We are heading into 2018 with some high hopes for a lot of talented players, including, Tiger. After the Hero, people were excited to see what's next for him. It does sound like he is committed to play the Genesis Open and wants to prepare his body for the 4 majors. I'm excited to see him back and you can bet that when he's playing, I'm all in.
For other players to watch for 2018, would be Xander and Austin Cook. Xander won the Tour Championship to clinch the Rookie of the Year and Cook already won the RSM classic for his rookie campaign. I will be playing a lot of Xander and Cook this season. They're very consistent ball strikers and I can see both having a good run towards the Tour Championship this season.
Lastly, I must mention some new fathers for 2018. Keegan Bradley and Patrick Reed both became new dads very recently, so look for them to be on a heater for the first half of the season. Like I've been saying this past season, there seems to be a hidden gear for new dads to start performing well because suddenly, they have something to play for, i.e.: “I need money" type of attitude. It won't be a surprise to see both win this season. They will be good gpp plays.
We are headed to Kapalua, Hawaii playing at the Plantation Course. It's 7,452 yards long and a par 73. It's unique because being a Par 73, it still only has 4 par 5's. With that, I'm going to focus on Par 4 scoring; Strokes Gained: Off the Tee; Strokes Gained: Approach the Green; Strokes Gained: Around the Green; and guys who can make birdies in the last 24 rounds played.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,800) – Matsu is coming off one of his best seasons last year and it looks he's just getting things started for 2018. In his last 3 events, he finished in the top 5 twice and in the 2 times that he's played here, he finished 2nd and 3rd. He's 2nd in the field for Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and 9th in the field for Strokes Gained: Around the Green.
Pat Perez ($8,000) – A lot of people have hype up Perez after a win a few top 10s and has already won for 2018 at the CIMB Classic and a 5th place finish at the CJ Cup. Being only $8,000 and finishing 3rd here last year, he'll be a fine cash option this week. For stats, he's 4th in the field for Par 4 scoring; 7th in the field for Around the Green; 10th in the field for making birdies.
Brendan Steele ($7,400) – Surprise! Surprise! I'm back with Steele! He was so consistent last year and with a win already for 2018 at the Safeway Open and finishing 13th at the CIMB Classic, there's no reason to fade him for this week. He's only $7,400 and after finishing here for a T6 last year, he'll be a lock for both cash and gpps. He's 5th in the field for Off the Tee and 10th in the field for Approach the Green.
Justin Thomas ($11,100) – I think both Spieth and Thomas are both excellent plays. I'm going with the ownership play on this. Thomas is more expensive and dfs players tend to not play the defending champions. So, I believe Spieth will be more popular. For stats, Thomas is 1st in the field for Approach the Green; 2nd in the field for Par 4 scoring and 4th in the field for making birdies.
Austin Cook ($7,100) – Being a popular name already among the DFS community, cook is just too cheap to pass up. Yes, he is a rookie, however, he's already won and has perform well in the past on the Tour. In the last 24 rounds he's 5th in the field for Around the Green and 9th in the field for making birdies.
Cash Games: For cash, I love to play mostly head to heads (h2hs) and double ups that have a smaller field (not the giant $5 double up). I usually will only make 1 or 2 lineups for cash which will give you the most leverage come the weekend, especially if you have 6/6.
3 entry max gpps: For these tournaments, I would recommend picking 2 or 3 players who you like the most and rotate them around your 3 lineups. I believe having around 8-10 players will be a nice pool for this type of gpp.
20 max gpps: For the tournaments that are $4 and less, you will have a max of 20 lineups at your disposal. In these gpps, I recommend have a core of 3-5 players around 40-45%. Those are the players that you feel most comfortable with and want to be over-weight regarding to the public. For the rest of your pool, having about 15-18 players total seems to be the right amount for this type of gpp.
This way, if your core hits, then you will have a good chance of having a nice payday! Which, at the end, is what we're all trying to achieve!
Good luck everyone!