FantasyDraft PGA: Genesis Open
FantasyDraft PGA: Genesis Open

This article is part of our FantasyDraft PGA series.

Genesis Open
Pacific Palisades, California
Riviera Country Club - Par 71 - 7,322 yards
Field - 144 entrants
Purse - $7.2M

The Preview

Formerly known as the Northern Trust Open, Nissan Open and Los Angeles Open, the esteemed Riviera Country Club will host a loaded field this week as the PGA Tour continues its West Coast Swing. Of the 144 entrants, 27 reside inside the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, as several of the top international players have also traveled to the states. Taking a peek at the list of recent champions -- which includes Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson -- length off the tee has been advantageous along with ball striking in general due to several lengthy par fours and par fives. Due to the nature of Riviera's sometimes bumpy Poa Annua greens, putting and scrambling also become more of a challenge than usual, so a struggling putter like Jordan Spieth may experience troubles this week. As for the weather, expect mild sunny skies and somewhat chilly morning temperatures as the forecast calls for near-optimal scoring possibilities.

Past Champions

2017- Dustin Johnson
2016 - Bubba Watson
2015 - James Hahn
2014 - Bubba Watson
2013 - John Merrick
2012 - Bill Haas
2011 - Aaron Baddeley
2010 - Steve Stricker
2009 - Phil Mickelson
2008 - Phil Mickelson

FantasyDraft Value Picks - based on $100,000 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Dustin Johnson - $18,200

The defending champion (by five strokes) has notched results of 1-4-T2-2 in four consecutive showings at Riviera CC, so the world No. 1 is the highest priced by a solid margin this week for good reason. He also enters with quality recent form, having finished runner-up at the AT&T Pebble Beach Open just over a month after winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Johnson has averaged 5.58 birdies per round and ranks first on Tour in scoring average this season.

Paul Casey - $15,700

It's quite amazing that Casey doesn't own a single win worldwide since 2014, as the 17th-ranked player in the OWGR has 29 top-10s since the beginning of 2015. He lost in a playoff to James Hahn at the 2015 Genesis Open, while he's made the cut in each of his past five appearances at the event. The Englishman has placed outside the top-20 just once in his last 13 starts.

Tommy Fleetwood - $15,500

Fleetwood presents attractive value here as one of the top international players in the world, who has finished no worse than sixth in his past four starts. He won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship during his first start of 2018, which he followed up with a T6 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The Englishman led the European Tour in GIR percentage throughout the 2017 season en route to the Race to Dubai title.

Glue Guys

Chez Reavie - $15,000

Reavie has made just two cuts in seven starts at the Genesis Open, but he finished seventh in 2016 and has become one of the most consistent players on Tour since May of 2017. He hasn't missed a cut in 20 straight starts and most recently notched back-to-back runner-up results at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and WMPO. Reavie has found the fairway at an elite rate this season and ranks fifth on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, ascending to sixth in the FedExCup standings.

Ollie Schniederjans - $14,800

Schniederjans has already racked up five top-25s in seven starts this season, including a T3 at the WMPO and a T7 at the Sony Open. He also finished T8 in his Riviera CC debut last year, while he's currently up to 15th in SG: Tee-to-Green, seventh in birdie average, 19th in driving distance and sixth in proximity from 150-175 yards.

Thomas Pieters - $14,600

The Belgian bomber finished runner-up in his career debut at Riviera CC last year, firing a final-round 63 as he tied for the lowest round of the week. Pieters' first two starts of 2018 on the European Tour included finishes of T32 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and a T5 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. This isn't a bad price to pay for No. 38 in the OWGR, who also ranked 10th on the Euro Tour in driving distance last season.

Bargain Bin

James Hahn - $13,700

Hahn secured the first win of his PGA Tour career at Riviera Country Club in 2015, when he defeated both Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson in a three-man playoff. Hahn has gone 10 consecutive starts without a missed cut since the 2016-17 FedExCup playoffs, while he ranks 27th in SG: Approach, 34th in proximity and 27th in putting inside 10 feet.

William McGirt - $12,700

McGirt didn't play in last year's Genesis Open, but finished T20-T14-T6 in three consecutive starts at the event from 2014 through 2016. Following a missed cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, McGirt bounced back with a T26 at Pebble Beach last week as he ranked T6 among the field in GIR percentage. During the 2017-18 season thus far, McGirt is 18th in scoring average, 24th in GIR percentage and 33rd in SG: Putting.

Martin Laird - $12,600

Laird is coming off a T9 in his last start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he shot 68 or better in all four rounds. He ranked second among the field in driving accuracy and 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green, while he's currently 33rd on Tour in driving distance as well. The 35-year-old has made five cuts in eight career appearances at the Genesis Open, most recently finishing T8-T11 in his past two starts at Riviera.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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