Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fantasy Golf: The Barclays Preview

It's looking more and more every week like this traditional tournament preview format that had become the staple of the Fantasy Golf Report is going the way of the beeper, the CD and Sergio Garcia's chances of winning a major* thanks to the good folks over at DraftKings. (Maybe you've heard of them. They advertise on ESPN sometimes). That may not be a bad thing as just running out some re-blended version of the odds every week doesn't serve much purpose other than to create a lot of space on the right side of the page for pretty pictures and I'm sure, if we really put our minds to it, we could figure-out some way to do that as part of the DraftKings preview.    

But let's at least ride this through the Tour Championship and then decide whether to kill it. If for no other reason, we have to finish what we started with the one and done picks which continue to roll with another solid showing this week thanks to Bill Haas. Now it gets a bit tricky, however, because the pickings are slim (with one exception). I tentatively have the playoffs mapped-out with Charl Schwartzel going this week, Robert Streb at the Deutsche, Paul Casey at the BMW and Jordan Spieth only having to beat twenty-nine other players at the Tour Championship (yeah baby). As far as I can tell, the viable options that leaves unused are Danny Lee, David Lingmerth and Ryan Moore so I certainly won't have left much in the bag.

If I can get a win out of Spieth and a few other top fives, I have an outside shot at the money despite the fact that my picks through the Players appear to have been made while under the influence of some kind of Robitussin/Ambien/J√§germeister cocktail. In other words . . . you're tellin' me I got a chance . . . 


The Barclays Odds
It's playoff time so let's go
ahead and feature some past 
FGR  All-Stars like Eva . . .


1. Jordan Spieth - 6/1

2. Jason Day - 10/1
3. Justin Rose - 10/1
4. Dustin Johnson - 12/1
5. Rickie Fowler - 25/1
6. Henrik Stenson - 25/1
7. Bubba Watson - 25/1
8. Brooks Koepka - 25/1
9. Matt Kuchar - 30/1
10. Jim Furyk - 33/1

The FGR Barclays Picks


1. Jordan Spieth

2. Dustin Johnson
3. Jason Day
4. Justin Rose
5. Brooks Koepka
6. Jim Furyk
7. Bubba Watson
8. Charl Schwartzel
 . . . and Selma . . . 
9. Ryan Moore
10. David Lingmerth 

The One and Done Pick: Charl Schwartzel 

The Sleeper Pick: Charley Hoffman

Last Week’s Report Card: C+

1. Brandt Snedeker – T43rd
2. Bill Haas – T6th
3. Billy Horschel – M/C
4. Justin Thomas – T56
5. Brooks Koepka – T6

One and Done Picks to Date

Hyundai: Kevin Streelman - $70,667
Sony: Chris Kirk - $42,280
Humana: Russell Knox - M/C
Phoenix: Hunter Mahan - $36,729
Farmers: Hideki Matsuyama - M/C

AT&T: Dustin Johnson - $281,067
. . . and Lucy AND Rosie!!!
Northern Trust: Jimmy Walker - $24,120
Honda: Keegan Bradley - M/C
WGC-Cadillac: Bubba Watson - $540,000
Valspar: Jim Furyk - $23,600
Palmer: Brooks Koepka – W/D
Texas Open: Matt Kuchar - $99,200
Houston Open: Louis Oosthuizen - M/C
Masters: Rory McIlroy - $480,000
Heritage: Patrick Reed - M/C
Zurich: Rickie Fowler - M/C
Match Play: Graeme McDowell - $49,385
Players: Henrik Stenson - $130,857
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $624,800
Colonial: Zach Johnson - $78,780
Byron Nelson: Gary Woodland - $15,407
Memorial: Justin Rose - $669,600
FedEx St. Jude: Billy Horschel - $168,000
U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson - $23,822
Travelers: Brandt Snedeker - $147,200
Greenbrier: Kevin Kisner - $500,267
John Deere: Robert Streb - $84,600
British Open: Sergio Garcia - $305,878
Canadian Open: Charley Hoffman - $174,725
Quicken Loans: Justin Thomas - $242,875
Bridgestone: Adam Scott - $55,000
PGA Championship: Jason Day - $1,800,000
Wyndham: Bill Haas - $174,825

