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.
Our man Ryan O'Sullivan previewed the course and set out some rankings, check out his Honda Classic Preview. To check out what you may have missed last week, Mo Yoshimoto has you covered in his Northern Trust Open recap.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
2016 Earnings: $4,610,246
2016 Rank: 4,940 of 33,153
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Paul Casey
Group 3: Graeme McDowell
Group 4: Lucas Glover
ANALYSIS: A lot of cachet from Ryan this week. With no start limitations for Rory, it's easy to plug and play anytime he's in the field and feel pretty good about it. Casey and G-Mac have a good track record at this event. Glover is the wildcard that could make or break the week for O.
2016 Earnings: $4,093,951
2016 Rank: 8,393 of 33,153
Group 1: Patrick Reed
Group 2: Paul Casey
Group 3: Luke Donald
Group 4: Stuart Appleby
ANALYSIS: In a week where wind is in the forecast, I love rostering someone like Reed who can get up-and-down with the best of them, should the difficulty of landing greens get that much harder. Casey, Donald, and Appleby all have proven track records at PGA National.
2016 Earnings: $3,233,381
2016 Rank: 15,238 of 33,153
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Paul Casey
Group 3: Webb Simpson Patrick Rodgers
Group 4: Camilo Villegas
ANALYSIS: If a putting contest breaks out at PGA National, Mo will not be in contention thanks to Webb and Scott. Luckily, they allow the golfers to hit drives and approach shots as well. Villegas is a good pick in Group 4 as a past winner here, and his opening-round spark last week. UPDATE: Substituted Patrick Rodgers for Simpson who was a pre-tourney WD.
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: 1,099
Rickie Fowler (10): Playing like a man on a mission and should bounce back strong after the crushing playoff loss to Matsuyama.
Sergio Garcia (10): Broke his PGA TOUR cuts made streak of 26, but back-to-back MCs? Not a chance, right?
Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson
Patrick Reed (7): When the wind picks up, Reed is a great golfer to own. He's one of the best scramblers on TOUR, which gives him a leg up on a difficult track like PGA National.
Luke Donald (10): Loves golfing in Florida. Won the Honda in 2006, the last year before the switch the PGA National. Fear not, because he sports four top 10s in five tries since the move.
Charles Howell III (9): Playing inspired golf this season. Top 25s in eight of 10 starts thus far. Add in a perfect 9-for-9 record at this event, and you can count me in.
Russell Knox (10): With back-to-back podium finishes at this event, I'm ready to lock him in.
Paul Casey (9): The Englishman thrives in the difficulty conditions that the Honda generally brings. It's no surprise to see top 15s in three of his four visits here. With an AM tee time on Thursday, he will likely get the starting nod for me.
Graeme McDowell (9): Is really thankful to return to Florida after some dreadful performances in Hawaii. G-Mac owns three top 10s in six trips to PGA National. That's plenty for me to get behind him. It's also a perfect fit as he kicks his week off with a PM tee time. Tee time waves could be crucial again as we enter the Florida Swing and wind starts to play a bigger factor.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Winter Segment points: 1,098
Winter Segment Points: 1,029
Season Ranking: 14,650
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!
Kevin Kisner ($9,900): Was the hottest golfer in the world just a month or two ago. Then the West Coast swing hit and derailed him a bit. A return to bermudagrass will do him good, and he should be slightly overlooked due to his lack of recent results.
Russell Knox ($9,700): A pair of podium finishes here at PGA National is what catches the eye. Nobody is going to want to pay this salary for someone of Knox' cachet. That makes him a fantastic GPP selection. We can't forget about how good he was during the fall, grabbing a win and playoff loss in back-to-back weeks.
Daniel Berger ($8,100): His lack of form is going to deter many owners this week. Notice a trend yet? I am willing to forgive the last month of play if a golfer is from the East Coast and Berger happens to live 10 minutes from the course this week. His playoff loss here last year was no fluke. I expect him to contend again.
