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, my weekly selection for One-and-Done players plus DFS love from Josh Culp and European Tour insight from Dave Tindall.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
2015 Earnings: $8,792,859
2015 Rank: 9,503
First, let’s all just give Spieth a round of applause. He smashed a ton of records on his way to his first green jacket and was classy in doing so. Watson and Scott may have brought Augusta to its knees with drivers and irons but Spieth putted the dimples off the golf ball on those greens this week. McIlroy’s solo fourth came after his opening nine of 40 on Friday so good to see nothing’s changed there. Walker’s putter went ice cold and Westwood didn’t finish in the top 11 for the first time in six tries. As usual, I went with the wrong “old” guy by selecting Woods instead of Mickelson but not having Spieth was the $1.3 million error. He’s now played in two Masters and is 24-under-par and has never been over par. OK.
Group 1: Patrick Reed
Group 2: Ian Poulter
Group 3: Pat Perez
Group 4: Stewart Cink
ANALYSIS: I’ll go ahead and watch from afar as Spieth goes Win-2nd-P2-Win-? I tried to talk myself into the Kuchar-Furyk-Donald course horses this week but their recent form has scared me well off. Poulter barely beats out Simpson in Group 2 as I’ll ride the current form that the Englishman has flashed as of late. Group 3 is a cluster and there are no less than 20 options situated here. If making the cut is the status symbol in Group 4, my choice has played the weekend 13 of 15 here.
2015 Earnings: $12,409,211
2015 Rank: 463
Group 1: Zach Johnson
Group 2: Webb Simpson
Group 3: Brendon de Jonge
Group 4: Michael Putnam
ANALYSIS: Boltons’ singeing run of form ended last week with Watson, Snedeker and Donald but he kept in the top 500 with DJ in Group 2. He’s riding the ZJ train this week as he tries to work his way back towards the top. Simpson and de Jonge provide the support squad and Putnam’s ball-striking could make a tidy Group 4 sleeper.
Ryan O’ Sullivan
2015 Earnings: $15,849,416
2015 Rank: 4th
Group 1: Jordan Spieth
Group 2: Charley Hoffman
Group 3: Boo Weekley
Group 4: Carl Pettersson
ANALYSIS: He had P2-WIN-T25-T11 two weeks ago and didn’t move up. Yet last week he had T28-T38-T6-T17 and he moved UP to fourth? BRAVO! Even his “bad” weeks are really good! He’ll trot out the hottest man on the planet plus a guy who has gone T11-T11-T9 in his last three in Group 2. Former champs populate Groups 3 and 4.
2015 Earnings: $11,423,541
2015 Rank: 1,270
Group 1: Jordan Spieth
Group 2: Luke Donald
Group 3: Jason Kokrak
Group 4: Scott Brown
ANALYSIS: Ned also took the Bubba bullet last week in Group 1 like Bolton and didn’t get any help from Walker or Snedeker. Woods was the medalist at T17. He’ll fire right back again this week with Spieth as well along with course-horse Donald. Kokrak just missed out for me and Brown was T5 here last year.
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf. He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years. Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. He’ll lead us off each week in the Yahoo! game.
Points – Masters: 188
Points – SPRING Segment: 338
Rank – SPRING Segment: 23,530
Points – SEASON: 2,442
Rank – SEASON: 1,598
Luke Donald (8): Donald showed some promise with his T7 at Honda but his next three starts have been forgettable. The reason he gets a nod this week is because he is a true horse-for-the-course with five top 3s in his last six starts here.
Jim Furyk (8): Like Donald he showed some form to start the year but has nothing in his last three starts on the TOUR. He also has a very strong history at the Heritage with three top 8s in his last five starts including his win in 2011.
Jordan Spieth (1): It was clear after his opening round in the Masters that he was going to be in the mix on Sunday, so I burned him in the final three rounds. Now I'm down to one start. Ideally, I would like to use his last start at the John Deere, but I’ll gladly burn him again this week if he’s in contention.
