Kevin Chappell shot 77 in the opening round of the Masters on Thursday. A player that many pegged as a dark horse entering the week, Chappell was unable to get anything going on Thursday. He logged five bogeys and one double-bogey against only two birdies. Chappell will have to turn things around in a big way Friday if he wants to make the cut at Augusta National.
The Golf Channel's Todd Lewis is reporting that Tony Finau will (ankle) attempt to play Thursday in his first Masters. Amazingly, an MRI this morning revealed no significant damage to Finau's ankle. He was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. Fantasy lineups locked at 8:30 AM, so it looks like those DFS players that rolled the dice on Finau will be rewarded, but the tweaked ankle could obviously affect his play in his first Masters appearance.
Updating an earlier report, Tony Finau did in fact suffer a dislocated ankle Wednesday during the par-three contest. He was able to pop the ankle back in place almost immediately. X-rays Wednesday evening showed no breaks. Finau will have an MRI early Thursday morning. Those results and the amount of swelling will determine if the young star will be able to make his Masters debut. Finau said on his official Twitter account, “I’m optimistic.” It appears that we won’t know Finau’s status until after Masters lineups lock at 8:30 AM. Rostering him is not for the faint of heart.
After being forced to withdraw from the WGC-Match Play event two weeks ago with a back injury, Kevin Chappell appears good to go for the opening round of the Masters on Thursday. Chappell has played practice rounds all week and participated in Wednesday's par-three contest. The back injury gave DFS players a scare, but it does not seem to be an issue. Chappell has played very well in 2018 and has a solid history at Augusta National. Fire him up in your lineups.
During Wednesday's par-three contest at Augusta National, Tony Finau injured his ankle while celebrating a hole-in-one. After making an ace, Finau began to run and backpedal toward the green when he suddenly went down to the ground awkwardly. His left ankle appeared to be dislocated. Finau popped the ankle back in place and finished the par-three contest. We don't know the severity of this freak accident at this time. DFS players should monitor Finau's status before rostering him Thursday.
Louis Oosthuizen comes into this year’s Masters with little fanfare. Oosthuizen has been quiet for the most part in 2018. He most recently missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Since losing a heartbreaking playoff to Bubba Watson in the 2012 Masters, Shrek has had three top-25s at Augusta National. He has the experience and solid tee-to-green game to be a factor in this tournament, but he will have to improve on his play of the past few months.
Notable groupings and tee times for Thursday's First Round of the Masters include Tiger Woods, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood at 10:42 AM, Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas and Doc Redman at 10:53 AM, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day at 11:04 AM, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar at 1:27 PM, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm at 1:38 PM and Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Rafael Cabrera Bello at 2:00 PM.
This 2018 Masters Players Preview is for anyone interested in DFS Golf. The Masters will receive tons of interest this week. My goal was to create a piece that will be helpful to someone that might be making their first DFS Golf lineup, while also being interesting to grinders that know all the ins and outs of the game.
This preview covers every golfer that is participating in the 2018 Masters tournament. Some players are discussed more in-depth than others. Golfers are listed in descending order of DraftKings price, just like you will see on DraftKings when building a lineup
You can use this preview as a quick reference to get some thoughts on a specific golfer or you can spend some time with it and become familiar with the entire field. However you choose to use it, I hope that every reader will find at least one thing they feel is helpful or interesting.
DraftKings DFS Player Preview for the 2018 Masters Tournament
Dustin Johnson – $11,400
We will probably always wonder “What might have been?” with DJ in 2017. Leading up to last year’s Masters, Johnson was playing the best golf of his career and was dominating the sport. Everyone knows about the infamous fall down the steps right before The Masters last year. DJ has never really regained that dominate form that he had “pre-stairs”. With that being said, he’s the 2018 PGA Tour leader in Scoring Average at 68.843 and the #1 ranked player in the world. His “A” game might be better than any other golfer’s “A” game.
As always, the issue with DJ is what game will he bring? He’s had nice finishes in the last two Masters he’s played: T-6 in 2015 and T-4 in 2016, but his track record in previous years is average at best. He’s never really been in the thick of things on the back 9 on a Sunday at Augusta. Some lackluster play on Sunday this year combined with his high price tag might might have the masses feeling only lukewarm toward DJ heading into the Masters. He is an odds on favorite at several sportsbooks. His ownership should be reasonable, which makes him a very interesting option in large field GPPs.
Justin Thomas – $10,800
I believe JT has been the best player in the world since the end of 2017. He took down his first major at the 2017 PGA Championship and closed out the year by winning the FedEx Cup. Justin has picked up right where he left off in 2018 by winning The Honda Classic on a golf course that was playing extremely tough and losing in a playoff at the WGC-Mexico event the very next week. After his recent deep run in WGC Match Play event, JT admitted that on the last day of play all he could think about was becoming the #1 ranked player in the world with a win, before losing to Bubba Watson in the semi-final.
This might be a minor red flag, but Thomas was probably only saying out loud what any player who has been in position to become #1 has felt. He only has two career Masters appearances, making the cut both times and he has a low score of 70 in eight rounds at Augusta. We’ve seen in the past, that it sometimes takes a couple of attempts for things to click with young players at Augusta National. A common knock on the current young generation of players is their desire and ability to actually win golf tournaments. JT is an exception to this belief and is developing the reputation of a winner that can close tournaments.
Jordan Spieth – $10,400:
Once thought to be the next great closer, Spieth has struggled on Sundays in his last two Masters tournaments. After winning the green jacket in 2015, Jordan had very realistic chances to win this tournament in both 2016 and 2017. He took a five-shot lead into the back nine in 2016, before the infamous quad on the 12th hole. Entered final round last year only two shots back, but struggled to a final round 75. Jordan definitely has some back nine demons that he will need to shake in order to win at Augusta again. Bounced back nicely to win The Open Championship last year.
He's not playing his best golf in 2018, and seems frustrated with his game and putter so far this season. He's ranked 169th on PGA Tour in SG: Putting this season. Spieth played well in Houston last week, but was again failed by his putter. He has a spectacular overall course history at Augusta National, going T-2,1st, T-2, T-11 in four career appearances. Course history and name recognition should garner Spieth quite a bit of ownership, but I don't expect him to be as popular as he's been past couple of years.
Tiger Woods – $10,000:
Wow, what can be said about Tiger’s career that hasn’t been said? The greatest golfer of this generation, ranks second to only Jack Nicklaus in career major victories. So great to see him healthy and around the top of leaderboards in the last month. His comeback has caused ratings and interest from casual fans to skyrocket. It seems that Tiger’s return has sparked a competitive fire in the other golfers. I feel confident in saying this: TIGER WOODS WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT LINEUP DECISION YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE FOR THE 2018 MASTERS.
Tiger will garner tons of ownership from both casual and sharp DFS players and with good reason. His record at Augusta is second to none. Woods has won four green jackets in his career. Even with all the ups and downs in his life on and off the course, the one constant has been Tiger’s excellence at Augusta. Since his last Masters victory in 2005, he has 6 Top 5’s, a T-6 in 2009, a T-40 in 2012, and a T-17 in 2015. Tiger missed the tournament in 2014, 2016, and 2017 due to injuries. Course knowledge plays a crucial role at the Masters and Tiger knows every inch of Augusta National. His game is rounding into form and he’s found himself in serious contention his last three times out with a 12th place finish at The Honda Classic, a 2nd at The Valspar and a 5th at The Arnold Palmer Invitational. His putting and short game has looked sharp and Wwe all know about his struggles off the tee.
