2020 NFL Mock Draft (Round 1)

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Let’s stop overthinking this. Joe Burrow is not only coming off of one of the best seasons by a QB in college history, but his roots trace back to the state of Ohio. The Dolphins might possess the draft capital to get a deal done, but it’s nothing more than a pipe dream.

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, Edge Rusher, Ohio State

Washington’s decision seems like a foregone conclusion. It is too early to move on from Dwayne Haskins after using your 15th pick on him last season, and it doesn’t hurt matters that Chase Young appears to be a generational talent off the edge. There really isn’t much to think about here; Young will be the selection.

3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Conventional wisdom would typically point towards this being a prime spot for the Lions to be able to trade down in the draft and still acquire either CB Jeff Okudah or DT Derrick Brown. Unfortunately, a weak QB class significantly dampens the potential that Detroit can pull off a deal in a year that is going to have its fair share of issues with teams forced to select their picks virtually. I don’t think it is out of the question that Miami moves up a pick or two to prevent the Chargers from leapfrogging them at either three or four, but I think the cost ends up not being worth the price of admission for anyone involved. Detroit’s staff can’t afford another losing season, which makes it challenging to trade too far down the board, place the Lions in a position where they must grab the player who can help them win right away. I believe that to be Okudah over Brown.

4. New York Giants – Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa

If we have learned anything from the New York Giants, it is to expect the unexpected. That narrative is going to drive many to believe that general manager Dave Gettleman is going to have a shocking pick in store for us on draft night, but it is essential to look at his previous two opening-round selections before jumping to that conclusion Yes, RB Saquon Barkley at the 1.02 in 2018 and QB Daniel Jones at the 1.06 in 2019 might not have been what fans wanted, but it does tell me that the Giants are placing a heavy emphasis on the offensive end of the football. While Isaiah Simmons is a do-it-all savant on the defensive side of the ball, the team needs someone that can not only keep Jones upright but also open up running lanes for Barkley. Tristan Wirfs might be the most athletic tackle in a class that is deep at the position, and I think that level of skill will catch the eye of the Giants.

5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

From a personal standpoint, I don’t think Miami has to select a quarterback here. Isaiah Simmons makes a lot of sense for a team that is loaded with draft capital over the course of the seven rounds, and there is always a chance that we see either Tua Tagovailoa or Jordan Love still available for Miami’s 18th pick, but the issue is that I am not sure that mentality will be seen the same way by fans. There will already be some scrutiny thrown the direction of the Dolphins if they pass on Tagovailoa at five and going anything other than quarterback might be enough to cause a complete meltdown of the fanbase.

*** Reports have come out that Miami does not have Justin Herbert in their plans and will instead decide between Tua Tagovailoa and Andrew Thomas. Those rumors may very well be accurate, but it feels like a drastic stance to take in the final few hours and could be nothing more than an attempt to bait Los Angeles into moving up in the draft to grab Tagovailoa themselves. While it doesn’t seem like it would accomplish much on the surface, it does give the team a built-in excuse for why they had to settle on Herbert and potentially could net them a trade partner if a team like the Chargers or Cleveland Browns want to move up to grab their man. I’m going to stick with Herbert at 5, but it is a situation worth monitoring.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

Tom Telesco runs a tight ship as the general manager for the Chargers. You aren’t going to get much insight into what way the team is leaning, but I don’t think it is farfetched to believe the organization bypasses on quarterback if given the option. NFL teams haven’t been able to run a physical of their own on the former Bama quarterback, which leaves me to believe that he is going to experience a slide on draft night. Once again, Isaiah Simmons is an option on the defensive end, but is it too much of the same thing with what they already have on defense with Derwin James? I’m going to say yes, leading me to believe that they will attempt to bolster up the offensive line with Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills or Mekhi Becton.

