Preview: We are officially back! Though we’re still over seas in China, this week’s field is stacked and we have plenty of stats to dive into. This will be a bit of an abbreviated breakdown due to the Wednesday evening start (looks like an 8:30 PM EST lock), and I wanted to get this out for people to see. Some big names atop the vegas odds include Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, and plenty more. There are a lot of great plays this week and salaries seem pretty reasonable. Remember, this is a WGC event, so it’s another small field and there will be NO CUT – similar to the past couple weeks.
The Course: Sheshan Golf Club – Shanghai, China. 7,261 yard par 72. Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champion, winning by strokes last year. Here’s a small breakdown of guys who have notable performances in this tournament during the past three years:
Stats: I may have over done myself this week. Based on prior year’s tournament stats (from fantasynational.com) I chose a few stat categories to start with and added a few more in based on the course. My final picks are based on these stats, tournament history, and recent performance. All the stats I used rank the field in each category based on their last 24-rounds. Stats include: Strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained off the tee, good drives gained, birdies gained, bogeys avoided, GIR gained, strokes gained approach, strokes gained putting, strokes gained scrambling, par 4 efficiency (450-500 yards), and par 3 efficiency (200-225 yards).
Studs: Top Dollar Options (DK $9,000+)
Dustin Johnson: Although he hasn’t played since the BMW Championship last month, for his 24-round stats, he ranks 1st in the field for SG tee to green, SG off the tee, and top-10 in good drives gained, birdies gained, bogeys avoided, SG approach, SG scrambling, and par 4 efficiency. He also came in 5th here two years ago. Unfortunately, he’s the most expensive guy in a field stacked with value.
Hideki Matsuyama: He’s coming off a 5th place finish at the CIMB Classic, has great tournament history, and it looks like his not-so-great streak following his win at the last WGC event in August may be over. He is also the defending champ. Highlights of his standing in the field for his previous 24-rounds include 7th in SG tee to green, 6th in GIR gained, and 2nd in SG approach. He’s a safe bet to provide some value, but as well all know, he is clearly capable of being a bust.
Jon Rahm: The only bad thing I can say about him right now is that he finished 78th in his last start at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters last week. Other than that, he has had a ton of top-10 finishes since August. 24-round stats put him in 4th SG tee to green, 2nd in SG off the tee, 8th in good drives gained, 6th in birdies gained, 4th in bogeys avoided, 3rd in GIR gained, 2nd in SG scrambling, 2nd for par 4’s and 8th for par 3’s.
Henrik Stenson: He’s got great tournament history and is trending up: 24th, 11th, 2nd, (1st???). Despite his 51st place finish at the BMW Championship, his 24-round stats in comparison to this field are top notch: 1st in good drives gained, 5th in birdies gained, 2nd in bogeys avoided, 1st in GIR gained, 3rd in SG approach, and 1st in SG putting.
Other studs I like: Leishman, Rose, Casey, Fitzpatrick
Studs I am likely fading: Day, Koepka, Perez
Midrange Options: (DK $8,000 – $8,900)
Patrick Reed: He is coming off a great playoff run and a runner up PGA Championship finish. Last week he played well and finished 11th at The CJ Cup. He finished 22nd here in 2015 and 7th here in 2016. 24-round stats put him in decent spots (not the best), but most notably 1st in SG scrambling. If he can keep the ball straight he can do very well.
Ross Fisher: I wouldn’t say he’s a sure thing, but he’s in good form coming in 2nd in his past two starts. To top things off, he finished 3rd here in 2016 and 6th here in 2017. Notable stats include 12th SG tee to green, 13th SG off the tee, 3rd in good drives gained, 5th in GIR gained, and 10th in SG approach.
Tyrrell Hatton: This man will likely be the chalk of the chalk. He’s priced at $8,200 on DK and he’s won his last two events. He has pretty much played flawless golf since early September. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Other midrange I like: Cabrera-Bello, Molinari, Fleetwood, Mickelson, Cantlay
Value: (DK $7,900 or less)
Adam Scott: Adam Scott is priced under $8k ??!! Need I say more?
Matt Kuchar: He came in 21st here last year but is coming off of a great season. He always keeps the ball in play and I’m willing the whole traveling to China thing won’t affect him all that much. He too had a great playoff run, finishing 5th in the BMW Championship and 10th in the Tour Championship. I like him in a no cut event because I just don’t see him blowing up, and know he’s capable of birdies. Notable 24-round stats include 2nd in good drives gained, 19th in birdies gained, 14th in bogeys avoided, 18th in GIR gained, 4th in SG scrambling, 14th in par 4 efficiency, and 11th in par 3 efficiency.
Thomas Pieters: His recent play hasn’t been too special, but his history here is pretty good and he is at a great price this week. For 24-round stats, he is in 11th in both birdies gained and bogeys avoided, 5th in SG approach, and 6th in par 4 efficiency. I’ll be taking a shot on him this week.
Xin-Jun Zhang: Here is my flyer this week (and that may not be all that uncommon). He came in 21st here last year and all over the top-30 for 24-round stats. He played in the Safeway Open and finished 37th.
Other value guys I like: Haas, Olesen, Grace, Noren, Finau, Stanley, Schwartzel, Harman, Swafford
Good luck this week! – Follow us on Twitter at:
@donaldremington // @LineupLogicDFS