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: $9,107,141
2015 Rank: 11,253
A long, wet course and DJ doesn’t fire. Ok, it’s not my year, got it. Hoffmann began the final round in the top 10 and finished T34 so Sunday was spent drying my tears. Some things don’t change on Sundays! Peterson was respectable and Wilcox missed by a shot. I’m shot.
1st) Henrik Stenson
2nd) Paul Casey
Semifinalists) Russell Henley; Jordan Spieth
ANALYSIS: I put the CRAP in crapshoot but at least this system gives the better players a chance to advance to the final 16. Good luck if you have all four No. 1 “region” seeds making the final four because that will happen. Or probably not. The No. 1 overall seed has won this tournament three times. His name all three times was Tiger Woods.
2015 Earnings: $13,934,092
2015 Rank: 300
1st) Jordan Spieth
2nd) Hideki Matsuyama
Semifinalists) Louis Oosthuizen; Henrik Stenson
ANALYSIS: Youthful final but both of these “kids” have shown their merit over the last two years that I wouldn’t put anything past them. Overall, I’d argue nice balance but that has to be THE angle this week. #smart
Ryan O’ Sullivan
2015 Earnings: $16,409,177
2015 Rank: 12th
1st) Patrick Reed
2nd) Rory McIlroy
Semifinalists) Shane Lowry; Henrik Stenson
ANALYSIS: He told me he was crushed to see I had DJ at No. 1 last week but he just dropped to 12th. The rest of us can dare to dream. He’s bringing the heat with Reed this week and shows very nice balance with Stenson and McIlroy. His “upset” selection is Irishman Shane Lowry. With a massive purse on the line, this is a week gamers can make up ground if they hit the winner.
2015 Earnings: $11,988,447
2015 Rank: 1,890
1st) Henrik Stenson
2nd) Rory McIlroy
Semifinalists) Louis Oosthuizen; Jason Day
ANALYSIS: Sorry, Ned. I’m the black widow baby. Might as well burn that win ticket.
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 – Zurich: 148
Points – SPRING Segment: 630
Rank – SPRING Segment: 14,708
Points – SEASON: 2,734
Rank – SEASON: 1,890
Ed: Yahoo! is off this week but will return at THE PLAYERS
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Points – Zurich: 164
Points – SPRING Segment: 654
Rank – SPRING Segment: 8,931
Points – SEASON: 2,847
Rank – SEASON: 154
Points – Zurich: 164
Points – SPRING Segment: 646
Rank – SPRING Segment: 10,481
Points – SEASON: 2,694
Rank – SEASON: 2,930
Points – Zurich: 172
Points – SPRING Segment: 612
Rank – SPRING Segment: 19,890
Points – SEASON: 2,670
Rank – SEASON: 3,819
Last week’s Group B with Rose, Tringale and Berger was nice and having Thomas in C didn’t hurt either. Shame I couldn’t time it right as Rose and Tringale were on the bench all day Sunday because I missed the 10 minute window to change my roster. They were only 24-under during that span. Again, I’ll give you the players; you sort through the bullshit.
Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]
Josh Culp is our resident DFS guru. Every week, he’ll publish his lineup and alternatives for DraftKings.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: DraftKings.com is on hiatus this week, so Josh has compiled the roster below for this week's match-play contest on Fantasy Feud.
They are the only DFS site in town able to accommodate the format change, so check them out. Draft your entry now
Scoring this week will be a point-based system where each hole won equates to one fantasy point. The only bonus points are rewarded at the end of the tournament for the winner and runner-up finishers. If you can avoid picking players from the same group stage pods then you'll increase your team's overall potential. Best of luck!
Fantasy Feud Picks
Rory McIlroy ($180,000) ... Was ousted quickly in each of the past two WGC-Match Play events. That will keep his ownership relatively low as others gravitate toward Jason Day in the same price range. The change of venue can only help McIlroy this week as he gets a fresh canvas to work with.
Henrik Stenson ($158,000) ... The 2007 winner of this event has plenty of highlights in regards to match play. He followed up his win with a third-place-finish in 2008. He also made a trek to the finals of last year's Volvo Match Play. With his current form in top shape and nothing too intimidating during group stage, I would say good things are on the horizon this week.
