With a compressed schedule this year, these tournaments showcasing stellar fields are coming one right after another. On the heels of the U.S. Open, we’re getting the next WGC event of the season at the Firestone CC in Ohio this weekend, with the Open Championship just two weeks out. Let’s get right into this week’s targets.
Jordan Spieth ($11,300) – I like him the most of all the top options this weekend, with Dustin Johnson replacing Rory as one of the “big three” for the week. And the reason I like him the most is simple: his putter. He is the guy who, at the top of his game, is best equipped to handle greens that are going to be lightning fast all weekend. That’s not to say either Day or Johnson is incapable of a great weekend on the greens – I’ll have each of them in some lineups this weekend – but at third on the price chart, I like Spieth if I were putting together just one roster.
Brooks Koepka ($9,900) – He made his debut here last season and finished with a T6. He was playing well last year at this time – but not as well as he has been playing lately, coming in with a solo-2nd, a T2 and a T12 in his last three events. Those performances have moved him up to fifth in the All-Around Ranking, putting him in some pretty elite company.
Matt Kuchar ($9,800) – He shot four rounds over par at Oakmont on his way to a T46, but my only real thought about that is that I hope it keeps his ownership percentage down. He was on a run of four straight finishes no worse than T6, and has finished inside of the top ten here before as well, twice. One “bad” weekend doesn’t mean you should no longer view him as one of the hottest players in golf right now.
Jim Furyk ($9,500) – He seems to be fully recovered from his injuries, finishing T2 and T21 in the last two weeks, highlighted by a low round of 66 on Sunday at the U.S. Open. He has a great history at Firestone, with nine top ten finishes here over his career, including a T3 just last year. He has proven an ability to finish with consistency, with the upside of winning the event.
Rickie Fowler ($9,000) – You’re getting him at a relative discount, and for good reason – three MCs and a T44 in his last four appearances. That should mean he won’t be too heavily owned, and might also mean he should be considered in larger field tournaments. The upside is there – he has finished T8 and T10 here in the last two years, and should be looking at this weekend as a chance to get his game back on track as the season picks up.
Charl Schwartzel ($8,600) – He has been inside the top-25 in each of his last four starts, including a T23 a couple of weeks ago at Oakmont. He opened with a 76 and closed with a 74, but managed to shoot 68-69 on Friday and Saturday, showing an ability to close out difficult holes not matched by many players on Tour, at least not that weekend. He ended up with 14 birdies that weekend, good for a very useful 55 DKFP (DraftKings Fantasy Points), so if he keeps up that form, he should prove to be well worth the investment at Firestone as well.
Zach Johnson ($8,300) – His game seems to be rounding into shape at the right time, as he closed out the Dean & Deluca Invitational with rounds of 68-68-67 after an opening 72 and then carried that momentum into Oakmont, where he ended up just +2 for a T8 performance after managing to keep every round to 71 or better. He has played here every year for more than a decade, and is about 50/50 at managing fantasy useful performances, but based on his recent play, I’d be comfortable with him in my lineup for any kind of contest this weekend.
Bill Haas ($7,900) – He now has four top-10’s on the season after a T3 last weekend that featured four rounds in the 60’s. That was his first top-10 since the Valspar Championship back in March, but when he is playing well, he can compete on any course. And he should feel comfortable on this one, having secured at least a top-25 finish here in three of the past four years.
Kevin Na ($7,300) – He finished T15 here last year, and now this year it is serving as the site for his follow-up performance after a solo-7th at the U.S. Open at Oakmont a couple of weekends ago. He is going to want to see that momentum continue through this weekend as the Tour looks ahead to the next major coming up right around the corner. Currently 33rd in Birdie or Better %, he is the kind of player who can put up a bunch of fantasy points for you if he finishes anywhere near the top of the leaderboard.
Chris Kirk ($7,000) – The kind of golfer who has proven he can contend high up on a leaderboard, even in a top-heavy field; Kirk’s $7,000 price tag is very appealing to me this weekend in any kind of contest. In his last seven tournaments, he has missed three cuts, but been inside the top-15 in each of the other four. Last weekend, he managed to secure a T12 by virtue of a 65 he shot on Sunday, displaying a much more effective putter than he has for most of the season. He’ll look to carry that momentum into this weekend, and if he does he could be a serious value at this price.
Kevin Kisner ($6,800) – Despite three missed cuts in his last five tournaments, Kisner still sits at #11 in the All-Around Ranking, and is – almost without question – the most talented golfer in this price range available for this weekend. He fired a 76 on Sunday at the U.S. Open to drop down the leaderboard some, but he is also the same golfer who carded 18 birdies at Colonial on his way to a T10 and 81 DKFP.
William McGirt ($6,800) – He is here for me because he is currently 27th in Strokes Gained: Putting, and whether they are trying to score or just save par, players are going to need to be able to sink some crucial putts to stay in contention this weekend. He doesn’t have the upside of a Kisner, but he has made 14 out of 19 cuts this season, and could be a worthwhile addition to your lineup.