2016 season is here! And with it means our own custom version of fantasy golf. Not wanting to deal with choosing teams every week, and also wanting to reward long term forecasting, we’ve spent the last 3 days picking a total of 150 players who may or may not actually play full time on the PGA Tour.
The winner of this exercise is calculated by summing the total money earned on the PGA Tour starting from this week’s Sony until and including the TOUR Championship in September. What follows are everybody’s picks, and analysis looking back on their drafts. We’ll update throughout the year with standings and other insights from the participants. On to the analysis.
Jack’s Picks — “Team Reed’s 4th Member”
Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Emiliano Grillo, Danny Lee, Bill Haas, Ryan Palmer, Russell Henley, Harris English, Brendan de Jonge, Brendon Todd, Peter Malnati, Scott Brown, Troy Merritt, Fabian Gomez, Scott Stallings, George McNeill, Chris Stroud, David Hearn, Jason Kokrak, Byeong-Hun An, Alex Cjeka, Rory Sabbatini, Tyrone Van Aswegen
Making a group of picks over the course of 3 days is a little daunting. Everytime you decide on a player to be honored with being on my team, I thought to myself “Yes. What a great pick”. Now I look back and wonder why the hell did I pick BDJ so early on? Why is my team mostly middle age white guys (in before that’s the entire PGA Tour) who haven’t ever really been that good? Why did I pick a guy who had to change putters and hasn’t proven he can putt?
My other concern is the number of picks where I literally had no idea who they were before seeing their names on the 2016 money list. I’m looking at you Peter Malnati and Tyrone Van Aswegen. But hey, what are two guys out of 25.
In fact, now that I look at my picks, I’m making my top guys Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed? Both relative unknowns in terms of how they’re going to play. Fowler has one big win at the Players last year, and Reed, well, hasn’t proved much either. And oh my god apparently I picked Rickie Folwer over Rory McIlroy. Sure McIlroy doesn’t play full time on the PGA Tour, but he wins majors!
Some might say I’m pessimistic, but I just try to manage expectations so I’m not disappointed in the end. But once the competition starts, I expect to win.
Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Zach Johnson, Russell Knox, Billy Horschel, Martin Kaymer, Anirban Lahiri, Jaime Donaldson, Gary Woodland, Jason Dufner, Sean O’Hair, Cameron Tringale, Joost Luiten, Geoff Ogilvy, Johnson Wagner, Marcel Siem, Stephen Gallacher, Matt Every, Pat Perez, Brett Stegmeir, Bronson Burgoon, Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradhech Aphibarnrat, Peter Uihlein, Kyle Riefers
Second to last tournament of the year, and with only 70 players, you gotta be sharp to win. Luckily, we know who to pick.
Brendon de Jonge ($6,800)
Rickie Fowler ($10,700)
Jim Furyk ($10,000)
Ryan Palmer ($7,300)
Pat Perez ($7,200)
Robert Streb ($8,000)
Fewer players in a field means that your guys are more likely to make the cut… but so are everyone else’s. You’re gonna need to go 6/6 and have some top finishes. Get ready for stacked leaderboards for sure.
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Robert Streb ($8,000) — Played weak last weekend and finished T39, worst finish in the last 6 weeks. Still at 8k is beyond me other than he’s another rather standard white guy. Oh, and he finished T9 last year at this course. Must play.
Ryan Palmer ($7,800) — T6 last week and T16 at TPC Boston a year ago. That’s the magic combo.
Cameron Tringale ($6,500) — My one stretch. If someone can find a better guy at/below this price range, I’d be willing to switch. Made the cut here last year, and has been playing decently, making the cut last week.
Jason Bohn ($7,300) — Four top 15s in the last 5 starts. Gotta have him in the lineup.
Henrik Stenson ($10,500) — Second last week, won in 2013. Yup.
Bubba Watson ($9,800) — Playing great golf for under 10k. Sure I picked him because he was the last player who I could afford. But just look below at Mike’s description to see why you should pick him.
Ok, weird week coming up. Not only are there only 100 players in the field, we also have a Friday start/Monday finish. This gives an extra day to agonize over picks, as well as a small field with a normal cut to worry about. With that in mind, I’m going to start at the bottom and work my way up. I want a couple lower tier picks that have been playing well recently as well as on the whole this season. From there I’ll work my way up with the remaining salary only taking guys I really think will do well here. I’ll say it here so I don’t have to say it again: I’m completely discounting how people did at the PGA. Don’t care.
Steven Bowditch ($7,000) — Awesome form coming in and this year as a whole. Was in the top 25 last week and expect him to be this week.
Kevin Na ($7,100) — See Bowditch, Steven.
