Howdy ladies and gents! Welcome back to another edition of your weekly DFS golf preview. This week is a Tiger Week as the esteemed Mr. Woods is back in action at the Genesis Open. On top of that, the PGA Tour plays at one of the most fun golf courses in the US, Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, a beautiful Par 71 7,340 yard course. This should be a hell of a week and I am looking forward to getting back on my horse.
Last week was a brutal one for me, but I was listening to my favorite golf podcast, the Tour Junkies and I found out that I am not alone. David and Pat of the Tour Junkies were also lamenting that they had off weeks last week and implored their listeners to trust the process. I take that sage advice to heart and look forward to a profitable week this week.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Dustin Johnson ($11,900 DraftKings/$12,900 FanDuel) – I am all about DJ this week and you should be too. It is true that this will be a really popular play, but Johnson absolutely owns this golf course, finishing in 1st, 4th, 2nd and 2nd in his last four starts at Riviera. On top of that, DJ is in good form with top 10 finishes in his last three tournaments on tour. If that all were not enough, Johnson ranks first in strokes gained off the tee and 1st in birdie or better percentage, two of my key stats of the week. I will differentiate elsewhere and will be playing 70% DJ this week.
Justin Thomas ($10,700 DraftKings/$11,900 FanDuel) – Truth be told, this is a price and ownership play as I love that Thomas is priced less than Spieth and Rory on DraftKings and he is easy to fit into lineups. Thomas also does well in some of my stats of the week as he ranks 25th in strokes gained approach and 3rd in birdie or better percentage. In my non-DJ lineups, I will be starting up top with Thomas. I am feeling a solid top 5 finish.
Upper Middle Class
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,500 DraftKings/$10,800 FanDuel) – For those of you who are just casual golf fans, Fleetwood is really, really good. While he has yet to tee it up on US soil this year, the young Brit has finished in the top 6 of the last 4 events he has played over on the European Tour. Fleetwood has had some good success in the US and I don’t see why his good form should not continue this week. I thank DraftKings for the discount and will be playing plenty of Fleetwood.
Marc Leishman ($8,500 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) – $8,500 for the Big Leish on DraftKings? Yes, please! Leishman is always one of the best players in any field as is evidenced by his top 10 finishes in 3 of his last 5 starts on tour. He also is 14th on tour in birdie average so there should be fantasy points galore coming from the big Ozzie. A lineup of Thomas, Fleetwood and Leishman still leaves you plenty of money to spare. I will be playing that combo a lot in my non Dustin Johnson lineups.
Bubba Watson ($7,800 DraftKings/$9,300 FanDuel) – Watson is kinda, sorta starting to look like himself as he has made the cut in his last two starts. And if there is any tournament to see if Watson can get a little heater going, the Genesis Open is the one. While Bubba skipped this event last year, in the 3 years before that he has finished 1st, 14th and 1st. I am not sure that Bubba can return to the winner’s circle, but a top 20 at this price would be a coup.
Ollie Schniederjans ($7,600 DraftKings/$9,400 FanDuel) – I will once again be playing my man-crush, the hatless wonder, Ollie Schniederjans this week. Ollie is simply one of the best golfers on tour and has finished in the top 10 twice out of his last three tournaments. He also lines up well for this course as Schniederjans is 15th in strokes gained approach and 6th in birdie or better percentage. In his only appearance at the Genesis Open, Ollie finished 8th last year. I think he can duplicate the top 10 this year.
Bang for your Buck
Sang Moon Bae ($7,200 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel) – I have certainly been enjoying the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and I like one of South Korea’s own to do well this week. Bae missed the entire 2016 and 2017 seasons due to military service, but prior to that he finished in 8th, 12th and 8th in his 3 appearances at the Genesis. And while Bae had a rough start to his season, he may be rounding into form as he finished a rock solid 15th last week. Let’s see if he can get it going at Riviera again this year.
Adam Hadwin ($7,100 DraftKings/$9,400 FanDuel) – This is a bit of a hunch play as I saw Hadwin mention on Twitter that he loves this golf course and it suits his game. It is true that he has had moderate success here as Hadwin finished 34th, 16th and 22nd in his 3 starts. Overall on tour, Hadwin has been in decent form with 4 straight made cuts. I have a feeling that a top 25 is in order for the Canadian.
KJ Choi ($7,000 DraftKings/$7,700 FanDuel) – I just cannot ignore the course history here. I heard someone mention that the Korean players love Riviera because the fairways and rough are kukuya grass which is similar to what they grew up playing on. Whatever the reason, Choi has made 12 straight cuts at Riviera with 4 of those 12 finishes in the top 10 and 4 more in the top 25. I won’t be playing Choi too much in GPPs (though his ownership will likely be limited), but I do feel that he is a safe play in cash.
Martin Laird ($6,900 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) – Laird is another course horse as he has finished in 8th and 11th place in his last two starts at the Genesis. The Scotsman also arrives in decent form as he had a top 10 finish in his last PGA Tour event two weeks ago. It is easy to see why Laird succeeds here as he is 6th in strokes gained around the green. I will be firing up Marty Party in GPPs.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Here are some other guys that will make their way into my lineups:
Wesley Bryan ($7,400 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) seems way too cheap of FanDuel and finished 4th at this tournament last year.
Brandon Harkins ($6,800 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) continues to get no respect from the DFS sites despite top 25 finishes in 4 of his last 5 starts.
Bud Cauley ($6,700 DraftKings/$8,900 FanDuel) is really cheap on DraftKings, if you need to go down to $6,700. I have him in a few lineups.
Chez Reavie ($8,000 DraftKings/$9,900 FanDuel) comes in hot as a pistol and still is not too expensive on the 2 major sites.
Tomas Pieters ($7,700 DraftKings/$9,600 FanDuel) is a talented young golfer and finished 2nd here last year. He also won the 2012 NCAA Championships at Riviera so you can’t argue with the course history.
Good luck to all of you this week!
Visit Fantasy Rundown for additional DFS picks from some of the top sites on the web.