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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: The CJ CUP

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to Playing the Tips! 

Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our fantasy staffers at Rotoworld.com. 

Yahoo and Golf Channel golf should both return in January. For now, we will look at One-and-Done as well as Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) on Page 1, then head overseas for the Fantasy Race to Dubai on Page 2.


Each week I will think out loud about my process in determining my One-and-Done selection. If you are new to the One-and-Done format, it is like an NFL survivor league. You pick one golfer per week, but you can't use them again all year. 

In week one I picked the absolute worst option from my narrowed-down list. Last week I picked the top option with Rafa Cabrera Bello who cruised to a T10 at the CIMB. Nothing to complain about there. See, things do even out over the course of a season! 

There is no course history to look at this week, instead, I will start off with current form. The golfers with the most strokes gained over the last 8 weeks of play on the PGA and Euro Tour. 

Justin Thomas
Paul Casey
Pat Perez
Xander Schauffele
Jason Day
Chez Reavie
Lucas Glover
Marc Leishman
Tony Finau
Luke List

After that, let's look at a (weighted) baseline performance metric since the start of 2014.  

Jason Day
Paul Casey
Adam Scott
Justin Thomas
Marc Leishman
Patrick Reed
Charl Schwartzel
Daniel Berger
Tony Finau
Thomas Pieters

Some success in Asia certainly can't hurt, so let's see who has gained the most strokes in Asia (PGA TOUR only) since 2014: 

Justin Thomas
Paul Casey
Ian Poulter
Keegan Bradley
Adam Scott
Marc Leishman
Kevin Na
Anirban Lahiri
Branden Grace
Gary Woodland

Looking at all three lists there is a trio of names that appear on all of them: Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, and Marc Leishman

This week we have a small field with no cut, so you could make an argument for taking a more risky selection since you are guaranteed a paycheck. At the same time, the winner takes home a cool $1.67 MILLION this week. Even second place will earn $999K, so this is a monster purse, especially for a fall event. For that reason, I'm going to stick to the top of the board, and not try to get too fancy here. 

For my final tiebreaker amongst JT, Leish, and PC I will look at performance on bentgrass greens. If you look at the Last 36 Rounds for each golfer in the field, they rank out as Casey (#1), Leishman (#3), and Thomas (#5). All of them still grade out very well, but Casey leads the way. Expand it to all events with bentgrass greens since 2014 and Casey is 0.41 strokes per round better than Leishman and 0.64 strokes per round better than Thomas (on bentgrass). Add in his current form (Eight Top 15s in his last nine starts!) and Paul Casey is my pick this week. 

Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]

I will be giving out selections for one team for each DFS site, per week. 

These lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field. 

I would also advise you to change a roster spot or two if you are trying to enter this lineup yourself. Duplicate entries are no fun. 

FanDuel Picks:

Sung Kang ($6,100) 
This price makes it easy to roster the local Korean who is coming off a third-place finish in Malaysia.

Keegan Bradley ($7,400): 
Riding the wave from last week's runner-up finish, Bradley is still very reasonably priced here on FanDuel. He racks up birdies in bunches and he can feast on par 5s. There are four of those holes on the layout this week. 

Graeme McDowell ($6,400): 
His last win on the PGA TOUR came outside the United States (2016 OHL Classic). He also boasts a win on Jeju Island (2008 Ballatines). 

Tony Finau ($9,300):
 Rides into South Korea with three straight top 10s on his resume. Should keep it rolling on a course that features a four-pack of par 5s.

Luke List ($5,500): Speaking of par 5s, List led the PGA TOUR last season with total eagles (18). He also finished 2nd in Par 5 Birdie or Better Percentage (54.46%). That is a recipe for success on a par-72 layout. 

Kevin Na ($6,800):  One of the Americans in the field with Korean heritage, Na should feel very comfortable this week. He hasn't won since 2011 but he has posted five or more top 10s in each of the five full seasons since then. Plenty of upside here, despite his lack of length and reputation as more of a grinder. 

That leaves plenty of salary to round out the squad with any two golfers at the top. 

DraftKings Picks:

Sung Kang ($8,200): Going to start off the squad with the local who has two wins in Korea on his resume (KPGA Korean Tour). 

Kevin Na ($8,000): 
From a long-term POV, Na should be priced as one of the top 10 golfers in this field. Instead, we get a discount, as there are 21 golfers priced higher than him. 

Xander Schauffele ($9,800): Continued his stellar run of form with a T3 last week at the CIMB. This is a case of riding the hot hand while it's still warm.

Daniel Berger ($8,700):
 Making his first start since the Presidents Cup where he made waves with his comments about wanting to pulverize the Euros. 

Luke List ($7,600): Still searching for his maiden win, there is a good chance it will come on a par 72 layout if he does finally hit the winner's circle.

Stewart Cink (7,400): After a stellar bounce back last year, Cink is squarely on the fantasy radar again. Despite his age, he still pokes it out there with the young guns and also racks up birdies. 



Fantasy Race to Dubai

Dave Tindall is our main man in Europe. In addition to his weekly previews of European Tour events on Mondays, he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.


Format: Pick 6 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Captain’s points are doubled. Unlimited team changes can be made each week.


Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)


Pos: 3,278


Last week: Don't ask. Drop of 853 spots after leaving out Hatton despite giving him a good write-up. 


Sergio Garcia (captain): An incredible record of 10 top 10s from 11 starts here and this time he'll have the added swagger of being Masters champ. The one they have to beat.


Jon Rahm: Rahm in front of his home Spanish fans could be unstoppable but Valderrama won't roll over easily to first-timers, however good they are, so I rank him below Sergio.


Soren Kjeldsen: The course horse (a win and two seconds) is never a fashionable pick but he should be one of the first names on the team-sheet this week.


Shane Lowry: Thrived here long before taking his game to WGC winner level and can plot his way to another big finish.


Alejandro Canizares: Make it three Spaniards on the team. Comes here off T15 in Italy and has some strong course form.


Joost Luiten: I'm filling my team with course specialists so Luiten gets the final spot after two excellent efforts (second and fifth) at Valderrama.


Matt Cooper is part of our European team. He contributes to player news, and he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com. He was the winner of the Ladies European Tour’s Fantasy League in 2011.
Team Cooper (Team name: NormanStanleyFletcher)

Last week: All the good work of the last month blown away by not having Hatton or Fisher on the team. Sad sigh.
Position: 1,439th
Jon Rahm (captain): The concern is the test of his patience in the trees and the clamor off the course. The positive is his excitement to tread the course he did as a fan and play in front of a home crowd for the first time in the pro ranks.
Sergio Garcia: 12 visits to the course, nine finishes of T7 or better, three second places, one win. Enough said.
Alejandro Canizares: T11 here in the Open de Espana last year, T7 on the course back in 2011, T15 last week.
Shane Lowry: T18 and T4 on his only two starts at the course and no real surprises, as it seems a lovely fit for his game. Forgiving the missed cut in Italy.
Soren Kjeldsen: Always solid at Valderrama, something clicked ten years ago and he became magnificent there. A win, two seconds and a fourth in his last five visits.
Martin Kaymer: Loves the course (anecdotally and the stats agree with three top 6s in five visits) and I like the timing. Plenty of Ryder Cup talk this week, an old Ryder Cup course, time for him to step up to the plate and reassert his game.




Josh Culp
Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.