Playing the Tips

Our Picks: Valero Texas Open

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 We’ll have all of our selections from the, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf, my weekly selection for One-and-Done players plus DFS love from Josh Culp and European Tour insight from Dave Tindall. Fantasy Golf



Valero Texas Open (VTO)








2015 Earnings: $6,637,822

2015 Rank: 5,614


I had to make a move to try and catch the leaders and I figured the No. 1 player in the world would be a great OTHER CHOICE last week. Stenson did exactly what every gamer in the world besides me needed him to do and I continue to look up at the world. I won’t mention Bradley began Sunday in T12 before shooting 77 or that O’Hair was two shots better and shot 76. I miss the days where my guys shot 67 on Sunday to backdoor a top 15 not the other way around…



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: Ryan Palmer

Group 3: Martin Laird

Group 4: Martin Flores



ANALYSIS: Taking three Texans who can handle tough courses and wind makes way too much sense so I’ve done that. Furyk, believe it or not, would have been my second choice in Group 1 because of his steadiness; Dustin Johnson is the make-or-break pick; Na will be a popular selection in Group 2 but Charley Hoffman is the course horse of ALL course horses. Steele and Kokrak should get plenty of attention in Group 3 and Freddie Jacobson is the course horse of that group and by a mile at that. Group 4 involves flipping a coin and then throwing it into a fountain. FEAR THE MARTIN-MARTIN EXACT!




Rob Bolton





2015 Earnings: $8,758,600

2015 Rank: 620



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: Ryan Palmer

Group 3: Brendan Steele

Group 4: Martin Flores



ANALYSIS: Stenson and Kokrak did the business last week at Rob moved on up again. Rob is going to be disappointed this week when he learns we matched three of the four groups. We’ve both gone previous champ route in Group 3 and that’s the only difference.




Ryan O’ Sullivan





2015 Earnings: $12,043,693

2015 Rank: 4th; FOURTH. Top Four.



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: Ryan Palmer

Group 3: Martin Laird

Group 4: Martin Flores



ANALYSIS: Another week, another winner or second place for O as he had Stenson in Group 1. This week, we match all four groups. I’m expecting an email around 7pm Tuesday night with a brand new group! Keep up the good work, O!




Ned Brown





2015 Earnings: $8,355,559

2015 Rank: 983



Group 1: Jordan Spieth

Group 2: Zach Johnson

Group 3: Martin Laird

Group 4: Martin Flores



ANALYSIS: Ned is back in the top 1,000 after Stenson helped him last week. This week, he along with O, though the Martin-Martin exacta is a good idea as well. He’s mixed it up and rode ZJ in Group 2.



Event No.2 Golf Channel


Kia Classic




Group 1: Inbee Park

Group 2: Na Yeon Choi

Group 3: Beatriz Recari

Group 4: Cheyenne Woods




Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Lexi Thompson

Group 3: Jenny Shin

Group 4: Cheyenne Woods




Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Anna Nordqvist

Group 3: Il Hee Le

Group 4: Cheyenne Woods




Group 1: Stacy Lewis

Group 2: Hyo Joo Kim

Group 3: Ariya Jutanugarn

Group 4: Alison Lee





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.



“Pure Spin”


API Points: 206

WINTER Segment Points: 1,952

WINTER Segment Rank: 324




Group A



Jim Furyk:  His T40 at the Valspar was disappointing but before that he was playing well this year with four straight top 14 results. He has played in the last two Valero Texas Opens with a T3 in '13 and a T6 last year.


Ryan Palmer: He’s racked up top 25s in five of his six starts including T2 at the WMPO. You can put a line through last year's T56 because he would have placed much higher if wasn't for an injury on Sunday that resulted in 82.





Harris English, Matt Jones




Group B


Jordan Spieth: I'd love to able to fade him this week, but he is so red-hot with a championship last time out at Valspar. That makes three championships in his last eight worldwide starts. I'll try to keep him on the bench, but I wouldn't be surprised if I’m forced to use him.


Matt Kuchar: Since I want to avoid burning another start on Spieth, I'm going to pick Matt Kuchar. He has cooled down a bit from his red-hot play but is still playing well. He has finished T22 or better in his last three starts at TPC San Antonio with the best finish being T4 last year.


Zach Johnson: I watched his entire round on Saturday and you could see his form was on the upswing so that final round of 66 wasn’t surprising. He put the VTO back on his schedule last year and was rewarded with T6.


Dustin Johnson: This is Johnson's first time playing TPC San Antonio. I am going with him this week because his current form is so strong with three top 4s in his last four starts including a championship last time out at the WGC-Cadillac.





Jimmy Walker, Daniel Berger, Will MacKenzie




Group C


Kevin Na: He’s as hot as I've ever seen him with T9 at Doral, T10 at Valspar and T6 last week at the API. His course history at TPC San Antonio had not been good before his T11 last year.’


Martin Laird: After playing very well on the West Coast Swing he cooled down in Florida. I'm hoping that his game returns to his earlier form on a course where he shot 63 on Sunday to beat McIlroy in 2013.





