What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope you enjoyed the Safeway Open and used some of my picks! My four staples from last week made the cut, so I have my work cut out for me this week.
The second event of the year is an odd one to say the least. To start, the CIMB Classic will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A field of 78 golfers will take place in the first no-cut event of the season. And be aware – the lineup lock for this event is set to Wednesday at 7PM EDT.
The CIMB Classic will be hosted by TPC Kuala Lumpur, which has been the home of this event since 2013. The winning score at this event last year was -26, but the previous two years before that fell below the -20 number. At first glance, birdie making is a must if any player has a chance to contend. It’s a very short course relative to what these pros are used too, only 7,005 yards in length. Driver won’t be required to put golfers in a good position to score, so Strokes Gained – Approach will be a very important stat for me this week. Obviously birdie or better percentage will be looked at, as well as bogey avoidance. In a no cut event, bogey avoidance generally goes overlooked as DFS players are chasing DraftKings points. But, a lot of DK points will come from finishing position, and saving a bogey here and there can go a long way in climbing up the leaderboard.
If you haven’t read one of my preview articles before, I don’t like to just give my favorite picks and tell you why they are the best. I will add in a few extra segments on players I am avoiding, golfers in great bounce back spots, as well as leverage plays to target to avoid playing chalk.
Let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Hideki Matsuyama – $11,300
This is a flowchart play for me. Is there a cut? No. Is Matsuyama in the field? Yes. Play Hideki Matsuyama. He is a pure scorer. He ranked 6th last season in birdie or better percentage. We all know about his elite ball striking skills, and are well aware of his putting woes as well. He won last week at the Japan Open, which is nice to see before heading into this event, and also game T5 at the Tour Championship. Hideki is my pick to win this week in Malaysia.
Adam Scott – $10,900
I was surprised to see Adam Scott listed as the 4th highest priced golfer this week, considering the field strength. Other than Paul Casey, Scott has the best recent form out of anyone. His playoff finishes of 4th, 4th, 4th and 8th are incredible. He has had success at this event in the past and I’m hoping Patrick Reed draws a lot of attention, allowing for Scott’s ownership to be suppressed a tad.
Russell Knox – $8,200
In cash, there is no safer option that Russell Knox. He offers a tremendous discount at $8,200 and will allow you to roster some of the elite talent in the field. He is as consistent as it gets and has winning potential, coming in as one of two, two time winners on tour in 2016.
Alex Cejka – $7,400
Here is another golfer who offers tremendous scoring potential at a discounted price. Alex Cejka finished the 2016 season ranked 17th in birdie or better percentage, 10th in strokes gained-approach and 22nd in driving accuracy. All three of these stats should play a huge role in Cejka having sneaky top 10 potential.
Price too high? Seems like chalk? Players I will have no share of.
Patrick Reed – $11,200
This seems like an ideal let down spot for Patrick Reed. Reed is coming off an amazing and emotional performance at the Ryder Cup, one that won’t be forgotten by DFS players. His price tag seems a bit too high for a golfer who is trending in the wrong direction in tournament play since his win at The Barclays. He’ll be high owned and I would just rather own any of the other golfers priced in the $10K+ range.
Byeong-Hun An – $9,400
I just don’t see it how the $9,400 price tag is worth it for Byeong-Hun An. Maybe it’s the fact that I will not be creating enough lineups to roster him, or maybe it’s because I have no clue what I am paying for. He has one top-10 since June and seems to struggle when the strength of the field is relatively high. I’ll let others take on the high risk, low upside play in An.
Anirban Lahiri – $8,300
Anirban Lahiri is typically a golfer you would find priced in the $6K area, so to see him at $8,300, with no top-10s since April is a bit surprising. He offers little-to-no upside at a price point where there are plenty of better options.
So you got burned?
Roster a golfer who let you down? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Emiliano Grillo – $8,600
If you owned Emiliano Grillo last week at the Safeway Open, you probably aren’t too happy with his 26th place finish. He will definitely fly under the radar this week due to the stronger field. Grillo’s elite driving accuracy will put him in great spots to attack the pin all weekend long. Expect a solid bounce back performance this week. A top-5 finish is a strong possibility.
Jhonattan Vegas – $7,500
Jhonny Vegas enters the CIMB Classic seeing a drastic price reduction, going from $9,100 to $7,500 after missing the cut at the Safeway on the number. I was willing to pay up for him last week at $9,100, and even though it didn’t work out, the combination of lower ownership and upside to Vegas makes him a great GPP play this week. He played extremely well through the FedEx Cup playoffs, so I’m not letting one poor outing alter my opinion.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Sergio Garcia – $10,100
It’s been awhile since Garcia has made his presence felt at a tournament. He sputtered through the FedEx Cup playoffs and hasn’t played much golf recently so he will be an afterthought to most. He finished T2 here in 2014, and will likely the lowest owned $10K+ golfer. Garcia offers tremendous leverage in a no cut event.
Si Woo Kim -$7,900
It seems as though Russell Knox will be one of the most popular plays on the board this week, and sitting below him at a few hundred dollars cheaper is Si Woo Kim, one of my favorite plays of the week. Since his win at the Wyndam Championship, Si Woo has finished inside the top-20 three out of four times, all in the loaded FedEx Cup playoff fields. He also ranked T15 in Par 5 eagles in 2016, which could put Kim atop the DraftKings points leaders this week.
Thanks for checking out my CIMB Classic preview article! I hope you found the article helpful and will take a chance on a few of my plays. Each week I love bringing DFSonDemand subscribers DFS Golf content, and if you have any feedback, let me know. Follow me on Twitter for more golf talk!
Good luck this week everybody!