Reports are that Tiger has been tinkering with the shaft set up in his Taylor Made driver and has found a lighter shaft that he really likes. While his driver setup is fun to speculate on, I believe that Tiger’s iron play will be the deciding factor in his ability to win his fifth green jacket. For the first time in what seems like forever, Tiger seems to be physically healthy and mentally engaged. Pretty dangerous combination for a guy who has won this tournament four times.
Rory McIlroy – $9,900:
It has always seemed to be when, not if, Rory McIlroy will win The Masters. Arguably the most naturally gifted golfer since Tiger Woods, Rory’s game is seemingly tailor-made for Augusta National. It seemed that Rory’s destiny was about to be fulfilled in the 2011 Masters, until a disastrous final round 80 sent him home empty handed. There seemed to be a hangover that lasted a couple years after that heartbreak, but since 2014, McIlroy has reeled off four straight Top-10 finishes in The Masters. Rory has that massive upside that we look for in GPP tournaments. He possesses the ability to shoot a mid to low 60’s round, but has been susceptible to blow-up rounds in the past.
One of the great drivers of the golf ball, Rory’s chances hinge on his putting. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly from Rory’s flatstick this season. A five-putt at Pebble Beach was the low point, however Rory reminded the entire golfing world just how dominant he can be when making putts recently at The Arnold Palmer Invitational. He birdied five of the last six holes for a final round 64 and the win. Interesting equipment note, in the days before the Arnold Palmer started, Rory had a quick putting session with legendary putter Brad Faxon. After the lesson, Rory switched his putter length from 33 inches back to 34.25 inches, the length he used in all four of his major championship wins. If his putting stroke is on point, McIlroy could finally slip on the green jacket in 2018.
Jason Day – $9,800:
Day has been an enigma wrapped in a riddle for the past year or so. He’s faced a lot of adversity away from the course, with his mom battling cancer and he and his wife suffering a miscarriage in late 2017. This season, Day seems to be moving in the right direction with his game. He picked up a hard fought playoff win at the Farmers Insurance Open in his first start of 2018 and followed that up with a 2nd at Pebble Beach.
Ranks 1st in SG: Putting in his limited 2018 schedule. Day has come close at Augusta with a T-2 in 2011 and a 3rd place finish in 2013. There is no question he has the physical tools to compete at Augusta, the concern for the past 12-18 months is whether or not he’s locked in mentally. He makes a solid contrarian play, as his ownership should be lighter than other players in this price range.
Phil Mickelson – $9,500:
Perhaps the most popular golfer since Arnold Palmer, Phil is a guy that people love to pull for. He has won three green jackets in his career and at 47 years old has a legitimate chance to become the oldest Masters champion in history. Jack Nicklaus came from nowhere to win The Masters in 1986 at the age of 46. Jack hadn’t been competitive in major championships for years before his win. By contrast, Phil is in amazing form heading to Augusta.
He picked up his first win in five years at the WGC-Mexico in early March and has finished inside the Top 10 in every one of his 2018 starts. His go for broke style makes for a wide range of possible outcomes. His Masters record since 2012 illustrates the inconsistency: T-3, T-54, MC, T-2, MC, T-22. Due to his popularity, recent form, and history at Augusta, I expect Phil to garner heavy ownership.
Jon Rahm – $9,300:
A rising star that burst onto the scene in 2017, Rahm quickly became a DFS darling in the past year. There are always questions about a young player’s ability to win golf tournaments, Rahm has proven that he can win at the professional level. However, after a solid T-27 Masters debut last year, Jon disappointed in the remaining 2017 majors. His on course behavior and expressions of frustration have raised some eyebrows about how mentally ready he is to take the next step.
He bounced back to close out 2017 in strong fashion with a string of Top-10 finishes in The FedEx Cup Playoffs and a Euro Tour win in Dubai. Rahm kicked off 2018 with another win in January at the CareerBuilder Challenge and has played very solid, but unspectacular golf this year. There hasn't been much chatter in the golf community about Rahm in the lead up to the Masters. He is an interesting contrarian option.
Justin Rose – $9,200:
The model of consistency, Justin Rose has never missed a cut at The Masters. Lost in heartbreaking fashion last year to finish solo 2nd. Dating back to 2009, Rose hasn’t finished lower than 25th at Augusta National. Rose closed out 2017 with a couple of Euro Tour victories and has been a mainstay at the top of PGA Tour leaderboards throughout this season. Recent form, course history, and DKings price will lead to extremely high ownership.
I believe Rose will be among the most popular plays in tournaments and cash games. He is a very difficult fade and seems to be due for another major championship. All signs point to success for Rose in this year’s Masters. From a game theory standpoint, Rose is an interesting fade in large-field GPPs.
Rickie Fowler – $9,000:
Unfortunately, Rickie is starting to carry the title that Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia held for so long: “Best Player to Never Win a Major”. We’ve seen him have chances in major championships, including at Augusta last year, only to shoot a very disappointing 76 on Sunday. Rickie has flashed potential at Augusta with last years T-11, a T-12 in 2015, and a T-5 2014. He sandwiched in a Missed Cut in 2016 that included an opening round 80. Fowler struggled over the weekend at The Houston Open, which is becoming a theme with Rickie.
The golf course doesn’t set up perfect for Rickie like it does for some of the other elite players, but he is always a threat with the amount of talent he possesses. Rickie is perhaps the most popular player on the PGA Tour with fans and will draw some interest at his reasonable price.
Paul Casey – $8,800:
If there is a player in the field that rivals Justin Rose in consistent results, it’s probably his fellow Englishman. Casey has really found his groove at Augusta National in the past three years, he’s had finishes of T-6, T-4, and 6th since 2015. He is the current 2018 PGA Tour leader in SG: Tee to Green. The question with Casey is always the putter, but that seems to be in great order at the moment. He made everything to shoot a Sunday 65 and win The Valspar Championship in comeback fashion a few weeks ago. Casey presents tremendous value at $8,800. Like Rose, Casey will draw lots of ownership due to his consistent results and great price.
Bubba Watson – $8,700:
Bubba is back! It looked like Bubba Watson had completely lost his game at times last year. Lots of fans and even fellow pros were concerned about his health and overall well-being. He looked way too thin and just didn’t seem to be in great spirits. We may never know the true story of Bubba’s 2017 season, but he has bounced back in a big way in 2018. Looking fit and playing well, Watson grabbed a victory at another classic venue, Riviera Country Club, to win the Genesis Open in February. He also recently took down the WGC-Dell Match Play event, beating Justin Thomas in the semis before absolutely steamrolling Kevin Kisner in the finals.
No doubt about it, Bubba is in rare form at the moment. Some equipment changes seem to have had a positive impact. After playing with a pink Volvik brand ball last year, Bubba switched back to the Titleist Pro V1x ball that he’s always favored in the past. He’s also changed the loft on his Ping putter. Bubba has always been a feast or famine “feel” player and that shows in his track record at Augusta National. He’s won two green jackets, but has had less than stellar results in other years, including an ugly 74-78 to miss the cut last year. Bubba is a volatile player with tournament winning upside, but he is also capable of destroying lineups. I expect Bubba’s ownership to be substantial. Some recency bias will probably come into play after his dominant victory in the WGC Match Play final and inflate his ownership even more.
