It’s mid-October, and therefore it’s time for the Frys.com Open and the start of a new PGA Tour season. It doesn’t seem like that long ago the 2015 PGA Tour season was coming to a close, and Jordan Spieth was capping off a remarkable campaign by winning the Tour Championship, FedEx Cup, and being named Player of the Year. Well, two weeks wasn’t that long ago, and yes, blink for but a moment, and you will miss the PGA Tour off season. The longest season in sport, there are 47 events scheduled on Tour this year.
For the second consecutive year, the Frys.com will be played at Silverado Resort in Napa, California. A significant storyline this week is that last year’s champion, Sang-Moon Bae will not defend his title. Bae will be begin his required military duty in South Korea, after the government rejected his application to be exempted from his civic duties. This is an unfortunate reality for the two-time Tour winner (2013 Byron Nelson & 2014 Frys.com) and it puts his golf career in jeopardy. Bae is required to serve for approximately two years, but can find some hope in the fact that he is not the first South Korean golfer to encounter such career hardships. K.J Choi completed his required service at the age of 21. Choi served on the night shift at a National Guard Station, which allowed him to continue working on his golf game during the day. I believe I speak for most golf fans when I say that I hope to see Sang-Moon back on Tour, and even in the winner’s circle in a couple of years.
Let’s take a look at my fantasy rankings for this week, as well as my DraftKings lineups.
Justin Rose - Coming off a very impressive season, and playoffs. Look for him to continue to put himself in contention this season. I expect to see him win at least a couple events this year. While he did not win as often as some others like Day and Spieth, his consistency was extremely impressive.
Rory McIlroy - He’s lost the number one spot atop the World Golf Rankings and you better believe he wants it back. Should be well-rested and able to put his injury plagued months behind him.
Hideki Matsuyama - Finished T3 at this event last season to go along with many other high finishes throughout the course of the year. It should not be long before this young man finds himself back in the winner’s circle.
Tony Finau - Coming off a very impressive rookie season. Finished T12 at Silverado last year with limited Tour experience. This week serves as his first opportunity to combine his confidence as a Tour player with having experienced previous Tour success at a particular venue.
Brooks Koepka - Went into the FedEx Cup playoffs playing extremely well, but endured disappointing performances in the four events, missing two cuts. Having the last couple of weeks off should have served him very well, as he is not far removed from playing some fantastic golf.
Kevin Na - A strong golfer who at times can struggle to finish. The fact that Silverado has a par 5-4-5 finish could serve him well if he is struggling with nerves down the stretch. Is continuing to improve in this area and is coming off a solid season.
Robert Streb - Finished PGA Tour season playing great golf. I expect him to continue this trend into the first part of the PGA Tour season.
Justin Thomas - This long-hitting youngster is no longer a rookie, which should serve to enhance the tremendous confidence he has already displayed out on Tour. Had seven top-10 finishes last season. He missed the cut at this event last year, but I do not expect that to be the case come Friday. Another individual whom I believe will find the winner’s circle very shortly.
Daniel Berger - Looked like a seasoned veteran a few weeks ago in the playoffs. I have to believe that he will begin the new Tour season on a high note. He was playing far too well in the FedEx Cup playoffs not too.
Ollie Schniederjans - Seeking to continue to establish himself as a legitimate contender out on Tour. Terrific performances in the summer months, including a T12 at Open Championship.
Jon Curran - finished T8 last year at this event. The former mini-tour journeyman experienced success in his first year on tour, posting four top-10 finishes.
Emiliano Grillo - Played in few events last season, but posted strong finishes at Puerto Rico Open (T2) and Barbasol Championship (T10). Coming off strong finish to season on Web.com. Finished T2 at Small Business Connection Championship and then won the Tour Championship to earn his PGA Tour card for this season. Entering this week with a ton of confidence.
Ryo Ishikawa - Finished T19 at this event last season. While it was a promising start to last year’s campaign, Ishikawa struggled for much of the season. Beginning to show some promising signs toward the end of the year, I feel this week could be a good one for him, as he is coming off some rest, played well here last year, and showed signs in the past months of his game returning to form.
Let’s now take a look at my DraftKings lineups for Opening Day.
Justin Thomas - $9,300
Daniel Berger - $8,900
Webb Simpson - $8,100
Cameron Tringale - $8,000
Patrick Rodgers - $8,000
Will Wilcox - $7,500
Justin Rose - $12,000
Brooks Koepka - $10,600
David Hearn - $7,400
Zach Blair - $7,300
Adam Hadwin - $6,300
Jon Curran - $6,300
My opening day lineups are representative of the philosophy I desire to take into the first part of my DraftKings fantasy season. At times it is possible to over-analyze your picks. Golf is a game where anything can happen and therefore analyzing every possible angle and stat can be detrimental. This week’s lineups represent making reasoned decisions, but at the same time preventing against thinking too much about them. In Team A I didn’t spend on the costly players, but focused on keeping a strong lineup throughout. With Team B, I made sure to take Rose & Koekpa, but due to their high values, had to take players like Curran and Hadwin. This is an example of “reasoned decisions”. Both Hadwin and Curran are players who I would not be surprised to see near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday making them solid choices with low-draft value.
Draft Your Team Now
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.
DraftKings is a leading provider of online fantasy sports. Our core product is a 1-day Fantasy Sports Contest, where users compete against each other to win cash prizes. The game works similarly to how season-long contests on ESPN or Yahoo operate, with the key difference being that instead of season-long commitments, our users only need to commit to playing for a single day at a time. Free and entry-fee-based games are available. Featuring daily fantasy sports contests and same-day settlement, DraftKings makes playing fantasy sports simpler and faster for both seasoned and casual players.
Read more about DraftKings at: www.DraftKings.com