The Quicken Loans National golf tournament returns to the nation's capital for the final time before moving to Detroit in 2019.
With Tiger Woods returning to TPC Potomac at Avenal Farms in 2018, the anticipation is at an all-time high. Will Woods hoist the championship trophy for the first time since 2012 or will defending champion Kyle Stanley go back-to-back?
We asked out expert team of fantasy golf wizards to drop their analysis, predictions and picks for the 2018 National.
The panel of golf experts offering their predictions, picks and analysis are:
Chris Garosi, The Fantasy Fix
Geoff Feinberg, Fantasy Golf Expert
Garrett Johnston, NBC Sports Washington
Kenny Kim, Fantasy Golf Degenerates Podcast
Troy Machir, NBC Sports Washington
Doug McKinney, NBC Sports Washington/Sports Junkies
Matt "Valdez" Myers, 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies
Quickens National Picks to Win
Doug McKinney: Jimmy Walker
I’m going with someone who doesn’t get too high or too low; a perfect description of Jimmy Walker. Listen, last year TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm played as the fourth toughest track on the PGA Tour. The rough is stuff you would see at a U.S. Open course; in fact, Justin Thomas said last year “you could 100 percent host a U.S. Open here starting tomorrow.”
Walker will stay on the fairways, is in good recent form and is definitely considered one of the fan favorites in this field. Sure, the 2016 PGA Championship winner missed the cut here last season, but he wasn’t playing consistently. I’m backing Jimmy Walker.
Geoff Fienberg: Francesco Molinari
In the best form of his career going to a course that suits his iron game. Recently won BMW over in Europe on a very tight course (Wentworth) with many comps.
Kenny Kim: Francesco Molinari
This course seems well suited for Molinari’s game. He hits a lot of fairways, hits a lot of greens, and for the most part avoids the big number. He’s coming in hot with a win, a runner-up, and a solid 25th place finish at the US Open in his last three starts. I think him skipping the huge Euro Tour French Open speaks volumes about how he thinks he can do at this specific course. I don’t think he skips the French Open for the Quicken Loans unless he thinks TPC Potomac is a course well suited for him to possibly get his first PGA Tour win.
Chris Garosi: Kevin Streelman
It’s tough to pass on Rickie Fowler at this tournament, but he just doesn’t seem to win as frequently as we think he should. I’m actually going to ignore most of the top of the board as I don’t see a lot of value.
The pick for me this week is Kevin Streelman. I was on him last week and it looks like I might have been a week too early. He’s always played well at this even irrespective of the venue including his T17 last year. He’s third in bogey avoidance this year (which will be key on a tough course) and is trending in the right direction.
Matt Valdez: Tiger Woods
I've had the luxury of playing TPC Avenel over 20 times. It's an amazing course. Fair but tough. You are penalized for poor shots and if the rough is thick, you're playing for par if you're wayward off the tee.
Why not? His own tournament, weaker field. The course emphasizes strokes gained tee to green and surprisingly ranks 5th on tour. Believe it or not, it's been Tiger's putter that has failed him. Hoping the new TaylorMade mallet makes a difference and every weekend duffer will be racing to Golfdom to buy one. RIP Newport 2 :(
Garrett Johnston: Tiger Woods
This guy threatened the course record last month at the straight and narrow TPC Sawgrass, he nearly won at another tough track at Tampa before that. This week against a non-strong field at another accuracy-first venue, it’s his to lose.
Troy Machir: Tiger Woods
It has to be Tiger, it just has to. With the tournament heading elsewhere after 2018, what better sendoff than having the tournament's host complete the hat trick with a victory?
Quicken Loans National Sleeper Picks
Doug McKinney: Chesson Hadley
I know he is coming off back-to-back missed cuts, but Hadley is going to be in one of the final groups come Sunday. The 2014 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has six Top 20’s since the final event in March and has course history here. Playing on the Web.com Tour, Hadley placed second here in 2013. I like his fit here so much; I contemplated having him as my pick to win this week.
Geoff Fienberg: Si Woo Kim
The course also suits his game, the form is strong. Kyle Stanley won with negatives strokes gained-putting last year so that makes it easier to go to the well with Si Woo. (Call this a cheat but I was very tempted to pick Woodland here also)
Kenny Kim: Kevin Streelman
Streelman is having one of the best ball striking seasons of his career. In his last 50 rounds he’s 1st in the field in Good Drive % (combo of Driving Accuracy and greens in regulation from the rough), 4th in Fairways Gained, 8th in Green in Regulation, 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach, and 4th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. He’s also inside the Top 15 in the field in Bogey Avoidance and Double Bogey Avoidance in the last 50 rounds. He came in 17th here last year and I think he can do better this week.
