Last Updated: 2018-01-30
Even though the Waste Management Phoenix Open isn’t a major, it is still a major party and a whole lot of fun at TPC Scottsdale. This relaxed and raucous environment features concerts, a pro-am, a lot of adult beverages, and, this year, one of the best fields we have ever seen. That means that there should be a lot of good value players teeing it up in the desert as we get ready for another week of golf fantasy picks.
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. Keep that in mind as you read through these plays. We’re looking for cheap players with upside.
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.
Byeong Hun An ($8,000) – Let’s be very clear. There is a big element of risk in taking Byeong Hun An this week. He just played last week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates, so he is dealing with a tricky travel schedule. He’s missed the cut in each of his last two PGA Tour events. But, he was sixth last weekend in Dubai and played extremely well over his final 54 holes. An was not overseas the week before the Waste Management Phoenix Open last year, but he did finish sixth. He was right in contention before firing a final-round 73 that allowed him to fall by the wayside. He was 16-under before that final round. He wound up finishing sixth. He’s worth a spot this week.
Shane Lowry ($7,900) – This is probably my favorite value pick of the week. Shane Lowry missed the cut last week at the Farmers Insurance Open, but opened with a 69, so it wasn’t a total loss. It simply means that he got to chill out a little bit and get ready to play at TPC Scottsdale, where he has played well. Lowry tied for 16th last year, but, like An, posted a number in the 70s on Sunday that allowed a lot of players to pass him by. Lowry was 10-under prior to that even par finish. Two years ago, Lowry finished tied for sixth at 9-under and was tied for the lead after the first round with Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler, who wound up dueling in a playoff for the win. Lowry has played well here and is worthy of an investment.
Bubba Watson ($7,500) – Bubba Watson isn’t nearly the player he once was, but there’s something about him and courses that he has played well at in the past. Three of Watson’s last four wins have come on courses he previously won at, including Augusta National. Watson doesn’t have a win at TPC Scottsdale, but he was 14th in 2016, tied for second in 2015, and tied for second in 2014. I know there isn’t a whole lot to like about him anymore, but if you want to look for course form players, Watson is one of the better ones at this field. He costs a lot less than some of the other guys that have a lot of success at the Phoenix Open. He missed the cut after 54 holes at the CareerBuilder, but only had three bogies. He had a couple of really awful holes, but he played better than the MC would indicate.
Wesley Bryan ($7,200) – This just seems like a Wesley Bryan sort of event, right? If you follow him on social media, this type of atmosphere just seems to fit his personality. The results haven’t really been there, but he does have 34 birdies against 15 bogies over his last two events. He’s had a few too many doubles and triples in his recent rounds, but he’s putting really well. If he can just get a little more consistent off the tee, there might be something there. He tied for 42nd last year, but did have three rounds under par and finished 6-under. Something tells me he might be coming around sooner rather than later.
Jason Kokrak ($7,100) – Perhaps we’ve found this week’s hidden gem. Jason Kokrak has 37 birdies against just 12 bogies over his last two events. He finished in the top 10 at the CareerBuilder Challenge at 18-under. Skipping last week was good for Kokrak, who went bogey-double to end the CareerBuilder and lose a chance at getting into a playoff. Kokrak has not played well here since 2014 when he snagged a top-15 finish, but he’s got some decent recent form going and that is certainly worth considering at this price point.
-END OF 2018 PICKS-
Everybody is excited about the Super Bowl, but the party this week really starts on Thursday with the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The party atmosphere at TPC Scottsdale creates one of the most unique events of the PGA Tour season. It should be a lot of fun, like always, but it’s not fun for all of the players. Some golfers definitely play better here than others with the raucous, booze-fueled crowds. It can be challenging to put together a lineup this week.
Our quest in these golf daily fantasy articles is to look for the top value picks 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.
Matt Kuchar ($7,400) – Matt Kuchar makes his first appearance in a while on the PGA Tour this week at TPC Scottsdale. He played the charity event at the Hero World Challenge and finished third, but this will be his first points event since November. Kuchar only has a couple of starts here over the last five years. He finished 30th in 2015 and 33rd in 2012, but he’s too good of a player to be priced like this. Obviously there’s some worry about rust, but it’s tough to pass on a guy with his consistency at a price point so far below the salary average to fill out a lineup.
Bubba Watson ($8,300) – We can apply some similar logic to Bubba Watson, but Bubba also has the track record in this event to command more respect. Watson is a two-time runner-up here and hasn’t finished outside the top 15 in the last five years. His worst finish is 15th. He’s been 14th, second, second, 15th, and fifth in the last five years. How can you argue with consistency and production like that? Watson hasn’t won in 11 months and didn’t play particularly well at the SBS Tournament of Champions, but he’s an easy horse-for-course play here this week at a very reasonable salary.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,600) – It feels like it might be time to buy Emiliano Grillo. The young Argentinean got a lot of buzz and a lot of steam last season and costs were inflated and so were prices in the betting market. Grillo is off to a slow start on the PGA Tour this year, with a 17th at the Hero World Challenge, a MC at the CareerBuilder, and a 33rd at the Farmers Insurance Open last week. Grillo was 10th at Mayakoba and 11th at the WGC-HSBC, which seems to have been lost on some people with his last two performances. He tied for 45th last year, but shot 69-69-72 after he got acclimated to the course. It was his first career start and his opening-round 73 put him behind the eight-ball early.
Jamie Lovemark ($7,100) – Jamie Lovemark opened with a 68 last year at the Phoenix Open, but shot a 78 in the second round and missed the cut. He’s coming off a couple of lackluster performances at the CareerBuilder and the Farmers Insurance Open, but he was fourth in the Sony Open a couple weeks ago and played well at the RSM Classic in November. Lovemark is a fairly long hitter and that’s important with the par 5s on this course because that’s how you pick up strokes against par. In terms of guys that can really save you a few bucks, Lovemark is definitely one to consider.
Marc Leishman ($7,000) – Marc Leishman has quietly played some consistent golf of late. He’s finished 20th, 20th, and 21st in his last three events, with the Farmers Insurance Open, the Sony Open, and the Australian PGA Championship. Leishman did not play this event last year or the year prior. He missed cuts at TPC Scottsdale in 2014 and 2013, but that’s why we get him at such a good price this week. He cracked the top 20 back in 2012 and has good length for a course like this.
Players to Avoid:
Jon Rahm ($9,700) – We haven’t had much luck with these this season, so take this one with a grain of salt. Jon Rahm secured his maiden PGA Tour win last week at the Farmers Insurance. His last start at TPC Scottsdale was a good one when he finished tied for fifth at 12-under. We always have to consider a hangover effect for the previous event winner, especially if it is the first victory. That’s really the only angle at play here, since Rahm is a great player capable of winning just about anywhere.
Rickie Fowler ($9,500) – Rickie Fowler was in last year’s epic playoff with Hideki Matsuyama, but that was the exception and not the norm for Fowler at TPC Scottsdale. He made the cut and finished 46th in 2015. He missed the cut in 2014 and 2013. He was 26th in 2012. This is a high price to pay for a guy that certainly has talent, but hasn’t played all that well here and hasn’t been playing frequently during the 2016-17 season. He came back last week at Torrey Pines and looked all out of sorts shooting a 147 over two rounds.
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