Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Fantasy Golf: The Masters Preview

The Masters should be the most predictable event of the year considering it's exclusive field and the fact that they insist on playing the same crappy course over and over again (just wanted to know what it would feel like to write that and it frankly felt kind of dirty in that waking-up in a stranger's apartment wearing nothing but your socks and one rubber glove kind of way . . . I think I've said too much). The tournament also has a history of (a) repeat winners including three who could contend this year in Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson; and (b) guys winning it in their 40's (Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw and Bernhard Langer) so the green jacket window seems to stay open forever (are we trying to air condition the whole goddamn neighborhood?!?). 

"I woke-up, took the belt off my neck
and got out of there. I thought I was
going to have to shoot my way out." 
And here's more evidence to support the premise that I'm going to shoot down in a couple of paragraphs. Jordan Spieth has played the Masters four times and gone T2, 1st, T2 and T11. He's one of five players with at least three top tens in the last five years along with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Matt Kuchar. During that span, not one of those players has missed the cut. Right behind them when it comes to recent success you've got Dustin Johnson with two top fives and a T13, Hideki Matsuyama with two top tens and a T11 and Jason Day with two top tens and no finish worse than T28. Augusta is like a David Lynch movie. Some people (not me) just get it on a different level. 

Then you have the track records of the two resurgent superstars which is frankly just silly. Tiger has won four green jackets, finished 8th or better nine other times and hasn't missed the cut since 1996. Phil has finished 7th or better fourteen times and, during one stretch from 1999-2010, rattled-off eight top five finishes including three wins and only finished outside of the top ten once with a T24 in 2007 (and that was during the Zach Johnson-Trevor Immelman era a/k/a the two Masters that never happened).

Despite all of that apparent consistency, we've had nine first time winners since 2007 with Phil and Bubba being the only exceptions. Compare that to the stretch from 1990 to 2006 when we had eleven repeat winners thanks primarily to the runs of Tiger, Phil and Nick Faldo. So the question we have to ask ourselves in 2018 is "what's it's gonna be this year Johnny?" (Feel free to insert your own name). A familiar face or another new guy? I'm going with the latter and will get to that in a minute.


The ladies call him "Kirasexy".
Let's start with the top ten. I'm seeing three past winners including one but not both of the legends so let's go with Spieth, Bubba and Tiger (sorry Phil). Rose, Casey and Kuchar seem like obvious picks based on their history and current form. That leaves four spots and at least one will be filled by the random Euro/Asian player no one has heard of except those of us who can name every player in the field but couldn't name of one of our kids' teachers. This year that guy will be Kiradech Aphibarnrat (I think he teaches algebra).

So now we're down to three. We need one more big name, one tour grinder and one really good player who no one is talking about this week so we can all go "dammit fuck shit why didn't I think of that guy?" For the big name I like Jason Day who plays better when he's feeling a bit underestimated and his win at the Farmers was just distant enough for that to be the case. The tour grinder is Russell Henley who has been solid lately and finished tied for 11th here last year. And the guy no one is talking about is Henrik Stenson who missed the cut at last year's Masters but had four consecutive top 25's before that. He's playing great coming-off a T6 in Houston and a 4th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

And the winner is . . . Justin Rose. It basically came down to him, Spieth or Bubba with a fleeting consideration of Paul Casey until I remembered the fantasy golf maxim that Paul Casey will never win a major. I think Spieth could be on the same kind of run that Mickelson had from 1999 through 2010 so he would certainly be a logical pick but man, those short putting issues. Bubba would be the bold pick but I don't want to root for Bubba. Besides, I think we all agree that Rose is going to win another major at some point and the Masters is the most likely candidate. The only thing standing in his way this year would be an epic run by one of the other favorites. Well that and the fact that I just picked him. 

Here's a breakdown of fifty players ranked by DraftKings price for your consideration. Ian Poulter is not included because (a) I did this before he qualified and (b) I don't think he's going to be a factor this week. The top ten DraftKings values are below the big ass colorful chart. And with that my work here is done. I am now going to play golf and drink in the rain which means that FGR Masters week is officially underway.      