7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, Defensive Player, Clemson

It is difficult to label a position for Isaiah Simmons. He has played strong safety, cornerback, both inside and outside linebacker and it seems likely that he will transition to the NFL as a hybrid safety/linebacker/edge player. Position-less prospects sometimes can scare off teams because they aren’t sure how to use them in their system, but Simmons is as versatile and talented of a player as we have seen in years. The Panthers most likely have their eyes on DT Derrick Brown but would have to think twice about passing on Simmons if he slips to seven.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

Offensive line is going to be a popular position most will take when mocking out who the Cardinals will select with the eighth pick in the draft. While I do believe a player like Jedrick Wills is firmly an option in most scenarios, I find it difficult to imagine we would see Arizona bypass selecting Derrick Brown, who would step in and be the anchor for the defensive line on day one

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Many believe CJ Henderson is the best CB in this year’s draft. That general belief should be all the Jaguars needed to hear to realize the Florida corner won’t be available for them at pick number 20. There are teams like the Atlanta Falcons that could take an aggressive stance to try and get themselves into the top 10 for either Okudah or Henderson, but it is challenging to see where that opening will come with the way the board has played itself out so far.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Cleveland Browns) – CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

It seems likely that the Cleveland Browns are eyeing a left tackle in this year’s draft, and if the Chargers do decide to take LT Andrew Thomas at six, things open up for the cards to be shuffled for the first time on the night. There have been rumors circulating for the last week that the Eagles are “aggressively pursuing” trading up for Lamb, and this might be their last chance to jump the teams ahead of them to land their man.

11. New York Jets – Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

It would be considered a moderate surprise to see Jedrick Wills drop out of the top 10, but it does seem possible with the way the board is set up in front of the New York Jets. Wills allowed only one sack in his college career and would provide much-needed help if Sam Darnold wants to stop seeing ghosts.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Henry Ruggs is more than a burner and has the ability to transform into a Tyreek Hill sort of player for whatever team drafts him. Reports are that head coach Jon Gruden is enamored with the speedster out of Alabama and may try to mimic what the Chiefs have in Hill. It would be a bit of an upset to see Ruggs go ahead of Jeudy, but it is well within the range of possibilities.

13. Atlanta Falcons (Via San Francisco 49ers) – Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina

The Niners are running a masterclass on how to manipulate a draft. It feels as if they have been linked to every player around this range, which should allow them to acquire a little extra value at the end of the day. If the Falcons whiff on getting themselves into the top 10, Javon Kinlaw should be their last go-to choice.

*** I do believe San Francisco might stay put if Henry Ruggs falls to them at 13. Ruggs would be a dynamic playmaker to pair next to Deebo Samuel.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville

Mekhi Becton’s flagged drug test might cause a slight slippage to occur on draft night. If that does end up being the case, Tom Brady and company would land a mountain of a man at the 14th selection. Becton measured in at 6-foot-7 and 364 pounds while running a 5.1 40-yard dash. Tampa needs help in protecting their newly acquired asset, and Becton would be an ideal fit.

15. Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Some believe the Broncos are prime candidates to move up in the first round to grab one of the big-three WRs, but if things play out in this manner, they will be able to stand pat and potentially land the best WR in the class at no extra cost.

16. New England Patriots (Via San Francisco 49ers) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Originally slated to be the selection of the Atlanta Falcons, the Niners move back for the second time in four picks – this time working out a deal with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Predicting trades can be difficult, but we do know that John Lynch and company will be doing everything in their power to add to their measly two selections in the first 155 picks. Belichick gave San Francisco Jimmy Garoppolo for what was considered to be pennies on the dollar in 2017, and don’t be surprised if the two sides are able to work out another deal that can help both organizations.

17. Dallas Cowboys – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge Rusher, LSU

The loss of Byron Jones and Jeff Heath has thinned out Dallas’ secondary, but the Cowboys remain stubborn with their attitude of not selecting a safety in the first round, settling on edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson out of LSU. Chaisson might be viewed as a disappointment to some Cowboys fans, but he is the perfect fit for their defense.

18. Miami Dolphins – Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama

I am not sure the options of Xavier McKinney or Joshua Jones will make Dolphins fans feel better after losing Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick, but both are options and firmly in play with the 18th pick. If Miami plays their cards right, they have a chance to walk away with both, and I believe selecting McKinney first gives them their best chance of doing that.

