Professional / Fantasy

Fantasy Forecast: The Memorial, tailored tips for multiple formats

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Welcome to the Wednesday gaming column! This week: the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.

Each week, I’ll put my angles, theories and lineups in here for you to peruse, copy, fade or argue.

Don’t forget to join the conversation @GolfweekMag, @GolfweekFantasy, @MikeGlasscott or send your questions to mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

For all fantasy games I play as @MikeGlasscott or MikeGlasscott so I’m not hiding from anyone! Gamers, don’t forget, I reserve the right to change any lineup at any time based on changes in weather, tee times, illness or whatever.

• • •

DraftKings

DraftKings has plenty of ways to join the action weekly in a salary-cap-format game. Gamers pick six players on a budget of $50,000 and hope they make the cut and go low. Each week I’ll list the players who I think have the most value and give examples of potential lineups.

Last week: Always nice to see 11 of 12 play the weekend and there’s nothing better than having the winner on the main lineup. Disappointed that I didn’t stick Palmer (T-3) on the big team even after remarking that I thought he was the second-best value on the board last week. #Regrets

Won’t spend too much time patting myself on the back as LAST WEEK doesn’t do a lick of good this week at Muirfield Village. Tough sledding this week with all three studs on the board all coming off victories in their last respective events.

My lineup this week:

  • Hideki Matsuyama ($10,600): No, this is NOT the Japanese way of spelling “Jordan Spieth” or “Jason Day” or “Rory McIlroy”. WIN and T-5 in two starts. End of.
  • Matt Kuchar ($9,900): Antithesis of the power player but yet T-26 or better in eight consecutive trips including winning in 2013.
  • Jason Dufner ($8,400): Jumped back into the top 10 last week at a tough Colonial; opened 66-67 last year before T-19 finish.
  • Marc Leishman ($7,900): Never can figure him out but he’s improved on five consecutive finishes here including T-5 last year.
  • David Hearn ($6,700): T-28 or better in his last four of five on Tour and three of four at Muirfield Village.
  • William McGirt ($6,500): Five cuts in a row represents value to me as does being in the top 25 in BOTH scoring average and strokes gained total.

Plan B

Similarly priced players to swap in and out if the folks above don’t move the meter.

  • Rory McIlroy ($12,200): Contrarian play as Spieth should command the most attention; high ball hitter will have to hole some putts this week.
  • Dustin Johnson ($10,100): Loading up on tee-to-green players up top and DJ qualifies easily in that category.
  • Chris Kirk ($8,300): Been in form this spring but hasn’t busted one yet. Gotta kick the round three blues at Memorial but throw that out and he’s got my attention. #Close
  • Russell Knox ($7,600): He leads the Tour in GIR. This is a second-shot course.
  • Jamie Lovemark ($7,000): Bit of a flier here but he’s long and can get it going with the putter. Every year there are a couple of “first-timers” that pop up…
  • Robert Streb ($6,200): Heavy top side means value picking down here. I’ll roll with a guy who will love wide fairways, who’s long and can make some birdies. Keep that trend going in year three of T-28, T-18 and…
  • Johnson Wagner ($5,900): Seven in a row on Tour and four from five at the event. Looking for a cut maker down here.

Gut shot

One ping. One ping only.

This column has gone ICE COLD recently so it’s time to pan for gold!

  • Scott Langley ($6,300): I’m left handed. He’s left handed. WE ARE ALL LEFT HANDED! Sat second here in 2014 after 54 holes and is two-for-two in cuts made.

• • •

One-and-done

Each week, I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely, so I’m satisfied with having a chance to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game, but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf. Remember, fade or follow, it’s up to you.

Gamers who are new to OAD must remember that the most lucrative purses, the majors, WGC events, The Players and FedExCup Playoffs, are down the road and you’ll need to save some big boys for these events, all 12 of them.

