WATCH: VALUE ALERT – BILL HAAS
The PGA Tour heads to the East Coast for the first time in the 16-17 season for the RSM Classic in Sea Island, GA. Here are some golfers from every price range to consider for your lineup.
Chris Kirk ($11,300) – He’s the most expensive option on the board, but he could actually still be a value play in a cash game or a GPP, based on his track record recently and here in Georgia. He not only has been inside the top-ten in four of his last five this fall, but he also has a win, a T4 and a T18 in his last three appearances here, and those kinds of finishes count as both consistency and upside.
Russell Henley ($9,900) – He has finished T4 and T6 here in just three tries, and his putter has come on strong lately, leading him to six rounds in the sixties over his last eight rounds. On a course where the field had the best GIR% of the season last year, players – even mediocre ball-strikers – will be finding themselves in scoring position regularly. That can lead to a situation where the best putter wins it, and Henley has the week-to-week potential to put himself in that conversation.
Charles Howell III ($9,200) – Like Kirk, except to a somewhat lesser extent, Howell is coming into this with a few decent starts recently on top of a nice course history, with three top-ten showings here in Georgia, with a T7 and a T15 over the past two weeks. He capped off last weekend with a 66 on Sunday in which he opened with four straight birdies, showing off the kind of form that can make him an elite fantasy option for the week.
Anirban Lahiri ($8,700) – He has only played two PGA tournaments this season, but in those eight rounds, he is second on Tour in Birdie or Better Conversion %, basically the exact stat to measure what a player needs to do well this weekend in order to succeed – take birdie chances, which should be plentiful, and convert them. Lahiri has earned that rank with 49 birdies in his two appearances, netting him a fantasy scoring average just over 100 so far this fall.
Cody Gribble ($8,400) – Second on Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting so far this season, he is playing well enough on the greens to compete with anyone right now, especially on a course that should leave plenty of players with scoring opportunities all weekend long. He has three top-15 finishes in his four PGA tournaments, with only one round over par out of those twelve, and an average of just over 20 birdies a try.
Jamie Lovemark ($8,000) – Lovemark had bookend rounds of 71 for even par on Thursday and Sunday last weekend, which is limiting his upside for me. There is still room for Lovemark in your lineup, especially when you take a look at the two middle rounds, in which he fired 66-65, good enough to propel him to 16 total birdies and 71.0 fantasy points on a T35 finish.
Patton Kizzire ($7,800) – Kizzire is currently inside the top-10 on Tour in terms of his rate of converting GIRs into birdies, but in his case, he’s done it with a lower number of total birdies because he hasn’t been making greens very efficiently (he has converted 38 of his 92 green hit through eight rounds). If this course makes him more likely to hit those greens, and he converts at the same rate, he could be in for a fantastic fantasy day.
Whee Kim ($7,400) – After a long break following his last rounds of the 15-16 season back in August, Kim has returned to action this fall with a T13 and a T14 in two tournaments in October. He has yet to fire a single round over par, and he is doing it in large part on the greens, coming in at #8 in SG: Putting so far on the season. He isn’t just avoiding trouble, he is creating fantasy value at a steady clip so far this fall, now with 34 birdies against just twelve bogeys.
Brian Harman ($7,100) – He finished T10 here back in 2013, and when he is comfortable and on his game, he can net you plenty of fantasy points in a hurry. He has made three straight cuts, and over that stretch, he is averaging just about 19 birdies a weekend, more than enough to serve as a valuable fantasy asset at this price.
Ben Crane ($7,000) – Crane is a bit of an outlier for me this week, as someone I like who normally does his damage as a ball-striker rather than someone who cleans up on the greens – even though I do think putting will go a long way towards determining the look of the leaderboard this week. Crane’s accuracy is just enough that he could be leaving himself with exceedingly easy scoring chances on this course, which could be enough to get him off to a strong start and propel him through the weekend, much like his opening-round 64 did at Mayakoba.
Michael Kim ($7,000) – His putter has been on fire this fall, with Kim showing up at #5 in total one-putt percentage, showing his ability to leave himself makeable shots and to drain even slightly more difficult chances when the chance arises. It’s that putting that led to the 44 birdies he carded between the Safeway Open and the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.
Steven Alker ($6,100) – Even in the last two weekends when he has missed two straight cuts, he hasn’t had a round worse than 72. He is a player that avoids trouble pretty consistently, and on a course where everyone should be able to score, that ability to avoid trouble could be enough to help him survive the cut line and score some fantasy points for your squad for four straight days, which is all you need from a lineup filler at this low price.
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.