Ian Poulter (9): It's noticeable this week that there are quite a few players making a stop this week at Harbour Town that normally don't play here and Poulter qualifies. He looked sharp last week at The Masters with T6 and that was his fifth top 25 in seven starts on this year's TOUR.
Zach Johnson (8): Johnson has started to round into form recently with a T9 at API and T9 last week at the Masters. His record at RBC Heritage is good with two top 10s (sixth in '07 plus second in '12) in 10 career starts.
Brandt Snedeker (7): Normally I would plug Matt Kuchar in this spot but he just hasn't been playing up to his normal standard. Instead I'm going to try Snedeker who won early in the year at AT&T Pebble Beach and who won a championship here in '11.
Patrick Reed (4): The winner at HTOC has rebounded after a slight mini-slump. He’s carded five straight top 25 performances with the highlight being a playoff loss at The Valspar. His record at RBC Heritage is nothing special so he is all about playing the hot hand.
Charley Hoffman (10): There are quite a few players that can be used in this spot but I'm going to plug-in Hoffman. He came into The Masters in-form. Unlike quite a few players his form held and he was in the hunt for the green jacket until a final round of 2-over-par 74 dropped him to T9. His recent record includes two top 10s (T8 in '12 and T6 in '13) in his last three starts.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Points – Masters: 170
Points – SPRING Segment: 380
Rank – SPRING Segment: 5,996
Points – SEASON: 2,573
Rank – SEASON: 74
Webb Simpson (9)
Luke Donald (10)
Jordan Spieth (4)
Matt Kuchar (7)
Ian Poulter (10)
Zach Johnson (7)
Charley Hoffman (9)
Russell Henley (10)
Points – Masters: 176
Points – SPRING Segment: 340
Rank – SPRING Segment: 22,082
Points – SEASON: 2,388
Rank – SEASON: 3,518
Jim Furyk (8)
Webb Simpson (10)
Zach Johnson (9)
Matt Kuchar (6)
Ian Poulter (10)
Kevin Streelman (10)
Russell Henley (8)
Russell Knox (10)
Points – Masters: 156
Points – SPRING Segment: 312
Rank – SPRING Segment: 35,278
Points – SEASON: 2,370
Rank – SEASON: 4,414
I left for the Masters Thursday morning. I don’t care that I didn’t touch my lineup all weekend. It’s too bad I didn’t start or play Spieth but then again I saw him play the second round live.
Jim Furyk (8)
Webb Simpson (10)
I have no problem going with Furyk here because he’ll be playing from the fairway on each hole. Donald is the only other option in A because of his course form. Noh is the rank outsider after a decent week at Augusta but you let me know when you get him figured out.
Matt Kuchar (6)
Ian Poulter (9)
Brandt Snedeker (9)
Zach Johnson (9)
I’m running with four big names in B but not the biggest. This week, I’ll keep it simple and just leave Spieth out completely. Since he plays every week, I’ll take him the next time around when he doesn’t have to spend 24 hours in NYC. If he wins or hits the top 10 this week, it will be time to rewrite the Jordan Rules.
Charley Hoffman (9)
Pat Perez (9)
I’ll ride off into the Calibogue Sound with the two grizzled vets who have found form over their last three events and have prospered well here over the years. Anybody named Russell works too. Or Kokrak. Summerhays is a wonderful sleeper in here but his course form is off-putting.
Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]
Josh Culp is our resident DFS guru. Every week, he’ll publish his lineup and alternatives for DraftKings.com.
He has pieced together this lineup to throw into this week's free contest being held at DraftKings.
He has compiled the recommended roster below for this week's $3 Birdie contest on DraftKings. Mix and match the golfers below to test your skills turning three dollars into a potential $10,000.
Draft your entry now: http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=832&aff_id=26
Luke Donald ($9,300) ... It's easy to lead off with this course horse. He's disappointed gamers for most of the year, but you can't ignore top 10s in five of his last six Heritage starts.
Webb Simpson ($9,200) ... His short-putter woes are offset by his improved tee-to-green game. If his putter finally gets hot, look out!
Charley Hoffman ($9,200) ... He's a little too aggressive at times for this venue but he finds a way to score. He arrives on the heels of three straight top 15s and top 10s in two of his last three RBC Heritage starts. Perfect combo.
