Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Barclays Preview

The FGR typically does a somewhat extensive FedEx Cup playoffs preview where we unsuccessfully try to predict the thirty players who will advance to the Tour Championship. Well we're going to mix it up this year because (a) variety is the spice of life, (b) it's 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday night and we're up against our informal casual deadline of "sometime on Tuesday" and (c) the U13 soccer team I coach just got their asses kicked in a season opening scrimmage with a performance that fell somewhere between the Washington Generals and fat Elvis. Suffice it to say, I'm not feeling whimsical.   

But when the going gets tough . . . oh shut the fuck up and pick some golfers. Fine. Here's how we see this week from a wagering perspective. Favorites and underdogs. Boom. Build your squads around Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson. Then throw in some high quality underdogs like David Lingmerth, Billy Horschel and Kevin Kisner, sit back, pour a large glass of grain alcohol and watch the cash roll-in. In fact, I like Kisner so much this week and think he's so overdue to cash a big check that he's both the FGR's one and done pick AND our sleeper. And with that we drop the mic, exit the stage and leave you with these tributes to Olympic athletes (at least Google says they're Olympians and who are we to argue?).

The Barclays Odds

1. Jason Day - 15/2
2. Dustin Johnson - 9/1
3. Rory McIlroy - 10/1
4. Henrik Stenson - 12/1
5. Jordan Spieth - 14/1
6. Justin Rose - 20/1
7. Phil Mickelson - 28/1
8. Hideki Matsuyama - 28/1
9. Brooks Koepka - 28/1
10. Adam Scott - 30/1

The One and Done Pick: Justin Thomas*

The Sleeper Pick: Kevin Kisner

Fifteen Guys We Like in DraftKings

Jason Day - $12,400
Dustin Johnson - $11,900
Henrik Stenson - $11,700
Matt Kuchar - $9,200
Brandt Snedeker - $8,900
Branden Grace - $8,700
Jim Furyk - $8,600
Emiliano Grillo - $8,300
Russell Knox - $7,300
Bill Haas - $7,100
Daniel Berger - $6,900
David Lingmerth - $6,800
Billy Horschel - $6,700
Scott Piercy - $6,500
Kevin Kisner - $6,400

Footnote

* Upon subsequent review, we've already used Kisner this year so we're switching to Justin Thomas. That gaff may have solidified this post's position as the worst in FGR history. 

Email the FGR at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Wyndham Championship Preview

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

I had it all mapped-out this year. Get off to a solid start by hitting on a few winners and then bring it home by staying disciplined and saving Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson for the two tournaments in which they have registered a combined three wins and four second place finishes since 2009. Well Phase 1 of the plan worked with three winners and a few other respectable showings but then Bubba and ZJ repaid my patience and loyalty by finishing T25th and T34th respectively (a term I use very loosely under the circumstances). It's almost as if they knew I like to poke fun at guys who thank God for helping them beat people God apparently deemed unworthy in a given week. Or maybe they weren't acting of their own free will and my recent failings are actually a direct sign from God him/herself which could also explain my disastrous season on the course. (I'm pretty sure this line of thinking is a product of binge watching Ray Donovan for the past three days). 

Anyway, we could debate the question of why the righteous suffer all day but that would only serve to distract me from my moral obligation of providing gambling advice for this week's Wyndham Championship and a picture of a pretty lady.* Which leads us to this week's drink a fifth of whiskey, put on a blindfold, spin around three times and throw a dart in the direction of a three legged craps table. Seriously, the defending champion (Davis Love, III) is five years older than me and the guy who won it before him (Camillo Villegas) hadn't had a top ten in over 14 months before pulling the 2014 Wyndham title out of his trasero. How do you figure this sucker?  

The good news is that the three winners before those wild cards (Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson) all had some street cred so there is hope of a semi-predictable finish. The way I see it Simpson, Jim Furyk, Jon Rahm and Bill Haas are all due for a win so throw them in the mix with a few bargain guys. And you should probably stay away from my pick Bill Haas until we see some signs of forgiveness for the FGR. I'll keep you posted on that. Just need to figure-out what that kind of sign would look like.  

The Wyndham Odds 
Well, since we've decided
to speak Spanish today.

1. Patrick Reed - 14/1

2. Hideki Matsuyama - 16/1
3. Rickie Fowler - 18/1
4. Jim Furyk - 22/1
5. Brandt Snedeker - 25/1
6. Ryan Moore - 25/1
7. Webb Simpson - 25/1
8. Jon Rahm - 25/1
9. Jimmy Walker - 28/1
10. Bill Haas - 28/1

The One and Done Pick: Bill Haas


The Sleeper Pick: Kyle Reifers 


Ten Guys We Like in DraftKings


Jim Furyk - $11,000

Jon Rahm - $10,400
Webb Simpson - $10,200
Bill Haas - $9,600
William McGirt - $8,700
Ben Martin - $8,000
Robert Garrigus - $7,700
Scott Brown - $7,200
Bud Cauley - $7,000
Kyle Reifers - $6,000

Footnote

* So the FGR's current revised picture policy is that we will only feature paid (not by us) models. It's a sacrifice I know but sometimes compromises have to be made. 

