What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! We are almost there! Yes, The Masters is just one week away, but first, we must focus on the Shell Houston Open! Let’s build up those bank rolls now so we can blow all of our money in the Milly Maker next week!
The Shell Houston Open will take place at the Golf Club of Houston, in, you guessed it, Houston! It is a long Par 72, coming in at almost 7,500 yards in length. Three of the Par 4s on this course are over 480 yards and are crucial holes when it comes to deciding the winner. There is talk that this course resembles Augusta and that is why so many high caliber golfers show up at this event. Resemble may be a stretch, but it does have some similarities that will give golfers a similar feel they will have next week. The rough at this course is virtually non-existent and if you miss the greens on your approach, you will be faced with similar collection areas that are prominent at Augusta. There is tons of water on this course and it is known to swallow plenty of balls in these hazards.(That was borderline R rated). Golfers who have already punched their ticket to The Masters will be playing with next week in mind, but they shouldn’t be avoided just because of next week’s big event.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Jon Rahm – $10,700
ALL IN!!! I am shoving my chips to the middle of the table with Jon Rahm this week, and I know I will not be alone. The difference is I will be pushing my limits in terms of ownership limits on a golfer. I am willing to go over 50% Rahm this week just to make sure I have an edge when he performs well. In his short time on tour, he has soared up the world golf rankings. In a year from now, we will be talking about the big five, and I won’t be shocked if Rahm has a major title under his belt by then. This dude is ELITE!
Justin Rose – $9,700
The reason why Justin Rose makes my staples sections goes beyond his obvious elite skill set and ability to win on and course he plays. I am anticipating this week being a retro Justin Rose week. If you have been playing DFS Golf for long enough, you will know that Rose is often overlooked for other options he is priced around. He doesn’t jump off the page and is never the sexiest option on the board. With Rahm, Fowler and J.B. Holmes all priced around Rose and soaking up a ton of ownership, I expect Rose to come in under 15% owned in large GPP contests.
Phil Mickelson – $8,900
Mickelson’s course history is elite. He won this event back in 2011, and since then has a 4th and then four straight top 17 finishes. I am not really buying into the narrative that Mickelson doesn’t try to win here, rather he is playing shots that will benefit him more next week at Augusta. Whatever he does at this event that prepares him for The Masters is has worked for years and I see no reason for it to change. He has played great in his last two WGC events. Mickelson is easy to fit into cash lineups and poses no threat to miss the cut.
Kyle Stanley – $7,400
There are tons of value plays in the $7,000 range. Chalky options will abundent, whether it is Tony Finau, Luke List or Peter Uihlein. Kyle Stanley on the other hand will be lower owned than the three other options, but I like his fit for this course more than anyone. Stanley is 5th on tour in strokes gained T2G in 2017, in the same range as Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. He is an elite ball striker who will put himself in numerous birdie making situations. The greens at the Golf Club of Houston are not that difficult, as these greens saw the most putts made from inside 10 feet. Stanley will have a chance to overcome an often shaky putter if he can knock it close enough. He is basically Lucas Glover at a $900 discount.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no shares of.
Russell Henley – $8,700
Rostering Russell Henley this week is a scary proposition in my eyes. Yes, there is no denying his course history is fantastic as he seems to always finish inside the top 10 at this event. However, according to FanShareSports.com, Henley is on track to become one of the highest owned golfers this week at a price that will likely be the highest he has all season long. Buying high is something I try to avoid at all costs, but buying high when everyone else is jumping on board is well sounds like a disaster. He is an easy fade do to his volatility, high price tag and expected high ownership.
Keegan Bradley – $7,100
Like Russell Henley, Keegan Bradley has great course history here but is known to be one of the more inconsistent golfers on tour. His price tag is reasonable, I just prefer three other golfers at the exact same price over him. The current chatter across the DFS industry is that Keegan is a lock at this course, yet we seem to be looking over his missed cut at this event last year. Golf is tough enough to predict as it is, but if you want to start trying to figure out when Keegan is going to show up, that takes it to another level.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Henrik Stenson – $10,400
One of the story lines this season is how badly Henrik Stenson has been roasting people who roster him. It has now happened two of his last three events, with a missed cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a withdraw in Mexico. Time to jump back on! The way the ownership is going to shake out at the top will leave Stenson searching for his backers. He has the least amount of tags out of anyone priced above $10,0000, yet possess similar winning potential as the other three. Stenson makes for a great pivot play in GPP as well.
Harold Varner III – $7,800
Remember this guy? The darling from the Puerto Rico Open we all fell in love with because of a hot Thursday start? That didn’t end so well. Varner teased us all last week as he stumbled his way a T24 finish. Not a bad start, but not a great one either when things looked so good early. He now has his price INCREASE by $500 in a much stronger field, and everyone is abandoning ship. We know distance matters at this course and missing the fairway will not kill you. HV3 is still one of the best ball strikers and long iron players in the field. Play him in GPPs incase we were all just one week early.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Daniel Berger – $8,800
In a week that I think people are going insane and are rostering Russell Henley more than they should, Daniel Berger will be over looked. Not to mention he is priced under Phil and J.B., two guys who will also be uber chalk. Berger came 5th here last year and has shown some glimpses this year of the golfer who won the 2015 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. I won’t be shocked to see Berger win this event at an ownership lower than 15%.
Hudson Swafford – $8,000
It looks as though Hudson Swafford’s post win celebration has come to an end. After his win at the CareerBuilder, Swafford went on to miss three straight cuts – extremely uncharacteristic. He looks to have regained his form, with a T38 at the Valspar and a T10 finish at Bay Hill that no one is talking about. He does not have the best course history here, but I think we can all agree he is a much better player than he use to be. Pivot to Swafford off of Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who currently has the second most tags on FanShareSports out of golfers in the $7,000 range.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers doesn’t seem right.
Patrick Cantlay – $8,600
Patrick Cantlay would have been an intriguing option this week, but DraftKings doesn’t want anyone to roster him given the price. It makes no sense why Cantlay is the 12th highest priced golfer this week. He has one good finish in his career and is now being priced above golfers who have won majors and multiple times on Tour.
Roberto Castro – $6,40
Roberto Castro simply isn’t one of the worst players in the field, yet he is being priced like one. It wasn’t too long ago when we were rostering Castro when he was priced in the $8,000 range, so to seem him priced at the dead minimum is odd. Castro has shown the ability to win and contend on the PGA Tour, something a lot of golfers in this range have never done.
Shell Houston Open Research Spreadsheet
Note that this spreadsheet is FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “ERIC” for 15% off:
Thanks for reading my Shell Houston Open preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most.
Good luck this week everybody!