What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! The Pebble Beach Pro-Am has come and gone, and we likely saw Jordan Spieth win his first of many tournaments this season. A lot of big dogs have been winning tournaments – it’s shaping up to be a fantastic year.
On to the Genesis Open at Riviera CC! And boy do we have a good one on our hands. The field is loaded and is a close to a major feel as it gets. A ton of the best players will be on hand to play this Par 71, 7,322 yard track. Riviera has played host to this event for over 40 years, giving us plenty of course history and stat trends to run with.
The #1 stat I am looking at this week, weighing heavily in my model is Strokes Gained T2G. It is always a stat I look at, but this tournament seems to correlate even more than normal with this stat. I am also looking at BoB%, Par 4 scoring from 450-500, scrambling and bogey avoidance. The greens at Riviera are tiny, so hitting them will be crucial but also getting up and down from all sorts of situations will keep players in the tournament. Riviera correlates very well with Augusta, so take a peek at some past Masters’ leaderboards for golfers to target.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Dustin Johnson – $11,400
Just like last week, all signs pointed towards Jordan Spieth, this week all signs are pointing towards Dustin Johnson. DJ loves this event and the tournament history shows that. He has come inside the top 4 four of the last five seasons, including two runner up results. He played very well last week at Pebble, with a ho-hum T3 finish. I will say, it is tough to pick a clear favorite in this top group, and I certainly will have exposure to all of the, but DJ will be where I am going in cash games. He seems like a lock for a top 5 finish and he will score plenty of birdies to be one of the highest scoring golfers on DraftKings. Even though he will be chalk, don’t get cute and fade DJ in cash.
Paul Casey – $8,600
Paul Casey ended the 2016 season with some of his best golf of his career. He went through the FedEx cup playoffs pounding out top 5 results. That momentum didn’t quite carry over the 2017 calendar year and so far he has let a lot of people down on DraftKings. However, Casey fits this course perfectly, and has the Augusta narrative working in his favor. Casey came second here in 2015 and has back-to-back top 6 results at the Masters. At $8,600, that price is perfect in terms of upside and ownership. He won’t be over-owned because of an egregious miss price but also provides enough upside to stomach paying that price. Casey is one of my favorite bets on the board this week at 50-1 and is my early lean for a One and Done selection.
Brandt Snedeker – $7,600
Your free space for the week is Brandt Snedeker. He was $10K last week, put up a top 4 result and sees his price drop drastically. Sure, the field got stronger and Sneds doesn’t have the best course history, but he is playing extremely well and is priced as a golfer who is a coin flip to make the cut. Sneds gained strokes on the field last week putting, off the tee and approach to the green. There is no reason to believe this recent performance won’t carry over to Riviera. He is also only the 21st most tagged golfer on FanShareSports.com. Sneds is being overlooked at an amazing discount.
Adam Hadwin – $6,600
It is time to give my fellow Canadian the credit he deserves. He is playing the best golf of his career and has seen his world golf ranking jump 75 spots since the start of 2017. Hadwin has made seven straight cuts and is only price $200 more than the minimum. For a golfer who hasn’t shown this type of form in his career, it will be scary to see how he performs at an event he has had success at. Hadwin game T22 and T16 his past two trips to this tournament. He is a much better golfer than he was each of those two seasons. If you find yourself diving this cheap for a cash game option, Hadwin is the play.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no share of.
Justin Thomas – $9,600
There is no question that Justin Thomas has dominated the headlines early this season with his two victories. Both victories came in Hawaii on easy golf courses with mile wide fairways and offered JT plenty of opportunities to make birdies and eagles. That is not the case this week. Yes, distance will be important, but hitting these small greens will require precision that is difficult to come by out of the rough. In a field of this magnitude, at a course he hasn’t had much success on, I will be full out fading Thomas. There are way too many better options priced all around him.
Jimmy Walker – $8,500
Jimmy Walker reminds me a lot like JT this week. His long, arrant style off of the tee and lack of scrambling skills will put him in a ton of tricky spots this week. Walker isn’t in the best of form either. He has three starts in a row finishing outside the top 50 including two missed cuts. Although he has had success at the event in the past, I am not ready to gamble on him finding it this week.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Justin Rose – $8,400
Hear me out for a second. No, Justin Rose didn’t necessarily burn you last week, but you could say he underwhelmed. A T39 finish from the most owned golfer may have some DFSers looking elsewhere, even at his reduced price. DON’T DO IT! Play Rose with just as much confidence as you did last week. He is a must play in cash, and could actually differentiate your cash game lineup. With the wonky pricing, entire cash game lineups are becoming chalk. Rose will be in it on Sunday.
Jim Furyk – $6,700
Jim Furyk gave all those who rostered him a heavy dose of pars last week, managing to only score 30 DraftKings points in three rounds before getting MDF’d. Furyk was owned in a ton of cash lineups at his $7,500 price tag. Now, his price has dropped $800 and I am willing to bet whatever rust he had last week is now gone. It is time to reinvest in Furyk, who is $300 above the dead minimum. He has amazing tournament history, with three top 15s in his last four tries. He is far too quality of a golfer to be priced this low. I am 100% back in on Furyk.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jason Day – $10,000
Jason Day? A pivot!? Well, when he only the 9th most tagged golfer on FanShareSports.com, the number one ranked golfer in the world and priced at only $10K? Yeah, he is a perfect pivot. He is a pivot off of DJ, Hideki, Scott and Garcia. All of these golfers are priced around him, but are all drawing more attention compared to Day. There is no way Day should see the low ownership he saw last week. Sure, he hasn’t played in this tournament for a few years, but he is coming in with great form. Don’t be underweight on Day this week and regret it when he is in the final group on Sunday.
Ryan Moore – $7,300
Let’s start by saying the $7,100 price range is loaded with chalky plays. Brendan Steele and J.B. Holmes are both inside the top 4 most tagged golfers so far on FanShareSports.com. Ryan Moore, who is just $200 more expensive, is only T25 in terms of tags, clearly being overlooked by the DFS Golf industry. Moore has great tournament history, coming T10 last year along with a couple of other top 25 finishes in the past five years. If what @FanShareSports is telling us is correct – that Ryan Moore is being overlooked – he will be a fantastic GPP play.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers just doesn’t make sense.
Alright, what is going on here??? Maybe I am just being lazy, or maybe the whole damn pricing scheme is off. But this week, I will not be listing players whose price doesn’t make sense because DraftKings seems to want to put an end to this segment. I created this section in hopes of finding one or two golfers whose price does not add up. I didn’t anticipate the pricing scheme to change as drastically as it has. So, I will be changing this segment from here on out, and highlight players who have an “outrageous” price tag that actually might make some sense! (We have one this week)
Francesco Molinari – $7,800
Molinari has been playing some incredible golf lately. He has for consecutive top 15 finishes which include two top 6 results. Molinari does not have the best tournament history, but there is no way he has entered this event coming in playing as well as he is. He ranks 6th and 4th in this field when it comes to SG:T2G and SG:APP respectively, both remarkable stats for this event. He might not poke it out there as far as some other guys in this event, but I have no doubt Molinari will give himself plenty of birdie looks this week. $7,800 is a fair price for a golfer playing as well as he is.
Gensis 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 Genesis 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.
Good luck this week everybody!