WATCH: VALUE PLAY – LUKE LIST
The next stop for the PGA Tour is the Stadium Course in La Quinta, CA for the CareerBuilder Challenge. The field is not quite as top-heavy as the past two weeks in Hawaii, but there are still plenty of decisions to be made. Here are a few golfers from every price range you can consider for your lineup.
Bill Haas ($10,500) – He is someone you need to consider based on course history- he has finished well here every single year since 2008, including two wins, in 2010 and 2015. That to me sounds like someone who can be trusted in cash games, and when you look at those two victories in conjunction with his recent success (four straight in the top-20), he has plenty of upside as well.
Francesco Molinari ($10,300) – Going back to his win at the Italian Open in September, Molinari had a great fall, with another fourth place finish in Dubai and two top tens in Tour events. This is his first appearance in 2017, but currently sitting at 6th in Strokes Gained: Total, he has the ability to go as low as anyone else teeing off this weekend.
Jon Rahm ($9,700) – This is the kind of course where Rahm could make some real noise, perhaps even breaking through with his first Tour win. He got onto the Tour last season, and had six top-25 finishes in nine tries, and then opened this season with a pair of T15 showings. He has great length off the tee, and last season he made birdies at an elite rate – up with the likes of Dustin Johnson and Jason Day – so we could theoretically see him put up some very low numbers on what was technically the easiest course on Tour last season.
Jamie Lovemark ($9,600) – After a really strong start last season, including a T6 here last January, he faded down the stretch, with only one top-25 finish in his last 11 tries (a T22). But he has started this season off hot once again, and now is coming off a fourth place showing at the Sony Open in which he shot 64-68-65-65 and carded 18 birdies and just four bogeys.
Kevin Na ($8,800) – He ended up at T36 last weekend, despite carding 22 birdies and an eagle because of ten bogeys and a double. But he still managed four rounds in the sixties and 95.5 fantasy points. The point being, he might make a mess of enough holes to keep himself out of contention for a win, but he should still make plenty of shots to make himself a useful fantasy asset.
Luke List ($8,600) – He is coming off a T13 at the Sony Open and returning to the scene of his sixth-place finish last year. This course suits his game, where his length can open up birdie chances in a way it doesn’t for the rest of the field. The long hitters like List and Rahm benefit from the reduced field this weekend, because their placement off the tee is giving them a legitimate advantage, one List should be able to use in his current form (five straight inside the top-15).
Ryan Palmer ($8,000) – He has been no worse than T17 here since 2011, including four top tens, which automatically qualifies him as a solid cash game option, even though he didn’t play great at Waialae, missing the cut after shooting 66-75. He was draining birdies in that opening round, something that should be much easier to maintain at the Stadium Course.
Hudson Swafford ($7,900) – His T13 finish at Waialae was defined primarily by two things: only five total holes over par all weekend, and an opening round of 62. I think he can be considered in any type of contest this weekend – he should certainly be a safe enough play to at least get you into the weekend earning fantasy points.
Lucas Glover ($7,700) – For this price, I’ll happily take a golfer who has finished inside the top-20 here five different times. He has also made three straight cuts and started off this fall with two top-5 performances with fields much like this one, where he displayed an ability to go low with several rounds in the mid-sixties. Right now he is sporting a Greens in Regulation of 77.8, which would be good enough to find himself among the very best on Tour if he can keep it up.
Chez Reavie ($7,500) – He finished inside the top-20 here last year, and that in and of itself would be enough to consider a golfer in this price range. But he is also coming off a T8 at the Sony Open, which demonstrates some recent success. That T8 was on the back of a crazy 61 he shot on Sunday at Waialae. That clearly shows an ability to put up a big number here at La Quinta if he can play to the same level. He’s inconsistent, so he might not, but I think that combination of inconsistency and upside can make for a suitable GPP play at this price.
Grayson Murray ($7,000) – Murray is just a young golfer who should be on your radar – a rookie on Tour, he has already been battling a series of injuries that have kept him out of action for a couple of months now. He has only actually managed to finish three tournaments, and in two of those, he missed the cut, but in the third, he finished tied for eighth at Sanderson Farms. With a Driving Average of almost 320 yards and solid iron play, he is the kind of rookie who could make a lot of noise and be a very useful fantasy commodity in these stateside events with more limited fields all season long.
Ryo Ishikawa ($6,800) – The 25-year-old Japanese pro is playing in his fourth even of the season already, significant – considering he only appeared on Tour six times last season (making three cuts). He has been playing well around the greens this fall, making scoring chances out of all kinds of different tee shots, even if he is not always able to finish off the hole with his putter. On a scorer’s track, I think he makes for an interesting GPP play just based on the ability to put himself in a position to score, and if his putter shows up, he could put up some big numbers.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.