Need help with your fantasy-golf lineups for this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational? Our fantasy-golf experts are here to help.
From picks to win to DraftKings bargains to players to avoid, here are some options for you to consider:
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- Projected champion: Rory McIlroy. While on the sideline, he watched Jordan Spieth win, Rickie Fowler win, Dustin Johnson win … he would love to get a trophy on his run to Augusta.
- Also like: Jason Day. He didn’t have a very good track record at Bay Hill until last year’s victory, and does not have many reps this year. Time to get his season in gear. Like Henrik Stenson as well. Nobody hits irons the way he does, and that’s a great weapon at Arnie’s Place.
- Sleeper: Jason Kokrak. Hits it a mile, which always comes in handy, and has finished T-20 or better (with a pair of top 10s) in his last three starts here.
- DraftKings bargain: Charles Howell III sleeps in his own bed this week, and has been a top-15 machine this season. Playing very well. Also like Mackenzie Hughes, who took a much-needed rest last week, and Lucas Glover (both at $6,700).
- Fade: Matt Every. He’s a two-time winner at Bay Hill, which is incredible for a player who grew up just an hour from the place. But to say he’s struggling is an understatement. Has not made a single cut in nearly a year.
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- Projected champion: Henrik Stenson. Flawless record. He tied for third last year after finishes of T-15, T-8, T-5 and second the previous four trips to API.
- Also like: Francesco Molinari and Thomas Pieters. He has gone T-9, T-17, T-5 in last three API starts. Pieters can overpower this course and was T-5 a couple of weeks ago in Mexico.
- Sleeper: Graham DeLaet. Name a guy outside the world top 100 who is playing better golf right now.
- DraftKings bargain: Love Charles Howell at $6,800, but I’ll add Matthias Schwab ($6,500). Remember when Maverick McNealy made the cut last year at Bay Hill? Schwab has a good chance to do so, as well.
- Fade: Bubba Watson. I commend Bubba for teeing it up this week for Arnie, but I don’t see him contending.
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- Projected champion: Hideki Matsuyama. A second-round 80 at the Genesis Open would be a huge concern for just about anyone else, but let’s not forget what Matsuyama has accomplished this season. He’s only played this event twice but finished T-6 a year ago and T-21 in 2015.
- Also like: Rory McIlroy and Brandt Snedeker. Let’s start with Snedeker, who finished T-8 at Bay Hill last year and has gone T-9, T-7 and fourth in three of his last four starts with a missed cut at the Genesis Open. Like him a lot. The Rory pick requires no further explanation. Looked great most of the week in Mexico and likes Bay Hill, but his talent shines at pretty much any course on Tour.
- Sleeper: In the spirit of Arnold Palmer’s famous “You must play boldly to win,” quote, we’ll go very bold here with World No. 335 Brandon Hagy. The 2014 Byron Nelson award winner out of Cal is very green (though not technically a rookie due to eight starts in 2016), and absolutely smokes it off the tee. Also trending in the right direction with a T-33 at Pebble Beach and T-21 at the Honda Classic.
- DraftKings bargain: John Huh at $6,900. One of those guys who gets very little air time unless he bombs a putt on Sunday or something, but just seems to sneak into the top 30 more often than not. Has made 10 of 12 cuts this year and finished T-9 on a really tough track at the Valspar Championship.
- Fade: Graeme McDowell. He’s tempting at $7,000 with two consecutive T-14s, including a final-round 67 Sunday at the Valspar, and finished second at Bay Hill in 2012. But this course doesn’t seem to suit him anymore. Aside from 2012 he’s missed a ton of cuts here. Give the Irishman a week off.
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- Projected champion: Rory McIlroy. Solid record at Bay Hill in two starts and he looked really good for 36 holes in Mexico. McIlroy is a big-event hunter, and with this being the first Arnold Palmer Invitational after the passing of “The King,” this week presents one of those opportunities.
- Also like: Tommy Fleetwood. His first appearance here, but the Englishman has been on fire of late and is a sneaky good talent.
- Sleeper: Scott Brown. Yes, a missed cut in his last start. But that T-2 at the Genesis Open sticks out, and he’s had some good finishes at the API.
- DraftKings bargain: Billy Horschel, $7,000. There’s no doubt Horschel is fired up to play this week. He’s shown no problem making the weekend here in recent years, either. His recent form has been up and down, but I’m liking that T-4 at Honda.
- Fade: Wesley Bryan. No doubt a lot of potential in this young player and he’s finished top seven in his last three starts. A tempting pick in Bryan, but his hot streak will fall off at some point. Against an invitational field, I have a hunch it’ll happen this week.