Fantasy PGA Preview: Open

In Daily Fantasy Sports, we as players are always looking for pros and cons. Whether it be fading a stud quarterback or weighing up that 6th man value play in the NBA, we all do it. One of the greatest “pros” in the DFS world is the length of the PGA season. It only feels like yesterday that Billy Horschel was raising the FedEx Cup and here we are, back to square one. FedEx points have been reset, new PGA rookies have their cards and we are off and racing again.

Last season both Notorious and I switched between DraftKings and Draftstreet for our PGA articles. As we all know now DK are the “Kings” of DFS golf and I will be mainly focusing on DK pricing and scoring for this season unless another site steps up in the DFS world. I might add in a little Draftday from time to time. Open

So event one of the PGA season is upon us. One word describes an event like this . . . hope. The old vets hoping they have what it takes to keep their cards, struggling golfers hoping to right the ship and play into form. For the top players, hope that they continue with their form. And for the new graduates from the tour, hope comes in trying to make it big on the PGA Tour.

Tournament organizers are hoping the Silverado Resorts’ North Course will shine in its PGA debut since its redesign. The course was a staple on the Champions Tour until 2002. Since the 2010 redesign an extra 250 yards have been added on and the fairways have been widened. In terms of Strength of Field this event has a rating of 191 up from 125 from last season. So we are looking at a slightly stronger field from last season.

The course itself runs 7,203 and is a Par 72. It has 50 bunkers and 2 water hazards defending it. The best defense of this course might be the mature trees that line each fairway. The bunkers are very deep, especially around the greens. Like most greens on the West Coast the grass type is a combination of Bentgrass with Poa annua. The Poa annua can be tricky for those not use to it.


Just a bit of news. Patrick Reed has withdrawn from this tournament. He might have been a popular choice considering his Ryder Cup performance.

The way I like making selections for golf is from the top-priced guys, all the way to my sleeper pick. I sometimes will throw in a couple of sleeper picks.

Hideki Matsuyama $10,300
With an event like this you really are walking a tight rope for the top players. Do you want to pick a top player that just came off a crushing Ryder Cup loss in Scotland, or would you prefer a player that hasn’t played for a month? I chose to go with the latter. With his win at the Memorial last year, he has cemented himself as the top Japanese player in the world. He threw down the ガントレット (Gauntlet) to his fellow countryman Ryo Ishikawa and has never looked back. He has shown no troubles playing on Poa Annua greens as seen by the following placing in tournaments with that grass type. 2013 Canadian (16th), 2013 PGA Championship (19th), 2013 and 2014 Bridgestone (21st, 12th), 2013 Frys (3rd), 2014 Farmers (16th) and 2014 Northern Trust (23rd). Consistency like that in a cash game is what you look for as a fantasy player

Line Break

Kevin Chappell $9,200
Chappell really finished off last season strong. He finished in the BMW Championship with a 16th (out of 70 players) but that was not enough to get him into the Tour Championship. He has looked solid over the last two months of last season and could be primed to pull a win out during these fall events. He did not miss a cut when playing on Poa Annua greens last season. His game is solid from tee to green, ranking 16th in that category , which is largely thanks to his 28th rank in greens in regulation and his 6th in total driving.

Line Break

Charles Howell III $8,600
Until he gives me a reason I am not shying away from Howell III. I’m not sure if it is because of the time of the year or that the fields in tournaments in the fall are weaker but Howell III has consistently been solid at this time of the year. His finish at last seasons Frys (33rd) was the worst finish in these fall events last year, and in that time span he pulled off three top 10 finishes.

Line Break

Russell Knox $8,300
I like both Scots in this tournament but Knox is slightly cheaper than Laird. Staying with consistency in Knox’s last 7 events he has finished as follows. BMW Championship (23rd), Deutsche Bank (26th), Barclays (38th), PGA Championship (MC), Canadian Open (29th), Scottish Open (27th) and the Quicken Loans (24th). Last season at the Frys he placed 26th, granted it was on a different course. Last season Knox only missed the cut once playing on Poa Annua greens (Northern Trust).

Super Sleepers

Chez Reavie $4,300
This pick is a wildcard that might just pay off handsomely. Reavie has never been a superstar on Tour, mostly a solid vet grinding it out week in and week out. I don’t believe his talent level is worthy of such a low price tag. He played in the Frys last year and picked up a modest 51st placing. He missed the cut the following week and opted for wrist surgery right afterward. He was off for 10 and a half months and now is on a Major Medical Extension where he has to earn 700K or 420 FedEx Cup points to keep his card this season. Reavie decided to play in three playoff events recently and made the cut in all three (25th, 32nd and 38th). His price tag gives fantasy owners a lot of flexibility.

Line Break

Max Homa $4,100
Just because golf season is back I’m rolling with two deep sleepers. Now call me crazy for picking two sub 5K players but I think their value is just too good. At the 2013 event those players that played AND made the cut in all four playoff events went on to make the cut. In total it was 5 out of 5 players. This season we have 10 players in the Frys that made the cut at all four events. Now I don’t think they all will go a perfect 10 for 10 but I think Max Homa will be one of those who will make the cut. He played golf at the University of California which is located one hour south of Napa. He is used to Poa Annua greens and did come 9th at last years event

Line Break

So there you have it folks.

My picks for the 2014 Open

Good Luck to all



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.


  • X Unread Thread
  • X Thread with New Replies*
  • *Jumps to your first unread reply

New to DFS?

Be sure to click through our links and use our exclusive promo codes to receive the industry's best sign-up bonuses, including free access to our premium content. is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).