Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Fantasy Golf: The CareerBuilder Challenge Preview

I feel like I'm knocking on the door of a big week and, if it's anything like knocking on the door of my own house, it will take five minutes for someone to answer if they answer at all despite the fact that "I've got my hands full and I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME IN THERE GODDAMMIT!!!" (All of this makes more sense if you have kids, however, do not misinterpret that as a recommendation for having kids to make this website more interesting . . . or for any other reason).       

Despite the ineffectiveness of last week's method where I listed all of the recent multiple top ten finishers, we're going to do it again because (a) I swear it's going to work sooner or later at one of these courses where the same guys always play well and (b) this is definitely the way the geeks at M.I.T. would do it if they ever decided to waste their time on something this trivial and unprofitable. This week we're expanding it to the top twenty and including players who have won the tournament even if they don't have another to twenty!!! Ooohhh variety . . . your are the spice of life. Here we go - recent winners at the top:

Hudson Swafford: 2017 (1st)
Jason Dufner: 2016 (1st)
Bill Haas: 2017 (T17th), 2016 (T9th), 2015 (1st), 2014 (T6th)
Patrick Reed: 2017 (T12th), 2014 (1st)
Brian Gay: 2013 (1st . . . and hasn't made the cut since)
Adam Hadwin: 2017 (2nd), 2016 (T6th)
Bud Cauley: 2017 (T3rd), 2016 (T14th)
Brian Harman: 2017 (T3rd), 2016 (T11th)  
Brendan Steele: 2017 (T6th), 2015 (T2nd)
Scott Stallings: 2017 (8th), 2013 (T4th)
Charles Howell: 2017 (T12th), 2016 (T11th), 2013 (T2nd)
Chez Reavie: 2017 (T12th), 2016 (T17th)
Webb Simpson: 2016 (T17th), 2015 (T7th)
Martin Laird: 2017 (T9th), 2015 (T15th)
Ryan Palmer: 2016 (T17th), 2014 (2nd), 2013 (T6th)
David Lingmerth: 2016 (2nd), 2013 (T2nd)
Kevin Streelman: 2016 (T11th), 2013 (T10th)
James Hahn: 2015 (20th), 2013 (T4th)

Ok ok ok I think we're definitely onto something here. Now let's swivel over to another table like a movie scientist or a guy trying to catch a serial killer and see if any of the players listed above are currently in the groove. According to the current FedEx Cup rankings, the guys who have been playing well of late are Brian Harman (7th), Brendan Steele (8th), James Hahn (18th), Chez Reavie (24th), Brian Gay (27th) and Charles Howell (28th). We can rule-out Brian Gay because I never should've counted all the way back to his win in 2013 anyway but I wanted an excuse to put Scott Stallings in there because I think this could be one of those weird Scott Stallings weeks where he comes-off a string of mediocre to poor showings and suddenly looks like one of the best players in the world. He's good for one of those quality performances every other year. Kind of like my writing.    

We can also rule-out James Hahn because the last time he followed-up a top five finish like he had last week with even so much as a top twenty finish was . . . let me see here . . . 2015 no, 2014 no . . . um that would be never. Hahn's record would indicate that he likes to spend the week following a big finish by taking a money bath. You know who else we wouldn't pick ever? Peter Freakin' Uihlein. This guy constantly flies around the world posting decent scores in Turkey, Malaysia and Binomo but then drops a turd when he plays a PGA Tour event. He's played in eight majors over seven years, missed the cut in six of them and finished T44 and T48 in the other two. He couldn't sell Chick-fil-A on a Sunday (heyooooo). 

Despite this, DraftKings prices him at $8,200 which makes him more expensive than proven guys like Charles Howell and Kevin Chappell. PGATour.com put him in the damn Power Rankings last week and he promptly missed the cut. He's basically the golf equivalent of Notre Dame football. At least he has an entertaining Twitter account . . . I'll give him that:
So who would I pick this week? Well I have to pick Harman because if I don't and he wins, I'm going to feel like an idiot . . . or at least more of an idiot. If you don't want to go with the chalk pick and you don't want to risk wasting Jon Rahm (what in the hell is he doing here?), the next obvious choice is Brendan Steele who thrives on turkey shoot courses against C+ fields. My semi dark horses would be Bud Cauley and Kevin Chappell with an outside look at Bill Haas who has had a rough go since about June of last year* but always plays well at La Quinta (such a lovely name until you imagine Trump trying to say it with some kind of bastardized Spanish accent and making it sound creepy).

The rest of my value picks are below. Let's hope we finally get a tournament that holds true to form because losing $6 - $9 every week is starting to add-up and I'm trying to save enough to buy an Ab Circle Pro. 
 
Come on honey this things is going
to add like ten yards to my drives.
The One and Done Pick: Brian Harman

The Sleeper Pick: Scott Stallings

The DraftKings Top Ten Values

Brian Harman
$11,500
Webb Simpson
$9,700
Brendan Steele
$8,900
Bill Haas
$8,600
Bud Cauley
$8,400
Charles Howell
$8,000
Kevin Chappell
$7,700
Brian Stuard
$7,500
Scott Stallings
$7,000
Ben Martin
$6,900

Footnote

* Wait. Don't I remember something about the FGR meeting Bill Haas last June? [Belichik voice] That's purely coincidental. We're on to Jacksonville.   

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