This article is specifically geared towards GPPs; you should not be using these recommendations in cash games. We’re trying to identify targets that, while risky, could put us over the top in a large field GPP.
In the first half, I’m going to use the Expert Consensus to identify some golfers that might end up being overowned and give you potentially lower-owned alternatives with similar price and upside. In the second half, I’m going to suggest some $6,500 or lower golfers with reasonable upside that you can use if you’re looking for a little salary cap relief. Let’s get started.
***** PIVOTS *****
#1. Jordan Spieth ($11,300) and/or Dustin Johnson ($10,800) over Jason Day ($11,800) and/or Rory McIlroy ($11,200)
This is all just a little surprising to me. Both Day (as he should) and Rory (what.) have generated substantially more buzz than Spieth or Johnson this week. Spieth is still getting his fair share of attention and will still be relatively popular (though less so than Day, for sure), but it’s like people forgot about DJ. I left Dustin off my picks write-up this week, because I just liked the other guys in that price range a little more. It wasn’t like I was going out of my way to avoid him. After reading through the content that’s been put out there, I think DJ might be my favorite play of the week now. This is a bomber’s course, and he’s certainly a bomber. I initially passed on him due to his lack of accuracy off the tee (nit-picking), but that’s the only real flaw I could find in his game given the course. He’s long, he actually has pretty great proximity numbers, he’s not a horrible putter, and he’s a pretty good scrambler. If you can get Dustin Johnson at 10-15% this week, you absolutely should take him
I kind of glossed over Spieth, but the rationale is simple. He’s the best golfer in the world (although that’s more debatable this week than it was last), and you’ll get him at both a price and ownership discount to Day. If the Expert Consensus is any indication, you might get Spieth at a lower ownership number than Rory. I still think the public goes with Jordan, but who knows? Maybe they’re scared off by the MC?
Random note, but it just popped up on Twitter… Spieth is switching back to his old irons. He was testing out the new offering from Titleist at the Barclays, and apparently he wasn’t feeling it.
#2. Hideki Matsuyama ($8,800) or Louis Oosthuizen ($8,600) over Brooks Koepka ($8,700)
Matsuyama had a low key great week at The Barclays (he was second in the field in birdies). He’s a ball striking, birdie-making machine, and that’s the type of guy that performs well at TPC Boston (see: Webb Simpson). It’s not a big deal that he isn’t a great putter.
Oosthuizen didn’t play last week at Plainfield. He might be dealing with a back/neck injury… he also just might not have wanted to play The Barclays. There’s a certain level of doubt surrounding Louis, and that’s part of what makes him a great pivot. Look at those three names: Koepka, Matsuyama, and Oosthuizen. Where do you think the masses will gravitate? Oosty is long, he’s a good ball striker, and he finished 2nd here in 2012, so we know he’s got tournament-winning upside. He’s probably too risky for cash games, but he’s a great tournament play.
Brooks is Brooks. He’s great. One might think his MC last week would scare some people away, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. His price is down $1k from last week, and he’s going to be heavily targeted. If you’re looking for a reason to justify fading him, he’s not that great around the greens. Despite being one of the best putters on tour, he’s one of the worst scramblers. As putting is half of what goes into the scrambling statistic, you should be able to see that his short game isn’t a strength.
#3. Webb Simpson ($8,100) over Robert Streb ($8,000)
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. I have both of these guys in my top seven plays of the week. You can’t go wrong with either or even both. But if you’re deciding between the two, I think Webb will score more points than Streb on average and will be lower-owned. If you go with Webb and Streb has an off week, you’ve just knocked out 25% of the field.
#4. Brendan Steele ($7,100) over Chris Kirk ($7,100)
Chris Kirk will be more popular than he should be. Yes, he’s the defending champion, but he has a couple of things going against him. First, he’s coming off a wrist injury. Last week was his first tournament back, and he was a little rusty. He did play much better on Friday, but he ultimately missed the cut. And second, he just hasn’t been that good this year. Kirk has some great course history at TPC Boston, but he isn’t the same player in 2015 that he was in previous years.
Meanwhile, Brendan Steele’s game seems perfectly suited for this course. If you want to read my full write-up on him, check this out. I’m not going to waste your time re-hashing what you might have already read.
#5. Ian Poulter ($7,100) over John Senden ($7,000)
Ian Poulter is interesting. Like Senden, he has some solid course history over this track despite being seemingly ill-suited for success. Both guys do one thing well: they’re accurate off the tee. Senden is at least passable from distance, whereas Poulter is terrible. Senden will be more popular than Poults, and maybe for good reason, but there’s no denying Ian is the better golfer. At the same price, I’m taking my chances with the better golfer and lower ownership.
***** PUNTS *****
- Brian Harman ($6,500): Accurate off the tee, decent from distance, solid form.
- Carlos Ortiz ($6,500): Long, good ball striker, great from distance, solid form.
- Kevin Streelman ($6,400): Elite ball striker, decent from distance, 26th here last year, made the cut last week.
- William McGirt ($6,400): Accurate off the tee and a good scrambler; like him less than the rest.
- Jerry Kelly ($6,300): Accurate off the tee and a good scrambler; really like his price.
- Daniel Berger ($6,200): Long off the tee, a great ball striker, excellent from distance, and only $200 more than minimum. Fantastic sleeper/value.
- Hudson Swafford ($6,200): Poor man’s Will Wilcox at $200 more than minimum. Would like to see him actually doing something first, but he’s cheap.
- Colt Knost ($6,100): Just too cheap for a golfer of his ability. His game doesn’t suit the course, but he’s deadly accurate off the tee (something other scrubs who found success in Boston had in common).
I’m debating going all-in on the Bergermeister. I need someone to talk me off the ledge. Good luck this week!