Jason Dufner ($7,900) ... Is playing through some personal issues but own four top 30s in nine starts this year. Has a history of performing on Pete Dye tracks. His ownership should be on the low-end, making him a great GPP option.
Russell Knox ($7,300) ... Is a perfect statistical fit this week as he bombards fairways, doesn't rely on distance and ranks T10 in proximity with his irons. He finished T9 in his RBC Heritage debut last year.
Brendon Todd ($7,000) ... His streak of five straight top 30s ended last week with a missed cut at the Masters. Not a surprising result given the length of Augusta National. A second straight missed cut would be surprising. Look for him to climb back into the top 30.
Other Picks to Consider
Alternate for Hoffman: Russell Henley ($9,100) ... Hasn't missed a cut all season and fully revived after setting the clubs down after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Loves tight tracks like this, and should continue his cuts-made streak.
Alternate for Todd: Zac Blair ($4,700) ... No explanation needed with this salary. He's 63rd in the FEC standings despite falling outside the top 190 in driving distance. This venue will be a favorable relief for the PGA TOUR rookie.
Alternate for Dufner: Pat Perez ($7,800) ... He’s posted top 20s in three of his last five starts entering the week plus top 20s in each of his past three visits to Harbour Town. Converging trends, much like Charley Hoffman.
2015 Fantasy Race to Dubai
Dave Tindall is our newest contributor, but he’s been a fixture 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.
Pick 10 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Star player’s points are doubled. Unlimited team changes and unlimited star player changes are available each week.
Boom! We needed a big week in the Masters and we got one, finishing 21st on the week thanks mainly to star man Justin Rose’s T2. It’s catapulted us 3,204 spots up the leaderboard. We’re back in the game.
Current position: 1,600
Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)
Edited on 4-15
Star Player: Byeong-Hun An
• Tommy Fleetwood: Runner-up at this venue last year and rounding into form again
• Rafael Cabrera-Bello: Plays well in China, including T8 on this track 12 months ago
• Nicolas Colsaerts: Big-hitting Belgian crashed here last year but keep the faith
• Morten Orum Madsen: Good fit for this course as shown by T19 on last start here
• Alvaro Quiros: His best finish (T3) since 2011 came here in 2014. Go big on big hitter
• Kiradech Aphibarnrat: T6 at Bay Hill two starts ago and T4 on last Euro Tour appearance.
• Emiliano Grillo: Strong competition for final spot on team but Grillo has extra touch of class
Each week I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely so I’m satisfied with having a CHANCE to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf. Remember, fade or follow, it’s up to you! I’m going to leave my 2013-14 results up for a few weeks so if you have any questions “mapping” your season, you can learn from my plays from last year.
Those who don’t recall history are condemned to repeat it.
Frys.com: Brooks Koepka. Let’s get this started off on the right foot. Koepka, playing without any status last year, led on Sunday by three shots at the turn. He finished T3 and learned a valuable lesson. His recent form has been scintillating as he has four top 15s in his last four worldwide starts, including the PGA at Valhalla (T15). He was T9 last week at the Dunhill. Koepka, T8, did what was expected and racked up a top 10 for $168,000.
Shriners Open: It came down to Moore, Watney and Piercy for the OAD place this week. Laird was also in the conversation but I’m going with the best putter of the group mentioned above and there’s not a place that Moore HAS TO BE USED later. Sure, he beat Gary Woodland in a playoff last year at CIMB but I don’t use defending champions. #WeakSauce. He shares the tournament record has three top 10s in his last four. More Moore please! ANY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE THREE OTHER THAN MOORE would have been just fine. Moore has wiped me twice in eight events. The good news is I don’t even have to CONSIDER his presence again until October of 2015.
McGladrey Classic: This is the CLASSIC HEDGE MOVE for gamers. I’m going with Kuchar above but Simpson down here to cover my ASSet. Look, save Simpson for Greenbrier, Sedgefield or TPC Boston, but I’m going with a guy who is hot NOW and will find someone else later. HOW COULD THIS GO WRONG, RYAN MOORE??? Nothing like a T41 to back up a MC; $19,600.