Sergio Garcia – $8,600:
Sergio finally broke through last year and is the defending Masters Champion. In addition to winning his first major, Sergio also got married and recently welcomed a baby girl into his life. It was a long road for the guy that everyone thought would be a consistent rival for Tiger Woods all those years ago. While he’s not won as many majors in his career as lots of people predicted, I like where Sergio is with his game and life coming into Augusta this year.
He is an elite player off the tee and his ball striking is a thing of beauty. Sergio made a switch from Taylor Made to Callaway equipment earlier this year, but the change has went very smoothly. A balky putter has cost Sergio too many tournaments to count over the years. If he putts well, he’ll have a chance to defend his title. Ownership should be reasonable. It is tough to defend and Sergio’s overall course history at Augusta National is solid, but not phenomenal.
Tommy Fleetwood – $8,500:
Tommy gained a lot of attention with his play at the 2017 U.S. Open, eventually finishing in 4th. He has been on a worldwide tear ever since, including a Euro Tour win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January. There is a lot to like about Fleetwood’s game. He is 3rd in SG: Tee to Green & 4th in SG: Off the Tee for 2018.
His weak area is on and around the greens, ranking only 107th in SG: Putting this year. Augusta National is not a place you can afford to lose strokes with your putter. Struggled in Masters debut last year, shooting 78-74 to miss the cut. It is not unusual for players to have difficulty when playing in their first Masters. Popular with DFS players. Ownership has been high in several recent DraftKings tournaments.
Hideki Matsuyama – $8,400:
Seems a natural to win a green jacket at some point in his career. Augusta National sets up perfect for Matsuyama’s game, as evidenced by his last three Masters finishes of 5th, T-7, and T-11 since 2015. A superb ball striker that has lapses with the putter, Hideki represents a bit of a wild card this year. He is coming off a wrist injury that forced him to WD from the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February.
Matsuyama missed several tournaments over the next six weeks, but did recently return for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He looked rusty in his first tournament since the layoff. Matsuyama is a bit of a gamble due to coming off the wrist injury. This has depressed his price tag and should lower his ownership, making him an intriguing option for large-field GPPs.
Thomas Pieters – $8,300:
Last year, Pieters bucked the trend of players making their Masters debut struggling. He finished in a very impressive tie for 4th and shot a couple of 68’s along the way. Has the ability to go low on difficult courses. Pieters has the type of upside that gives him a chance to win any tournament, but he hasn’t been able to put himself in position to win yet in 2018. His best finish on the PGA Tour in 2018 was a 13th at The Honda Classic on a course that was playing very difficult. I think Pieters can be had at low ownership and is a somewhat interesting play for large field GPPs. DFS players know his upside, but he’s not played enough golf in the U.S. to be well-known by casual fans.
Marc Leishman – $8,200:
The big Aussie has had a very successful career on the PGA Tour, but that success has not translated to Augusta National. With the exception of a T-4th in 2013, Leishman has struggled at the Masters, missing the cut in two of his last three attempts. Leishman is the 15th ranked player in the world and has four Top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2018. His game is very solid overall and he has popped up on some major championship leaderboards recently. Ownership should be very low, due to several popular players being around his price range.
Alex Noren – $8,100:
Noren has made his presence felt on the PGA Tour this year. Very accomplished player with 9 career wins on the European Tour. Made the decision to play more in the United States this year and has been extremely successful, making the cut in every tournament he’s played in 2018. Lost a hard fought playoff to Jason Day to finish in 2nd place at the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year. Nice 3rd at The Honda Classic. Reached the semi-finals in the recent WGC-Dell Match Play event. Made Masters debut last year, missed cut after shooting 74-78.
Noren has a very complete tee to green game with no glaring weaknesses. He has international experience and knows how to win. The lack of experience at Augusta National is cause for slight concern, but we often see players improve on their second trip to the Masters. He will be a popular play, especially among DFS regulars, due to his recent success and consistency on the PGA Tour.
Adam Scott – $8,000:
Poor Adam…poor, poor Adam Scott. He really misses the long putter that he used to win the Masters in 2013. It has been genuinely painful to watch Scott on the greens the past few years. There are times when he looks like a weekend golfer trying to break 90 with a putter in his hand. He is losing over half a stroke per round to the field putting in 2018. To contrast Adam Scott’s superlative ball striking vs. his horrible putting: he is currently 6th in SG: Tee to Green and 195th in SG: Putting. Scott has five career Top-10 finishes and the win in 2013 since his Masters debut in 2002. Recent comments after the birth of his second child have some questioning Scott's commitment to golf. Love his tee to green game, but he will have to find some type of answer with the flatstick to be able to compete on Augusta’s slick, fast greens.
Louis Oosthuizen – $7,900:
Louis is known for his consistent, solid play. His Masters career got off to a rough start as he missed the cut in his first three trips to Augasta. Louis then came from nowhere to finish solo 2nd in 2012, losing to Bubba Watson in a playoff. Had string of three straight Top 25’s at Augusta National from 2014-2016. Oosthuizen has been relatively quiet in 2018. He hasn’t played terrible, but has not been in position to win any tournaments. Lots of people will view Louis as a safe player to roster, but I don’t forsee his ownership being very high.
Henrik Stenson – $7,800:
Although he is a world class ball striker, Stenson does not have the best track record in the Masters. In twelve career appearances, Stenson’s best Masters finish is a T-14 in 2014. Ran off solid string of Top-25 finishes from 2013-2016, but has never been a threat to win this tournament. Henrik’s downfall is usually putting. Has a somewhat notorious number of WD’s when he’s not playing well, but I don’t believe that to be anything to worry at Augusta National. Stenson played some phenomenal golf in the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational, but was beaten by Rory McIlroy’s amazing back 9 on Sunday. This is a price point that PGA DFS regulars almost never get to see Stenson at. The value is definitely there at $7,800 but his lack of Top-5 finishes and consistency in the Masters is slightly concerning.
Tyrrell Hatton – $7,700:
This is another player that is priced significantly cheaper than what we would normally see. Hatton has generally been in the $8,500 to $9,500 price range on DraftKings in recent tournaments. The Englishman is ranked 14th in the world and has exploded on the European Tour scene in the last 2 years. Hatton is an excellent putter, but can lose confidence in his ball striking from time to time. He closed out 2017 with back to back wins on the Euro Tour. Recently finished in 3rd in a tough field at the WGC-Mexico event. I am slightly concerned about his play on U.S. soil this year. He missed the cut at the Honda and finished a lackluster 69th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Hatton had a dreadful Masters debut last year, shooting 80-78 to miss the cut. He should be a bit more comfortable at Augusta in his second visit. He might be a solid, calculated risk type play at this price point.
Patrick Reed – $7,700:
Reed has made headlines recently, both for his play and his antics. Well known for being a fiery personality on Tour, Reed almost seems to thrive on adversity. After starting the season relatively quiet, he had a chance to win or force a playoff at the Valspar Championship, but a brutal three-putt on the 72nd hole dropped him into 2nd place. The following week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Reed played great golf and finished 7th, but his run in with a rules official grabbed the headlines.
Reed name dropped Jordan Spieth in a disagreement with the official, implying that bigger stars receive preferential treatment from officials. The next week at the WGC-Match Play event, Reed faced Spieth head to head and beat him before fading out later in the event. Reed played his college golf at Augusta St, which makes his struggles at the Masters puzzling. In four career appearances, Reed has two MC’s, a T-22, and a T-49. Patrick is the type of player that people either love or hate. His name has been out there a lot recently which will cause him to draw some ownership, but his course history will turn some people off instantly.