Jason Dufner ($8,000): Three top 20s in six tries here at PGA National. The course is a great fit, and his down weeks won't kill you because he generally finds a way to make it through the week with four rounds under his belt.
Matt Jones ($7,500): Not the sexiest play, but the Aussie is intriguing this week. He missed the cut at Riviera (by one stroke). That leaves a sour taste in the mouth of gamers. What I really like though is his lack of reliance on distance off the tee. He gains his strokes as he gets closer to the green which is what I want to target at a course like PGA National.
Ben Martin ($6,500): The Clemson product arrived at Riviera CC with some of the worst poa annua statistics on TOUR. He walked away with a T16 which tells me his game was really in top shape last week. Now he returns to bermuda greens where he's historically dominated in comparison to other surfaces. Martin is one of those sub-$7K, boom-or-bust options that could make or break GPP teams. I'm hoping for the former.
Other Picks to Consider
Luke Donald ($8,600): One of the top plays this week on DraftKings, but I really wanted to diversify in the lineup above. Fitting in Donald when you can is going to be a great move this week.
Paul Casey ($9,500): While Kisner has the profile to succeed at PGA National, Casey has proven he can. Top 15s in three of four tries here.
Ryan Palmer ($8,700): The Texan knows how to handle wind. That will be crucial this week as the forecast calls for heavy winds, as usual. He made it to the playoff here in 2014, which shows us what he's capable around PGA National.
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!
This week is a very interesting case for OAD. We have a course that takes driver out of hand for these golfers, but we have a lot of elite talent at the top. I am going to look past the stars this week. I want guys that have shown they can grind out success at PGA National's Champion Course. That narrows my list down to Luke Donald, Freddie Jacobson, and Graeme McDowell. Not the flashiest list of names (unless it was 2010 again) but their track record here doesn't lie. The name that stood out to me right off the bat was Luke Donald, so I'm not going to overthink it. He sports four top 10s in five tries since the event moved to PGA National. Yes, please.
Northern Trust: I went with J.B. Holmes over Charl, Choi, Sergio, Keegan, and Tringale. RESULT: 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: Like most weeks I want to narrow it down to course horses to begin with. This week that will lead me to Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, and Brandt Snedeker. I've already used DJ, so he's not an option for me. Makes for a great play for those who still have him available. Walker has four top 10s in his last five starts here. Mickelson has experience on his side and he's making his 20th start at the event, with four Pro-Am trophies to his name. Sneds has a pair of AT&T Pro-Am victories, but six other finishes outisde the top 20. It pains to not not take Snedeker since I saved him at the Farmers because of this event. But, now that it's decision time, I'm going with Jimmy Walker this week! ... RESULT: A third-round 63 saved the week for 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: While Steele is intriguing, I couldn't ignore his play during the weekends this year, sadly pass. Simpson was next to evaluate, but I could easily think of two places to use him down the road (Wells Fargo & Wyndham) so I will let him go as well. That leaves me with two lefties that can hit it a long way. While it's easy to find place I will want to use Bubba (Masters and Travelers pop to mind), I could say the same about Phil, as well. So, I am going to stick with my gut, and the chalk, selecting Bubba Watson as my OAD pick... RESULT: He backdoored a T14 after slipping on Saturday with a 2-over 73. Not the podium finish we hoped for, but it will suffice.
Farmers: This week is a relatively easy one. The Farmers has plenty of course history, unlike last week. The two names that stick out above the rest are Brandt Snedeker and Charles Howell III. Can we cross out either due to poor form? Nope. Both are playing excellent golf currently. Will we miss either of them down the road at future tournaments? Yes. Snedeker has many stops on TOUR that he enjoys. That includes Pebble Beach in just a couple weeks. So, let's save Snedeker and go with Charles Howell III this week at the Farmers... RESULT: 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 CH3 is not too disappointing though.
CareerBuilder: 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)!... RESULT: Na pulled through with that podium finish we asked for. Successful week.
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... RESULT: 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."... RESULT: Finished T10, not killer but I really wanted a little more out of my DJ usage.