Season Total: $6,843,684


Footnote

* You know who doesn't share our enthusiasm for the youth movement led by Spieth, McIlroy, Day and Rose? Sergio, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson. Sorry fellas but you had a really nice Tigerless window there from 2009-14 and you should've grabbed one when you had the chance. Now you're Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner clapping for Tom Hanks, Sean Penn and Daniel Day-Lewis at the Oscars.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Draft Kings Top Twenty: The Barclays

Last week was shaping-up for a nice take until Brandt Snedeker three-jacked the first hole on Sunday and carried that momentum to a smooth 75. That one freakin' round basically took my "A" team of Snedeker, Bill Haas, Will Wilcox, Cameron Smith, Ben Martin and Jerry Kelly out of contention despite respectable efforts by Martin and Kelly to keep the team afloat. I guess that's why they call it gambling . . . NEVER-UP NEVER-IN . . . PLAYER "B" . . . DOES YOUR HUSBAND PLAY? . . . RUN LIKE A SORE DIC . . . sorry, left the lid off the cliché jar again.

Here's how all of last week's picks panned-out. I apologize for the Ricky Barnes and Johnson Wagner advice. You deserve better than that. Well at least some of you probably do. The rest of you know who you are.   

That damn porn stache suckers me in everytime.
Last Week's Picks

1. Brandt Snedeker - $10,300 (T43)
2. Bill Haas - $9,600 (T6)
3. Will Wilcox - $8,400 (T26)
4. Ricky Barnes - $7,000 (M/C)
5. Cameron Smith - $7,400 (T18)
6. Ben Martin - $7,900 (T10)
7. Billy Horschel - $9,500 (M/C)
8. Camilo Villegas - $7,100 (T26)
9. Johnson Wagner - $7,700 (M/C)
10. Jerry Kelly - $6,400 (T18)
11. Davis Love, III - $5,800 (1st)*

THE BARCLAYS DRAFT KINGS TOP TWENTY

Moving right along we have a top notch field this week that should be able to defend the leaderboard from threats by the likes of Jason Gore, Scott Brown and Tiger Woods. There is value to be had all over the joint and remember that's what we're trying to identify here. If you want to build a team around Jason Day, Justin Rose or Bubba Watson, by all means do and in fact, I'd recommend it but I'm not really helping you if I load the list with those guys now am I? (Deep down you know I'm right. You just need to convince you). 

So let's get down to it. I should tell you that I've already changed my first team line-up about five times but it keeps revolving around the top four on this list. Dammit, I've already said too much.   

1. Brooks Koepka - $9,700

Brooksy has four top six finishes in his last seven starts (including three in a row) and his three "missteps" were a pair of T18's at the U.S. and Canadian Opens on either side of a T10 at the British. You've got to ride him until he cools-off or until they find "Brooks was Here" carved into his hotel room wall (shame on you if you don't get that reference). 

2. Robert Streb - $7,900

Streb is almost as hot as Koepka but at about 80% of the price (I was a math major for a semester). In his last nine starts he has a 2nd, a 4th, a 5th and five other top 20's. I've got to believe that the DK pricing gun had a digit off on this one.

3. Dustin Johnson - $10,700

This is based on two factors: (1) Despite all of his trials, tribulations and "jet ski lifting injuries" including a quadruple bogey to start the final round at Whistling Straits, DJ still finished T7 at the PGA Championship which indicates that the process of exercising the demons from Chambers Bay and St. Andrews has begun, and (2) the last time the Barclays was played at Plainfield CC in 2011, he shot -19 through 54 holes to win the shortened event.

4. Charley Hoffman - $7,000

If you take out the last three majors, Hoffman has been money this season with six top tens and a win. He finished T7 as recently as the Canadian Open and T10 at the 2011 Barclays and the momentum from that round four years ago should absolutely carryover. 

5. Russell Henley - $7,500
"And remember. If you're in a posse and you don't
know who the fall guy is, then you're the fall guy."


Henley just has the look of a player who could make a run at the FedEx Cup. Solid all-around game and the capacity to get super hot with the putter like Billy Horschel did last year. He finished 5th at the Greenbrier before going T20 at the British, T17 at the Bridgestone and T12 at the PGA so, not unlike Cris Carter's "Everyone Need's a Fall Guy" campaign, he's trending in the right direction.

