What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone enjoyed their time in Hawaii, snuck in Patton Kizzire into a few lineups and won some money, but it is time to head to the mainland for the CareerBuilder Challenge!
The CareerBuilder Challenge is a unique event – the only one of its kind. It is held at three different courses in California, La Quinta Country Club, Nicklaus Tournament Course and TPC Stadium Course. Since there are three different courses, this event is a 54 hole cut event, where every golfer will play a course once, before returning to the TPC Stadium Course after the cut for the final round on Sunday. All three courses are Par 72s, with all of them falling in the 7,000 yard range. All three of these courses ranked in the bottom 10 in terms of difficulty in 2017 – expect a lot of DraftKings scoring, especially with the three guaranteed rounds.
Stats for the Week
Birdie or Better Gained
SG:Putting – Bermuda
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Jon Rahm – $11,800
If you are considering fading Rahm this week, you have lost it. He is head and shoulders better than anyone else in this field, yet is only priced $300 more than Brian Harman. Rahm is the biggest lock of locks. Don’t worry about the price, there are plenty of solid cheap options to fill in your roster with. Rahm has finished inside the top seven in five of his last six. His SG:Ball striking numbers are otherworldly. Don’t get cute – have the winner on your roster.
Webb Simpson – $9,700
Don’t look now, but it seems as though Webb Simpson has learned how to putt. He has been known as a terrible putter his entire career, but since switching to the Kuchar style (cheating) grip, he has been lights out. Simpson has gained strokes on the green in seven of his last 10 events. He put on a clinic last week at the Sony gaining 4.6, while adding 3.7 on approaches. He finished T4 last week, saw a marginal price increase and is back at an event he has played solid at in the past.
Bud Cauley – $8,400
Bud Cauley is becoming a trendy name in the DFS golf world this week. This is mainly because of his success at this event in the last two years – T3 and T14. His $8,400 price tag may seem steep, so maybe the buzz he is receiving won’t translate to ownership. Let’s cross our fingers. Cauley is a world class ball striker when he is on, but let’s the putter fail him one too many times. If Cauley can maintain his approach game that he carried with him all of last season, I don’t see any reason why he can’t repeat with his success at the CareerBuilder.
Brandt Snedeker – $7,700
I am totally buying into the narrative that Brandt Snedeker needs to play well this winter/spring in order to get into the only event he cares about – The Masters. Currently, Brandt is not eligible to tee it up at Augusta, so he needs a win, or to climb inside the top 50 in the world golf rankings. Sneds missed most of last year with a hand injury, but has since returned making the cut at the RSM Classic. He hasn’t played the CareerBuilder in a couple of years, but I think his desperation and elite caliber are enough to put him in contention on Sunday.
Ben Martin – $6,900
Ben Martin popped in my model last week and I was dumb enough to ignore it. I am not letting that happen for the CareerBuilder. Martin is only $6,900 and is coming off a great performance (T7) at the Sony Open. Martin gained 5.9 SG:APP and 3.5 SG:P last week – numbers that if they are repeated will make his price tag seem like a joke on Sunday.
CareerBuilder Challenge Interactive Data
Note these tools are FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “ERIC” for 15% off:
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Patrick Reed – $11,100
The top of the board this week is going to be dominated by Jon Rahm, with good reason. But Patrick Reed has caught my eye as a primetime pivot option, someone who could easily end up being less that 10% owned his week. It’s been a while since Reed made some noise, the PGA Championship to be exact. However, when everyone was focused on football, Reed slid a T5 into the mix at the Hero World Challenge. I know that is a barely an event, but it does show his form has been there within the last few weeks. Let’s not forget Reed won the CareerBuilder in 2014.
Austin Cook – $8,700
Austin Cook continues to impress. Following him closely at the Sony last week told an intriguing story. He started off the week dialled in, but his putter let him down for two straight days. Through 12 holes on Friday, he had lost 5.2 strokes on the green. He battled on the back nine to make the cut on the number, then go on through the weekend to climb inside the top 20. If that isn’t grinding out an event, I don’t know what is. He ended up gaining strokes in all categories at the Sony, has seen a $1,100 price jump and only has ONE tag on FanShare sports. I think he is primed for another great result.
