DraftKings Picks and Sleepers for the 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open
TPC Scottsdale in Arizona is the host of the next stop of the PGA Tour, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. This event boasts the wildest spectator gallery of the year, (in)famous known for its party atmosphere on the 16th hole, a 163-yard Par 3 which is dubbed the loudest hole in golf. You might recall Harold Varner's long birdie (and dab) on the 16th last year which sent the grandstand into a frenzy.
TPC Scottsdale plays as a Par 71 and plays roughly 7,260 yards. Although there are only three Par 5s this week, Par 5 scoring will be key, especially on DraftKings where you need golfers who can make birdies and eagles to win a big contest.
This course closes with four great finishing holes, setting up for what should be another exciting finish on the PGA Tour this week.
Key Stats: Par 5 Scoring, Par 4 Scoring, BoB% (Birdie or Better), Scrambling, Approaches 175-200 yards.
DraftKings Waste Management Top-Tier Plays
Jon Rahm ($9,700)
This will go down as Rahm Chalk Week. By chalk, we mean he will likely be the highest owned player on DraftKings, especially coming off the win at the Farmers Insurance Open last week.
While some will argue that you should fade chalky plays to win high-entry GPPs, we don't think this is the week. Rahm played the Waste Management in 2015 as an amateur and placed fifth. It was a great showing, but it came as no surprise as Rahm attended Arizona State University just 10 miles down the road from TPC Scottsdale.
Rahm was a very decorated amateur golfer and his success translated very quickly onto the PGA Tour. Rahm turned pro in 2016 after the US Open and placed third in the Quicken Loans National, second in the RBC Canadian Open, and 14th at the John Deere Classic to secure his 2017 PGA Card. Within his first five events this season, Rahm notched his first PGA Tour win as well as two top 15s.
Rahm doesn't have a lot of stats on the PGA Tour as he only logged 30 rounds last season and 16 this season. But in his short time we learned he is a great ball striker and makes a lot of birdies (averaging a birdie every 5.19 holes). The Spaniard also dominates Par 4s with a 3.89 scoring average, ranking 13th this season. Rahm is one of our top ranked golfers in our projections model at The Fantasy Fanatics and he will look to continue on his great short success.
Brooks Koepka ($9,100)
Koepka won his first PGA Tour title at this event in 2015, so he immediately checks the course history box. After taking close to two months off from the PGA Tour, he returned last week at the Farmers where he missed the cut by one stroke. Last year's winner in Phoenix, Hideki Matsuyama, did the exact same thing. Matsuyama took off from the PGA Tour after the Hero World Challenge and returned for the Farmers where he missed the cut. He won the following week at the WMPO. Now, we know this probably means nothing, but it's still worth noting.
Koepka ranked in the top 30 in most of our key stats from last season. He ranked 28th in Par 5 scoring, 4th in Par 4 scoring, 5th in BoB%, and 8th in approaches 175-200 yards. Pairing Koepka with Rahm is a great way to begin your lineups as both are priced well below where they should be.
DraftKings Waste Management Value Picks
Phil Mickelson ($8,400)
Phil Mickelson was recently quoted saying his swing is much better along than where he thought it would be after two offseason surgeries. In his first event in three months, Phil placed 21st at the CareerBuilder Challenge and followed that up with a 14th last week at the Farmers. Phil has placed in the top 25 in all three of his tournament this season and he has a win and an 11th in the last four years at the Waste Management. Lefty one-upped Koepka in our key stat metrics for this week, ranking in the top 20 in almost all of our key stats last season. He ranked 17th in Par 5 scoring, 8th in BoB%, 4th in scrambling, and 14th in approaches 175-200 yards. He is in great form to start his 2017 and will look to keep the momentum up this week.
Brendan Steele ($8,200)
Steele is having a great start to his 2017 season. He is coming off three straight top 20s, including two sixth-place finishes. Steele also has great success at the WMPO. In the last five years, his worst finish was 26th while recording a pair of sixth-place finishes along with a fifth. Steele has never been a blow-you-away stats guy but somehow he finds a way to get that tiny white ball into the darkness. He did rank 13th in Par 5 scoring and 25th in GIR last season.
Steele is another great value at his price tag this week. Like Phil, he will look to build off the momentum to open his 2017 season.
Patrick Reed ($8,900)
Reed is coming off a 12th-place finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge and a sixth-place finish in the Tournament of Champions. He has played the WMPO twice in his short career and finished 40th (2015) and 19th (2014).
Reed ranked 18th in BoB% last season and 10th in Par 5 scoring. He was below average in GIR but made up for it with his great short game which ranked eighth on tour. Reed has the game to win in Phoenix and if he can strike his irons like he did two tournaments ago, you will see him in contention on Sunday.
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