Last Updated: 2018-01-08
It feels good to fire the golf daily fantasy articles back up, now that we’ve got weekly events on the other side of the New Year. This week’s event is the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club. After last week’s exclusive Tournament of Champions, we’re back to a full field and a whole lot of contenders in search of the title that Justin Thomas won last year by setting a bunch of PGA Tour records.
We’ll try to help you with your daily fantasy golf choices by looking for the top values. Everybody can take the top guys and hope for the best, but it’s often that low-cost missing piece that makes all the difference in your GPPs, 50/50s, or H2H matchups.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from BangTheBook Radio on Wednesdays with our resident golf betting expert Wes Reynolds, who outlines players to take a chance on for this weekend’s event. Also, we have golf previews for the PGA event each week.
Si Woo Kim ($8,500) – We’ll start with a player right around the average remaining salary in Si Woo Kim. Kim played well last week at Kapalua and finished 10th. It was his second top 10 of the season, to go along with a third-place finish at Mayakoba in the OHL Classic. Kim didn’t play this event last year, but finished fourth at 16-under back in 2016. It seems like Kim put too much pressure on himself for the Asian events to start the year and has gotten back on track with his last couple of made cuts. The 22-year-old was pretty hit or miss last year, but his win at the PLAYERS Championship was a clear indication of what his ceiling can be.
Gary Woodland ($7,800) – Can Gary Woodland shake off the rust of not having played since November? If he can, this has been a great course for the 33-year-old in the past. Woodland tied for sixth here last year at 17-under. He finished 12-under and tied for 13th in 2016. He tied for third in 2015 at 13-under, which was 10 shots behind Jimmy Walker, but was still a fine showing on the par 70 track. Woodland doesn’t have any excellent finishes this season, but has reliably made all four cuts and has played well at higher salaries in weaker fields. We’re getting a good price on him this week and hopefully he lives up to his reputation at Waialae.
Hudson Swafford ($7,300) – Hudson Swafford has never really lived up to the hype that followed him around as a Nationwide Tour player. He just picked up his first win of his career at last year’s CareerBuilder Challenge, which was about a year ago. Swafford played really well in this event last year with a 13-under that tied him for 13th. Lost in Justin Thomas’s opening-round 59 was that Swafford shot a 62. In 2016, Swafford finished tied for ninth at 13-under at Waialae. He missed the cut in 2015 at even par, but finished eighth in 2014 at 10-under. He’s been a pretty safe player here in his career and looks like a decent bet here as well.
Yusaku Miyazato ($6,800) – Japan native Yusaku Miyazato will be at the 2018 Masters at Augusta National on the strength of a top-50 finish in the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of 2017. Last season was a breakout year for Miyazato, who won four events on the Japan Golf Tour, including his second Golf Nippon Series JT Cup on December 3. He barely missed the cut in this event last year with a 68 and a 71, so he was right there to be a nice, well under-the-radar pick for those that rostered him. After his 2017 breakout year at the age of 37, he is worth taking a look at this week as a great in some pretty good form.
Peter Uihlein ($7,700) – Peter Uihlein is a guy that really flies under the radar. He’s an American-born player that spends most of his time on the European Tour. The 28-year-old played very well during the Asian swing, with a 10th-place finish in Kuala Lumpur at the CIMB Classic and a fifth in the WGC-HSBC Champions event at Sheshan in Shanghai. He wrapped up last season in Europe well with a top-10 at the DP World Tor Championship in Dubai. He hasn’t had much major success with premier fields, but this isn’t really a star-studded field and this isn’t a particularly tough course. He’s certainly an interesting roster candidate this week.
-END OF 2018 PICKS-
It’s good to be back again with some weekly golf daily fantasy analysis. We’ve got a huge field for the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii and that means that we have two different cut lines. The first tends to be around even par 140 after the first two rounds and then there’s a third after Saturday’s scorecards have been signed and submitted. This is the first full field even of the calendar event, so that means that some players will be shaking off some rust. Others played last week in Kapalua at the Tournament of Champions.