Peter Uihlein – $8,200
Everyone wants Uihlein to be the next Brooks Koepka, but there is a very real possibility he doesn’t come close. However, he has show results this fall that are encouraging and are allowing me to overlook his missed cut last week at the Sony. Uihlein lost 2.6 strokes putting, his second worst recorded tournament on the greens. With only one tag on FanShare Sports and priced underneath the popular Bud Cauley, Uihlein is in line for a sub 10%, top 10 finish.
J.T. Poston – $7,200
It doesn’t take long for the DFS world to completely forget who you are. Example – J.T. Poston, a golfer who became super popular during the fall swing season as his results and price didn’t seem to ever align. We have ourselves a similar situation. Poston is his typical $7,200 despite having very respectable stats in terms of BoB Gained, SG:Ball Striking and Bogey Avoidance over his last 24 rounds. He came T34 here last year in his only ever trip. He has a single tag on FanShare Sports and will likely be under 5% owned.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Chesson Hadley – $9,000
It’s been a couple of months since we saw Chesson Hadley’s run of brilliance in the fall. He rattled off three straight top five finishes before ending the season with a T37 at the RSM Classic. That was his last event, and I am worried there will be some rust to brush off in his first trip back. What also doesn’t help is that Hadley has missed the cut all three times he’s played here. At $9,000, I’d much rather know I am getting a golfer in good form – or at least a golfer who has proven it for a long time. I’ll be taking my money elsewhere.
Bubba Watson – $8,000
If you are someone who enjoys to roster Bubba, and is seriously considering it this week – good for you, you daredevil. I don’t trust Bubba for a second, even if he does have a white ball back in play. He is coming off what I’d imagine is his worst year of his career – a year in which he saw his world golf ranking fall from 10 to 73. $8,000 is way to rich for me in tournaments, let alone putting him in a cash lineup. Don’t get drawn in by the name or the story that going back to a Titleist ball is going to resurrect his career. Wait until he puts at least a couple good rounds under his belt.
Jimmy Walker – $7,600
It’s very unfortunate to watch, but the decline of Jimmy Walker is tough to watch. He has now missed four straight cuts, and last week’s Sony Open might be the most eye opening. He is a two time winner at Waialae and was his first event after a long break. You’d expect him to be in form and not exhausted from the Lyme’s disease. Now he gets a $400 price increase, which surely should scare people off. It sucks, but you cannot roster him until he shows he is fully healthy. It would be nice to be proven wrong here.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Bill Haas – $8,600
Historically, Haas has dominated this event. In his last four attempts, he has a T17, two top 10s and took home the trophy in 2015. Not surprisingly, he leads the field in strokes gained at this event. Haas has also missed back-to-back cuts, seen a $400 price increase and is priced right above the soon to be chalky Russell Knox. Losing 3.9 strokes putting is a great way to miss the cut, something Haas did last week at the Sony Open. I expect nothing but a solid rebound from Haas this week – how about at top 10?
J.J. Spaun – $7,900
Spaun was very popular last week, got out of the gates quickly but then failed to put another solid round together. If you weren’t paying attention, you’d think he didn’t make a birdie for 54 straight holes. What is encouraging about Spaun’s less than stellar T47 at the Sony Open, is that he lost the majority of his strokes around the green. He gained more strokes T2G than Brian Stuard, who finished T4. Similarly to Haas, I expect Spaun to figure it out around and on the greens and reward those who stuck with him for the CareerBuilder.
Thanks for reading the CareerBuilder Challenge preview article! Follow me on Twitter for more DFS and golf betting talk! Also, don’t forget to check out FanShareSports.com to get a full look at who the DFS golf community is talking about this week!
Good luck this week everybody!!