Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Fantasy Golf: The Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

I went to an Orioles game last night and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it despite my predisposition to hate everything I do on a Monday. I know. I can't believe it either but, if you haven't been paying attention, the O's are one of the best 2022 stories in baseball if not all of sports. And I say that without a hint of my usual hyperbole. They don't need it.

The win on Monday raised their record to 48-48. Big effing deal right? Well yeah. They recently had a ten game winning streak and have now won 13 of their last 17. The 2022 win total of 48 eclipses the entire 2018 season and currently has them on pace for 81 which is crazy considering they averaged 51 wins over the last three full seasons. To say the fan base had fallen into a desultory state wouldn't begin to tell the story. 

By way of example, a few years ago someone broke into my car and stole all of the change from my ashtray but left an envelope on the passenger seat with the words "ORIOLES TICKETS" in giant block letters. As recently as May, you couldn't trade two seats behind homeplate for six feet of CVS coupons. Now I've got my fifteen year old daughter submitting a formal request for a TV subscription change so she can watch the games. (Vegas likes her chances).

Why does this matter? Well, thanks to the fact that they play almost everyday for six straight months, baseball teams are able to completely change the mood of a city. And Baltimore desperately needed a boost after the riots, a comically criminal mayor and the installation of speed cameras on the JFX. (Come on man. Some of us got places to go). 

The mood around here is downright ebullient these days. Lots of lively banter about things people actually enjoy talking about. Parents posting pictures of themselves with their kids at baseball games instead of lacrosse tournaments. Seagulls and rats living together. It's like we've rediscovered the America of our youth. I even caught myself shopping for a used Camaro the other day.    


In honor of the facts that (1) sharks are apparently cruising the east coast beaches with the brazenness of a high school lacrosse team on a Red Bull bender, and (2) my preferred death wish is swimming beyond the break . . . 


Last week's off the cuff picks were actually pretty strong as they featured the winner (Tony Finau), a runner-up (Emiliano Grillo) and seven other players who made the cut. Of course I pinned my hopes for a profitable week on Brendan Steele making the cut and I can tell you from multiple experiences, he is not the guy you want on the bubble with the clock winding down on Friday. Suffice it to say that he shot 39 on the back and missed the cut by 4. I'm on to Detroit.  

It's time for Will Zalatoris or Cameron Young to win a damn golf tournament. Between the two of them, they've got a dozen top five finishes since October and four of those have been at majors. Sooner or later one of them is just going to ball strike the shit out of a tournament and win by five. A golf course that has been recently dominated by the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Matthew Wolff and Joaquin Niemann would be a logical place for that to occur. 

(It's worth noting that the last time Young followed-up a missed cut with a top three like he just did at St. Andrews was at the RBC Heritage where he finished T3 and then he went T2 at the Wells Fargo and T3 at the PGA Championship. We like to call that "streaky" in our business).

Kevin Kisner clearly loves this golf course as evidenced by his T8 last year and 3rd place finish in 2020 so he was an obvious pick. As were Maverick McNealy and Webb Simpson who have recently dropped into the undervalued zone. 

We are all aboard the Joohyung Kim bandwagon until the wheels fall-off (big bandwagon week for the FGR). Troy Merritt barely makes the cut under the Kevin Kisner theory even though I really wanted to go double old school and give his spot to Harris English alongside Rickie Fowler. Rickie gets the nod based on the fact that he's hungrier. At least he damn well better be. 

The battle for sleeper was pretty intense. On one side we had a former Masters champion who finished 7th last week and T4 here two years ago. On the other hand we had a guy named "Hank". Ultimately the Masters champ got the nod but it was close because I mean, "Hank".

One and Done Pick: Cameron Young
The MLB sponsorship 
was the clincher.

Other Guy I'd Pick: Will Zalatoris 

Sleeper Pick: Danny Willett

DraftKings Top Ten Values 

Will Zalatoris


Cameron Young


Kevin Kisner


Maverick McNealy


Webb Simpson


Joohyung Kim


Troy Merritt


Rickie Fowler


Danny Willett


Hank Lebioda


Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

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