Welcome back to Golf News Net’s weekly fantasy golf picks. Each week of the European 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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The European Tour goes into The Netherlands for the KLM Open, going to a new venue this year at the Colin Montgomerie-designed, links-style The Dutch. Thomas Pieters is defending champion, while last week’s winner, Alex Noren, looks for a third Euro Tour win this season.
Each week, we’ll provide our picks and analysis, with our GNN Plus subscribers getting access to our searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present, 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.
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2016 KLM Open top 10 fantasy golf picks
1. Thomas Pieters — Pieters is defending champion in this event, and he’s been on a good run since the Olympics. Him and Noren are the top players in the field by far.
2. Alex Noren — Noren has two wins this season, including the playoff win at the European Masters. An obvious pick.
3. Joost Luiten — The national hero this week, Luiten is a past champion in the KLM Open. First start since the Olympics.
4. Pablo Larrazabal — A horse-for-event pick, he’s coming off a T-7 in Switzerland that was his first since the BMW International Open.
5. Byeong-hun An — Ben An is making his first post-Olympics start this week, trying to get his first top-10 since losing in a playoff in New Orleans. Several top-11s in that stretch.
6. Chris Wood — Wood is a good player to look at this week if you’re reluctant to take Pieters or Noren. Similar style.
7. Bernd Wiesberger — Playing modest golf of late, Wiesberger may not be a great fit this week given form and venue, but a solid choice to make a good finish in standard-issue European Tour events.
8. Robert Karlsson — Karlsson has been experiencing a mini-resurgence, with top-15 finishes in the Czech Republic and Denmark.
9. Mikko Ilonen — Ilonen has been playing solid golf all summer, in the top 25 pretty much since July.
10. Simon Dyson — Dyson is a total horse-for-event pick. He’s struggled a lot this year, but he has a very good record in the KLM Open.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Alex Noren – $11,500
2. Pablo Larrazabal – $9,500
3. Thomas Detry – $8,000
4. Graeme Storm – $7,300
5. Magnus Carlsson – $7,200
6. Felipe Aguilar – $6,700
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five European Tour events. Here are the players in this week’s field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five European Tour events:
- Alex Noren – 3 – T-8 French Open, WIN Scottish Open, WIN European Masters
- Callum Shinkwin – 2 – T-9 French Open, T-8 Scottish Open
- Mikko Ilonen – 2 – T-13 Scottish Open, T-12 European Masters
- Robert Karlsson – 2 – T-7 Czech Masters, T-15 Made in Denmark
- Thomas Pieters – 2 – 2nd Czech Masters, WIN Made in Denmark
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the KLM Open multiple times in the last five years, keeping in mind we’re at a new venue this year:
- Magnus Carlsson – 2
- Simon Dyson – 3
- Oliver Fisher – 2
- Ross Fisher – 2
- David Horsey – 2
- Pablo Larrazabal – 3
- Joost Luiten – 3
- Eddie Pepperell – 2
- Richie Ramsay – 2
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at this championship. We don’t have a guy this week, however.
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.
We’re looking here at the players who are salaried at $1,500 or more than their season average:
- Joachim B. Hansen
- Anthony Wall
- Alejandro Canizares
- Robert Karlsson
- Mikko Ilonen
- Renato Paratore
- David Howell
- Scott Hend
- Pablo Larrazabal
- Alexander Noren
- Thomas Pieters
Here are players who have multiple top 15s in the last five European Tour (specific) events who are playing less than their average salary this week: We have none. This is an overvalued field.