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 moves from Northern California to Los Angeles for the Genesis Open, the former L.A. Open, at Riviera Country Club. Bubba Watson is defending champion in the best field of 2017 to date, which includes Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson.
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 Genesis Open rankings: Top 10 picks
1. Hideki Matsuyama — Matsuyama is a winner in his last start, and he’s winning all over the place. He can get to No. 1 in the world with a win and a correspondingly friendly Jason Day finish.
2. Jordan Spieth — Spieth has been on a top-10 tear. Now, he hasn’t been in the thick of it at the very end of a lot of those high finishes, but he’s lurking and hanging around. Struggled putting in Phoenix.
3. Dustin Johnson — DJ is a stud at Pebble. One-fourth of his pro wins are here. Playing in the pro-am with the Great One is actually a good influence, in our opinion.
4. Jason Day — Day played well enough for about 60 holes to win at Pebble Beach. The other holes were a bizarre tumble down the leaderboard. Not a horse-for-course, and his No. 1 ranking is in danger.
5. Sergio Garcia — Garcia won in his last start in Dubai, and he went wire-to-wire in the process. Garcia has been in the fourth-place slot in two of his last four Riv appearances.
6. Bill Haas — Haas is a great pick this week, and not just as a horse-for-course. He hasn’t finished outside of the top 20 in any start this season.
7. Justin Thomas — JT missed the cut in Phoenix. Kinda bound to happen after winning his prior two starts. Hit the reset button a little bit. Hasn’t cracked the top 40 in two pro starts.
8. Brendan Steele — With the volume of great players in the field, yes, I’m recommending Brendan Steele. Top 20 in his last four starts and a win on the season. Top-15 finishes here in two of the last three years.
9. Bubba Watson — You have to acknowledge the defending champion, right? Horse for course pick. Which he was in Phoenix, but that didn’t work out so hot.
10. Phil Mickelson — Mickelson continues to tease a great finish. And in each of the last two weeks, he’s had a bizarre fade on the weekend, particularly on the back nine, which finally got him at Pebble Beach. Taking him is a bit of a risk.
My DraftKings lineup for this week:
- Hideki Matsuyama – $11,500
- Sergio Garcia – $9,300
- Bill Haas – $8,000
- J.B. Holmes – $7,100
- Brendan Steele – $7,100
- Kyle Stanley – $6,800
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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.
- Adam Hadwin – 2 – 2nd CareerBuilder Challenge, T-12 Phoenix Open
- Brandt Snedeker – 2 – T-9 Farmers Insurance Open, 4th Pebble Beach Pro-Am
- Brian Harman – 2 – T-3 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-9 Farmers Insurance Open
- Charles Howell III – 3 – T-8 Sony Open, T-12 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-2 Farmers Insurance Open
- Chez Reavie – 2 – T-8 Sony Open, T-12 CareerBuilder Challenge
- Francesco Molinari – 2 – T-12 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-14 Farmers Insurance Open
- Hudson Swafford – 2 – T-13 Sony Open, WIN CareerBuilder Challenge
- Jordan Spieth – 3 – T-3 Sony Open, T-9 Phoenix Open, WIN Pebble Beach Pro-Am
- Justin Rose – 2 – 2nd Sony Open, T-4 Farmers Insurance Open
- Martin Laird – 2 – T-9 CareerBuilder Challenge, T-7 Phoenix Open
- Pat Perez – 2 – T-4 Farmers Insurance Open, T-14 Pebble Beach Pro-Am
- Webb Simpson – 2 – T-13 Sony Open, P-2 Phoenix Open
Event Finish History
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the L.A. Open multiple times in the last five years:
- Aaron Baddeley – 2
- Bill Haas – 3
- Brendan Steele – 2
- Bubba Watson – 3
- Charl Schwartzel – 2
- Dustin Johnson – 3
- J.B. Holmes – 2
- Jim Furyk – 3
- Jimmy Walker – 2
- Jordan Spieth – 2
- Justin Rose – 2
- K.J. Choi – 2
- Keegan Bradley – 2
- Paul Casey – 2
- Sergio Garcia – 3
- William McGirt – 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: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose.
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 $700 over their 2016-17 average salary:
- Greg Chalmers
- Chez Reavie
- Chad Collins
- Rob Oppenheim
- Brett Stegmaier
- Patrick Rodgers
- Jordan Spieth
- Hunter Mahan
- John Merrick
- Ricky Barnes
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:
- Brandt Snedeker
- Brian Harman
- Francesco Molinari
- Hudson Swafford
- Justin Rose
- Webb Simpson
Success at Riviera Country Club
Riviera Country Club demands great ballstriking from the fairway, patience with a foreign grass and a driving game that isn’t necessarily incredibly long but at least keeps the ball in play. The guys who win here are not necessarily great putters. Recent winners move the ball very well, with Bubba Watson pounding it, James Hahn hitting well. In non-DFS games, this is the week to burn a start on a lot of top players and not apologize for it.