Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Fantasy Golf: The Honda Classic Preview

As I think I've noted repeatedly in the past, my target deadline for the FGR's weekly previews is always Tuesday night which will give the literally tens of people who rely on my advice one night to sleep on it before actually deciding whether to follow it or run screaming from it. Lately, however, the people who pay the salary that funds the lifestyle that in part fuels this effort have actually expected me to earn it during what many people like to call "normal working hours" and that has severely hindered my creative process. 

But I swore last night was going to be different so I set aside some writing time in the evening to get this shit back on track. Then I sat down on the couch and turned on the Democratic debate. And then I reclined on the couch. And then I woke-up at 3:30 a.m. to a nightmare in which all of my grandparents had come back to life and were yelling at me for everything I've done wrong over the last 35 years and my Aunt Amy was getting very upset and I had an overachieving gay cousin who kept humble bragging about the time he was student council president and got them to start serving gluten free bread in the cafeteria before anyone knew there was such a thing. 


So now I find myself scrambling on Wednesday morning again. Fortunately we get to make fun of Dan Hicks and his borderline creepy obsession with the Bear Trap this week. But first, this . . .      

TWEET OF THE WEEK


And I have held this position on #13 since waaayyyy before the Coronavirus made the cruise ship experience more dicey than a roadside sushi stand. 

EXPERTISH GOLF ANALYSIS

Unfortunately this is the part of the show where we have to beat-up a bit on Rickie Fowler and we say "unfortunately" because, as we have stated every time we've gone down this road before, the FGR's official position on Rickie is one of love and respect. He has been a valuable member of multiple international teams, has five PGA Tour wins including the 2015 Players and he has eleven top ten finishes in majors including four top fives in 2014. At one point in 2016 after a win in Abu Dhabi, there was talk of him being part of a modern day "Big Four" along with major winners Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. Just one problem with that right?

Now let me tell you about Luke Donald (just need some latitude here your honor . . . I promise this is going somewhere). Luke has been a valuable member of multiple international teams, has five PGA Tour wins including the 2011 Match Play Championship and he has eight top tens in majors including five top fives. During one stretch that covered parts of 2011 and 2012, he spent 56 weeks as the #1 ranked player in the world and some thought a major title was inevitable. Just one problem with that right?    

The point is that there are some players who are almost great and they tend to thrive in the almost great environments provided by events like The Players, the Match Play and the Ryder Cup. Yes the Ryder Cup is a pressure cooker but you're not alone. You have eleven teammates in it with you and, whether you win or lose, it's not going to be all about you no matter how brilliantly or horribly you play (see also: Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter). It doesn't make you a bad guy. It just means that you're one level below the likes of McIroy, Spieth and Brooks Koepka a/k/a a level that 99.9% of professional golfers would kill to achieve. It also means that you tend to play well at tournaments like the Honda Classic where Rickie and Luke have both thrived (finally!). 

So this has been a long and meandering way of saying that I'm going with Rickie Fowler this week. I thought long and hard about Tommy Fleetwood but he walks and talks a lot like the latest version of Lee Westwood who has played hundreds of tournaments in the states and only has two wins against weak fields to show for it. I also gave Billy Horschel a long look but he's always up for throwing a tie for 63rd or a missed cut at you and I am really not in the mood for that this week. Rickie is the smart play despite his very recent struggles because he'll want to show the world that he can beat Koepka. Even if Brooks doesn't give a rat's ass.

As for the rest of the top ten, Horschel and the resurgent Daniel Berger are givens. For that matter, so are Charl Schwartzel and Harris English. I like Viktor Hovland coming-off his win in Puerto Rico last week because you and I and he all know that he's not really going to count something as his first win until he does it against top ten players.     

Beyond that I'm just winging-it. Russell Henley has won here before and seems to be in a decent groove lately. Lucas Glover is Lucas Glover and I couldn't pick Wyndham Clark and Talor Gooch out of a lineup if they were wearing matching hats that said "Wyndy & Goochy." I strongly considered Rory Sabbatini but just typing his name makes my fingers bleed (ow ow ow fuck!). 

So there you have it. Enjoy the sweet syrupy sounds of Dan Hicks and the greatest four days of bear pimping since Starsky & Hutch.  