19. Las Vegas Raiders – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Raiders would prefer to trade back to gain extra selections in this year’s draft, but assuming they are unable to do so, Mike Mayock has never been afraid to reach for a guy he likes. Terrell is shooting up draft boards, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Las Vegas grab a corner that could bolster their secondary for years to come.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

With the way the board is currently set, the Jaguars would have a few ways to go about this selection. A.J. Epenesa of Iowa and Yetur Gross-Matos of Penn State are both in play as replacement options with the Yannick Ngakoue situation in mind, as is Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson, who could be an intriguing addition to a squad that needs help for Gardner Minshew. Frankly, the Jaguars need pieces across the table, making what they will do a complete shot in the dark. I lean towards Jefferson after the team just released Marqise Lee, but all options are in play.

21. Cleveland Browns (Via Philadelphia Eagles) – Ezra Cleveland, Offensive Tackle, Boise State

Ezra Cleveland to the Cleveland Browns?! It sounds like a match made in heaven. As noted for Philadelphia’s selection at number 10, the Browns are in the market for a left tackle, and Cleveland is the player they will have in mind if they trade out of the 10th pick.

22. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Enter one of the disaster situations for the Minnesota Vikings. Justin Jefferson looks like a surefire choice for the Vikings if he falls to 22, but their man won’t be on the board for the selection this time around. Jeff Gladney, Jaylon Johnson and Kristian Fulton are all options that can help fill a void at cornerback, but Gladney seems like the best stylastic fit.

23. San Francisco 49ers (Via Patriots)  – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The 49ers have been left with an intriguing board after moving down multiple times to the 23rd pick. Is CB the biggest need for San Francisco this season? Probably not. But with Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon all dealing with expiring contracts in 2021, either Kristian Fulton or Trevon Diggs would make sense as potential replacements. There have been some reports that the Niners have Fulton in play if they stay pat with the 13th pick, but Diggs feels like a more natural selection for Robert Saleh’s defense because of his size. In reality, I could keep trading these picks back for the Niners, but it becomes redundant after a certain point.

24. New Orleans Saints – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

I really did want to mock Jordan Love to the New Orleans Saints, but I think it is going to take head coach Sean Payton falling in love with the Utah State QB to pass on a pressing need. I find it hard to believe Payton would use a valuable selection on a quarterback when 1. Taysom Hill is a fascinating-but-unproven backup and 2. With no second-round pick, it feels like a waste of a resource when you are trying to win a Super Bowl in what could be Drew Brees’ final season. Both Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray fit the system and would give the team athletic linebackers who can not only drop back in coverage but also blitz or roam the sidelines. Murray seems like more of the prototypical selection the Saints would make, but the intrigue of selecting an LSU Tiger in the first round has to be something worth considering for a team that has never been able to call one of their own on opening day.

25. Minnesota Vikings – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

I think it is important for the Vikings to leave the first round with a WR to help replace Stefon Diggs. Assuming they don’t get that at 22 with Justin Jefferson, they should have a handful of options that include but aren’t limited to the likes of in Denzel Mims, Brandon Aiyuk or Jalen Reagor. Perhaps no wideout has helped himself more since the end of the season than Mims, who several teams grade as a top-25 caliber prospect.

26. Miami Dolphins – Joshua Jones, Offensive Tackle, Houston

The situation plays itself out perfectly for the Dolphins, who are able to land Xavier McKinney at 18 and still get Josh Jones at 26. Jones logged four seasons as the starting left tackle at Houston and has an ideal frame at 6’7″ and 320 pounds.

27. Seattle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

I can’t imagine we see Yetur Gross-Matos slip out of the first round, and Seattle may do something they typically don’t – which is stay put on opening day. At 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, Gross-Matos is an athletic specimen that will add needed help off the edge, even if the team does ultimately re-sign Jadeveon Clowney.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

The slide of Kenneth Murray ends with the Baltimore Ravens, and they get themselves arguably the best pure linebacker in the draft. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale would acquire a chess piece that can create havoc from sideline-to-sideline, making him one of the best value picks in round one.

29. Tennessee Titans – A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

A.J. Epenesa’s 5.04 40-yard dash will cause him to slide in this draft, but he still has the power, size, and skill set needed to succeed at the NFL level. It doesn’t hurt that he is a great fit for the Titans next to Jeffery Simmons on passing downs.

30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

There is a definite buzz forming around Brandon Aiyuk, and you can sense it from multiple GMs. Aiyuk has quickly started to propel up draft boards and makes for the perfect fit in a Packers offense that can use a playmaker.

