What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope you guys enjoyed the Waste Management Open! It surely didn’t disappoint once again this year, and it was deja vu from 2016, with Hideki Matsuyama winning in a playoff.
It’s time for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am! We have ourselves another non-traditional event. The Pro-Am will be played across three different courses, meaning the cut will take place after Saturday’s round and only the top 60 and ties will be allowed to play on Sunday. The pros are also paired with an amateur for their pre-cut rounds, changing the dynamic of the event and potentially impacting performance. Playing with an amateur who is hacking it around all day long can be draining for some of these pros, so I am definitely looking at some golfers who have succeeded at this event in the past. I do not want to take on any additional uncertainty this week, so if a golfer has proved they can manage this event in the past, I like their chances to do it again.
The three courses, Pebble Beach (Par 72), Monterey Peninsula (71) and Spyglass Hill (72) are fairly similar in length at around 6,800 yards. Each golfer with have a crack at all three courses before returning to Pebble for the final round. The extended cut will definitely put more golfers in play this week because there is much less risk in taking a golfer who could miss the cut. I am focusing on birdie or better percentage and Par 5 scoring average this week. With the three guaranteed rounds, golfers will have a chance to make eagle on 12 Par 5s, and most of them are reachable in two.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Jordan Spieth – $12,000
If I have to take one player priced above $11K this week, it is Jordan Spieth. He is off to a fantastic start this season, yet to have finish outside the top 10. While I do suspect Spieth to be the highest owned golfer in this range, I don’t think it will get out of hand. It becomes increasingly difficult to construct a solid roster with Spieth plus one other top guy. Spieth has great tournament history, with two top 10 finishes in the past three years. I am confident Spieth will pick up a win in his next couple of starts and there is no reason why it can’t be this week at Pebble.
Phil Mickelson – $9,300
Phil Mickelson is underpriced this week and people have to take advantage. The worries about his two offseason hernia surgeries are a thing of the past. He has shown he is healthy with back-to-back solid finishes coming into the Pro-Am. Mickelson has dominated this event in the past. Phil has three wins here since 2005 and has finished inside the top 10 over half of his starts. At $9,300, he is an automatic cash option and someone I will be overweight on in GPPs. He is also my One and Done pick this week.
Justin Rose – $9,200
Just like Mickelson, Justin Rose could easily have been the 4th highest priced golfer this week and no one would have thought twice. Rose is generally a golfer who doesn’t attract much ownership, but I think that will change this week. He is a must play in cash. Rose is entering this event with back-to-back top 5 finishes. He also finished T6 here last season. His key stats are elite for this field and is the reason why he comes in as the highest ranked golfer in my model. In my initial construction of lineups, I own 50% of Rose, and that number could very well go up.
Shane Lowry – $7,000
Shane Lowry is in the exact same position Louis Oosthuizen and Daniel Berger were in last week. He is an obvious standout in terms of mispriced golfers and people should not treat him the same as a typical $7K golfer. Usually when we get into this price range, the caliber of golfer drops of tremendously, so only owning a bit of multiple golfers is a wise move. But, when 53rd ranked golfer in the world is priced this low, and entering an event with solid form, he becomes a must play in all formats. Lowry will be the chalk this week and I am willing to go overweight relative to the field to take advantage of the incredible value he presents.
Whee Kim – $6,800
Whee Kim is my favorite GPP below $7K this week and is someone I will own a lot of. While everyone is piling on Cameron Smith (T8 in tags on FanShareSports.com), I will be pivoting to Kim who is the better golfer. Kim is a better driver of the ball than Smith, and has a much better Par 5 scoring average. Kim finished T21 at this tournament last year, and is one week removed from a T17 result. Kim is a better fit for this course and will outscore Cameron Smith in DraftKings scoring this week.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no share of.
