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Playing the Tips

Our Picks: Shell Houston Open

by Mike Glasscott
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. 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



Shell Houston Open (SHO)










2015 Earnings: $7,747,209

2015 Rank: 4,266


Don’t forget, it’s good to be King sometimes. Well, at least King of this article. I don’t remember doing it but somehow I ended up with Jason Kokrak in Group 3 instead of Martin Laird so FOR ONCE, I was on the right side of the SAVE button! WOO HOO!!! Spieth (2nd), Palmer (T6) and Kokrak (T11) was a tasty pay day and moved me up quite a bit! Only 4,261 spots to go to catch O!


Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: Matt Jones

Group 3: Jason Kokrak

Group 4: Jeff Overton



ANALYSIS: He doesn’t think the course fits his eye. He doesn’t think he hits it far enough to contend. He’s just going to trim the fat. Whatever. He was not thrilled he didn’t win last week and I like that angle more. Kuchar just beat out Reed for choice No. 2 because of his excellent history. Jones deserves all the attention he’s earned over the last four tournaments and so does Kokrak. I’m going to ride the hot hands again this week. Overton gets the call in Group 4 as he makes plenty of cuts and has had a solid early spring making four cuts on the bounce.




Rob Bolton





2015 Earnings: $9,876,588

2015 Rank: 462



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: J.B. Holmes

Group 3: Jason Kokrak

Group 4: Kyle Reifers



ANALYSIS: Rob’s top three were even better as he went Spieth-Palmer-Steele (T8) to chip away at the leaders and jump inside the top 500. God, I suck at these games. He’s chucking Spieth right back out there even though the young pup lamented that this isn’t a track that fits his eye and that he’s not a bomber. Holmes’ record here and of late is well above average so he’s not going out on a limb there or with Kokrak. Reifers is coming off T11 last week at a very difficult Valero setup.




Ryan O’ Sullivan





2015 Earnings: $13,026,933

2015 Rank: FIFTH; 25.4 fluid ounces



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: J.B. Holmes

Group 3: Shawn Stefani

Group 4: Kyle Reifers



ANALYSIS: It’s quite amazing that he picks either first or second most weeks and Spieth did the business for him last week (second). He lost a spot this week so we’ll light a candle and hope it gets better this weekend. It’s going to be good for him AND Rob as they match Groups 1, 2 and 4.




Ned Brown





2015 Earnings: $9,270,915

2015 Rank: 934



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: J.B. Holmes

Group 3: Jason Kokrak

Group 4: Scott Pinckney



ANALYSIS: Ned stays in triple figures as he avoided disaster with Spieth last week. He goes right back with him along with two of the hottest players in Groups 3 and 4. Holmes will get plenty of love this week as well across the board.



Event No.2


ANA Insipiraton




Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Lexi Thompson

Group 3: Se Ri Pak

Group 4: Mirim Lee





Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Angela Stanford

Group 3: Se Ri Pak

Group 4: Mirim Lee





Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Lexi Thompson

Group 3: Il Hee Lee

Group 4: Moriya Jutanugarn





Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Hyo Joo Kim

Group 3: Il Hee Lee

Group 4: Alison Lee





Yahoo! Fantasy Golf


NOTE: The numbers in parentheses beside each golfer reflect the total starts remaining for that gamer.



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.



“Pure Spin”


VTO Points: 152

WINTER Segment Points: 2,104

WINTER Segment Rank: 1,217



Group A



Matt Jones (10): It's a real small Group A this week with only seven players. Jones is the defending champion and has played well recently with T7 AT&T, T14 NTO, solo third API and T26 last week.


Sergio Garcia (9): I think this pick is a real tossup between Garcia and J.B. Holmes. Homes has a little stronger recent record but Garcia is getting the nod here because of his solo third last year. Plus he should do well on a soft course if the rain in the forecast is accurate.





J.B. Holmes, Bill Haas



Group B


Jimmy Walker (8): I didn't use Walker last week due to his recent record and paid the price for it. His record at the Golf Club of Houston isn't that exciting but Walker is hot with the putter and deserves the start. Walker WD after Ned submitted his column. Please choose from one of his “Super Subs” and contact him @ESoxGolf on Twitter for more details


Jordan Spieth (3): I've been trying to avoid using starts on Spieth but he is white-hot right now. A winner at Valspar plus second place last week makes him hard to omit. Again I will try to keep him on the bench this week but if he is on the front page of the leaderboard again I'll have to insert him.


Matt Kuchar (6): Last week Kuchar was in the Thursday morning groups that had to fight a very tough setup and 35 mph winds. His opening round of even par 72 was amazing considering that average score that morning was more than 6-over-par. This week he returns to a course that he has a strong recent record at of T8s in '10 and '11, plus a second place last year.


Phil Mickelson (8): A smarter play might be to go with Lee Westwood, but I'm going to roll the dice a bit here. He faded a bit last weekend at the VTO but before that he really looked good. Mickelson won here in '11 and you got to figure he will be flag hunting if the course turns out to be as soft as predicted.





Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan



Group C



Patrick Reed (5): His history at the SHO is one missed cut but he has already won this year.  He’s played well in his last three starts with T7 at Honda, T23 at Doral and P2 at Valspar.


Louis Oosthuizen (10): Reed is such a solid pick that I'm going to roll the dice here with Oosthuizen. He has had a nice start to the new year with sixth place at Doral and T9 at API. His recent record here is good with a third place in '12 and a T10 in '13.





