The PGA Tour has left Scotland, but it’s not quite ready to return to the states, stopping first in Ontario for the RBC Canadian Open. With the PGA Championship just one more week away, and the Olympics only a week later in Brazil, the schedule for this season is dramatically more compressed than in other years. But with a nice purse and 500 FedEx Cup points up for grabs, the competition will still be stiff, and there are plenty of choices to make. Here are a few golfers to consider for your lineups from every point on the price scale!
Dustin Johnson ($12,500) – At second on Tour in Birdie or Better % and first in Scoring Average, he has demonstrated the ability to finish off birdies and avoid trouble holes. And on a course that the players are going to love to tackle, wedged as it is between the challenges presented by the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, that’s the recipe for Johnson to both contend for the win this weekend and put up a huge fantasy number while he is doing it.
Jason Day ($12,300) – I normally don’t like to recommend all the top guys on the price list, but the fact is that with only five of the world’s top-25 on hand, all of these guys have a legit shot at contending – it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see three or four of the five priciest players in the top-10 at the end of the weekend. Day is trying to become the first repeat champion here in a decade, and while DJ would be my choice if I was making one lineup, at third in the All-Around Ranking, Day is bringing the same complete set of skills he used when this tournament kicked off his dominant run to end last season, despite the fact that he hasn’t secured a victory since The PLAYERS. And, frankly, just one win in a big tournament in two months being a complaint is just a testament to how consistently awesome Day has been for the past year.
Matt Kuchar ($10,600) – The third highest-priced golfer on the board, but with a significant gap between him and numbers 1 and 2, Kuchar seems like the most obvious choice available if you are building a lineup for a cash game this weekend. He finished T46 at both the U.S. and British Opens, but other than those two showings, he hasn’t finished outside the top-6 since before The PLAYERS. He has the game to consistently make birdie on a short par-72 that had a scoring average almost a full stroke under par last year, and gives you the consistency and upside you want out of a top option without having to take quite as much of a hit to your budget as with the top two players.
Jim Furyk ($9,900) – Exactly what you mean when you talk about someone being a “horse for the course.” Furyk was that last repeat champion, back in 2006 and 2007, and more recently, he has been inside the top-10 in each of his last two trips here, including a 4th-place finish last year. He has been outside the top-20 in each of his last three, but I expect him to turn that trend around this weekend, which means that for this price he could be a valuable piece in any type of contest.
Charley Hoffman ($8,900) – He has made five straight cuts since The PLAYERS, and he has been inside the top-20 in each of his last two trips to Glen Abbey. In his -12, T7 showing last year, he finished the weekend with 17 birdies and three eagles. He also had 11 bogeys, but all that means is that he is the type of player, on this course, who could score more fantasy points than players who actually finish ahead of him on the leaderboard.
Emiliano Grillo ($8,500) – He finished T22 here last year with a low round of 64, so he is clearly is capable of taking care of the scoring opportunities that will be presented this weekend. He has finished inside the top-15 in three of his last four appearances, including a T12 last week at the British Open in which he hit almost 75% of the greens in regulation. That kind of accuracy off the tee and from the fairway will lead to plenty of chances to make birdie here this weekend.
Bryce Molder ($8,100) – He hasn’t played since Colonial more than a month ago, but leading into that tournament, Molder had made nine straight cuts. In his last six tournaments, has has been T24 or better in five of them, including four inside the top-12. The recent absence might make him more of an upside play in bigger tournaments than a cash game option, but he is someone who had been averaging north of 15 birdies a tournament in those last nine, so the upside is clearly there.
David Hearn ($7,900) – The first Canadian to make the list, he is currently the top-ranked player from this weekend’s host country. He has been playing well recently, with three top-20 finishes in his last five starts, and he has had success here before as well, finishing in third last year after leading heading into Sunday. He had 22 birdies and led the field in putting, showing a clear comfort on the course that could easily translate this weekend with the way his game has looked lately.
Graham DeLaet ($7,500) – He took more than a month off to deal with anxiety issues, so maybe you’re thinking Adam Hadwin should have been my second Canadian on the list instead of DeLaet. But he returned to action last weekend at the Barbasol Championship, and finished -14 for a T8. He found a good amount of success earlier in the season, so if he has regained that form, this price is likely only to increase over the next few weeks as well. He had 22 birdies and an eagle en route to 97.5 DKFP last week, and he will look to try to duplicate those numbers this weekend on another scorer’s course.
Hudson Swafford ($7,000) – Swafford has now made seven straight cuts, and while he has yet to finish really high on the leaderboard, his game is certainly trending in the right direction. Currently ranked 8th on Tour in Driving Distance, he can leave himself with plenty of scoring opportunities on a short track. On a course that should yield plenty of fantasy points to everyone involved, someone who has been consistently avoiding trouble and who you can trust to make a weekend of it, should prove valuable in any format contest.
Chad Campbell ($6,800) – Another low priced player with a convergence of past excellence here at Glen Abbey, with a T13 and a T11 inside of the past three years, and solid performances of late as well. He has made five straight cuts, including top-12 showings at Colonial and at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Currently 30th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, that kind of consistency should allow him to extend his recent run of success on this course another year.
Morgan Hoffman ($6,700) – He finished T11 last weekend at the Barbasol Championship, just one stroke behind DeLaet at -13. He had fifteen birdies and three eagles, and on a course that allowed a historic number of eagles last season, that shows a skill-set to dominate the par-5’s here and keep himself alive through the weekend and scoring fantasy points for your roster on the cheap. That is exactly the kind of upside I am looking for to fill out the bottom of my roster in a top-heavy lineup made for a bigger GPP event.
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.