Welcome back to Golf News Net’s weekly fantasy golf rankings. Each week of the European Tour season, we’ll present our top fantasy golf picks for that week’s tournament and give fantasy golf and betting tips for DraftKings’ one-week fantasy leagues and other fantasy golf leagues.
The European Tour heads to the Middle East for the last of three events, into Dubai and the United Arab Emirates for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Tiger Woods is the headliner, but Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia are among the big names with a legit chance to win at Emirates Golf Club.
For those new to our weekly European Tour picks, we offer our top five players for free. GNN Plus members get our full top 10, 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 Omega Dubai Desert Classic rankings: Top 10 picks
1. Henrik Stenson – Stenson’s a must-pick most weeks on the European Tour, and he’s practically a blind pick in the UAE. Coming off a T-8 in Abu Dhabi.
2. Tyrrell Hatton – Not a great track record in the event because of inexperience, but was T-8 last year. Continuing his roll from 2016.
3. Rafa Cabrera-Bello – A past winner here, RCB has been in the top 20 in all three Euro Tour starts this season. Poised for a big year.
4. Sergio Garcia – Welcome back, Sergio! The man’s engaged, happy and playing well overall. Always a threat in the desert.
5. Danny Willett – Defending champion whose win here set up an amazing 2016. Horse-for-course pick here, even if you’re not loving his game.
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6. Thomas Aiken – The South African has come out of the gates well in 2017, with top-15 finishes in all three events so far. Rehabilitating his image.
7. Lee Westwood – Westwood finished T-8 in Abu Dhabi and is another of those guys you gotta love in the UAE. Obviously an older pick, but still a goodie.
8. Andy Sullivan – The Smiling Assassin has come out as a bit of a dud to start the year, but he’s been in it in the DDC for the last three years, including to the very end last year.
9. Martin Kaymer – Kaymer started out great in Abu Dhabi but fell toward the back of the weekend pack in Qatar, which isn’t all bad news. Good record here with a game that can work well for the course.
10. Stephen Gallacher – PURE horse-for-course pick this week. Not great form at all to start the year, but a good close to 2016 and four top-15s here help.
My DraftKings lineup for this week:
- Lee Westwood – $9,400
- Tyrrell Hatton – $8,800
- Martin Kaymer – $8,600
- Thomas Aiken – $8,500
- Danny Willett – $7,800
- Stephen Gallacher – $6,900
GNN Plus Research and Analysis
Recent European Tour Trends
We like to start by looking at the recent past, but we don’t really have much to work with since the Tour season is just getting going. However, we’re three events into the new year, so let’s look at guys with multiple top-15s among those three events in the field.
- Thomas Aiken – 3
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat – 2
- Dean Burmester – 2
- Jordan L. Smith – 2
- Jeunghun Wang – 2
Event Finish History
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the Dubai Desert Classic in multiple times at this venue in the last five years:
- Thomas Bjorn – 2
- Rafa Cabrera Bello – 2
- Stephen Gallacher – 4
- Martin Kaymer – 2
- Soren Kjeldsen – 2
- Thorbjorn Olesen – 3
- Robert Rock – 3
- Henrik Stenson – 2
- Andy Sullivan – 3
- Romain Wattel – 2
- Steve Webster – 2
- Lee Westwood – 3
- Bernd Wiesberger – 2
- Danny Willett – 3
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 still working on developing salary profiles for the year, and we’ll need some more events to judge that, but you can find our updated spreadsheet in GNN Plus tools.[/s2If]