6. Shawn Stefani - $6,200

Our clearance rack pick and we're going the always suspect stats route with Stefani who is 15th in the All-Around ranking. He backs that up with a solid track record of ten top 25's in twenty-three tournaments. For $6,200, you can throw him in with three studs and hope he snags you a top 15 like he did at the Greenbrier and Wells Fargo. (Warning: Ricky Barnes potential). 

7. Charl Schwartzel - $8,200

This is something of a hunch pick. Sooner or later it's going to click for Schwartzel and he'll have a run similar to what he had on the European Tour at the end of 2012 into the beginning of 2013. His game looked really solid last week at the Wyndham as it did when he finished 7th at the U.S. Open. (But what about the three turds he dropped between those two events? . . . shhhhhh). 

8. Tony Finau - $7,300

If DJ liked Plainfield back in 2011, then Tony Finau should love it considering how he kills it off the tee (8th in driving distance). He's been rock solid since mid-May including strong finishes at the U.S. Open (T14), the PGA Championship (T10) and the Memorial (T8). You also have to pick at least one guy named Tony for all tournaments played in Jersey.

9. Zach Johnson - $8,100

Forget that he missed the cut at the PGA because you can't really judge a player after he's won a major, especially the way ZJ won that one. More importantly, he came into St. Andrews playing great having finished top six in three of his previous four tournaments. He'll get that back and at this price, they're practically giving him away.

10. Jordan Spieth - $12,600

You have to build at least one line-up a week around him because he's probably going to win two of the next four tournaments and do seven different things that will make you, me and his parents proud. 
Yeah Ryan, I'm not that jazzed about picking you either.

The Best of the Rest 

11. Jimmy Walker - $7,600
12. Kevin Kisner - $6,900
13. Jim Furyk - $8,800
14. David Lingmerth - $7,800
15. Ryan Moore - $7,600
16. Ben Martin - $6,800
17. Will Wilcox - $7,200
18. Brendan Steele - $7,100
19. Scott Piercy - $6,700
20. Paul Casey - $8,700

Footnote

* Of course I didn't pick him. Who would? Well at least one guy who teamed him up with Koepka, Pettersson, Schwartzel, Simpson and Singh to pull down $100K. That's some chaos theory level shit right there.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Midsummer Night's Rant

I'm way overdue to go ballistic in writing but it's frankly been a pretty mellow summer marked by only the occasional episodes of road rage and my recent attempt to get a golf cart airborne with my pitching wedge (that worked-out great). But that all changed last weekend with a Leo Getz experience* I had on Saturday afternoon that reaffirmed almost everything I believe about the current state of humanity. (SPOILER ALERT: It ain't good). This rant actually began as a tersely worded email to the offending party but then I said hey, "why write to just one person when I can write to a whole bunch of people?" And then the FGW said, "hey, stop talking to yourself again. You're really starting to freak me out." Let the healing begin.

"So which client should I 
bill these two hours to?"
It all began last summer when we made the decision to unload our Ravens season tickets meaning that we were cutting ties with the NFL. The FGW and I had some memorable (and some not so memorable) times over those seventeen years with the peak coming during a five year pre-kid stretch when we could walk from our front door to our seats in 15 minutes passing at least a dozen bars on our journey. The walk home from the more electrifying 1:00 p.m. games often involved multiple layovers, took the better part of eight hours and yielded some brutal Mondays. 

By last year, however, the following factors dictated that I sit down with the NFL and explain "it's not you . . . it's me": (1) As a guy who now prefers to watch football with his kids, I didn't want to go to the games without them, (2) at $110 per ticket plus parking and food, we had been priced out of the market, (3) the in-stadium NFL experience absolutely sucks for families* and (4) Redzone was born. Now instead of frantically scrambling to the stadium to blow three lease payments on a Kia Sorrento, we hit the basement on Sundays at 12:58 p.m., sandwiches, chips and drinks in hand and countdown those last ten seconds before Scott Hanson presents the greatest cornucopia that televised sports has to offer. It's only been one season but I'm comfortable saying that the remorse I feel about ditching my football tickets ranks slightly above the remorse I feel for every shitty job I've left in my wake (and that is not a small sample size).

