When sports fans hear of Akron, Ohio, they often think of the home of Lebron James, but Akron is also home to the world-class Firestone Country Club. This week the world of golf will descend upon Akron for its annual trip to Firestone as it holds the Bridgestone World Golf Championships.
A big story this week is the fact that once again, Rory McIlroy is unable to defend a title. Having pulled out of the Open Championship a few weeks ago, he has already announced that he will be unable to compete as his injured ankle continues to heal. It was this time last year that Rory went on a tear, winning the Open Championship, this event and the PGA Championship.
While Rory may have been the dominant one last year, the past has been dominated by Mr. Tiger Woods. This is an interesting storyline, for he too will not be competing this week. It’s amazing to think that Tiger has failed to qualify for an event that he has won eight times. As everyone in the golf community is keenly aware, Tiger has been anything but dominant this year, but he did just come off an encouraging week at the Quicken Loans, finishing T18 on an unfamiliar course. It would have been very interesting to see if he would have been able to carry his improved play into this week on a course that he is very comfortable with. We will simply have to see if last week was as meaningful a week for Tiger’s game as it seemed to be.
Let’s take a look at some of the players to watch this week, as well as my DraftKings picks for the tournament.
1. Jordan Spieth – It’s a shame Rory is hurt, for it would be a lot of fun watching these two go head to head on a regular basis. Jordan’s confidence is at an amazing high, evident in the fact that if he isn’t winning, he is certainly coming close.
2. Rickie Fowler – Proved last week at the Quicken Loans that his wins at The Players and Scottish Open were more than just a hot streak. He is becoming a very consistent performer.
3. Jason Day – Displayed two weeks ago at the RBC Canadian Open that he can in fact close out tournaments. Admitted that his strong finish will continue to give him confidence to continue winning.
4. Dustin Johnson – Has already won this year, and has come close on many others. His stats this year on tour have been stellar. A disappointing weekend at the Open Championship combined with the excruciatingly disappointing events that occurred on the 72nd hole at the U.S. Open have provided him with some extra motivation to return to the winners circle.
5. Adam Scott – His play at the Open Championship once again showed that he is a world-class competitor who knows how to make things happen when competing against the best in the world.
6. Justin Rose – Since his run at Spieth at the Masters, has continued to consistently perform at a very high level. With a win earlier in the year at the Zurich Classic, he has enjoyed other high finishes, including a T4 last week at the Quicken Loans.
7. Bubba Watson – Almost took the RBC Canadian Open two weeks ago with a late, final round charge. Already a winner this year, he continues to be a player that you can expect to see on leaderboards.
8. Henrik Stenson – His terrific start to the season may make it seem like he has cooled off as of late, but he is a very consistent performer who rarely disappoints as a fantasy selection.
9. Hideki Matsuyama – Has only missed one cut all year and is constantly putting himself in contention. Has proved that he has the game to take on the world’s best.
10. Jim Furyk – A man with a lot of experience at Firestone, and one who is playing some great golf this season. Won the RBC Heritage earlier in the year, and enjoyed a high finish at the RBC Canadian Open a couple weeks ago.
1. Danny Lee – Has finished within the top-5 in three of his last four events, including a win at the Greenbrier Classic. Finished T4 last week at Quicken Loans.
2. Kevin Kisner – Three playoff loses and six top-10’s this season. Continues to compete at a very high level and his close calls have provided him with experiences needed to break through for that inaugural win.
Below are my DraftKings picks for this week. Take a peek so you can make an informed decisions as you draft your own teams.
Jordan Spieth - $12,500
Ryan Moore - $7,600
Robert Streb - $7,500
J.B. Holmes - $7,500
Charley Hoffmann - $7,500
Kevin Na - $7,400
Adam Scott - $10,200
Matt Kuchar - $8,700
Jimmy Walker - $8,300
Brandt Snedeker - $8,200
Steven Bowditch - $7,300
Ben Martin - $7,300
Making picks this week is a little different than normal because with the limited field event, no players cost less than $7,000, meaning that it’s impossible to stack your team top heavy. To maximize your value, your best options are to take one high-value pick and then attempt to stack the middle of your order, or forego the big gun to maintain a higher average value for each player. As you can see, I chose to take a high-value pick. I’m taking Spieth. He has thirteen top-10’s in nineteen events played. With those numbers, he brings a good return on the $12,500 cap hit. I also like Kevin Na at $7,400. Not a long hitter, which potentially could hurt him this week on Firestone, but is having one of the best seasons of his career.
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About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
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