PGA Fantasy Picks: Northern Trust Open

Glen Oaks Country Club in Old Westbury, NY plays host to The Northern Trust this weekend, for the first of four FedEx Cup Playoff events. All the names you know – the best players in the world – will be on hand for the next several weeks, so there are plenty of ways to construct your roster in any format contest. Here are a few names you can consider in every price range.

High-Priced

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Hideki Matsuyama ($11,500) – The way he is playing right now, he just can’t be ignored, as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing final round of 72 at the PGA Championship that left him finishing T5. He has been inside the top-15 in five straight, and was no worse than T14 in any of the year’s four majors, including top-five showings in each of the last two.

Jodan Spieth ($11,200) – While this course can be long, especially on a few specific holes, the layout does not seem like it is going to just favor bombers off the tee. With long rough and a straightforward layout, it is going to be accuracy and consistent ball-striking with all your irons that lead to success here. And with greens predicted to be relatively fast, a putter like Spieth always has an advantage, and I like him to start off the playoffs with a big performance here.

Henrik Stenson ($9,800) – A player at his best avoiding the big mistakes and making pars, Stenson is coming off a win last weekend at the Wyndham Championship in which he scored 62-66-66-64, and proved he can make birdies when the opportunity presents itself. He’s been inside the top-25 in five his last six events worldwide, and at 23rd in the official FedEx Cup standings, he’s going to look to improve on that standing this weekend.

Brooks Koepka ($9,100) – With so many household names in front of him, his price just seems to get naturally suppressed, despite his sustained success all summer long. He’s been inside the top-20 every week since his breakthrough win at the U.S. Open, and he is currently sitting second on the PGA Tour in Birdie-or-Better %, putting himself in a position to score off the tee and capitalizing with solid play throughout his bag.


Mid-Priced

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Jon Rahm ($8,900) – A tournament play only for me, his recent performances, especially in the last couple of majors, will likely keep plenty of owners away from his this weekend. But he is still 11th on tour in overall Scoring Average, and near the tops in all the ball-striking Strokes Gained categories. He is one of only a handful of players with the pure talent to run away with a tournament against a field like this one.

Louis Oosthuizen ($8,800) – Coming off a T2 at the PGA Championship, Oosthuizen was inside the top-10 in Greens in Regulation % and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green for the weekend. His putting should help him keep pace with anyone on unfamiliar greens this week, so he should end up in really good shape if he keeps striking the ball as well as he was at Quail Hollow.

Matt Kuchar ($8,700) – It’s important to think about roster construction for different kinds of contests this weekend, in a field with this much talent. For cash games, Kuchar feels like a safe option. He has multiple top-20s over the summer and a price just over baseline, making him as good a building block as any.

Patrick Reed ($8,600) – He putted very well en route to his T2 at the PGA Championship, and will look to carry that form forward to this week to get started off on his playoff run. He has been inside the top-20 in six of his last nine tournaments, so even though he hadn’t had a top-10 since the Travelers until two weeks ago, he hasn’t been far off top form, and could prove to be a very valuable piece for your roster in any format contest this weekend.


Low-Priced

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Ollie Schniederjans ($8,100) – At 38th in FedEx Cup points, he has made it there by consistently putting himself in favorable positions off the tee and with his irons. He is 29th in Birdie or Better %, and 40th in Total Scoring Average. This tells you that he is the kind of player who, even when he plays poorly, is still making birdies and therefore racking up some fantasy points for your lineup.

Charley Hoffman ($7,900) – Hoffman is very likely my favorite play on the board for this weekend, at his price. He is 11th in the FedEx Cup rankings right now, the highest of anyone on the list without a win under his belt for the year, by virtue of his seven top-10 finishes on the year, to go along with a bunch more inside the top-25. At 27th in Total Strokes Gained despite only being just inside the top-100 in putting, he could be a real factor this weekend if the new course means no one is dominating on the greens.

Francesco Molinari ($7,600) – First on Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and third in Tee-to-Green, he has the chops to keep his drives in play, and then to capitalize and turn those into scoring chances. He doesn’t have big distance, necessarily, but he won’t need it here on a course that should reward him just for consistently attacking the middle of the greens.

Bud Cauley ($6,900) – With 13 birdies and six bogeys and no rounds over 70, Cauley was likely happy with his performance last weekend at the Wyndham Championship despite finishing only T42. You will need to identify one or two of these players who likely won’t be in all four weeks of the playoffs but who could nevertheless outperform their ranking this week, especially if you want to fit some of the top options into your lineups, and Cauley – currently 29th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – seems to me like someone who could provide you that kind of steady performance this weekend.

 


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.