Welcome back to Golf News Net’s weekly fantasy golf rankings. Each week of the PGA Tour season, we’ll present our top fantasy golf picks for that week’s tournament and give fantasy golf and betting tips for DraftKings’ and FanDuel’s one-week fantasy leagues, daily fantasy golf lineups, Yahoo fantasy golf, Golf Channel fantasy golf and PGA Tour fantasy golf leagues.
The PGA Tour travels into Arizona for a Super Bowl appetizer with TPC Scottsdale and its rowdy crowds welcoming a strong field for the 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Beyond the crazy 16th hole, the Tom Weiskopf-designed course is a ballstriker’s paradise.
For those new to our weekly picks, we offer our top 10 players for free. GNN Plus members get additional analysis and research otherwise hidden to the general public, and that’s in addition to access to a searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present, top-15 PGA Tour trends and season-long DraftKings salary trends.
2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open rankings: Top 10 picks
1. Justin Thomas — Best player on the PGA Tour this year is an auto-pick at the top of the rankings for the foreseeable future.
2. Hideki Matsuyama — Matsuyama is a past winner here, taking down Rickie Folwer in what was a cringe-inducing playoff. Matsuyama has settled a little, but he loves TPC Scottsdale.
3. Jon Rahm — An Arizona State guy, Rahm was top five here last year as an amateur. He’s learned a lot about winning and contending since then, including actually doing it last weekend.
4. Jordan Spieth — Spieth was T-7 here two years ago, so he has some semblance of record at the event. Back-to-back medal-stand finishes in Hawaii.
5. Phil Mickelson — Mickelson should’ve had a 59 on this course. He knows how to win here, and he’s exhibiting the kind of almost-good-enough-to-win game he flexed last year.
6. Brendan Steele — Steele is a top-15 regular in this event and is already a winner this year. And he’s kept it going since the Frys.com Open win.
7. Bubba Watson — Watson has played sparingly in the early 2017 portion of the season, but we’re making a leap of faith based on his past record here, where he’s basically automatic in the top 15.
8. Patrick Rodgers — Rodgers is putting it together and should be a winner soon. He’s driving the ball extremely well.
9. Webb Simpson — Simpson has been making cuts but doing nothing particularly great. However, he is a horse-for-course here, like buddy Bubba Watson.
10. Pat Perez — Perez is a hot hand, and this is a home game for him this week. He could be higher on this list.
My DraftKings lineup for this week:
- Jon Rahm – $9,700
- Harris English – $8,700
- Bubba Watson – $8,300
- Brendan Steele – $8,200
- Webb Simpson – $7,900
- J.J. Spaun – $7,000
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GNN Plus Research and Analysis
Recent PGA Tour Trends
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.
- Brendan Steele – 2 – T-6 Tournament of Champions, T-6 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Brian Harman – 2 – T-3 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-9 Farmers Insurance Open
- Chad Campbell – 2 – T-13 The RSM Classic, T-6 CareerBuilder Challengee
- Cheng-Tsung Pan – 2 – T-6 The RSM Classic, T-2 Farmers Insurance Open
- Chez Reavie – 2 – T-8 Sony Open, T-12 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Jamie Lovemark – 2 – T-6 The RSM Classic, T-4 Sony Open
- Jim Herman – 3 – T-13 The RSM Classic, T-12 Tournament of Champions, T-10 Sony Open in Hawaii
- Jordan Spieth – 2 – T-3 Tournament of Champions, 3rd Sony Open
- Justin Thomas – 2 – WIN Tournament of Champions, WIN Sony Open
- Luke List – 2 – T-13 The RSM Classic, T-10 Sony Open
- Ollie Schniederjans – 2 – T-6 The RSM Classic, T-9 Farmers Insurance Open
- Pat Perez – 2 – T-3 Tournament of Champions, T-4 Farmers Insurance Open
- Patrick Rodgers – 2 – T-10 The RSM Classic, T-4 Farmers Insurance Open
- Russell Henley – 2 – T-10 The RSM Classic, T-13 Sony Open
- Sean O’Hair – 2 – T-11 Sony Open, T-9 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Tony Finau – 2 – T-9 Tournament of Champions, T-4 Farmers Insurance Open
Event Finish History
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open multiple times in the last five years (even with a different rotation):
- Ben Crane – 2
- Brendan Steele – 3
- Bryce Molder – 2
- Bubba Watson – 5
- Graham DeLaet – 2
- Harris English – 3
- Hideki Matsuyama – 3
- J.B. Holmes – 2
- Jason Dufner – 2
- John Huh – 2
- Martin Laird – 2
- Phil Mickelson – 2
- Rickie Fowler – 2
- Ryan Moore – 3
- Ryan Palmer – 2
- Scott Piercy – 2
- Webb Simpson – 4
- Zach Johnson – 2
Ideally, we want to identify players who are both playing well right now and have a good track record here. Our guys this week: Brendan Steele
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 $1,000 over their 2016-17 average salary:
- Mark Wilson
- Adam Hadwin
- J.B. Holmes
- Ollie Schniederjans
- Matt Every
- Justin Thomas
- Padraig Harrington
Here are the players playing this week with multiple top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events that re playing at least $500 BELOW their average salary from the 2016-17 season:
- Brendan Steele
- Brian Harman
- Jamie Lovemark
- Jim Herman
- Luke List
- Patrick Rodgers
- Russell Henley
- Sean O’Hair
- Tony Finau
Success at TPC Scottsdale
TPC Scottsdale isn’t a particularly long course, though it’s not short. It’s a par-71, so there aren’t as many par-5 chances as we’d like. However, there are plenty of holes where players are hitting scoring irons into the Tom Weiskopf-designed greens this week. That means this is a ballstriker’s golf course, and, if you think of recent winners, it makes a world of sense. Lean on them for your lineups.