Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Fantasy Golf: The Tour Championship Preview

"You killed my old man but you
won't kill me Boozerini!"
Back when MTV was just a televised radio station that showed lots of scantily clad supermodels, they came-up with a brilliant idea for a series of commercials featuring a Frank Sinatra impersonator covering various currently popular songs. Drunk.* So in the spirit of that, let's sing together people.

(To the tune of I Did it My Way)


And now, the end is near

And so we face the final tourney
My friend, hand me a beer
I'll make my pick, crank-up the Journey

Regrets, that's all I have

At the Open, not picking Francesco
And now, here I am
With no choice, but DeChambeau

Please hold your applause until the end. Thank you.

We've got a lot to cover this week so let's break it into digestible segments like a stupid fucking tapas restaurant ("I'll take five of the steak things and then whatever they want").  


MY PERSONAL DILEMMA


We'll start with the important stuff. I still have an outside shot to make some cash this year and, despite my stupid song, I actually have multiple options from which to choose including Paul Casey, Xander Schauffele, Gary Woodland, Keegan Bradley, Kyle Stanley and Patrick Cantlay along with a few other guys who I don't think are worth considering - sorry Kevin Na, Cameron Smith and Patton Kizzire. (I'm sure Kizzire is looking forward to his first top thirty finish since March). Bryson DeChambeau would be the obvious pick ahead of all of those guys. One problem. I need to pick a player that no one else will and Galileo in a Driving Cap still available to many of those I have to catch. I need to think beyond the overly simplistic four-sided geometrically shaped area of conventional thinking that I find myself in (someone should really come-up with an easier way to say that).  


That leaves me with Casey, Schauffele, Woodland, Bradley, Stanley and Cantlay. Schauffele is obviously worth consideration because he's the defending champion and has also shown himself to be good when it matters as evidenced by his runner-up finishes at The Players and the British Open along with the tie for 3rd he needed last week to make the top thirty. The problem is that he's been wildly erratic mixing-in a bunch of missed cuts and other dismal performances with his bright spots. I think he'll play well but I need a winner and I'm not sure he's the one.


Casey is attractive due to the fact that his last three Tour Championship finishes have been 5th, 4th and T5th. The problem is that I need a guy who can close against the best players in the world and that ain't Paul Casey. Also, he's apparently more questionable due to injury this week than he is in a normal week which means picking him would be like buying a boat off a trailer from a guy who gets really agitated and can't look you in the eye when he says "YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT IT FLOATS!" So now we're down to four. 


Keegan Bradley just won for the first time in forever which means that he's primed for a letdown and he never did much at East Lake even when he was good so he's out. Patrick Cantlay is kind of everybody's darling despite the fact that he hasn't really come close to winning in 2018 with 4th place being his highest finish since last fall. 


Sadly true story and you would
totally believe how it turned-out.
So now I'm down to Gary Woodland and Kyle Stanley (good lord how did I get here?). Woodland has had some measure of success at the Tour Championship but he's only had one top ten since his win in March. Stanley on the other hand was runner-up against elite fields at the WGC-Bridgestone and the Memorial. Hey, I can actually see him pulling this off! (Says the guy who once talked himself into renting a truck with bald tires on a rainy day so he could pick-up and build his own ping-pong table instead of just paying the $100 delivery/set-up fee). 

THE FAVORITES

Justin Rose is playing great and he finished second at the Tour Championship in 2012 and 2015 so he's the obvious choice. Behind him you have a whole slew of guys who are in good form and have had at least some past success at East Lake led by Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and 2016 champion Rory McIlroy. But you can't pick all of them so I'm going to pick none of them and go with Justin Thomas as my #2 high dollar guy. Even with multiple wins this year, you know he's still pissed about not bagging a major and this is his last chance to squeeze something out of 2018. I also don't care what the World Golf Rankings and any other metrics says, I think he's the best player in the world right now. There. I said it. 


THE MID-VALUE GUYS


Hideki Matsuyama appears to have figured-out at least part of his problem with four straight top 15 finishes and a T4 in Boston. He hasn't had a ton of success at the Tour Championship but he did finish T5 in 2016. Tony Finau is a top ten machine right now so he's almost a lock to do that in a thirty man field and Webb Simpson is playing well and, when that has been the case in the past, he's posted top fives here (2012 and 2013).


And that brings us to the Driving Cap who hasn't done much lately unless you count winning two of the last three tournaments. How in the hell are nine guys priced higher than him this week? Love him, hate him or just be kind of annoyed by him but you have to accept the fact that he's one of the best in the world right now and he's won the same number of tournaments in two years (4) that Rickie Fowler has won in seven. (We love Rickie but he's disappearing down the Freddie Couples rabbit hole and he better grab that career defining major soon or it could be the Matt Kuchar rabbit hole).