OK now flash forward to October of 2014 and game 2 of the Orioles-Tigers playoff series. I fell into four tickets for the afternoon game so I yanked the kids out of school and headed to the park. After being held pretty much in check by Justin Verlander and the Tigers' bullpen for most of the game, the O's trailed 6-4 with one out in the bottom of the 8th when Delmon Young came up with the bases loaded. And then this happened. It was the most jacked-up sports crowd I've ever been a part of and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it literally made me a baseball fan again to the point that I signed-up for 2015 season tickets that week just so I'd be guaranteed seats for the remainder of the playoffs and beyond. (Impulse control is not one of my strong suits).

The balance of the 2014 playoffs did not go as planned with the O's getting swept by the Royals in the ALCS but I was still fired-up to be a season ticket holder for 2015 and for the first four and a half months of the season, everything went swimmingly. We made it to a handful of games, spread a few extra tickets around to friends, picked-up a couple of Buck Showalter garden gnomes and were thoroughly enjoying the experience . . . until last Saturday's autograph day for season ticket holders (uh oh).

So let's jump right in and start with the essence of the pitch from the O's marketing department for this event. "All 81 and 29 game season ticket holders can enter the park at 3:30 for an autograph session with the players that will begin at 3:45 and end at 4:30." Now I have no idea how many season ticket holders there are but I stupidly assumed that the O's did and that they also had some well-reasoned theories based on experience about how long it would take for that many people to get one (ONE!!!) autograph. I even hedged my bet and told my kids to forget about Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones to ensure that we wouldn't get left out in the cold or, in this case, the heat. So we went for the station that featured closer Zach Britton and a couple other players that no one outside of Rosedale, MD could pick out of a lineup.  

Well that explains it.
At this point it should be noted that one of the great joys of being me is that I possess a mental timepiece so accurate that you could shake me out of a drunken coma at 4:17 a.m. and, in a second, I could guess what time it is to within five minutes. It's kind of like walking around with the clock from 24 ticking in your head but instead of trying to stop terrorist plots, you're trying to make it to your kid's Christmas show so you'll have a fucking seat this year. The effect is that you spend most of your life wearing this expression because you're always calculating and recalculating what you need to get done and the time you don't have left to do it.

So that's what I started doing when we got in the autograph line and I could immediately tell we were in trouble. The nimrods in charge actually tried to take some of the grind out of waiting by having us line-up in the seats instead of standing but any convenience that provided was extinguished by the fact that I was on the end where next to the usher and to describe him as a colossal unapologetic dickhead would be to grossly understate his warm welcoming persona. Instead of Joe Pesci from Lethal Weapon 2, think Joe Pesci from Casino . . . "hey kid, if you don't make it in time, I'll sign your jersey courtesy of Carmine P. Gofuckyourself."

But the constipated usher wasn't even the main target of my ire. No, that was directed at the thousands of "adults" who had jammed the place looking for autographs. It was also J.J. Hardy jersey giveaway night and it was only available in "One Size Fits Norm Peterson" so half of the people between me, my kids and Zach Britton were waddling around in an orange shirt that's the size of a spinnaker and looks like it was made out of the leftover polyester from the American Hustle wardrobe department. (I plan to use mine to put out grease fires on my grill). By the time the actual game rolled around and 15,000 people were wearing them, the stadium looked like a chemically engineered pumpkin farm gone horribly wrong. 

But back to the autograph hounds. Now I'm not going to say I've never asked for an autograph as an adult because I did one time when I was in a liquor store and I heard the smooth southern drawl that could only belong to Monday Night Football announcer Don Meredith so I asked him to sign a six-pack of Budweiser for me and he happily obliged. (I maintained possession of that autograph for almost an hour). The difference is that I didn't seek it out and I sure as hell didn't wait in line for it. I think the rule is fairly simple. If you want to call yourself a man, you do not wait in line to ask another man for his signature unless it's on a check, a contract or a court order. Period. 

"And never drink brown
liquor after midnight."
You've probably guessed the end of this story by now. After a 45 minute wait, we still weren't even in sight of the players when they shut it down and not even the FGW's uncanny ability to turn chicken shit into chicken salad could save the day. At that point I got to look at my kids and apologize because you can bet no one from the Orioles was going to to do it. In the end it will just go down as another teaching moment in the ongoing course called "Life is Full of Disappointments When You Put Yourself at the Mercy of Incompetent Fucktards so Control Your Own Destiny Whenever Possible: 101."

