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2019 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Predictions & Expert Golf Picks

Rory McIlroy: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP fantasy golf picks

Rory McIlroy: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP fantasy golf picks

The 2019 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is set for Oct. 24-27 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan. That means it's time to pick your optimal DraftKings fantasy golf lineup. Fortunately, our fantasy golf experts are ready to help.

Here's what our best 2019 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP lineup looks like in this week's golfer predictions:

Rory McIlroy ($11,500)

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We're very tempted not to overthink this and to just go with the hottest golfer on the planet, Justin Thomas. But what kind of fantasy player would we be if we didn't overthink things now and again? Rory knocked the rust off at The Challenge: Japan Skins — and judging from the quality of the golf, all four players had been left out in the rain overnight — but he also got a nice sneak preview of Accordia Golf Narashino CC in a competitive environment (and a take-home check of $60K for a day's work). Since the FedEx St. Jude, McIlroy's worldwide finishes look like this: T4, T6, T19, 1, T2, T9, T26. Also, don't discount the motivation that comes with last week's diss from Brooks Koepka, who cited Rory's major drought in dismissing any talk of a rivalry between the two. Brooks isn't here, but the chance for a statement win is. One final nugget: The par 3s will be critical this week, and Rory was first on Tour in proximity from 175-200 yards in 2018-19.

Tony Finau ($9,200)

Finau just keeps doing everything except winning. He has five top 10s in his last nine outings, including a T9 at the Shriners a few weeks ago where he shot a career-best 62 in the third round. This is not a bomber's track — only three par 5s — but like Rory, Finau is capable of feasting on the par 3s; he was 10th on Tour last season in approaches from 175-200 yards, and 27th in par-3 scoring.

Ryan Moore ($7,800)

Moore doesn't contend as often as he should given his talent and his phenomenal amateur career, but a glance at the numbers reveals a well-rounded game. He was in the top 30 on Tour last season in SG: Approach the Green, SG: Tee-to-Green and SG: Total. He comes in playing well, with a T13 at the Shriners and a T8 at the CJ Cup this past weekend. His accuracy off the tee — he was second in driving accuracy last season — will serve him well at a tactician's track.

Ian Poulter ($7,500)

Poults is no doubt already thinking about a couple of events next year: the 2020 Ryder Cup, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, partisan affairs that stir his competitive juices. His prep started last week with a tidy T16 at the CJ Cup. The limited-field no-cut money grabs seem to bring out his best; he has 14 career top 10s at WGC events, including T3 at the WCG-Mexico and 8th at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude in 2019.

Rory Sabbatini ($7,100)

The Tour's other Rory has had a resurgent 2019. Since falling to a low of 486 in the World Golf Ranking at the end of 2016, Sabbatini has risen to 69th on the strength of eight top-16 finishes since April. We keep hammering the par 3s this week, but they take on more importance on a par-70 course, and Sabbatini was 7th on Tour in par-3 scoring last season.

Ryan Palmer ($6,900)

In eight rounds so far in this young season, Palmer has yet to shoot worse than 70. He's coming off a nice T12 at the CJ Cup, and he tends to play some of his best golf in the fall months (he had finishes of T3 and T7 in Oct.-Nov. last year). Here's a surprising stat: Palmer was first on Tour last season in final-round scoring average (68.38). More good news — there's no cut this week, so he's sure to be playing on Sunday.