Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Byron Nelson Preview

"I've got a special purpose!"
Before we get to a quick recap of the Players, how about a review of the FGR's NFL mock draft performance which was actually somewhat respectable. We're going to evaluate this by how many players in the first rounds I correctly matched with the teams that picked them because of course that casts me in the best light. Here is what I had right: Texans - Jadeveon Clowney, Rams - Greg Robinson, Browns - Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel, Raiders - Khalil Mack, Falcons - Jake Mathews, Giants - Odell Beckham and the Chargers - Jason Verrett. I was also right about a team trading back into the first round to grab Teddy Bridgewater.* So maybe I'm not a complete moron like my golf picks would suggest (then again, maybe you are).

But enough about football. We actually had what I would imagine was a pretty entertaining golf tournament last weekend if you hadn't sold your soul to the devil that is fantasy golf and gone in armed with the likes of Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar and Ryan Palmer. (And those were my guys who actually made the cut - hope you had a lovely weekend Hunter Mahan, Graham DeLaet, Nick Watney, Brian Harman and Will Mackenzie . . . sons a bitches). I figured Scott would at least provide me with a relaxing Thursday-Friday experience as he shot a couple of scores in the 60's putting him in position to win or at least threaten the Sunday leaderboard with his presence. Then he went out on Thursday and made a bunch of doubles and by Friday morning he had to birdie three of the last four holes just to make the cut. To put it bluntly, this shit is really starting to ruin my weekends and I've quit paying jobs that were less aggravating than this.

I need to get back to my roots.
Last Week Report Card: C

1. Adam Scott - T38
2. Jim Furyk - 2nd
3. Luke Donald - T38
4. Matt Kuchar - T17
5. Rory McIlroy - T6th
6. Martin Laird - M/C
7. Kevin Na - T38
8. Kevin Streelman - M/C
9. Jonathan Byrd - M/C
10. Ben Crane - M/C

The Cotter Pins are Loose Report

Hyundai: Gary Woodland - $130,000
Sony: Chris Kirk - $604,800
Humana: Charles Howell, III - $12,198
Let's go a bit further back.
Farmers: Bill Haas - $20,740
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C
Pebble Beach: Russell Knox - $46,860
Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson - $723,600
Match Play: Hunter Mahan - $148,000
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell - $15,600
WGC-Cadillac: Rory McIlroy - $76,000
Valspar: Harris English - $23,940
Palmer: Justin Rose - M/C
Texas Open: Kevin Chappell - M/C
Houston Open: Keegan Bradley - $18,374
Masters: Matt Kuchar - $342,000
Heritage: Jim Furyk - $187,050
Zurich: Graham DeLaet - $44,200
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $28,980
The Players: Adam Scott - $38,000

Season Total: $2,460,342

Ah but this week brings a new tournament and a renewed but waning hope for improvement. I went out of my way to pick a guy we haven't heard from in a while a la Martin Kaymer. Other than the fact that Jason Dufner won the Byron Nelson a few years ago, there is absolutely no reason to believe he will play well in Texas. He hasn't had a top five since the first week of January and his stats are fair to poor to awful (167th in strokes gained putting). If I was Billy Beane discussing this with my scouts, it would go down something like this:

FGR: We're going with Dufner this week.

Scout: But he can't putt.

FGR: Exactly . . . sounds like an FGR pick already.

(I am finding it way too easy to mock my own "expertise" these days).

The Byron Nelson Favorites

1. Matt Kuchar - 12 to 1
"Oh yeah, he's not hitting any greens either."
2. Jordan Spieth - 12 to 1
3. Jimmy Walker - 20 to 1
4. Dustin Johnson - 20 to 1
5. Keegan Bradley - 22 to 1
6. Martin Kaymer - 22 to 1

The FGR Byron Nelson Picks

1. Jason Dufner
2. Charl Schwartzel
3. Jimmy Walker
4. Jordan Spieth**
5. Matt Kuchar***
6. Brian Harman****

Footnotes

* And I would have been right about the Texans being that team if they hadn't let the Vikings trade into the spot ahead of them and steal Bridgewater at the end of the first round. That must have been a fun morning call to the owner who probably went to sleep twenty minutes after the Clowney pick. The Texans are the early front-runners for fewest Redzone Channel coverage minutes in 2014 ending what has been quite a sustained run by the Jaguars . . . unless Blake Bortles has something to say about that, which I think he might.

** Spieth is in the top five every time he tees it up until further notice.

*** So is Kuchar.

**** A reader recently suggested that I should cut-back on the footnotes and I am currently sucking at that as well. I am the complete package right now.

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