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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: THE PLAYERS

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 group of fantasy staffers from 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 will take a look across the pond with Fantasy Race to Dubai selections. 

Dave Tindall has you covered for all things European Tour. Check out his Mauritius Open Preview.

To check out what you may have missed last week, Mo Yoshimoto has you covered in his Wells Fargo Championship Recap
 

Now for the picks... 
 

GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
 

Ryan O’Sullivan

@RyanGolfBlogger

2016 Earnings: $11,703,141

2016 Rank: 1,365 of 39,731
 

Group 1: Henrik Stenson

Group 2: Sergio Garcia

Group 3: Chris Kirk
Group 4: David Hearn

ANALYSIS: Ryan's golfers combine for 11 top 10s here at TPC Sawgrass with plenty of measly top 25s in there as well. Good course history, here. 



Josh Culp

@futureoffantasy
 

2016 Earnings: $10,110,631

2016 Rank: 5,077 of 39,731

Group 1: Henrik Stenson

Group 2: Sergio Garcia

Group 3: Billy Horschel
Group 4: Ben Martin

ANALYSIS: I went with course history for groups one and two. Then, I picked a pair of golfers who are most comfortable on bermuda greens. Horschel is a local and knows this course well. Martin always finds a way to climb up the leaderboard when bermuda greens are in play. 

 

 

Mo Yoshimoto

@Bears3423

 

2016 Earnings: $8,390,999

2016 Rank: 12,979 of 39,731

 

Group 1: Jason Day

Group 2: Hideki Matsuyama

Group 3: Francesco Molinari
Group 4: Chesson Hadley

ANALYSIS: Raw talent at the top and then Molinari and Hadley coming in as complete opposites. Molinari is a plodder that is good for a cut made most weeks. Hadley, on the other hand, will miss his fair share of cuts but he really hits hard when he pops. 

 
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. 
 
Josh Culp

“Future of Fantasy” 
 

Spring Points: 841
Spring Rank: 
21,013
Full Season Points: 
2,904
Full Season Ranking: 1,394

 

Group A

Jordan Spieth (6): Well rested and hopefully has the Masters in his rearview. This is agreat course fit for him as evidenced by the T4 in his debut. He missed the cut last year, but I don't see another MC coming this week. 

Sergio Garcia (9): He's a course horse here at TPC Sawgrass. Six top 10s in 16 starts here. Very solid. 

SUPER SUBS 
Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Chris Kirk

 

Group B


Henrik Stenson (6): Dont let last week's missed cut throw you off the scent. The Swede has seven top 25s in 10 tries here at the Stadium Course. 

Russell Knox (9): As a Jacksonville resident he owns the local factor. In addition, he's a fairways and greens specialist. A great course fit for the Scot. 
 

Zach Johnson (9): Another golfer who possesses the profile to succeed here at TPC Sawgrass, and he backs it up with his results. In 11 starts at THE PLAYERS, he's collected nine top 35s, including a runner-up finish in 2012. 

Hideki Matsuyama (6): An elite ball-striker on a course that reward such? Seems like a no-brainer. The difference between a win and a top 25 this week will come down to his always volatile flat stick.  

  

SUPER SUBS
Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari

 

Group C
Bill Haas (10): He rises to the top whenever a course takes driver out of the equation. He fantastic in his approach game and his short game is always tidy. 

Kevin Na (7): Despite his lack of distance, he's competitive at nearly all venues. When the yardages drops down below 7,300 yards, he becomes even more valuable. He'll be at a level playing field off the tee this week, allowing him to shine in all other tee-to-green aspects. 