Chris Garosi: Jason Gore
If it’s DC, the sleeper is always Jason Gore. He’s had serious success on this track (for him) over the years in the different tournaments held at TPC Potomac.
Matt Valdez: Denny McCarthy
Made 3 cuts in a row and coming back to his home course. Really impressed with Denny's third round 66 and can’t neglect his comfort and familiarity with TPC Avenel.
Garrett Johnston: Beau Hossler
He’s been trending all season, nearly grabbed his first Tour win in Houston and just finished second last week at Travelers.
Troy Machir: Kevin Streelman
Streelman is making spectacular contact on the ball this season and has been hovering around Top 15 week in and week out.
Quicken Loans National Longshot Picks
Doug McKinney: Denny McCarthy
The local native – along with Billy Hurley III – should get plenty of fanfare in the galleries the next four days. The UVA product, ranks 42nd on Tour in bogey avoidance, a key attribute that will come handy playing at this type of venue. Happy Homecoming, Denny.
Geoff Fienberg: James Hahn
An incredibly streaky player who can pop out of nowhere but to my surprise this difficult track could see him pop a T20 if he’s not flirting w first page of the leaderboard.
Kenny Kim: Denny McCarthy
McCarthy is a local kid that was raised in the DMV area. He won the Maryland Open three times and played with some of the biggest names in golf (Spieth, Thomas, Schniederjans) at the 2010 Junior Ryder Cup. He’s coming in with the best form of his PGA Tour career making six of his last seven cuts including three Top 20s. He’ll have a lot of support this week and has the game to surprise people.
Chris Garosi: Robert Garrigus
Just seems to show up for certain tournaments and this is one of them as he’s made 10 of his last 11 cuts at the Quicken with four top 20s. He’s made just 7 of 15 cuts in 2018, but his seven weekends have led to four top 25 finishes. TPC Potomac seems to have a link (perhaps tenuous) to Torrey Pines where Garrigus had his best finish of 2018 (T8).
Matt Valdez: Stewart Cink
Hasn't played the course worries me. He's so hot right now it's hard to ignore. T4 at St. Jude and T2 in Connecticut makes you ride the hot streak.
Garrett Johnston: Ricky Werenski
Coming off of good experience in a top 10 at Memphis and played in the US Open the week after, he’s got Keegan Bradley’s old caddie Steve Hale to keep him focused as well.
Troy Machir: Stewart Cink:
A strong finish (3rd) at The Travelers Championship has Cink primed for a big weekend at TPC Potomac. The reason he's a longshot is that this will be the first time he's played the course.
Quicken Loans National Fade Picks
Doug McKinney: Ryan Armour
Going a bit against the grain here because Armour is playing really well right now. Currently ranked at 58 in the FedExCup Standings, Armour has made four straight cuts including placing inside the Top 25 twice. He’s also missed the cut at this course, twice.
Geoff Fienberg: Kevin Na
This could backfire but Na was in Korea last week playing on the Asian Tour, with many of the players with any kind of name value rested after the US Open Na could be a little weathered.
Kenny Kim: Kevin Na
At first glance, it looks like TPC Potomac is well suited for Na’s game but he played the Korean Open last week. The time difference between Korea and DC is 13 hours. Jet lag could be a big factor for him. As a fellow Korean I have traveled to Korea and back and it took more than a week to get my internal clock back to normal. Jet lag affects people in different ways but with all the other great players near his price range, I’ll take the risk and fade him.
Chris Garosi: Joaquin Niemann
Is going to be a stud. But he’s still just 19 years old and in this field, I won’t pay up for a higher variance player on a tough course.
Matt Valdez Fade: Marc Leishman
Will be a popular DK and golf pool pick. Been outside Top 40 last three tournaments. Paired with Tiger the first two days and not sure if Marc is good enough to deal with the circus Woods brings.
Garrett Johnston: Rickie Fowler
We’ve seen him start well in DMV area events, including a deep run last year here, but figuring past history will repeat with a fade.
Troy Machir: Rickie Fowler
The fan-favorite had a strong finish in 2017, and his style is great for the course, but I just have a bad feeling about Rickie this weekend. It's nothing more than a hunch, tho.