Fantasy Golf Tournament Preview- Open

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff October 13, 2015 11:00

It was only two weeks, but it felt like an eternity without golf. Yes, we had the President’s Cup, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and Tour Final to try and satisfy our urge, but frankly they all failed. This week we return to a full-field, new season, PGA event and for the first time in a while, a CUTLINE! I try and tell people who have not played PGA DFS that the cutline sweat is the greatest of all sports. I absolutely love how I have heard from a countless amount of people who tell me that they doubted how great of a DFS sport golf was, until they tried it. Now they rave about how it is easily the best sport. I completely agree and am so glad that it is a year around sport and we only have a couple brief breaks from the excitement all year long. This week, we kick off the fall season with the Open and contrary to what you might think, the field is actually really strong. Several of the Top 25 players in the world are participating and of course all of those newbies who just qualified via the Web,com Tour.

This event was first held in 2007 as the Fry’s Electronics Open in Arizona. It then adopted its current name in 2008, and moved to California in 2010, at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin. Last year the tournament moved to the North course of Silverado Country Club in Napa. For that reason we will weight tournament history for last year much more than years prior to that.  Silverado’s North Course is a Par 72 and measures 7,203 yards long. There are a lot of short Par 4 holes with seven of them measuring less than 425 yards and three of them between 360-390 yards. The shortest Par 5 hole is 538 yards and the longest is the daunting 575 yard 18th hole.

Greens in regulation and Par 4 scoring proved to be extremely indicative of success in last year’s contest at Silverado. Everybody finishing in the Top 8 on the leaderboard were among the top 12 in Par 4 scoring. In addition, of the Top 10, seven were amongst the top 10 in greens in regulation. Because the Par 5s have some length to them it is no surprise that the long ball hitters like Koepka, Finau, Bowditch, and Swafford all exceled on them. They also finished T8, T12, 2nd, and T8 respectively, so be sure to place some emphasis on Par 5 scoring as well.

For the we will weight strokes gained tee-to-green as the most important, and if you have not read our outstanding article Do statistics really matter in fantasy golf, we would encourage you to do so. We will also analyze greens in regulation, Par 4 scoring, Par 5 scoring, birdies or better %, and strokes gained putting in that order.

The will feature a bunch of new faces to the tour, so be sure to check out our 10 Sleepers to Watch for the PGA DFS Fall Season.

If you haven’t checked out FantasyAces yet be sure to this week. We have heard from many many members who have been very profitable playing their cash games, and the fall season should provide more of an edge.   Our own Roger Casey’s article is written specifically for FantasyAces scoring system and pricing model and it is very good! If you sign up through this link: SIGN UP FOR FANTASY ACES
Use the Promo Code: INSIDER, you will get an outstanding 20% first time bonus (up to $250). If you do it through this link or the banner on our front page we get credit for you signing up and can keep making FGI better. If you have specific questions, feel free to shoot us an email, or hit us up on Twitter @Fantasygolfers.

For access to our Top picks, value picks, sleepers, and more, become a premium member.

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*To start the year we will still reference 2015 statistics for those who played on the PGA Tour.


I always write a good share of my article prior to the salaries being released, because I generally have a really good idea of where guys will be priced. Well this week not only did Draftkings release their salaries late, but many were quite a bit different than what I was expecting. In my article, I talked about a bunch of guys new to the tour that not many people would be aware of. Well it appears that Draftkings in particular not only took their success on the Tour into consideration, but in my opinion they overvalued it. I don’t know maybe they read my article:) You will notice in my recommendations several players (I will keep them in my recommendations, although I will note them overpriced), that I like, but their salary is too high to present a lot of value. I still like them for some GPP use because I believe their ownership will be low and they are solid players, the price just diminishes their value. For instance, I really like Chez Reavie coming into the fall season, because he has great current form on the tour and made cuts on the PGA Tour last year. But he is priced $100 cheaper than Russell Knox. Let’s compare the two briefly:

Knox-20 cuts made in 28 events, 11 Top 25s, 3 Top 10s, 2 runner-ups
Reavie- 11 cuts made in 19 events, 3 Top 25s, -0- Top 10s

The only way I would like Reavie more than Knox is if he were $1,500 cheaper. Does that mean that Reavie could not finish better than Knox? Of course not. But we are looking for value and who will outperform their price most often. Another example is Jamie Lovemark, who I wrote up as a sleeper. I really like him, but for about $1,000 less. He is priced the same as guys like Pat Perez, Bryce Molder, and George McNeill who all had solid seasons last year on the PGA Tour. So feel free to target these guys, because they have a chance at have solid seasons this year, just be careful that you are not paying too high of a price. We may get a better price in a couple weeks. Do feel free to target them in GPPs as their ownership will be low, especially because of their price and perceived lack of value.


