Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Tour Championship Preview

Hey everybody . . . golf's back! Did you miss it? Finally something to break-up the monotony of the first two weeks of NFL action and one ridiculously spectacular college football game after another. (We kid because we love). I've actually missed this game that I love from both a playing and viewing standpoint over the past couple of weeks and now we get treated to a double-dip of the Tour Championship followed by the Ryder Cup and this guy gets a little 45 hole two-man competition to closeout golf season in the Mid-Atlantic (someone please shoot me with a six month tranquilizer dart on October 2nd). 

So what can we expect at East Lake? Well, Henrik Stenson loves this course as evidenced by his win in 2013 and his T2nd last year highlighted by an opening 63. But he's not playing. So what else you got? Well we've got Justin Rose who also finished T2nd last year to go along with a T4th in 2014, a 6th in 2013 and a 2nd in 2012 . . . except that he's not playing either because he predictably had one of the worst years of his career after being drafted by the coolers in my fantasy golf league. (These guys are such a reliable jinx that I almost feel compelled to write a letter to their top pick each January and pre-comfort him about the otherwise inexplicably terrible season he's about to have).

Stop fucking around and make some picks!

Ok, here's the problem. Every legitimate contender this week has had some success at East Lake led by Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson who have all won there so we've got ourselves a bit of a crapshoot. D.J., McIlroy, Day and the recently hot Paul Casey all have at least one top five so it wouldn't be a surprise if any of those guys won it. And don't rule-out Bubba rediscovering his game for four days and getting it done. We'd love to pick all of them but we can't so here comes some good old fashioned frontier analysis.

Jordan Spieth is going to win because in the space of a little over five months, he's gone from Cobra Kai to first hour of the movie Danny LaRusso and he's going to turn that around with one seriously awkward looking crane kick in Atlanta. He's been showing signs of life in the playoffs and I think he really wants to avoid ending 2016 as an afterthought. He's also got to be getting jacked for the Ryder Cup where I expect he and Patrick Reed to dominate together (more on that next week). 

After Spieth, we're going with the fairly stock picks of D.J. who refocused at the BMW Championship and Jason Day he keeps being more overdue every week. That leaves Scott, McIlroy and Mickelson on the outside but seating is limited. If gambling is legal in your state and you're building rosters, I'd balance those high dollars guys with some big hitters in Gary Woodland and J.B. Holmes along with a few bargain buys in Emiliano Grillo, Ryan Moore and Jason Dufner. Don't be the least bit surprised when Grillo is in contention on Sunday and how could you be now that I've warned you. As always I'm here to help.      

That transition from golf to football
is always a little awkward . . . 
The Tour Championship Odds

1. Dustin Johnson - 9/2

2. Rory McIlroy - 5/1
3. Jason Day - 9/1
4. Jordan Spieth - 9/1
5. Adam Scott - 9/1
6. Paul Casey - 16/1
7. Patrick Reed - 18/1
8. Bubba Watson - 25/1
9. Phil Mickelson - 25/1
10. Hideki Matsuyama - 28/1
11. Matt Kuchar - 28/1
12. Brandt Snedeker - 30/1
13. Russell Knox - 35/1
14. J.B. Holmes - 35/1
15. Gary Woodland - 40/1

The One and Done Pick: Jordan Spieth

The Sleeper Pick: Emiliano Grillo
 . . . but we'll figure it out.

Ten Guys We Like in DraftKings

Dustin Johnson - $11,700
Jordan Spieth - $10,600
Jason Day - $10,300
Paul Casey - $9,500
Gary Woodland - $7,800
J.B. Holmes - $7,400
Kevin Chappell - $7,200
Daniel Berger - $7,000
Emiliano Grillo - $6,900
Ryan Moore - $6,800
Jason Dufner - $6,400

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The BMW Championship Preview

We have two weeks left in the season and, now that Rory appears to be putting better than a blind cave fish (it's on the internet so I know it's a real thing), it looks like we could finally be on the verge of that multi car pile-up of great players that we've been denied all season. To qualify, I think we need a minimum of three out of the fifteen players on the odds list below (excluding anyone who hasn't won a major) within two shots of each other when they hit the 14th hole on Sunday. And there can be no more than one player not on that list gumming-up the works so stay the hell out of my Sunday afternoon dream sequence David Lingmerth and Jim Herman!

As for the predictions, who knows? I mean trying to pick between Rory, Jason Day, D.J., Adam Scott and Patrick Reed (blech . . . just writing his name gives me a post-puke taste in my mouth) is like trying to pick the hottest cast member from Melrose Place (hey I was young and no one had figured-out how to make shows like The Sopranos and The Wire yet). Anyway, my advice is to build a bunch of really top heavy teams and then roll the dice on some quality scrubs like Ryan Palmer and Daniel Summerhays (no offense). For example, you can fit those guys in with Day, Scott and Hideki Matsuyama if you can also stomach a roster that includes Jon Curran (again, no offense).     