Footnotes

* As part of my perpetuation of the delusion that I actually have readers under the age of 40, I feel compelled to explain that Leo Getz is a character played by Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2, one of the five best movie sequels of all-time that also produced one of the most epic rants on shitty customer service. It's as relevant today as it was when Pesci unleashed it twenty-six years ago.

** The last time I took my kids to a football game was in 2013. While waiting in line for one of the two "family" bathrooms with my then nine year old son, we encountered two drunk jackass twenty somethings who didn't feel like waiting for the men's room and another older "gentleman" who thought it would be appropriate to engage my son in a way too serious debate about whether the Ravens were better than the Colts. I could tolerate the drunks because I've almost been that guy (if you count the time I darted into the ladies' room in a moment of dire need) but I finally had to get face to face with the jerkoff and say in my best slow monotone "I'm capable of anything right now" voice "stop . . . talking . . . to my kid." That made the remainder of the wait a bit icy. Meanwhile, the useless joker on the stool by the door in the yellow shirt with "STAFF" written on it who was presumably supposed to be proctoring this whole family bathroom situation just sat there with his thumb up his ass. As we exited, I patted him on the shoulder and encouraged him to "keep up the good work." 

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fantasy Golf: The Wyndham Preview

After starting slower than a Russian novel, the FGR's one and done picks have heated-up since Webb Simpson took second at the Wells Fargo and we finally hit paydirt with Jason Day at Whistling Straits. This week we look to keep that momentum going with Bill Haas. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is your Wyndham Championship Preview. Sorry for the brevity but as you will see shortly, I got a bit carried away on a tangent that diverted my attention this week ("do you guys want to go ride bi . . . hey, check-out the cloud that looks like an Iguana"). Most of what you want to know can be found in the Draft Kings Top Ten List anyway so I don't want to waste your, my or our time. So let's just get to the picks and an introduction to the new friend I made listening to the radio today (that came out a bit creepy).

The Wyndham Championship Odds

1. Brooks Koepka - 16/1
Meet ESPN personality and
new FGR favorite, Sarah Spain.

2. Hideki Matsuyama - 16/1
3. Brandt Snedeker - 18/1
4. Adam Scott - 18/1
5. Martin Kaymer - 22/1
6. Webb Simpson - 22/1
7. Branden Grace - 22/1
8. Justin Thomas - 25/1
9. Bill Haas - 28/1
10. Ryan Moore - 33/1

The FGR Wyndham Picks

1. Brandt Snedeker
2. Bill Haas
3. Billy Horschel
4. Justin Thomas
5. Brooks Koepka

The FGR One and Done Pick: Bill Haas

The FGR Sleeper Pick: Cameron Smith

The FGR Deep Sleeper: Brad Miller*

Huge sports fan. 
Total wise-ass.**

Last Week's Report Card: A

1. Jason Day - 1st
2. Bubba Watson - 21st
3. Jordan Spieth - 2nd
4. Justin Rose - 4th

5. Henrik Stenson - T25th
6. Rory McIlroy - 17th
7. Robert Streb - T10th
8. Rickie Fowler - T30th
9. Zach Johnson - M/C

10. Brooks Koepka - T5th

One and Done Picks to Date

Hyundai: Kevin Streelman - $70,667
Sony: Chris Kirk - $42,280
Humana: Russell Knox - M/C
Phoenix: Hunter Mahan - $36,729

Farmers: Hideki Matsuyama - M/C
AT&T: Dustin Johnson - $281,067
And she can shoot the 3.
What's not to love?**
Northern Trust: Jimmy Walker - $24,120
Honda: Keegan Bradley - M/C
WGC-Cadillac: Bubba Watson - $540,000
Valspar: Jim Furyk - $23,600
Palmer: Brooks Koepka – W/D
Texas Open: Matt Kuchar - $99,200
Houston Open: Louis Oosthuizen - M/C
Masters: Rory McIlroy - $480,000
Heritage: Patrick Reed - M/C
Zurich: Rickie Fowler - M/C
Match Play: Graeme McDowell - $49,385
Players: Henrik Stenson - $130,857
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $624,800
Colonial: Zach Johnson - $78,780
Byron Nelson: Gary Woodland - $15,407
Memorial: Justin Rose - $669,600
FedEx St. Jude: Billy Horschel - $168,000
U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson - $23,822
Travelers: Brandt Snedeker - $147,200
Greenbrier: Kevin Kisner - $500,267
John Deere: Robert Streb - $84,600
British Open: Sergio Garcia - $305,878
Canadian Open: Charley Hoffman - $174,725
Quicken Loans: Justin Thomas - $242,875
Bridgestone: Adam Scott - $55,000
PGA Championship: Jason Day - $1,800,000

