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.
Have you ever played one-week fantasy leagues? Give them a try with a free entry this week with your first deposit. (Be aware of the risks in playing daily fantasy sports tournaments.) You could take down our expert picks and win some big bucks.
First of all, let's issue an apology for no picks last week. We went on a bit of a secret trip (which you'll learn about on Monday) and we found ourselves with almost zero time to put in to delivering the proper analysis.
However, we have two gifts to make up for it. For GNN Plus subscribers, you'll now be able to access our top-15 finish chart and season-long trends on DraftKings valuations. They'll be available at your disposal as part of a growing set of tools to help in your research.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
The PGA Tour heads to the mainland United States this week for the CareerBuilder Challenge, formerly the Humana Challenge and, before that, the Bob Hope (Chrysler) Classic. The three-course rotation has been shaken up, with only La Quinta C.C. remaining from last year, joined now by two different courses at PGA West, replacing the Nicklaus Private and Palmer Private courses. It's key to note that will influence scoring, certainly, but, as Golf Channel has put it, this is golf under a dome -- the weather is often perfect so scoring will be low barring a surprise emergence of windy conditions.
Now, on to the picks!
1. Patrick Reed -- Reed was runner-up at the Tournament of Champions, and he's become such a better player and more mature golfer than when he won here two years ago. He's on fire, been in the top 10 in his last six worldwide starts.
2. Zach Johnson -- Johnson didn't look great at Kapalua in Week 1 with Parsons Xtreme Golf, but he did put out a T-9 finish at Waialae. Has a couple of top-10s here since 2012.
3. David Lingmerth -- Lingmerth may be an under-the-radar pick this week, but both his track record here and lately deserve it. He has three top-15s this season, including in his last two starts. Had a chance to win here in 2013.
4. Bill Haas -- Haas is the defending champ and practically automatic. He has another win and a playoff loss. Horse for course.
5. Jason Dufner -- The Duff is back, baby. He's healthy and, hopefully, pretty well moved on from his divorce. He was T-9 at Waialae, his second top-10 of the season.
6. Si Woo Kim -- The 20-year-old may have a bad habit of getting lined up before every shot, but the kid is playing really well. He was fourth at Waialae and he's racking up top-25 finishes this season.
7. Matt Kuchar -- Kuchar has a good record in this event, getting the silver medal twice. He's playing OK golf, finishing T-13 at Waialae. It would seem his days of top-10-ing everything are over, but he's still a good fit here.
8. Charles Howell III -- A runner-up here in 2013, CH3 has a modest record here otherwise. However, he has three top-15 finishes on the season. He's worth a look, even if you're convinced he's not going to win.
9. Zac Blair -- Blair came up a shot short of the Sony Open playoff, but the Utah native acquitted himself very well. Could stick with the hot hand this week.
10. Brian Harman -- Consider this a flier if you'd like, but Harman has a pair of top-15 finishes this season, including last week in Honolulu. His record here is not good, admittedly, but his MO to go low could serve him well here.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Jason Dufner -- $9,800
2. David Lingmerth -- $8,800
3. Zac Blair -- $8,200
4. William McGirt -- $8,000
5. Brian Harman -- $7,500
6. Si Woo Kim -- $7,400
If you want to win at DraftKings daily fantasy golf, you have to figure out a way to find six golfers that play all 72 holes and earn roughly 85 points each.
You likely have to identify a couple of players in the top five, at least the top seven, and you'd ideally not have a player finish outside the top 20.
Doing that takes research, looking at a variety of factors, including:
- Finish trends, both in recent weeks on the PGA Tour and at that week's event,
- Salary trends, deciphering which players are showing value based on their performance, and
- Statistical trends, identifying the common threads among winners in that week's event
That's what Golf News Net will deliver each week to GNN Plus members in this space, offering a complete research package which dives into these three areas to find the players that should be in your lineup for this week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Sign up for GNN Plus to gain access to the analysis!