Patrick Cantlay – $7,600:
Cantlay has played excellent golf for the past twelve months. After a prolific amateur career, the 2018 Masters mark his first appearance in a major as a professional. He played the Masters as an amateur in 2012, making the cut and finishing T-47. After some time away from the game, Cantlay fought through adversity to reemerge onto the PGA Tour. He played excellent golf last season and won the Shriners Open in November while finishing 2017 ranked 14th in SG: Tee to Green. Cantlay’s consistent results have continued in 2018, he has played his way up to being ranked #34 in the world. Cantlay is a bit of an unknown at Augusta since he last competed there as an amateur over five years ago, but his solid tee to green game should translate well. His lack of course experience does hurt. DFS regulars have had great success with Cantlay over the past year, I look for him to attract ownership from sharp players.
Matt Kuchar – $7,600:
Death, taxes, and Matt Kuchar. Those are life’s only certainties. Kuchar has been a cut making machine at Augusta National and just about every other venue on the PGA Tour. Since finishing in a tie for 21st in his Masters debut as a smiling amateur out of Georgia Tech back in 1998, Kuch has been a fan favorite on the grounds of Augusta National. His Masters consistency is borderline otherworldly. Matt has only missed one cut in 11 career appearances at the Masters. Since 2010 thru last year, these are Kuchar’s finishes at Augusta: T-24, T-27, T-3, T-8, T-5, T-46, T-24, T-4. See, told you it was otherworldy!
Kuch made a late charge last year with a Sunday 67, but came up short. He then suffered a heartbreaking loss to Jordan Spieth in The Open Championship. Kuchar’s has made the cut in every tournament he’s played in 2018, but I do have to note that we haven’t seen the normal Top 10’s and Top 5’s that we have come to expect from Kuchar, but he did log a T-8 at last week’s Houston Open. His ownership levels will be massive in cash games and tournaments. I expect him to be one of the most popular plays on the board.
Ian Poulter - $7,600:
A late edition to the Masters field, Poulter punched his ticket by winning The Houston Open in a playoff Sunday. After putting the Odyssey putter that he used at the 2012 Ryder Cup back in play, Poulter has been putting with a newfound confidence. His Masters record is one we should take note of: 11 cuts made in 12 career starts with seven Top-25's. Poulter is coming into Augusta on an emotional high and is playing his best golf in years. With his course history and regained putting stroke, Poulter could be a factor in this year's Masters. Recency bias will be a factor in determining his ownership. I expect him to be quite popular.
Xander Schauffele – $7,500:
Xander is an exciting young player that is making his Masters debut this year. He first caught people’s attention at last year’s U.S. Open finishing in a tie for 5th. Schauffele went on to win two PGA Tour events in 2017. He captured the Greenbrier Classic and the season ending Tour Championship, so he has the ability to win tournaments. Xander has a strong tee to green game, but is especially lethal with the driver. He has three straight Top-20 finishes in the most recent tournaments he has played in 2018. The upside is there for him at this price point, but we have seen lots of talented players struggle in their Masters debuts in the past. DFS regulars will probably give Schauffele a long look for $7,500, but I don’t expect the casual entrants to gravitate towards him.
Brian Harman – $7,500:
After losing last year’s U.S. Open in a playoff to Brooks Koepka, Harman was on fire from the end of 2017 through the first few events of 2018. He rattled of five straight Top-5 finishes during this run. Harman has since cooled off a bit, but did finish 5th at the WGC-Mexico event to kick off March. Harmon is an extremely accurate iron player, ranking 2nd in Greens In Regulation % this year. His putter also provides him with a huge advantage, for 2018 he is 8th in SG:Putting. Harman only has one Masters appearance to his credit, a missed cut in 2015. Harman’s game reminds me a lot of Zach Johnson, a former Masters champion. I look for him to have more success in his second Masters attempt.
Daniel Berger – $7,500:
At 24 years old, Berger is another one of the PGA Tour’s young rising stars. Berger already has two PGA Tour victories on his resume, having won back-to-back titles at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2016 & 2017. He has had success in his two Masters appearances, finishing T10 in 2016 and T27 in 2017. Berger is one of those players that just seems to be able to get the ball in the hole. He doesn’t do one thing especially well, but finds ways to consistently score. He has four Top-15’s in his six 2018 tournament appearances. Berger’s solid play and nice history at Augusta National should draw some interest.
Tony Finau – $7,400:
Fast becoming one of the PGA’s most popular young players, Finau has all the tools to be successful for a very long time. He ranks 1st on the PGA Tour in driving distance, but he is not a one trick pony, as he ranks 10th in SG: Tee to Green. Tony’s problems start when he reaches the green…he ranks 139th in SG:Putting in 2018. Finau is the definition of a “boom or bust” GPP play. His talent makes him very tempting at this price point, but the fact that he is making his Masters debut and facing Augusta National’s notoriously slick greens might make some pump the brakes. He is a DFS favorite and has garnered large pockets of ownership at different tournaments over the past year. I look for him to be one of the more popular value plays.
Charl Schwartzel – $7,400:
The South African won the green jacket in 2011 and finished in 3rd at last year’s Masters. His Masters results for the years in between are mediocre at best. Schwartzel has never missed a cut in eight appearances at Augusta. In a bit of odd timing, Schwartzel made an equipment change right before last year’s Open Championship and frankly, he has struggled since switching to PXG clubs. Charl hasn’t cracked the Top-45 in four combined PGA & WGC appearances in 2018 and has only been able to break 70 in one round this year. Despite his poor form, I think some casual DFS players will gravitate towards him due to his past Masters victory and affordable price.
Branden Grace – $7,400:
Grace is another player in the $7,500 price range that is very accomplished. We’ve seen his name pop up on several major championship leaderboards over the last few years, including shooting the first ever 62 in major championship history at The Open Championship last year. Grace is a rock-solid player that is known as a “gamer” that comes to play in big events. His success in other majors makes his Masters history quite puzzling. He had a pedestrian T-27 finish at the Masters last year, but had missed the cut in three straight years prior to 2017. Sometimes, it takes several trips to Augusta National for the course to “click” with players. Perhaps Grace can make a run at the Masters this year like he has in so many other majors.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello – $7,300:
Rafa has had tremendous international success in the past couple of years. He had some success in a major last year, finishing T-4 at the 2017 Open Championship. Cabrera-Bello has had his best results on the European Tour, but has been very solid in the limited PGA schedule that he plays. Made his Masters debut in 2016 finishing T-17,but missed the cut last year with a disappointing 75-77 in his first two rounds. Spanish players have had great success at Augusta National and Rafa definitely has the type of quality, overall game to do well this year. He is playing well and had made 6/6 cuts in 2018 before missing the cut in a head-scratching performance in Houston last week. Sharp DFS players will zero in on Rafa.
Michael Fitzpatrick – $7,300:
I sometimes forget that Fitzpatrick in only 23 years old. It seems like he’s been around much longer. Like a lot of European players, Fitzpatrick has had his greatest success in tournaments held outside the United States. The kid definitely has talent, he has four professional wins in his young career. Fitzpatrick made some noise at Augusta National in 2016 when he fired a final round 67 to finish T-7. He has struggled to keep big numbers off the card at Augusta. In all three of Fitzpatrick’s Masters appearances, he has had at least one round of 76 or worse. His ownership should be low compared to the other players in this price range.
