WATCH: VALUE ALERT – BUBBA WATSON
The Tour moves on from the Farmers to this weekend’s Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. With Jordan Spieth and other top golfers headlining the field, there are plenty of important decisions to make up and down your roster. Here are a few names to consider at every different price level.
Hideki Matsuyama ($11,700) – It’s not that I don’t like Spieth – it’s that I couldn’t justify putting anyone higher on this list than Matsuyama. He has been as hot as anyone in golf since last fall, consistently playing well enough to make cuts and at least getting into position to challenge for a top spot on the leaderboard week in and week out. Combine that with a course history that has him finishing T4, T2 and 1st in his three appearances, and he’s someone to consider for your lineup in any format.
Jon Rahm ($9,700) – He shot an steely 65 on Sunday last weekend to take down the win in the Farmers Insurance Open. He has been scoring at a pace that puts him in truly elite company since he joined the Tour last year, with a Birdie or Better well over 25 (Dustin Johnson ended last year on top of that ranking at 25.81%). He finished T5 here in his first appearance and he’ll look to improve on that showing this time around.
Gary Woodland ($9,000) – He has continued to excel, turning in two more top-20 finishes on Tour in January, including a T20 last weekend, despite a 75 on Friday. His 67 on Thursday that allowed him to make the cut showed the upside you need to consider him for a GPP slot. The way he bounced back from his day-two showing with a 69-71 over the weekend showed the consistency and resiliency you need to consider him in every other kind of contest as well.
Harris English ($8,700) – He has never missed a cut here, and he’s been inside the top-15 three separate times. That’s a solid enough course history to make him a great cash game consideration, and one you should feel even more comfortable with coming off his T14 last weekend.
Phil Mickelson ($8,400) – The fact is that at this point in his career, you’re not really going to feel comfortable putting Mickelson on your roster every weekend all season long. He’s bound to have some ups and downs, and right now he seems like he’s healthy and feeling great on the course. He has finished inside the top-25 in each of the last two weeks, and even though it is in a different phase of his career, you don’t want to ignore the upside of someone who once shot a 60 here to hold a share of the course record.
Brendan Steele ($8,200) – Another player with a convergence of course history and recent performance that makes him hard to ignore. He has two top-tens and a top-twenty in his last three tournaments, and he has never missed a cut here at TPC Scottsdale. Currently 14th on Tour in total Strokes Gained, he is showing command of all aspects of his game that translates onto any course.
Adam Hadwin ($7,800) – He’s an interesting case – someone who only manages to finish in the middle of the leaderboard on his good weekends, but still makes for a decent fantasy option because of how he gets there. Last weekend, he scored 65.5 fantasy points, the exact same amount as Emiliano Grillo. But Hadwin got there despite finishing T49 at -1, compared to Grillo’s -4 that landed him 20 spots higher on the board. He does a good job making birdies, even when he’s offsetting them with blow-up holes.
Tony Finau ($7,600) – This is one of my favorite picks on the board this weekend, his price just does not seem to be increasing enough to match his performance, which now includes a T4 at Torrey Pines and three straight top-20 finishes. He finished T22 here in his only other appearance, and he is turning his elite length into scoring opportunities in a way that you normally only find for at least $1,000 more than this price tag.
Keegan Bradley ($7,400) – Coming off a T4 and heading to a course where he has been inside the top-25 four different times, he is set up to get off to a great start this season. He had 17 birdies and an eagle last weekend, a performance that helped solidify his position inside the top-50 in each of Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, Tee-to-Green and Approach-the-Green. If his putter comes with him this weekend, he could have another very impressive showing.
Byeong-Hun An ($7,100) – He came off a T13 performance in Abu Dhabi on the European Tour and competed last weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open. He had two rounds of 73 sandwiched between a 71 and a closing round of 70 that got him into the T49 for the weekend. He’s made all three of his cuts on the PGA Tour this season, and his GIR of 61.1 shows an ability to get up-and-down consistently and give himself multiple chances to score for your fantasy squad.
Ryo Ishikawa ($6,600) – His 74-68-72-68 last week certainly seems a bit all over the board, but at the end of the day, he had 20 holes under par for the tournament. That shows me that the 25-year-old Japanese star kept scoring – the issue was a few more mistakes creeping in for his worse-rounds, not a lack of birdies. As long as he makes it past the cut-line for you, he should be a useful roster addition, a quality that makes him more of a GPP option than a cash-game consideration for me.
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.