Top Stud Picks:


Justin Rose- This was a tough call for us between Rose and McIlroy, but give Rose the slight edge due to his better current form. For GPP purposes in DFS we actually like stacking both of them. We last saw Rose chalking up a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship to cap of an outstanding 2015 that included 11 Top 25s, eight Top 10s, three runner-ups, and a win at the Zurich Classic. Rose actually only had two finishes outside of the Top 16 since the start of May. This will be his first appearance at the, but he is clearly the class of the field. (Mostly GPPS)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 6th
Greens in Regulation- 9th
Par 4 Scoring 18th
Par 5 Scoring- 4th
Birdie or Better %- 4th
Strokes Gained Putting-100th


Rory McIlroy- What a nice stack Rory and Rose would be, especially since there are some decent cut-makers near the lower part of the salary structure. Outside of his T4 finish at the BMW, Rory did not show great form ever since coming back from his ankle injury. That being said, he is not far off and it has actually been his putting that has been preventing him from consistently being a Top 5 guy week in and week out. A little time off seemed to do him some good between the Deutsche Bank and BMW, so we think it will serve him well here as well. As with Rose, this will be McIlroy’s first appearance here. He has the ability to rack up points in DFS, which makes him a great GPP play, although his salary is not ideal for cash games. (Mostly GPPs)

Did not qualify for statistical ranking on PGA Tour.


Hideki Matsuyama- The model of consistency, at least as far as cut-making goes, Matsuyama made 23 cuts in 25 events played (only misses were Farmers and Wyndham). He also has a lot of upside as he made nine Top 10s last season. We predicted he would break out last year and he kind of did, but this year we are expecting even more. He ended the season strong taking T12 at the Tour Championship, T7 at BMW, T25 at Deutsche Bank, and T13 at the Barclays. He has two consecutive 3rd place finishes in this event (last year at Silverado). His putting and lack of delivering in the clutch have been the reasons he did not win several events last year. The only thing that is a slight concern this week for Matsuyama is the quick turnaround after the Presidents Cup. He is obviously used to flying across the world, so we are able to overlook the travel a bit. (Mostly GPP because salary is a bit high)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 6th
Greens in Regulation- 9th
Par 4 Scoring- 18th
Par 5 Scoring- 4th
Birdie or Better %- 4th
Strokes Gained Putting-100th


Brooks Koepka- Our weekly preview would not be complete without a mention of the guy we love and hate both at the same time, our guy Brooksie. He finished out the season with a MC, MC, T49, and T18 in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, (although accumulated more DFS points than his position in the two ladder events). But hold your horses on the Brooks bashing if you were not watching the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship two weeks ago, because Brooksie looked damn good on his way to a runner-up finish. Is that the start of a run by a guy who has all the talent in the world and someone we think will be a Top 10 player in the world in the next two years? Who the hell knows, he might just quad his way to another missed cut, that is just what kind of player he is and we have to live with it. That being said, nobody ever talks about the importance of DFS points and he is the king of accumulating them, so once again we will get back on the horse and go for a ride. If that isn’t enough for you, he took 3rd here in this event two years ago and 8th last year in this event on this course. (GPP and cash games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 34th
Greens in Regulation- 17th
Par 4 Scoring 10th
Par 5 Scoring- 7th
Birdie or Better %- 10th
Strokes Gained Putting-17th


Top Value Picks:


Daniel Berger- If you caught our webcast a few weeks ago, you heard us mention that Berger’s girlfriend, who was on break from lawschool was traveling with him all summer. That just happened to be when Berger went from a contender every week to missing seven consecutive cuts. Then when school started back up and she stopped traveling with him he put up a T12 at the Deutsche Bank, 2nd at BMW, and T12 at the Tour Championship. Now I am not saying she was the reason for his poor play, but something looks a little fishy. Either way the chick is back at school and as Pay Mayo would say: its BERGER TIME! All told, Berger had a whopping 13 Top 25s and 6 Top 10s despite his summer hiatus. He has a ton of talent and he is in good form. Berger did play in this event last year and missed the cut, but it was the first event as a rookie, so we will chalk it up to nerves. Outstanding GPP play as he has a ton of upside, but also a respectable cash game player. (GPP and cash games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 33rd
Greens in Regulation- 30th
Par 4 Scoring- 50th
Par 5 Scoring- 13th
Birdie or Better %- 36th
Strokes Gained Putting-142nd