For those that are new to the article, our goal is to help you narrow down the field with some of the top values on the board. Everybody can take the top guys and hope for the best, but it’s often that low-cost missing piece that makes all the difference in your GPPs, 50/50s, or H2H matchups.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from BangTheBook Radio on Wednesdays with our resident golf betting expert Wes Reynolds, who outlines players to take a chance on for this weekend’s event. Also, we have golf previews for the PGA and the European Tour events each week.
All salaries are from DraftKings.
Kevin Na ($7,700) – The first thing you want this week is consistency. With two cuts to avoid, some of the high-variance players might not be great gambles this week. A player that rarely experiences a lot of variance is Kevin Na. He’s generally a consistent player, but his putter can elevate him on a week-to-week basis. For Na, nine of his last 14 rounds at this event have been under par. With a par of 70, that’s a significant achievement. At this price, you can reasonably assume you’ll get four rounds and a top-15 type of finish. That’s a good base to start with, especially with some of the higher prices out there.
Si Woo Kim ($7,900) – Si Woo Kim got a chance to work out the kinks last week in the SBS Tournament of Champions. There’s some concern because he’s been battling a bit of an injury for the last couple of months, but he was able to get four rounds in and looked pretty decent prior to a final-round 78. A lot of Asian players like to participate in this event and the eligibility bylaws for this tournament allow for “players from emerging markets” to be included. Asia is really emerging as a market, so a South Korean-born player like Kim may have a little bit more emphasis on this one. Kim struggled with the par 5s, but there’s only two of those on this course. Kim finished fourth last year in his first Sony Open.
Russell Knox ($8,100) – European players haven’t had a ton of success here. Fabian Gomez snapped a seven-year run for Americans in this tournament and a player from Europe has never won. If one is going to do it, Knox seems like a reasonable bet. He missed the cut last year because of an opening round 73, but he shot 65 in round two to narrowly miss a cut line that actually wound up being 2-under. He was tied for 13th in 2015 with a 66-65 start. He shot even par and missed the cut in 2014. He certainly hasn’t played bad here and has three top 10s to start the 2016-17 season. He finished third at Mayakoba, which has a few similarities to this course, so this could be the year that a European takes the crown.
Kevin Kisner ($7,400) – Kevin Kisner got a chance to sit back and work on his game over the holidays. He hasn’t played since the RSM Classic, which had to be a big disappointment for the University of Georgia product. Kisner finished tied for fifth last season because of a final-round 70. He wasn’t going to close the five-shot gap in all likelihood, but he opened 63-66-66 and probably expected bigger things. He may have some rust to shake off, which is worrisome, but that’s why his price is so manageable.
Jerry Kelly ($6,800) – We’ll bring it full circle here with the value picks and look at Jerry Kelly. Like Kevin Na, Jerry Kelly is not a high-ceiling guy, but he’s a steady, consistent player that can put you in the top 10 or top 15 at a reasonable price. Kelly actually tied for ninth here last year and shot 65-66-69-67. Two years ago, Kelly opened with a 73, but then fired a 62 to make the cut and finished tied for sixth. He was third three years ago at 15-under, just two shots in back of Jimmy Walker. At this price, how can you not take on that gamble?
Players to Avoid:
Justin Thomas ($10,500) – No knock on Justin Thomas, who was brilliant last week at Kapalua, but this is a challenging week for him. Thomas is coming off of a win, which is always a concern, especially in paradise where he can load up on margaritas and Mai Tais. He’s also a University of Alabama product and he’ll be quite occupied on Monday night with the National Championship Game. That shouldn’t have a big impact on Thursday, but, you never know and for this price, you don’t want to take chances. Thomas was good here two years ago and seems comfortable on the island, but there might be a little too much variance with 21 percent of your salary cap on the line.
Justin Rose ($9,300) – Justin Rose is a pretty big unknown this week. He withdrew from the Hero World Challenge event that didn’t count for FedEx Cup points, but was a charity-driven tournament and Rose felt he couldn’t continue. He’s had some back problems and suffered his way through the Hong Kong Open before they became too much. He didn’t play particularly well after winning gold in Rio with a 31st at the Barclays, a 57th at the Deutsche Bank, and a 24th at the BMW Championship. He’s a guy that needs to prove his health and consistency before you can pay prices like this.
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