THE HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE CHART CALLED QUEST 


DK PRICE
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Dustin Johnson
$11,400
DNP
T4
T6
MC
T13
Justin Thomas
$10,800
T22
T39
DNP
DNP
DNP
Jordan Spieth
$10,400
T11
T2
1st
T2
DNP
Tiger Woods
$10,000
DNP
DNP
T17
DNP
T4
Rory McIlroy
$9,900
T7
T10
4th
T8
T25
Jason Day
$9,800
T22
T10
T28
T20
3rd
Phil Mickelson
$9,500
T22
MC
T2
MC
T54
Jon Rahm
$9,300
T27
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Justin Rose
$9,200
2nd
T10
T2
T14
T25
Rickie Fowler
$9,000
T11
MC
T12
T5
T38
Paul Casey
$8,800
6th
T4
6th
DNP
DNP
Bubba Watson
$8,700
MC
T37
T38
1st
T50
Sergio Garcia
$8,600
1st
T35
T17
MC
T8
Hideki Matsuyama
$8,500
T11
T7
5th
MC
DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
$8,400
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Thomas Pieters
$8,300
T4
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Marc Leishman
$8,200
T43
MC
DNP
MC
T4
Alex Noren
$8,100
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Adam Scott
$8,000
T9
T42
T38
T14
1st
Loois Oosthuizen
$7,900
T41
T15
T19
25th
MC
Henrik Stenson
$7,800
MC
T24
T19
T14
T18
Patrick Reed
$7,700
MC
T49
T22
MC
DNP
Tyrell Hatton
$7,700
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Matt Kuchar
$7,600
T4
T24
T46
T5
T8
Brian Harman
$7,500
DNP
DNP
MC
DNP
DNP
Daniel Berger
$7,500
T27
T10
DNP
DNP
DNP
Branden Grace
$7,400
T27
MC
MC
MC
T18
Charl Schwartzel
$7,400
3rd
MC
T38
MC
T25
Tony Finau
$7,400
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
M. Fitzpatrick
$7,300
32nd
T7
DNP
MC
DNP
R. Cabrera-Bello
$7,300
MC
T17
DNP
DNP
DNP
Webb Simpson
$7,300
MC
T29
T28
MC
MC
Gary Woodland
$7,200
MC
DNP
MC
T26
DNP
Kevin Kisner
$7,200
T43
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Charley Hoffman
$7,100
T22
T29
T9
DNP
DNP
K. Aphibarnrat
$7,100
DNP
T15
DNP
DNP
DNP
Russell Henley
$7,100
T11
DNP
21
T31
MC
F. Molinari
$7,000
T33
DNP
DNP
50th
MC
Ryan Moore
$7,000
T9
MC
T12
MC
T38
Zach Johnson
$7,000
MC
MC
T9
MC
T35
Brendon Steele
$6,900
T27
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
B. DeChambeau
$6,900
DNP
T21
DNP
DNP
DNP
Kevin Chappell
$6,900
T7
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Martin Kaymer
$6,900
T16
T49
MC
DNP
T35
Pat Perez
$6,900
T18
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
B. Wiesberger
$6,800
T43
T34
T22
DNP
DNP
Danny Willett
$6,800
MC
1st
T38
DNP
DNP
Jason Dufner
$6,800
T33
MC
T49
MC
T20
Jimmy Walker
$6,800
T18
T29
T38
T8
DNP
Fred Couples
$6,700
T18
DNP
MC
T20
T13

The One and Done Pick: Justin Rose
The plan was to class it up this
year but that kind of went by the
wayside in the first paragraph


The Sleeper Pick: Kiradech Aphibarnrat

The DraftKings Top Ten Values


Jordan Spieth
$10,400
Tiger Woods
$10,000
Jason Day
$9,800
Justin Rose
$9,200
Paul Casey
$8,800
Bubba Watson
$8,700
Henrik Stenson
$7,800
Matt Kuchar
$7,600
K. Aphibarnrat
$7,100
Russell Henley
$7,100

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com
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