Jason Kokrak, Keegan Bradley, Shawn Stefani




Ryan O’Sullivan (O)



The Golf Aficionado”



VTO: 192

WINTER Segment Points: 2,193

WINTER Segment Rank: 113




Group A:



Sergio Garcia (9)

J.B. Holmes (9)



Group B:


Jordan Spieth (6)

Matt Kuchar (7)

Phil Mickelson (9)

Lee Westwood (8)



Group C:


Patrick Reed (6)

Shawn Stefani (10)




Rob Bolton





VTO Points: 248

WINTER Segment Points: 2,048

WINTER Segment Rank: 3,160




Group A:


Sergio Garcia (9)

J.B. Holmes (10)



Group B:


Rickie Fowler (9)

Jordan Spieth (5)

Matt Kuchar (7)

Lee Westwood (9)



Group C:


Jason Kokrak (9)

Shawn Stefani (10)









VTO Points: 244 (no, that’s not a typo…)

WINTER Segment Points: 2,048

WINTER Segment Rank: 2,710



A very nice ending to the Winter game! I played Walker all four rounds and Johnson ONLY on the weekend (68-68) when he fired the two lowest rounds for MAX POINTS. Throw in bonus points from Spieth and not playing Laird (Steele all four) and there you have it. It’s nice to catch a break once every 12 weeks in this game.



Group A


Matt Jones (10)

J.B. Holmes (10)



I’m rolling the dice here and leaving Garcia out as his current form has not been as scintillating as I would prefer. I’ll have plenty of time for him later this summer and Holmes has proven MULTIPLE times that he is quite comfortable at GCH. Jones has been solid everywhere over the last two months and should take some pride defending his only title on TOUR.



Group B:



Jordan Spieth (5)

Matt Kuchar (7)

Lee Westwood (8)

Phil Mickelson (10)



Kuchar and Spieth should be enough against the rest of the field to be fair but I’ll back them up with two veteran course horses. Mickelson is going out early on Thursday and a long, wet course might be perfect time to steal a low round from him. Tringale and Fowler got looks here as well before deciding on the crusty, old dudes.



Group C:



Patrick Reed (6)

Jason Kokrak (10)



It was hard for me to leave Reed out in the GC game so I’ll gladly hedge in Yahoo! Since Group C stables half of the field, I won’t bore you with all of the lovely choices available. Stefani and Oosthuizen were a couple of my last cut. Remember, it’s week one so getting off to a solid start is paramount! Whatever.




Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]



Josh Culp is our resident DFS guru. Every week, he’ll publish his lineup and alternatives for DraftKings.com.


Josh has pieced together this lineup to throw into this week's free contest being held at DraftKings. This is a great chance to try out DK and get warmed up for the largest fantasy golf contest ever held which takes place at next week's Masters.


Get warmed up now: http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=1226&aff_id=26



DraftKings Picks



Matt Kuchar ($11,400) ... He comes with the least amount of risk but has as much upside as anyone in the field. Has grabbed top 10s in each of his last three visits here, look for another this week.


Louis Oosthuizen ($9,300) ... Always a threat to bow out due to his back issues, but this course is right up his alley should he play four rounds. With top 15s in three of four starts this season, the upside is clear.


Shawn Stefani ($7,700) ... Top 30s in eight of his last 10 starts and now gets a home game as he resides in Houston. Met the terms of his medical exemption at this event last year so the good vibes will be felt all around once he steps onto the first tee.


Cameron Tringale ($7,300) ... Enters with six straight cuts made, while posting just four rounds under par during that stretch. He will be relieved to get an easier test this week as he tries to replicate last year's 12-under that produced a solo fourth.


Graham DeLaet ($7,100) ... His form is out of sorts ahead of this week's Shell, but his course history is on point. In 14 career rounds at GC of Houston, the Canuck has posted just one round over par. He receives less hype than last year but his upside still remains.


Justin Thomas ($7,100) ... Has top 10s in 12-of-41 pro events since the start of 2014, five of those coming on the PGA TOUR. His length and aggressiveness off the tee will play nicely on the lengthy layout that Golf Club of Houston has in store for him.



Other Picks to Consider



Alternate for Oosthuizen: Sergio Garcia ($9,600) ... If you want more reliability out of this top-priced slot, then ditch the South African for this Spaniard. A Garcia-Kuchar combo is great for cash games this week.


Alternate for Thomas: Carlos Ortiz ($6,800) ... This PGA TOUR rookie is 10-for-13 on the season with six top 25s to boot. His knowledge of Texas golf was showcased last week when he finished T15 even with a snowman on a par 3 in round one.


Alternate for DeLaet: Charles Howell III ($7,100) ... If you want to root for a feel-good story then grab Howell III over DeLaet. He has nightly dreams of winning at Augusta National but isn't currently in the field. With a 12-for-14 record on the season, the downside isn't too bad, either




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.



This Week:


The European Tour puts their collective feet up and waits for the Masters next week.







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.


This Week: 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.






SEASON TOTAL: $1,900,021; 20 events



Seconds: Johnson, P2, NTO

Thirds: Watson, solo, WGC-CC


Top 10s: 7

Top 25s: 10

T53: 1, Donald on a course where he’s never finished worse than 6th.

MC: 3, Moore (Shriners), Swafford (SFC) & Bradley (Honda)

Thermometer: Patience is necessary if I am going to save the big boys for later in the summer. Remember, six of the final seven events are WGC/Major/Playoffs so there will be lumber liquidated down the road.




Coming Wednesday


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 SHO and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.

Mike Glasscott
Fantasy Golf columnist Mike Glasscott joined Rotoworld in 2012. He can be contacted via email at RotoworldGlass@gmail.com or on Twitter.