After Ted Potter Jr.’s upset victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last weekend, the PGA Tour moves south down the California coast to Riviera Country Club for the final week of the West Coast swing. Riviera plays at just over 7,300 and is a par 71 set up that tends to favor longer hitters, as the past two winners here were Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. The Genesis Open offers a deep and talented field, but the biggest name this weekend is obviously Tiger Woods, who is making his second start in 2018. Despite the narrative, I’ll be looking elsewhere as his $9,300 price tag doesn’t justify the current state of his game.
In terms of key statistics to consider when constructing a roster this weekend SG: Approach, and SG: Around the Green are important. Also, with length being a path to success at Riviera in the past, SG: Off the Tee will also be important in determining strong golfers for our lineups. Good luck in your contests this weekend!
- Dustin Johnson: $12,900
- Daniel Berger: $10,500
- Thomas Pieters: $9,600
- Ollie Schniederjans: $9,400
- Beau Hossler: $8,800
- Kevin Streelman: $8,800
Remaining Salary: $0
Dustin Johnson is a difficult fade week in and week out, but it will be especially tough to look past him this weekend given his recent form and his first-place finish here last year. Johnson finished T-2 at Pebble Beach this past weekend and has played some excellent golf to open the season, ranking first in total strokes gained at 3.2 and first in scoring average at 68.7. He has the course history and all-world game to fire some low scores this week. Although he’s likely to be highly-owned in tournaments, he’s the top overall play on the board.
Although he’s yet to crack the top five this season, Daniel Berger has been playing strong golf over his past three tournaments finishing T-11, T-14, and T-11. He also is ranked 33rd in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green this season. While Berger doesn’t have a top-10 yet this season, he is likely to be a lower-owned option in tournaments, which will help to diversify the Dustin Johnson exposure I plan on having.
Thomas Pieters was last year’s runner-up to Dustin Johnson at this event, and he seems underpriced this weekend based on his talent. Pieters’ game log also works in his favor, as FanDuel does not show his fifth-place finish in a deep field at the HSBC Championship in Dubai a few weeks ago. In that tournament, Pieters averaged 313.0 yards off the tee and hit 79.2% of his greens in regulation. If Pieters continues to be long with his driver and accurate with his irons this week, he can make a run at the trophy on Sunday.
Ollie Schniederjans has had mixed results in his last three events, squeezing a missed cut between a T7 and a T3 at the Phoenix Open a few weeks ago. As a whole, Schneiderjans’ game has been strong this season, as he ranks 10th in scoring average at 69.8. Additionally, his ball striking with his irons and wedges has been top-notch as he ranks 15th in SG: Approach. At $9,400, Schneiderjans’ talent makes him stand out in his price range.
With both Beau Hossler and Kevin Streelman sitting at a price of $8,800, rounding out a roster with two players who have combined to make 18 of 19 cuts this season certainly seems like a solid plan. Beau Hossler hasn’t flashed 100+ FanDuel point upside yet this season, but he has four top 20s to his name. Hossler is a talented young player and stands out as the 31st ranked player in SG: Putting. Streelman has also been consistent to start the season by making all nine of his cuts. Streelman is an elite ball striker (19th in SG: Tee to Green) that tends to go as far as his below average putter takes him. He is also coming off a sixth-place finish at Pebble Beach.