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What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! Welcome back after a lengthy offseason…if you can consider three weeks an offseason. The fall swing series is upon us and the field at the Safeway Open is full of fresh new faces as the Web.com Tour grads are taking over. The fall season will consist mainly of these new tour players, guys who are hunting for their first career PGA Tour win, in events we will rarely see top tier talent compete in. Obviously, there will be some regular PGA Tour players in these events, and these guys are particularly interesting to me as they will often be overlooked for the shiny new toys.
The Safeway Open will take place at Silverado Country Club in Napa California. This course has held this event the past two seasons, (previously the FRYS.com Open) so we have a small sample size when looking at course history. The winning score at this event in back-to-back years has been -15, so expect a lot of birdies to be made, especially on the Par 5s, which rank as some of the easiest holes on the course.
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.
Paul Casey – $11,600
If feels dirty to want to roster Paul Casey as the highest priced player in the field, but you simply cannot look past the form he carried throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs, with three straight top-5 finishes. He has never played at this course before, but you have to think one of the major reasons he is in this field is the fact he is playing extremely well and this is a great opportunity for him to claim a victory. He will not be highly owned because of his price, which gives the player with the best chance to win an extra step on the competition.
Kevin Na – $9,900
Na lost in a playoff at this event last year, so he clearly has winning upside at this event and you can’t complain with his reduced price off of the top tier guys. Na kind of faded down the stretch in the playoffs-maybe it was the new baby keeping him up at night, but I still see this as a great spot for Na to rebound and finish inside the top-5. Na is the anchor to my cash teams this week.
Roberto Castro – $9,300
Castro played some impressive golf down the stretch to finish out the season, and usually was priced down in the 6k range as he was doing it. He sees a hefty price increase for this event, which will probably keep his ownership at a reasonable level. His Par 4 and 5 scoring average are elite for this field, combined with his bogey avoidance and good drive percentage rankings, he stands out in this field in terms of stats. He likely won’t make my cash team, but I will be well overweight on him in GPP contests.
Hudson Swafford – $7,800
Swafford is another cash game lock for me, as he comes in ranked 5th in my weighted stat rankings and 9th overall. He has fantastic birdie or better percentage, and has the 4th best strokes gained T2G ranking in the field. Swafford is a cut making machine and his last two trips to Silverado Country Club have resulted in top 20 finishes. It would be a huge mistake to fade Swafford in cash.
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Price too high? Seems like chalk? Players I will have no share of.
Phil Mickelson – $11,300
Lefty has a few things working against him this week. To go along with his huge price tag, Phil has never played at this course before, is coming off of an emotional Ryder Cup performance, and hasn’t been playing his best golf as of late, with his game coming off of the rails every since his runner-up finish at The Open.
Bryson DeChambeau – $8,500
I realize Bryson won a Web.com event a few weeks ago to give him PGA Tour card for the season, but I do not see the difference between DeChambeau at $8,500 and some of the other up and comers priced well below him in the 6k range. Bryson’s flashy style draws a lot of media attention to him, making him a popular choice even though the results on the PGA Tour have not been there recently.
Daniel Summerhays – $7,600
Summerhays might jump off the page a bit as a recognizable name in below average field, but don’t be fooled. There are few players who are coming into this event with worse form. His proximity stats from 150-200 are brutal, and he doesn’t score well enough on Par 4s to score well at this event. He is a hard pass for me.
So you got burned?
Previously high owned golfers to consider.
Emiliano Grillo – $10,900
Okay, so he might not have burned you his last trip out, but he was a popular player in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and produced some subpar results. That may still have a lasting memory in people’s minds, but the defending champion is in a great spot to carry the momentum forward off of his 10th place finish at the Tour Championship. He likely be very popular, so be careful in GPPs. Either go all in, or stay clear all together.
Webb Simpson – $7,500
Towards the end of the season, Webb created a lot of buzz in the DFS Golf industry. He was talked about a ton, but failed over and over again to come up with a big finish. Now, he finds himself buried in the DraftKings pricing and will probably go unnoticed in this range. He definitely stands out in terms of career achievements, so you are definitely taking a chance on one of the best golfers in the field, a discounted price.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Justin Thomas – $10,400
JT finds himself completely wedged in between some of the most popular players this week. Below Grillo and just above Jon Rahm and Kevin Na, Thomas will certainly be overlooked this week. He finished 3rd at this event last year, and finished the season strong with a 6th place result at The Tour Championship. When building a GPP team, Justin Thomas is a perfect place to start.
Danny Lee – $7,800
Lee is another guy that will be ignored because of his recent form and the popular plays around him. Competing with the likes of Kaufman, Swafford and Web.com tour grad Wesley Bryan, Lee is the least sexy option in this range. His ownership will be below 5%, but he easily has the same upside to winning this event as the golfers he is priced around.
Thanks for checking out my Safeway Open preview article! I hope you enjoyed it and found some new names people aren’t yet talking about. I look forward to bringing DFSonDemand subscribers golf content all season long! Follow me on Twitter for more golf talk!
Good luck this week everybody!
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