Kevin Na- Na had a fantastic season last year making 23 cuts in 27 events played with a whopping 14 Top 25s and seven Top 10s. He played well in the FedEx cup playoffs to close out the season with a T20 at Barclays, T60 at Deutsche Bank, T10 at BMW, and T16 at the Tour Championship. He did not play in this event last year at Silverado. The only statistical category that he is not good in is greens in regulation, but he is an elite scrambler (19th in scrambling and 1st in sand save %) so that helps offset the deficiency. His price on Draftkings ($9,000) is a bit high for our liking, but he is definitely one of the most established players in the field. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 28th
Greens in Regulation- 138th
Par 4 Scoring- 26th
Par 5 Scoring- 61st
Birdie or Better %- 33rd
Strokes Gained Putting-142nd


Emiliano Grillo- He would have been one of our picks regardless if he won in the championship event two weeks ago or not. Still, probably not that many people noticed, so hopefully his ownership will not be too high in DFS. Last season on the PGA Tour he had four made cuts in five events played with three Top 25s and two Top 10s, including a 2nd at the Puerto Rico Open. In addition he made four appearances on the Tour, which included a 2nd, 9th, and that win in the championship event. The majority of his play last year was on the European Tour where he had highlights of a T5 at the Qatar Masters, T11 at Shenzhen International, T3 at Volvo China Open, and 6th at the Open de Espana. We expect Grillo to make an impact on the PGA Tour this season and want to be on him early. He is one of those players whose price came in higher than expected. He is the 10th highest priced player in the field, which is nuts. We will not be loading up on him as much as if he were priced more reasonably. (GPP) *Overpriced on DK

Did not qualify for statistical ranking on PGA Tour.


Brendan Steele- 2015 marked Steele’s best season on the PGA Tour as he made 20 cuts in 24 events played with eleven Top 25s and four Top 10s. He finished out the season playing well with a T30 at Quicken, T7 at Barracuda, T12 at the PGA Championship, MC at Barclays, T44 at Deutsche Bank, and T13 at BMW. Last year he took 21st here at Silverado Country Club. Steele gives us the consistency we need for cash games, but also offers a nice upside. (GPP and cash games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 15th
Greens in Regulation- 40th
Par 4 Scoring- 10th
Par 5 Scoring- 28th
Birdie or Better %- 14th
Strokes Gained Putting-121st


Russell Knox- We mentioned Know earlier and at his price, he now looks like a steal compared to others that are around him. We know he cannot putt for shit, and we actually dedicated one of our Shots Of The Week to him, but he is really good tee-to-green. Last year he had 11 Top 25s in 28 events played with 3 Top 10s. He made the cut last year in this event but could only muster a T68. He finished the season well with his last three events recording a T45 at BMW, T12 at Deutsche Bank, and T20 at Barclays. At his price he makes for a solid cash game and GPP play. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 23rd
Greens in Regulation- 7th
Par 4 Scoring- 7th
Par 5 Scoring- 145th
Birdie or Better %- 14th
Strokes Gained Putting-73rd


Daniel Summerhays- If we asked you to name a player who finished T11 or better in four of his final 7 events of 2015, it would probably take you a while to come up with Daniel Summerhays. A T41 at BMW, T9 at Deutsche Bank, and T6 at Barclays were his finishes in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. He finished 46th in this event last year and 40th the year before for what it is worth. What makes him really valuable and especially at $8,000 on Draftkings is his cutmaking ability. He made 21 cuts in 29 events played last season and was 5 for 5 in cuts made during the fall season last year. He would be a great fit on a balanced, cash game type lineup. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 123rd
Greens in Regulation- 113th
Par 4 Scoring- 18th
Par 5 Scoring- 97th
Birdie or Better %- 61st
Strokes Gained Putting-3rd


Will Wilcox- A second round 76 at The Barclays ruined a first round 67, a made cut, and a chance to advance in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Outside of that bad round, Wilcox was on a very nice run taking T26 at Wyndham, T10 at Barracuda, T21 at Quicken Loans, 2nd at Barbasol, and T8 at John Deere. Wilcox is a statistical juggernaut ranking in the Top 20 in greens in regulation, Strokes Gained Tee-to-green, Total Strokes Gained, scoring average, and total driving. He became a popular play in DFS during last season and we expect him to be on the minds of most players, but he has a lot of upside that cannot be ignored. (GPP and cash games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 20th
Greens in Regulation- 4th
Par 4 Scoring- 3rd
Par 5 Scoring- 78th
Birdie or Better %- 17th
Strokes Gained Putting-32nd