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Olympic Preview

This post was originally going to be called An Olympically Bad Idea and the opening line of the first draft was "[I]f you still think Olympic golf is a good idea, please raise your hand, clench it into a fist and punch one of the other guys who raised his hand right in the face." Why? Well let's start with the obvious reason which is that Olympic competition is supposed to determine the premier athlete in each sport which would be an intriguing event for golf except that (a) we already know that the four best players in the world are Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, and (b) none of them are playing this week. But that shouldn't stop us from having a good time and, thanks to our law-skirting friends over at DraftKings, we have a gambling vehicle that will take us there.

"I swear there were 3 of them."
The problem from a prognosticating standpoint is that one of the two pillars on which we base these epic picks every week, course knowledge, is not a factor because none of these guys will have played much less seen the course before they arrive. We do know that it's a seaside course inspired by the "Sandbelt" style most commonly found in places like Australia so, even though Jason Day isn't playing, that should give the Aussies an advantage with guys like Adam Scott and Marc Leishman (what? they're out too? well then who in the hell is playing for Australia . . . Greg Norman and Robert "Road Rash" Allenby?). 

With that linksy seaside feel in mind, we're going to favor British Open guys who are currently playing well with a slight nod in the direction of the two Aussies who will actually be there - Scott Hend and Marcus Fraser (never underestimate the desire of the Aussies to play for their country if not to just inspire one of the greatest chants in sports). That means we like Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia along with Emiliano Grillo, Thongchai Jaidee and Soren Kjeldsen (Jaidee's British Open record is really kind of uninspiring, we just have a feeling). 

Another problem is that when you're dealing with a sixty man field and almost half of them have no business being in the same tournament with guys like Stenson, Garcia and Justin Rose (that's not a jab, it's a fact . . . and also a jab), you've got to get really creative when looking for roster value to balance-out those big ticket guys. We think we found a couple in the $6,900 - $7,200 range with enough international success to make them palatable picks. I wouldn't, however, look much lower than Alex Cejka at $6,600. Sure you can grab a Roope Kakko from the bargain bin for $5,600 but seriously, when and where in the fuck are you ever going to wear that?

The Olympic Odds
The Olympic women tee off in Rio next week.
Unfortunately, Sophie Horn is not in the field.
Why can't corruption ever be used for good?

1. Henrik Stenson - 11/2
2. Sergio Garcia - 15/2
3. Justin Rose - 12/1
4. Bubba Watson - 14/1
5. Martin Kaymer - 14/1
6. Patrick Reed - 14/1
7. Rickie Fowler - 14/1
8. Matt Kuchar - 16/1
9. Emiliano Grillo - 25/1
10. Danny Willett - 25/1

Ten Guys We Like in DraftKings

Henrik Stenson - $12,400
Sergio Garcia - $11,900
Emiliano Grillo - $9,600
Thongchai Jaidee - $8,600
Soren Kjeldsen - $8,500
Scott Hend - $7,800
Joost Luiten - $7,500
Yuta Ikeda - $7,200
Nicolas Colsaerts - $6,900   
Marcus Fraser - $6,700

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.

Fantasy Golf: The John Deere Classic Preview

We're going to dispense with this preview right quick because apparently there is a gambling opportunity with big name talent awaiting us in Rio that we need to address as well. The bottom list should actually be called Zach Johnson Plus Three Other Guys We Can Live with in DraftKings along with Three Seat Fillers and Three Random Guys Who Visited Us in a Dream Last Night (as if we'd recognize those guys in a dream unless they were wearing name tags which, come to think of it . . .). When Ryan Moore is getting 22/1 odds to beat 150+ people in anything, you know you've got a weak field.  

