Welcome to new PGA Tour season and welcome back to Golf News Net's weekly fantasy golf picks, presented by DraftKings.com. 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.
Have you ever played one-week fantasy leagues? Give them a try with a free entry this week with your first deposit. You could take down our expert picks and win some big bucks.
The 2014-15 PGA Tour season reboots at a relatively unknown quantity. Silverado Resort & Spa, co-owned by Johnny Miller, plays host on its North Course. The property did host the PGA Tour from 1968-80, but has been off the schedule for 34 years. Miller redesigned the course in 2011, with the hopes of someday hosting this event, which has been at CordeValle for the last six years.
The par-72 course plays to a max length of just over 7,200 yards and features a pair of par 5s in the final three holes. The weather should be pretty much close to perfect all week.
Now, on to the picks!
- Jimmy Walker: The defending champion kicked off the wraparound schedule a year ago, and who knew it would lead to another two wins and a spot on the American Ryder Cup team? He's steady and had a great showing at Gleneagles. A little time off will help him reload after a draining week.
- Brooks Koepka: After starting his pro career in Europe, Koepka is back home as a PGA Tour member. He hits the ball a LONG way can overpower most any golf course. He finished T-15 in the PGA Championship and in the top 11 in his final three European Tour starts of the year.
- Matt Kuchar: Poor Ryder Cup aside, Kuchar is one of the best players in this field of 144. He was mediocre in the final three events of the FedEx Cup playoffs, but it's hard to overlook his steady nature.
- Justin Thomas: This kid is going to be a star. He plowed his way through the Web.com Tour last season, notching a win during the Web.com Tour Finals. To be frank, he was the best all-around player on the Tour last year. He'll be able to play an aggressive style this week, like the one required to thrive on the Web.com Tour.
- Brandt Snedeker: You'd be hard-pressed to find a better putter in the field this week. Snedeker struggled through the FedEx Cup playoffs, but that could probably be attributed to pushing for a Ryder Cup spot. Freed up from that worry and playing on unfamiliar greens, Snedeker's knack for the flat stick should be an asset.
- Hideki Matsuyama: The Memorial winner is coming off some rest after not making it to the Tour Championship. He has some good vibes in this event, finishing T-3 a year ago at CordeValle.
- Brendon de Jonge: The big Zimbabwean had a down 2013-14 season, primarily because he was 128th on the PGA Tour in birdie average -- typically, his strong suit. He's a sleeper on a course that's essentially brand new to the entire field, especially if he can go pinseeking.
- Russell Knox: The Scot is starting to figure out playing on the PGA Tour. Last season, he had eight top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour and made 20 of 26 cuts. This is just the kind of event where a player of his caliber could break through for a win like Jimmy Walker did last year. However, his poor putting last season is a concern.
- Hunter Mahan: It might seem weird to rank Mahan at such a low spot, but he comes off an ineffective Ryder Cup and struggling after winning The Barclays. He's one of the more accomplished players in this field, but the psychological impact of his week at Gleneagles makes him a wild card.
- Sam Saunders: Admittedly, taking Arnold Palmer's grandson this week would be a bit of a flyer. However, Saunders didn't finish outside the top 16 in the Web.com Tour Finals' four events. He makes a lot of birdies and has above average length off the tee.
My DraftKings team for this week:
- Jimmy Walker - $11,200
- Brooks Koepka - $9,700
- Russell Knox - $8,300
- Justin Thomas - $7,700
- Brendon de Jonge - $7,000
- Sam Saunders - $4,300