Bubba Watson ($144,000) ... My first instinct was Justin Rose here, but nearly all of his career achievements in the U.S. have been accomplished on the East Coast, so I dropped down to the lefty instead. He is 9-5-0 at this event and I think he could benefit for the round robin format that eliminates some of the luck in the early stages.
Patrick Reed ($123,000) ... He is a thoroughbred when it comes to this format. On paper, it looks like he could walk through his group stage with ease. The game is not played on paper, but the odds are certainly in his favor.
Paul Casey ($102,000) ... He is in top form this season and his match-play resume is long and impressive. His initial grouping is one of the easiest, so this price is easy to gravitate toward.
Hunter Mahan ($95,000) ... Doesn't get the love that Poulter does, but Mahan is one of the best in the business when it comes to match play. He defeated Camilo Villegas at this venue during the 2009 Presidents Cup. Kuchar will be his biggest obstacle in pool play; otherwise he's clear for takeoff.
J.B. Holmes ($95,000) ... He doesn't have much of a pedigree in this format, but either do his group mates. In this situation, I am willing to back the horse with the best recent form and that would be Holmes.
Tommy Fleetwood ($39,000) ... Not a lot of match-play history for the youngster but he did take out Joost Luiten during the 2013 Seve Trophy. As an amateur, he went 1-1 at Merion Golf Club during the 2009 Walker Cup. His group lacks match-play chops so that makes him a nice sleeper this week.
Joost Luiten ($33,000) ... Defeated G-Mac, Alexander Levy, Mikko Ilonen, Pablo Larrazabal, and George Coetzee on his way to a third-place finish at last year's Volvo Match Play. Being in a group whose collective match-play records are 1-7-0, I will take my chances with Luiten to advance.
Thongchai Jaidee ($30,000) ... The Thai started 3-0 at his 2010 WGC-Match Play debut before running into the buzz saw known as Ian Poulter. Luckily, his group this week will allow him some easier matches and it would not be surprising to see him sneak into the Final 16.
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.
Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)
Star Player: Graeme McDowell
Match-play stud, won U.S. Open just down the coast from here at Pebble, course suits him and can win group v Fowler, Lowry and English
• Rory McIlroy: West Coast specialist Snedeker could be a threat but Rory has to be in the 10
• Henrik Stenson: Over health problems so should be a big factor. Likes course and No.1 in SGP
• Justin Rose: Another match-play specialist and in red-hot form after 2nd at Masters and Zurich 1st
• Sergio Garcia: Not always reliable in match-play but gets the nod as course should be ideal for him
• Patrick Reed: Loves this format, top US points scorer in Ryder Cup and could go all the way
• Ian Poulter: The match-play king simply can’t be left out. Playing well and even has course form
• George Coetzee: In fine form and could sneak through his group against Furyk, Kaymer and Jaidee
• Bernd Wiesberger: Continues to flourish. In same group as Sergio but one of the two should go through
• Victor Dubuisson: Last year’s beaten finalist is unpredictable but capable of another big performance
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. 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… HEY AT LEAST SPIETH DIDN’T WIN LAST WEEK!!! And neither did Goldilocks; and neither did I. Twhocares and $12,054
Zurich: With six of the last nine at TPC Louisiana going to a first-timer, I’m going with youthful exuberance in Morgan Hoffmann. Other considerations were Berger and Thomas. Hoffmann began the final round T9 and finished T36 for $31,099. If you’re scoring at home, this is the THIRD tournament in a row that my “other” selections have done just a bit better. See above for details as Berger was T6 and Thomas was T12.
WGC-Match Play: Reading this has angered me so I’m sending Paul Casey to the bat this week. I don’t care if it’s a cricket bat. It's a big tournament so it deserves a big player.
SEASON TOTAL: $3,197,628; 24 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 quite sad when a calculator isn’t necessary to add up this week’s total x two
Coming NEXT 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 PLAYERS and answering your questions. If you are arriving as “normal” this week, please note we’ve already had our chat as the golf starts WEDNESDAY this week. The chat archive is front and center at Rotoworld.com/golf. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.