2:42 | Tour & News
Expert Picks: Houston Open
GOLF.com's Ryan Asselta and Sean Zak offer their fantasy golf  picks  for this week's Houston Open.
By Jason Rouslin
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Welcome to this week's edition of the Fantasy Six Pack, where we highlight six golfers to use in two popular fantasy golf platforms, DraftKings and FanDuel. On each, you must select six golfers for your lineup under a specific salary cap. (DraftKings $50,000, FanDuel $60,000). As a reminder, I'm a golf nut with a 1.3 handicap and a nose for analytics — according to Rotogrinders, I'm one of the top-10 daily fantasy golf players. We are only one week away from one of the best weeks of the golf season, but don't lose sight of this week as DraftKings is offering up two $100,000 first place prizes! Lets dig in.

The Tournament

Average Winning Score: -16
Average Cut: -1
Yardage: 7,441 yards
Par: 72
Skills emphasized: A rather longer course that will play even longer with rain in the forecast. So I'll focus on driving distance, strokes gained off-the-tee and par 5 scoring.

Top-5 finishers last year:

Russell Henley
Sung Kang
Rickie Fowler
Luke List
Daniel Berger

Recap of last week's picks:

After a fantastic week at the API, we had a tougher go last week. We had three of our guys get eliminated in playoffs, and the favorite? Well, Dustin Johnson had a terrible week. On to Houston.

Rickie Fowler enters the Houston Open as the highest-priced golfer on DraftKings. 

The Favorite:

Rickie Fowler (Odds: 10/1 DraftKings $11,500, FanDuel $12,000) Fowler has endured an up-and-down season, with a couple MCs already. Still, he enters as the odds-on favorite and highest priced golfer on DraftKings. He has back-to-back top 5s in Houston, but his recent form overall has not been great. But I like that he's fresh after skipping the match play last week (so did the next guy on our list), and obviously Augusta is on his mind. A quick #Statpeek: Fowler has gained just over a stroke tee-to-green over his last six starts and ranks 12th on the year in strokes gained-approaches. He finished 14th at Bay Hill, his last start.

Going Streaking: Players entering this week in great form

1. Justin Rose (Odds: 10/1, DraftKings $11,400, FanDuel $12,600) On an incredible run, Rose enters Houston with three top 10's in his last 4 starts, and back-to-back top 5s. If you haven't watched Rose play, his game his solid top to bottom. Ranked 35th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 17th off the tee, and 20th in driving distance, Rose offers an impressive combo for a player in his late 30s. He's finished 15th and 37th in his last two trips to Houston, but this week he might take the first step toward back-to-back wins that culminate with a green jacket.

2. Luke List (Odds: 28/1, DraftKings $9,600, FanDuel $9,900) List could currently fit into both the "mulligans" and "going streaking" categories. Last week in an early match against Justin Thomas, List was trailing on the front nine and proceeded to bend his putter, making it ineligible to use the rest of the round. He had to putt with his wedge and still took JT all the way to the 17th hole. Prior to that debacle, he had finished inside the top 26 in four straight starts with two top 10s, including a runner-up. List can rip it with the best of them, ranking third on Tour in driving distance. He's not yet in the Masters, but a win this week would do the job. Just a quick note on DFS pricing: he seems rather expensive on DK compared to his FD price, given their salary cap differences. Normally the two sites aren't that similar in their pricing.

3. James Hahn (Odds: 80/1 DraftKings, $7,100, FanDuel $9,100) Lost in the group stage at the Match Play, where he created a stir after complaining on social media that a fan yelled in his backswing during his match against Jason Dufner. This week Hahn looks like a great value. He's currently 38th in his approach shots from 200 yards or more, 30th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 58th in driving distance, and has gained more than 1.5 shots tee-to-green over his last six events. Over the last nine weeks, Hahn has made five cuts with three top 26 finishes.

4. Keith Mitchell (Odds: 125/1, DraftKings $7,200, FanDuel $8,000) Mitchell first broke through at last year's Valspar Championship, where he Monday qualified and earned a T11 finish. He then went back to the Web.com and finished inside the top 25 to pick up a PGA Tour card. Now a full-time member, Mitchell had the best finish of his career last week, a runner-up in the Dominican Republic. Ranked 11th in driving distance and, obviously, in great form, Mitchell could sneak into the top 20 by week's end. Sadly, there were no strokes gained data tracked in the Dominican, so we have nothing to cite from it.

Spieth was bounced by Patrick Reed in the final match of pool play last week in Austin.

Mulligans: Players who need a reset and expect to play well this week

Jordan Spieth (Odds: 12/1, DraftKings $11,100, FanDuel $12,100) Eerily similar to last year, Spieth is out of form just before Augusta, what he says is his most important week of the year. Fresh off getting knocked out of the match-play group stage by Patrick Reed and missing a cut prior to that, Spieth needs a quick turnaround. Last year missed the cut at the Shell Houston Open, same as 2014, but he also finished second in 2015 and 13th in 2016. With his price being rather expensive he'll need to finish inside the top 10 to pay off. One note: Spieth has never won in back-to-back weeks on the PGA Tour.

Where to play this fantasy Golf this week:

DraftKings: One week away from the Millionaire Maker! Want to win a chance at that contest for as little as .25 cents? Then look at the satellite events DraftKings is offering this week, they start at just a quarter!

1. $4 buy-In contest called the “Fore.” It has a top prize of $25,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $300,000.
2. $33 buy-in contest called the “DogLeg.” It has a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $450,000.
3. $444 buy-in contest called the “Pressure Putt,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $350,0000. The top 22% get paid.

FanDuel:

1. $5.55 buy-in contest called the “Eagle,” with a top prize of $10,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $70,000.
2. $1 buy-in contest called the “Flop Shot,” with a top prize of $900 and a guaranteed prize pool of $9,000.

Jason Rouslin is founder of tourlevelfantasy.com. He has been playing golf for the last 18 years, betting on golf for the last five and writing about golf for the last two. Connect with him via Twitter @dfsgolfer23 or by email at Tourlevelfantasy@gmail.com.

 

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