Webb Simpson – $7,300:
Being very short with the driver is not a problem you want to have at Augusta National. Webb ranks 141st in Driving Distance on the PGA Tour. Ever since Augusta was “Tiger Proofed” years ago, its length has been an issue for some players. Simpson’s results since 2012 in the Masters illustrate this problem: T-44, MC, MC, T-28, T-29, MC. In eighteen career rounds at Augusta, Simpson has shot ONE round under 70!
Adam Hadwin – $7,200:
The Canadian gained recognition in 2017 for shooting a 59 and picking up his first PGA Tour win. He has followed up his breakout season by looking very sharp in 2018. Hadwin has made an impressive 8/8 cuts this year, including three Top-10’s. He put forth a decent effort in his Masters debut last year, finishing T-36. Hadwin has limited major championship experience, but is quickly establishing himself as a player to keep an eye on. PGA DFS players are aware of Hadwin’s consistent play and will not be shy about playing him at this price.
Kevin Kisner – $7,200:
After a 2017 season in which Kisner picked up a PGA Tour win and was in contention to win several tournaments, his 2018 has been very disappointing. Kisner had missed 3 out of his last 4 cuts, before recently making an improbable run to the WGC-Match Play final, where he was destroyed by Bubba Watson. Maybe his match play run has “Lit the Kiz”. (Shoutout Tour Junkies!) Kisner has made the cut in both of his trips to Augusta, going T-37 in 2016 and T-43 last year. Kisner is a streaky player and some people might jump on the bandwagon after the match play performance, but I don’t anticipate him drawing much ownership.
Gary Woodland – $7,200:
Woodland ‘s ceiling is elite. When he’s playing well he is one of the top players in the world. However, he can go completely off the rails from time to time. Since showcasing his talent in a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open back in February, Woodland has been M.I.A. This can mostly be chalked up to an ice cold putter his last few times out. Woodland has never really made any noise in the majors. He has missed the cut in his last two trips to Augusta, including disastrous rounds of 75 & 80 last year. He does have upside at this price point, but we haven’t seen him play his best in major championships.
Hao-Tong Li – $7,200:
The 22 year old from China will be making his Masters debut this year. We have seen flashes of Li’s potential, including a brilliant final round 63 at The Open Championship last year and a European Tour win in Dubai this January. Since the win, Li has been struggling with his putter and hasn’t had any success the last few months. Augusta National is historically tough on first-timers, especially those that are having trouble on the greens. The young Chinese phenom has an extremely bright future, but might still be a few years away from making a run at the Masters.
Charley Hoffman – $7,100:
Hoffman is a pro’s pro. He is known as a grinder that can play well in less than optimal conditions. He was the first round leader at last year’s Masters with a beautiful 65 in some brutal winds. Charley actually has a very solid track record at Augusta, going T-27, T-9, T-29, and T-22 in his four appearances. He has gone low a few times, but always seems to follow it up with a big number, like last year’s Sunday 78 that sent him tumbling down the leaderboard. Hoffman has played his usual brand of workman-like golf in 2018 and is flying under the radar heading into this year’s Masters. He is a solid value play.
Shubhankar Sharma – $7,100:
The young 21 year old from India received a special exemption from Augusta National to play in this year’s Masters. Sharma accepted the invitation and will be making his Masters debut after a whirlwind journey over the past 6 months. The previously unknown player has come from nowhere to win two European Tour events since last December. Sharma also recently took a 54-hole lead into the final round of the WGC-Mexico against a field made up of some of the best players in the world. Though he wasn’t able to hang on in Mexico, Sharma caught the eye of Augusta National. The Masters in notoriously tough on rookies, but Sharma has displayed some special qualities the last several months.
Russell Henley – $7,100:
For years, players have prepared themselves for the Augusta National by playing in the Shell Houston Open in the week prior to the Masters. It is the last chance for golfers that haven’t qualified to earn their way into the Masters field. Russell Henley qualified for last year’s Masters by winning at the Shell Houston Open, a course that he has dominated for the last 4 years. The Houston Open is known for having a very similar feel to Augusta National. There has been a correlation of success at the two courses for Henley. After winning in Houston last year, he went on to finish T-11 at Augusta National. After missing the cut in his 2013 Masters debut, Henley went T-31 in 2014 and 21st in 2015. Henley is a very interesting value play. He has played well at Augusta and at the very similar Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament Course. We’ve seen him have some modest success in limited major appearances.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat – $7,100:
The “Barn Rat” has literally been around the world the last couple of months. He has played in tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Malaysia, Europe, America, and Mexico. He is a sharp iron player and has nerves of steel on the greens. After an impressive 5th at the WGC-Mexico, he faltered with a missed cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He was most recently in Austin for the WGC-Match Play. Will all the travel take a toll on Aphibarnrat? Played impressively at Augusta National in his only appearance, finishing T-15 in 2016. It might sound silly, but a lot of people are aware of him due to his unique name. His ownership might be higher than most expect.
Zach Johnson – $7,000:
The 2007 Masters champion has played solid golf in 2018. With the style of golf he plays, Johnson will never be blow people away. Zach is conservative and patient, with an approach game and putter that have been very effective over the years. He has tons of experience at Augusta National, but since finishing T-9 in 2015, he has missed the cut in his last two trips to the Masters. Zach will be a popular play at this price. He is a former Masters winner and DFS players of all types will gravitate toward the “safety” that he provides for $7k.
Ross Fisher – $7,000:
From the fall of 2017 until January of this year, Fisher had an extremely hot stretch that included three 2nd place finishes on the European Tour. The Englishman has since cooled off and struggled in his last three tournaments. Fisher has had a nice career and always played well on the Euro Tour, but has struggled when outside of his comfort zone. He has made 4/5 cuts in Masters appearances, but his best finish by far at Augusta was a T-15 in 2011. Fisher has failed to play well in majors and doesn’t show any signs of breaking that trend this year.
Franceso Molinari – $7,000:
Molinari has long been a go-to value play for PGA DFS regulars. His driver is world class, he currently ranks 5th in SG: Off the Tee. Unfortunately, his putting is Adam Scott-level bad. Molinari is 194th in SG: Putting in 17 measured rounds this year. His Masters record is spotty…he’s made four cuts in six career appearances with a best of T-19 in 2012. Molinari will be a popular value play at this price. It’s easy to wonder “what if” he starts making putts, but Augusta National isn’t usually the place to improve things with the flatstick.
Patton Kizzire – $7,000:
The 32 year old late bloomer has flashed his talent in the past year. Kizzire won two PGA Tour events in a two month span, winning at Mayakoba in November and again against a stacked field at the Sony Open in January. Since his last win, Kizzire hasn’t shown us much except for a 12th at the WGC-Mexico. Kizzire is making his Masters debut, which is often difficult for players. It will be just the fourth major championship appearance of his career.
Ryan Moore – $7,000:
After having one of the greatest seasons in Amateur golf history, Moore has had a very successful professional career with five wins on the PGA Tour. Since his amateur debut at Augusta in 2003, Moore’s best major finishes have come in the Masters. He has made seven cuts in nine appearances at Augusta, with his best finish coming last year, a T-9. Moore has a nice all around game and has two Top-10 finishes in only five starts in 2018. I expect Moore to have high ownership and be an extremely popular “dark horse” pick in cash games and GPPs. He offers a combination of safety and upside that is hard to find in this price range.
