What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone enjoyed their week in Mexico!
Back to American soil the PGA Tour goes, heading to Sea Island, Georgia for the RSM Classic. This event will be played on two different courses on Thursday and Friday. They golfers will rotate between the Seaside and Plantation course, before heading back to the Seaside course for the weekend. Both courses play very similar, with both courses ending up just over 7,000 yards in length. The golfers who typically have had great success at this event have been the accuracy, plotter type who tend to hit a lot of fairways and greens. Distance will not be required this week, and many golfers will not need to use a driver all weekend. Stats I am looking at are driving accuracy, good drive percentage, GIR and some proximity stats. I will also favor golfers who are showing better putting form as of late, reason being that so many GIRs will get hit this weekend, the best putters will rise to the top.
If you haven’t read one of my preview articles before, I try to stay away from just listing golfers I like. I do my best to highlight different players to think about playing as well as guys I’d recommend steering clear of.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Kevin Chappell – $10,200
At first glance of the player pool for the RSM Classic, Kevin Chappell seemed to pop out to me as the best golfer at a great price. He has carried his T2 finish from the Tour Championship over to the fall swing season, and finished T35 at the HSBC Champions event. Chappell excelled last season in the strokes gained tee to green stat, and seemed destined to capture his first PGA Tour title, but fell just short multiple times. This is the week. Chappell has finished T8 and T2 at this event the last two years, so he clearly feels comfortable on this course and has the game to contend. He is my pick to win this week, therefore is a staple for me in cash games and GPP contests.
Zach Johnson – $9,700
On paper, Zach Johnson seems like the perfect player for this event. He is a short, accurate hitter who has an elite wedge game. You’d think that he would have outstanding results at this course in the past, but that is surprisingly not the case. In his past five events, he has two missed cuts and only one top 20 finish. It is just too hard to ignore his outstanding statistics that should translate to this event. He was 32nd in driving accuracy last season, and was 3rd in proximity from 75-100 yards. He should be able to hit a ton of greens, giving himself plenty of birdie looks. This is the year for Zach Johnson to figure it out at the RSM Classic.
John Huh – $8,300
Generally I wouldn’t consider an $8,300 John Huh, but when he comes in ranked 2nd in my weight stat model, I have to pay attention. His stats this season have been phenomenal. He is inside the top 30 for both strokes gained T2G and approach, 38th in good drive percentage and 35th in GIR. These are the perfect stats that will translate very well. He has made the cut twice at this event and finished T9 in 2015. John Huh has also made the cut in eight straight events. I don’t expect that streak to end this week in Georgia. He is a lock for me, no question about it.
Ryan Blaum – $7,900
There has been a lot of buzz about the Web.com Tour graduates, like Grayson Murray, Wesley Bryan and Cody Gribble. Flying under the radar is Ryan Blaum who has been lights out on the PGA Tour so far this season. He has made all four cuts this fall swing series, two of which have been in the top 15 and his worst result was a T31. He is an extremely consistent golfer who has yet to record a score above 71 in is 12 rounds this season. The limited potential of a blow up, with the upside of his already great results, makes Blaum a lock in my cash game lineups this week.
Michael Johnson – $6,600
Michael Johnson is my favorite GPP play of the week. He had an outstanding week at the Sanderson Farms a few weeks ago, and left the tournament ranking 4th in strokes gained T2G, 5th in strokes gained approach, 11th in GIR and 2nd in proximity from 125-150. If he can carry over that same form to this week, he will definitely find himself inside of the top 20 once again. He will need to get the flat stick rolling a bit hotter than it was at the Sanderson Farms, but those ball striking stats are too impressive to ignore.
Price too high? Seems like chalk? Players I will have no share of.
Russell Henley – $9,900
Russell Henley was the first guy on the board that stood out to me as being overpriced. Yes, he has great course history and is the type of golfer you would expect to do well at this course. But, for $9,900 I have to be a lot more comfortable with that golfer’s consistency, and Henley doesn’t have what I’m looking for. He has made 15 cuts in his last 28 events, so it is basically a coin flip if he will make the cut or not any given week. So far this young season, he ranks 213 in driving accuracy, and if that continues, he will be trunk slamming on Friday.
Si Woo Kim – $9,500
This is a steep price to pay for a golfer fresh off of a withdraw. Si Woo Kim is way too risky of a play for me to consider rostering this week. He is in a price range rich with other quality golfers who are coming in with good form and health. Sure, if you are a player who can take on a lot of risk due to the number of lineups you build, Kim is definitely an interesting tournament option. But, if a withdraw would crush your weeks worth of prep, avoid Kim completely. If he feels any sort of pain, I would be he withdraws again due to the lengthy break on the schedule upcoming.
Luke Donald – $6,700
I have a hunch that Luke Donald will be a popular play this week because he seems like a tremendous value play at $6,700, but I will not be paying for name value alone. Donald is considered an accuracy guy on the PGA Tour, but in the 2016 season he was 144th in driving accuracy, only managing to find the short stuff 56.69% of the time. He is coming off of back-to-back missed cuts including Mayakoba, which was considered another accuracy type course. Don’t get suckered into rostering a former #1 golfer in the world at a discounted price.
So you got burned?
Did one of your guys miss a cut or finish in last? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Jim Furyk – $10,000
Jim Furyk burned a lot of people by missing the cut last week at Mayakoba, where he was owned in about 20% of all DraftKings lineups. That MC will be fresh in the minds of a lot of DFSers when lineups begin to be constructed. This is a perfect bounce back spot for Furyk, who hopefully got the rust off last week and is ready to attack another accuracy track. He hasn’t played at this event since 2012, when he finished 3rd. He also finished T11 in 2011, so Furyk does have encouraging result at this event. He is in a prime a spot and is guaranteed to be under owned, the recipe for a great GPP play.
Harris English – $8,800
Harris English is another guy who is coming off of a missed cut in Mexico, which was preceded by a 4th place finish at the Shriners Open. English has solid stats so far this season, ranking 40th in strokes gained approach and 17th in strokes gained putting. He has three top 30 results here in the past four years including a top 15 in 2012. He will be overlooked because a lot of ownership will go towards Lucas Glover who is priced just $100 more. English has winning upside and makes of a solid GPP play.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Kevin Streelman – $9,100
I have a feeling a lot of ownership will end up on Lucas Glover, Charles Howell III and Kevin Kisner. All of these golfers are in the exact same range as Kevin Streelman, who makes for a great pivot play. He finished 4th last week at Mayakoba, a result I am sure would surprise some people. He ranks 23rd in strokes gained off the tee, 12th in total driving and 37th in GIR. Streelman has a 6th place finish at this event as well, albeit back in 2011.
Whee Kim – $7,400
In the mid $7k range, Whee Kim seems like a bit of a sleeper. I know a lot of people will gravitate towards Hudson Swafford, or even Robert Streb, as past winner at this event. Whee Kim is coming off of back-to-back top 15 finishes and his stats line up very well with this event. He ranks 17th in good drive percentage and 37th in GIR. Combine those numbers with his 8th place ranking in strokes gained putting, and Whee Kim has the potential to end up inside of the top 5 this week.
RSM Classic 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 checking out my RSM Classic preview article! I appreciate you taking the time to give it a read, and I hope you continue to find it useful week after week. Follow me on Twitter for more golf talk!
Good luck this week everybody!