Season Total: $6,668,859


Footnote


* Brad Miller is a young pro from Baltimore who shot 63 on Monday to earn a spot in his first PGA Tour event. Depending on his schedule, the rules for professionals participating and whether my game shows-up for the qualifier, I could have the privilege of playing 11 or 12 holes against him if I sneak in as a low seed for our club championship. (My hand just started shaking like Gene Wilder's in Blazing Saddles). Good luck Brad . . . for now.  


** Spain, who played hoops in high school and was a college track and field star at Cornell, was on the Russillo show today and it's her birthday. When asked what she planned to do, she said probably nothing because she had to be on the air early the next morning and didn't want to come in with her "party voice." Suffice it to say, she had me at "party voice." 

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

The Draft Kings All Value Top Ten: Wyndham

Let's kick-off this week's top ten by taking a look back at the results of our inaugural Draft Kings effort at the PGA Championship because that's what you do when you experience success and you're a shameless self-promoter. You gloat. (Can we just start calling this "Trumping"?). The purpose of this exercise is to provide a list of players who can be plugged into multiple Draft Kings lineups to produce a winning result. If you went with the six players noted below with a total cap figure of $49,800, you definitely made some cash. If you made just one adjustment and ditched Danny Willett at $7,200 for Branden Grace at $7,300, your $20 entry would've yielded $1,500. Oh so close.

I might as well have picked
Jasmine Villegas and her
fucking flamingos.
Last Week's Draft Kings Top Ten

1. Jason Day - $10,800 (1st)*
2. Bubba Watson - $9,900 (T21st)*
3. Brooks Koepka - $7,800 (T5th)*
4. Robert Streb - $6,800 (T10th)*
5. Danny Willett - $7,200 (T54th)*
6. Henrik Stenson - $9,700 (T25th)
7. Danny Lee - $7,100 (T43rd)
8. Shane Lowry - $7,500 (M/C)

9. David Lingmerth - $7,300 (T12th)*
10. Camilo Villegas - $6,000 (M/C)

This is a work in progress and here's what we learned after the first week: (1) If you're going to play multiple lineups (six in my case), you need more than ten players to choose from so we're going to try to stretch the list to twenty (hold that thought) and (2) Jordan Spieth is good value at almost any price. To take home the big pot of gold, you absolutely must pick the winner of the tournament so, if Spieth is in the field, you have to build at least one lineup around him.

"Do you at least have something
available in a Ryan Moore?"
So back to this idea of a twenty player list which sounds all well and good until you delve into the field of a thin tournament like, oh I don't know, the Wyndham. Look at it this way. At the PGA, you could have had Brooks Koepka for $7,800 but, at the Wyndham, he'll cost you the post-natural disaster bottled water price of $10,800. For $7,800 this week we can put you in a, late model, gently used, pea green Jonas Blixt. I'll pass. 

This is all a very elaborate way of saying that this list is only going ten deep and, when you get to some of the names at the bottom, you'll see why. We'll ramp it back-up for the FedEx Cup. Until then, if you bet the college fund this week, I'm not saying you have a problem but . . .

THE DRAFT KINGS WYNDHAM CHAMPIONSHIP TOP TEN

1. Brandt Snedeker - $10,300

Sneds meets all three criteria for your top dog: (a) You can get him for around $10,000, (b) he's playing well coming off a T12th at the PGA and (c) he has a great track record at this event with a win in 2007 and a bunch of other top tens. 

2. Bill Haas - $9,600 

Haas is the ultimate horse for course play because no matter what the state of his game appears to be, he always plays well at places like Torrey Pines, Doral and Sedgefield CC as evidenced by his T2 last year and T7 in 2012.  

