DRAFT PGA Value Watch: Genesis Open
Each week, Justin Van Zuiden will list the players he is overweight (heavier exposure than the field) and underweight (lower exposure than the field) on. Dominate your DRAFT drafts with this cheat sheet from one of the best in daily fantasy sports!
Golfers I Am Overweight On
Justin Thomas – While his first few appearances at this event didn’t result in glamorous finishes, Justin Thomas has made the cut in all four of his starts at Riviera and finally cracked the top ten a year ago. His play is dialed in right now, and Thomas currently leads in the PGA Tour this year in strokes gained from tee to green and strokes gained on approach. His play is dialed in right now, and he should give himself more birdie looks than most of the field this week. He logged a pair of third place finishes in January and could be in the mix for a win in that “magic” fifth start at Riviera. Thomas is a great option at the top and would be my first pick on DRAFT, by a nose over Dustin Johnson.
Cameron Smith – Smith is an under-appreciated player in fantasy circles, and I can’t quite place why he continually gets ignored. Smith currently ranks fifth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained on approach, and he also ranks a respectable 51st in strokes gained around the green. I like him in events like this one, where he will get forgotten about in a strong field and will likely check in at 5% ownership in GPP formats. He has made the cut in all three of his trips to this event, and that includes a sixth place finish last year. He’s a fine second or third round target.
Adam Scott – Keep the Aussie train rolling! Scott could be my favorite play of the week. There are so many positives here. Scott is on record saying this is his favorite course on the PGA Tour. He’s a past champion here. He has seven top 20 finishes in ten trips to the event. Like many other Australians, he is comfortable on the kikuyu surface. He remains one of the best tee to green players on Tour, though his 2018-2019 stats are lagging a bit. That is somewhat misleading, though, as Scott has played in the more difficult events that have been contested so far this year. If he goes under-owned, it’s an even better sign for GPP play. He did miss the cut at Pebble Beach last week, but he missed it on the number (after a missed two footer on his final hole). There’s no long-term concern for me, and I love him as a contrarian play in this strong field.
Tyrrell Hatton – Normally, I will ignore first timers at this event, and I will continue to do that in cash games. In tournaments, though, we can take a shot on affordable talent, and that’s where Hatton falls. He currently ranks 9th on Tour in strokes gained off the tee, and his elite short game has kept him in the mix in many tournaments throughout his career. He gets a boost on courses where par is at a premium, and he fits the bill for the type of golfer that should be able to excel at this course. Despite this being his first start here, I am on the lookout for a possible top 20 finish. Hatton is a fine middle round target.
Kyle Stanley – Stanley has really struggled of late, but this week’s course represents a potential get right spot for him. He’s generally a strong second shot golfer, and while his statistics have lagged so far in 2019, his talent is still there. I expect him to sag into the late rounds of larger field DRAFT games, and he might be a sneaky pick with which to round out your rosters. I’m willing to forgive his early year struggles for the moment.
Golfers I Am Underweight On
Jordan Spieth – If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Spieth continues to disappoint week in and week out, but yet DFS players find excuses for him every time. The mental stability is simply not there, especially after his hideous weekend fade at Pebble Beach. I will have Spieth on exactly zero DFS rosters of any kind this week, and that includes the DRAFT format.
Phil Mickelson – His record here is solid, and many people will be flocking to Mickelson after his victory at Pebble Beach. However, he will likely go in the first round of larger field games, and the Monday finish from last week worries me just a little. Mickelson is always inconsistent, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a missed cut this week. That’s certainly not what I expect, but I question whether he is worthy of a first round selection.
Bubba Watson – Sure, he has upside. That’s evident with his previous victories here. However, he also has four missed cuts at Riviera, and I am just not a fan of paying a premium for him. Someone will reach for Watson in the early rounds this week given his course history, but that won’t be me.
Louis Oosthuizen – The withdrawal is always a risk with Oosty, and he withdrew from his last tournament thanks to his nagging neck and back issues. That was also one of his favorite tournaments of the year, and I am very, very nervous about his health status right now. It simply doesn’t make sense to take a risk on him in this format. There are plenty of other options to consider in the middle rounds.
Si Woo Kim – Kim played well last week on his way to a top five finish at Pebble Beach, but Riviera has not been kind to him in the past. The Korean has missed the cut all three times he has played at this venue, and there’s something about it that doesn’t seem to fit his eye. I prefer other options in the middle to later rounds, despite Kim’s general upside on a weekly basis. He needs to prove it on this course before I will trust him.
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