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.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
2016 Earnings: $2,157,026
2016 Rank: 7,515 of 29118
Group 1: Matt Kuchar
Group 2: Bill Haas
Group 3: Charles Howell III
Group 4: Jhonattan Vegas
ANALYSIS: Ryan has some past CareerBuilder winners (Haas x2 and Vegas) to pair with Kuchar who is always a safe play, and he sports six top 25s in eight trips to the Coachella Valley.
2016 Earnings: $1,664,872
2016 Rank: 11,991 of 29118
Group 1: Matt Kuchar
Group 2: Bill Haas
Group 3: Charles Howell III
Group 4: Ollie Schniederjans
ANALYSIS: Just one tweak from O's lineup, and thas is Ollie Schniederjans rather than Vegas. Ollie just eeked out Stricker for the last spot, due to his upside. Stricker makes a great play as well, but he's more likely to finish 20th to 50th range.
2016 Earnings: $1,293,131
2016 Rank: 16,527 of 29118
Group 1: Patrick Reed
Group 2: Ryan Palmer
Group 3: Tim Clark
Group 4: Harold Varner III
ANALYSIS: Mo will ride current form this week as Reed enters as the hottest golfer in the world. Palmer, Clark, and HV3 all played well at last week's Sony Open.
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
*Make sure you check our Twitter accounts for any updates before the first tee ball flies on Thursday. Tee time pairings and/or weather scenarios can always lead us to change our lineups prior to lock.
“Future of Fantasy”
Last week's points: 377
Phil Mickelson: Ditched Butch Harmon as his swing instructor and is ready to bounce back in 2016. I'm not getting my expectations blown out of proportion but I think he's the best of the bunch in Group A.
Tony Finau: He tore through Q-School Finals at TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament at PGA West. Posted six rounds of 3-under 69 or better. His par-5 scoring should give him a nice floor this week.
Zach Johnson: While he's short(er) off the tee than most on TOUR, he eats up par 5s and that transitions to great success on par 72 courses. He's dialing in the new sticks and a T9 at last week's Sony Open is a good sign of things to come.
Francesco Molinari: He's one of the safest plays week in and week out. His accuracy off the tee makes him a threat to stay in contention every week, but his putter is always the wildcard.
Charley Hoffman: Loves to play in California! He owns five top 10s in nine tries at the CareerBuilder, including a win and runner-up finish. Regardless of the course, he likes to play in the Coachella Valley.
Patrick Reed: I initially left him on my squad, but though better of it in the end. He's the hottest golfer in the world, so keep riding him. Historically he's struggled on Pete Dye courses, so consider benching him when he battles TPC Stadium Course.
Matt Kuchar: A top-15 machine. He doesn't shy away from low rounds either, evidenced by his 8-under 62 on Moving Day at last week's Sony Open.
Kevin Na: Often gets over-shadowed by the bigger names in the sport, but Na is one of the steadiest pros on TOUR. Posted 14 tops 25s in 27 events last year and also has three in his first five to kick off 2015-16, all podium finishes.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Last week's points: 318
Last week's points: 290
Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]
Charley Hoffman ($9,200): Loves to tear apart easy courses, and always plays well in California. You are grabbing a get chance at a top 10 with this pick.
Zach Johnson ($11,900): New sticks, same ZJ as he gained 5.616 strokes:tee-to-green at last week's Sony Open. Par 72 courses allow his course management skills to takeover and that always makes him a threat to win the golf tournament.
Robert Streb ($9,400): Gamers will not want to pay this price for a golfer that has been mediocre in terms of form of late. That makes him a great pick for our squad as we look to diversify from the crowd. His upside on Dye-designed courses should pay off as two of his four rounds will be played at TPC Stadium.
Ben Martin ($6,500): If TPC Stadium is set to cause headaches this week for golfers, I want to own some guys that have success navigating Pete Dye tracks. Just like Streb, Martin fits the bill with top 40s in four of five played on Dye tracks including a couple top 5s on his Dye resume.
Roberto Castro ($6,400): Has shown his love for the event with three top 45s in three tries. He's improved each year. In addition, he comes in with some additional course knowledge thanks to the Q-School Finals.
Erik Compton ($6,200): We've gone top-heavy and now we find the value plays at the bottom. Compton is not the most consistent golfer, which is why this lineup is for Guaranteed Prize Pool contests only. However, when you put him on a par 72 course, he becomes a world of upside. Over his last 21 starts on par 72 courses, he's tallied seven top 20s. Considering his career top-25 rate is 15-for-141 (10.6%), this is exactly the type of event you can take a risk on him.
Other Picks to Consider
Bill Haas ($11,500): Hate to take the defending champion with all the added media responsibilities that go along with that title, but Haas should be a perfect fit for these new courses. A third time winning this event is not out of the question.
Phil Mickelson ($10,400): Why would anyone pay this price for this washed-up veteran that is making his season debut? There are so many other options in this salary range, but Lefty makes for a great contrarian play as a two-time winner of this event.
Tony Finau ($7,800): We're paying for par-5 scoring here. The bomber finished 16th on TOUR in 2014-15 in Par 5 Birdie or Better Percentage (49.10%). Given the ease of this week's venues, we can pretty much lock him into eight birdies or better before we even start the tournament.
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!
Sticking to my plan, I want as much chalk as possible. I've already used Matt Kuchar and Bill Haas. Zach Johnson is better left for the Crowne Plaza or John Deere Classic. I'm not high on Reed due to his poor track record on Pete Dye courses, so scratch him off, as well. That leaves me with Kevin Na for my pick this week! Given the pace of play with all the amateurs on the course this week, Na should fit right in and pick up his fourth podium finish of the season (hopefully)!
Sony Open: My strategy is to stick to the chalk as much as possible, and try not to overthink myself out of the easy picks. This week that narrows it down to Matt Kuchar or Jimmy Walker. The latter has more pressure on him as the two-time defending champ entering the week. Therefore, I will go with Matt Kuchar this week... He teased us but fought his way back to a T13, which is acceptable.
Hyundai TOC: "Right up the gut, and this week that gut tells me Dustin Johnson is the safest route. In 19 rounds at the Hyundai, he's never posted an over-par round. In 11 of those 19 rounds, he signed for sub-70. He hoisted the trophy in 2013 and his worst finish in five tries is a T16." ... Finished T10, not killer but I really wanted a little more out of my DJ usage.