Brendan Steele, Brendon Todd, Daniel Summerhays




Ryan O’Sullivan (O)



The Golf Aficionado”



API: 180

WINTER Segment Points: 2,001

WINTER Segment Rank: 63




Group A:


Ryan Palmer

Jim Furyk



Group B:


Jordan Spieth

Matt Kuchar

Dustin Johnson

Zach Johnson



Group C:


Brendon Todd

Martin Laird




Rob Bolton





API Points: 204

WINTER Segment Points: 1,800

WINTER Segment Rank: 6,414




Group A:


Jim Furyk

Ryan Palmer



Group B:


Jimmy Walker

Jordan Spieth

Phil Mickelson

Daniel Berger



Group C:


Kevin Na

Martin Laird









API Points: 180

WINTER Segment Points: 1,814

WINTER Segment Rank: 5,391



I rode Stenson for all four rounds last week so I saved a start on McIlroy. That was it. I left big rounds from Poulter, Bradley and Fowler on the bench so yeah, whatever.



Group A


Jim Furyk

Ryan Palmer



English and Warren are both knocking on the OWGR top 50 so it will be interesting to see how they both handle their final time to crack it before the Masters. Palmer and Furyk are way too solid to deviate from if you are leading.



Group B:



Jordan Spieth

Jimmy Walker

Zach Johnson

Matt Kuchar



I’m gambling by leaving DJ out but I would be down to six starts on him. I’ll take that chance on a course he’s never seen plus he’s coming off a win. Spieth will be buried on the bench as I hope Walker, Kuchar and ZJ can handle the heavy lifting this week. It would be nice if Kirk or Horschel would break out so we can start burning some starts on those two!



Group C:



Martin Laird

Brendan Steele



If I left Na out last week so I’ll take my medicine again. Todd would be another who deserves a look and Piercy and Hoffman are the sleepers who can get low.




Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]



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


Josh has pieced together this lineup below to throw into the $3 Birdie Contest this week on DraftKings. DK has also announced the largest fantasy golf contest ever which will take place at The Masters. Don't forget to reserve your entry now for a chance to turn $20 into $1 Million:



DraftKings Picks



Jordan Spieth ($14,000) ... I rarely support winners the first start following that victory but Spieth does not follow traditional rules. He's a top-20 machine and I think he doesn't miss a beat as he tees it up in his home state.


Charles Howell III ($8,000) ... Enters the week with seven of his last eight rounds under par. This isn't a traditional stop for CH3 but he finished eighth back in 2011. I want him on my side as he makes a last-ditched effort to make it into the Masters.


Daniel Summerhays ($7,900) ... This venue has been kind to maidens and he certainly fits the bill. With back-to-back top 10s at Valero combined with five straight cuts made entering this week, all trends are converging and we may see some fireworks as a result.


Russell Knox ($7,600) ... Another searching for his maiden, I have no fears backing a Scot on a venue where the wind is known to play a large part.


Brendon de Jonge ($7,000) ... Top 35s in five of his last six entering the week. His tee-to-green game is always on point and the wildcard is the flat stick. Oh, he also fits the team trend of talented golfers looking for their maiden PGA TOUR victory.


Chad Collins ($5,400) ... He’s showing remarkable consistency this season with top 45s in seven of 10 starts. Has strung together 27-of-34 rounds at par or better. Pile on a T26 at last year's Valero and you have a quality sleeper brewing.




Other Picks to Consider



Alternate for Spieth: Jim Furyk ($11,000) ... The ultimate grinder will find a way to prevail on this tough track. His last two starts here as they were both inside the top 10. Plus you save $3K in salary to spend elsewhere with the drop down from Spieth.


Alternate for Knox: Charley Hoffman ($8,300) ...  Haters will note his poor form entering the week but course history buffs will note the five straight top 15s since the Valero moved to TPC San Antonio.


Alternate for de Jonge: Freddie Jacobson ($7,100) ... Another course horse here at TPC San Antonio as the Swede has posted top 20s in all five trips.




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






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.



Last week

A frustrating week on all levels in Madeira as the tournament was cancelled due to only 18 holes being possible. Too bad as we had leader JB Hansen in our line-up and, quite clearly, he would have won if they’d squeezed in another 18. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Current Position: 4,259 (no change from the previous week)



This week



Team Tindall

(Team name: YESSIR!)



Marcel Siem

George Coetzee

Jaco Van Zyl

Gregory Bourdy

David Horsey

David Howell

Robert Rock

Anthony Wall

Matthew Fitzpatrick



Star Player: Emiliano Grillo



GIR are a big stat this week so course should play into in-form Grillo’s hands. His only start here yielded T11.



The Rest



•       Marcel Siem: Former winner here has been ticking over nicely on the PGA TOUR (T18 Pebble)

•       George Coetzee: Followed Tshwane win with a third on home SA Tour. Strong form here too

•       Jaco Van Zyl: Four top 6s and a T15 in last five events in South Africa. Lost 2011 playoff here

•       Gregory Bourdy: Likes links golf and returned to form with top 10 at Tshwane

•       David Horsey: The course-form king (1-14-2-8). Bounced back to form with T10 on last start

•       David Howell: 8th in this event two years ago and runner-up in Joburg recently. Loves links golf

•       Robert Rock: Strong GIR numbers point to big show from in-form Englishman

•       Anthony Wall: Runner-up in Joburg and took to this course on only appearance (T17) in 2012

•       Matthew Fitzpatrick: Should be a good fit for this track and confidence restored by T15 at Tshwane 






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.



2014-15 Glass OAD 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.






SEASON TOTAL: $1,885,183; 19 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: It’s spring but it feels like winter in here.




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

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