How are we doing folks? After an exciting week in the desert of Arizona, the PGA Tour jumps right back into things with the ATT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The first three days of this event take place at three separate golf courses – Pebble Beach Golf Links, a 6,816 Par 72, Monterey Peninsula, a 6,958 par 71 and finally Spyglass Hill, a 6,953 yard par 72. The cut takes place after the third round on Saturday and only the top 60 plus ties make the cut. For Sunday’s final round, the golfers play Pebble Beach again. Stats that I am focused on this week include strokes gained total, birdie or better and putting average.
Before I get started with my preview, a couple of quick rants. First, I was just about break even last week, but I am completely kicking myself since the tournament winner, Gary Woodland, and 2nd place finisher, Chez Reavie were both in the top 14 of my weekly projections, but I outsmarted myself and faded both. If I would have just gone with my projections, it could have been a huge week. Second, the pricing on DraftKings for fantasy golf is always bad, but this week really takes the cake.
Some quick examples: 679th ranked player in the world Eric Axley is priced at $7,400 while the 21st ranked player in the world Rafa Cabrera-Bello is $6,900. 246th ranked Ted Potter Jr. is priced at $7,100 while 56th ranked Russell Henley is $6,600. And on and on I could go. If DraftKings wants to make it easy to construct a lineup for casual players, they should just create a pick ’em game like they do in other sports. Their pricing algorithm (if it exists) is absolutely ridiculous.
Alright – that’s enough of that. Let’s get on with the show!
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Dustin Johnson ($11,700 DraftKings/$12,800 FanDuel) – The world’s #1 golfer is in the field this week and he should be ready to rock and roll. DJ ranks 1st in the field in strokes gained total and 1st in the field in birdie of better. He has had success at this course with top 10s in 6 of the last 10 years, including winning at Pebble Beach in 2009. I like DJ to be in the top 5 once again, and he very well could run away with this tournament.
Jason Day ($10,900 DraftKings/$12,300 FanDuel) – Day is coming into this tournament in good form, winning his last start 2 weeks ago. He has also played well in the past at Pebble Beach with 4 top 11 finishes in his last 5 appearances. It is easy to see why Day plays well here as he ranks 3rd in the field in putting average and 3rd in birdie or better percentage. I like Day in both cash games and tournaments.
Upper Middle Class
Gary Woodland ($9,900 DraftKings/$11,100 FanDuel) – People are often hesitant to play the prior week’s winner in the next tournament, but I think that is overthinking things. Woodland has looked absolutely fantastic this year and has finished in 7th, 12th and 1st in his last three starts on Tour. Moreover, he is 2nd in the field in strokes gained total, which is my go-to statistic this week. On top of all that, Woodland is coming off of a 5th place finish at this tournament last year. The price is not prohibitive and I will be playing some Woodland.
Pat Perez ($8,600 DraftKings/$10,300 FanDuel) – There is a lot of chatter about Perez this week, so I will be playing him more in cash games than in tournaments, where I may try to differentiate from the field. Either way, Perez is an excellent play as he has been in fine form this year, as is evidenced by his current 4th place ranking in the Fed Ex Cup standings. Moreover, Perez has fared well at this tournament in the past, making the cut 11 of the last 12 years and finishing in the top 15 3 of the last 4. Perez is as steady as they come and is a safe bet for a made cut with top 10 potential.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,100 DraftKings/$10,900 FanDuel) – After an injury plagued 2017 season, Snedeker is starting to look like himself these last few weeks. He was in contention for a while last week before dropping down to 23rd spot on Sunday. And if Snedeker’s form is good, you almost have to play him at this tournament as he has won this event 2 of the last 5 years and had a 4th place finish here last year. The price is right for Brandt, especially on DraftKings. Fire him up this week.
Chesson Hadley ($8,500 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) – After a really rough 2016 season, Hadley had to regain his PGA Tour card through the web.com tour last year and he came through with flying colors. This year, he has put together a fantastic season, which continued with a 5th place finish last week. Hadley is 3rd in the field in strokes gained total and should continue his good form at this event. He has played well here in the past with top 10 finishes in 2 of his last 3 appearances. I will have my fair share of Hadley, especially on FanDuel.
Bang for your Buck
J.B. Holmes ($7,400 DraftKings/$9,700 FanDuel) – After playing a nice tournament two weeks ago, J.B. struggled in the desert last week. But I like for him to have a comeback week this week. In doing my research this week, one thing that I noticed is that putting from 20-25 feet is extremely important on these courses. And J.B. Holmes is actually ranked first in the field in putting from that distance. Holmes is another guy who has played well here in the past, making cut in 8 of his last 9 appearances, with 4 top 13 finishes among those made cuts. Look for Holmes to have another solid week.
Grayson Murray ($7,000 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) – I figured I should throw in some affordable guys on FanDuel as well, and Murray is a guy that I will be playing a lot on that site. The talented youngster ranks 9th in the field in Birdie or Better Conversion Percentage and 6th in the field in putting from 20-25 feet. Murray missed the cut in his only time playing this event, so I expect his ownership numbers to be minuscule. This is an excellent play for your GPPs.
Sam Saunders ($7,000 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) – There are some obvious names in the DraftKings Discount Bin as I outlined above. As a reminder, Russell Henley ($6,600), Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($6,900), Bryson DeChambeau ($6,900) and Austin Cook ($7,000) are way too cheap on DK, which essentially ruins the game this week. I will throw some less obvious guys at you in this space including Saunders who is 13th in the field in strokes gained total. Saunders has been brutal on this course with 3 straight missed cuts, but I will be firing him up in GPPs to see if he can reverse that trend.
Graeme McDowell ($6,600 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) – Of the egregiously mispriced guys on DK, McDowell will be my most owned. He is 5th in the field in strokes gained total, which is quite amazing for a guy who is priced only $100 above the minimum on DraftKings. McDowell seems to think that he can only play this course when the Winter Olympics are going on, as his only appearances at this event were in 2010 and 2014. But boy did McDowell make the most of those appearances as he won the tournament in 2014 and finished in 7th in 2014. I like for McDowell to play well again.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Here are some other guys that will make their way into my lineups:
Vaughn Taylor ($6,900 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) played well last week finishing in 11th place and has done well at this tournament with a win 2 years ago and a 10th place finish 3 years ago.
Maverick McNealy ($6,600 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel) is 5th in the field in birdie or better conversion percentage and is priced very cheaply. He has shown flashes of brilliance thus far this year and it is only a matter of time before he puts it all together.
Tom Hoge ($6,600 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) is popping in my model and is priced pretty cheaply. He has top 25 finishes in 3 of his last 4 events, so he has been playing pretty well.
Cody Gribble ($7,500 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) is a guy that I wouldn’t touch on DK, but his price is enticing on FanDuel. Gribble’s correlative stats were looking good in my model and he will be virtually unowned. I like him for FanDuel GPPs.
Matt Jones ($6,800 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel) has had success at this tournament in the past with 5 straight made cuts and top 25 finishes in his last 3 appearances.
Good luck to all of you this week!