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FantasyDraft PGA: Sony Open

Michael Riek

Michael is the 2016 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year winner. He is a former collegiate golfer with a passion for analytics and strategy.

Sony Open
Honolulu
Waialae CC - Par 70 – 7,044 yards
Field – 139 entrants
Purse - $6.2M

The Preview

As the first full-fielded event of 2018, the latter leg of the "Hawaii Double" awaits. For the 53rd consecutive year, Waialae Country Club has retained it’s tradition as host on the island of Oahu. Known to be much flatter than last week’s Kapalua Plantation course, the Country Club plays quite traditionally: short holes, tight fairways, and flat rounded greens. Headliners Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and two-time champ Jimmy Walker will tee it up against a diverse field in a paradise setting, complete with comfortable temperatures and low winds all week. Expect a disproportionate number of birdies on the easy track and plenty of drama on the par-5 18th hole, which has often determined the outcome of the event.

Past Champions

2017 – Justin Thomas
2016 – Fabian Gomez
2015 – Jimmy Walker
2014 – Jimmy Walker
2013 – Russell Henley
2012 – Johnson Wagner
2011 – Mark Wilson
2010 – Ryan Palmer
2009 – Zach Johnson
2008 – K.J. Choi

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

Cream of the Crop

Jordan Spieth, $19,800

It’s clear Spieth and Justin Thomas are the cream of this week’s crop, but Spieth comes with a higher salary due to his strong finish last week at Kapalua. Spieth possesses all the course management and iron game necessary to slay this course, and with a third-place effort last season, he’ll be hungry for more this time around.

Justin Thomas, $19,400

Despite a surprisingly poor finish last week for Thomas, the insatiable talent is primed for a bounceback, especially coming off a momentous 6-under 67 in the final round last week. Thomas for a second-straight week will serve as defending champion, but don’t let last week’s performance scare you away. Given the similarly dry conditions compared to last year, Thomas will feel comfortable attacking this venue in a redemption week.

Marc Leishman, $17,600

Coming off a strong last season, Leishman hasn’t skipped a beat as he was runner-up at the CJ Cup and a disappointing tie for seventh last week after leading through 36 holes. The Aussie has plenty of great history at Waialae to back up his form too: 8-of-8 made cuts with two top 10s. Given his rise to prominence in the last 12 months, it’s hard to see Leishman not winning again this season.

Glue Guys

Daniel Berger, $16,300

In each of his first three seasons on the PGA Tour, Berger has grossed over $3 million, an uncommon feat. But somehow, Berger has remained under the radar despite his success. Don’t let Berger go unnoticed in your lineups this week as a glue guy who will make the cut and more. He’s 3-for-3 in career cuts at Waialae with his best finish a tie for 13th in 2015.

Webb Simpson, $15,900

Simpson withdrew from the RSM Classic to care for his ailing father, who passed over Thanksgiving. This week will no doubt be emotional for Webb but something like that generally brings out the best effort in players. Historically at Waialae, Webb is 8-for-8 in made cuts and has finished 13th each of the last three seasons.

Bargain Bin

Kyle Stanley, $14,300

Let’s get this out of the way: Stanley was a horrible 30th of 34 players last week. But the good news is he’s a perfect 5-for-5 in made cuts at this venue and was 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green last season. His strong ballstriking will likely carry him past the cut line with potential for a top-10 finish if he can find his putter. Not bad for a bargain bin selection.

Hudson Swafford, $14,100

Swafford has three top-13 finishes in four starts at Waialae, making him a very underrated option this deep in the salary list. What’s more is he hasn’t missed a cut in his last eight starts dating back to August last year. History and form converge this week for Swafford, who offers upside with little risk compared to others in his salary range.

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.