Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks for DraftKings, FantasyFeud & FantasyAces  - Northern Trust Open

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    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Northern Trust Open? Chris is selling lineups only $5. He covers DraftKings, FantasyFeud & FantasyAces Cash Games & Tournaments. Just scroll to the bottom of the picks. This is a separate service than our traditional monthly membership.

    Northern Trust Open

    Riviera Country Club - Pacific Palisades, CA

    Par 71 - 7,349 Yards

    It was another incredible finish on the PGA Tour yesterday at the Pebble Beach Pro Am. Vaughn Taylor, playing without a tour card as the first alternate, shot a final round 65(-7) to edge out Phil Mickelson who missed the playoff forcing 5 footer on the famous 18th hole. It was Taylor's third career victory and first since 2005. He will now be playing in this weeks Northern Trust Open and more notably the Masters in April. On to next week.

    The PGA Tour will stay in the Golden State this week for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. The famous course nicknamed "Hogan's Alley" after Ben Hogan's incredible run in 1948. He won both the LA Open and US Open here at Riviera and also picked up the win the year prior at the LA Open. The tournament has changed names over the years but has been a staple here at Riviera since 1926. The course has been voted by the players as "Best Course on Tour" - Golf.com, 2015. It is a challenging course that forces players to hit every club and almost every shot imaginable. The fairways are very tough to hit as they are really narrow taking Driving Accuracy, for the most part, out of the equation. We will want to target some bombers this week as only the guys over 300 yards off the tee will have a shot at hitting the final two Par 5's in two. Speaking of Par 5's, there are only 3 on this course but when looking at the scores of the players at the top of the leaderboard you will notice Par 5 Scoring has a huge impact on a players final score. The greens are smaller than average so we will be concentrating more on Proximity from 125-150 and 150-175 this week over Greens in Regulation. These are again Poa Annua greens so finding players who do well on this type of grass is also as important as Strokes Gained Putting.

    Below are a few of the key stats that will be used on the cheatsheet this week:

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
    • Driving Distance
    • Greens in Regulation
    • Proximity 150 - 175
    • Proximity 175 - 200
    • Par 5 Scoring Average
    • Scrambling
    • Strokes Gained: Putting

    I also wanted to include a strategy note for going into this week. While I started out using the cash lineup solely in 50/50's and double ups I found that on the bad weeks, of course, you lose it all. I have since switched my strategy to include half of my cash lineup bankroll into head to head contests. On those losing weeks you can still manage to scrape back some value with head to heads. Halfway through Sunday last week the cash lineup was out of the money in 50/50's and double ups while I was still leading in 65% of my head to heads. Had I not cashed the double ups (ended up back dooring cash with Reeds -7) it would not have been a total loss week.

    Anyways, lets dig in to the Northern Trust picks this week and bring home some more bacon. Seven of my eight picks in the article made it through the cut last week.

     High End Targets ($10,000+)

    Jordan Spieth 
    Vegas Odds - 6/1
    Draftkings - $13,200
    Fantasy Feud - $196,000
    Fantasy Aces - $6,400

    He nearly missed the cut last week at Pebble Beach then put together a bogey free 66 on Sunday to come pick up a T21 and come close to paying off his salary. The salaries at the top have started to separate with McIlroy and Spieth $2K more than the next group on DraftKings. Between the two I will take Spieth as he has the course history here. After missing the cut back in 2012 he has two solid finishes in a row(12th in 2014 and 4th in 2015). He was also the only player in last years Northern Trust Open to go under par in all four rounds. He ranks 4th in SG:T2G, 8th in Par 5 Average, and 1st in SG:P and Scrambling. Although he only finished T21 last week he did finish bogey free shooting a final round 66. He is the best player in the world and could be lower owned than last week. Get him in your GPP lineups.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 4
    • Driving Distance - 89
    • Greens in Regulation - 43
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 195
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 174
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 8
    • Scrambling - 1
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 1



    Hideki Matsuyama
    Vegas Odds - 16/1
    Draftkings - $11,100
    Fantasy Feud - $179,000
    Fantasy Aces - $5,800

    If you are fading the top two this week there are two pretty good options in the next tier with DJ and Matsuyama. Both players have good track records here but two factors have me leaning Matsuyama this week. First, he is quite a bit higher in my stats model this week which is due to his 2nd ranked SG:T2G vs. DJ's 28th, his 64th rank in Proximity from 175 - 200 vs. DJ's 141st, and his 25th rank in Scrambling vs. DJ's 201st Rank. He is coming off a huge win at the Phoenix Open and after a week off should be back and ready to contend again.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 2
    • Driving Distance - 58
    • Greens in Regulation - 18
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 64
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 98
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 51
    • Scrambling - 25
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 153



    Sergio Garcia
    Vegas Odds - 28/1
    Draftkings - $10,100
    Fantasy Feud - $151,000
    Fantasy Aces - $5,800

    He is making his first appearance on the PGA Tour since November where he finished T11 at the HSBC Championship and T24 the week before at the CIMB Classic. Since then he has played on the European Tour and finished T11 at the BMW Masters and T7 at the Qatar Masters. He has played here at Riviera three times in the last five years and has a 4th in 2012, 13th in 2013, and another 4th place finish last year. This course correlates closely with Augusta and the Masters which is another place that Sergio has a great track record. The biggest issue with him is his ability to close out a tournament with a win. His last win came in 2012 and he has only hoisted a trophy once in the past eight years. To hit value this week he will need a Top 5-10 finish so a win isn't totally necessary but I think he has a great shot to get that win that everyone is waiting for.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 12
    • Driving Distance - 25
    • Greens in Regulation - 3
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - N/A
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - N/A
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 75
    • Scrambling - 66
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 112



