Fantasy PGA Preview: Byron Nelson Championship

With THE PLAYERS over in dramatic fashion we now switch to the Byron Nelson in Texas. My pricing will feature prices from Draftstreet this week.

THE PLAYERS recap

Well I don’t want to pat myself on the back but I will say I nailed it last week. Martin Kaymer, stand up son and take a bow. You were able to mask my pathetic call of Woody Austin. Oh and win the whole thing in the process. Though it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Before the final round was halted due to weather I was getting tired of the NBC crew talking about Kaymer like there was no chance he could lose it. And what do you know . . . he returned shaky and held on by his chinny chin chin. In the end that putt on the 17th was truly epic and will go down in PLAYERS history.

Now that I have talked about my pick that came first (and the one that came dead last), I have to say my other picks were solid. Donald and Zach played below average, Perez considering his history was above average but how about Erik Compton? For his price he was just as valuable as Kaymer, even though he came in 34th. All in all I had 5 of the 6 make the cut and from the looks of things Woody Austin was hardly played so I’ll give myself a pass on that one.

Byron Nelson Championship

Thanks to Draftkings and Draftstreet the PGA is getting more recognition in the fantasy world than it ever has. This is due to The Masters and THE PLAYERS netting big tournaments that creates great buzz. So it is unfortunate that I have to play the role of Debbie Downer when talking about this event. Bottom line, PGA pros hate this course. The only reason it used to get the top players in was to pay respects to Lord Byron Nelson himself. Once he passed away the top players started to dwindle. Though I will say this has event has 14 of the top 50 players in the world, up three from last year. The future is looking bright my friends, maybe we can get 17 next year!

I haven’t run the numbers, and I probably won’t, but most likely there are more Web.com players in this field than top 50 players. I have a feeling the number of winners ranked outside the top 50 is going to increase this week.

The Course

This course has a fair amount of streams and ponds so I’d advise avoiding golfers that have a tendency to allow their balls to skinny dip every once and a while. And if we’re in Texas, you know that the wind is gonna blow. Mishits will find trouble in the rough just off the tree-lined fairways, the forecast is telling me that the wind will be in the double digits Friday, Saturday and Sunday, increasing with each day. Typically, most Texas courses have rough that doesn’t penalize the golfer too much, but that isn’t true here. This course ranked 18th in difficulty last year. Be sure to check the forecast before you pick your teams.

Golfers

Gary Woodland flag $20,785
There is not much to dislike about Woodland these days. 5 out of his last 6 tournaments have been top 25 finishes or better. He finished last week 11th at THE PLAYERS. In a field this weak he is a solid option. He has made the cut here 4 out of 5 times with 4 straight cuts made since 2010. He is known as a power hitter and this is a short course, but last week he showed that he is quite capable of leaving the driver in the bag. Last week I was kicking myself for not picking Woodland, I won’t be making that mistake this week.
Graham DeLaet $18,906
With a course that demands hitting greens in regulation, why not go with the guy who leads the PGA in GIR. His current form might scare some people off, but remember his 2 missed cuts in his last 3 events were at THE PLAYERS and The Masters. This field will fall to the feet of the bearded one. Earlier in the year everyone was predicting that it was only a matter of time before he won a PGA event. His stock hasn’t been this low all year. DeLaet could just surprise everyone and pull out a sneaky win in a glorified Web.com event.
Ryan Palmer flag $18,468
Ryan Palmer might be a solid pick not just for this week but for next week as well. He resides in Colleyville, Texas. According to google maps that is located exactly in-between of both tournaments. Oh and let’s not forget he is a pretty solid golfer as well. After missing 6 of his first 7 cuts at this course he has rattled off 3 straight cuts made, including two top 10’s. Last season he finished 33rd but that was his first Texas tournament after the recent passing of a close friend.
Marc Leishman $17,868
Big Marc Leishman. He has shown he plays this course rather well. In 5 starts here he has made the cut 4 times with all of them being top 25 finishes. Two of those have been top 10. He finished up strong last week at THE PLAYERS. He shoot a 67 which was tied for 6th best on Sunday. He will be taking that form into a course that suits his game quiet nicely. That is a recipe I like when creating my teams.
Erik Compton flag $13,927
Can I be cheeky enough to get away with Erik Compton in back-to-back articles? As the Zen Master said We’ll see. He had a nice tidy 69 on Sunday to finish 34th at THE PLAYERS. Now he gets to the Byron Nelson and a weaker field. His last trip to Texas saw him finish 12th (Shell Houston). The week prior to that he did WD at the Valero Texas Open but at the time was coming 33rd. In his previous trips to the Byron Compton has finished 33rd and 36th.

Super Sleeper

Brice Garnett flag $9,008
If you read my articles weekly (I feel bad for those who do), you would’ve heard me talk about Brice Garnett before. Brice is sort of my go-to guy at the sub 10K range. He has made 13 cuts in 16 events (granted has missed the second cut 3 times this season). Had a successful tour to Texas earlier in the year picking up a top 10 at The Shell and a 31st at the Valero Texas Open. To go deeper, his last two Texas trips on the Web.com tour he had a pair of top 10’s when the played the WBN Classic in 2013 and 2012. Could be something in the Texas water.

Well there you have it folks, my picks for this week.

Good luck to all.

Cheers

Gibb

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

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