The John Deere Classic Odds

I know I just announced a moral stand 
but this picture is a John Deere Classic 
tradition and you don't mess with tradition.
1. Zach Johnson - 13/2
2. Jon Rahm - 12/1
3. Steve Stricker - 12/1
4. Kevin Na - 20/1
5. Ryan Moore - 22/1
6. Daniel Summerhays - 22/1
7. Gary Woodland - 25/1
8. Brian Harman - 33/1
9. Keegan Bradley - 33/1
10. Robert Streb - 33/1

The One and Done Pick: Zach Johnson

The Sleeper Pick: Steve Wheatcroft

Ten Guys We Like in DraftKings

Zach Johnson - $13,000
Steve Stricker - $11,800
Daniel Summerhays - $10,600
Jerry Kelly - $9,400
Chris Stroud - $8,200
Scott Brown - $8,100
Keegan Bradley - $7,800
Ben Martin - $7,100
Steve Wheatcroft - $7,100
Tyrone Van Aswegen - $6,600

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Travelers Championship Preview

After about five words my Travelers Championship Preview morphed into a rant about the ridiculousness of Olympic golf so we've moved that idea over to a different post for later publication. The problem is that we now have to generate something interesting to say about a tournament that delivers as much charisma as a Buick (sorry Buick, all you're accomplishing with those ads is reminding us that you're the third most mind numbingly boring American made product behind the Corn Flake and the Golf Channel).

The forecasting this week couldn't be more straightforward. You've got Bubba followed by a handful of second tier guys and then everyone else. If you still have Bubba available (and I'm hoping that a select few of you don't), you will either start him or set a new standard for overthinking it. He's won this thing twice, finished 2nd once and has a tie for 4th when he mis-clubbed on a par 3 in the final round, hit it into the water and then blamed his caddie thus adding to the lore of Bubba.

On an unrelated note, we're going to be changing the theme of the pictures on the FGR for the foreseeable future. We've got a nasty trend of objectification/denigration of women going on in this country right now and this website ain't gonna remotely be a part of it. Not pointing any fingers. Just following our partially functioning moral compass.

"I don't know Ted. I seem to remember a guy
who looks a lot like you handing me that club."
The Travelers Odds

1. Bubba Watson - 12/1
2. Brooks Koepka - 14/1
3. Branden Grace - 14/1
4. Patrick Reed - 18/1
5. Matt Kuchar - 20/1
6. Zach Johnson - 28/1
7. Jim Furyk - 33/1
8. J.B. Holmes - 33/1
9. Paul Casey - 33/1
10. Daniel Berger - 33/1

One and Done Pick: Bubba Watson

Sleeper Pick: Jon Curran

"Hey, we're still friends right."

Ten Guys We Like in DraftKings

Bubba Watson - $12,300
Zach Johnson - $10,200
Brendan Steele - $8,500
Marc Leishman - $8,200
Martin Laird - $8,000
Ryan Moore - $7,800
Luke Donald - $7,300
Colt Knost - $7,100
Jon Curran - $6,500
Chris Stroud - $6,300

Picks to Date

Hyundai:
Dustin Johnson
$148,000
Sony:
Matt Kuchar
$77,604
CareerBuilder:
Ryan Palmer
$75,897
Farmers:
Brandt Snedeker
$1,170,000
Phoenix:
Hideki Matsuyama
$1,170,000
Pebble Beach:
Jimmy Walker
$143,500
Northern Trust:
Sergio Garcia
$0
Honda:
Patrick Reed
$0
Cadillac:
Rickie Fowler
$197,500
Valspar
Ryan Moore
$414,800
Palmer:
Henrik Stenson
$365,400
Match Play:
Branden Grace
$90,900
Houston Open:
Phil Mickelson
$123,760
Masters:
Adam Scott
$37,000
Heritage:
Kevin Kisner
$11,859
Texas Open:
Charley Hoffman
$1,116,000
Zurich:
Billy Horschel
$28,029
Wells Fargo:
Kevin Chappell
$22,642
Players:
Rory McIlroy
$212,625
Nelson:
Marc Leishman
$0
Colonial:
Jason Dufner
$216,913
Memorial:
Paul Casey
$0
FedEx:
Brooks Koepka
$462,933
US Open:
Jason Day
$247,806
Quicken:
Brendan Steele
$28,290
Bridgestone:
Jim Furyk
$66,500
British:
Louis Oosthuizen
$0
Canadian:
Emiliano Grillo
$20,060
PGA:
Justin Rose
$75,636

Total
$6,523,654

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The PGA Championship Preview

The last time Baltusrol's Lower Course hosted a major was in 2005 when Phil Mickelson shot -4 to win thanks to the fact that Tiger spotted him eight shots on Thursday by opening with a 75 and could only close the gap to two shots by the time it was all said and done. The final leaderboard featured the top four players in the world at the time with Retief Goosen finishing T6th and Vijay Singh posting a T10th. Back in 1993 when Lee Janzen razzle-dazzled his way to his first U.S. Open title we also had a loaded top ten with Payne Stewart (2nd), Paul Azinger (T3rd), Tom Watson (T5th), Ernie Els (T7th) and Raymond Floyd (T7th).

