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.
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I don’t know how we’re ever going to top what we saw on Sunday at Royal Troon. We can debate better tournaments, better weekends and such, but Stenson-Mickelson was the best final-day, 18-hole duel in the history of major championship golf.
So, we take a breath, drink it in, and move back across the Atlantic for the RBC Canadian Open. Jason Day and Dustin Johnson headline the field at Glen Abbey, which is a fun venue and a Jack Nicklaus design.
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2016 RBC Canadian Open top 10 picks
1. Jason Day — Day is the defending champion here, and he’s been playing excellent golf in the grand scheme of things. However, of late, he’s found a way to dig himself into an early hole, forcing himself to dig out before he can really contend.
2. Dustin Johnson — Johnson quietly finished inside the top 10 at Royal Troon. Two wins before that. He was a runner-up at this venue in 2013.
3. Matt Kuchar — Kuchar has finished in the top seven here in the last three years, including twice at Glen Abbey. Playing strong golf overall.
4. Jim Furyk — Furyk is another Canadian Open specialist, who is particularly great at Glen Abbey. He wasn’t wonderful at Troon, but it’s alright this week.
5. Brandt Snedeker — Snedeker won here in 2013. He has a great record in this event and wasn’t able to play last year because of an injury.
6. William McGirt — McGirt has played very nicely in his last two non-major starts, with a win at Memorial and a T-7 at Firestone. He was T-2 at this venue in 2013.
7. David Hearn — If there’s a Canadian hope to win their national championship, it’s David Hearn, who is playing some of the most consistent golf of his life this season.
8. Tony Finau — It seems Finau is developing a reputation as thriving in difficult circumstances. Glen Abbey isn’t a tough course, but a T-18 at the Open is impressive and makes him worth considering. He could manhandle this course.
9. Harold Varner III — HV3 is figuring it out on the PGA Tour. He hasn’t missed a cut since the Houston Open, and he’s finished in the top 10 three times. Made the cut in a tough draw at the Open.
10/BONUS. Dan McCarthy — You’ve never heard of Dan McCarthy, probably. But this guy has won three of six starts this season on the Canadian Tour, and it’s really not even close. He’s a hot hand worth looking at this week.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Brandt Snedeker – $10,300
2. Jim Furyk – $9,900
3. Harold Varner III – $7,800
4. William McGirt – $7,700
5. Dan McCarthy – $7,200
6. Colt Knost – $7,100
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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.
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We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five PGA Tour events — not their last five starts. Here are the players in this week’s field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five non-Stableford PGA Tour events:
- Dustin Johnson – 3 – WIN U.S. Open, WIN WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, T-9 British Open
- Andres Gonzales – 2 – T-12 Quicken Loans National, T-4 Barabsol Championship
- Jason Day – 2 – T-8 U.S. Open, T-3 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
- Kevin Streelman – 2 – T-13 U.S. Open, T-12 Quicken Loans National
- Robert Garrigus – 2 – T-8 Quicken Loans National, T-11 Barbasol Championship
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the Canadian Open multiple times in the last five years:
- Jim Furyk – 3
- Matt Kuchar – 3
- Adam Hadwin – 2
- Bud Cauley – 2
- Kevin Kisner – 2
- Kyle Stanley – 2
- Rory Sabbatini – 2
- William McGirt – 2
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at the Canadian Open. Our guys this week: NONE.
DraftKings salaries change from week to week, depending on field strength and size, as well a player’s recent record and their history on a course. It’s in looking at how a salary changes over time that we might get some clues as to players that could be a little overrated or underrated.
Here’s the list of players in the field playing $1,200 over their average salary this season, with most players overvalued in this field:
- Harold Varner III
- Mark Wilson
- Robert Allenby
- Rhein Gibson
- Mike Weir
- K.T. Kim
- Danny Lee
- Derek Fathauer
- Dustin Johnson
- Andres Gonzales
- Roberto Castro
- Jim Furyk
- Tony Finau
- Brian Stuard
- Robert Garrigus
- Jon Rahm
- Adam Hadwin
Here are players with multiple top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing this week less than $500 above their average salary this season:
- Jason Day
Glen Abbey has four par 5s, and it’s a very get-able golf course. The course isn’t long either. So, it’s a simple formula: We look at par-5 scoring and birdie or better percentage.
4. Jason Day (5)
6. Luke List (52)
T-10. Tony Finau (64)
13. Ryan Palmer (16)
13. Harold Varner III (T-48)
19. Dustin Johnson (2)
20. Chad Campbell (T-84)
21. Andrew Loupe (12)
23. Robert Garrigus (14)