW PGA at Wentworth in 2016. Top 10 in the KLM on latest start and won’t mind any bad weather.
Bernd Wiesberger: Shook off summer dip with T9 at the KLM and should be a leaderboard presence again on a track that suits.
Alex Noren: Rory not doing it for me so Noren, who won this event at The Grove last year, gets my final pick.
Matt Cooper is part of our European team. He contributes to player news, and he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com. He was the winner of the Ladies European Tour’s Fantasy League in 2011.
Team Cooper (Team name: NormanStanleyFletcher)
Last week: Sneaking closer to the top 1000 thanks to Bjerregaard, and between you and me, my goal this year is to retrieve the 750th spot I had before forgetting to include Sergio at the Masters. (Yes, it still stings.)
Rory McIlroy (captain): Who knows exactly what will happen this week, but I don't want to miss out if he fires. Got a funny feeling about his chances.
Shane Lowry: Eight top 12 finishes in England and you can't overlook we're in the north of England. It could easily be cold and windy. Lowry won't be fussed.
Sergio Garcia: Not entirely convinced by his current state of mind, but 14 top 20 finishes in 22 starts in England and one of the class acts in the field.
Alex Noren: The defending champion is solid in England and Scotland, hails from a similar latitude to this week's venue, used to the likely conditions and not fazed by them.
Matthew Fitzpatrick: Was tempted by Tommy Fleetwood, but he's a bit rusty and might have impending fatherhood on his mind. I'll go with fellow northerner Fitzpatrick instead.
Bernd Wiesberger: T9 last time out hints that it's time for the Austrian to return to his solid ways.
Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]
I will be giving out selections for one team each week.
These lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field.
I would also advise you to change a roster spot or two if you are trying to enter this lineup yourself. Duplicate entries are no fun.
Lee Westwood ($9,100) There is plenty of firepower at the top, so dropping down and using Westwood as the team anchor should keep this unique. Westy knows the course better than anyone but will host duties take its toll on him? I'll take my chances in this lineup.
Ross Fisher ($8,700): Six straight finishes outside the top 30, but he's much more talented than that. A return back to England should help him get back in gear.
Tyrrell Hatton ($8,500): Had a dreadful summer but finally snapped out of the funk with a T3 at the Omega European Masters. That event is also played at a short course where putting is often needed. That is right up Hatton's alley.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($8,400): Let down many owners last week with a missed cut, but that is the nature of his game. He is very boom-or-bust on a weekly basis. Has elite putting skills, which should come into play on a shorter track like Close House.
Andy Sullivan ($7,700): Three straight missed cuts, so he certainly fits into the trend of this team. I'm looking at poor form golfers with heaps of upside.
Martin Kaymer ($7,400): Took five weeks off to rest an injury, returning with T31 and MC. Says he's feeling 100% healthy now, so I'm getting back on board when the price is at an all-time low. The German has the talent to run away from any field.
Presidents Cup on PGATOUR.com
Check out fantasygolf.pgatour.com for a one-week fantasy contest for this week's Presidents Cup.
The top-3 scoring teams will win prizes. First Place = Set of Titleist Irons; Second Place = Titleist Driver; Third Place = Scotty Cameron Putter
Now, here are my thoughts on how to get to the top of the leaderboard:
When we have a very top-heavy contest like this, right away we know we need to be perfect or be unique. Making a perfect lineup is much tougher, so instead, I will focus on being unique. The quickest way to accomplish that is to choose the International Team as my winning squad since at least 75% of gamers will likely side with the heavily-favored Americans. For this game, that means that all of my picks will come from the International team.
Are there any key strategy pieces we should know? First, Day 3 is key. There is just one wave of matches on both Thursday and Friday but Saturday (Day 3) is when the slate gets broken down into two sets of four team matches. Using the 2015 edition as a reference point, we saw that SIX international golfers played twice on Saturday (Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Jason Day, and Charl Schwartzel). Because of the dominance we saw from Grace & Oosthuizen in 2015, I expect them to get the nod again in both slates. On top of that, I will choose the top Presidents Cup point-earner, Hideki Matsuyama as my third golfer on Saturday since I expect him to be used as often as possible.
The next nugget I want to use is a potential pairing. Listening to an interview this morning, Nick Price already tipped his hand that Matsuyama will likely team up with Si Woo Kim. I assume they will fire them up in Round 1 since they'll want to use Matsuyama as often as possible. Because of that, I will lock in Si Woo Kim on Day 1. UPDATE: There was either a change of heart or these two will team up later in the week, so I won't lean on Si Woo Kim for Round 1, since he and Grillo are set to take on the mighty Spieth-Reed duo.
The last piece of advice is to "throw away" the most unpredictable picks into the Day 4 slot. After reading the contest rules I am not certain whether editing a roster will be possible after the first tee ball on Thursday. As a precaution, I will throw in my last three golfers on Day 4, since I know they will at least get to peg it in Singles. For example, I would hate to roster Anirban Lahiri on Day 1 only to find out he gets skipped and won't play until Day 2.
The rest is really all about taking some educated guesses and hoping you get lucky. Keep your eyes peeled for quotes that may give hints on potential pairings and/or when a golfer will be used.
Here is the lineup I will start with. I say "start with" because I might need to make last-minute changes if I hear anything on potential pairings:
Day 1: Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Si Woo Kim
Day 2: Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Charl Schwartzel
Day 3: Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen
Day 4: Jhonnatan Vegas, Emiliano Grillo, Anirban Lahiri
Updates: I am very afraid of Kevin Kisner in any team format. I think he has that killer instinct. I will swerve off Leishman in day one to avoid the Kisner/Mickelson pairing. I will insert Schwartzel since he's paired with Matsuyama and they'll take on Justin Thomas who has no team experience and Rickie Fowler who has a poor track record in the team format (2-5-4 across Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup).
After Si Woo Kim was announced to play with Grillo on Day 1, I swapped him out for Jhonattan Vegas. The Venezuelan gets a nice pairing alongside Adam Scott who has been suffering through these Presidents Cup losses for the longest amount of time. I think Scott comes out firing on all cylinders, so I will look to ride that coattail and go with a correlated Scott-Vegas pairing.
Lastly, I've moved Anirban Lahiri on my Day 2 roster. Hadwin and Lahiri are sitting out Day 1, so they should be well-rested and ready to roll on Friday.
Day 1: Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Jhonattan Vegas
Day 2: Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Anirban Lahiri
Day 3: Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen
Day 4: Si Woo Kim, Emiliano Grillo, Marc Leishman