What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! Did you jump on Stenson and Na last week?!…while ignorning my fade of Webb? It was an up and down week for sure – tough to be perfect, but it won’t deter me from trying. Also, thanks for sticking around for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, even with football season right around the corner. We still have plenty weeks of golf left with boatloads of cash to be won!
The first stop for the FedEx Cup Playoffs is the Northern Trust Open hosted by Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, New York. This course has never been visited by the PGA Tour, so course history is out the window. What I do know, from cruising through my Twitter feed and reading some course descriptions is that there are comparable courses available. First, Glen Oaks is a 7,300 yard Par 70, that utilizes Poa grass greens and can play extremely hard and fast. Off the tee is important, but being long and in the rough won’t kill you. The greens will be very difficult to hit if approaches are coming in from a long distance out of the rough. This is why I am putting an emphasis on hitting fairways. Due to the difficult to hit greens, around the green/scrambling will also come into play quite a bit. A couple of courses that have drawn comparisons to Glen Oaks are Riviera, Oakmont and Bethpage Black. It’s worth looking into recent events played at those courses, Genesis Open, 2016 U.S. Open and the 2012, 2016 Barclays.
For stats, keeping it pretty basic this week. Looking at recent form and course fit a little heavier than normal.
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Par 4 Scoring Average
- Strokes Gained Putting – Poa
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Dustin Johnson – $10,800
With some of the course comparisons Glen Oaks is drawing this week, Dustin Johnson seems like the perfect fit. Riviera and Oakmont are both courses DJ has won at in the past two years. His price tag is also extremely low, considering he is still the #1 ranked player in the world. Johnson showed some life at the PGA Championship with a T13, pointing his game in the right direction leading into the playoffs. His discounted price, course fit and trending form make him a lock for me across all formats.
Henrik Stenson – $9,800
Henrik Stenson showed up last week at the Wyndham and flat out beat the rest of the competition like he was suppose to do. Ollie made a nice run, but Stenson’s hot putter helped me hold off any threats. Rounding into his incredible recent form right before the FedEx Cup playoffs is huge for Stenson, someone who has won the 10 million dollar price before. He now has three straight top 17 finishes and has always been known as one of the streakiest golfers in the world. All facets of his game are on right now and I won’t be shocked to see Stenson take down one of these playoff events. Why not make it back to back?
Paul Casey – $9,000
Even though he doesn’t win, Paul Casey loves to get out of the gates hot and wind up inside the top 15 in some way. It sucks to see him get so close so many times, and you have to think is time is coming soon, but if he continues to churn out top fives regularly, that will do just fine for DK purposes. Over his past 24 events, Casey ranks first in SG:APP, SG: Par 4s, and 2nd in Bogey Avoidance. At $9,000 he is an extremely safe and reliable cash game cornerstone to build your lineup around.
Charley Hoffman – $7,900
Charley Hoffman has lingered around the top of leaderboards all season long and you have to think his time to break through is coming. The FedEx Cup has seen some unlikley winners in the past, and Hoffman seems to fit that mold of golfer who can string four great tournaments together and win the FedEx Cup. Over his last 24 rounds, Hoffman ranks 5th in SG: Par 4s and 13 in SG:OTT. If he can hit these greens and avoid tricky up and downs this week, Hoffman will be in contention once again.
Tony Finau – $7,300
DraftKings hates Tony Finau, as this is not the first time his price tag has been well below what it should be. There isn’t even a need to rhyme off all of Finau’s recent results (they are really good) to help prove he is a great play this week, his price does all the talking. His betting odds suggest he should be priced in the high $7K or low $8K range, not priced down beside scrubs like Scott Stallings and Camilo Villegas. Ownership on Finau could eclipse 30%, and I am willing to double that.
Chez Reavie – $6,700
If you need a punt play below the $7K range to fill out a cash game lineup, look no further than Chez Reavie. He has made eight straight cuts and in doing so, has put himself near the top of a lot of stat categories. In his last 24 rounds, Reavie is inside the top 17 in SG:APP, SG: Par 4s, Fairways Gained and bogey avoidance. His accuracy off the tee will be huge because he isn’t the longest hitter. He should have more control approach these greens than guys fighting it out of the rough all week. He is a safe bet for a made cut, and at $6,700, what more can you really ask for.
Northern Trust 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:
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Rickie Fowler – $11,300
For some odd reason, Rickie Fowler only has 15 tags on FanShareSports, the second fewest out of anyone priced above $9K. This might not be a direct relation to what his ownership will be come Thursday, but it does make you raise an eyebrow. This is the highest we have seen Fowler priced, from what I can remember, in a field that contained all of the world’s top players. Maybe that is keep his mentions down. Whatever it may be, it seems silly that Fowler could get overlooked this week even though he is putting together an extremely consistent season. I wouldn’t be shocked if he makes a run at winning the FedEx Cup, with it all starting this week.
Marc Leishman – $8,500
In a crowded $8K range with players popular plays at the top including Rahm, Kuchar and Reed, Marc Leishman is getting very attention this week despite setting up well for this course. His six tags on FanShareSports makes the fact that he ranks 8th in my weighted model even more intriguing. He enters the Northern Trust with three top 15s in his last four events, two of those coming in majors. He scores well on Par 3s and 4s and is excellent around the green. Don’t go to sleep on the Aussie this week.