So does this finally mean that we're going to get a 2016 showdown involving some combination of D.J., Rory, Day, Spieth with hopefully a bit of Phil, Henrik and Sergio mixed-in? It fucking better. The British Open was phenomenal but call me greedy because I want another final round free for all like we had at Valhalla in 2014 when Rory, Phil and the potential major winner formerly known as Rickie Fowler were climbing over each other in the dark on 18. I want Jim Nantz's eyes glowing and head spinning like he's possessed by demons on the Sunday back nine. 

But before we get there, we need to pick our horses. Below is our top fifteen ranked by DraftKings value. Our one and done picks have been circling the drain lately and we're counting on Justin Rose to end that slump this week even though he doesn't crack the rankings (not exactly sure how to reconcile that one). For sleepers, we've got our eye on J.B. Holmes, Kevin Chappell and Chris Wood but again, we're banking on those guys just hanging around the back of the top ten while the pretty boys duke it out for the Wanamaker Trophy.
Today's picture brought to you by the
fact that I'm on a ski slope. No penguins
though. We photoshopped them in.

THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS

1. Dustin Johnson - 15/2
2. Rory McIlroy - 8/1
3. Jason Day -10/1
4. Jordan Spieth - 12/1
5. Henrik Stenson - 14/1
6. Phil Mickelson - 20/1
7. Adam Scott - 30
8. Sergio Garcia - 30/1
9. Justin Rose - 33/1
10. Bubba Watson - 35/1
11. Rickie Fowler - 35/1
12. Patrick Reed - 45/1
13. Matt Kuchar - 45/1
14. Brooks Koepka - 50/1
15. Zach Johnson - 50/1

FIFTEEN GUYS WE LIKE IN DRAFTKINGS

1. Jason Day ($11,700): He's overdue to starting pulling some cool Jason Day shit. 

2. Dustin Johnson ($11,600): Best player in the world right now. Biggest upset of the week would be either (a) DJ not finishing top five or (b) me not making a series of Bud Lights disappear on a golf course this weekend after a ten day non-golfing family vacation that saw me log about 1,000 miles in a minivan. (And you thought a cold pool caused shrinkage).

3. Sergio Garcia ($9,400): Here are Sergio's last six finishes - T5th, T5th, T5th, 1st, T54th and 3rd. Two of those ties for 5th were at the U.S. Open and the British Open. In this year of guys like D.J. and Stenson getting the major monkeys off their backs, you have to like Sergio (which is also what his aunts and uncles keep telling his cousins at family gatherings).

4. Lee Westwood ($7,900): Westwood's been solid if not spectacular since his T2nd at the Masters but Baltusrol should suit him as long as it doesn't come down to chipping and putting and really, that stuff's kind of overrated right? 

5. Rory McIlroy ($11,400): Rory's somehow managed to fly a bit under the radar lately but, if you ignore his M/C at the U.S. Open, he's been on fire lately. Looking forward to seeing a lot of the ugliest golf shirt in the history of the game on Sunday.

6. J.B. Holmes ($7,700): He's quietly climbed to 16th in the world after finishing 3rd at Royal Troon. He probably doesn't have a major in him but when you consider that he swings like John Daly, hits it further than Daly and this is the PGA Championship . . . 

T7. Kevin Chappell & Gary Woodland ($6,700): Your bargain basement guys. They're like a $7 bottle of wine this week. They go with everything and the more you drink, the better it tastes.

8. Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7,300): He's ranked 27th in the world and you can get him for below the median price of $7,500. (Not to be confused with the mean price or the mode price or the break-up value or any of that other crap I didn't learn in my one semester as an economics major or from watching Wall Street).   

9. Henrik Stenson ($10,500): He's got to be in the mix considering he's won two of the last three times he's teed it up but man it's going to be tough to go back to back over the space of three weeks against one of the deepest fields in the history of golf.  

10. Patrick Reed ($8,100): Definitely the highest dickhead to price ratio available this week.

11. Charl Schwartzel ($7,300): Like Bello, looks to be way undervalued. You can count on him to shoot one of the low rounds of the tournament and then back that up with a bunch of middling golf to finish in the teens. 

12. Jordan Spieth ($11,100): Spieth has become something of the forgotten man since his Masters meltdown but you know it's just a matter of time before he pulls it together and starts demoralizing people with his putter again. 

13. Chris Wood ($6,400): If you've crafted the most perfect five man roster and left yourself nothing but some pocket change, here's the 23rd ranked player in the world going for $100 less than Rocco Freakin' Mediate (seriously?).

14. Matt Kuchar ($8,600): Not sure if Kuchar has a major in him or if he's doomed to be one of those really good players never to win one like Brandt Snedeker, Stuart Appleby and Steve Stricker (the answer to the trivia question: "which active player has the most PGA Tour wins without winning a major?"). He's playing great golf though and you know he's going to be there for all four rounds charming our socks off with that infectious smile. 

15. Andrew Johnston ($6,500): Beef.

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.