What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! Jon Rahm gets it done in La Quinta! I hope everyone loaded up on the obvious pick last week and has some extra cash in the account to blow this week.
To San Diego we go for the Farmers Insurance Open, hosted at the iconic Torrey Pines. There are two courses at Torrey, both telling a completely different story. The North Course will be played once by the golfers in Round 1 or 2, and is a 7,200 yard Par 72. It is the much easier course of the two and golfers will need to get scoring done at the North Course to make the cut. Shout out to Kenny Kim (@KendoVT) for this tidbit – No winner has shot over par in their round at the North since 1983. The South Course is a completely different monster. Stretched out to 7,700 yards, this Par 72 will be played three times by those fortunate to make the cut. Distance will be crucial to getting around the South Course successfully, even though shorter hitters have done well here in the past. Six of the Par 4s at the South are over 450 yards, and even five on the North are over this mark as well. Putting this week is even trickier to try and predict than normal. The North uses bentgrass and the South has poa. Sure, you can use it as a tiebreaker between two golfers, but toss out SG:Putting from your stat models.
Stats for the Week
SG: Par 4-450-500
Birdie or Better Gained
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Rickie Fowler – $11,400
Splitting hairs at the top is a tough thing to do, but if I have to take a stand and pick one of these guys to back this week, it’s Rickie Fowler. Obviously Rahm is coming in as the defending champion with incredible form after winning the CareerBuilder, but Fowler is right there with him. His last three finishes are a 2nd, 1st and T4. He decided to skip the trip to Abu Dhabi, as it hasn’t worked for him the last couple of years returning and playing this event – Rickie missed the cut the last two years here. I am hoping that moves people off of Rickie, keeping his ownership in check. Fowler has all the tools to contend here and is my pick to hoist the trophy on Sunday.
Marc Leishman – $9,200
Marc Leishman lands on my radar this week for a couple of reasons. First, he is one of many elite golfers in this field and is priced right at the bottom of them all. There is a clear drop in caliber after the $9,200 Leishman, who has the fewest tags out of any priced above him. That gives me reason to believe his ownership will be reasonable, another reason to jump on board. Leish has a runner up finish at this event back in 2014, so you’d have to think his new and improved game is suited for these tracks. He has the ball striking skills and Par 4 scoring ability that is required to get the job done here.
Tony Finau – $8,700
If Tony Finau is going to pick up that marquee victory in his career, this is the event it is going to happen at. Finau has made the cut at Torrey three straight years, improving on his finish from the prior year each time. Last year, his T4 result was driven by an all around performance, gaining strokes on the field in every category. Finau ranks 10th in SG:Ball Striking in this field over his past 12 rounds, the most important stat I am looking at this week. He shook the rust off at the Sony Open two weeks ago and should be primed for an impressive run this week. He is in serious consideration as a One and Done pick this week.
Jhonattan Vegas – $7,700
Vegas is on a mini heater right now and I’ll be continuing to tag along for the ride. He has a T7 and T11 in his last two trips out, consistency we aren’t use to seeing with Vegas. He has gained strokes in all categories except around the green each of his last two events as well. Jhonny V also has a decent track record at Torrey Pines, making four straight cuts including two top 20 finishes. He has the distance and ball striking skills to keep his solid form rolling, and I’d be shocked if we didn’t see Vegas in the mix on the weekend.
Charley Hoffman – $7,200
During my first pass at the DraftKings pricing, two things immediately stood out. Tiger’s insane price, more to come with that, and Charley Hoffman being incredibly cheap. I had to Google and make sure nothing had happened to Hoffman over the break that might warrant this tag. But nothing – just an error by the DraftKings pricing algorithm. Hoffman has made the cut at this event four of the past five years, and the last time we saw him tee it up he came 2nd at the Hero World Challenge. It would have been nice to see Charley mix in an event between now and then, but at this price, he could have taken a year off, ala TW, and it wouldn’t have mattered.
Farmers Insurance Open Interactive Data
Note these tools are FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “ERIC” for 15% off:
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere
Justin Rose – $10,600
It’s in fields like this one where Justin Rose falls under the radar. He hasn’t been DraftKings eligible since the Hero, and really in the spotlight since the WGC-HSBC Champions, which he won. His price tag this week is manageable if you want to pivot off of the top tier of golfers. It wasn’t too long ago Rose was the hottest golfer on the planet. The one concern with Rose is the fact that he played in Abu Dhabi last week and is making the long trip to San Diego. His ownership won’t come close to that of Fowler or Rahm, so that travel concern definitely doesn’t outweigh the potential upside.
