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2017 Safeway Open Fantasy Golf Preview & Picks

Matt Rumack October 4, 2017 12:57PM EDT

2017 Safeway Open Fantasy Golf Preview & Picks

Course: Silverado Resort & Spa (North) (Napa, California)

Yardage: 7,166 – Par 72

Purse : 6.2 M

Recent Safeway Open Winners

2012 Jonas Blixt
2013 Jimmy Walker
2014 Sang-Moon Bae
2015 Emiliano Grillo
2016 Brendan Steele

The offseason was only a week long, but that was plenty long enough for us Fantasy golf junkies. Welcome to the 2017-18 daily Fantasy golf season! Hopefully, during your offweek you put some money on the Americans because they simply stomped on the International squad.  The next time we’ll see the Americans playing together as a team will be the 2018 Ryder Cup next October.

2017 Safeway Open Fantasy Golf Preview & Picks

Emiliano Grillo is one of only three players to tee up in recent weeksAP Photo/Dave Thompson

To open the 2017-18 golf season the boys will make their way over to Napa, California for the Safeway Open. The Safeway Open will be played at Silverado Resort & Spa (North Course). Most fields in tournaments during the 2017 calendar year will be weak, but this week we do have President Cuppers Phil Mickelson, Adam Hadwin, and Emiliano Grillo. Webb Simpson, Tony Finau, Kevin Na, Ryan Moore, Zach Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Brendan Steele, and Bill Haas will also tee it up this week. Silverado is a short course that plays under 7,200 yards at Par 72. The fairways are tree-lined so driving accuracy is a must in order to have an open shot at the green. Strokes Gained: off the tee holds a lot of value, as players who struggle in that statistic will struggle on this course. The greens are very undulated at Silverado, so Strokes Gained: Approach is important this week as players must find the correct portion of the green on their approach. There are four very gettable Par 5s this week, so players who excel in Par 5 birdie or better % can rack up the birdies on the 16 par 5s they’ll play this week.

Key Stats

Driving Accuracy

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Strokes Gained: Approach

Par 5 Birdie or Better %

*priced on draftkings

Webb Simpson ($11,200)

The only two players in the field to make it to the Tour Championship were Tony Finau and Webb Simpson. I’m going with Simpson because he’s the more accurate player. Simpson ranked 28th in driving accuracy last year and is the far superior player around the greens. This is a course that rewards accuracy, and touch around the greens. Simpson will keep the ball in play and avoid big scores here.

Jamie Lovemark ($8,700)

Although, Lovemark isn’t the most accurate, he does gain a good number of strokes off the tee. (Top 25 in the field). He’s also an above average ball striker, ranking in the top half in strokes-gained: approach. Overall, Lovemark is one of the best tee-to-green players in this field, ranking 35th in strokes gained: tee-to-green in 2017. Lovemark also finished respectably here last year at 11-under good for T-20.

Emiliano Grillo ($8,500)

Emiliano Grillo comes in as one of only three players to play last week in the President’s cup. Many players in this field haven’t played an event since the BMW Championship or Dell Technologies Open which would mean they haven’t teed it up competitively in three to four weeks. On top of being more warmed up, Grillo ranked in the top quarter of the PGA Tour in both strokes gained: off-the-tee and approach. Oh yeah, and he won this event in 2015. Grillo is a steal at this price.

Mackenzie Hughes ($7,600)

Mackenzie Hughes doesn’t look like all that pretty of a pick when you look at his mediocre statistics. However, Hughes was consistently one of the safest picks all last season in the $6,000-$7,000 range, making the cut in over three quarters of events he entered. He clearly feels comfortable at Silverado, finishing T-13 last year shooting all four rounds in the 60s.

Rory Sabbatini ($7,000)

Rory Sabbatini hasn’t been heard from much in recent years, but he was actually playing very good golf down the stretch of last season. After a terrible start to his season, he finished in the Top 25 four times in his final six events, including a fourth place finish at the Wyndham Championship. Sabbatini is very accurate off the tee, ranking in the Top 25 in the field in both strokes gained: off-the-tee and on approach shots.

Sung Kang ($6,900)

Sung Kang had the spotlight on him a few times last season, finishing in the Top 10 three times. He didn’t have a breakout season, but he proved that he belongs in any field on Tour. His price this week is too low for his talent level. In this type of field, he should be in the mid-upper $7,000 range. Kang strikes the ball very well, and rolls it around the greens well, ranking in the top third in driving accuracy, strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: off-the-tee, and strokes gained: putting. He’s a safe pick to make the cut this week.

 

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