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 across I-4 over to Orlando and Bay Hill Club and Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the first since Mr. Palmer passed away last September at the age of 87. Defending champion Jason Day and Rory McIlroy headline the field that also includes Henrik Stenson and a slew of international stars.
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 Arnold Palmer Invitational rankings: Top 10 picks
1. Henrik Stenson – Stenson is practically an automatic pick at Bay Hill. Putted lights out on Thursday and Sunday at Valspar, while he cards an awesome record at Mr. Palmer’s place.
2. Rory McIlroy – McIlroy looked good, albeit a little rusty, at the WGC-Mexico. He was T-11 in 2015 at Bay Hill, but his game should travel no matter a lack of long-term record.
3. Jason Day – The defending champion has faded from view a little bit early in 2017. Last start was a T-64 at Riviera. He’s gotta snap into the season soon.
4. Justin Rose – Remember when Justin Rose putted here with his eyes closed? Yeah, he’s not doing that now. Great at Riviera, loves this event.
5. Francesco Molinari – Molinari is the European version of Charles Howell III this year. He’s not gonna win, but he’s going to put a stud finish. Top-20 machine.
6. Rickie Fowler – The Rickster absolutely loved Arnold Palmer. This could well be an emotional week for him. For a positive? Not sure.
7. Hideki Matsuyama – Matsuyama has come back to Earth a bit the last month or so. Missed the cut at Riviera before a middle-of-the-pack effort in Mexico.
8. Wesley Bryan – I firmly believe Wesley Bryan will win on the PGA Tour in 2017. This week? Probably not, but he has three top-seven finishes in a row after missing four straight cuts earlier in the year.
9. Tyrrell Hatton – I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Hatton is playing great on American soil. I’d expect that trend to continue.
10. Thomas Pieters – Top-five finishes in his last two PGA Tour starts?! YEAH!
My DraftKings lineup for this week:
- Henrik Stenson – $11,500
- Francesco Molinari – $8,600
- Ryan Moore – $8,200
- Kevin Kisner – $7,600
- Wesley Bryan – $7,100
- Graham DeLaet – $6,800
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()]
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.
- Brandt Snedeker – 2 – T-4 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-7 WGC-Mexico
- Graeme McDowell – 2 – T-14 The Honda Classic, T-14 Valspar Championship
- Kevin Kisner – 2 – T-10 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-11 WGC-Mexico
- Seung-yul Noh – 2 – T-8 AT&T Pebble Beach, T-11 Genesis Open
- Thomas Pieters – 2 – T-2 Genesis Open, T-5 WGC-Mexico
- Tyrrell Hatton – 2 – T-4 The Honda Classic, T-10 WGC-Mexico
- Wesley Bryan – 3 – T-4 Genesis Open, T-4 The Honda Classic, T-7 Valspar Championship
Event Finish History
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at Arnold Palmer Invitational multiple times in the last five years:
- Ben Martin – 2
- Brandt Snedeker – 2
- Bubba Watson – 2
- Ernie Els – 2
- Francesco Molinari – 2
- Freddie Jacobson – 2
- Graeme McDowell – 2
- Henrik Stenson – 5
- Ian Poulter – 2
- Jason Kokrak – 2
- Jim Furyk – 2
- Justin Rose – 4
- Keegan Bradley – 2
- Kevin Chappell – 2
- Kevin Na – 3
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat – 2
- Matt Every – 2
- Ryan Moore – 2
- Zach Johnson – 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.
Here’s the list of players in the field playing $750 over their 2016-17 average salary:
- Branden Grace
- Jim Herman
- Henrik Stenson
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Thomas Pieters
- Adam Hadwin
Here are the players playing this week with multiple top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events that re playing BELOW their average salary from the 2016-17 season:
- Brandt Snedeker
- Graeme McDowell
- Kevin Kisner
Success at Bay Hill
Bay Hill is one of a handful of PGA Tour courses that I’ve played, so speak mildly from personal experience. You need to be able to work the ball at Bay Hill, typically right to left, though a cut is helpful on some holes, including the 18th hole. The targets at Bay Hill are deceptively large. There’s more room than you think. However, that doesn’t make it any easier not to notice the slew of water hazards and bunkers. They’re all over. The greens are typically a variable, as Bay Hill continues to renovate greens in hopes of getting ’em just where Mr. Palmer would love them.