The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP is set for Oct. 21-24 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 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP lineup looks like in this week's golfer predictions:
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,300)
Japan's pre-eminent golfer will be competing on home soil in front of his golf-obsessed countrymen (and equally obsessive golf journalists). No pressure there. The reigning Masters champion capably carried the hopes of a nation in becoming Japan's first-ever major champion, and he also showed no performance anxiety in front of the home crowd with a runner-up finish to Tiger Woods at the 2019 ZOZO. We expect Matsuyama to rise to the occasion again this week.
Rickie Fowler ($9,800)
Call it recency bias, but we'd like to think that Rickie found something in the town of Lost Wages, where his T3 at the CJ CUP in a stacked field this past weekend was his best showing since his last win almost three years ago. His ball striking was impeccable; he led the field in SG: Off the Tee and SG: Tee to Green for the week. Golf needs a competitive Rickie — he's likable, marketable and undeniably talented, and his emergence from the golf wilderness would be a welcome development.
Ryan Palmer ($8,300)
At this point in his career, Palmer is what he is — a capable mid-pack golfer capable of the occasional top 10. Like his T4 at the ZOZO in 2020 at Sherwood and his T10 at the 2019 ZOZO in Japan, where he shot four rounds in the 60s. His positive history at this event gives him a leg up over his fellow mid-packers.
Chris Kirk ($8,100)
Kirk's an easy guy to root for after waging a courageous and largely successful battle against his demons. He's playing a competitive brand of golf after a period of disinterest in the game brought on by alcoholism and mental health issues, posting more top 25s (9) than missed cuts (7) in the 2020-21 season. He's coming off a solid T14 at THE CJ CUP, shooting four rounds of 68 or better.
Troy Merritt ($6,900)
The 35-year-old journeyman flashed in 2021 with four top 10s, including a T2 at the Rocket Mortgage, and he finished T16 at the Fortinet in his most recent showing. At this price, you roll the dice and take what you can get, and you can do worse than a two-time PGA Tour winner.
Jimmy Walker ($6,600)
Walker once looked like one of the game's rising stars, but the 2016 PGA Champion has seen his game fall off a cliff in recent years, falling as low as 536th in the World Ranking. He's unlikely to return to his 2015-16 heights, but if you don't expect too much, you won't be disappointed; Walker has two top 25s in his last three outings.