The Arnold Palmer Invitational is the next stop in the Florida swing of the PGA Tour, at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Eight-time winner Tiger Woods might not be on hand but four of the top 10 and and twelve of the top 30 in the world will be, so you will have plenty of tough choices to make. Here are a few names to consider as you sort through all the options for your fantasy lineups this weekend. Good luck!
Adam Scott ($11,700) – It’s the obvious play for a reason – Adam Scott is coming off two straight wins and three straight finishes inside the top two. It’s hard not to see the upside of a player who has sixty birdies in three tournaments. And then there’s the fact that he owns a share of the course record here – a 62 in 2014. Leading the Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, he is thriving right now with exactly the kind of play that can get you a win here.
“He wins by eliminating mistakes…”
Henrik Stenson ($11,100) – Stenson is a great cash game play but I would rarely use him in a larger tournament. He wins by eliminating mistakes and that limits his upside but reduces his risk as well. He might not average as many birdies as you’d like but that also means he doesn’t need to hole a bunch of birdies to show up on the leaderboard and give you good value. He also happens to love playing in Florida, and will be looking to improve on the trajectory that had him go from T28 at the WGC-Cadillac to T11 last weekend at the Valspar Championship.
Ryan Moore ($9,800) – He finished off 2015 strong, with two top-10 finishes back in October. He has picked up 2016 riding that momentum, now with three performances since the beginning of February that saw him end up no worse than T11. The fact that you don’t see his name at the top of statistical categories for driving or putting or hitting greens and yet you do see him at the top of all the scoring lists just shows that every aspect of his game is working for him right now.
Brandt Snedeker ($9,100) – He has played well here in the past, with two top-15 performances in the last two years, and the hope is that he is finally 100% healthy. Combine that with the idea that his ownership percentage could be down because of the fear that he isn’t completely recovered from the rib injury that forced him to withdraw from the WGC-Cadillac and that, to me, is enough to make him a solid addition to at least one of your GPP lineups.
Zach Johnson ($8,300) – He finished tied for 9th here last year, his 12th appearance on the course. He dropped a round of 66 as recently as the Phoenix Open, en route to a 14th placed finish with 70+ DraftKings points. He has the kind of predictable ball striking that can keep giving providing him with scoring chances all weekend long. He has 20+ birdie upside, making him an option in any format.
Jason Kokrak ($7,900) – He has been inside the top four here in each of the last two years, and finished T2 at the Northern Trust Open just a month ago, a tournament highlighted by a second-round 64. Just think of the two missed cuts since then as a good way to keep everyone else off the scent. A start like his opening round 79 at the Honda Classic will do that to you but bouncing back with a five-birdie 69 on Friday shows the potential he has to be a big scorer for your squad.
Ryan Palmer ($7,700) – He has made six straight cuts since the beginning of the year and in four of those he was inside the top 26. Through the first four contests of the year (Sony Open, CareerBuilder Challenge, Phoenix Open and Pebble Beach) he averaged just over 19 birdies per tournament, good for almost 90 DK FP per outing, despite never finishing better than T13. Those tracks give a better indication of the opportunities that should be available this weekend compared to PGA National and Copperhead (where he finished T26 and T42, respectively).
Brendan Steele ($7,700) – He has five starts since the beginning of January, he has made five cuts, has two top twenties and is coming off a T14 at the Honda Classic two weeks ago. He doesn’t have the red-hot putter or the super long driver it takes to win on certain courses but he does everything at an above average rate. He has the ability to hit consistently enough off the tee to leave himself in good spots looking at the green and can strike the ball well enough with his irons to capitalize.
Matt Every ($7,500) – You have to at least mention the two-time defending champion, right? He has missed three cuts since the beginning of 2016, but in the three contests where he didn’t miss, he averaged just about 70 DK FP per outing. You have to think he’ll at least make the cut, right? No matter what you think of his recent performances, just remember that his two wins here are the only two wins of his career – neither of the other two were easy to see coming, either.
“On two more difficult courses, he has managed 11.5 birdies per round…”
Scott Brown ($7,400) – With two top-ten finishes in the last two weeks, at the Honda Classic and the Valspar Championship, he should have put himself pretty squarely on your radar for this one. On two more difficult courses, he has managed 11.5 birdies per round and avoided the big number that put him out of contention (high round of 72). Like everyone else, there should be more scoring opportunities this weekend for Brown and if he still manages to avoid the big round he could be worth consideration in any type of contest.
Bryson DeChambeau ($7,200) – He might have the best name on the PGA Tour. He’s young and he’s hungry and is gearing up for his first Masters after winning both the NCAA Championship and the U.S. Amateur. He doesn’t have to win the whole thing to be a good value and even if he makes some mistakes, you know that he will try to make up those strokes somewhere else, and that kind of performance could create fantasy points even if it doesn’t vault him up the leaderboard.
Jhonattan Vegas ($6,000) – Everyone you pick in this price range is a risk, Vegas included. Matt Every won this tournament each of the last two years after finishing inside the top ten in the field in GIR % and Vegas is currently sitting at #2 on the Tour in that particular stat. He hasn’t played in a month but a course that forgives the occasional drive and rewards the ability to stick an iron shot and scramble for par fits his game pretty well.