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.