Fantasy PGA Preview: Humana Challenge

Well, what a seven days it has been since my last article. I got to head to Vegas, not only to meet some fellow Grinders (Dan, Cal and Al) for the first time ever, but also to take in the fantasy industry as a whole. I won’t lie, as a fantasy golf writer standing among the who’s who of the industry, I felt like the smallest of fish in the biggest of oceans. Sort of like the feeling that one of the amateurs who are paired off with Phil Mickelson will get at this week’s Humana. With that being said, each and every person I met was friendly and made me feel at ease within myself, so thanks to you all.

All in all, I would love to thank both RotoGrinders and the FSWA. Without either of them, I would not be looking at a snazzy award as I write this. Also, two other people have been rather instrumental in my very short writing career. My lovely wife, whose support has been tremendous, not the least of which means putting up with endless hours of the Golf Channel being on the TV. The other is a real good mate of mine. His name is Bill. He has read (without fail) every article I have written for PGA golf, and he gives me the input I need to further develop myself as a writer. For this I am forever grateful.

I could go on forever about about some of the support I have received over the years, but times are wasting. We have an event coming up, so let’s get to the action.

Sony Open recap

Due to my trip to Vegas, I was traveling all day Thursday and Sunday. From what I read Sunday, Jimmy Walker was never in any danger of losing his lead and cruised to victory by an impressive nine strokes. This win marks the second time this season the defending champion has won the event, with Ryan Moore at the CIMB Classic being the other. This sets up a rather interesting stage for the Humana. Patrick Reed is defending his title, and won his last event (Tournament of Champions).

In regards to my picks, they were okay, but nothing special. I was happy five of the six players got to play all four rounds (surviving both cuts). It’s just that they did not finish exceptionally high. My sleeper pick (Brice Garnett) never woke up and missed the cut.

For the first time ever in my career as a DFS PGA player, I cashed in two GPPs despite the fact that I only had four players make the cut. My bottom-of-the-barrel players allowed me to get Walker (1st), Kuchar (T-3rd) and Woodland (T-3rd).

The Humana Challenge

For those of you that are new to the Humana, you have the following coming up: three different courses and each golfer plays a different course each day. Each pro golfer is paired with a different amateur each day, and the cut is after the third day. The course has to be easy enough that the amateurs don’t get murdered out there. The pro golfers have to play longer rounds and practice patience with their amateurs, and then, after three days of playing golf with amateurs, the top 70 play one round to determine the winner. The handicaps of the amateurs range from 0 to 18.

The Courses

As stated above this, tournament will use three courses. All three will be used over the first three days, and then the Arnold Palmer course will be the final round course on Sunday. The courses are as follows:

Arnold Palmer Private at PGA WEST (Host Course)
6,950 yards – Par 72

Jack Nicklaus Private at PGA WEST
6,951 yards – Par 72

La Quinta Country Club
7,060 yards – Par 72

Golfers

Before I get into my picks, I will not be mentioning the likes of players like Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar. Given we’ve seen a trend of defending champions repeating, thrown in with the fact Reed is coming of an impressive win, and he is deserving of the top spot. There is enough value out there to roster either player.

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Keegan Bradley
DraftKings $11,400
FantasyFeud $154,000
DraftDay $20,650
Keegan Bradley has not necessarily been lighting it up as of late, so this is more of a GPP play than a cash game pick. Bradley is coming off a third place at the Hero World Challenge, though it should be noted that was a limited field event. The thing that has caught my eye is that within this field Bradley is ranked second in terms of average finishing position. Out of his two starts, Bradley has notched two top 20s (including a top 10).
Last Three Events
Franklin Hero Tour Champ
1st 5th 4th
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Russell Knox
DraftKings $8,300
FantasyFeud $116,000
DraftDay $17,200
The key to getting some of the bigger names this week is to pair them up with a lower priced player. On my Patrick Reed team, Knox is my second most expensive player. In his six starts this season, Knox has made the cut in five of them. In that span he has picked up two top 20s and one top 5. In this event last season, Knox picked up a 13th. If you do not like Knox, I suggest looking at Justin Thomas at $7,900
Last Three Events
Sony Mayakoba Sanderson
13th 37th 35th
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Jerry Kelly
DraftKings $7,400
FantasyFeud $102,000
DraftDay $16,050
At this price, Jerry Kelly is a great value, as he’s coming off two top 10 finishes in a row. He has managed to make the cut in all five starts this season. Kelly has played this event 17 times and has made the cut 15 times. I have Kelly in all my lineups so far, since he gives fantasy owners great roster flexibility.
Last Three Events
Sony Mayakoba Sanderson
6th 5th 22nd
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Daniel Summerhays
DraftKings $7,100
FantasyFeud $156,000
DraftDay $17,000
I always used to think of Summerhays as a highly inconsistent risk/reward player. Now he is quickly becoming a more go-to player on my teams. Ever since the Shriners, Summerhays has been improving on each result. He is priced as the 36th-most expensive player this week, but has placed in the top 30 each of his last three events. His average finishing position rank at the Humana is 13th.
Last Three Events
Sony Mayakoba Sanderson
17th 29th 29th
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Stewart Cink
DraftKings $5,400
FantasyFeud $60,000
DraftDay $12,450
I know I wrote about Cink last week, and I don’t usually like writing about the same player in back to back articles, but the value is glaring. He is priced as a player who will be struggling to make the cut, yet his recent form suggests that is not the case. In Cink’s last five events, he has picked up three finishes in the 30s and two in the 50s. His average finishing position for the 13 starts at the Humana is 50th, which is 47th best in this field. The biggest asset for your team is that Cink, with his 5.4K price tag, gives you great cap relief to upgrade elsewhere.
Last Three Events
Sony CIMB McGladrey
37th 56th 32nd
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Sleeper

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Chez Reavie
DraftKings $4,200
FantasyFeud $33,000
DraftDay $10,500
While I don’t have as much faith in Reavie as I do Cink, there were some stats from last week’s Sony Open that I found interesting about Chez. He was first in driving accuracy, ninth in distance, second in greens in regulation and seventh in par 5 scoring. I won’t lie though, he is a high risk player, but his 4.2K price tag does give you a great boost to your roster flexibility. At the Humana, Reavie is three of five in making the cut.
Last Three Events
Sony Shriners Frys
26th MC 53rd
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So there you have it folks: my picks for the Humana Challenge.

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.

Comments

  • Bolwellb

    • 2015 FAFC Finalist

    Love the Summerhays pick! Thoughts on Scott Stallings as a nice mid range pick this week… Strong showing at the Tournament of Champions and he had this tournament won 2 years ago before firing a disappointing 70 in the final round to finish T4…

  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    When I look at my research I do have Stallings marked in green for guys I like.

  • huitcinq

    Thanks for the post. Any thoughts on Webb Simpson and the ditching of his anchor putter? Should we stay away from him until he finds his rhythm? Or am I just overthinking this?

  • BaSportsFan

    Congrats on the award

    Any thoughts on Homa?

  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    Concerning Webb – was asked down in Vegas if there was one player I can never get right. My answer was Webb Simpson. I am very hit and miss on Webb so I never tend to play him these days. That doesn’t mean he can’t pull out a huge win at any given time.

    Like Stallings, Homa is another player I have in green. I didn’t publicly say I was on him because I wrote about him for the Frys and Shriners. Frys was great, the Shriners, not so much. I was going to give him a few more starts to impress me before publicly backing him again.

  • MileHighDFS

    Any love for Bryce Molder as a cheaper option?

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