WATCH: PRICE CHECK – SHELL HOUSTON OPEN
The Golf Club of Houston hosts the final tune-up prior to the Masters, and they know it. There are plenty of similarities between the way the two courses play, so the Shell Houston Open attracts some of the top golfers on Tour for something of a practice run. This leaves you with plenty of ways to go as you put together your DraftKings rosters.
Jordan Spieth ($12,000) – He clearly wants to play well in Augusta, but you get the feeling the Texan would also love to grab a W here this weekend as a way to build some momentum, after finishing second in 2015 and T13 last year. He hasn’t been outside of the top-25 yet in 2017, and in fact was outside the top-12 only once. His high price tag can be justified either for his consistency or his upside, making him a consideration for every lineup you’re looking to build.
Jon Rahm ($10,700) – He is enough of a savings over Spieth to make him, to me, the most attractive play on the board this weekend. He burst onto Tour last season and has not let up. His scoring stats are up there with the most elite golfers in the world – Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Spieth, Rory, etc – and now over the past few weeks he has had the results to match. Since winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January, he has finished T16, T5, and the T3 at the WGC – Mexico Championship showing his ability to put on monster performances in big spots against the best competition.
Adam Scott ($9,400) – Currently 12th in Birdie or Better %, he is scoring enough that he’s been a decent fantasy option even in his off weeks. He finished T45 in Mexico but still netted you 59.0 fantasy points with 15 birdies – it was just the 15 holes over par that did him in. He should find plenty of chances to score here with his proficiency from tee to green (29th in Strokes Gained: Total), which should make him a viable play in any format contest.
Phil Mickelson ($8,900) – He plays here every year, clearly looking at it as a nice prep run for next week, but he has also found plenty of success here as well. He won a few years back in 2011, and while he hasn’t been inside the top-5 again since then, he also has been no worse than T17. For this price, that’s plenty of success to make him a valuable consideration as a building block for your lineup.
Russell Henley ($8,700) – You can’t ignore him this weekend, with the way he has played on this course recently. He has finished T7, 4th and T5 here over the past three years and that trend is converging nicely with his recent play that includes four straight made cuts and two top-20 showings.
Charley Hoffman ($8,400) – He has played here a number of times, with this being his 11th appearance in Houston, and he has yet to miss a cut. On a course where he is comfortable, he should be able to play well, and recently he has shown that when he is on his game, he can compete with anyone, as he has managed to finish inside the top five in two of his last three appearances.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($7,900) – He’s been playing very consistent golf, basically never missing a cut, which makes him a great option as a cash-game play. But he is also returning to a place where he finished T4 last year in his first try at the course, after firing a low round of 65 on Sunday to vault up the leaderboard. He has had four top-20 performances on the Euro Tour already in 2017, and I think that could translate to success in Texas this weekend.
Billy Horschel ($7,700) – He has been sporadic lately, with two missed cuts and three top-25 finishes in his last five tournaments, but he is returning to a place this weekend where he has played well before, with a T2 in his last appearance in 2013. Currently fourth in GIR %, if he can putt well this weekend, he could put himself in a position to contend.
Bryson DeChambeau ($7,600) – It’s probably been a long time since you’ve considered him for your lineup, but this is a course where he might find a very nice fit. He has played his best golf in a while over the past two weeks, culminating with a performance in Puerto Rico that saw three rounds in the 60s, in part because he was able to finish off holes, ending up ninth overall in Putts per GIR. He could spray it a little bit off the tee here and still recover for scoring chances, which should make this course a nice fit.
Luke List ($7,300) – He has made four straight cuts, and has not had a round over par in either of his last two appearances, on his way to a T17 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a T37 at the Puerto Rico Open. At Bay Hill, he finished 14th in Strokes Gained: Putting, nice work for someone who has made his living so far this season off the tee and from the fairway. If he can continue to combine those two parts of his game, he can compete to get pretty high up the leaderboard here.
Tony Finau ($7,100) – His game might not be a perfect fit for the course, but he has succeeded on a lot of different courses this year, with a T28 or better in six of eight appearances. He didn’t play last weekend, electing to serve as the first alternate for Match Play rather than defend his title in Puerto Rico, but he has 35 total birdies over his last two appearances, the kind of scoring that makes it easy for someone to be a value in this price range.
Jamie Lovemark ($6,800) – He is actually 46th in Strokes Gained: Total and 34th in Total Putting right now, and he’s put together a bunch of good rounds over his last two appearances. He has finished T23 and T27 at the Arnold Palmer and Valspar, respectively, and another performance in that range this weekend would make him a play you’d want in your lineup for any format contest.
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.