Pat Perez – $6,900:
The veteran from California had a great fall in 2017, picking up a PGA Tour win and a Top 5 in back to back weeks. Pat has carried his form into 2018, making 5/5 cuts. Though he’s been a mainstay on the PGA Tour for several years, Perez has only made three Masters appearances in his career. He finished T-18 last year, had a missed cut in 2009, and a T-45 in 2003. He has been known for his quick temper in the past, but seems to be handling the mental side of his game well in the last couple of years
Martin Kaymer – $6,900:
We wouldn’t normally see a player with Kaymer’s pedigree at this price point, but he has been nursing a wrist injury and was forced to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in February after just one round. Kaymer is a two-time major champion, but has a surprisingly poor Masters record, having only made 5/10 cuts at Augusta National. Kaymer did earn his best ever Masters finish last year a T-16. Kaymer attempted to knock the rust off at The Houston Open last week, but missed the cut. Despite the injury and spotty Masters record, Kaymer’s reputation will help garner some ownership at his reduced price.
Kevin Chappell – $6.900:
I have been keeping a close eye on Kevin Chappell for the past few months. He has been playing remarkably consistent golf in 2018 and finished T-7 in the Masters last year. Unfortunately, Chappell was forced to withdraw from the WGC-Match Play event with a back injury. Back injuries are always something to worry about. Backs can tighten up if there are any type of delays during a players round or they can get tweaked during the normal course of play. This is an injury situation that should be closely monitored. I feel that Chappell was trending toward being a very popular DFS play, but players might not be able to play Chappell with confidence due to his back.
Brendan Steele – $6.900:
Brendan “Mr. Consistent” Steele won the Safeway Open on Sunday October 9th 2017…he hasn’t missed a cut since! Steele’s worst finish since his victory was a 49th at the Genesis Open. Steele’s biggest weapon is the driver, he ranks 7th in SG: Off the Tee. He missed the cut in his 2012 Masters debut, but had a nice T-27 last year in his second appearance. One cause for concern is Steele’s putting Augusta National’s tricky greens. He ranks 159th in Overall Putting Average on the PGA Tour. Steele will be a very popular value play. His ownership will substantial.
Bryson DeChambeau – $6.900:
Bryson made his Masters debut as an amateur in 2016 and was very competitive, finishing T-21. DeChambeau immediately after the 2016 Masters and finished T-4 at Hilton Head the very next week. It has been a roller coaster of a career for the young man ever since. After a brutal stretch of eight straight missed cuts in 2017, DeChambeau won his first PGA Title at the John Deere Classic. 2018 has been more of the same for Bryson, he has fought a nagging back injury for the last several weeks. He was forced to withdraw from the Honda Classic,he then attempted to play the Valspar only to WD after a first round 76, which he followed up the very next week by almost winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational before finishing in 2nd. All of these examples are to illustrate that DeChambeau is the true definition of a wild card. Perhaps its due to his scientific approach to golf, but his game is either phenomenal or horrible. There isn’t much middle ground with DeChambeau. He is a volatile value play with GPP winning upside. Perfect play to sprinkle in for someone building multiple lineups.
Cameron Smith: $6,900:
The Aussie was one of the last players to make the Masters field. Smith has played some impressive golf since 2017, including a win at the Australian PGA Championship in November. Smith has a very strong short game that should help him on and around Augusta National's famous greens. In his lone Masters appearance in 2016, Smith made the cut and finished T-55. He provides some nice upside for his $6,900 price tag and could be useful for DFS players making multiple lineups.
Jimmy Walker – $6.900:
Jimmy seemed poised to elevate what had been a journeyman-type career to an elite level after winning his first major at the PGA Championship in 2016. Unfortunately, 2017 became a lost season for Jimmy after suffering with mysterious health issues that eventually revealed to be Lyme’s Disease. Jimmy has been unable to regain his 2016 form, but has shown some signs of improvement this season with an 8th place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach and some solid play at both the Honda Classic and Valspar Championship. Walker has made 4/4 cuts at Augusta National with a T-18 last year and a T-8 in 2014.
Jason Dufner – $6,800:
The Duf has become a fan favorite. He just seems like the kind of guy you could play 18 holes and have a few beers with. While Dufner might seem like an average joe, he has plenty of game. Dufner won his lone major at the 2013 PGA Championship and has been in contention in numerous other PGA’s and U.S. Open’s. His game has never really translated well to Augusta National. His track record at the Masters is mediocre: 5/7 made cuts, with a high Masters finish of T-20 coming in 2013, when Dufner was playing the best golf of his career. His lack of distance off the tee hurts him at Augusta. Dufner is a streaky putter, that can have things turn ugly when he goes cold, as evidenced by final round 79 at the WGC-Mexico in early March. Duf is popular and will be a name that people recognize at $6,800.
Kyle Stanley – $6,800:
Stanley had a tremendous 2017 season that included a win at the Quicken Loans National. His form was aided by his strong tee to green game, he was 11th in SG: Tee to Green and 7th in SG: Off the Tee in 2017. We have seen those measurables take a sharp dip in 2018, as Stanley ranks only 94th in SG: Tee to Green this year. We have also seen some puzzling scheduling decisions from Stanley in 2018. He has elected to skip several tournaments for undisclosed reasons. Stanley has no Masters history to speak of, he recorded a MC in his only appearance in 2012. With his price and overall game, Stanley is an interesting play. I am concerned about a possible nagging injury or issue that might be the reason for the dip in numbers and missed tournaments this year.
Danny Willett – $6,800:
Since winning the 2016 Masters, Willett has been in a downward spiral. It appears that he has completely lost his game both physically and mentally. Despite having exemptions, Willett has only appeared in two majors since winning the Masters. He attempted to retool his game this winter and entered 2018 optimistic, but has again struggled with injury and was forced to WD from the Arnold Palmer Invitational after completing just four holes in the 2nd round. His status is worth watching in the lead up to the tournament, Willett might not be able to compete in the Masters this year.
Bernd Wiesberger – $6,800:
The Austrian has had some success internationally in his career. He also had a nice stretch last summer on American soil, going T-16 at the U.S. Open, T-12 at The Players. Wiesberger has made the cut in all three of his Masters appearances: T-22 in 2015, T-34 in 2016, T-43 in 2017. Wiesberger’s solid history on the European Tour and in WGC events is a plus. He will draw the interest of sharp DFS players.
Austin Cook – $6,700:
The young rookie from Arkansas announced his presence on the PGA Tour in the fall of 2017 with two top 25’s in his first two events as a Tour member and then punctuated those starts by winning the RSM Classic back in November. Cook then followed up the victory with three consecutive Top-25’s to begin 2018. Cook has cooled off a bit playing in tournaments with stronger fields, but he has only missed one cut since turning professional. Cook’s lack of distance off the tee is a concern at Augusta, but he is solid on the greens and is 12th on Tour in Total Putting. The rookie will be making his Masters debut this year.
Si Woo Kim – $6,700:
The South Korean is a 22 year old golf phenom. Kim actually earned his Tour card when he was only 17 years old, but had to wait until he was 18 to play on the Tour. We have witnessed the upside that Kim has over the past couple of years. He won the 2016 Wyndham Championship for his first PGA victory just shortly after turning 21. Last year, he became the youngest player in history to win The Players Championship. Unfortunately, there is a downside to Kim’s youth. He has developed the horrible habit of withdrawing from tournaments early. A pattern developed during the 2017 season: if Kim had a really bad first round, he would pack it in and not even play the second round. He had 6 W/D’s during the 2017 season. His play has been unpredictable when he does stay on the course, Kim will miss several cuts and have bad finishes only to come from nowhere for a Top-10 in his next tournament. He missed the cut in his Masters debut last season. Kim is a boom or bust dart throw. I do believe it is very important for him to get off to a strong start in the first round in order to stay mentally engaged in the tournament.
