What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! What an incredible tournament we got to see at the Farmers Insurance Open. A lot of big names did miss the cut, but there were so many guys in the hunt on Sunday to make it exciting. We also got to see Jon Rahm lift a PGA Tour trophy – his first of many.
The PGA Tour heads to The Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Open. It is considered one of the most entertaining events on the PGA circuit, best known for it’s electric 16th Hole that is surrounded by seating that is filled with rowdy spectators. Boooos, cheers and beers create an incredible atmosphere that is unlike anything in golf.
The course is a 7,266 yard Par 71, with three Par 5s and four Par 3s. The Par 5s will be reachable by most players, so Par 5 scoring average is a stat I am considering this week. The rough this week won’t be as penalizing as what we witnessed last week at Torrey Pines, but if you really miss the fairways this week, there are plenty of hazards that can be found in the desert. I will be looking for players with a strong good drive percentage, solid ball strikers and players who make make a lot of birdies. I am also looking at course history more this week than I typically do, as it seems there are plenty of golfers who feel very comfortable at this course and have performed consistently year after year.
I am extremely excited about this week. There are plenty of talking points about DraftKings golf this week, especially the very strange pricing we see. Some players’ prices will make you think twice about lineup construction and game theory. The chalky plays are easy to identify this week, which makes the contrarian plays that much more important to get right. Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Jon Rahm – $9,700
It is getting very crowded on the Jon Rahm bandwagon heading into the Waste Management Open and for good reason. Rahm picked up his first career tour win last week at Torrey Pines, proving what most of the golf world already knew – this guy is a stud. He is now returning to a course he is very familiar with. He finished T5 here last year as an amateur and played his collegiate golf at Arizona State. All signs point to Rahm as being the highest owned golfer this week. He is a must play in cash and the decision really comes down to fading him in GPPs or not. For me, I can definitely see Rahm winning back-to-back tournaments, so I am pushing all of my Rahm chips to the middle of the table.
Bubba Watson – $8,300
Even though Bubba Watson has publically admitted he does not like the TPC Stadium course and only plays here because his sponsors make him – he is a course horse. Bubba’s last five trips to Scottsdale are all top 15 finishes, with two runner ups and a T5. Even though he hasn’t done anything since his win last February, Bubba is still a tremendous play for his price tag. He could have been priced in the $9K range and no one would have thought twice. His price tag and course history offer too much upside to pass on.
Brendan Steele – $8,200
When DraftKings is creating obvious value plays, you just have to bite the bullet and play these guys in cash. We saw it last week with Charles Howell III, who touched 70% ownership in cash games. This week, Brendan Steele will likely touch 50% ownership in most cash game contests. He is the second most tagged golfer on FanShareSports, right behind Rahm, and has the perfect combination of price, recent form, course history and stats. Four of Steele’s last five trips to this event have resulted in top 17 finishes, three of those being inside the top 6. Steele reminds me of a no-brainer NFL DFS pick – you just have to force him in your lineup and differentiate elsewhere.
Russell Knox – $7,500
I really hope the DraftKings pricing algorithm corrects itself next week, because it makes it extremely hard to pivot away from the obvious pricing outliers, creating chalky plays without any research required. I can see Russell Knox falling into that category this week. His recent form is incredible, with five straight top 17 finishes and three of those were top 10 efforts. Knox has only played at this event once in the last five years, and no shocker, he pumped out a T15 result. Knox’s elite ball striking skills are so transferable from course to course, there aren’t many tracks that won’t fit his game. The Stadium Course should be no issue for Knox and I would be extremely shocked if he doesn’t finish inside the top 15 again this week.
Bad course fit? Terrible recent form? Players I will have no share of.
Gary Woodland – $9,000
A couple of weeks ago, I was completely off of Woodland and he put up a 6th place finish at the Sony Open. I am taking another crack at the full Gary Woodland fade this week in Scottsdale as I see his play trending in the wrong direction. He came T20 last week at the Farmers while only hitting 35.71% of his fairways. My fear this week is if he sprays it off the tee again, he will find himself in much more trouble, whether it be the desert or the water. Woodland has had suspect results at this event in the past, with his highest finish being a T16 in 2013. There are way too many better options in this price range for me to have any shares of Woodland.
