Welcome back to Golf News Net's weekly fantasy golf picks. Each week of the PGA Tour season, we'll present our top picks for that week's tournament and make recommendations for DraftKings' one-week fantasy leagues.
The PGA Tour returns after a two-week break with its season debut at the Frys.com Open at Silverado Resort (North Course) in Napa, Calif. It's the second year in a row for the Johnny Miller-owned property for hosting the event, where Sangmoon Bae won last year. Bae won't defend, but his par-5 scoring was what guided him to victory last year. It should be an important key this year, as will be mid-range putting, where birdies and eagles most often happen.
On to the picks!
1. Rory McIlroy -- McIlroy should be ready to go, albeit on a course he is seeing for the first time. He looked solid at the BMW Championship, but seemed to be missing a gear at a rainy Tour Championship. Pin that on McIlroy's fickle relationship with the weather. Napa is beautiful, so he should score well.
2. Hideki Matsuyama -- Matsuyama didn't have the best week at the Presidents Cup, but that may have been the result of huge expectations. The Japanese star may be a bit tired from playing in South Korea, but his ballstriking is a huge asset at Silverado. He finished T-3 here last year.
3. Justin Rose -- Rose could arguably be the second or even top-ranked player this week, he's playing that well. He's finished outside of the top 16 just once (MC at the Deutsche Bank Championship) since mid-July. Not the best putter in the field, but putting well enough for his tee-to-green game to shine.
4. Daniel Berger -- Berger is ahead of Tony Finau here only because he's slightly less rusty in competition. Berger missed the cut here last year, but ended the year with a pair of T-12 finishes (Deutsche Bank Championship, Tour Championship) and a runner-up at the BMW Championship. One of the best on Tour last year in par-5 scoring because of his approach game. Mid-range putting is suspect.
5. Tony Finau -- Finau had a remarkable rookie campaign. He probably should've won Rookie of the Year over Berger. However, he crapped out in the playoffs while Berger eked into East Lake. Finau was T-12 here last year and should crush the par 5s.
6. Brooks Koepka -- It wouldn't take a lot to convince me to place Koepka higher. After all, he finished T-2 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship a couple of weeks ago. However, Koepka had a dreadful end to the PGA Tour season, likely somewhat influenced in chasing a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup. Was T-8 here last year.
7. Justin Thomas -- We keep saying that Thomas is close, and he seems to be, but he just cannot finish a tournament. Missed the cut here last year to kick off the season, but made his last eight cuts on the PGA Tour season, including five finishes inside the top 18. Length should be a plus.
8. Emiliano Grillo -- Why put a rookie in the top 10? He's not playing like one. He won the Web.com Tour Championship and posted two other top-10 finishes in the Web.com Tour Finals. He's got top-tier talent and now has the stage.
9. Brendan Steele -- Steele had a terrific 2014-15 season, showing some of the promise he delivered on earlier in his career. He missed one cut in his prior eight PGA Tour starts and ended his season with a T-13 at the BMW Championship.
10. Kevin Na -- Na concluded his season strongly, earning three playoff top-20 finishes, including a T10-T16 conclusion. Na didn't play here last year, but he missed just three cuts last year in a very solid season. He's not a big threat to win, but he should be penciled in for a good finish.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Tony Finau -- $9,200
2. Daniel Berger -- $8,900
3. Brendan Steele -- $8,300
4. Daniel Summerhays -- $8,000
5. Russell Knox -- $7,900
6. Bryce Molder -- $7,500
JOIN GNN PLUS AS AN ANNUAL MEMBER & YOU'LL GET:
- A FREE USGA handicap ($30 value, annual members only)
- Entry into member-only giveaways
- Special discounts and member benefits
- An ad-free experience
- Equipment testing data
- Exclusive fantasy golf and betting research