Wesley Bryan – $6,700:
The former trick shot artist earned a “battleground promotion” to the PGA Tour in 2016 by winning three times on the Web.Com Tour. He had string of very solid play in early 2017 that he capped off by winning the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head. Bryan has really struggled in 2018, missing the cut in his last three tournaments and hasn’t posted a sub-70 round since January. Bryan is a good putter, but ranks a horrible 214th in SG: Off the Tee. He will need to get things figured out quickly if he hopes to make the cut in his first Masters appearance.
Yusaku Miyazato – $6,700:
Miyazato made his way into the Masters by virtue of being inside the Top 50 of The Official World Golf Ranking for 2017. He was dominant on The Japan Golf Tour in 2017, picking up four wins. He is making his Masters debut and comes into Augusta National with limited major championship experience, having only competed in four during his career. Had a T-23 in the 2016 U.S. Open and finished T-60 in 2017. Missed both cuts in two Open Championship appearances. Miyazato has been dominant in his home country, but has struggled when facing stiffer competition.
Fred Couples – $6,700:
“Boom Boom” is beloved at Augusta National. His record at the Master is mindblowing. The Masters champion in 1992, has made 29 cuts in 32 career Masters starts, the 58 year old has finished inside the Top-20 in six of his last seven Masters. Freddy loves Augusta and knows how to play it. Even at 58 years old, he still has the length to compete. Superb striker of the golf ball that battles a balky putter. Couples resides on the Champions Tour, but hasn’t played much golf in 2018. He has had chronic back issues throughout is career, so it would be wise to double check his health status before putting him in your lineup. If fully healthy come tournament time, Couples will be an intriguing value option.
Dylan Frittelli - $6,700:
Frittelli just made the Masters field by being ranked #50 in the World Golf Ranking. The South African burst onto the international golf scene last year. Frittelli had made 14 straight cuts prior to falling short in Houston last week. Frittelli is making his Masters and major championship tournament debut. He is an accurate iron player, which sets up well for Augusta. He is an interesting GPP dart throw at this price.
Billy Horschel – $6,600:
It has been a rough 2018 for “Billy Ho’”. He heads into the Masters in poor form, having missed the cut in three of his last four tournament attempts. Billy’s putter has been ice cold this season, he is ranked 116th in SG: Putting on the PGA Tour in 2018. Horschel is a feast or famine player and it should be noted that he missed four consecutive cuts prior to winning the AT&T Byron Nelson last summer. This will be his fourth Masters appearance, he went T-37 in 2014, MC in 2015, and T-17 in 2016. Horschel is an unpredictable player that might be tempting to some DFS players that are using a “Stars and Scrubs” approach to lineup building.
Ted Potter Jr. – $6,600:
Potter Jr. seemingly came out of nowhere to win the AT&T Pebble Beach in early February. He showed a great deal of moxie in the final round and held off a star-studded leaderboard that included Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Phil Mickelson. The lefty might have used up all his mojo at Pebble, because he hasn’t shown any signs of life since. Potter Jr. has missed four consecutive cuts since winning the AT&T. This will mark his second trip to Augusta, he missed the cut in his 2013 debut.
Yuta Ikeda – $6,600:
Ikeda is a member of The Japan Golf Tour and won three times in 2017. He qualified for the Masters by virtue of being in the Top 50 in The Official World Golf Ranking. Ikeda has 14 major championship appearances under his belt, but has failed to seriously contend outside of Japan. He is 1/3 in cuts made at the Masters.
Jhonattan Vegas – $6,600:
Vegas has proven that he can win on the PGA Tour by taking home the RBC Canadian Open championship in both 2016 & 2017. He hasn’t shown that he can be consistent, even though he is 39th in SG: Tee to Green in 2018. Vegas’ erratic putter causes him to lapse for stretches. Vegas has three Top-20’s and two MC’s in 2018 while sitting at 178th in SG: Putting. He has struggled in two previous trips to Augusta, missing the cut in both 2011 and 2017. Vegas might attract some fantasy attention because of his nice tee to green game, but the slick greens at Augusta National will pose a huge obstacle for him.
Vijay Singh – $6,600:
The “hardest working man in golf” slipped on the coveted green jacket in 2000 and is playing on a past champion’s exemption. Vijay’s Masters win in 2000 kicked off a dominant decade for him at Augusta. From 2002 thru 2006, Singh reeled of five consecutive Top-10’s. Vijay is now 55 and plays on the PGA Champions Tour. He picked up a win at the Toshiba Classic in March. Vijay has dabbled on the regular PGA Tour in 2018 with mixed results, making two cuts in four events. Vijay has missed the cut at Augusta the last two years.
Chez Reavie - $6,600:
Reavie was a late addition to the Masters field. He ended 2017 and began 2018 in blistering fashion, playing the best golf of his career. Reavie's hot start to 2018 included back-to-back 2nd-place finishes at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach. However, Reavie has struggled recently, missing consecutive cuts in his last two starts. He has struggled in three previous starts at the Masters, going 0/3 in cuts made. If this tournament was being held two months ago, Reavie would be interesting, but his recent form makes him a huge gamble.
Joaquin Niemann – $6,500:
The 19-year old from Chile was the #1 ranked amateur golfer in the world when he won the Latin America Amateur Championship earlier this year. The win earned Niemann an invitation to the Masters and forced him to prolong turning pro. Niemann had a taste of professional level golf in 2017. He qualified for the 2017 U.S. Open but missed the cut. He also played as an amateur on a sponsor’s exemption at the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic where he played impressively and finished T-29 against the pros. Masters debuts are tough, but we have seen some amateurs play well at Augusta in the past.
Doc Redman – $6,500:
The Clemson sophomore is the reigning United States Amateur Champion, which earned him an invitation to this years Masters. Doc is known for being extremely tough in the match play format. Redman worked on shortening his swing after the U.S. Amateur win, but his NCAA tournament results have been less than spectacular this season. He recently received an invite to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he made the cut and played very solid golf before fading with a final round 77. This will be his Masters debut.
Doug Ghim – $6,400: This University of Texas Longhorn finished 2nd to Doc Redman in the U.S. Amateur. Ghim received an invitation from Augusta National after reaching the final and will be making his Master debut this year. The former Big 12 Player of the Year also won the Pacific Coast Amateur last year and was a First Team All-American at Texas. Ghim has been a major player on the amateur golf scene for years. He lost the U.S. Public Links Amateur title in heartbreaking fashion in 2014.
Satoshi Kodaira - $6,500:
The youngster from Japan slipped into the Masters field by virtue of his ranking inside the Top 50 last week. He is making his Masters debut. Kodaira has limited experience on U.S. soil and missed the cut in both PGA events he's played this year.
Angel Cabrera – $6,400:
The 2009 Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. Cabrera missed the cut last year, but finished T-22 in 2015 and T-24 in 2016. Cabrera has not played much golf recently, but has not looked sharp the two times he has teed it up in 2018. He withdrew in the middle of his 2nd round at Pebble Beach and missed the cut badly at Corales Puntacana Resort recently. Cabrera is entering this year’s Masters in what appears to be very rusty form, but has a way of finding his game at Augusta National. As recently as 2013 we saw Cabrera finish in an unexpected 2nd in the Masters. Rolling the dice on Cabrera this year is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Bernhard Langer – $6,300:
The two-time Masters champion is playing on a past champion’s exemption. *The 60-year old is arguably the greatest senior player in history *and has 36 PGA Champions Tour victories since joining the senior circuit in 2007, including 7 wins in 2017. Remarkably, Langer has three Top-25’s in the Masters since 2013. He did struggle in windy conditions last year and missed the cut. Langer has not played his best golf in 2018, but finished T-9 in his most recent Champions Tour tournament. Langer has a solid chance of making the cut this year, but does have limited upside against the hugely talented Masters field.