THE SUPER VALUE GUYS


Billy Horschel is to the FedEx Cup what mice are to your house. Once they get in, you can't get them out and then they starting leaving little turds everywhere until your wife starts to go completely insane thinking every speck of dirt is a mouse poop. "Is that a mouse poop on the floor? Is that a mouse poop on the couch? IS THERE A MOUSE POOP IN MY EYE?!?! AHHHHH!!!!" It's almost enough to make you want to buy a cat. And by almost I mean "not even remotely fucking close." Anyway, Horschel may be the second best value of the week. 


The best value of the week is by far Bubba Watson. You have to understand the factors that dictate Bubba's play. If Bubba is happy and likes the course he's playing (Augusta, Riviera, TPC River Highlands, etc.), Bubba plays good. If not, Bubba plays bad. He's apparently in a good place right now with a T16 and T7 in his last two starts and, though he may not love East Lake, at least it doesn't totally relieve him of his ability to play golf like a U.S. Open or British Open course does. (Bubba don't like that shit as evidenced by his one top ten finish and twelve missed cuts in twenty-two tries). A Bubba top five this week feels like a pretty safe bet.

I also like Gary Woodland and Xander Schauffele at this price range. I especially look forward to Schauffele posting another high finish in a big tournament this year followed by Phil Mickelson flopping at the Ryder Cup and then no one talking about how the only reason Phil is on the team is because it would have been such a huge distraction to leave him off it. Sadly, these really are the things I look forward to.

Emmy Update: Penelope Cruz got robbed.
At least that's what I thought I heard.
One and Done Pick: Kyle Stanley

Other Guy I'd Pick: Justin Thomas

Sleeper Pick: Bubba Watson

The DraftKings Top Ten Values

Justin Rose
$11,400
Justin Thomas
$10,300
Hideki Matsuyama
$8,800
Tony Finau
$8,600
B. DeChambeau
$8,400
Webb Simpson
$7,500
Billy Horschel
$7,300
Xander Schauffele
$7,000
Gary Woodland
$6,700
Bubba Watson
$6,500

We really went all-out on the historical performance chart this week owing to the fact that we had two weeks to do it and only had to consider thirty guys (he's talking like he doesn't write this crap by himself again . . . is it time to call someone?). Note that we added the 2012 results and a third color. None of that was in the 2018 budget but nothing constrains us from going the extra mile for our customers. We're kind of like Wells Fargo except that we don't steal the money we promised to keep an eye on for you. Heyoooo!!!

     HERE'S SIX FUCKING YEARS' WORTH OF TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS


DK Price
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
J. Rose
$11,400
T10
DNP
T2
DNP
6th
2nd
D. Johnson
$11,300
T17
T6
T5
DNP
5th
T10
R. McIlroy
$10,700
DNP
1st
T16
T2
DNP
T10
J. Thomas
$10,300
2nd
T6
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
B. Koepka
$10,000
6th
DNP
T18
DNP
DNP
DNP
T. Woods
$9,500
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
T22
T8
R. Fowler
$9,100
T26
DNP
T12
DNP
DNP
T23
H. Matsuyama
$8,800
T26
5th
T12
22nd
DNP
DNP
T. Finau
$8,600
T7
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
B. DeChambeau
$8,400
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
F. Molinari
$8,200
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
J. Day
$8,000
T17
W/D
T10
DNP
T14
DNP
T. Fleetwood
$7,900
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
J. Rahm
$7,700
T7
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
W. Simpson
$7,500
T13
DNP
DNP
T23
4th
T5
B. Horschel
$7,300
DNP
DNP
DNP
1st
T7
DNP
P. Cantlay
$7,100
T20
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
X. Schauffele
$7,000
1st
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
P. Reed
$6,900
T13
T24
27th
T19
DNP
DNP
P. Casey
$6,800
5th
4th
T5
DNP
DNP
DNP
G. Woodland
$6,700
19th
T10
DNP
T9
T22
DNP
P. Mickelson
$6,600
DNP
22nd
DNP
DNP
T12
T15
B. Watson
$6,500
DNP
T10
T5
14th
DNP
T5
C. Smith
$6,400
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
M. Leishman
$6,300
T24
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
K. Bradley
$6,200
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
T12
T23
A. Wise
$6,100
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
K. Stanley
$6,100
T20
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
K. Na
$6,000
DNP
29th
T16
T19
DNP
DNP
P. Kizzire
$6,000
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP

Footnote

* My personal favorite. Wait for it . . . "DAMN YOU BOURBON . . . DAMN YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL!!!" 



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