3. Will Wilcox - $8,400

That price may seem a bit steep but it's basically the average you're going to pay per player and Wilcox has been tearing-up the second tier tournaments for the past five weeks so the Wyndham should be right in his wheelhouse. 

4. Rickey Barnes - $7,000 

All of these value picks are going to look like reaches so bear with me. Barnes has been solid of late going T18, T63, T11 and T3 in last four starts. Couple that with his price and the fact that he's finished 24th and 20th the last two years here and you get a low-priced pick who will score you some points.

5. Cameron Smith - $7,400

This week's "is that something you might be interested in?" award* goes to relative unknown, Cameron Smith, who just finished T4 at the U.S. Open and T25 at the PGA. For $7,400, is that something you might be interested in?

6. Ben Martin - $7,900

He's really been struggling since the end of May but some of that has to do with the fact that he's only played against the toughest fields on the toughest courses and skipped easier paychecks like the John Deere, the Quicken Loans and the Greenbrier. He's a South Carolina guy so this tournament brings him closer to home on an easier course which makes him worth a look at this price.

7. Billy Horschel - $9,500

Every year Horschel goes on a two to three week tear and it hasn't happened yet in 2015 which means you should find a spot for him until it does. Especially with the way he scorched the FedEx Cup last year.

8. Camilo Villegas - $7,100 

He burned me last week but he's been a good tournament/bad tournament guy lately and he's the defending champion so he makes a good lineup filler.

9. Johnson Wagner - $7,700

Before missing the cut at the Quicken Loans, he went T5th, T10th and T18th. He hasn't had a lot of success at the Wyndham but he's played in it almost every year since 2007 so he probably knows where all of the bathrooms on the course are and that has to count for something. Right?

10. Jerry Kelly - $6,400 

We always need a bargain basement guy in case you want to stack the top. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Kelly's case is not strong but he does have nine top 25's this year so he still has game and he finished 4th here in 2011. At $6,400, you get what you pay for.   

Footnote

* If you're not an Entourage fan, here's the back-up for the "is that something you might be interested in?" reference. Now go binge watch the show so I don't have to keep explaining myself. 


Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fantasy Golf: The PGA Championship Preview

Since we covered most of the important stuff in the Draft Kings All-Value Top Ten, let's clean-up a few details with . . . 

FIVE BURNING QUESTIONS


Will Dustin Johnson Avenge the Kohler Disaster?


"Wait a minute. I do detect a pattern."
No. We all wondered about the lingering effect of the U.S. Open three-putt but he quieted that chatter by blowing the doors off the first two rounds of the British Open. Then the third round happened. DJ entered at -10 with a one shot lead over Danny Willett. He then proceeded to shoot 75 on a day when the leaders were shooting 64-68. It tied Paul Casey for the second highest round of the relatively wind free day* and I remember the on course announcer saying that he had hit wedge into nine of the greens and only produced one birdie. That round had the same effect on DJ that the MIG had on Cougar. Sure he came back and opened strong at the Bridgestone but his four round scores from St. Andrews were 65-69-75-75 and his scores from last week were 69-67-75-76.

Who Provides the Upset Potential?

Well first of all, Whistling Straits has not been kind to outsiders. In 2010, the players who finished in the top five were Martin Kaymer, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Steve Elkington and Jason Dufner. That's six major winners and you know who. In 2004, the top five guys were Vijay Singh, Chris DiMarco, Justin Leonard, Ernie Els and Chris Riley. That's three more major winners plus Chris DiMarco who finished top ten in three that year and then was runner-up to Tiger at the 2005 Masters. Riley was the closest thing to a party crasher and he played on the 2004 Ryder Cup so he was no slouch himself. The bottom line is that no one outside the top ten on the odds list below is going to win this thing. If you want a peripheral guy who might crack the top five, I like Robert Streb who's currently 5th in the FedEx Cup standings and coming off a 5th place finish at the Bridgestone. A 5th place finish this week is almost a lock because we all know that 5's always come in 3's.


How Will Rory's Wheel Hold-Up?