SUPER SUBS 
Matt Kuchar, Branden Grace, Marc Leishman, Billy Horschel, Martin Kaymer

 

Ryan O’Sullivan (O)

“The Golf Aficionado”
 

Spring Points: 955
Spring Rank: 
1,935
Full Season Points:
 2,882
Full Season Ranking: 2,024

 

Group A
Rickie Fowler (7) and Sergio Garcia (8)

Group B
Henrik Stenson (6), Rory McIlroy (6), Hideki Matsuyama (7), and Russell Knox (8)

Group C
Bill Haas (7) and Matt Kuchar (6)

 

Mo Yoshimoto

“@BearsGolf3423”

 

Spring Points: 830
Spring Rank: 
23,187
Full Season Points:
 2,682
Full Season Ranking: 13,497

Group A
Jason Day (7) and Sergio Garcia (8)

Group B
Hideki Matsuyama (6), Francesco Molinari (10), Russell Knox (9), and Rory McIlroy (6)

Group C
Billy Horschel (10) and Kevin Na (9)

 

 

~

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 Drive the Green contest. It brings the opportunity to turn three dollars into 100 thousand, so there will definitely be a lot of entries to contend with. 

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:
 

Zach Johnson ($8,300): With top 35s in all but two of his 11 PLAYERS starts, he's an easy plug-and-play at this salary. 

Billy Horschel ($8,200): Another golfer with winning upside, whose salary is floating around the $8K mark. His local knowledge of TPC Sawgrass is a plus, as well. 
 

Kevin Na ($7,800): He's progressively improving at TPC Sawgrass. With top 10s in two of his last three appearances here, we can see just how close he is. A lot of past winners have that ramp up period of course knowledge before finally grabbing the victory. Na could fit that bill, nicely. 

Jordan Spieth ($11,400): The best part of his game is his work ethic. This is the first start since his implosion at Augusta National. I expect a big bounce back. 
 

Russell Knox ($7,600): The incredible depth of this field means we get the Scot at an extreme bargain price. The course is a perfect fit, and we saw him collect a runner-up finish in his last start (RBC Heritage, another Pete Dye Design). 

Francesco Molinari ($6,700): As steady as they come, especially for this price tag. Since the start of 2014, he's posted a worldwide record of 55-for-62. You can't ignore that kind of cut-making ability, making him one of the best value plays on the board. 

Other Picks to Consider
Henrik Stenson ($9,900): Lost his cut-made streak last week, but it was a course he's traditionally struggled at. Should rebound nicely at TPC Sawgrass, a venue where he's won and grabbed two more top 5s for his resume. 

Sergio Garcia ($9,900): The knock on him is his PGA TOUR winning slump. With six top 10s at TPC Sawgrass, his consistency makes up for his lack of recent wins. 
 

Patrick Reed ($8,700): Missed the cut in his PLAYERS debut but returned with a T24 last year. With tiny greens in the mix, his elite scrambling gives him a nice boost this week. 

One-and-Done

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 the elite course history options and that would include Zach Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson, and Sergio Garcia. Unfortunately I've already used Stenson and Sergio or that would be option 1 and 1A. ZJ has plenty of other tournaments where he's viable, so I'm going to save him. Kaymer has that boom-or-bust mentality, but I prefer a more reliable option. Donald is finding his form and I may end up choosing him. 

In terms of overall talent and course fit, I can write up a list of guys like Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Byeong-Hun An, Jimmy Walker, Branden Grace, Kevin Na, and Russell Knox. I've already used Matsuyama but Spieth is still available to me. Considering the size of this week's prize pool, I'm going to pull the trigger on the golfer I consider to be the best available talent for me. Jordan Spieth is my pick. 

 

Past Results:
Wells Fargo Championship:
Woodland managed a T24. Not the best finish, but at least we didn't waste an elite pick on a tournament that was won by James Hahn. 

Zurich Classic: We may have got a win if weather cooperated, but Jason Day still pieced together a T5, which isn't crippling. 

Valero Texas Open: Got our first win of the calendar year thanks to Charley Hoffman finally closing the door on Sunday!

RBC Heritage: Chalk this one up as a failure. The Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick missed the cut by one stroke and still claims Harbour Town Golf Links is his favorite course on TOUR. Remember that next year when the RBC rolls around. 

Masters Tournament: Adam Scott was looking like a missed-cut candidate through day one, but fought back to a T42. Very disappointing given it was a major championship and the second option was Jordan Spieth ($851K more earnings).