CIMB Classic: I’m loading up on Charl Schwartzel since I can’t play him on the Sunshine TOUR at the Dunhill or Joburg. His course form is overwhelming and in a limited field with limited views of this track, his experience and successes here are huge. He’ll probably WD. He couldn’t catch up after his opening round 74; T19, $94,500.
WGC-HSBC Champions: I’ll go with the guy who holds the course record, the 2011 title plus two other top eight finishes in four starts, Martin Kaymer. Did I mention he made 29 birdies here last year? Ok, good. If I was a casual golf fan and just picked up the newspaper on Monday morning to see that Kaymer finished T6 I would have been thrilled…$216,337
Sanderson Farms: It came down to Tony Finau or Hudson Swafford and I went with the Georgia ‘Dawg. Both are hot so I’ll go with the local-er of the two and the better ball-striker. I should be required to take the “Silly Season” off. BOTH missed the cut. I’m ready for 2015…
OHL Classic: Can I just pass? Since I couldn’t pull the trigger on Jason Bohn in the Golf Channel game, I’ll hedge him here with Stroud and Sabbatini right behind him. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? I need a vacation. I was gun-shy but the hedge paid off with T7 and $196,275
HTOC: This is a good news/bad news event. The good news is that there are only 34 players and this is a track that requires previous experience. The bad news is if the guy you pick doesn’t finish in the top five it’s a complete waste of time. For the conservative/saver this is THE ONLY WEEK TO PICK Ogilvy since he’s won here twice. For the throw-caution-to-the-wind player, Kuchar, Day or Watson should lead the line. I’ll find myself right in the middle with Chris Kirk. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Kirk needed to tie the course record on Monday to hit six figures. Yeah, that’s all I needed to pocket $110,000, 11 birdies and 62. Day pulled the same trick but he finished T3.
Sony Open: I’m going with the man who has eight top 10s in 13 career starts, Charles Howell III. He’s hit the top five in five of the last six years and I’m not going to find that anywhere else on TOUR. #EasyChoice. Make it top five in five of the last SEVEN years. T26 paid $42,280.
Humana Challenge: Ryan Palmer gets the nod this week as he’s shown form on these tracks and has no problem getting low, yo! He’s a member at Colonial, FYI. The pain. The suffering. The life of a fantasy gamer. If reading from top to bottom it’s easy to see why my pain is prevalent. Shut up. T10 isn’t great but isn’t terrible, $136,000.
WMPO: This week, Hunter Mahan takes the wheel. With his wife due shortly, he knows his time, for the moment, is limited and it’s time to make hay. It doesn’t hurt that his game sets up for most layouts and it doesn’t hurt he won here in 2010 and was T4 last year. I’m not confident pulling the trigger on Watson, Spieth, Fowler or Mickelson just yet. THERE’S NOTHING WORSE than playing defense but these gentlemen are more valuable in majors/WGC than here in the desert. Brendan Steele was the backup plan. Mahan = T30 $36,729 but cashed more $$$ than Phil or Rickie! NOBODY CARES!!!
FIO: I’ve ridden Fowler here the last two years and he responded with T6 and MC so let’s hold off on the ticker tape parade. I’m throwing caution to the wind this week and sending the No. 1 player in the FedExCup to do work. With T2 and WIN in his last two Jimmy Walker is the play this week. I can’t use him next week at Pebble Beach where he is the defending champion (and I had him in OAD!) and his record at Riviera isn’t as strong as it is here. DO WORK, SON! One shot out of the lead entering Sunday resulted in a, for him (and me) a disappointing T7 and $189,787. Yep, that’s how high the bar is now set with him on the California coast.]