Justin Thomas ($7,900) — Seems like a pretty nice value. Becoming more consistent as his rookie campaign comes to a close. He also hasn’t shot over 69 in a third round since early May, if you’re looking for someone to go low on Sunday this week.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8,800) — I don’t even know how he’s been doing recently. Not even going to look. Too good to do poorly this week. Too big to fail. Give my man a bail out. Won’t need one.
Zach Johnson ($9,300) — The dude was back on it last week after his hot June and July. Unlikely to miss the cut with his generally steady play, especially with the small field.
Bubba Watson ($9,800) — Three of his last four starts have been 3rd place or better, so, yeah, Bubba is playing some golf as it were. Somehow he’s only the 7th most expensive player? In 16 events this year he’s been in the top 3 seven times. Those are Tiger numbers.
Start of the playoffs, and we’re dealing with field sizes that are shrinking. Only 125 players this week, and the number is going to get smaller. Knowing exactly who is primed to play well is important, and we got the info here.
Strong events are my favorite, as is the case here with the best players on the PGA Tour basically being forced to play. And since you’re going to have to have complete lineups anyway, DK prices good guys seemingly low. Going the the midrange price guys this week.
Paul Casey ($8,700) — On a fantastic stretch of golf all the way back since June. No missed cuts, and only missing a win in that time period. Coming off a T2 at Sedgefield as well.
Jim Furyk ($8,800) — Model of consistency, and seems to dominate these old school type courses.
Russell Henley ($7,500) — 4 straight finishes in the top 20, Henley’s the kind of guy who shouldn’t be at 7.5k, but because of the strength of the field he can be.
Brooks Koepka ($9,700) — Arguably the hottest guy in golf right now (not talking about looks). Three straight in the top 10, 7 in the top 20. It’s absurd how good he’s playing. At under 10k, everyone’s going to pick him, and you need to as well.
Danny Lee ($7,700) — I’m not really a fan of ignoring tournaments when thinking of picking a player. Seems like a cop out and not taking in all the information needed. But in this case, I’m going to ignore the US and British Opens as outliers and say he hasn’t missed a cut since the end of June! Oh, and he has a girlfriend now! Granted, my dad always said that girlfriends = bogeys so who knows.
Billy Horschel ($7,500) — Last player, and I’m going with someone who likes to step up in the big time. Hasn’t really played particularly well recently, but hasn’t missed cuts either. The defending FedEx Cup champ wants to show he can get back to the top.
Tiger is back! What do you think his salary will be? Probably not something you’re going to want to have on your team though.
Theme for this week’s lineup is young players. Guys who have been looking at Jordan Spieth and thinking, “Why can’t I be that good?”.
Byeong-Hun An ($6,800) — Low price for a player who’s been tearing it up on the Euro tour. Former US Am champ coming to the US on sponsors exemption means low salary for quality of player.
Paul Casey ($9,200) — Been on a pretty good streak of playing well, and good result here last year. That’s the combo I’m looking for, even at 9.2k.
Patrick Rodgers ($9,000) — Another young player doing well, and hoping to make a move in the playoffs.
Ollie Schniederjans ($8,300) — I could copy what I wrote above for Rodgers here, but I’ll just tell you to look above and read again.
Justin Thomas ($9,400) — My predicted winner from the preview. Has experience here, and the desire to finally win, as well as make the President’s Cup. Not a stretch if he plays well.
Camilo Villegas ($7,100) — Defending champ at 7.1k? I’ll take every time.
Time for the final major of the year, which means another million up for grabs on DK. Whether you’re a DFS golf pro, or you’ve just playing this for the first time, we got winning lineups here.
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Majors mean that you’ll find players you’re used to having high salaries and deflated ones, which means opportunity if you can figure out who’s going to step up to the plate on the big stage for the first time. So much value, so I can’t justify going with Spieth when there are a ton of other great players below. Pumped for such a stacked lineup.
Justin Rose ($10,000) — Faltered a little on Sunday of last tournament, but he’s still gotta be a favorite, especially with the motivation after playing poorly.
Louis Oosthuizen ($9,100) — Dude’s finished T2 in the last two majors. Clearly he steps up for the big tournaments. Great deal at 9.1k.
Robert Streb ($6,800) — Going low here for a guy who’s primed and ready to play well. Hasn’t missed a cut in a while, and a 5th place finish at WGC Bridgestone last week was really a great finish considering the quality of the field. And yet, he really never got much airtime there. He’ll be highly owned because salaries for this came out before last tournament, and people have already been all over him.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8,000) — Speaking of making cuts, Hideki has missed one all year. Big time player, we’re still waiting for him to break out with a win, but no better week than right now.