Harry Ellis – $6,300:
The Englishman earned an invitation as the current British Amateur Champion. The Florida State University senior recently defeated Doc Redman in a blowout to claim the Georgia Cup. He participated in The Open Championship last year and missed the cut. His college coach developed both Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger and has worked hard to prepare Ellis for Augusta National. FSU has installed some “Masters specific” elements into their practice facility.
Trevor Immelman – $6,200:
Playing on past champion’s exemption. It has been 10 years since the once promising South African won the Masters in 2008. Immelman is only 38 years old, but he has already shifted his focus to broadcasting golf, rather than playing it. Has missed the cut in his last four trips to Augusta. His last performance of note was a T-15 in 2011.
Yuxin Lin – $6,200:
At just 17 years old, Lin is the youngest competitor in this year’s Masters field. The native of China earned an invitation by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur in October. Lin is a lefty that is long off the tee and plays aggressively. The Chinese prodigy has played two professional events in 2018 on sponsor’s exemptions, but has missed the cut in both.
Sandy Lyle – $6,100:
The 1988 Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. The 60 year old Lyle hasn’t been competitive at Augusta in years.
Matt Parziale – $6,100:
The 31 year old firefighter from Brockton, Mass will be living out his dreams in this year’s Masters. Parziale earned his invitation by winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in October. After kicking around the mini-tours for a couple of years after playing NAIA collegiate golf, Parziale decided to enter the family business and joined the Brockton Fire Dept. He reclaimed his amateur status and has won several amateur tournaments in the northeast. He will have tons of support on the grounds of Augusta National this week.
Ian Woosnam – $6,000:
The 1991 Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. Woosnam has missed nine consecutive cuts at Augusta and is largely a ceremonial figure during Masters week.
Mike Weir – $6,000:
The 2003 Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. The lefty hasn’t been a factor in the Masters in a decade. He has missed the cut in six of the last seven years.
Jose Maria Olazabal – $6,000:
The two-time Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. Olazabal has battled arthritis for the past few years. He has played a light schedule on the PGA Champions Tour since 2017. The Spaniard has only made two cuts in his last eight trips to Augusta.
Mark O’Meara – $6,000:
The 1998 Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. O’Meara has only managed to make one Masters cut since 2006.
Larry Mize – $6,000:
The 1987 Masters winner is playing on a past champion’s exemption. The 59 year old Augusta native has surprisingly made two consecutive cuts in the last two years. He isn’t relevant for fantasy purposes, but is always a fan favorite in his hometown.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson played a practice round together Tuesday at Augusta National. The former Masters champions were joined by Fred Couples and Thomas Pieters. Tiger and Phil have had a well-known "frosty" relationship over the years, so these two voluntarily practicing together comes as a big surprise to those in the golf world. We've heard stories of the "kinder, gentler" Woods in the last couple of months. These two pairing up for a practice round is certainly something we have never seen in the past.
Michael Fitzpatrick has played well at Augusta National the last two years but has been plagued by a big number on his score card each year. Fitzpatrick overcame a second-round 76 in 2016 to finish tied for seventh and also blew up in last year’s second round with a 78. If Fitz can avoid these rounds with huge numbers, he could find himself in the mix at this year’s Masters. Fitzpatrick has missed the cut in his last two PGA tournaments and is only a contrarian play for fantasy purposes.
Since the Masters Tournament Committee lengthened the course in 2001 and again in 2005, it is crucial to have distance off the tee at Augusta National. Webb Simpson is currently ranked 130th on the PGA Tour in driving distance. This lack of length off the tee has hurt Simpson at the Masters, as he's missed three out of six cuts since 2012. The 2012 U.S. Open champion has two top-fives on the PGA Tour in 2018 and is priced at $7,300 on DraftKings.
Branden Grace has popped up on several major championship leaderboards the past few years, but his results in the Masters have been mixed. Prior to finishing in a tie for 27th last year, Grace had missed three consecutive cuts at Augusta National. Grace might finally have the course figured out and is in good form heading into this year's Masters, having made seven consecutive cuts with two top-10 finishes in 2018. His price on DraftKings is a very playable $7,400.
Daniel Berger isn’t a player that many people are talking about this week, but he is quietly playing amazing golf. Berger has logged five top-20s in 2018 and only missed one cut all year. His Masters record is solid; a T10 in 2016 and T27 in 2017. Berger is flying under the radar when compared to all the stars we will be hearing about in the lead-up to the Masters. Get him in your DraftKings lineups for $7,500.
Since winning the Safeway Open in October of 2017, Brendan Steele has made seven consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour. The driver is Steele’s weapon of choice; he ranks seventh in strokes gained off the tee in 2018. Solid tee-to-green play is his hallmark and he has been impressive this year. Steele has struggled with the putter throughout his career, but he did figure out Augusta National’s greens last year to finish tied for 27th in the 2017 Masters. Look for Steele to continue his consistent play this week and reward DFS players that take advantage of his cheap $6,900 DraftKings price tag.
Ross Fisher has struggled in his last two tournament appearances, badly missing the cut at the Valspar Championship and failing to get out of pool play at the WGC-Dell Match Play event. Fisher has had a nice career on the European Tour but has been unable to find success in the United States. He finished tied for 41st at the Masters in 2017. Not much is expected of the Englishman at Augusta National this week.
The long-hitting phenom Tony Finau will make his Masters debut this week. Finau has tons of talent and almost unlimited potential. His ability off the tee should serve him well at Augusta National. Finau ranks first on the PGA Tour in driving distance, averaging 321.1 yards off the tee. His struggles on the greens are the only thing holding him back, as he ranks 133rd in strokes gained putting. With two top-10s already in 2018, Finau offers plenty of upside for his $7,400 DraftKings price tag.
Patrick Cantlay heads to Augusta National this week to compete in his second Masters. Cantlay enters the week without much fanfare but is quietly playing very solid golf. Since a win at the Shriners to close out 2017, Cantlay has made the cut in every tournament he’s played in in 2018. He made the cut in his only Masters appearance in 2012. Cantlay has a very reasonable $7,600 price tag on DraftKings and is a nice sleeper play.
Ian Poulter won the Houston Open Sunday with a sudden-death playoff victory over Beau Hossler. The victory gives Poulter the last invite into the Masters this week. Since dusting off the Odyssey putter he used in the 2012 Ryder Cup two weeks ago, Poulter has been on fire. Poulter has an impressive history in the Masters, making 11 cuts in 12 career starts, with seven top-25s. He was a late addition to the DraftKings player pool and is priced at a reasonable $7,400. The Englishman is a nice value play and could make some noise at Augusta National this week.
Kevin Chappell was forced to withdraw in the third round of the WGC Match Play event on March 23. The severity of the injury is unknown. Chappell has played very solid golf this year, making the cut in every tournament he's played in in 2018. He played well in the 2017 Masters, finishing tied for seventh. DFS players should pay close attention to Chappell's injury status in the days leading up to the Masters. We will continue to monitor the situation.