The next stop on the PGA tour is for the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, teeing off at Muifield Village GC Thursday morning. Here are a few golfers to target for your DFS lineups, in every possible price range. Good luck!
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,500) – The defending champ is also currently on a streak that has seen him finish no worse than T23 in any of his last six starts, a run that’s included only two rounds over par and a fantasy scoring average pushing 80. He’ll be able to score here, so if none of those rounds of 74 or 75 show up, he should be able to finish comfortably around the top ten, at least, and even if that one bad round does show up, he’ll be top-25 anyway.
Phil Mickelson ($11,100) – Mickelson at his best has the kind of game that can dominate this course, with the length to leave himself eminently make-able approach shots and the accuracy to finish them off. He has ended up in the top-5 in two of his last three tournaments, and if that’s evidence of a hot streak that hasn’t ended, I want to be a part of it. He might not be able to do it as consistently as he did when he was younger, but the skills are still there for him to be the best golfer on the course for any given weekend.
Matt Kuchar ($11,000) – Typically, I worry more about how a player is playing right now than how he has played at the course in the past, but sometimes the historical numbers just jump off the page at you. This is one of those times: seven straight trips here, seven straight finishes inside the top-15.
Chris Kirk ($10,300) – Chris Kirk or Jim Furyk, or Jason Day? These are the kinds of specific question you will need to ask yourself all summer long as you ponder the same Americans battling each other week after week. And Kirk has real value – he might not have Furyk or Day’s name, but he does have the game to compete with them. He finished T4 here last year, and in his last two events he got the win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and shot -7 for T13 at The Players.
Kevin Na ($9,000) – Na finished second to Matsuyama here last year, after firing a ridiculous 64 on Sunday. He has also been in the top-20 in seven straight appearances this season, dating all the way back to the WGC-Cadillac at the beginning of March, a stretch that has included five top-10 finishes and a fantasy scoring average of almost 80.
Kevin Kisner ($8,200) – The Memorial Tournament is tough, and like The Players, is difficult in an all-around sort of way, not for one specific reason. Kisner’s skill-set – mainly a deft touch around the greens – is the type of thing that can help you score on any course type when you are going well, which Kisner has been of late. Not only did he have a T5 at the Crowne Plaza, just a couple of weeks before he ended with a run of 67-67-69 in the final three days at The Players to finish T2 despite an opening round 73.
Ryan Moore ($8,100) – A T12 at Augusta really made the last couple of months for him look better than they probably were – these same months have featured a missed cut at The Players and finishes well outside the top-40 at a couple of other stops. But he has also finished in the top-25 four out of the last five years here at Muifield, which is a pretty good track record to pick up for this price.
Brooks Koepka ($8,000) – I liked Koepka to win last weekend, and instead he only finished T16. But he did that with his highest round being an opening 69, and with a final score of -9. In an interesting rookie season, Koepka has only played in ten tournaments, and has mixed in a couple of stops on the European Tour. But he has a win, three top-10’s and eight cuts made in those ten appearances, which means that if he starts piling up quality starts down the stretch, he could easily end the season as the top newcomer, impressive in a class that features some quality golfers (such as Justin Thomas or Daniel Berger, both frequent recommendations from me).
Keegan Bradley ($7,800) – He missed the cut at The Players, but has been in the top-25 in the other four of his last five. Actually, he has been T5 once (Houston Open) and then he has finished at exactly T22 at The Masters, the Zurich Classic and the Byron Nelson. I’ll take T22 for under $8K.
Russell Henley ($7,400) – He has made 13 of 14 cuts, and has had at least 50 fantasy points in all thirteen of those appearances. That counts as consistency at this price point, mainly because that level of play isn’t going to kill your chances, and it is entirely possible that other players in this range do exactly that.
Tony Finau ($6,700) – Another rookie, he maybe hasn’t been quite as impressive as Koepka or Justin Thomas, but he is still contributing to what looks like a very strong incoming class, with three top-10’s on the season already. And lately, the strong play has been more pronounced and consistent, with top-20’s in each of his last three (T10 last weekend at the Byron Nelson). In those three tournaments, his single worst round was an opening round 73 at the Wells Fargo, which means he has had eleven straight rounds of par golf or better. If those kinds of numbers continue, he is not going to cost $6,700 for a whole lot longer (not with a fantasy scoring average over 80). On second thought, don’t tell anyone about this guy – if we work together to keep this secret, maybe his price can stay down just a little bit longer. One can hope, anyway.