Grayson Murray – $8,000
If this is a bombers track and distance is king, why not take a shot with the overpriced Murray? We rarely ever see Grayson priced in the $8,000, but here we are. He played well last week at the CareerBuilder, doing most of his damage on the green on way to a T14 finish. Grayson has zero tags on FanShare Sports, and is priced around Charles Howell and Bud Cauley, two very likely chalky options.
Brendan Steele – $7,800
Steele is a known California guy, yet isn’t on track to see much ownership this week at the Farmers. He only has one tag on FanShare, is priced beside Bud Cauley and Jhonattan Vegas and is coming off of an average finish at the CareerBuilder. Steele has made the cut at Torrey five straight years, although his best finish was last year – T20. Steele has the distance to get around these courses with ease. He’s a reliable cut maker and should be heavily considered for cash lineups.
Lucas Glover – $7,100
The ball striking master Lucas Glove was out in full force at the CareerBuilder. Glover gained 6.6 SG:T2G and of course, lost 4.3 on the greens. That is what we have come to expect with Glove, but the results seem to always be there despite his putting woes. If Glove comes out with that type of tee to green clinic again, $7,200 will be an absolute steal.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Tigers Woods $9,700
HE’S BACK!!! And holy smokes is he over priced. The community as a whole was shocked at his price and it will take some serious Tiger Woods fandom to overcome the $9,700 tag. The risk is insane with Tiger, and it is multiplied at this price. Yes, he has destroyed this course his entire career, but still. He’s played one exhibition tournament in the last year and the Hero World Challenge is nothing compared to the test that Torrey will present. I’m cheering for the comeback to be real as much as the next guy, but it’s a no from me this week.
Patrick Reed – $8,400
I followed Reed’s performance last week at the CareerBuilder closely – he was my terrible One and Done pick. Reed struggled majorly off the tee, with approaches and on the greens. All around, it was a terrible effort and there is no chance I am backing Reed this week with any sort of money. Reed has played this event twice in the past five years, withdrawing once and coming T39 back in 2013. The length will be too much for him and another missed cut seems all too likely.
James Hahn – $7,700
Hahn came to play at the Sony Open, losing in a playoff to Patton Kizzire. He didn’t have a terrible week last week either, but his track record at Torrey is less than stellar. In the past five attempts, Hahn’s best finish is a T41(2015) and has added two missed cuts in there as well. In fields of this strength, Hahn is usually in the low $7,000 range so to see him at this modest price tag is surprising. It’s too rich for my blood, especially with a golfer who so infrequently contends.
Bryson DeChambeau – $7,200
Bryson made the trip over to Abu Dhabi last week, and is rushing back across the world to play in the Farmers. PASS!!! We have seen this over the last couple years, specifically with Rickie Fowler. The trip around the world at this time of the year takes its toll on these golfers and DeChambeau is going to be the next golfer to fall victim. Oh yeah, he also missed the cut last week.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Brandt Snedeker – $9,000
Sneds wound up being, surprisingly, highly owned last week. His $7,700 price tag must have been the key reason why, because he had no recent form and we were all guessing what he would bring to the table. Disappointment is what Sneds dished out at the CareerBuilder, and now his price has increased $1,300. I doubt many people are rushing to lineup and roster him, despite his fantastic course history. He is a risky play at best, but one that could be a huge difference in a large GPP. If risk is up your alley, Sneds is the play for you.
J.J. Spaun – $7,500
J.J. Spaun was another guy who missed the cut last week after people piled on him. We are clinging to the narrative that he is a west coast player because of his success from last season. Spaun finished T9 here last year in his first crack at Torrey Pines. Spaun still managed to gain three strokes on approach shots last week, even without playing all four rounds. His lack of distance isn’t ideal here, but he has shown before he still has what it takes to get it around this course. I doubt Spaun is over 10% owned in large GPPs.
Chesson Hadley – $6,800
Last week, Hadley was $9,000 and saw a decent amount of ownership. He underwhelmed for his price tag with a T42 finish. His price reduction will draw a lot of people back to him, but there will be others who are ready to move on. I think Hadley alone at $6,800 is a fantastic play, but add in the fact he ranks 14th in my weighted stat model over his last 12 rounds and he becomes a lock in a great bounce back spot.
Thanks for reading the Farmers Insurance Open preview article! Follow me on Twitter for more DFS and golf betting talk! Also, don’t forget to check out FanShareSports.com to get a full look at who the DFS golf community is talking about this week!
Good luck this week everybody!!