After an amazing FedEx Cup Playoff stretch and the now infamous USA beatdown at Hazeltine, the PGA Tour kicks off its 2016-2017 season with the Safeway Open.
There will be no triumphant Tiger Woods return, and as you would expect, most of the top 25 players in the world are either still partying down in Mexico or getting some much needed R&R at home. So given the weaker field this week, not to mention a slew of outstanding rookies getting their first “official” start on tour, how should we construct our lineups this week?
Here’s my list of players you might consider rostering, along with their FantasyDraft salaries.
TOP TIER PLAYERS
Paul Casey ($21,900) is the priciest player this week and for very good reason. He finished last season on fire with two consecutive 2nd place finishes and 4th place finish in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and came close to winning it all (5th place overall). I believe all your line ups can start Casey with confidence.
Emiliano Grillo ($20,600) is not only the defending champ, but he too had an incredible run throughout the playoffs. Ball-striking is key at Silverado. The course tips out at 7,203 yards, making this a particularly friendly course for ball strikers. Get this sharp shooter in your lineup.
MID TIER PLAYERS
Charley Hoffman ($16,100) — the California native — returns home victorious. I can see this narrative playing out. Charley did capture his 4th PGA Tour victory last season after a nearly 2-year drought. He did also get his first victory in California at the Bob Hope Dessert Classic. With accuracy at a premium and putting not so much, I like Charley’s chances.
Jason Kokrak ($15,500) is just a gut call, but I really like his game of late. He finished the FedEx Cup Playoffs with two – Top 10’s and a T17. Ever since last year’s Nissan Open I’ve been expecting his first PGA tour victory. He has burned me in the past, but given his recent form against a much weaker field, I plan on getting some exposure to Jason this week.
LOWER TIER PLAYERS
Danny Lee ($14,900) — When I think of streaky players with great ball striking ability, Danny Lee always comes to mind. Although, he didn’t have a Danny Lee-esque season last year, he did make the cut in 75% of the tournaments he played last year. After a stellar 2015 season and a very average 2016 season, I’m looking for Danny to rebound this year and not only get back to the winners circle, but add a lot more Top 10 finishes too.
Tyrone Van Aswegen ($12,600) — Ok, I’ll admit it… I like to say his name. But, aside from that Van Aswegen put together a very solid season last year. He also finished T3 here last year. Add course history with five Top 25 finishes last year and over one million in earnings. This could be the 34 year-olds most productive year to date. And a great opening tournament will go a long way in getting that started.
Justin Thomas ($19,700), Kevin Na ($18,800), Keegan Bradley ($14,800), Brendan Steele ($13,300).
John Rahm ($19,300), Martin Laird ($15,200), Charles Howell III ($14,600), Patrick Rogers ($14,300).
Have any questions? Hit me up on Twitter and I’ll be happy to help! Good luck to all!