Pebble Beach: Day is tempting but if he keeps playing like this he’ll have chances in bigger paydays so he’s out. I’m saving Johnson for his redemption song next week at Riviera so he’s out. Walker was played last week plus he’s the defending champ so that leaves Patrick Reed. Hit it a mile. Find it. Make everything. Win. Kevin Na, Aaron Baddeley or would be a nice fill for a TOAD. Imagine if Reed didn’t close with 67 to finish T29 and pocket $44,200? Wait, it could have been WORSE? Blimey…
NTO: I’m a romantic so Dustin Johnson gets the call this week. His six months on the sideline were spent playing and practicing in his adopted home town and his form at Riviera is better than most. He lost in a playoff to James Hahn. That sums up my career in OAD. P2 $589,600. I liked when he was solo second last year when I had him…#MOARMONEY
Honda: I’m going to keep the big hitter motif going this week as I sent Keegan Bradley to bat. I’m looking to grab a guy who’s hot and has course form and he checks both boxes. Dead-beat MC. Wow. #NaeDollars
WGC-CC: There’s no point for me to start “saving” anybody for anything as this season is slowly slipping away. Plus, this is a WGC and the prize pool is only bigger in a couple events (PLAYERS/Open Championship). Bubba Watson is being sent out to stop the bleeding. Go on son! Bring the General Lee if necessary! HELP ME BUBBA! Other considerations would include Day (any event) or McIlroy (any event) and for TOADYS, I’m not sure how I’d talk anyone out of Jamie Donaldson. Watson finished solo third for $540,000. WHO TOLD HIM ON THE BACK NINE THAT I HAD HIM IN OAD?
PRO: I’ll give Overton a chance to keep up the heat on a track where he’s had success in the recent past. T27; $18,736.
Valspar: Time to strike while the iron is hot with Luke Donald. His four trips around here have been quite tight. He’ll be happy to be inland this week and he’ll also be happy to see a yardage book with familiar marks on it. I’m not sure he has a better course history anywhere else and that’s been his calling card the last two years: course form. Well that streak of course form is over; T53, $13,468.
API: Orlando residents Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell or Henrik Stenson work this week. Kevin Na is also a tasty angle if he’s still available. Since Match Play is all jacked up different this year, this will be the spot I burn Poults. Hopefully he bought another Ferrari this week and feels he needs to pay for it immediately…Poulter opened with 67 and got worse from there with 70-71-72 to close and watch the field lap him on the weekend. T21 for $59,141. The only way I’ll accept this is Stenson winning when I finally pull the trigger on him.
Valero: Laird gets the call this week as I’ll gladly save the heavy hitters for down the road. The list of winners here is odd so it’s not the week to burn a big name. The winner last week wasn’t odd but he wasn’t available for me anyhow. Laird has finally burned out as his T50 for $14,838 feels just like a MC.
SHO: I’m not one of those weirdos who selects the defending champ once a year so I’m playing J.B. Holmes this week instead of saving him for Quail Hollow. I don’t love that he’s coming off a MC his last time out but his numbers at GCH are very nice. I hope the course is soaking wet and long as it can play. BINGO. BANGO. BONGO. First oversized check of the year!
Masters: Mickelson was a tempting choice this week as was the blazing hot Spieth but I’m going to load up on Jason Day for the second consecutive year. Except this year he’s not hurt. I’ve played Watson, DJ, Walker already on courses where they have excelled in the past and have had decent success. Day fits that bill this week. Please read the first sentence over and over and over and over and over and over again. I’m wondering how I left Rose out! Day opened with 67 and faded away to T28 and $68,000 while the first two names on the team sheet made $880,000 and $1.8 million respectively. All I can do is laugh. Again.
RBC Heritage: Since I can’t see the forest from the trees, Charley Hoffman gets the ball this week. His current form is excellent and he has plenty of scar tissue at this even that can help him down the stretch. If Spieth wins…
SEASON TOTAL: $3,154,021; 22 events
Wins: Holmes, SHO
Seconds: Johnson, P2, NTO
Thirds: Watson, solo, WGC-CC
Top 10s: 8
Top 25s: 11
T53: 1, Donald on a course where he’s never finished worse than 6th.
MC: 3, Moore (Shriners), Swafford (SFC) & Bradley (Honda)
Thermometer: It’s in the shop along with the rest of my picks.
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at 12 ET. We will be breaking down the field at the RBC Heritage and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.