His PGA articles have been featured here on RotoCurve for the past year. Ryan is a former PGA professional, so his golf course and player insights are second to none. Ryan is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but now resides in South Florida with his wife and son.
Latest posts by Ryan Baroff (see all)
- Fantasy Golf Picks: Genesis Open PGA DFS “Sleepers” - February 13, 2018
- Fantasy Golf Picks: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am PGA DFS “Sleepers” - February 6, 2018
- Fantasy Golf Picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open PGA DFS “Sleepers” - January 30, 2018
The first full-field event of 2018 is in the books, with Patton Kizzire winning for the second time in his last four events. Pretty impressive for a guy in just his second season on Tour. Furthermore, he did it in a field which included Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman, and other top-name talent. I don’t think he’s done winning, and it’ll be interesting to watch him continue to progress this season. It wasn’t a great week for our sleepers, but there were some solid performances by Chris Kirk and Gary Woodland, to name a couple. Let’s move on to a confusing event: the CareerBuilder Challenge.
What’s tricky about this event is that there isn’t a 36-hole cut… it’s a 54-hole cut. The event is a giant pro-am which uses three golf courses (TPC Stadium Course, Nicklaus Course, and La Quinta), so players see each course once, before a final round cut shrinks the field to a number that will all play the final round on the Stadium Course. For our purposes, we should focus research on the Stadium Course for that reason, but honestly, it’s tough to gauge different players playing different courses on different days. Just pick good players!
The saving grace is that these courses all have similar attributes: they’re short, par-72 tracks that will lead to low scores. The Stadium Course is the toughest of the three, so you’ll see the lowest scores shot on the Nicklaus Course and at La Quinta. There’s heavy bunkering this week, and approach shots will be at a premium. The overseeded rough on the Stadium Course makes iron shots very difficult, and Pete Dye’s notorious collection areas around the green will challenge players. Accuracy, ball-striking, and par-5 scoring are my keys this week.
The past three winners of this event are similar players: Hudson Swafford, Jason Dufner, and Bill Haas. Swafford can rip it off-the-tee, but he’s known for his ball-striking prowess. Dufner and Haas are both deadly iron and wedge players, and all three players are notoriously bad putters. That reinforces my belief that accurate ball-striking is at a premium above putting. Two names come to mind, who I’ll highlight later.
Now, onto my sleeper picks of the week for the CareerBuilder Challenge.
DraftKings High-End Sleepers
Jon Rahm ($11,800, lower owned than expected)
I’m going to continue to write-up the top ranked player in the field if I think he’s going to win, and that’s what I expect from Rahm this week. I also think he’ll go lower-owned than expected, with people choosing balanced teams beginning with Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, and Kevin Kisner. Rahm finished a mediocre 34th here last season, but he’s a dramatically improved player these days. He won the DP World Tour Championship in Europe and then followed up with a runner-up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, so his form is strong.