We have a phenomenal field on hand this week at Firestone Country Club for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The top 51 in the Official World Golf Ranking are all on hand along with 29 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup points list. This is the last year for this event in Akron, as it will move to Memphis, Tennessee for future years. This has been a popular stop among players and the strength of this field is all the confirmation we need. It won’t be hard to find good players to roster, that’s for sure.
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.
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Luke List ($7,200) – Let’s start by going down the, uh, list to find Luke List. This is a tremendous price for a guy that ranks among golf’s best players in strokes gained tee-to-green and strokes gained off-the-tee. Given the setup of Firestone Country Club, a par 70 that comes in at 7,400 yards, List’s ability to keep it in the short grass and hit it a long way is a good combination. This will be his first time at Firestone for the WGC event, so we don’t have any course form data, but he rates around guys like Henrik Stenson, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Paul Casey in those two strokes gained categories. How is that not worth a shot here? We’re also getting a nice price because he’s had some MCs lately, but did finish third in the Scottish Open and had three rounds under par at Carnoustie.
Zach Johnson ($8,100) – Zach Johnson is just solid. He’s all-around solid. He won’t go out there and put up any eye-popping scores, but he’s not going to hurt you at all and comes at a reasonable price. Johnson has four straight top-20 finishes and he’s played extremely well at Firestone. He was the runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama last year, albeit five strokes behind the champ. He was tied for 10th at even par in 2016 after a very slow 6-over start. He’s running on a string of six rounds under par at Firestone and 12 of his last 16 rounds have come in under par in Akron. He’s worth a roster spot this week.
Tony Finau ($8,000) – When the proverbial lights are shining the brightest, Tony Finau has been able to thrive. Finau was ninth at The Open Championship, fifth at the US Open, 13th at The Memorial, and 10th at the Masters. Finau plays his best in the strongest events with the toughest fields. This event certainly qualifies. He hits the ball a long way, so he’ll be able to shorten this monster of a track and that is a big key for players looking to conquer Firestone.
Kevin Chappell ($7,300) – Kevin Chappell has been at Firestone twice and he’s played well both times. Chappell was on hand in 2016 and tied for third at 3-under with Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, and Jordan Spieth, which is some pretty good company. He finished 4-under last year with three rounds under par after a first-round 72. Chappell is tied for 11th in percentage of birdies or better on par 4s this season and the way to score at Firestone is to make birdies and pars on those very tough par 4s. Chappell is coming off of a top-10 finish at Carnoustie in which he only had nine bogies and a double out of the 72 holes. He’s in fairly decent form here and comes at a very cheap price because of the strength of the field.
Xander Schauffele ($7,900) – Like Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele has stepped up in the strongest events. Schauffele tied for second at The Open Championship two weeks. A month and a half ago Schauffele finished tied for sixth at Shinnecock Hills for the US Open. He was second at The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass back in May. Schauffele seems to like these star-studded fields and he’s coming in at a great price with so much star power ahead of him. There are a lot of options this week and a lot of these mid-range guys are solid gambles. Given what Schauffele has done when the stakes are raised, he gets the nod over some of those other contenders.
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A limited number of players are available for this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. All tournaments given invitational status have smaller fields, but the WGC element of the Bridgestone makes it even more exclusive. There are 78 players in the field this week. Many of them are names that you know. Some of them are not, as the entry criteria includes golfers that play in one of the PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour, or Japan Golf Tour. With a lot of big names, that means some good players are at good values for this week at Firestone Country Club.
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.
Xander Schauffele ($7,300) – In a tournament full of names that you know, we’ll start with one you either don’t or aren’t that familiar with in Xander Schauffele. You probably should start paying more attention to him, though. Schauffele hits the WGC-Bridgestone on some kind of run. It started at the US Open when he finished fifth. He was 14th the following week at the Travelers Championship. A tough week at the Quicken Loans National turned into a win just a week later at the Greenbrier Classic. Schauffele was 20th two weeks ago at The Open Championship. He’s had some awesome finishes at some good prices and the strength of this field drives him down the board this week and turns him into an excellent value.
Kevin Chappell ($7,500) – Kevin Chappell picked up a top-25 finish at the US Open and then went in the tank for more than a month. Bad showings at The Open Championship and the Quicken Loans National resulted in missed cuts. Last week, Chappell finished eighth at the RBC Canadian Open. He had 24 birdies and really had it going with the putter. Chappell finished third in this even last year at 3-under, just three shots back of winner Dustin Johnson, in his first year at Firestone.
Bubba Watson ($7,700) – We keep waiting for Bubba Watson to show some of his old form. It just hasn’t happened yet this season. That being said, Watson looked good when he finished sixth at the Memorial Tournament at the start of June, so maybe he can channel some of that Buckeye State fortune into this weekend’s event in Akron. Watson has played very well here over the last few years. Watson was 2-over in 2013, but shot 67-69 in his first two rounds to put himself in a decent position before it unraveled over the weekend. In 2014, he shot even par. In 2015, Watson finished runner-up to Shane Lowry. Last year, Watson was 14th at 1-over. Watson’s length off the tee is an asset here on what is a fairly straight course.
JB Holmes ($7,600) – JB Holmes could have the right skill set for Firestone. Holmes is a big hitter off the tee and has been one of the better putters on Tour so far this season. What makes Firestone such a challenging track is the low par and the distance. The distance is manageable, but when players get to the greens, there is a whole new set of challenges. Holmes quietly has two top-20 finishes in his last three starts. He didn’t play badly at The Open Championship, but finished 54th. Holmes had four eagles last week at the RBC Canadian Open and fired a 32 on the back nine on Sunday, so he rolls into Akron with some momentum. He doesn’t have any particularly strong finishes here, but he’s a solid, steady player at this price.
Charl Schwartzel ($7,200) – We haven’t talked much about Charl Schwartzel this season. Schwartzel, who finished second at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, looks pretty solid last week at the Porsche European Open with a 12th-place finish. Schwartzel hits the ball a long way, which helps in terms of a course like this. He finished seventh last year at 2-under. He shot a respectable 1-over two years ago. He finished fourth three years ago at 9-under, including a first-round 65 and a final-round 64. He’s definitely worth a look at this price this week.