31. Los Angeles Chargers (Via San Francisco 49ers) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

The 49ers have made it clear that they are open to trade on Thursday and will move back for the third time on the night at pick 31. This is an ideal spot for any team that wants to trade up and secure that fifth-year option on a first-round pick, and organizations such as the Los Angeles Chargers or Indianapolis Colts feel like the prime candidates to be the ones to make that move if they want Jordan Love.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

Kansas City is capable of going in any direction. They are returning 20 of 22 starters next year and should have a handful of credible choices when they do round out the opening day. Kristian Fulton is in play, as is a dynamic playmaker such as Georgia RB D’Andre Swift. With no real need in place, I expect the Chiefs to take the best man available and adding an intelligent player that can protect Patrick Mahomes is never a bad idea if they do believe Cesar Ruiz is that guy.

 

 

Week 4 NFL Betting Card

Season Results: (8-2-1) +5.63 Units

The card will be updated throughout the week. Stay tuned for new additions as numbers change.

Week 4

Denver Broncos -3 over Jacksonville Jaguars
1.25 Units to win 1.14 Units

 

Past Results:

Week 3

Jacksonville Jaguars +110 over Tennessee Titans
0.90 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers +7 -115 over San Francisco 49ers
1.15 Units to win 1.00 Units

Washington Redskins & Chicago Bears Over 40.5 -110
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Week 2

Cincinnati Bengals 0 (+100) over San Franciso 49ers (-120)
1.50 Units to win 1.50 Units

Green Bay Packers -2.5 (-110) over Minnesota Vikings (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 (-110) over Seattle Seahawks (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

In-Game Wagers (Halftime)

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Los Angeles Chargers
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Washington Redskins +10 over Dallas Cowboys
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Week 1

Green Bay Packers +3.5 (-110) over Chicago Bears (-110)
1.65 Units to win 1.50 Units

Buffalo Bills +3.5 (-110) over New York Jets (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

Houston Texans +7 (-110) over New Orleans Saints (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Quick Thoughts on the Phil Mickelson U.S. Open Controversy

The U.S. Open has come and gone, but it didn’t leave us without major story-lines, major controversy and a back-to-back Major winner. From a storyline perspective, the U.S. Open gave us a daunting course. A 7,450-yard Par 70 behemoth, which played even more difficult because of the wind. It was probably justly criticized for the lack of equality throughout Saturday, based on the course appearing to get away from the USGA late in the day, but all in all, Shinnecock Hills gave us the demand we would have hoped to see.

Now let’s get into the major controversy. Like, love or hate Phil Mickelson, you have to admit that what happened on Saturday was something we have never seen before. I have talked to a couple of friends about this situation, and I surprisingly have gotten mixed reviews. Some loved what happened. They were happy that Mickelson “stuck it” to the USGA and used poorly written rules to his advantage. And if the USGA was going to make the course unfairly played on Saturday, Mickelson did a service to all golfers. Personally, I don’t see it as anything like that. Golf is a game of etiquette. Actions have consequences, and NOBODY is bigger than the game of golf. Assessing Mickelson with a two-stroke penalty is essentially the equivalent of giving somebody a slap on the wrist for insider trading. He should have been disqualified and made an example of. Instead, golf has now opened up a can of worms here. What do they do if a player tries this exact act again? If you disqualify the player, it looks like you are giving out rulings based on popularity, and if you don’t, well, then you are just letting players rewrite the rules and play the course at their discretion. With all that being said, since the U.S. Open allowed this act of criminality, I think as a writer for the sport of golf I deserve to be able to make up my own rules as I go along also. If you read my U.S. Open Contenders and Sleepers article last week, link here, you will see I picked Dustin Johnson Brooks Koepka to win the U.S. Open, because I knew Dustin Johnson Brooks Koepka would win back-to-back weeks years.

Rules are in place for a reason:

A lack of rules would lead to confusion.
A lack of enforcing the rules leads to chaos. 