Shell Houston Open: Phil Mickelson really took advantage of all the ball-washing opportunities at the Golf Club of Houston. Unfortunately, they weren't free, and they cost him by week's end. Still, a T13 is not the end of the world. 

Puerto Rico Open & Match Play: DeLaet came through with a T11 (another one!) while Paul Casey disappointed at the Match Play as he attempted to play through a stomach bug.  

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.

 

~

 

2016 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 trebled and vice-captain’s doubled. Unlimited team changes can be made each week.

 

Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)

 

Last week: Last week’s collection of oddities on the leaderboard in Morocco was bizarre/bazaar. I had no-one near it and yet went up six spots. Nothing to see. Move on to Mauritius.

 

Position: 6,844

 

 

This week:

 

Brandon Stone (captain): Winner of his home South African Open in January and in another hot spell after two second places in his last three starts (topped All-Around stats in both). Looking like a class performer and can make it two wins out of two for South Africa in this event. Look at the world map and it makes sense.

 

Soomin Lee (vice-captain): Korean youngster could be something special. Followed near-miss in Thailand with a win at the Shenzhen International and also took second place in a OneAsia Tour event last week.

 

George Coetzee: The defending champion should be up there again but he won 12 months ago on a different course and hasn’t played since T35 in Puerto Rico at the end of March. Those two factors are just enough to keep him from having captain/vice-captain status.

 

Scott Hend: The Aussie has to be in the crosshairs this week. Fifth in this event last year so enjoys Mauritius, took victory in Thailand in March and placed fourth and sixth in two recent events in China.

 

Nicolas Colsaerts: Some promising recent performances but gets the nod here due to being one of the touring pros for this week’s venue (Four Seasons Golf Club Anahita). Spends a few weeks each winter here so can put extra knowledge to good use.

 

Dean Burmester: South Africa is a short flight to Mauritius so let’s get a third Springbok on board. Burmester was T14 in Morocco last week and also T20 in this event last year. He’s made the top 15 in seven of his last eight starts on the SA Sunshine Tour.

 

 

Matt Cooper joins Dave Tindall as a 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.
 

Team Cooper (Team name: NormanStanleyFletcher)

 

Last week: Getting four players into the weekend felt like something of a success in a week that was tough to predict, albeit not one of them ever challenged for the title.

 

Position: 2753

 

George Coetzee (captain): The bulky South African returns to defend the title he won last year despite an injury he picked up swimming in the sea prior to the first round. It's a different course but there is no reason to think it won't suit him given the similar challenge: fluctuating sea breezes and big greens. He's proved he can play those conditions and his best game is a class higher than 99% of the field can muster.

 

Jaco Van Zyl (vice captain): Carrying the theme from Coetzee, Van Zyl is not as high quality as the captain but his form the last 18 months is superior to the majority of the field. Missed the cut in Spain but was a Sunshine Tour winner in February and this course might be right up his street.

 

Scott Hend: Final pick based on quality. A winner in Thailand, T4 and T6 in the mini-China swing, T8 in Dubai, he's simply playing very good golf and there is absolutely no reason to think the course will not suit.

 

Max Orrin: Well thought of but hasn't graduated in two efforts at the Challenge Tour and last week's T22 was his best yet on the European Tour, so why the pick? Simple really – he won the 2014 Mauritus Golf Masters on the course and defended the title at the end of 2015. That event has a smallish field but not without quality and he does have a habit of repeating form on courses elsewhere too.

 

Hennie Otto: Sticking with the course theme for Otto who is not just an ambassador for Anahita, but a very big fan of the course. Made a quick start in China with a 63 to hint that the game's not far off. Finished T7 and solo second in those two Mauritius Golf Masters events.

 

Nicholas Colsaerts: A third pick based on local knowledge. The Belgian is yet another who represents the resort and who has tournament knowledge of the layout (he finished T4 and T5). T15 in China when shooting 67-65 in rounds two and three.

 

 

 

 

 

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