    Mid Tier Targets ($7,000 - $9,800)


    Charl Schwartzel
    Vegas Odds - 30/1
    Draftkings - $9,600
    Fantasy Feud - $144,000
    Fantasy Aces - $5,200

    Another player making his first appearance on the PGA Tour since Novemeber. He started the new season with a T6 at the FRYS.com Open and a T35 at the HSBC Champions before heading to the European Tour where he has held terrific form. Although last weeks win was against a weak field he also finished T9 at the Nedbank Challenge, won the Alfred Dunhill Championship and finished T4 at the DP World Tour Championship. He struggled in the 3rd round last year which ended up being his worst finish(T41) in his three years playing here. He finished 5th here in 2014 and T3 in 2013 and in those two years was under par every round including 7/8 rounds under 70. A great play in any format this week.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 3
    • Driving Distance - 14
    • Greens in Regulation - 4
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 62
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 2
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 75
    • Scrambling -  5
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 81



    Justin Thomas
    Vegas Odds - 50/1
    Draftkings - $8,500
    Fantasy Feud - $30,000
    Fantasy Aces - $5,200

    It has been a slow start to his second year on tour with a T21 at the Tournament of Champions followed by two missed cuts at the Sony Open and Phoenix Open. He is my favorite GPP play this week as his recent form should push his ownership down and his game fits the course nicely. He bombs the ball, hits greens, has a nice Proximity from 125-150(needed for longer hitters), kills the Par 5's and is highly ranked in Birdie or Better %. His weakness so far this year has been his Scrambling(167th ranked) but there is upside there as he finished 37th in Scrambling last year. Speaking of last year, he was on pace after the Thurs/Fri to contend until he fell apart on the weekend going +8 to finish T41. Expect a better result this time around.

    *Update - Thomas is a must play on FantasyFeud where he is min price this week*

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 56
    • Driving Distance - 75
    • Greens in Regulation - 29
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 40
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 130
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 12
    • Scrambling - 167
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 158



    Keegan Bradley
    Vegas Odds - 66/1
    Draftkings - $7,800
    Fantasy Feud - $123,000
    Fantasy Aces - $4,800

    I believe he will be a pick that will go low owned due to the inconsistency of his game which can be attributed to his awful putting and maybe his setup routine?

    I mean it is really tough and entertaining to watch. Dude can golf though. He is ranked 32nd in SG:T2G, 9th in Driving Distance, 42nd in GIR, and 36th in Par 5 Average. He also has a nice track record at Riviera making the cut in four straight years with finishes of 2nd, 16th, 20th, and 4th last year. Great GPP play this week.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 32
    • Driving Distance - 9
    • Greens in Regulation - 42
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 121
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 46
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 36
    • Scrambling - 111
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 206


    Also Consider - Patton Kizzire, Si Woo Kim

    Low End Target (Min Price - $6,900)

    Charley Hoffman
    Vegas Odds - 125/1
    Draftkings - $6,900
    Fantasy Feud - $81,000
    Fantasy Aces - $4,800

    If you haven't noticed I have really opened up the risk factor in my picks this week after a terrific GPP week last week. It all stemmed from having 3 guys that were less than 10% owned in the lower tier. Hoffman by no means is a safe pick this week but could very well be around 5% owned due to his terrible early season stats and form. He has missed the cut in 3 of his first 5 tournaments this year and his two weekend finishes were T51 at the Phoenix Open and T43 at the Farmers. Both tournaments had strong fields so that is one good sign. Another good sign is his form here at Riviera. He has made the cut in four of his last five years here and seven times in nine career trips here. If you are doing only one lineup he might not be the pick for you but if making multiple lineups getting a piece of Hoffman is a great idea.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 108
    • Driving Distance - 52
    • Greens in Regulation - 196
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 146
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 104
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 101
    • Scrambling - 119
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 156



    Daniel Summerhays
    Vegas Odds - 175/1
    Draftkings - $6,500
    Fantasy Feud - $60,000
    Fantasy Aces - $4,550

    Going a little lower I feel Summerhays is another terrific GPP play this week. He is coming off his first missed cut in eight events this season and has added three Top 25 finishes. He hit balls around 295 off the tee(71st ranked) and ranks 58th in Prox from 150-175  and destroys the Par 5's(12th ranked). He missed the cut in his first two trips to Riviera in 2011 and 2013 but has since yielded two straight Top 20 finishes. I feel he can replicate the last two years here which would easily pay off his salary.

    • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green - 110
    • Driving Distance - 71
    • Greens in Regulation - 128
    • Proximity 150 to 175 - 109
    • Proximity 175 to 200 - 58
    • Par 5 Scoring Average - 12
    • Scrambling - 140
    • Strokes Gained: Putting - 99

    Also Consider - Kyle Reifers, Scott Pinckney


    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Northern Trust Open? Chris is selling lineups only $5. He covers DraftKings, FantasyFeud & FantasyAces Cash Games & Tournaments. Fill out the form below or click here to purchase using PayPal. This is a separate service than our traditional monthly membership.

    Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for three years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is active player in college football, NFL, NBA and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.

    4 Visitor Comments

    1. Hey fantasy golf fans. If you have any questions regarding players, stats, course, or anything for that matter please leave them in the comments and I will be checking in daily leading up to lineup lock Thursday am.

    2. Hello Chris I’m trying to purchase your picks but it’s not giving me the option to input billing info

    3. Chris,

      Would love to purchase your lineup for this event, do a ton of people buy them? If so won’t that reduce my chances of winning?

    Post a Reply




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