Fantasy golf expert picks: 2017 Masters

Getty Images

Fantasy golf expert picks: 2017 Masters

PGA Tour

Fantasy golf expert picks: 2017 Masters

Need help with your fantasy-golf lineups for this week’s Masters Tournament? Our fantasy-golf experts are here to help.

Before you get into our expert selections, here is a ranking of the top 50 players in the field, per Golfweek‘s Brentley Romine:

Anyway, from picks to win to DraftKings bargains to players to avoid at Augusta National Golf Club, here are some options our experts feel you should consider:

NOTE: Picks were made prior news of Dustin Johnson’s back injury from falling down stairs. Johnson is now questionable to play due to the injury.

• • •

Jeff Babineau

  • Projected champion: Jordan Spieth. There’s two ways to look at Spieth’s 2016 Masters: One, he threw away a five-shot lead on the back nine; or two, it’s amazing that he even had a Sunday lead, given his loose ballstriking. He did an astounding job of scrambling and just willing himself into that position, and once he made his quad at 12, he still fought hard. I think the ballstriking will be much better, and his putting, especially at Augusta, is always a great asset. Could his first four Masters go 2-1-2-1?
  • Also like: Dustin Johnson, only because he’s been incredibly dominant, playing like King Kong going through New York City. But Augusta National isn’t always kind to favorites. Like Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, too. I expect McIlroy to contend, but he may be one of those guys that Augusta tortures into his 30s before finally handing him his jacket. And Rose had a terrific West Coast, owns a major already, and plays well at the Masters.
  • Sleeper: Tommy Fleetwood. Little-known Englishman hangs in there, does something on Sunday and wins the Masters? It’s not as if we haven’t watched that movie. Very recently, in fact.
  • DraftKings bargain: Jhonattan Vegas ($6,700). He has the length, and there’s an ease about him that says the moment would not be too big. Playing very nicely again this season, with seven top-30 finishes around the globe since teeing it up at Mayakoba in November.
  • Fade: Danny Willett. First of all, there are only three players who have won the Masters in back-to-back years, so those are tall odds with which to begin. But he has shown very little form, and this isn’t a golf course where you want to be searching for anything.

• • •

Geoff Shackelford

  • Projected champion: Dustin Johnson. Only issue is the pressure of becoming overwhelming favorite. Last year’s field lead in putting suggests he’s figured out the greens.
  • Also like: Jordan Spieth because he has a special feel for the greens. Phil Mickelson because he’s 46. (Wouldn’t it be like him to pull a Nicklaus?) And Jon Rahm because he appears fearless and immensely talented.
  • Sleeper: Alex Noren. This year’s Danny Willett has to learn the greens.
  • DraftKings bargain: Kevin Kisner ($6,900). The Aiken, S.C., boy debuted last year and finished T-37. He’s played consistently well in 2017 and has the short game to stick around.
  • Fade: Hideki Matsuyama. Did he peak too early?

• • •

Brentley Romine

  • Projected champion: Dustin Johnson. Will enter Augusta National as the World No. 1 with three straight victories and the best all-around golf game on Earth right now. Plus, I love the fact that he’s second on Tour in greens in regulation and T-3 in proximity to the hole.
  • Also like: Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Marc Leishman. Spieth, for obvious reason. Phil, for his stellar record at Augusta and his hot play this season. And Leishman, because, statistically, he is the best putter on Tour this season with at least 20 rounds played.
  • Sleeper: Charley Hoffman. Owns an underrated record at Augusta, and was T-9 here in 2015. Playing well of late, too, and his putter is improving by the week.
  • DraftKings bargain: Soren Kjeldsen ($6,500). One of the cheapest options this year at Augusta. Did you see him play at the Match Play (3-0 in group play; beat Rory), and last year at the Masters (T-6)?
  • Fade: Louis Oosthuizen. A lot of people will be distracted by his runner-up at the 2012 Masters and his handful of memorable shots here. However, his record isn’t great and he’ll enter this year not playing his best golf.

