Humana Challenge – Fantasy Preview – Sleepers and Picks
Humana Challenge – Weekly Fantasy Preview
The PGA tour year is now two tournaments in and Jimmy Walker is the name on everyone’s lips after his runner up finish at the Tournament of Champions followed up by his nine shot victory at the Sony Open. Walker has a much needed week off as the tour moves on to California for the Humana Challenge – the Pro-Am event formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic.
The tournament is played over three different courses, all the players playing each of the courses from Thursday through Saturday – the courses being the PGA West Nicklaus Course, the PGA West Palmer Course and La Quinta Country Club. The top 70 and ties will all play again around the Palmer course on Sunday.
When picking players this week I’ll be leaning on past form quite heavily. This is not so much due to course form (with 3 courses in play this is somewhat negated) but more to do with the Pro-Am format, my thinking being that some players will be more comfortable than others playing with amateur/celebrity golfers, and past results will show up these players.
Fantasy Picks, Sleepers and DraftKings Value Plays
Here are my daily fantasy sports picks for this week.
Patrick Reed – Last week Jimmy Walker was an easy first pick as he was the defending champion and played extremely well the previous week. Walker justified my pick by winning by nine strokes, so I’m sticking to that formula. This week replace Walker with Reed. Reed won first time out this year at the Tournament of Champions and is defending champion here. I really feel this could be Reed’s year and I wouldn’t be surprised if he bagged multiple wins and possibly a Major.
Matt Kuchar – Kuchar is possibly the most consistent golfer on the planet – you’ll have to go all the way back to last May to find a missed cut on his record and he has finished in the top 30 ten of his last eleven starts. He hasn’t quite managed to be at the real thick end of the tournament come Sunday recently however, but a 3rd place finish last week sees a player clearly in form and he finished in the top 20 here last time he played the tournament.
Phil Mickelson – This pick is something of a gamble, as with Lefty you never know what you are going to get. He hasn’t played tournament golf since September and would have classed 2014 as something of a disappointment – his first winless year since 2003. However, in the final major of the year at the PGA Championship he did manage a runner up spot. The reason he has my pick is his early year form – last year after a long break he started the year with a runner up spot in Abu Dhabi and in both 2012 and 2013 Phil recorded wins in the early weeks of the year.
Paul Casey – Casey is a player whose career is on something of an upward curve after a disappointing run which saw him slump to 165th in the World, a far cry from the number 3 ranking he enjoyed in 2009. In recent months Casey has played eight tournaments without a missed cut, including a win at the KLM Open in September and his ranking is back up to 77th. He started last week with a 62 at the Sony Open and briefly led, and will hopefully learn from his somewhat disappointing weekend.
Brendon Todd – 2014 was something of a breakthrough year for Brendon Todd, with his first win on the tour and performances that took him all the way to the Tour Championship. Todd has played solidly in the last two weeks to start the year (8th and 44th) and will have fond memories of this event last year when he finished in 6th place.
Jerry Kelly (sleeper) – I picked Jerry Kelly last week and it paid dividends with a very solid 6th place finish despite a very poor 73 in the opening round (62-67-66 to follow). I highlighted last week how Kelly has become very consistent in recent months and he plays well at this tournament having finished 13th last year here.
Russell Knox (sleeper) – Russell Knox enjoyed a great first year on the PGA tour in 2014, a year that saw him finish in the top ten on four separate occasions. Knox started 2015 solidly last week with a 13th place finish, opening the event with rounds of 65 and 66. He played at the Humana Challenge last year and finished 13th, which at the time was his highest ever finish on the main tour, so he’ll come here with a positive mindset.
Zac Blair (sleeper) – Blair is fresh off the Web.com tour where he finished the season with an impressive 2nd place finish in the Tour championship. He played 4 PGA tour events at the end of last year and made the cut three times, however his most impressive performance came last week finishing 6th in Hawaii. A year ago Blair was ranked 1514th in the world, but today his world ranking is 172nd and this will surely go higher.
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