Fantasy golf expert picks: 2018 Valspar Championship

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Fantasy golf expert picks: 2018 Valspar Championship

PGA Tour

Fantasy golf expert picks: 2018 Valspar Championship

Need help with your fantasy-golf lineups for this week’s Valspar Championship? 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:

Brentley Romine

  • Projected champion: Jordan Spieth. He has to be tired of hearing how much he’s struggling and also seeing Justin Thomas look like a world-beater. Great record here including a win in 2015. This could be the week.
  • Also like: Sergio Garcia, Adam Hadwin, Tony Finau and Tiger Woods. Garcia hit it beautifully last week in Mexico, Hadwin is playing some nice golf just in time to defend at Copperhead and Finau has been runner-up twice this season; it’s only a matter of time before he wins. And yeah, I’ll take Tiger playing this event for the first time. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, or maybe it’s because he looked great at Honda, but I like him to contend for a top-10 again.
  • Sleeper: Kevin Streelman. Past winner here and looked great at Pebble Beach. Tour leader in GIR.
  • DraftKings bargain: Aaron Wise ($6,900). Rookie has been close a few times this year, including at Honda where he was T-33 despite an opening 76.
  • Fade: Charl Schwartzel. Won 2016 Valspar and followed with a sixth-place showing last year, but he has no top-10s since Memphis and ranks poorly in many ballstriking categories, including 209th – or last – in proximity.

Kevin Casey

  • Projected champion: Henrik Stenson. The Swede has gone with a light load this season, having not competed since a T-60 in Malaysia a month ago. But Stenson is clearly rested, and yes he skipped Mexico but there was no sign it was injury or illness. And Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course has been firm hunting ground for Stenson, who has finished T-7, T-11, fourth the last three years here. Heck, last year his top 10 came after a miserable week in Mexico that saw him withdraw due to a battle with a stomach bug (probably played into his decision to skip this time). Stenson has been in position here, all he’s lacking is a win. And his form is no worry as he posted back-to-back top 10s prior to that T-60 in Malaysia. This feels like the spot for Stenson’s next PGA Tour breakthrough.
  • Also like: Sergio Garcia and Jason Dufner. The Spaniard is ramping things up, and showed some fine form with a T-7 in Mexico. You’d think Innisbrook would fit his game, and although he hasn’t played here since 2013, his T7-T16-T15 run in his last three starts at the track would seem to indicate that. Duf struggled in Mexico (T-55), but prior to that he’d been in fine form with a T-18 or better in three of his previous four starts. And he also loves this place. A T-11 last year and six straight top-25s at Innisbrook.
  • Sleeper: John Huh. For a second time in three weeks, I’m going for Huh in this spot. I put him here for the Honda because he was playing well and had a good course history, and then he produced an impressive T-24. He’s still playing well of course, and he also seems to really like Innisbrook with top-35 finishes the last three years, including a T-9 in 2017. It seems as good a time as ever to be aboard the Huh train.
  • DraftKings bargain: Talor Gooch ($7,100). We had Gooch on our list of potential Rookie of the Year candidates and so far he’s shown promise. Gooch has made most of his cuts and already boasts three top-20s this season, including a recent T-20 at Riviera. He missed the weekend at Honda, but still showed some good signs with an opening 70. Overall Gooch has displayed a lot of good form of late for a guy at this price. Not much to lose here, and considering his form and talent, a high ceiling.
  • Fade: Gary Woodland. Yes, a past winner here and a recent winner at TPC Scottsdale. But he’s definitely been flat after that victory in Phoenix, with a missed cut and no finishes better than T-49 since. I’d stay away from him right now.

Dan Kilbridge

  • Projected champion: Jordan Spieth. The putter looked much better in Mexico City, he’s won here before and the course plays to his strengths. As far as motivation goes, his buddy Justin Thomas has won four times since Spieth last won at the 2017 British Open.
  • Also like: Webb Simpson. Two top-5 finishes this year and a strong putter on a course where distance off the tee isn’t a huge advantage. Should be a good week for him.
  • Sleeper: Scott Stallings. Fair warning – He’s been really bad on this course. Last year’s 68th-place finish was his career best at Copperhead. But he has two top-10 finishes in the last month and makes a lot of cuts, so I’m gonna ignore the evidence here and go with my gut.
  • DraftKings bargain: Sam Saunders ($7,000). He’s finished in the top 25 at this event twice and was T-26 or better in four straight events prior to a missed cut at the Honda Classic. Thinking Saunders gets back on track this week.
  • Fade: Rory McIlroy. Priciest player in the field other than Spieth, playing this event for the first time on a tough track and the results have been uninspiring lately. I’ll pass.


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