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 and suggest daily fantasy golf lineups.
The final World Golf Championships of the year unfolds this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions. We have nine of the top 11 players in the world in the field, including FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy and U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson. Jason Day and Jordan Spieth are the only players skipping in the top 11.
For GNN Plus subscribers, you can access our NEW 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.
2016 WGC-HSBC Champions top 10 picks
1. Rory McIlroy — McIlroy has a consistent record in this event (and in China in general), and he’s been playing brilliant golf. New driver and fairway wood in the bag this week, so it’ll be interesting to see the adjustment.
2. Paul Casey — Casey has been a top-10 machine of late, and there’s no reason to believe that strong play won’t continue this week.
3. Dustin Johnson — Johnson is making his “season” debut, his first start since the Ryder Cup. He’s a past champion here, and Sheshan International fits his game.
4. Justin Thomas — The CIMB Classic winner has been playing great golf going back into the playoffs…you know, way back in September. His slashing style should work here.
5. Hideki Matsuyama — Hideki Matsuyama has bolted into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and he’s been playing very strong golf for two months. Putting always a question.
6. Alex Noren — Alex Noren has won three times on the European Tour this year, and he’s been tearing it up of late with length off the tee and brilliant play inside of 150 yards. Sounds like a recipe for success.
7. Patrick Reed — Reed was T-7 here last year, and we’ll consider the T-51 finish at the CIMB Classic a blip that ends a string of top 25 finishes dating back to early summer.
8. Adam Scott — Scott is one of a handful of players in the field that has good, consistent experience in this event. Continues playing consistent, top-10 golf.
9. Ryan Moore — The Ryder Cup clincher deserves some love, although his relative lack of length is a potential problem. Consider him a hunch to continue playing well.
10. Martin Kaymer — Kaymer is not only playing well overall, but he has a win here and owns the course record. Sneaky good pick here.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Justin Thomas – $9,300
2. Patrick Reed – $9,000
3. Martin Kaymer – $8,700
4. Alex Noren – $8,000
5. Rafa Cabrera Bello – $7,600
6. Louis Oosthuizen – $7,400
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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.
To access this research hidden below and MANY more fantasy golf tools, sign up for GNN Plus to gain access to the analysis! Your first two months’ dues will be donated to one of two charities: Special Olympics or The First Tee![s2If is_user_logged_in()]
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. Here are the players in this week’s field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events:
- Adam Scott – 4 – T-4 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-4 BMW Championship, T-8 Tour Championship, T-10 CIMB Classic
- Daniel Berger – 2 – T-10 BMW Championship, T-15 Tour Championship
- Dustin Johnson – 3 – T-8 Deutsche Bank Championship, WIN BMW Championship, T-6 Tour Championship
- Gary Woodland – 2 – T-15 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-10 Tour Championship
- Hideki Matsuyama – 3 – T-15 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-5 Tour Championship, 2nd CIMB Classic
- Jimmy Walker – 2 – T-3 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-13 BMW Championship
- Justin Thomas – 3 – T-6 Tour Championship, T-8 Safeway Open, WIN CIMB Classic
- Kevin Chappell – 2 – T-8 Deutsche Bank Championship, P-2 Tour Championship
- Matt Kuchar – 2 – T-4 BMW Championship, T-15 Tour Championship
- Patrick Reed – 2 – T-5 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-13 BMW Championship
- Paul Casey – 4 – 2nd Deutsche Bank Championship, 2nd BMW Championship, 4th Tour Championship, T-4 Safeway Open
- Rory McIllroy – 2 – WIN Deutsche Bank Championship, WIN Tour Championship
- Russell Knox – 2 – T-15 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-10 CIMB Classic
- Ryan Moore – 2 – T-8 Deutsche Bank Championship, P-2 Tour Championship
- Scott Piercy – 2 – T-3 Safeway Open, T-10 CIMB Classic
- Si Woo Kim – 3 – T-15 Deutsche Bank Championship, T-10 Tour Championship, T-10 CIMB Classic
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the HSBC Champions multiple times in the last five years when at Sheshan International (four times):
- Adam Scott – 2
- Bubba Watson – 2
- Dustin Johnson – 2
- Louis Oosthuizen – 3
- Martin Kaymer – 3
- Rory McIlroy – 3
- Sergio Garcia – 2
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well in this championship. Our guys: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott
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 $500 over their average salary from the final five events of last season:
- Rory McIlroy
- Roberto Castro
- Sean O’Hair
- Justin Thomas
- Russell Knox
- Danny Lee
Here are the players with multiple top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing this week BELOW their average salary from the final five events of last season:
- Adam Scott – $820 BELOW
- Gary Woodland – $1,500 BELOW
- Jimmy Walker – $840 BELOW
- Matt Kuchar – $1,200 BELOW
- Patrick Reed – $1,183 BELOW
The winner this week is going deep — really deep. Something like 20 under will win, and that means giving yourself a lot of opportunities to score. So, we look at two simple stats: GIR percentage and par-5 scoring.[/s2If]