Bryce Molder- He is decent at making cuts (19 of 26 in 2015) but his finishes look like a yo-yo. He does have some upside as he finished T11 at Barclays, T6 at Greenbrier, and T15 at RBC Heritage. Molder has a lot of success in this tournament including a 3rd place finish last year, in 2009 6th, and in 2011 a win. He is an excellent Par 4 scorer and can also putt. We like him in GPPs for DFS. (Mostly GPPs)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 147th
Greens in Regulation- 119th
Par 4 Scoring- 18th
Par 5 Scoring- 166th
Birdie or Better %- 114th
Strokes Gained Putting-14th


Top Sleeper Picks:


Chez Reavie- Reavie has a tendency to get hot during stretches of time. Last year he had three Top 25s and they all came in a three tournament stretch between mid-June and the first week in July. Well, he is on one of those nice stretches right now taking T10, 1st, T20, and 2nd in the Playoffs. He is a guy who can present value because he is a decent cut-maker (made 11 cuts in 19 events on the PGA Tour in 2015). He is not a guy who we would expect to take a Top 10 (zero in 2015). Also he is not a sleeper as determined by price, but rather by ownership. His price-tag at $7,800 on DK is a bit high. (GPP only)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 73rd
Greens in Regulation- 15th
Par 4 Scoring- 74th
Par 5 Scoring- 124th
Birdie or Better %- 101st
Strokes Gained Putting-152nd


Jamie Lovemark- A player that we included in our Top 10 Sleepers to Watch in the PGA DFS Fall season, he had finishes of T35, T2, and T6 in the Playoffs. During the regular season on the tour he made 17 cuts in 21 events, which included seven Top 10s. Lovemark had two PGA Tour appearances in 2015 finishing T31 at The Honda Classic and T18 at the U.S Open. Like Reavie he is a good option for filling a roster spot on a starts and scrubs type lineup, but his pricetag does not present much value. Will be low owned. (GPP only)

Did not qualify for statistical ranking on PGA Tour.


Roberto Castro- Last year Castro made 11 cuts in 16 events played, including the last five events that he played. In the last three Playoff events he finished T9, T2, and T10. Those are promising finishes, even if they are on the Tour. Castro will help free up salary cap space, give you a decent cut-maker, will be owned by under 5% of the field, and is coming in with excellent form. The only thing that we are not thrilled with is his price. We would have thought $6,700 would be more accurate than $7,500. (Mostly GPP)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 37th
Greens in Regulation- 99th
Par 4 Scoring- 7th
Par 5 Scoring- 28th
Birdie or Better %- 39th
Strokes Gained Putting-178th


Lucas Glover- He made only 15 cuts in 26 events played with zero Top 10s on the PGA Tour in 2015. However the end of his season he played extremely well with a T18 finish at the Wyndham Championship in August then finished T22, T25, T9, and T12 in the playoffs over the last month. He missed the cut here last year, so we would be betting on current form only. He is strictly a GPP type play. (GPP only)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 11th
Greens in Regulation- 10th
Par 4 Scoring- 147th
Par 5 Scoring- 78th
Birdie or Better %- 99th
Strokes Gained Putting-184th


Deep Sleepers:


Rhein Gibson- On the Tour last year Gibson made only 11 cuts in 25 events. He did however finish hot in the playoffs with consecutive finishes of T21, T9, and T4 in the championship. He had three other Top 10s in 2015, so he has some upside. Gibson played in the 2014 Open Championship and actually made the cut. He is a very good putter, ranking 13th in putting on the Tour. His price is $5,600, which amongst the bottom priced guys. If you are doing a stars and scrubs lineup, he is a respectable option.

Did not qualify for statistical ranking on PGA Tour.


Martin Piller- He finished second in the Tour regular season standing, but had a dreadful stretch between late August and late September missing four consecutive cuts, which included playoff events. He was able to post a respectable T30 finish in the Championship. During a month long stretch on the Tour last year he had a T9, T3, and two wins, so we know he has some skills. He played in one PGA Tour event, Barbasol Championship where he finished T19. Overall he is a boom or bust type player and would most likely be a GPP option. In 22 events played on the he missed half the cuts, but had five Top 10s, including those two wins. His price on Draftkings is $5,500, so if you wanted to put him on a roster, you could even pair McIlroy and Rose. (GPP only)

Did not qualify for statistical ranking on PGA Tour.


As always best of luck to all of the FGI team, if you are in the running for any big GPPs on Sunday, be sure to let us know so that we can be rooting for you!

-Fantasy Golf Insider


Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff October 13, 2015 11:00

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