FanDuel is offering a unique simulation of what was supposed to be golf's first major of the season
Masters week usually comes with all kinds of positive emojis attached, but unfortunately, it's a disappointing vibe this week. The good news is that the Masters Tournament has been rescheduled for November. So that this is something to definitely look forward to. In the meantime, we are stuck with a Masters Tournament DFS Simulation on FanDuel for this week.
And to be frank, the Masters simulation on FanDuel is kind of dumb. I like the idea in the abstract of past champions like Sam Snead, Walter Hagan, and Johnny Miller being simulated. But they played the Masters Tournament during a different time when it was a very different game. It's like Bjorn Borg and his wooden tennis racket against Roger Federer's 143 MPH serve. And don't get me started on the inclusion of fictional characters like Judge Smalls or Happy Gilmore. At least for last's week FanDuel simulation of THE PLAYERS Championship we could guess some of the potential stats and weights that went into the algorithm. But you tell me what variables are going to go into the simulation for fictional characters?
Therefore, I will not be including any fictional characters in my recommendations. They could be great value plays, they could be total duds. I'm also going to stay away from real-life athletes that FanDuel has included like Tony Romo and Steph Curry. They're just not worth it. But you know what is worth it? The cost to play is $0 with the chance to win up to $500 bonus cash. Therefore, I can promise you I will be playing the FanDuel Masters Tournament DFS Simulation and here are some of the options I will be rostering.
Like last week, I'm going to break my picks up by salary bands, starting with the lowest first.
FanDuel Masters Tournament DFS Simulation Picks
$7K to $8K Recommendation: Jordan Spieth ($7,600)
Spieth is off to a quiet start to his season, but he's doing better than most people realize. He is currently ranked 56th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Unfortunately, his meltdowns in the 2016 and '17 Masters might be as legendary as his win at Augusta in '15. But he rebounded to third in 2018 and a solid T-21 last year despite an otherwise down season. Something tells me he finishes in the top 25 in the simulation and that's a steal at $7,600.
$8K to $9K Recommendation: Collin Morikawa ($8,400)
I thought Morikawa was underpriced last week for THE PLAYERS Championship simulation when he was priced at $9,200. Now at $800 less, he's even more of a steal as obviously nothing has changed between this week and last. He has not missed a cut in 11 straight tournaments. He's currently eighth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. And don't forget, he was tied for seventh place after shooting a four-under 68 in the first round of THE PLAYERS before it was canceled!
$9K to $10K Recommendation: Rickie Fowler ($9,200)
First Morikawa was at $9,200 last week and now Fowler is $9,200. Guess FanDuel likes putting underpriced players at $9,200 because this is a bargain for Fowler. He is 27th in the world, thanks in part to currently ranking 38th on the PGA Tour in Shots Gained Total. Even more impressive is Fowler's record at the Masters over the last three years. The worst of his last three appearances at Augusta National during this span was a T-11 in 2017. He was the runner-up to Patrick Reed in 2018 and finished tied for ninth last year. Given his recent success, I would be shocked if the simulation doesn't reward him with at least a top-25 finish. And at $9,200, that's well worth the cost.
$10K to $11K Recommendation: Tony Finau ($10,100)
Despite being 16th in the OWGR, Finau is another golfer whose season so far feels disappointing. But what I love about Finau is that he is like a poor man's Brooks Koepka, someone who seems to elevate his game for the majors. With a T-10 in 2018 and a T-5 last year at Augusta, Finau offers tons of upside. He's a tee-to-green specialist (7th on the PGA Tour), who I love as a pivot down from Patrick Reed ($10,700) and Matthew Kuchar ($10,300).
$11K to $12K Recommendation: Jack Nicklaus ($11,900)
I'm not sure how the simulation is going to treat the legends so I'm generally staying away from them. However, I'm willing to make an exception for Nicklaus. The Golden Bear has won the Masters a record six times including his first in '63 and then amazingly claiming the green jacket in '86! So even if the simulation balances career peaks with lesser years, Nicklaus remains a strong contender. Of course, Nicklaus also has 12 other major titles to his name. Tiger Woods has always said that Jack's record is the one he wants to break. Even Tiger is not as good as Nicklaus is at Augusta. If you don't have at least one share of Nicklaus in your five free entries you are either far craftier than the rest of us or far dumber than most of us. Good chance it's the latter.
Good luck this week!
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.
(Top photo courtesy of masters.com)