DraftKings, Careerbuilder, Abu Dhabi

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

DraftKings picks for the week

Before I begin, last week got some emails from folks asking if I would post this earlier, like Monday, Tuesday of the latest.  Reason I don’t post it is because you need to wait to the last moment in picking players.  I will get rumors and news on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, also a player could drop out.  The bottom line I make a lot of changes between Monday and Wednesday and sometimes in making one change you have to change half your lineup, so that’s why we don’t post early on this.

So how did we do last week?
Terrible on all fronts. As I said to you last week, I didn’t have a very good feeling on the European Tour, and sure enough Richard Bland, George Coetzee, and Matthew Southgate missed the cut. So that left me with just three players over the weekend with Brandon Stone finishing T-31st, David Drysdale and Peter Uihlein finishing T-7th. Good news, I was in only two games at a total cost of just $7, so not a big lost.
But things were a lot different on the PGA Tour. Was in five games that cost $70 to play and was shutout terribly ($0 earnings for the week). Just like the European Tour I had three guys missed the cut which in this game is the kiss of death. I wasn’t too surprised with Steve Marino missing the cut, but I was totally stunned at Jerry Kelly and Brandt Snedeker missing the cuts. For Kelly, Waialae is his money tree with earnings over $2.6 million and finishing in the top-ten in nine of 19 starts. I was also stunned that Snedeker missed the cut, he is always on top of his game on the west coast swing and was runner-up last year in the Sony. But in diving deeply after the facts found out that Snedeker is in flux right now. He completely redid his swing with Butch Harman and found success last year. But Snedeker felt that Harmon wasn’t the answer and in November just after winning the Fiji Open by nine shots fired Butch and started working with John Tillery. Snedeker talked a bit about being very inconsistent under Butch. That was a thing he wanted a better grasp at because when things aren’t going well, it’s really bad. I also had a bad feeling about Snedeker when I saw Inside the PGA Tour over the weekend, and they were showing Brandt with the family on Sunset boat tours and on the beach. That is the problem sometimes when you bring the family to Hawaii, you tend to get distracted and that could have been the case with Snedeker. One thing to think about is not to consider Brandt for the rest of the west coast swing, he is the defending champion next week at the Farmers Insurance Open.
As for my other three picks and frankly, when you are down to just three players they better win, finishing 2nd and 3rd for you to have a chance. So I was done early as Pat Perez finishing T-69th, Zac Blair was T-57th and Jordan Spieth 3rd.

What about this week?
The PGA Tour, CareerBuilders
Not many marquee guys this week so in looking at the top of the board, you have Patrick Reed at $11,200, Phil Mickelson at $10,800, Francesco Molinari at $10,300, Zach Johnson at $10,200 and Paul Casey at $10,000. As for Mickelson, he had two hernia surgeries in the last three months and may not play, so he is a poor choice. Of the others, none of them are players that are doing great to risk this amount of money. Molinari had a good fall, but at his asking price of $10,300, it’s not easy to take him or any of the top guys.
One thing in looking at their records in this event, last year two of the courses were new to the rota, including PGA West Stadium course, so you better look at just last year’s results. Another concern is weather, the Palm Springs area is supposed to have the mother of all storms going through it on Wednesday night and all day Thursday and into Friday. The storm could bring up to an inch of rain, but one thing the tournament has going for it is the location of the courses. All three are in a protective cove in which mountains to the south and west protect the area, and in most cases, storms that come through the Palm Springs area don’t get to the La Quinta side. So rain may not be a problem. Still, it’s going to be cold at just 57 degrees and cloudy, so you have to keep that in mind.
As for my first pick, I took Luke List who at $8,600 was the bargain of the week. Last year List finished T-6th and this year was runner-up at the Sanderson Farms and of late was T-13th at the Sony last week.
By big cost of the week was Bill Haas at $10,500. He was easy off of his record in this event and was T-13th at the Sony last week.
Next up was Jamie Lovemark at $9,600, he was T-6th last year and T-4th last week in Hawaii, so another easy pick.
After that was a bit tougher to pick, took Chez Reavie at $7,500 because he was T-17th last year and T-8th at the Sony.
Next was Smylie Kaufman who I was surprised to get at only $6,900. I took him just because of his solid finish (T-14th) last month but for this year he has struggled, missing the cut last week in Hawaii. Still, he knows things are a struggle, and hopefully, he can turn it around this week.
My last pick is another struggling player Geoff Ogilvy at $6,900. I picked him on his reputation of playing well on desert courses and who knows what could happen.

The European Tour, Abu Dhabi

Feel that I have some good picks, first had to take Dustin Johnson at $11,500. He has never played in this event, and the course is perfect for his long ball. I think he can win and despite the price, it’s a good gamble.

As for the other top choices, I don’t like Henrik Stenson at $11,100 (Don’t think he is ready yet). Rickie Fowler at $10,300 (he won last year, but that was last year) and Alex Noren at $9,600 are too much. Branden Grace at $9,600 (will have traveled over 20,000 miles in the last two weeks) and Rafa Cabrera-Bello at $9,300. Now I tried to work Cabrera-Bello on my team, but after taking Johnson, I couldn’t add Rafa. But what I was able to get what five solid guys.
First was Byeong-Hun An at $8,400, he finished T-12th in 2015 and T-5th last year, so I like that.
My next pick is Thomas Pieters at $8,800, he was T-4th in 2015 and runner-up last year, so he was an easy choice.
Next was Peter Uihlein at $7,000 at 8,800, had a feeling on him last week, and he finished T-7th so think he can do even better.
My last two picks are gambles, first took Ian Poulter at only $7,400. He plays well in the desert, and this could be a great place for him to make a big splash.
My last pick is James Morrison at $6,900. I took him because he finished T-6th in this event in 2015 and he hasn’t been playing that bad.

Before we leave just found out in the coming weeks Fan Duel is going to have some fantasy golf games so check on it. Their games will be different because they will handle the first two and the second two rounds differently than DraftKings, so we have to look and see how those go.


  1. Love the site Sal. I was a little confused at first glance with the “Jay Haas” play…but quickly understood you meant Bill Haas. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Tyson, yes you are right screwed up by saying Jay instead of Bill, have changed it thanks for the helping hand.

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