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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: Honda Classic

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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. 

Here is a quick rundown of what sites and formats we will cover each week: 

Page 1 will feature all of our selections for GolfChannel.com and Yahoo! Fantasy Golf.
Page 2 will go over One-and-Done as well as Daily Fantasy Golf picks. 
Page 3 goes over some European Tour picks for the Fantasy Race to Dubai

Before we look ahead, Mo Yoshimoto takes a look at last week's action in his Genesis Open Recap.


Now for the picks... 

GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
Josh Culp


Last Week: 325 points

Last Week Rank: 7,556

Sergio Garcia ($33,300)
Daniel Berger ($31,000)
Russell Henley ($13,900)
Blayne Barber ($8,900)
Will MacKenzie ($5,600)
Jeff Overton ($4,000) 

ANALYSIS:  Going back to a top-heavy approach after the balanced roster finished middle of the pack last week. Sticking with course history with this squad. Overton is playing his last start on a Major Medical, so I like that extra motivation.


Ryan O’Sullivan


Last Week: 387 points

Last Week Rank: 2,781


Blayne Barber ($8,900)
Russell Henley ($13,900)
Brian Harman ($17,200)
Daniel Berger ($31,000)
Luke Donald ($19,100)

Freddie Jacobson ($9,900)

ANALYSIS:  Pretty heavy on Southern Boys as we head back to Bermuda country. A few course horses thrown in where the value was right with Donald and Jacobson.


Mori Yoshimoto

Last Week:
 290.5 points

Last Week Rank: 10,520

Sergio Garcia ($33,300)
Rickie Fowler ($33,200)
Sung Kang ($11,100)
Martin Flores ($9,200)
Camilo Villegas ($7,500)
John Peterson ($4,800)

ANALYSIS: Going with the type of top-heavy lineup that could really reward Mo if some of the bargains pan out. 
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. 

Honda Classic Strategy: Wind often plays a factor at PGA National but the forecast looks rather calm at the time I'm writing this. Keep an eye out and adjust if needed, but for now it looks safe to play golfers from both waves equally. 

Josh Culp
“Future of Fantasy” 

Last Week Points: 134
Season Points: 1,068
Season Rank: 12,982

Group A

Rickie Fowler: It wasn't love at first sight, but Fowler has figured out PGA National. After two missed cuts to open his Honda career he's posted five straight cuts made, including a trio of top 15s. 

Adam Scott: The defending champ is a no-brainer here. Unless you want to save some starts for later. 

Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Gary Woodland, Brendan Steele

Group B

Justin Thomas: You would think a par 70 might limit his upside compared to a week with four par 5s but he continues to evolve into an all-around star. Plus, he pieced together a T3 here last year. 

Russell Knox: Has posted up inside the top 10 after 6-of-12 rounds here at PGA National. He's a Florida resident and a natural fit for this course that doesn't require you to bomb-and-gouge.

Danny Willett: The Englishman doesn't have the course history but he has the cachet. This is a rare opportunity where you get to pick Willett in a non-major/non-WGC.

Paul Casey: Has yet to pop since the calendar flipped to 2017. Perhaps it's the post-Nike equipment experimentation. He's too talented to stay down for long, so I'll stick him on my bench in case he returns to form and I can collect some bonus points. 

Charles Howell III, Kevin Kisner, Jimmy Walker, Daniel Summerhays


Group C

Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard boasts three top 15s here at PGA National. His ball-striking is a perfect fit for the less-than-driver layout and all it takes it one good putting week for Garcia to hoist the trophy. 

Daniel Berger: In six laps around the Champion Course he's gained 1.17 strokes off-the-tee and 1.28 strokes approaching-the-green. A great tee-to-green skillset and the Florida native should feel plenty comfy on these bermudagrass greens. 

Blayne Barber, Ian Poulter, Keegan Bradley, Tyrrell Hatton


Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”

Last Week Points: 134
Season Points: 1,202
Season Rank: 791


Group A
Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler

Group B
Justin Thomas, Russell Knox, Paul Casey, and Scott Brown

Group C
Sergio Garcia and Daniel Berger


Mo Yoshimoto


Last Week Points: 152
Season Points: 1,225
Season Rank: 305


Group A
Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler

Group B
Russell Knox, Charles Howell III, Justin Thomas, and Paul Casey

Group C
Sergio Garcia and Daniel Berger




Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]

I will be giving out selections for one team each week. 

This week I will enter the following lineup 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! 

DraftKings Picks:

Sergio Garcia ($10,900): Should still be feeling confident from his recent Euro Tour win and now he tees it up at a course where he's collected three top 15s in six visits. 
Daniel Berger ($8,900): Playing a home game, the Florida State product already has a runner-up on this layout. 

Luke Donald ($7,600): Four top 10s in six starts at PGA National. Arrives in good form, as well, and he doesn't break the bank. 

Blayne Barber ($6,800):
 I've mentioned him a few times already, but this is where he makes the most sense (DFS). His form is off the rails at the moment but this week's less-than-driver layout in his home state looks like the perfect cure.