 

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One and Done Selection For the FedEx St. Jude Classic

2018 FedEx St. Jude Classic

TPC Southwind – 7,244 Yards – Par 70
Greens: Bermuda

After last week’s Memorial Tournament provided us a star-studded field, the FedEx St. Jude Classis is going to give us about the opposite end of the spectrum. It is safe to say that FedEx didn’t deliver this weekend. In all fairness, the lack of strength has more to do with the U.S. Open being next week than anything else. Most of the top names are getting ready for Shinnecock Hills, and anyone who wasn’t already qualified for the U.S. Open spent Monday in their Sectional Qualifiers. This has accounted for an even weaker field because most everyone who was lucky enough to get into the U.S. Open from the Sectional Qualifiers pulled out once they did so.

From a course perspective, TPC Southwind has a couple of interesting notes to address. It has 94 bunkers and 10 water hazards. The 10 water hazards may be the most dangerous aspect of this place. Since 2013, TPC Southwind has had more balls land in the water than any course on tour. Almost 1500 more balls have gone swimming than the next closest course, which is TPC Sawgrass. Strokes gained approach seems to be the most critical factor in placing in the top-10 and the vast majority of the approach shots will come between 150 to 200 yards.

Key Stats:

Strokes Gained Approach – 25%
Birdie or Better Gained – 20%
Par 4 Scoring 450-500 Yards – 15%
Strokes Gained Par 5 Scoring – 15%
Proximity 150-175 Yards – 15%
Strokes Gained Off the Tee – 10%

My OAD Selections for the season so far:

Sony Open
Gary Woodland T7- $193,233

Career Builder Challenge
Chesson Hadley T42- $18,983

Farmers Insurance Open
Tony Finau T6- $239,775

Waste Management Phoenix Open
Webb Simpson MC- $0

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Brandt Snedeker T20- $80,167

Genesis Open
Paul Casey T49- $17,964

The Honda Classic
Alex Noren T3- $448,800

WGC-Mexico
Phil Mickelson 1st- $1,700,000

Valspar Championship
Sergio Garcia 4th- $312,000

Arnold Palmer Invitational
Rickie Fowler T14- $137,950

Corales Puntacana Championship
Emiliano Grillo T50- $7,305

WGC Dell Technologies Match Play
Bubba Watson 1st- $1,700,00

Houston Open
Luke List T24- $54,163

Masters
Jordan Spieth 3rd- $748,000

RBC Heritage
Matt Kuchar T23- $53,823

Valero Texas Open
Adam Scott MC- $0

Wells Fargo Championship
Bryson Dechambeau 4th- $369,600

The Players Championship
Justin Thomas T11- $225,500

AT&T Byron Nelson
Hideki Matsuyama T16- $115,500

Fort Worth Invitational
Adam Hadwin T52- $16,472

The Memorial Tournament
Justin Rose T6 – $309,275

Total $ – 6,748,510

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 3.43.06 PM

____________________________________________________________________________________________
Last week’s suggestions at The Memorial Tournament
#5 Jason Dufner – MC
#4 Henrik Stenson – T13
#3 Tiger Woods – T23
#2 Dustin Johnson – T8
#1 Justin Rose – T6
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Golfers in the field I have already used: List, Finau, Snedeker, Mickelson,

My top-five OAD picks- (Only four”ish” suggestions this week)
(Any golfer I have used will be eliminated from consideration.)
Guys I would consider if I hadn’t already used them: List, Mickelson, Finau

#4 Kevin Chappell

Kevin Chappell comes into the week with less than ideal form but makes for an interesting One and Done contrarian selection. Hear me out here before you rush to judgment on this call. For starters, Chappell would only be recommended to those who are in need of a swing for the fence type of a pick. Chappell enters the week having missed four of his last five cuts, but I genuinely believe there are reasons to like him this week. Before Chappell’s back injury sent him in the wrong direction for the last two months, the 31-year-old American golfer was closing in on his second career PGA Tour win. Even though Chappell’s results have not adequately shown up yet, his statistical performance is starting to come back to where he was. In his last 24 rounds compared to the field, Chappell ranks third in Par-4 scoring between 450 to 500 yards, 15th in proximity between 150 to 175 yards, and top-25 in birdie or better and strokes gained off the tee. In reality, there aren’t many possible guys who are options this week. Chappell provides top-tier upside without maybe the current form you would hope to see.

