FireDFS First Look: Waste Management Phoenix Open

Welcome to our First look at this week’s PGA Tour event on FantasyDraft.  We head over to Scottsdale, AZ this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open where Hideki Matsuyama looks to defend his title for a second time after successfully going back to back last year (he finished 2nd the year before that – he’s pretty good here!).  This is probably my 2nd favorite golf tournament outside of the majors (after Valspar, because I get to go all 4 days).  The 16th hole is a crazy environment and a sort of unspoken perk of this tournament is it usually ends right at kickoff for the Super Bowl – so we get to sweat our results and then go straight into the biggest game of the year.

More on the course in a second – Let’s take a quick look at last week’s FantasyDraft Cash Lineup.

I was able to get all 7 golfers through the cut, and despite only CH3 and Gary Woodland breaking the top 15 ended up with a pretty relaxing cash.  I was really impressed in particular with how CH3 played in the super challenging Sunday conditions.  How golfers performed in those winds is worth storing away for later.  One golfer you’ll notice missing from my lineup was Jhonattan Vegas who I highlighted in the First Look last week.  There were a lot of options in that price range, but ultimately I decided on Steele over Vegas. For cash games, I ended up with the more long term consistent golfer (who happens to be in just fine form himself).  My highlight of GPPs was a T6 in the First Tee.  I used Rahm in every GPP lineup so was obviously hurt by his weekend performance- no lineup ahead of me had Rahm so there was a pretty reasonable path to 1st there. Overall, a good week cashing in all cash games and making my money back on the GPP side.

TPC Scottsdale – The Stadium Course:

The golf course is a Par 71 stretching out to just over 7200 yards. The winner should have a score somewhere in the mid to high teens assuming conditions are favorable throughout the week.  Keep in mind when looking at course history that they did do a large renovation in 2014.  A look back at leaderboards over the last few years will show a pretty good cross section of long hitters and accuracy guys – I’ll be looking for one thing and one thing only – who do I think can hit the most greens.

Golfers to Consider:

Hideki Matsuyama ($17,500)

Ok, really…All of them.  My advice here is to always pick one and go with them, at least for GPP.  I think pricing will let you jam 2 in a lineup if you really want to for GPP lineups, but you’ll ikely have to abandon a ton of really solid options in the $14k-$15.5k range.  Hideki is coming off a rather quiet T12 last week at the Farmer’s and is one of the premier ball strikers on tour.  We all know his putter can give him fits, but this week we want guys that are going to pepper greens and get the most looks at birdie they possibly can.  Hideki is our guy for that mission more than any of the other top priced guys in my opinion.

Tony Finau ($15,200)

Off a T6 at Farmer’s we catch Finau for $200 less this week than we paid last week. I’m going to have a very hard time taking him off the list. Finau should be flipping wedges all over this course.  His recent results at this event aren’t spectacular with 2 MCs in 3 tries and a T22 the other year, but that’s not going to stop me from rostering one of the most consistent players on tour over the last 12 months.

Matt Kuchar ($14,300)

We get our first look at Kuchar in 2018 after an absolutely ridiculous 2017 season despite not posting a W.  Kuchar played 26 tournaments made all but 4 cuts and had a Top 10 in 9 of those 22 made cuts. The last cut he missed (no jinx) was April at the Shell.  He’s a model of consistency, plodding around in his Sketchers peppering greens at one of the highest rates on tour.  At right at the starting average player price when we’re building lineups he should be a staple for everyone in every format.

(Zach Johnson isn’t bad either in this range)

Francesco Molinari ($13,700)

We want greens in regulation? Look no further than Fancesco Molinari.  The Italian will be in the middle of the fairway more times than not when coverage goes his way and have a great chance to bombard these greens with birdie opportunities.  Not only does Molinari do a good job of making cuts for us, he usually puts up a very solid performance for us once he clears the line.  He had 14 top 25s in 17 Made Cuts last season on the PGA tour.

Good luck and be sure to check out for a full range of content as the week goes on to help you make sound investment decisions and build that bankroll!

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a contributor at You can find him on FantasyDraft as smithma3 and on Twitter @msmithwc

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