2015-16 season

Season total: $4,533,917; 29 events

  • Wins: 2
  • Seconds: 0
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 6
  • Top 25s: 15
  • MC: 3 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial)

Last week: Kevin Chappell (MC; $0)

The Golf Gods were angry last week that I stuck Kuchar in my original column even though I burned him at RBC Heritage last month.

What a stupid I am.

The Gods stuck it to me on the redux as I “replaced” Kuchar with the boiling hot Kevin Chappell. But I left Chappell out of my preview accidentally last week. I should have just stuck with it as he didn’t stick around for the weekend.

All in all, one of the biggest cluster you-know-whats in the short history of fantasy golf writing.

What could possibly go wrong this week?!

Thermometer: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

Keys this week

  • Bombs Away
  • Par breakers on par 5s
  • Accurate iron players

My five finalists

  • 1. Hideki Matsuyama*
  • 2. Matt Kuchar*
  • 3. Rory McIlroy*
  • 4. Jordan Spieth
  • 5. Jim Furyk

*already burned

  • My choice: Paul Casey
  • Close second: Kevin Na
  • Long-shot special: Francesco Molinari

Verdict: If you’re desperate, Spieth or McIlroy will test your patience and THIS WEEK with the new prize pool ($8.5 million total; $1.53 winner) there is COMPLETE VALIDATION to this theory:

  • 1. Only 120 players.
  • 2. Not the depth of a major championship or WGC.
  • 3. Both coming off wins and have back-to-backed it before.

Those of you leading or contending, it’s Matsuyama or Kuchar, easy peasy. Those of you trying to catch lightning in the bottle, try the moonshine, or one of Kevin Kisner or Jim Furyk. Remember, Lingmerth won this last year and Na nearly the year before that so expect a healthy dose of CRAZY at some point on Sunday.

Question of the week: Yo, where’s Jason Day?

Answer: His best finish here, where he’s a member, is T-27 and he’s MC three of seven tries. Anywhere else would also be an acceptable answer.

• • •

Avis PGA Tour game

Each week, I’ll trot out guys who I believe who fit the course, the game and the road map, plus add some substitutes. Four starters are supported by two bench players each week. Remember, once a player tees off in your lineup he burns a start, so make sure you need to sub out instead of want to sub out.

@MikeGlasscott 2015 finish: 332nd

You’ll learn a few things about me each week in this column. This week’s lesson is taking horses to water but not making them drink. Games, like this one, who involve daily substitution options, I am terrible at playing. I’ll give you my best four starters and two bench options but it’s up to you to outguess me on which rounds they should sit or play.

My roster

This is the sixth week of Segment 3 which will run through the WGC-BI which begins on the last day of June. This swing will involve the following events – course – winner.

  • Memorial – Dublin, Ohio – David Lingmerth
  • FESJC – TPC Southwind, Memphis – Fabian Gomez
  • U.S. Open – Oakmont, the hardest course on the planet – Angel Cabrera, 2007
  • QLN – Congressional, another very difficult track and former site of U.S. OpenS, plural – Justin Rose, last time at Congressional, 2014
  • WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – Firestone South – opposite of the French Open on the European Tour — Shane Lowry

Coming up

The WDs are already coming in lieu of fixture congestion thanks to the Rio Olympics. With the Zika virus causing fear, it will be interesting if or when players drop or add. I’ll keep a list of the big boys here:

  • Rory McIlroy, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, OUT
  • Bubba Watson, he WILL play the Travelers Championship
  • Jordan Spieth, John Deere Classic, OUT

If you have any specific questions or want more info, hit me up on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott), mikeglasscott@gmail.com or mikeglasscott.com.

2016

  • Tournament Points (DDI): 1,192
  • Tournament Rank: 3,731
  • Season Points: 25,638
  • Season Rank: 726

Last week: Played nice defense with Spieth and Kuchar to move up a few spots but going with Adam Scott and Charley Hoffman didn’t help matters much. Didn’t have any of the four on my radar that made up the “perfect” line up (English, Reifers, Lahiri and Palmer).