"Hey what can we put here so people
truly appreciate the death defying golf
experience they are soon to undertake?"
One and Done Pick: Rickie Fowler

Other Guy I'd Pick: Billy Horschel


Sleeper Pick: Talor Gooch


DraftKings Top Ten Values


Rickie Fowler
$10,800
Viktor Hovland
$9,500
Billy Horschel
$9,200
Daniel Berger
$8,900
Charl Schwartzel
$8,100
Harris English
$7,800
Wyndham Clark
$7,600
Russell Henley
$7,400
Lucas Glover
$7,200
Talor Gooch
$7,200

Back to the reality of barely mediocre fields. At this time last year I was writing "when you gotta shell-out $8,400 for J.T. Poston . . . sheesh." Well this year he's going to run you a cool $8,600. Apparently last year's tie for 36th was worth a $200 value bump.  


                             THE WE ACTUALLY MISS YOU JOHNNY MILLER

                                      HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE CHART 


DK PRICE
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Tommy Fleetwood
$11,600
DNP
4th
DNP
DNP
DNP
Brooks Koepka
$11,200
T2
DNP
MC
T26
T51
Rickie Fowler
$10,800
T2
MC
1st
T6
T41
Gary Woodland
$10,300
T36
T49
T2
T61
DNP
Justin Rose
$9,900
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
MC
Louis Oosthuizen
$9,700
DNP
T24
T21
DNP
DNP
Viktor Hovland
$9,500
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Sungjae Im
$9,300
T51
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Billy Horschel
$9,200
T16
MC
T4
T8
MC
Shane Lowry
$9,100
DNP
DNP
DNP
T53
DNP
Erik Van Rooyen
$9,000
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Daniel Berger
$8,900
T36
T29
MC
MC
2nd
Byeon Hun An
$8,800
T36
T5
DNP
DNP
DNP
Joaquin Niemann
$8,700
T59
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
J.T. Poston
$8,600
T36
DNP
T27
DNP
DNP
Ian Poulter
$8,500
DNP
MC
T43
T43
T3
Ryan Palmer
$8,300
T4
MC
T37
T26
T25
Corey Connors
$8,200
DNP
T59
DNP
DNP
DNP
Charl Schwartzel
$8,100
T16
DNP
DNP
DNP
MC
Emiliano Grillo
$8,000
MC
T8
T43
T74
DNP
Luke List
$8,000
MC
2nd
T52
T10
DNP
Jhonny Vegas
$7,900
T16
T72
T4
DNP
MC
Kevin Streelman
$7,900
T71
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Harris English
$7,800
T12
T33
T60
DNP
MC
Harold Varner, III
$7,700
T51
T72
T57
MC
DNP
Matthew Wolff
$7,700
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Russell Knox
$7,600
T51
MC
MC
T26
T3
Vaugh Taylor
$7,600
T59
T59
MC
DNP
DNP
Wyndham Clark
$7,600
T7
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Jason Kokrak
$7,500
T9
DNP
DNP
MC
MC
Maverick McNealy
$7,500
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Keegan Bradley
$7,400
DNP
T49
MC
MC
MC
Patrick Rodgers
$7,400
T30
T33
MC
MC
T44
Rory Sabbatini
$7,400
T36
T17
MC
MC
T11
Russell Henley
$7,400
T20
T24
T43
MC
T44
Brian Harman
$7,300
MC
T33
T48
MC
T11
Bud Cauley
$7,300
T12
W/D
T27
DNP
DNP
Harry Higgs
$7,300
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Keith Mitchell
$7,300
1st
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
Lucas Glover
$7,200
T4
T17
T21
MC
MC
Talor Gooch
$7,200
T20
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
Brendan Steele
$7,100
MC
DNP
T14
T14
T11
Denny McCarthy
$7,100
MC
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
Jim Furyk
$7,100
T9
T46
DNP
DNP
DNP
Sam Burns
$7,100
T73
T8
DNP
DNP
DNP
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
$7,000
T7
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Chesson Hadley
$6,800
T20
MC
DNP
T21
MC
Stewart Cink
$6,700
T75
T46
T27
T26
T31
Luke Donald
$6,200
DNP
MC
T27
T61
T7

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

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