2018 PGA Championship: Fantasy golf expert picks

Aug 7, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during Tuesdays practice round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

2018 PGA Championship: Fantasy golf expert picks

Fantasy

2018 PGA Championship: Fantasy golf expert picks

Need help with your fantasy golf lineups for this week’s PGA Championship at Bellerive? 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: Tony Finau. Mega-talented player has not been outside the top 10 in this year’s majors and has the ballstriking game to handle Bellerive. With the iffy greens as an equalizer, his so-so putting should not cost him strokes against the field this week. He spoke positively on Monday about the greens, too. Finau also wears Nike, clothier of the year’s first three major winners. If you are looking for those types of angles.
  • Also like: Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood. What’s not to love about all of these players and their recent form? Soft and long Bellerive will ultimately show a bias toward ballstrikers and power. Thomas will make a strong defense, McIlroy is a mudder, Koepka seems to thrive in PGA no matter then venue and Fleetwood has become a consistent threat on any course.
  • Sleeper: Aaron Wise. Finished T-6 in his Firestone foray last week and appears to have found something after five missed cuts following his AT&T Byron Nelson Classic win. Aggressive, streaky player arrives at a course where no one has a local knowledge advantage. Dangerous.
  • DraftKings bargain: Thorbjorn Olesen is a ridiculous steal at $6,700. Just look at his recent track record: T-6 in the Irish Open, T-12 at the British Open and T-3 at the WGC Bridgestone. Just on the outside looking in for the Ryder Cup team and due to his friendship with Captain Thomas Bjorn, knows he needs an extra special showing to get picked.
  • Fade: Jordan Spieth. It’s hard to picture a player who thrives on firm, fast and breezy conditions stimulated by soft, slow and stagnant conditions at Bellerive.
  • Tiger take: Top 25. He was pacing himself last week at Firestone after a vacation and will take things up a notch for the PGA. But it’s hard to see him being stimulated by Bellerive’s architecture.

Brentley Romine

  • Projected champion: Dustin Johnson. Has the length. Has the ability to hit his irons close. Has a good lag-putting game. He’ll have the trophy come Sunday evening.
  • Also like: Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson and Jon Rahm. Many believe a bomber will win, and Koepka is just that. Love Stenson’s statistics this season from tee to green. And as for Rahm, he continues to grow and should have a good week as he searches for his first major.
  • Sleeper: Gary Woodland. Hasn’t done much since winning in Phoenix, but the Kansas native looked good last week and should excel tee to green here.
  • DraftKings bargain: Thorbjorn Olesen ($6,700). One of hottest golfers in the game with five finishes of T-12 or better, including a win and three other top-6s, in his last seven worldwide starts.
  • Fade: Sergio Garcia. Not driving it great this season, and that could take him out of this early.
  • Tiger take: MC. Fatigue is starting to catch up to him and the weather this week certainly won’t help, but hey, I hope he proves me wrong.

Dan Kilbridge

  • Projected champion: Jason Day. Best short game on Tour right now, clearly beaming with confidence and ready to win for a third time this season while reminding everyone he’s still an elite player.
  • Also like: Matt Kuchar. Been a disappointing season by his standards, but he finished top 10 at the British Open and has plenty to prove this week in trying to show U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk he belongs in Paris.
  • Sleeper: Troy Merritt. While a majority of the non-sleepers were duking it out at the British Open, he lit it up to win the Barbasol at 23 under. Has only missed one cut since March and could so something in St. Louis coming off a week of rest.
  • DraftKings bargain: Gary Woodland ($7,000). He’s fifth in strokes gained off the tee this season and 29th in strokes gained total. Has struggled with his short game but soft, burned out greens at Bellerive might be a bit of an equalizer for the field this week.
  • Fade: Jon Rahm. He’s seen a drop from last year in almost every statistical category and seems to want it to much when the big ones roll around, with just two top-25 finishes in his first nine major appearances.
  • Tiger take: T-30. He’ll figure out a way to get it around Bellerive, but the course doesn’t fit his game as well as Carnoustie did. Really fought his swing at Firestone and won’t have a lot of time to get it figured out. He’ll become a regular contender at majors again in 2019, after the dust settles from this crazy comeback season.