Pat Perez ($6,000) — Here’s the steal of all time. What in the world is a guy who hasn’t missed a cut all summer (since March) doing at 6k?
Bubba Watson ($9,900) — Was in the playoff here last time in 2010, and he’s finished 2nd in his last two events. Pretty sure he wants to win. Only problem is I have to root for him now.
Yay, major pricing! It makes you feel like everyone you pick is a great deal, and since all the top players are going this week at Whistling Straits we might as well load up on some big names and consistent cut-makers. After looking more closely, my six selections have missed only eight cuts all season.
Bubba Watson ($9,900) — He was my first pick in the draft and he’s my top-salaried guy here. Playing well and was solo second last time around at this venue. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Henrik Stenson ($9,700) — Now Stenson I like. Seems to be rounding into form at just the right time for the playoffs once again. Going to ignore the 2010 results because that was a dark time.
Matt Kuchar ($8,300) — Extremely consistent, if unspectacular year so far and was t10 five years ago here.
Jim Furyk ($8,100) — Coming in with back to back top-5’s and a solid t24 despite a disastrous final round previously at this venue.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8,000) — First timer at this course, but has the game to do well at Whistling. Once again I like his consistent play. It gives me reassurance.
Pat Perez ($6,000) — Like Jack, I feel like this must be a missed pricing. Either that or DK knows something we don’t. Perez has been a beacon of consistency in the last four months and only has three MC’s all season (none since March).
Being a WGC event, the field is going to be good this week, which means prices for good players are going to seem low. Don’t be fooled though, still gotta know who’s going to play well.
Really tough salaries this week. Instead of finding the normal mispricings and “guys you haven’t heard of but are playing well” like usual, we don’t have that this week. All the players in the field are good, and the pricing seems rock solid. That being said, we can still go off history and how they guys are playing currently.
Jimmy Walker ($8,300) — Seems a little under valued down here, granted, this is the end of the season, and Jimmy Walker isn’t as sharp at the end of the year as the beginning. But still think that price is a little low.
Ian Poulter ($7,400) — Again, solid and well known, and with a low price. That’s what I’m looking for this week.
Bill Haas ($7,800) — I’ll ignore the little hiccup at the end of last week’s tournament. Haas bounces back in effort to make President’s Cup.
Dustin Johnson ($10,800) — If DJ is going to play in a tournament, he’s going to want to play well.
Danny Lee ($7,700) — Playing well recently with a T4 last week. Good value for someone who wants to win all the time.
Martin Kaymer ($8,000) — Good ball striker, and I’m guessing he’s going to be focused with the PGA coming up at a course he won at before. He’s not going to want to have a bad week going into that.
Once again, going with my gut. No cut means you’ll need at least a couple top 10’s to do anything in your leagues.
Henrik Stenson ($9,900) — I think that, even with his pretty high price, Stenson is being overlooked this week in favor of Day and Spieth among others.
Sergio Garcia ($9,700) — Another guy who I think is being overlooked. His recent results have me intrigued.
Kevin Kisner ($7,700) — Enough is enough. I have to pick him because I’ve passes so often to my eternal grief.
Francesco Molinari ($7,700) — I like his consistency, but he’s probably first off the squad if I notice a better option.
Hunter Mahan ($7,500) — Look, I don’t know why, but I like him this week. Hasn’t had a great last couple years, but he’s too good to be down for too long.
Jamie Donaldson ($7,400) — Eternally underpriced and I have a weakness for picking Welshmen.
Done with Canada, might as well play a tournament in the United State’s capital! Quicken Loans National time!
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In a weak field this week, I’m going for stars and scrubs. Well, semi scrubs since I’m assuming all these guys will play well. Basically, in the 7k-9k range, I really wasn’t seeing much benefit. Seems for the most part like players in that range are salaried that high just because some players need to be. Picking the other players at low salaries is … difficult. I tried to have some logic to those picks, but it’s still a little tossup if they’re going to play well.
Rickie Fowler ($11,700) and Justin Rose ($12,200) — Out of the three top ranked guys, I’m going with Fowler and Rose over Walker. Rose plays well in normal tour events a lot, and I’m just feeling Fowler over Walker cause of his recent win in Europe.
Chesson Hadley ($6,100) — Has made more cuts than not this year, and two in a row.
Stewart Cink ($7,800) — Two great weeks in a row with a T5 last week. More of the same expected from the tall guy.
John Huh ($6,200) — So looking at his history this year, he’s made a bunch of cuts. The ones he’s missed seem to come after he took some time off. Since the end of February, he’s taken 4 weeks off and he’s missed 4 cuts, all coming the week after his off week. I’m saying that’s not a coincidence, and that he’ll be back on form this week.
