Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Fantasy Golf: The Northern Trust Preview

Let's be honest with each other here. No one has any fucking idea who is going to win this week. Eight of the top ten players in the world are in the field and they're all playing somewhere between well and great. Of those eight, the guy coming in the slumpiest (I know all the best words) is probably Jason Day who finished T2 the last time they played this course and T5 the time they played it before that so any knock on his current form is somewhat eradicated by his affinity for the layout. 

Speaking of Ridgewood CC, they haven't played it since 2014 when Hunter Mahan won and the likes of Stuart Appleby, Cameron Tringale, Ernie Els and Morgan Hoffman all finished in the top ten. You know what those four guys have in common this week? None of them will be in Paramus, New Jersey. At least not by choice. When they played here in 2010, Matt Kuchar won in a playoff over Martin Laird with Kevin Streelman and Steve Stricker finishing T3. Wait a minute. I smell a golf course popular among the guys who used to flip right to the "Straight Hitter" tip in Golf magazine.*

That means we're looking for Kuchar/Stricker/Streelman types (Streelman has a type?) who hit fairways and don't mind watching Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka hit 3-woods 30 yard past their drives. Hey at least that limits the amount of time you have to spend making small talk about lifting weights and dating super models. But we'll get to those guys later. For now, I need to spend a couple paragraphs justifying my one and done pick. 

Neither one of us is brimming
with confidence over this pick.
I'm going with Jordan Spieth. Yes I still have him available as I've been saving him until he showed some interest in things like putting, playing four good rounds in a row and, you know, winning. And yes I am still alive in my league thanks to my Brooks Koepka pick at the PGA Championship after I told you to pick Rory McIlroy and if not him Justin Thomas and if not him Dustin Johnson and if not him Tony Finau and if . . . you get the picture. Now I'm not sure whether to pledge that I will never do that again or if I should just start doing it all the time. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive (seems fitting for the day). 

I'm not just picking Spieth because he's the best guy I have available and I'm worried he might not make it as far as the BMW Championship though those are two pretty good reasons. He's actually shown some signs of life lately and the playoffs are a chance for him to somewhat redeem what has easily been the worst full season he's ever had. Not to mention, he finished T22 on this course in 2014 when he came into the tournament playing like crap so he should at least improve on that (way to set the bar high). 

Now that I've fully rationalized my Spieth pick, let's see who else is out there. We kind of have to go with Jason Day based on past performance plus current form. From there I'm moving-on to a bunch of guys who are just solid but not spectacular because that seems to be what this course rewards. Don't be surprised if we get a pasty leaderboard of Webb Simpson, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman and Stewart Cink followed closely by the law firm of Stanley, Kirk and Gay. Just feels like it's going to be one of those Sundays where you tune-in around 4:00 p.m. and wake-up three hours later to the sound of 60 Minutes and a small puddle of drool on the couch.    

One and Done Pick: Jordan Spieth
This is to make-up for the drool image.


Other Guy I'd Pick: Webb Simpson

Sleeper Pick: Brian Gay


The DraftKings Top Ten Values


Jason Day
$10,700
Jordan Spieth
$9,600
Webb Simpson
$9,200
Paul Casey
$8,300
Matt Kuchar
$8,200
Marc Leishman
$7,800
Stewart Cink
$7,500
Kyle Stanley
$7,300
Brian Gay
$7,100
Chris Kirk
$6,800

Footnote

* Remember those sections? I think they were printed on thick brown paper and most of us would flip right to the section for "Power Hitter" because we're clowns.

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