Only Rory knows how much it hurts so that's a tough one. Here is what I know about playing on a bum wheel**: (1) If it's your left (like Rory's), it can make you a bit flinchy about finishing your swing as aggressively as you might want to but that shouldn't bother him because he doesn't swing that hard (uh oh); (2) If there is still any swelling, it's going to be throbbing like a mofo by the last few holes everyday, especially on that 7,800 yard obstacle course; and (3) If you get a shot with an awkward lie that forces you to put all of your weight on it, good luck. It's that last one that would concern me because you know you're going to get some awkward lies at Whistling Straits. The bottom line is that working Rory into your wagers this week is a dicey proposition.


Will Jordan Spieth Win?


Yeah probably but that's no fun so let's make the case why he won't. The course is too long so he's going to struggle to keep up with guys like Bubba, DJ and Jason Day just like he did at Chambers . . . hmmmm . . . he's not going to be able to handle the wind and wacky bounces like he experienced at St. Andr . . . hmmmm . . . screw it. He's not going to win because . . .  


It's Finally Jason Day's Time?

Yes. He's got two solid wins this year to go with his T9th at the U.S. Open and T4th at the British. He kills it off the tee and hits his irons higher than just about anyone out there which makes Whistling Straits the perfect course for his game. It's his time. On to the picks and pretty ladies.

Not much subtlety to
this week's theme.

The PGA Championship Odds

1. Jordan Spieth - 6/1

2. Rory McIlroy - 10/1
3. Jason Day - 14/1
4. Dustin Johnson - 14/1
5. Bubba Watson - 16/1
6. Rickie Fowler - 20/1
7. Justin Rose - 20/1
8. Adam Scott - 25/1
9. Henrik Stenson - 28/1
10. Louis Oosthuizen - 22/1

The FGR PGA Championship Picks


1. Jason Day

2. Bubba Watson
3. Jordan Spieth
4. Justin Rose
5. Henrik Stenson
A couple of nice badgers.
6. Rory McIlroy
7. Robert Streb
8. Rickie Fowler
9. Zach Johnson
10. Brooks Koepka

The FGR One and Done Pick: Jason Day


The FGR Sleeper Pick: Robert Streb


Last Week’s Report Card: Airball

1. Adam Scott - T45th
2. Jordan Spieth - T10th
3. Rickie Fowler - T10th
4. Hideki Matsuyama - T37th
5. Keegan Bradley - T17th
6. Paul Casey - T17th
7. Marc Leishman - T33rd
8. Jason Day - T12th
Wisconsin's favorite
potential daughter in-law.
9. Sergio Garcia - T37th
10. Gary Woodland - T57th

One and Done Picks to Date

Hyundai: Kevin Streelman - $70,667
Sony: Chris Kirk - $42,280
Humana: Russell Knox - M/C
Phoenix: Hunter Mahan - $36,729
Farmers: Hideki Matsuyama - M/C

AT&T: Dustin Johnson - $281,067
Northern Trust: Jimmy Walker - $24,120
Honda: Keegan Bradley - M/C
WGC-Cadillac: Bubba Watson - $540,000
Valspar: Jim Furyk - $23,600
Palmer: Brooks Koepka – W/D
Texas Open: Matt Kuchar - $99,200
Houston Open: Louis Oosthuizen - M/C
Masters: Rory McIlroy - $480,000
Heritage: Patrick Reed - M/C
Zurich: Rickie Fowler - M/C
Match Play: Graeme McDowell - $49,385
And Robin Yount. I 
always liked Robin Yount.
Players: Henrik Stenson - $130,857
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $624,800
Colonial: Zach Johnson - $78,780
Byron Nelson: Gary Woodland - $15,407
Memorial: Justin Rose - $669,600
FedEx St. Jude: Billy Horschel - $168,000
U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson - $23,822
Travelers: Brandt Snedeker - $147,200
Greenbrier: Kevin Kisner - $500,267
John Deere: Robert Streb - $84,600
British Open: Sergio Garcia - $305,878
Canadian Open: Charley Hoffman - $174,725
Quicken Loans: Justin Thomas - $242,875
Bridgestone: Adam Scott - $55,000

Season Total: $4,868,859

Footnotes


* Funny story. I have both DJ and Paul Casey on my season long team. Really funny. Like a Gallagher bit.


** This just in. Basketball, golf and middle age mix about as well as that Kahlua, Triple Sec and California Cooler cocktail you made in high school at 3:00 a.m. when the bar looked like an abandoned trailer park.