Alex Prugh ($5,900) — Made three cuts in a row means he’s playing well.
Ok, after a much needed week off of picks I’m back, and I’ve decided to really try to not overthink things. Really weak field here so gotta make the money count. Looks like I’m not on the same page as Jack this week which may or may not be a good thing.
Justin Thomas ($10,000) — As it turns out, this is exactly how much I had left over after my first 5 selections, so hey, why not. Better than the guys directly below him in salary anyways.
Shawn Stefani ($8,800) — I’m still on the Stefani train. I think he breaks through with a win in the next year or so and he has impressive consistency this year so far.
Pat Perez ($8,400) — A little surprised he’s price below some of the guys ahead of him. Nice solid pick.
Andy Sullivan ($8,100) — I really like Sullivan’s game and I think he’d have a higher price had he been playing in America for more than a few events.
Adam Hadwin ($7,500) — His game seems to be coming on a bit and I’d like to ride that for the duration.
Scott Pinckney ($7,200) — Seems to be hit or miss, but more hit recently and with the field I like his game.
British Open is finally over, so we can start thinking about the next Tour event — The RBC Canadian Open.
Jason Day ($11,600) — Gotta spend some money on someone.
Tony Finau ($9,200) — Bomber playing well. Hopefully the week and a half of rest he had did him well.
Brooks Koepka ($9,300) — Long hitter here again.. Playing well after the British Open again.
Greg Owen ($7,000) — String of good finishes, T6 at Greenbrier and T20 at Open. Second at St. Jude as well (granted with an MC in between). Still great for 7k. Carl Pettersson ($6,500) — Been playing really well overall despite missing the cut by one at the Open. Violating my rule with only going with people who made the cut in their last tournament, but I’m still liking Carl here.
Shoutout to @Vonxn on twitter for letting me know Pettersson withdrew. I wasn’t really a fan of replacing just Pettersson since I didn’t like anyone at his price, so I subbed the following for both:
Chez Reavie ($6,300) — A Canadian who’s made 4 cuts in a row.
Kevin Chappell ($7,300) — Made 7 cuts in a row including a T8 at the John Deere.
Andres Romero ($6,200) — Romero is going to be very highly owned at 6.2k. Top 10s in his last two starts. Primed for another one where he’s had success in the past.
The third major of the year is upon us, and whether you call it the British Open, the Open Championship, DraftKings is having another millionaire maker. In honor of that, we decided to give away our picks here! Well, we give away lineups every week millionaire maker or not, but still, good picks to follow.
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Criteria this week for me is 1) playing well (as always) and 2) Had at least some success at links courses. I feel like you’re going to get guys who hate links golf and that’ll never play well. So I want to eliminate them.
Louis Oosthuizen ($9,900) — Won at the course in the past, good result at the US Open too. Feel like he comes alive for the majors.
Ryan Moore ($7,200) — Clearly a good player, and one who’s had good results recently at the past couple Opens means he comfortable with the courses.
Ben Martin ($6,800) — Good player, playing well this year, and finished 26 last year at the Open, again, meaning he doesn’t hat links golf.
Russell Knox ($6,700) — From Scotland, and got into the Open by…playing well last week. If that isn’t an indicator to pick I don’t know what is.
Justin Rose ($10,900) — Always a contender in the majors recently, I’m a fan of his this week cause he’s familiar with these courses and has history playing well at the Old Course.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,300) — On a roll and made the cut in the past three Opens. Also played a practice round with Tom Watson and Ernie Els this week. Sure it doesn’t mean much, watching how those guys do it with all the Open wins between them can’t hurt.
Been a tough run the past couple weeks, but going to turn it around at the oldest championship in all the land. The only criteria I’m using is my gut (and a quick peek at recent results and Open finishes). Let the turnabout commence.
Dustin Johnson ($11,400) — I really like DJ here. His otherworldly driving will give him a leg up and afford him more scoring opportunities than just about anyone else in the field.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8,500) — The dude plays, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the venue or field looks like either. Just a top 25 machine.
Branden Grace ($8,100) — Came up just short at the US Open, and had a top 20 this past week in Scotland. Looking for the form to continue this week.
Keegan Bradley ($7,400) — Pretty good string of cuts made (who cares about the Players). Another pretty long hitter and aggressive player that I think well-suits St. Andrews.
Tommy Fleetwood ($7,300) — Played well this past week in Scotland and his odds to win are quite high for where his salary is situated. Was really a gut pick until I checked out his recent Euro Tour play (which is very solid).
Joost Luiten ($7,100) — Not terribly sure why I like him this week. His recent play has been ok if unspectacular. Going to roll with him because I think he takes top 30.