The BMW Championship Odds
Well, maybe the second hottest cast
member because there is a consensus #1.

1. Rory McIlroy - 6/1
2. Jason Day - 15/2
3. Dustin Johnson - 9/1
4. Jordan Spieth - 14/1
5. Adam Scott - 18/1
6. Justin Rose - 20/1
7. Patrick Reed - 22/1
8. Sergio Garcia - 28/1
9. Rickie Fowler - 30/1
10. Louis Oosthuizen - 33/1
11. Hideki Matsuyama - 35/1
12. Brooks Koepka - 35/1
13. Bubba Watson - 35/1
14. Paul Casey - 40/1
15. Phil Mickelson - 40/1

One and Done Pick: Russell Knox

Sleeper Pick: Jason Kokrak
Lisa Rinna at #2? Who else you got?

Ten Guys We Like in DraftKings

Rory McIlroy - $11,900
Jason Day - $11,600
Dustin Johnson - $11,300
Adam Scott - $10,200
Patrick Reed - $9,700
Sergio Garcia - $9,500
Emiliano Grillo - $8,500
Ryan Palmer - $6,800
Harris English - $6,700
Daniel Summerhays - $6,200

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Deutsche Bank Preview

Here's who is not going to win this weekend. Rickie Fowler. The combination of sketchy play under pressure and a deep desire to make the Ryder Cup team on points is not a winning one. Besides, he's going to make the team anyway so he should really just chill the fuck out and more importantly, shave the moustache, ditch the goofy pants and stop trying so hard to be original. He's a good guy who wears flashy clothes. Just go with that and let the golf do the rest of the talking.

So who is going to win? Almost definitely Jason Day. He is way overdue to notch another title with the way he's been playing and the rest of the Big Five appear to be in B+ mode. Jordan Spieth looks ready to pop and is trending toward a $10M payday but that's going to happen when he wins at East Lake in a few weeks.

Your next best bets are Sergio Garcia who has a win, two T5's and a T8 in his last five starts, Emiliano Grillo who has been on a roll lately and finished top 20 at every major except the U.S. Open without anyone noticing and Charley Hoffman who won here in 2010 and always thrives on these cheesy overdone TPC courses. If you want some real value plays, check-out Steve Stricker who won here in 2009 and was runner-up in 2013, William McGirt who keeps showing-up on leaderboards and finished 12th last year and Webb Simpson who has been playing respectable golf since late May (two top 10's and four top 20's) and who won this thing in 2009.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to start doing some research for my fantasy football draft tomorrow beginning with an attempt to figure-out who in the hell still plays running back in the NFL and why people who are supposed to know about these things are telling me it would be wise to take Mark Ingram in the middle of the second round. Seriously, the last time a Saints running back was projected that high was Chuck Muncie* in 1980 back when "fantasy football" meant you fantasized about actually being able to watch all of those other one o'clock games instead of the dogshit match-up between the 3-7 Redskins and the 4-6 Bears (and yes, I looked that up and yes, I probably watched that dogshit game).

Who doesn't love the
change of seasons?
The Deutsche Bank Odds

1. Jason Day - 13/2
2. Dustin Johnson - 9/1
3. Jordan Spieth - 11/1
4. Rory McIlroy - 11/1
5. Henrik Stenson - 16/1
6. Adam Scott - 20/1
7. Rickie Fowler - 22/1
8. Justin Rose - 25/1
9. Patrick Reed - 25/1
10. Phil Mickelson - 33/1
11. Hideki Matsuyama - 33/1
12. Sergio Garcia - 33/1
13. Matt Kuchar - 40/1
14. Brooks Koepka - 40/1
15. Jim Furyk - 40/1

One and Done Pick: Gary Woodland

Sleeper Pick: Steve Stricker

Such a beautiful time of
year in the northeast.

Fifteen Guys We Like in DraftKings

Jason Day - $12,500
Dustin Johnson - $12,100
Henrik Stenson - $10,700
Sergio Garcia - $9,500
Emiliano Grillo - $9,000
Jim Furyk - $8,800
Billy Horschel - $8,500
Zach Johnson - $8,000
Sean O'Hair - $7,800
Gary Woodland - $7,700
Charley Hoffman - $7,300
Kevin Chappell - $7,100
Steve Stricker - $7,000
William McGirt - $6,800
Webb Simpson - $6,100


* We know it was really Deuce McAllister but the already lame joke would be lamer with him as the reference.  

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

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


* 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


* 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