Welcome to 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 daily fantasy golf players. Before we head into this week’s tournament, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the huge ruling passed down by the Supreme Court yesterday. It creates new opportunities in the sports betting industry, including golf. Here’s a summary.
The Tournament: This year the Nelson moves to a new course, Trinity Forest GC, so there are many unknowns on this sweeping, links-style setup.
Average Winning Score: N/A
Average Cut: N/A
Yardage: 7,400 yards
Skills emphasized: This type of track is commonly seen in the Northeast, or across the pond in Scotland or Ireland. It’s link-style with rolling terrain. There’s little in the way of water hazards or trees, and impeccable short game play around the undulating greens will be vital.
Top five finishers last year:
Recap of last week’s picks:
Another huge week as we went 6-for-7 making the cut while avoiding Rory McIlroy, who had an MC. Let’s see if we can carry that momentum into this week! On to the picks.
Jordan Spieth (Odds: 6/1, DraftKings $11,900, FanDuel $12,900) A founding member of this very golf course and clearly the class of the field, Spieth is the strong favorite. He’s yet to win this season, and he’s due. Spieth is also the reigning British Open champ, so there’s no question he can handle a links setup. One of the strongest parts of his game is his imagination around the greens. He comes in ranked first in scrambling and ninth in strokes gained around the green. He’s also ninth in approaches, and with a course that doesn’t demand overly straight and accurate tee balls, Spieth should be able to unleash his creativity on almost every shot. I fully expect him to win this week.
Going Streaking: Players entering this week in great form
1. Jimmy Walker (Odds: 20/1, DraftKings $9,500, FanDuel $11,300) He canned a huge putt on 18 Sunday at Sawgrass – for both himself and (selfishly) for me as it earned him a runner-up finish at one of the biggest tournaments of the year. Before Sawgrass, he’d been simmering most of the year without quite stringing four days together. If Webb Simpson hadn’t gone crazy, he might’ve won it. When assessing course fit for Walker this week, we are encouraged by his 40th-place ranking in around the green, but he’s fifth in that same stat over the past six weeks when measured only against players in the Nelson field. That, along with a warm putter and consistent iron play, sets him up for a third-straight top 10.
2. Martin Laird (Odds: 60/1, DraftKings $7,900, FanDuel $10,000) Laird grew up playing Scottish links, and he’s found a bit of consistency lately, with four straight cuts made and three of those finishes inside the top 32. He’s ranked 13th in around the green, 52nd in scrambling and 12th in total driving. It’s a well-rounded game that adds up to 56th in strokes gained tee to green. Laird is an under-the-radar pick for a top 10.
3. Kevin Tway (Odds: 125/1, DraftKings $7,200, FanDuel $8,100) Like Walker, Tway appears on the verge of a breakthrough. He’s made seven cuts in the last nine weeks, but all of his finishes are in the mid-20s to mid-40s. He ranks eighth in the field in strokes gained around the green and 12th on Tour in driving distance. He shot a solid Sunday 69 at the Players, something on which to build. He’s yet to record a top 10 all season, but he’s made 13 of 18 cuts. I have a hunch a top 10 is coming this week.
4 Andrew Putnam (Odds: 150/1, DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel, $8,000) Flying deep below the radar, Putnam has two top 10s in his last five starts. The 28-year-old from Tacoma, Wash., is a rookie on Tour after earning his card via the Web.com. He’s 61st in around the green and 40th in scrambling from 20-30 yards. His best finish on Tour was eighth place at the Valero Texas Open three weeks ago.
Mulligans: Players who need a reset and expect to play well this week
Hideki Matsuyama (Odds 25/1, DraftKings, $9,900, FanDuel $11,600) What’s happening here? Matsuyama had been so consistent for most of the past two years, but he’s effectively missed two straight cuts (It was a MDF two weeks ago) The most glaring recent weakness is in approach shots, where he’s losing more than 1.2 strokes in his last six starts. Yikes. I’m jumping on the discounted price to see if he can right the ship this week.
Where to play this fantasy Golf this week
1. $33 Buy-in contest call the “Dogleg,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a prize pool of $400,000.
2. $444 Buy-in contest called the “Pressure Putt,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $400,0000.
3. $4 Buy-in contest called the “Fore,” with a top prize of $25,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $325,000.
1. $7.77 Buy-in contest called the “Eagle,” with a top prize of $20,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000.
2. $333 Buy-in contest called the “Monster,” with a top prize of $25,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000.
These are just some of the many contests between the two sites. For a full breakdown of the offerings, check out the link in my bio. Good luck this week!
Jason Rouslin is founder of tourlevelfantasy.com. He has been playing golf for the last 20 years, betting on golf for the last five and writing about golf for the last two. Connect with him on twitter @dfsgolfer23.