#3 Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is a surprise entrance into the FedEx St. Jude Classic field this week. Aphibarnrat needed a sponsor exemption to get himself into the field. The 28-year-old Thai golfer has graced his presence on the PGA Tour much more than some may have thought he would have this season. Despite this fact, Aphibarnrat is not necessarily the first player you would think of using in a One and Done pool, and for this reason, the 31st-ranked player in the world more often than not is left as a reserve pick than the actual selection. If you think about the nature of most One and Done pools, you would realize that many people use golfers that they shouldn’t throughout the season. Contests don’t play out this straightforward because there are many variables to consider weekly, but in reality, you shouldn’t be playing anyone outside of the top-50 in the world. If you played it this way, you probably wouldn’t be entirely successful, but it goes to show that people go just a bit too far down the rankings. I really can’t think of any other spot this season I would be wanting to play Aphibarnrat, and this may be as good of an opportunity as any. Aphibarnrat provides high upside and low ownership.

#2 Luke List, Phil Mickelson, or Tony Finau

I never advise guys I have already used. There’s a method behind the madness of a One and Done contest. If someone covering and advising on picks could freely do so, they would select Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson every week. I could claim they were the best picks on the board, and if I hadn’t already used them, I would have done so this week. That is obviously not how these contests work, and we would have no weekly article under those pretenses, at least not one of fair judgment. That is why I always try and add players I have used already and guys I would consider if I hadn’t already done so. However, for this week, I am going to cheat on those rules, and I will explain why. The FedEx St. Jude Classic is a very weak tournament, and there aren’t enough players who I would happily recommend. I genuinely feel that the three guys mentioned above are all worthy of being potential top-five recommendations. I don’t feel comfortable endorsing any of them as my One and Done pick for the week, but if you haven’t used someone from that list, I think this week could be a great time to do so.

#1 Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson comes into the week with five straight top-25 finishes, which includes three top-six results. Stenson reminds me of our One and Done pick, Justin Rose, last week. When Stenson is on, he is one of the best players in the world, and I don’t know if you are going to catch the 42-year-old Sweedish golfer in a better situation all season. In his last 12 rounds compared to the field, Stenson ranks first in strokes gained approach. At some point soon, he will be heading over to Europe for a handful of weeks, which limits our number of opportunities to play him. I would rather catch him when he is in-form than wait and potentially miss out on the hot streak.

 

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One and Done Selection For the Memorial Tournament

2018 Memorial Tournament

Muirfield Village Golf Club – 7,392 Yards – Par 72
Greens: Bentgrass

The Memorial Tournament once again did not disappoint in its strength of the field. Always boasting one of the best compilation of players, Muirfield Village is a perfect setup course for those trying to get prepared for the U.S. Open. It measures just under 7,400 yards and is a relatively long course with THICK rough. Wayward drives are a recipe for disaster at this venue, although the relatively wide fairways make driving accuracy less of a relevant stat. Players will need good sand games to cope for the greenside bunkers all throughout Muirfield Village.

Key Stats:

Strokes Gained Approach – 25%
Par 4 450-500 Yards – 20%
Par 3 175-200 Yards – 15%
Proximity 175-200 Yards – 15%
Sand Saves – 15%
Greens In Regulation Gained – 10%

My OAD Selections for the season so far:

Sony Open
Gary Woodland T7- $193,233

Career Builder Challenge
Chesson Hadley T42- $18,983

Farmers Insurance Open
Tony Finau T6- $239,775

Waste Management Phoenix Open
Webb Simpson MC- $0

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Brandt Snedeker T20- $80,167

Genesis Open
Paul Casey T49- $17,964

The Honda Classic
Alex Noren T3- $448,800

WGC-Mexico
Phil Mickelson 1st- $1,700,000

Valspar Championship
Sergio Garcia 4th- $312,000

Arnold Palmer Invitational
Rickie Fowler T14- $137,950

Corales Puntacana Championship
Emiliano Grillo T50- $7,305

WGC Dell Technologies Match Play
Bubba Watson 1st- $1,700,00

Houston Open
Luke List T24- $54,163

Masters
Jordan Spieth 3rd- $748,000

RBC Heritage
Matt Kuchar T23- $53,823

Valero Texas Open
Adam Scott MC- $0

Wells Fargo Championship
Bryson Dechambeau 4th- $369,600

The Players Championship
Justin Thomas T11- $225,500

AT&T Byron Nelson
Hideki Matsuyama T16- $115,500

Fort Worth Invitational
Adam Hadwin T52- $16,472

Total $- $6,439,235

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 4.10.26 PM

Last week was a disaster One and Done selection week for us. Our eventual pick, Adam Hadwin, managed to scrape out a meager T52 showing, giving us a payday of $16,472, but our whole top-five recommendation list was very subpar. We will look for a significant bounce-back effort this week at the Memorial Tournament.

