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.
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We’re in the final week of the PGA Tour regular season, with the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., taking its normal spot on the schedule as the Last Chance Saloon for guys to secure their spot in the FedEx Cup playoffs and playoff positioning for the upcoming four-event stretch.
We also had a great week for you in the John Deere Classic and Olympics, identifying the winners of both and most of the top 10 in each through our picks, either in our free top 10 or our GNN Plus analysis.
Also, don’t forget that the European Tour is back this week with the D+D Real Czech Masters, so you can find those picks shortly.
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 Wyndham Championship top 10 picks
1. Patrick Reed — Reed is a former winner here, doing that in 2013 for his first PGA Tour win. He had a good finish in Rio (final-round wise), and he’s been a top-15 mainstay most of the summer.
2. Webb Simpson — Simpson is the ultimate horse for this course. He is a past winner and loves playing in his home state. Four top-15s in the last five years.
3. Bill Haas — Haas is another horse for course in his collegiate state. He’s got a trio of top-15s here in the last five years and knows how to go to low on this course.
4. Jim Furyk — Mr. 58 is in action for the first time since that historic final round at TPC River Highlands. Second appearance here; was T-9 in 2011.
5. Ryan Moore — RyMo won last week at the Deere, and he’s won here in the past (2009). This is RyMoTime on the schedule.
6. William McGirt — McGirt has a good record in the Wyndham Championship. He’s been in the top 15 here in each of the last two years.
7. Jon Rahm — The Rahm Threat (thanks, Jon Wall) finished T-14 at the Deere and few seemed to notice. He’s yet to miss a cut as a pro, and he should be able to dominate this course.
8. Justin Thomas — J.T. had a very good finish in the top three at the Travelers, closing with 62. He’s erratic, but he played well here for the first 54 last year.
9. Jimmy Walker — The PGA champion is in the field for the first start since his major breakthrough. He was T-4 here in 2012, and he’s starting to play more consistent golf.
10. Wesley Bryan — We’re going to keep pumping up Wesley, whose great putting should be an asset here. He was T-8 at the Deere.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Webb Simpson – $10,200
2. William McGirt – $8,700
3. Justin Thomas – $8,600
4. Ben Martin – $8,000
5. Jason Dufner – $7,900
6. Alex Cejka – $6,600
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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.
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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 — not their last five starts. Here are the players in this week’s field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five non-Olympic PGA Tour events:
- Patrick Reed – 3 – T-12 Open Championship, T-11 Travelers Championship, T-13 PGA Championship
- Alex Cejka – 2 – T-5 RBC Canadian Open, T-11 Travelers Championship
- Jim Furyk – 2 – T-13 RBC Canadian Open, T-5 Travelers Championship
- Jimmy Walker – 2 – T-14 RBC Canadian Open, WIN PGA Championship
- Jon Rahm – 2 – T-2 RBC Canadian Open, T-14 John Deere Classic
- Michael Thompson – 2 – T-4 Barbasol Championship, T-14 RBC Canadian Open
- Robert Garrigus – 2 – T-11 Barbasol Championship, T-5 Travelers Championship
- Spencer Levin – 2 – T-14 RBC Canadian Open, T-11 Travelers Championship
- Tyrrell Hatton – 2 – T-5 Open Championship, T-10 PGA Championship
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the Wyndham multiple times in the last five years:
- Webb Simpson – 4
- Bill Haas – 3
- Camilo Villegas – 2
- William McGirt – 2
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at Sedgefield Country Club. We don’t have any players this week who fit in both categories.
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 average salary this season:
- Robert Garrigus
- Jimmy Walker
- Russell Henley
- Ben Martin
- Bill Haas
- Scott Piercy
- Rafa Cabrera-Bello
- William McGirt
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Webb Simpson
- Jon Rahm
- Patrick Reed
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Jim Furyk
- Ryan Moore
Here are the players with multiple top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing this week at less than $500 ABOVE their average salary this season.
- Alex Cejka – $119 BELOW
- Michael Thompson – $889 BELOW
- Spencer Levin – $694 BELOW
Sedgefield Country Club offers a lot of chances to score, even after wayward tee shots. The course is short and recovery opportunities abound, meaning that players will hit a lot of greens. That means we should look at strokes gained approaching the hole and strokes gained putting this week, as players who can fire darts will have the best chances to convert, and those who don’t and still make putts will gain lots of strokes on the field.
4. Kevin Na (66)
5. Robert Garrigus (141)
7. Webb Simpson (171)
10. Graham DeLaet (138)
11. Chez Reavie (165)
13. D.A. Points (196)
14. Alex Cejka (T-94)
15. Jimmy Walker (45)
19. Justin Thomas (152)
20. Keegan Bradley (197)
21. Jason Dufner (177)
It’s important to keep in mind that strokes gained putting doesn’t necessarily offer a complete measure of a player’s putting skill, but it is important to note that ballstrikers do well at Sedgefield. A good week of putting, which can come out of the blue, can lead to a win.[/s2If]