After a great weekend of golf at Torrey Pines last weekend, the Tour’s next stop is in Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Of all the more obvious choices last weekend, Snedeker was the only one who paid off, and while he did it in a big way, it shows you have to be careful where you spend your money. There are plenty of tough choices to make again this weekend, so good luck.
Brandt Snedeker ($11,800) – This is really not meant as an indictment of the only more expensive option, Bubba Watson. Bubba has never shot over par at Scottsdale, ever. But if you’re asking me to choose which guy I want from the very top of the rankings, I am choosing the one I feel like has the least risk (everyone at this level has upside), and for me right now, the risk-free play is Snedeker. He has been inside the top-10 at this course four different times, and inside the top three in each of his last three appearances (including that win last weekend in San Diego).
Brooks Koepka ($11,300) – The win he picked up here last year was the first of his career, and he is back, aiming to defend his title. He hasn’t played since Kapalua, but if that performance was any indication of how this weekend will go, he should prove to be a wise investment at this price. He “only” finished T3, but the 63 he shot on Saturday and the 25 holes under par he carded overall were good for 125 DK FP.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,000) – He has played here two times, each of the last two years, and he has finished T4 and T2. They don’t do T1. He missed the cut last weekend, falling apart with a 76 on Friday, so who knows what would have happened had he managed to make it to Saturday and had to deal with the weekend conditions. But he did shoot a 68 on Thursday, showing that his game is not completely gone, and if there was a place for him to resurrect it, it would be here.
Kevin Kisner ($10,400) – Kisner is another guy who is just really hard to pick against right now. If you wanted to start your roster with Snedeker and Kisner and just go from there, I wouldn’t blame you – between the two of them, they have five top ten finishes since the beginning of January. Kisner has two of those, with a T5 at the Sony Open and a ninth place finish at Kapalua, but his hot streak actually extends even further back, as he closed out 2015 with a win and a solo 2nd. It’s performances like that that get you to #1 in the All-Around Ranking we talked about last week.
Webb Simpson ($9,200) – He has finished inside the top ten at the Phoenix Open three times, including as recently as 2014. He is currently 75th in the world, and with only five top-ten performances in 2015, he’s someone you might not have trusted much as part of your DFS rosters lately. But with back-to-back top twenty finishes coming into this one, his game seems to be sharp right now (only 14 total bogeys in those last two), and he does have the talent to push for the top of the leaderboard in this field.
David Lingmerth ($9,000) – Rostering Lingmerth right now is like a slightly cheaper version of going with Kisner. He’s #9 instead of #1 in that All-Around ranking, and he has three straight in the top 15 instead of four straight in the top ten, but that’s why you save $1,400. In his last three tournaments, he has five rounds of 66 or lower and not a single one over par. Those low rounds peppered throughout mean that his fantasy performances are even better than you might expect just based on his spot on the leaderboard (90 DK FP for a T15 and 91 for a T13).
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Ryan Moore ($8,500) – He hasn’t played since the end of October, which makes him really tough to trust in any kind of cash game. You’re basically just hoping he’s not rusty. But in a GPP format, you could take advantage of the price tag, which will almost certainly jump at least a few hundred bucks with just a single good performance. And if you want to feel encouraged, he is returning this weekend for a reason: he has five top-twenty performances here in his last seven tries (with no missed cuts).
Charles Howell III ($8,200) – He finished T6 here a couple of years ago, and he has been playing up to form over the past few months, since this season started. Until Torrey Pines, where no one scored any real fantasy points, he had only scored fewer than eighty once all season long. Which makes sense, because it was the only time in eight tries he’s finished outside the top twenty, starting at the beginning of the season last fall and continuing through three January appearances (T13, T11 and T16). That’s $8,200 for a guy who has been inside the top 20 in seven of eight attempts, which seems like a good deal to me.
Martin Laird ($7,700) – Laird finished T8 last week despite a 77 on Sunday. And while a 77 on Sunday didn’t drop you as much last weekend as it does in most tourneys, you still don’t survive it that well without putting up some decent numbers earlier in the week. Laird did just that, going 69-68 on Thursday and Friday before conditions turned, posting solid scores on a course that was playing tough even without the bad weather. After keeping it under par every round for the CareerBuilder the week prior, he is both playing consistently enough to be a consideration in cash games and trending in the right direction the way you want your GPP selections.
Jamie Lovemark ($7,700) – I’ve recommended Lovemark each of the last two weeks, and while it paid off much better at the CareerBuilder Challenge, last weekend didn’t scare me off. A 75-74 on Saturday and Sunday doesn’t look pretty on paper, but that 74 actually helped his finish on the leaderboard on a day where everyone was just dropping strokes. His game is well suited to TPC Scottsdale, where his length (top ten in driving distance) should leave him plenty of clean looks at scoring chances.
Daniel Summerhays ($6,900) – He has made the cut in all six tournaments he’s played in this season, going back to last fall and up through the CareerBuilder a couple of weekends ago. He’s been at T16 or better at the end of three of those tournaments, but he doesn’t even have to finish quite that high to be a decent play at this price. He has at least 69 DK FP in all six of those appearances, even those where he finished outside the top 3o.
Adam Hadwin ($6,100) – The Canadian finished last weekend at T68 after struggling through the brutal conditions with everyone else over the weekend. He shot dueling 78’s on Saturday and Sunday, but anyone who managed to hold on through the end of that one deserves some credit. More important were the 70-71 he shot on Thursday and Friday, which seemed in line with the -20 T6 he carded the weekend before at the CareerBuilder Challenge. That kind of performance could make him a great value play at this price in any kind of contest if it carries forward another week.