Adam Hadwin – $7,800
This one pains me a bit, but I am fading fellow Canadian Adam Hadwin. He has been playing extremely well lately, with a strong fall swing season and now back-to-back weeks of being in contention. However, he fell off the cliff at the Farmers Insurance Open, shooting +5 over his last three rounds. It seems seem as though fatigue may be setting in, as he isn’t used to playing this many high leverage rounds in a row. Hadwin’s price has now climbed to $7,800, deservingly so, but I can’t fork up that amount of salary for him. He is overpriced and will likely be over owned due to his recent success.
So you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Brooks Koepka – $9,100
Last week at Torrey Pines, people piled up on the bombers with Brooks Koepka being one of them. He disappointed a lot of DFSers with a missed cut and now finds himself at a price with plenty of other good options right below him. Brooks did win this event in 2015, so that likely won’t be forgotten. However, he is only the 16th most tagged golfer on FanShareSports and is likely being more overlooked than he should be. If he can keep his driver in the fairway, he will dominate the Par 5s and score plenty of birdies to be in contention again on Sunday.
Martin Laird – $7,500
Martin Laird teased people last week when we all thought we were going to have a four day “Party with Marty”. Instead, he MDF’ed with a very disappointing Round 3. Laird goes from being the talk of the DFS golf industry, to basically a non-option for most people. He only has three tags on FanShareSports and finds himself priced ahead of some of the most likely chalk plays this week. Laird is still in great form by his standards and has a top 5 and top 20 finish at this event in the past three years. There is o better time to get Party Marty going than at the wildest event on the PGA Tour.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Rickie Fowler – $9,500
Rickie Fowler is flying under the radar this week due to his recent form and because he is priced $200 less than the chalkiest play of the week, Jon Rahm. Rahm is coming off of his first career victory and is heading back to a course he has had success at in the past. According to @FanShareSports, Rahm has been tagged 33 times, well more than anyone else in the field. Fowler on the other hand has only been mentioned six times, three of which were suggestions to avoid him. Fowler lost in a playoff at this event last year, so he has shown success on this course. Chalk will be abundant this week, so a pivot to Fowler will definitely separate you from the field.
Zach Johnson – $8,100
The low $8K range has drawn a lot of attention this week, mainly because of Padraig Harrington’s egregious price tag. There are very popular picks in this range as well – Mickelson, Watson and Steele are the names that pop out. These three golfers have been tagged a combined 57 times on FanShareSports.com and are all inside the top eight most mentioned golfers on the week. Zach Johnson is being completely ignored, and will be extremely underowned compared to the other three golfers right above him. ZJ has a T14 and T10 his last two appearances at the Waste Management Open and makes for a perfect pivot off of a chalky $8K range.
“The Price is Wrong, Bob!”
The pricing on these golfers just doesn’t make sense.
Padraig Harrington – $8,500
This one should be obvious to anyone who plays DFS Golf, but I have to mention the outrageous price on Padraig Harrington. He is priced ahead of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Brendan Steele, all of which are far better plays than Harrington. His odds to win are 250-1, which should put him in the $6,000 price range. Just a huge mistake by the DraftKings pricing algorithm.
Craig Hocknull – $7,000
Who?! Seriously, you’d be lying if you said you have heard of Craig Hocknull. He is ranked 1871 in the world and has only played one official professional tournament in the past three years. He is one of many head scratching price tags this week. Just don’t play him.
Louis Oosthuizen – $6,900
I could have spent this entire article highlighting pricing errors for the Waste Management Open. But the most outrageous one to me this week is Louis Oosthuizen at $6,900. He is a world class talent whose last missed cut was the Open Championship in July. Louis is ranked 29th in the world, yet he is sub $7K, a price he rarely ever sees unless it is a WGC event. Louis can easily win this tournament and you would be kicking yourself for not rostering an obvious pricing error. Take the free space DraftKings is providing and build elite lineups with the remaining salary.
Waste Management 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:
[ess_grid alias=”PGA Packages”]
Thanks for reading my Waste Management 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!