Gerry Ahern

  • Projected champion: Justin Thomas. Fresh off his third Tour win of the season at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and defending his PGA crown, Thomas is clearly the man to beat. Not even spraying his driver around in Akron could slow him. Ballstriking is crisp, confidence is high and putts are falling.
  • Also like: Dustin Johnson. This could be the year Johnson shakes the ghosts of PGAs past. The three-time Tour winner has a bombing game built for Bellerive and has been nothing but steady all season. The last major of the year seems a great fit to add to his legacy.
  • Sleeper: Russell Knox ($7,100): The Scotsman has shown flashes throughout the season, including three top-10s on Tour, a victory at the Irish Open and a second place at the French. He struggled at the British Open and at Bridgestone but could bounce back in St. Louis.
  • Fade: Francesco Molinari. The British Open champion had been playing about as well as anyone (two victories, three top-10s) before falling back at Bridgestone (T-39). The magic he found with his putter seemed to slip in Ohio.
  • Tiger take: T-25. The comeback has had its moments of brilliance but a little fatigue appeared evident at Bridgestone over the weekend rounds. I expect Woods will hang around at Bellerive and give the fans a few thrills, but fall short of a serious run.

Kevin Casey

  • Projected champion: Tiger Woods. I picked Tiger to win this major before the start of the year and I’m extremely stubborn, so I’m not changing now. Frankly, Woods looked pedestrian over the weekend at Firestone. My timing could be better then. But bad golf happens, and it was a month after missing the cut at the U.S. Open that Tiger led the British Open through 63 holes. If you look over an actual good sample size rather than two rounds, Woods has played really well of late with a pair of top 6s and sitting T-10 through 36 holes at Firestone. Add on that Bellerive’s wide fairways should help nullify some driving issues of late, and there’s plenty to like about Tiger this week.
  • Also like: Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau. It looks we’re getting a long course, wide fairways and soft greens that have some issues that will blunt a good putter’s advantage a bit. The conditions really couldn’t be set up much better for McIlroy then. He’s playing really well of late, too, and has been on the verge. A Rory romp wouldn’t shock me in the least. Kuch I just have a feeling on. He’s been up and down of late but his strong performances have come in the big events (T-9 at Carnoustie, T-14 at Firestone). DeChambeau’s recent results have masked how well he’s played. He was in the lead essentially the whole week before collapsing on the final holes and finishing T-13 at the Porsche European Open. His 30th at Firestone started with a grisly 75 that had him in last place (71st), and he battled back brilliantly with three straight sub-70 rounds for a respectable showing. I think this course suits him really well, too, and he’ll be extremely motivated to play well and leap into the top 8 of the Ryder Cup standings on the last week of auto qualifying.
  • Sleeper: Beau Hossler. Has anyone played more good golf as quietly as Hossler? The PGA Tour’s Sean Martin had a great stat: After the Memorial, Hossler had started a weekend round in the top 10 in 10 of his 21 PGA Tour starts in 2017-18. Of course he tended to struggle on weekends, but Hossler still managed a runner-up in Houston and two other top 10s. In the time since that stat, he’s added on a T-2 at Travelers and a T-6 at Quicken Loans. We know he’s not intimidated by majors either – remember him leading during the second round of the U.S. Open as a 17-year-old? This seems like the perfect setting for him to make people take notice again.
  • DraftKings bargain: Thorbjorn Olesen ($6,700). His last three starts have been T-6, T-12, T-3. The latter two were the British Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He’s a huge talent bursting with great golf of late. What’s not to like?
  • Fade: Bubba Watson. It’s going to be a mentally draining week with these high temps and *interesting* greens. I don’t think Bubba is up to deal with that very well. Also, he’s been pretty streaky this year, so if he’s not winning, there’s a good chance he’s well down the leaderboard and/or gone early.
  • Tiger take: See above.

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