Matt Kuchar – $8,600
Matt Kuchar is typically looked at as a cash game lock because he is so often finishing inside the top 30. This week is different though since every golfer is guaranteed three rounds. “Cut-makers” aren’t as valuable this week as usual, and to pay $8,600 for Kuchar makes little sense when there are plenty of very similar players with more upside priced below him. His last win on the PGA Tour was in 2014, and he hasn’t played the Pro-Am since 2010. Kuchar is a hard pass for me.
Webb Simpson – $8,200
Even in a field of this strength, Webb Simpson does not feel like a $8,200 golfer. He will definitely draw a lot of attention after his playoff loss at the Waste Management, but watching him putt in that playoff drained all confidence I had in his game. The greens at this event will be much different than the easier surfaces last week. I won’t be buying into Webb this week whose lack of tournament history also worries me.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Tony Finau – $8,100
Tony Finau was loved last week, as he was coming in with incredible recent form. I witnessed Finau, who isn’t typically viewed as a cash game play, in plenty of cash game lineups last week and his missed cut stung a lot of people. That sting is still lingering. Finau is the 24th most tagged golfer on FanShareSports.com. Finau should have no issue handling all of the Par 5s this week. With three guaranteed rounds, he will play 12 Par 5s – that represents a ton of birdie and eagle opportunities.
Roberto Castro – $7,900
Roberto Castro was a very popular play last week at the Waste Management and he missed the cut on the number. What will sting more is the fact golfers in his price range last week, An, Berger, Oosthuizen, all finished inside of the top 10 and won a lot of people money. What better time to jump back on Castro, who actually jumped UP $1,000 this week. He has two top 20 finishes at this event in the past three years, including a T8 last year. Castro has only been tagged three times this week on FanShareSports.com, so clearly people have already forgotten about him.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Stewart Cink – $7,500
Jim Furyk will likely be a very chalky play this week. He is cheap and clearly one of the elite golfers in this field. Furyk is currently the 7th most tagged player on @FanShareSports. That means Stewart Cink becomes a perfect pivot. Cink will be under owned this week even though he is playing some great golf as of late. He comes in ranked 3rd in my weighted model due to his birdie or better percentage and Par 5 scoring average. While everyone is piling on Furyk in GPPs, pivot to Cink who could easily exceed value this week.
Martin Laird – $7,100
Every week it seems as though I am talking about Martin Laird. He was a “So you got burned” candidate last week and performed very well at the Waste Management with his T7 finish. Now, he is priced at a reasonable $7,100, just above the most popular play of the week, Shane Lowry. Lowry is the most tagged golfer this week on FanShareSports.com, as he clearly is the best value on the board. Laird however should not be getting overlooked. Laird is the 24th most talked about golfer on FanShare, even with his fantastic recent form. I am jumping back on Laird this week when people are for some reason ignoring him.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers just doesn’t make sense.
Patrick Reed – $8,300
Patrick Reed was the first golfer I came across as being under priced. He is becoming known as automatic cut maker with winning upside as his last missed cut was the U.S. Open. At $8,300, Reed is pretty much guaranteed four rounds and his past results at this event show he is capable of contending. He has three top 15 in his last four trips to the Pro-Am. Reed is basically Matt Kuchar with better odds of winning for $300 less.
Jim Furyk – $7,500
Although Jim Furyk hasn’t played yet in 2017, his $7,500 price tag is way too low. I am sure his price tag will stand out to most DFS players, so Furyk will likely become a chalk play this week. Saying that, he is already one of the most tagged golfer on FanShareSports.com as of Tuesday afternoon. Furyk came T7 at this event in 2015, which is important considering how much more I am relying on course history than usual. I have no worries about Furyk’s ability to make birdies this week and he should be very highly owned in cash game formats on DraftKings.
David Duval – $6,900
Come on. David Duval was in the booth last week, analyzing the Waste Management Open, now he is priced at $6,900?! This science experiment DraftKings is running with their pricing algorithm has to stop as it is skewing the pricing across the board. Duval isn’t the only guy who should draw 0% ownership this week.
Pebble Beach Pro Am 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:
[ess_grid alias=”PGA Packages”]
Thanks for reading my AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 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!