• • •

David Dusek

  • Projected champion: Jordan Spieth. Spieth’s iron game has sharpened up this season (he leads the tour in GIR and is fifth in proximity to the hole), he putts great from long range and has a dazzling track record at Augusta National.
  • Also like: Dustin Johnson. His insane length off the tee, an improved wedge game, and statistically, he putts better than fans realize. Oozing with confidence, it will be a disappointment if DJ is not in contention on Sunday afternoon.
  • Sleeper: Paul Casey. The Brit has plenty of experience (this will be his 11th Masters) and tied for fourth last year at Augusta. If he catches a hot week with his putter, Casey will not be intimidated by the spotlight.
  • DraftKings bargain: Adam Hadwin ($6,900). If Hadwin can put blinders on and ignore the fact that this is his first Masters, then treat it like all the events he has played this season, he could overachieve in his Masters debut.
  • Fade: Brooks Koepka. Nice playing at the WGC-Dell Match Play, but before that it was MC, T-48, MC, MC. That’s not the kind of momentum you want heading into the season’s first major.

• • •

Gerry Ahern

  • Projected champion: Dustin Johnson. Will share favorite role at Augusta next week with pimento cheese sandwiches. Winner of three straight Tour events who is dialed in and putting well enough to close the door on his second major victory.
  • Also like: Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Spieth (T-2, first and second in his first three Masters) is intent on putting last year’s meltdown behind him. He putts like a champion. McIlroy is shaking off health issues but has the power to tame ANGC and slip into his first green jacket. Will need to find his form on the greens.
  • Sleeper: Jim Furyk. Missed last year’s Masters due to wrist surgery but the veteran has shown flashes of brilliance since returning.
  • DraftKings bargain: Adam Hadwin ($6,900). The Masters rookie showed some mettle by claiming victory at the Valspar Championship.
  • Fade: Danny Willett. The defending Masters champion drained a lot of long putts to secure his first major but has since lost his way.

• • •

Kevin Casey

  • Projected champion: Jon Rahm. Yes, he’s 22 years old and a Masters rookie. But Rahm is a couple shots away from having two WGC titles already: He’s ready to win a major NOW. Rahm has proven inexperience doesn’t intimidate him. Also, the perfect player for Augusta: High power, high ball flight, no weaknesses. Sounds exactly like Rahm. Risky for sure, but I’m going Rahmbo.
  • Also like: Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Jason Day. So Jordan Spieth is an obvious like despite his MC this week, but everyone’s picking him. Fowler has been hot of late and owns a good recent record at Augusta (T-12 and T-5 in 2015, ’14). Rose has a really good record at Augusta (top-15 finishes in five of last six) and has been great in 2017. If Day plays, don’t underestimate him even with his situation back home. Day could have won the Masters in his first two full appearances, and he’s due for another run here.
  • Sleeper: Lee Westwood. He’s finished in the top 11 at the Masters six of the last seven years. He’s not nearly the player he was from 2010-2012, but that hasn’t affected him at Augusta. Last year, he finished T-2 despite entering the event having missed three of four cuts. And this year, he’s playing sneaky good golf. Augusta seems to rekindle Westwood’s elite ability.
  • DraftKings bargain: Scott Piercy ($6,800). His play of late has been pretty pedestrian, but Piercy is a severely underrated talent. He can rise up at any time and Augusta is a great fit for his game. He was just two off the 36-hole lead last year. Don’t look past him.
  • Fade: Bubba Watson. I need to see more than that good week at Match Play from Bubba to be convinced he’s back after a year of sluggish play. His record outside his two wins at Augusta is quite mediocre as well, so not nearly the horse course as one may think.

• • •

Dan Kilbridge

  • Projected champion: Rory McIlroy. It’s time. He’s healthy, he’s the second-most talented player in the field behind Dustin Johnson and he desperately wants to complete the career grand slam. I think he finishes the job Sunday at Augusta National.
  • Also like: DJ is too easy here but, for the record, we do like DJ. We’re going with Hideki Matsuyama. He has all the tools to get it done here and won’t shrink in the moment. Lastly, Justin Rose. He has three top 10s in his last five Masters and three top 10s on the PGA Tour this season. What’s not to like?
  • Sleeper: Soren Kjeldsen. Finished T-7 at the Masters and T-9 at the British Open last season and played really well at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Very affordable as well at $6,500.
  • DraftKings bargain: Kevin Kisner ($6,900). He finished T-37 here last year during his first ever Masters, has three top 10s this season and should be around for the weekend at the very least.
  • Fade: Sergio Garcia, who is inexplicably priced higher than guys like Brandt Snedeker, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen. He’s been consistently good on both the European and PGA tours this year but, still, it’s Sergio in a major. We’d love to see him get it done but can’t ignore history.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home