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 WGC-Cadillac Preview.
Dave Tindall breaks down the European golfers in this week's field. This could be a huge advantage this week, so check out that WGC-Cadillac Preview (Euro Edition).
To check out what you may have missed last week, Mo Yoshimoto has you covered in his Honda Classic recap.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
2016 Earnings: $4,872,820
2016 Rank: 5,188 of 33,567
Group 1: Bubba Watson
Group 2: Dustin Johnson
Group 3: J.B. Holmes
Group 4: Harris English
ANALYSIS: Bombs away! This team would be tough to beat in a long-drive competition. They should contend this week on the acutal leaderboard, as well. Just look at last year for evidence as his first three picks finished first, second, and third in 2015.
2016 Earnings: $4,152,480
2016 Rank: 9,993 of 33,153
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Dustin Johnson
Group 3: Matt Kuchar
Group 4: Harris English
ANALYSIS: Kuchar ends the trend of bombers, but his history here is still a cut above the rest. It's really his ability to scramble around the greens and also manage a course, settling for pars and then capitalizing on any stray birdie opportunities. English finished T16 in his only WGC-Cadillac appearance (2014).
2016 Earnings: $4,447,556
2016 Rank: 7,856 of 33,567
Group 1: Rickie Fowler
Group 2: Henrik Stenson
Group 3: Bill Haas
Group 4: George Coetzee
ANALYSIS: Mo has taken a slightly different path than Josh and Ryan, but it's a strong path, nonetheless. Stenson and Haas are workhorses that rarely finish outside the top 25. Fowler is playing inspired golf, despite a poor finish over the weekend at the Honda. Coetzee is a wildcard, but you can't be picky in Group 4.
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: 1,279
Dustin Johnson (7): Rarely do I pick the defending champion, but DJ is not the usual golfer. He's so chill and laid-back, I don't think any added media pressure or disruption to his pre-tournament routine will really hurt him.
Bubba Watson (9): Despite what he says about the course, his numbers speak for themselves. He should be in line for another top 15 this week.
Anyone in Group A! This section is stacked this week.
Rory McIlroy (10):I've been saving him for a good course fit and Trump National Doral fits the bill. Since I'm committing, that means I will roster him right out of the gates and keep him in the lineup for all (or at least most) rounds this week.
Brooks Koepka (8): Loves golfing in his home state of Florida. Finished T17 here last year in his debut. That included two doubles and a triple on his scorecard. If he can tidy up those big numbers, we should see him near the top come Sunday.
Justin Rose (9): He's struggled since the renovation, but there is nothing suggesting that should keep happening. He's finding his form again and he's won here in the past. I will start him on the bench just in case he continues to struggle on the post-renovation Blue Monster.
Henrik Stenson (10): Had surgery in December but jumped right back on the horse, tallying a pair of top 10s on the European Tour after the procedure. He doesn't tee it up in the States as much as some of the big names in the game, so don't be shy in rostering on weeks when he does.
Shane Lowry (10): He's finished inside the top 5 through 18 holes in two of his last three starts. I like that kind of firepower out of the gates, so I will give him the starting nod this week.
Matt Kuchar (8): Nearly as steady as they come, and he doesn't lack firepower, either. Despite his lack of length off the tee, he sports top 15s in four of his six WGC-Cadillac appearances.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Winter Segment points: 1,272
Winter Segment Points: 1,189
Season Ranking: 10,478
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!
Rory McIlroy ($12,000): Getting the winner is huge during no-cut events. That's why I'm starting with my favorite to win, Rory.
Byeong-Hun An ($8,100): I'm listing the golfers in order I roster them this week. After Rory, I wanted a mid-priced option that will be lower owned, to ensure we get a unique lineup combination. An is that guy. He holds loads of success on the European Tour but he doesn't get talked about as much as some of the other guys like Grace, Willett, Wiesberger, etc.
Shane Lowry ($7,400): This is a bargain for the Irishman who has proven he can take home a trophy at a WGC event.
Danny Willett ($7,800): Adding two or three Europeans to your roster is a great way to diversify in GPPs. Most gamers stick to what they know, which generally means zero or one Euros will be in their lineups.
Kevin Na ($7,100): The talk of the week is that Trump National Doral is a bomber's paradise. It's true, but that means Na will get overlooked despite him being great on long courses. This adds another potential podium finish to our stable.
Emiliano Grillo ($6,900): The Argentine really hasn't picked up steam in terms of ownership in the DFS world. That is great for us since he possesses winning upside. With his homebase being in Florida, I want to target him while he plays in familiar geographic zones. Bingo! This also leaves $700 on the table which is plenty to ensure this remains unique.
Other Picks to Consider
Phil Mickelson ($9,800): Arrives in great form and battles a course where he's posted success in the past. With a lot of other juicy stars in this price range, Lefty should be under 10 percent owned.
Paul Casey ($7,500): You can't replace class, it's permanent. This salary doesn't scream talent, but it's really the prices fault, not Caseys. The Englishman is priced way too low here to be ignored.
Brooks Koepka ($9,200): He's a scoring machine in DFS. He racks up birdies left and right. The blow-up holes don't hurt as much in DK's scoring format, so pile up your Koepka shares this week!
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!
When you start with course history this week, the names don't exactly leap off the page. Everyone who has performed well here, also has a year or two of struggles. I think the combination of course changes, course renovations, weather, and course difficulty makes this a tough event to find repeated success. The course horses I would consider would be Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, and Charl Schwartzel. I've already used the first three, and Charl has not been himself over the past year or so on the PGA TOUR. Instead, I will pick my highest rated golfer this week, Rory McIlroy. This course is a much better fit for him than last week's at PGA National. I think the option I just mentioned will distract many from picking him, but I could easily see him getting back into the winner's circle, so I'm not afraid to use my big gun here. Hopefully it results in nearly $2 million added to my season total.
Honda Classic: 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. RESULT: 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 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.