Golfers in the field I have already used: Woodland, Hadley, Finau, Mickelson, Fowler, Grillo, Watson, List, Spieth, Kuchar, Scott, DeChambeau, Thomas, Matsuyama, and Hadwin.

My top-five OAD picks for the Memorial Tournament-
(Any golfer I have used will be eliminated from consideration.)

#5 Jason Dufner

Our defending champion at the Memorial Tournament will start off our top-five list. Jason Dufner put on a ball-striking exhibition last year during his victory at the Memorial Tournament. Dufner opened Thursday and Friday with consecutive seven-under 65 rounds. Going into the weekend, it appeared as if the tournament was all but over, but that is when things got interesting. Dufner shot a five-over 77 on Saturday, letting back in a whole brigade of players, which included Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, to name a few. Luckily for Dufner, he found a way to bounce back on Sunday and seal the title. Dufner shot a four-under 68 during his final round, winning by three strokes over Fowler and Anirban Lahiri. Dufner has struggled to find success since his victory last season at Muirfield Village but may be peaking again at the right time. Dufner has produced two top-five finishes in his last four tournaments, which just so happen to be his only top-10 results since his title here last year. In his last 24 rounds compared to the field on Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, Dufner ranks first in greens in regulation and second in strokes gained approach.

#4 Henrik Stenson

Week in and week out, Henrik Stenson has continued to put on a ball-striking demonstration that very few can even come close to matching. After a string of three top-six finishes, the 42-year-old Sweedish golfer relatively disappointed his backers at The Players Championship by providing just a T23 showing. While a share of 23rd-place is nothing to sneeze at, it still was a bit lackluster for the over 40 percent of DraftKings players who played him in GPPs. Stenson should provide a nice rebound for those who are willing to go back to the well, and honestly, I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t be considered.

#3 Tiger Woods

The five-time champion at the Memorial Tournament will come in at No. 3 this week for me. Woods has had a spectacular return to professional golf. Having made eight of nine cuts, with five top-15 finishes, Woods looks like he is starting to get very close to capturing a title again soon on Tour. The question becomes, “Just how close are we?” I think we are reaching the territory that it very well could happen any week. I refuse to write Woods off at a tournament he has won five times, but I do think his erratic driver and suspect sand game will prevent him from capturing the title this weekend. Still, I expect Woods to produce a top-20 finish here, getting him one step closer to his first title of the season.

#2. Dustin Johnson

Full disclosure on this pick, I will not be using him, but I do think this makes for a unique spot to use Johnson if you are trying to chase down the leaders of your pool. Most people who haven’t used Johnson yet will be waiting to use him at the U.S. Open. I fall right into that same category, but instead of trying to copy the mold and therefore remaining stagnant regardless of how Johnson does, why not set yourself apart and use him a week or two early? The big-hitting American struggled mightily last year at the Memorial Tournament and missed the cut, but in his two prior years, he had a solo third-place finish in 2016 and T13 in 2015. He comes into the week appearing like he is still trying to find his game, but most people fail to realize Johnson has produced 10 straight top-17 finishes.

#1 Justin Rose

I am never a big fan of jumping on a player the week after he has won a tournament. Most of the time you have already missed the boat on his success and are setting yourself up for disappointment. However, I don’t believe this to be the case with Justin Rose. Rose has made eight of 11 career cuts at Muirfield Village, and while a 72 percent cut rate is not overly promising, he also has six top-10 finishes and one victory here. Rose is the kind of player that when he is on, he is almost unbeatable. His current form is spectacular, his course history is as good as anyone’s, and statistically, he grades out in the top-five of my spreadsheet. For all those reasons, I will be using Justin Rose as my OAD pick for the week.

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