Alright folks – let’s get right to it! Although the field was weak last week, the course at the Quicken Loans National gave some players fits. I had a profitable week, and among my ten picks last week in this space were winner Kyle Stanley, runner-up Charles Howell III, top 5 finisher Rickie Fowler and top 20 finishers Bill Haas and Bryson DeChambeau. While I was profitable, unfortunately my lineup construction was a bit wonky last week and I had no lineups with both Howell and Stanley which cost me any chance at a huge payday – but I was still on point.
This week the PGA tour goes to West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. This tournament was not played last year due to flooding in the area, so 2015 champion Danny Lee returns as the defending champ. The course is Old White TPC which is a fairly long par 70, measuring over 7,200 yards, but it is wide open and the tour professionals should have a field day. The field is pretty weak, with Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner leading the way among the most recognizable names.
In terms of stats of the week, I am looking at the strokes gained categories and par 4 birdie or better percentage. There should be plenty of scoring here and it lines up to be yet another fun week. Let’s see who we like.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Kevin Kisner ($10,700 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) – Kisner is my favorite of the high-priced options this week due to his mix of great stats, good course history and good form. He has two top 10s in his last 3 starts including a victory, so he is playing good ball. On this course, Kisner made it to a playoff with eventual champion Danny Lee the last time this tournament was played in 2015. And on top of that, Kisner’s stats pop as he is among the leaders in the field in strokes gained approach, strokes gained putting and par 4 birdie or better percentage. I will have plenty of Kis in my lineups.
Russell Henley ($9,300 DraftKings/$7,700 FanDuel) – First off, Henley is way too cheap on FanDuel like he is practically every week. Henley is usually a staple in my FanDuel lineups if he is in the field and will remain that day until they fix his pricing. Beyond that, Henley has been playing better golf than his finishes would indicate. He was in contention at the US Open until a brutal 79 on Sunday knocked him out of the top 25. And he fired two rounds of 67 on a really tough course last week, but those bookended some terrible rounds in the middle of the tournament. Henley is among the leaders in the field in strokes gained putting and strokes gained off the tee and I think he puts it all together this week. I should also note that he finished in 5th the last time this tournament was played. I will be playing Henley with confidence.
Upper Middle Class
Tony Finau ($9,100 DraftKings/$8,900 FanDuel) – Before I started my research, Finau was a guy who I thought was not in great form. But he has become such a good golfer that not in great form means 5 straight cuts made with 4 top 30s among those finishes. I think he will be even better this week. Finau is among the best players in the field in strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained approach. He also has some pretty good course history as he finished in a tie for 13th in 2015. I think he parlays his good course history and good course fit statistically into a win this week as Finau is my pick to hold the trophy at tourney’s end.
Jaime Lovemark ($8,300 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel) – Lovemark is a really talented guy who is starting to put it all together. He has made 9 straight cuts and has top 30 finishes 3 of his last 4 weeks. He is one of the best players on tour in par 4 scoring average which will serve him well on this par 70 course. He is also in the top quarter of the field in strokes gained approach which I think will be key. I like Lovemark for a top 10 finish.
Gary Woodland ($7,500 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) – Woodland is quite simply too cheap on DraftKings in a weak field event as he should probably be in the high $8,000 or low $9,000 range. I think Woodland will be heavily owned in cash, due to his immense talent. His stats also fit this course well as he is among the top players in the field in strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained around the green. Woodland should be a staple in your cash lineups and is worth a play in GPPs as well.
Morgan Hoffmann ($7,100 DraftKings/$6,300 FanDuel) – Hoffmann is a guy that I can never pick correctly, so maybe you should avoid him this week. If you want to avoid those superstitions though, he really looks like a nice play here. Hoffmann played well at this tournament in 2015 finishing in a tie for 13th. And you can see why as he is among the upper echelon in the field in strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained around the green. Despite my bad luck picking him, I will be riding the Hoff train this week.
Bang for your Buck
Braden Thornberry ($6,900 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) – I like guys with a ton of natural talent on fairly easy courses. Thornberry, who won the NCAA individual championship certainly fits the bill. Although he is still an amateur, Thornberry finished 4th in the St. Jude Classic last month. I see no reason why this talented guy from Ole Miss can’t duplicate his success. I will certainly be playing him quite a bit at his cheap price tag on FanDuel.
Stewart Cink ($6,900 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) – It is too bad that DraftKings priced Cink so weirdly, as he will be all over everyone’s lineups at this ridiculously low price. Even if he was in the low $8K range on DraftKings though, I would have played Cink who has 3 top 25s, including 2 top 10s among his last four finishes. On top of the solid form, Cink is excellent in the stats that I am looking at ranking almost top of the table in strokes gained approach and strokes gained putting. Put Cink in your cash lineups 100% of the time. I will play him more in FanDuel GPPs than DraftKings because he will be so highly owned, but I would not shy away from Cink in any format.
Nick Taylor ($6,900 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel) – What does a guy need to do to get some respect. Taylor is coming off a top 30 finish on an extremely hard course and has made 8 of his last 9 cuts. Among those 8 made cuts were 4 top 25 finishes, with two top 10s among the 4 top 25s. Despite his good recent form, Taylor is still priced very low in this weak field. The young Canadian is near the top of the field in strokes gained around the green and I think he turns that into another top 25 – easily making value at this price.
Luke List ($6,400 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) – I really like List as a GPP play on DraftKings at this very low price. List is well suited for this course which is wide open and he should use his powerful driving game to take advantage. And while List has not flashed tremendous form recently, he is still near the top of the field in strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained approach. List sometimes is prone to a blowup on tough holes on tough courses – but I think he will tear this easy course apart.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
I will throw out a few others that I will be playing this week:
Mackenzie Hughes ($6,300 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) is another Canadian who can’t get any respect. He is very well priced for a guy who has made 5 of his last 6 cuts with 2 top 20 finishes.
Bryson DeChambeau ($7,400 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) looks like he is getting hot with consecutive top 26 finishes. He finished 2nd in Puerto Rico in a weak field and could find similar success this week.
Jimmy Walker ($7,800 DraftKings/$8,100 FanDuel) seems way to cheap on DraftKings. He is one of the better players in the field and is not priced as such. I will gladly accept this gift and insert Walker into some lineups.
Danny Lee ($9,500 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) is the defending champ and has been playing inspired golf recently, making 6 straight cuts with 3 top 10s. His price tag makes it hard for me to justify, but I am still playing him a bit.
Keegan Bradley ($9,400 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel) is another guy playing really good ball with consecutive top 10 finishes. His $7,900 price tag on FanDuel is especially appealing.
Good luck to all of you this week!