Fantasy PGA Preview: THE PLAYERS

We are reaching the halfway point in the PGA season. Hitting our second major of the year (though its not an official major). Here are my Draftkings picks this week for THE PLAYERS championship.

Wells Fargo recap

Well wasn’t that an interesting little tournament. In a field regarded as “weak”, it certainly took some strong contenders out, including my two top picks from last week—Lee Westwood and Jimmy Walker. Westwood stunned me. I am lost for words on what happened to him. At one point he was coming tied tenth during the second round, only to implode dropping all the way to 100th. The type of stuff that makes you just scratch your head.

Jimmy Walker was a big disappointment as well. I figured he would have a much better showing than he did but he never got into a groove. One player that doubled Walker’s score but went 11K cheaper was Bronson La’Cassie. Now Bronson was doing very well until Saturday, then he bombed the whole weekend to finish near the bottom of the weekend leaderboard. For 8K though he filled his role, but when he is your 4th best player on your team you are in trouble. I also said Blixt could be a nice sneaky play. Turns out he wanted to hide this week.

In the end, the only players that did me well were Pat Perez and Gary Woodland. I think if they want to keep Woodland’s price down I will continue to ride him in that mid value range. I really believe Greg Norman has worked wonders with him.

The eventual winner of this tournament was J.B. Holmes. Such a great story coming back from brain surgery. When watching the ending they panned to Furyk (coming in second) and I really believe from the look on Jimmy’s face he wanted JB to finish it off for the win. Just like all sports, there are some really great stories in the PGA that don’t revolve around Tiger Woods. Though I wish David Feherty would not have cracked a “losing brain cells joke” at the end. Sort of lacked class. None the less a big congrats to JB.

THE PLAYERS Championship

As stated above this is a non-major with major feel to it. Not only does it offer a large purse, the winner receives the following: An automatic five year Tour card, three year invite to The Masters, three year invite to the US and British Opens and an automatic entry into the PGA Championship later this year. So as you can see there is a lot on the line for these players.

The course was designed by Peter Dye in a way to test every aspect of the golf game. No two back-to-back holes go in the same direction. There are doglegs left and right. There are short holes and long holes for every PAR. Not to mention its signature 17th “Island” hole.

One issue the PGA is facing is that some of the greens (in-particular holes 4, 11 and 12) have remained closed due to weather conditions and “application error”. You know someone is getting fired over an “application error” before one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. I’m not sure how this will effect players though. I could see some strong putters who make their living on the greens be mentally disturbed by greens that may not be 100%.

As I mentioned on GrindersLive last night I would link a article that gives you a hole by hole walkthrough from the players themselves. An interesting read. Click the link


As stated before, these are my picks for Draftkings. I really tried to narrow it down to players that will give you a solid chance to contend as well as picks to give you maximum roster flexibility. Justin said it perfectly last night. “Anybody can come out and recommend the Matt Kuchar’s of the world”.

Luke Donald english $10,400
When you have a course that will test every aspect of a golfers game why not go with a golfer that has proven he can handle every test this course dishes out. Consecutive top 10 finishes in 2012 and 2011 with a 19th here last season. In his last event this season he finished second behind Matt Kuchar at the Heritage. In the last 5 years, Donald has made the cut after a top ten finish 89% of the time, 59% of the time it resulted in another top 10 finish.
Zach Johnson $9,900
In recent events Zach Johnson has been playing a bit average at times after starting the year off on fire. Last season he was playing average until he got to THE PLAYERS then turned it around with a nice tied 19th. His history here is is great. Out of all the players in this field that have played the tournament more than once he has the best average finish (30th). His last 4 trips here he has not placed worse than 22nd.
Martin Kaymer $8,700
In the past 10 years of THE PLAYERS Championship six of the winners have been foreign players. This season 21 of the 26 winners have been outside the top 50 ranked players in the world. Martin Kaymer fits the bill nicely. Former number #1 player in the world, a foreign player that flies under the radar and is ranked 61st in the world. He is 5 out of 5 making the cut at THE PLAYERS and his recent form is trending towards a top 10 finish. In his last two events his average has been in the top ten in driving accuracy and top 20 in greens in regulation.
Pat Perez $8,000
I talked about Pat last night on Grinderslive. I think his price and recent form will see him being owned at a decent percentage, so if you are playing in a tournament this week you could fade him. In cash games though he is a solid pick. Two of his last three starts have been top 25 finishes and he has had one top 10 finish at THE PLAYERS in his career.
Erik Compton $7,600
This one is food for thought. Anytime you pick Compton it is a risky play. The guy is talented I will give him that, its just he has had two heart surgeries in his career. Pretty remarkable that he is still able to play professional golf; my hat goes off to him. He has played here once in his career—last year he missed the cut shooting 6 over. Leading up to THE PLAYERS last year he had 3 missed cuts and a WD, hardly great confidence. His last 5 events this year have been 5th, 68th, 12th, WD and 5th. The WD happened in the second round when he was in 33rd position. His lead-up to this years PLAYERS has been far better and the Florida native could surprise. Oh . . . the icing on the cake is he is a Georgia alum.

Super Super Sleeper

Woody Austin $5,600
So I am hanging my neck out on this one. Conventional wisdom tells me not to do it, but this season has been far from conventional. If Fred Funk can win THE PLAYERS at age 50, why can’t Woody Austin make the cut at age 50? The course doesn’t lend itself to favour one particular style and going back to past history, Woody’s average finishing position (68th) is ranked 70th in this field. Ahead of such players as Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlory and Charles Howell III. He isn’t a sexy pick, BUT his price lets you pick some great players giving you a sexy team.

So there you have it. Picks that you might not have thought about for this weeks PLAYERS Championship.

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.


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