Fantasy golf expert picks: 2018 Players Championship

A fan looks out over the ninth hole during the fourth round at the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Fantasy golf expert picks: 2018 Players Championship

Fantasy

Fantasy golf expert picks: 2018 Players Championship

Need help with your fantasy-golf lineups for this week’s Players 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:

Geoff Shackelford

  • Projected champion: Jason Day. The 2016 champion comes in off a win, has paced himself beautifully and has ironed out some kinks caused by last week’s weird driving range wind. His short game is back and with less rough this week, look for a few imaginative recoveries along with the rest of his formidable arsenal.
  • Also like: Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau. The cagey veteran could bookend his 2007 win here, the first in May, with a last-May Players win. He will love the lower rough and thrive in the Tiger Woods pairing. DeChambeau is a first timer here with no baggage and a game that is traveling well of late.
  • Sleeper: Patrick Cantlay. Emerging all-around talent posted a final-round 77 in the 2017 Players after rounds of 69-70-72. Look for a better performance this year.
  • DraftKings bargain: Scott Piercy ($7,000). Let’s go with the Zurich Classic bounce angle because last year’s 80-84 here last year won’t get you excited. He was T-23 the prior year.
  • Fade: Bubba Watson. Missed cut last year and many other years here. Never been in the top 30. Just not his place.

Eamon Lynch

  • Projected champion: Rickie Fowler. He went 65-67 on the weekend at Augusta National and showed the kind of form and resolve that will stand him well on a course where he has already succeeded. Hopefully his friends will wait behind the 18th green to congratulate him, instead of the other way around.
  • Also like: Henrik Stenson. Driving accuracy may be the single most important statistic at TPC Sawgrass, and that is his strength. And Rory McIlroy. His occasional struggles with his driver won’t matter as much here since so few drivers are used, and his newfound confidence with the putter is a huge consideration.
  • Sleeper: Bryson DeChambeau. Sure, it’s his first trip around the TPC, but he’s on a run of hot finishes and this course suits his analytical approach.
  • DraftKings bargain: Martin Kaymer. He’s won here before and, like Halley’s Comet, is due around again soon.
  • Fade: Phil Mickelson. Aggression and waywardness make Mickelson the most entertaining and compelling guy on the PGA Tour, but they don’t count for much here.

Brentley Romine

  • Projected champion: Henrik Stenson. Checks both boxes of current and course form. Won the 2009 Players and has only finished outside the top 25 four times in 12 starts while posting three other top-10s. Enter this year’s edition having finished T-6 or better in three straight Tour events.
  • Also like: Justin Thomas and Francesco Molinari. Rank fifth and seventh in strokes gained: tee-to-green. Especially like Molinari as a value play. Three of his four top-10s here have come in his last three trips.
  • Sleeper: Emiliano Grillo. Was 11th here last year with a third-round 67, and has gone T-3, T-16 and T-9 in his last three Tour starts. Ranks 23rd in SGTTG, 12th in GIR and 14th in driving accuracy.
  • DraftKings bargain: Chez Reavie ($6,800) and Andrew Landry ($6,800). Both guys drive it well and Reavie ranks 27th in strokes gained: tee-to-green.
  • Fade: Matthew Fitzpatrick. Ranks T-155 in strokes gained: tee-to-green. Will be hard for his elite short game to make up for his struggling long game at TPC Sawgrass.

Kevin Casey

  • Projected champion: Rickie Fowler. Showed what he could do at TPC Sawgrass a few years ago. Despite a tough final round at Wells Fargo, he’s not far off, which he proved Sunday at the Masters. Driving it well and hitting greens will help Fowler win this week.
  • Also like: Jason Day and Jon Rahm. Instantly highlighted Day this week after he said he didn’t have his best stuff and won (!!!) at Quail Hollow. Rahm struggled in his debut at The Players, but he’s an elite driver of the golf ball. How he controls his emotions will be key this week.
  • Sleeper: Kyle Stanley. Was T-4 here a year ago and enters this year coming off a T-13 finish at Wells Fargo. Ranks second on Tour in GIR.
  • DraftKings bargain: Chez Reavie ($6,800). Sound ballstriker who will keep it in play and in the fairway.
  • Fade: Tiger Woods. Putted terribly last week. Hard to see him correcting it enough to contend this week at a place that, despite winning twice, he doesn’t love.

Dan Kilbridge

  • Projected champion: Rickie Fowler. Defending champion and looked mostly sharp in his first start since the Masters last week at Quail Hollow. Good opportunity to set the tone entering what he hopes will be a huge summer.
  • Also like: Tommy Fleetwood. Six top 25s and two top-10 finishes this season. Hits a lot of fairways and has been good around the greens lately. Flexed his muscles a bit with a third-round 66 at the Masters, where he finished T-17.
  • Sleeper: Bud Cauley. Reeled off a stretch of three straight top-25 finishes in April, with his only missed cut in the past two months coming with partner Justin Thomas at the Zurich Classic. Lack of pop off the tee won’t hurt him a ton here.
  • DraftKings bargain: Keegan Bradley ($6,900). Two straight cuts made at this event and hasn’t missed a cut in a traditional stroke-play tournament since the Genesis Open in February.
  • Fade: Jon Rahm. Blew up with a third-round 82 here a year ago, so he’ll have some scar tissue to deal with.

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