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 Austin CC course and set out some rankings, check out his WGC Match Play Preview.
Dave Tindall provides an outlook for all the European Tour golfers in his WGC Match Play (Euro) Preview.
Now for the picks...
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
2016 Earnings: $6,708,750
2016 Rank: 5,023 of 34,479
Final Four: Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Danny Willett, and Adam Scott
Final Two: Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott
Winner: Jordan Spieth
ANALYSIS: Spieth brings the Texas knowledge to Austin this week. He's as good of pick as any to take home the hardware.
2016 Earnings: $6,041,215
2016 Rank: 8,388 of 34,479
Final Four: Jordan Spieth, Scott Piercy, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy
Final Two: Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy
Winner: Rory McIlroy
ANALYSIS: Piercy is the bigggg wildcard here. The Las Vegas resident has a good history with money games including a $2 Million victory at the Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas back in 2007. Talk about performing under pressure. It helps that he's good in the wind and a great wedge player. Casey is a match play stud, as long as he can get out of his difficult group of Jason Day, Thongchai Jaidee, and G-Mac.
2016 Earnings: $5,500,153
2016 Rank: 11,798 of 34,479
Final Four: Louis Oosthuizen, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey, Branden Grace
Final Two: Rickie Fowler and Paul Casey
Winner: Rickie Fowler
ANALYSIS: This goes to show how unpredictable Match Play really is. Our trio of experts basically have entirely different final fours. It should be a fun week!
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: 1,885
Tony Finau (9): Getting his first look at Coco Beach. Could really thrive on this layout that rewards good long-iron play.
Brendon de Jonge (10): A course horse. Despite his poor recent form, you have to throw him in your lineup. Plus, there are only three options in Yahoo this week so it's either poor form + good course history (de Jonge) or poor form + mediocre course history (Sabbatini)
Graham DeLaet (10): There aren't many venues where the Canadian sports consistent history. This is one of those spots (T18-T9-T24). After a near-win in his last start, he is ready to strick while the iron is hot.
Jerry Kelly (10): The perfect fit for a seaside resort course. The track record backs that up as he owns five top 25s in seven starts here in Puerto Rico.
William McGirt (10): He's swinging a hot stick this season and he sports top 30s in both trips to Coco Beach.
Luke Donald (8): The Englishman is testing his luck against a weak field. We're not used to seeing Donald in a field like this, but that let's us know where his heads at. He wants to build some momemtum this week on what should be an easy top 25 for him.
George McNeill, Alex Cejka
Freddie Jacobson (10): The Junk Man is great at handling tough situations that are thrown at him. If the weather plays a factor this week, I expect the Swede to grind his way through the elements toward a top 25.
Scott Brown (10): A past winner here in Puerto Rico and he's playing some great golf recently.
Patrick Rodgers, Seung-yul Noh, Retief Goosen
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Winter Segment points: 1,793
Rory Sabbatini (10) and Brendon de Jonge (10)
Alex Cejka (10), Luke Donald (9), William McGirt (10), and Graham DeLaet (10)
Scott Brown (10) and Freddie Jacobson (10)
Winter Segment Points: 1,652
Segment Ranking: 14,418
Tony Finau (9) and Brendon de Jonge (10)
George McNeill (10), William McGirt (10), Graham DeLaet (9), and Alex Cejka Jerry Kelly (10)
Luke List (10) and Patrick Rodgers (10)
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!
Graham DeLaet ($11,000): He's the odds-on favorite to win this week and also the favorite in my eyes. I'm hoping others latch on to the fact that he's yet to close the deal and avoid him this week. Should be good for a top 10.
Tony Finau ($9,200): Making his course debut. They say some golfers play down to their competition, well he's not one of those. He thrives against weaker fields, and that should means a very strong debut for the bomber this week.
Seung-yul Noh ($8,900): Noh-body wants to pay $8,900 for Seung-yul. In a weak field like this, you have to grab onto any sleepers you can find. In this case, he's won the Zurich which is played on another par 72 that stretch out past 7,400 yards. He's also won the Maybank Malaysian Open, another course that features the rare seashore paspalum greens, just like Coco Beach.
Bryce Molder ($7,700): This is what I call sneaky-good course history. He sports top 30s in three of his five starts here, including two inside the top 15. However, he missed the cut last year. With so many gamers focusing on recent results and also recent course history, I think Molder gets overlooked.
Brendon de Jonge ($7,300): He's leaking oil entering the week but this is a very comfortable venue for him. In fact, he's posted top 15s in four of his five starts here. Sounds good to me, for sub-$7.5K.
Andres Romero ($5,900): He's hit a rough patch in his career, to say the least. A big finish would go a long way towards earning back his status on TOUR. Now he arrives at a course where he's finished top 20 on two separate occasions. I like my chances for someone at this salary.
Other Picks to Consider
Jerry Kelly ($9,200): A course horse whose wedge game also helps him score.
Freddie Jacobson ($10,400): The Swede almost always gets overlooked due to his not-so-Excel-friendly name of Fredrik/Freddie. He's steady enough that we should be able to rely on a top 25 here at Coco Beach.
Dean Burmester ($9,400): Another over-priced golfer that nobody will want to own this week. He's unproven on the PGA TOUR but he's finished inside the top 15 in six of his last seven starts, internationally. They've been in weaker fields, but that's exactly what we have assembled in Puerto Rico, this week. Not the price we want to pay, but the upside is there.
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!
Let's start with Puerto Rico and narrow our list down to course horses: Boo Weekley, George McNeill, Scott Brown, Brendon de Jonge, Graham DeLaet. I'm not going to beat around the bush, I think the Beard is the obvious play here as his raw talent is a cut above the rest and he sports top 25s in all three trips here to Coco Beach. They were all 2013 or before, when DeLaet struggled with consistency. The fact that he's returning this week lets us know he's serious about finding that winner's circle. Graham DeLaet is my pick.
For the WGC, it's a little tougher. I would advise against using a "big gun". We saw Rory win this event last year, but we've also seen a lot of big names go down early. A few names that jump out with decent enough match play history and not golfers I would really miss later on in the season: Danny Willett, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Paul Casey, and Louis Oosthuizen. The Barn Rat is in the same group as semi-local Jimmy Walker, no thanks. Oosthuizen would have a second round matchup with Jordan Spieth if things go the way I think they will. Also, no thanks. Willett has a tough draw with Koepka and Horschel both very lively opponents. Paul Casey will be my pick. He's got a very difficult group to deal with, but I could see him really going far if he escapes the group stage alive.
Arnold Palmer Invitational: Despite an early double in round one, Rose bounced back and hung around near the top for most of the week. A finish of T9 will suffice, but we're still looking for a big winner.
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.