Russell Knox ($9,000): Has feasted on PGA National's Champion Course in three visits (T2-T3-T26). 

Daniel Summerhays ($6,700): Still searching for that maiden victory. He keeps it between the pipes and can get really hot with the flat stick. For that reason, he always gets an uptick in my book whenever a tough track comes around. 

Other Picks to Consider

Graeme McDowell ($7,300): The Orlando resident feels quite comfy in Florida. That includes PGA National where he's 6-for-7 with four top 10s. 

Tyrrell Hatton ($8,500): If Knox is too chalky for you, perhaps this Englishman will tickle your fancy. He arrives with eight straight top 25s internationally, a streak which started with his victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.


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!

Dustin Johnson came through with a big victory last week. This methodology of sticking with the form + course history combo is working great this year, so let's keep it rolling. 

Looking at some course history first, let's see who stands out:  

Graeme McDowell (6-for-7 with four Top 10s)
Russell Knox (T2-T3-T26)
Freddie Jacobson (7-for-8 with all seven going for Top 30s)
Luke Donald (6-for-6 with four Top 10s)
Rickie Fowler (5-for-7 with three top 15s)
Sergio Garcia (6-for-6 with three top 15s)
Jeff Overton (7-for-9 with three top 10s)
Russell Henley (T13-WIN-T44-MC)
Charles Howell III (6-for-7 with four top 30s)
Keegan Bradley (3-for-6 with three T12 or better)


After looking at tournament history, let's have a glance at baseline skill. Here is the top 10 in the field in terms of adjusted strokes gained per round over the last few years: Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Zach Johnson, Francesco Molinari, Jimmy Walker, and Ryan Palmer.

We have two golfers that crack both lists: Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia.

If you expand the lists to top 15s instead of 10s, you also have guys like Russell Knox, Daniel Berger, Paul Casey, and Keegan Bradley as solid plays. 

I think Garcia provides the better ball-striking while Fowler provides the scrambling ability to survive without his best stuff. 

For me, I want the better ball-striking upside, so Sergio Garcia is my pick. 

Season Tracking

Wins: 2
Top 10s: 8
Top 25s: 10
Missed Cuts: 2 
Total Picks: 14




2017 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: Skipper Oosthuizen saved the day and limited drop to a meagre 24 spots.


Position: 3,252


This week:


Brandon Stone: He’s already landed two of these co-sanctioned events on home South African soil so gets the wins that other well-known compatriots don’t. Hasn’t excelled in this event yet but T16 and T28 in two of the last three is good enough. Youngster was T7 in Dubai on latest start.

Thomas Aiken: He’s a born-and-bred Joburg boy and has shown it with five top 12 finishes in the last seven years at his local event. That includes top 10s in each of the last three editions. Has posted three top fives from six starts on this year’s Race to Dubai so plenty of hot current form too.

Jaco Van Zyl: 0-for-152 on the European Tour but his five second places include one here two years ago and another three starts ago in Qatar. Van Zyl has another third and three further top 12s in this event so let’s make it three South Africans on board.

George Coetzee: Make that four. Well, why not. South African players have won five of the last six editions of this tournament so make their local knowledge tell. Coetzee lifted this trophy in 2014 and that is part of a course form sequence reading 13-24-1-3-14-7. Also T7 in Dubai and T14 in last week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am.

Jordan Smith: If looking outside the home players, Smith must be the choice. The English rookie hasn’t finished worse than T39 in six starts and the best of his two top sixes came on South African soil with third place in last month’s SA Open. 

Dean Burmester: T4 in South African Open, T7 in Abu Dhabi and has kept the engine running with 4-17 in two recent Sunshine Tour events. T13 here in 2015 with bookend 65s so I’ll make it a fifth local out of six and hope the home dominance continues.



Team Cooper (Team name: NormanStanleyFletcher)

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.


Last week: I only got Louis Oosthuizen anywhere near the title so slipped out the top 1000. Going for course and Joburg region specialists this week. 


Position: 1,149th


George Coetzee (captain): Since missing the cut on his first two appearances in the event the big South African has reeled off six consecutive top 25s, five of them T14 or better, one a win. Have the armband, George.


Thomas Aiken: Almost, but not quite, uncannily like Coetzee in record. No win, but six top 25s, five of them T12 or better, three missed cuts but not one since 2010. In his last 12 SA starts on the European Tour never worse than T32 and ten top 20s.


Richard SterneTwo-time winner of the event (in 2008 and 2013), T10 here last year, not been seen for a while, but was T2 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.


Jaco Van ZylAn unlikely missed cut in this event 12 months ago but has the (familiar) six top 25s in this tournament, including a T3 and T2. Missed out to Wang in extra holes in Qatar.


Jordan Smith: A simple play based on the idea that he’ll be chuffed to return to Joburg; last time he was in town he was playing alongside, with some credit, Rory McIlroy.


Anthony Wall: Course record not too shabby (T37-T10-T3-T2), venue form nice (won at nearby Houghton in 2000) and he’s chugged along nicely since the win last year.




Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.