The Tour heads to the Pacific coast this weekend for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Some of the biggest celebrities and best golfers in the world will be paired up to tackle the three-course test and take in some of the best vistas on the planet. Unfortunately, you can’t draft Bill Murray. With plenty of distractions and a smaller-then-usual cut line, you need to take extra care with your choices up and down your fantasy rosters this weekend.
Jordan Spieth ($12,300) – Sometimes I feel like the two or three most expensive picks I make are most valuable in showing who I wouldn’t take. And for that reason, I could not in good conscience leave Spieth off. Obviously, I would want him in every lineup, if price wasn’t an issue (but, of course, price is an issue). Every player at this point on the list has huge upside, but Spieth is the only one who has finished T7 or better in seven straight starts and who has T4 and T7 finishes here in the last two years. That’s a serious lack of downside.
Brandt Snedeker ($11,100) – If Spieth is the only one with seven straight T7 or better finishes, Snedeker isn’t far behind: prior to his T33 in Scottsdale, his previous three starts had been inside the top 3 (including a win at the Farmers). The 74 he shot last Saturday to drop down the leaderboard was his only round over par so far this calendar year, which is also a serious lack of downside. Throw in the fact that he arrives this weekend defending his title from last year, and that you can save $1,200 over rostering Spieth, and he is one of the most obvious plays on the board. The biggest issue you might end up facing with him is ownership %, but if he ends up winning, you won’t care how many people owned him – you’ll just be glad you kept up with all of them.
PGA Price Check
Jimmy Walker ($10,700) – We know Jimmy Walker is talented, and history tells us he must like these views or something: four top ten finishes in the tournament and a win in 2014 all speak pretty clearly to that. But at this price, history isn’t enough. Thankfully, after some struggles, especially in the second half of 2015, Walker now has four straight tournaments without a single finish worse than T13, dating back to December. He shot a 77 on Sunday at the Farmers in terrible conditions, and still managed to finish T4 after starting off the weekend 69-71-68, carding 17 birdies. If he brings that game this weekend, this price will prove to be a steal.
Phil Mickelson ($10,300) – He’s won here four times: 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2012. Suffice it to say, he’s got plenty of course experience. His T11 last weekend showed a game that has the potential to come together in a big way, and one that should have pretty limited downside if he is still swinging the club like that: no rounds over par, only seven total bogeys, and a low round of 65. His 84 DK FP last weekend justify this price in a cash game, with plenty of upside leftover for a GPP.
J.B. Holmes ($9,800) – He has had a couple of top-ten finishes here, including last season, and he has been inside the top-ten in five of his last six appearances. Two of those have come in the past two weeks, with back-to-back T6 finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Phoenix Open. He has 31 birdies against only 16 bogeys over that stretch, despite the strokes he dropped shooting a 76 on Sunday in Scottsdale.
Kevin Na ($9,200) – Na’s only round over par since the beginning of the year was a 72 on Sunday at the Phoenix Open. He has finished T28, T3 and T24 in three appearances, averaging just seven bogeys an outing. And he likes it here, with two different top five performances, in 2012 and 2014. He doesn’t need to be top five to be worth this price, but the upside is there.
Shane Lowry ($8,900) – He opened the Phoenix Open with a 65, and while he didn’t hold on for the win, the 99.5 DK FP on the strength of a weekend-best 22 birdies made him well worth an investment. That came right on the heels of a T13 at the Farmers, and if he can continue to putt like he has for the past two weeks, he has a shot at improving on the T21 he carded in his debut here last year.
Ryan Moore ($8,600) – He has made four out of four cuts this season, and since three of them were back in October, it was extremely encouraging to see him pick up right where he left off with a T11 at the WMPO. He managed a 68 on Sunday when no one was making shots, and ended up with 76.5 DK FP on the strength of four straight strong rounds.
Fredrik Jacobson ($8,100) – He took a week off after Torrey Pines, where he ended up T4. He shot a 76 like everyone else in his final round in San Diego, but the 69-69-71 he opened with showed off the complete skill set he has used to earn three top twenties since November. He has some positive history here, too, with a T7 under his belt from 2013.
Bryce Molder ($7,700) – He has ended up inside the top-15 here four times and is coming off an impressive weekend in the desert, with rounds of 67 and 64 en route to a T6 and 84 DK FP. The strongest part of his game was his putting – he finished second in putts per GIR, and that is the kind of hot hand that translates to any course.
James Hahn ($7,500) – He had a top three finish here back in 2013, and he’s been playing well lately. He has made all four cuts since the beginning of the year, and while he has had some trouble rounds sprinkled in, if he can avoid that, he has the talent to finish well above his price tag. He opened last weekend 67-65 and finished with 18 birdies, good for 78.5 DK FP despite a T17 finish.
Jason Gore ($7,100) – He has made the cut seven times in seven tries this season, including all three times he played in January. He has averaged just under 80 DK FP in those three tournaments, with no fewer than 66 in any of them. At this price, that’s an excellent cash game option, and the 17+ birdie average over the same span is evidence of enough upside to make him an option in any format.