This week

Fearsome foursome

  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Russell Knox
  • Jason Dufner

Bench mob

  • Paul Casey
  • Patrick Reed

Counter-programming

  • Kevin Na
  • Bubba Watson (3 starts left)
  • J.B. Holmes
  • Kevin Kisner
  • Charl Schwartzel
  • Justin Thomas

Hey, where did everyone go?!

  • Jordan Spieth: Only one start left and that’s for the hardest course in the country, Oakmont.
  • Rory McIlroy: See above.
  • Jason Day: Not burning one of two on a course where he’s never hit the top 10. I’ll save for Oakmont and Firestone (small field).
  • Rickie Fowler: Only one start left and I’ll have two more times after this week to burn it.

• • •

Yahoo! Fantasy Golf

This is a limited-starts, season-long game. Only 10 plays per player per season. If you stick Spieth in on Sunday only this week, you burn a “start.” One round = one start, so be aware!

You are able to change your lineups before each round similar to the Avis PGA Tour game. Dissimilar to the Avis PGA Tour game, Yahoo! is based on scoring only. The only thing that matters is going low and finishing high.

Not everyone on your roster must play. There have been many weeks where I lock Spieth in on Thursday and let him ride all four rounds. This is legal and at times, such as the example above, encouraged.

Splitting tee times (early-late) is not only recommended, it’s encouraged so don’t be surprised if some “big-name” players are omitted each week.

@MikeGlasscott

  • Points: DDI: 209
  • Spring segment points: 1,307
  • Spring segment points: 2,011
  • Season points: 3,368
  • Season rank: 1,015

Last week: Nothing like when a plan comes together! Rolled Spieth and Palmer all four rounds and happily collected the big boy points. Missed out on 20 of them as I didn’t get Kuchar into the lineup for his 63 on Saturday. Instead I got 0 from Kevin Na AND Colt Knost for round three. Awesome but still moving up the ranks weekly after an awful late winter.

This week

Group A

(season starts remaining in parentheses)

  • Jordan Spieth (5)
  • Jason Day (7)

No point in over-thinking this one UNLESS you’re low on Spieth starts and are hoarding him for the majors and East Lake. That’s the exact line I opened with this week and it doesn’t need to change. I’ll have four remaining after this week and they’ll be used at the three majors plus East Lake. It’s a plan. With Spieth in the lineup, I hope to again rack out all four days so Jason Day is there for cover in case he goes HAM again this week. Nice problem to have, Nos. 1 and 2 in the world on the roster!

Those of you having to chase and make up ground have a cornucopia of choices to be contrarian. I’m more put off by the LACK of course form from these big players this week than I am rushing them to the front of the line. Dustin Johnson has to be on that short list and Tony Finau could be a possible one-round wonder, as long as you GUESS which round that is! What a game!

Group B

  • Hideki Matsuyama (5)
  • Jason Dufner (8)
  • Kevin Kisner (8)
  • Jim Furyk (10)

Trying to find one guy to run with Matsuyama into the weekend and might not even need him then. If Matsuyama is Matsuyama this week, there are MULTIPLE angles to pair with him to make up ground. I’ve thrown a putter in there (Kisner) with an all-time cut-maker (Furyk) plus another premium ball-striker (Dufner). Took some effort to keep Chappell out of this lineup.

Group C

  • Matt Kuchar (4)
  • Paul Casey (7)

Kuchar is blistering and won here in 2013. Casey hasn’t missed in five tries, plus he opened 66-66 here in 2014 so he gets the nod over Dan Berger. BOOG’s (that’s what on the back of his hat and I love it) recent form has also been T-20 or better over two months and has plenty of length to take advantage here. A bit tortoise-n-hare but I like that balance. Again, if Kuchar does Kuchar things, it might not matter as to whom is riding shotgun.

• • •

Fore!

Head to Golfweek.com for my entire archive as history never gets historical!

Shoot any questions and follow along at @GolfweekMag, @GolfweekFantasy and @MikeGlasscott to stay in tune!

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