Kevin Kisner – $8,000
Kevin Kisner has one tag on FanShareSports. ONE! To think he was in the final pairing of a major just two weeks ago and has completely fallen off the radar is mind boggling. Last week at the Wyndham he was $11,300, was heavily owned and finished T42 in an obvious let down spot. Perhaps people think he is exhausted from having played three weeks straight? I’ll give them than, but from what I can tell, Kisner is a grinder and wants to win each and every week. At $8,000 and likely to see next to no ownership, what a buying opportunity we have.
Jamie Lovemark – $7,400
Since Tony Finau will be chalk, looking elsewhere for GPPs in the mid $7K range is definitely an option. Jamie Lovemark has been playing some very consistent golf recently, with three straight top 35s, including a 3rd at the Greenbrier. He has the 8th best off the tee game over his past 12 rounds in the field, combined with the 8th best around the green game. Being from the west coast, he is familiar with Poa greens and could play to his advantage.
Branden Grace – $6,900
Alright, isn’t Branden Grace someone that always gets talked about in these strong fields because he has the ability to grind with the best of them? He frequently contends in big time events, and we all are tempted to roster him when he is priced in the mid $8K range. Now at $6,900 (that price is absurd) he only has three tags on FanShareSports. He sits 90th in FedEx Cup points, so he needs a strong showing this week to make it to next week. He is three events removed from a T6 at the Open and is one of the best scramblers in the field. It makes no sense to see a golfer of Grace’s caliber drop $1,300 and get zero buzz.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Justin Thomas – $9,400
Is there a more inconsistent elite golfer in the world than Justin Thomas? Nope. That’s exactly why I find it tough to roster him in a spot where his price tag is up and his ownership will be inflated because of his recent win at the PGA. After a couple of good starts around the U.S. Open, he rattled off three straight missed cuts. He has as many missed cuts this season as he does top 10s. Boom or bust is his game and with a higher than normal ownership, rolling the dice is not worth it.
Phil Mickelson – $7,900
Lefty, what’s happening man?! After not missing a cut all season, he has now missed two of his last three cuts, and came T39 in a no cut event. Seems like a direct correlation with his old caddie Bones leaving the bag. Until Phil shows that he can find some form with his brother telling him the yardages, there is no way that he should be making your his way onto any of your rosters.
Robert Garrigus – $7,600
I’ve been backing Robert Garrigus for a the last month or so – he’s been dialled in and finding his way to the top of leaderboards. But for $7,600 in a field loaded from top to bottom, Garrigus just does not have the game to get it done. He is one of the worst putters in this field in general, but he ranks 108th in the field in SGP on Poa. Don’t put your faith in Garrigus and his two foot tall putter.
Adam Hadwin – $7,300
This one is painful – but fellow Canadian Adam Hadwin has lost the form he once showed at the beginning of the season. Hadwin has one top 50 in his last nine events. That top 50 was a T5 at the WGC Bridgestone, but clearly it was a flash in the pan that may have been driven by Hadwin having no fear of a cut. I feel a little less patriotic writing this, but just trying to steer the people clear of a potential disaster.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Jon Rahm – $8,900
Jon Rahm has strung together a few disappointing results in a row after his win at the Irish Open. His T58 two weeks ago at Quail Hollow is fresh in people’s minds, as he only has 13 tags on FanShareSports despite his extremely low price tag. We are all well aware of the talent Rahm possesses. His elite off the tee game should give him plenty of short irons into these tough greens and he is one of the best Par 4 scorers in the field
Daniel Berger – $8,500
Hear that noise? Yeah, that noise is the chaos you hear as people try to abandon ship on Daniel Berger. At the PGA, Berger had 64 mentions on FanShareSports and was one of the highest owned golfers in the field. His missed cut ruined a ton of lineups and now with only eight tags on FanShare, the time to buy back in on Berger is now. He has gained the second most strokes on approach shots over his past 12 rounds in this field, despite his recent MC. His price tag will also keep his ownership down – the $8K range will be glossed over in a typical lineup construction this week.
Kyle Stanley – $7,500
Get Kyle Stanley off Bermuda greens right now. Wow, that was bad. Even though Stanley gained over nine strokes in his past two events tee to green, he missed both cuts because he lost 13.5 strokes putting. That is terrible and a change of scenery for Stanley is definitely in order. Even though Poa is still tricky to putt on, anything is better than Bermuda for Stanley at the moment. I trust that Stanley will bounce back this week and let his elite tee to green game shine. Don’t be worried about his recent results like the rest of the DFS golf community is – he has one tag on FanShareSports.
Xander Schauffele – $7,000
Like Berger, Xander Schauffele was heavily owned at the PGA Championship and disappointed big time with his missed cut. Even still, Xander enters his first FedEx Cup playoffs with plenty of solid recent form to keep his momentum going. He followed up his win at the Greenbrier with two respectable showings at the Open and WGC Bridgestone. He has the 16th best T2G game in the field over his past 12 rounds, and is one of the best putters period, in this field. The $7K range usually see spread out ownership, but Xander is someone I am willing to load up on.
Thanks for reading the Northern Trust Open preview article! You can follow me on Twitter @EPattersonFS 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, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody!!