The 2015 Memorial Tournament Fantasy Sleeper Picks


Let’s get right down to it, The Memorial Tournament is a big boy tournament. This is a tournament where the best of the best play well and win. You will want to load up on the elite golfers.

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Unfortunately, with sites like DraftKings you have a salary cap and you can’t just load up with the favorites. You have to pick some cheap and very cheap picks to fill out your lineup.

Typically, I’ll give you under-the-radar, sleeper candidates that I like, but this week I can’t genuinely say I’m crazy about anybody. I’ve obviously got candidates that I will be targeting for salary cap relief purposes – and we’ll go over those in a minute – but overall this is the week where you’ll have to just hold your nose and make some picks.

There really isn’t one specific stat you need to lock in on. Muirfield Village will test every facet of your game. This is one of those tournaments where you need to read the greens properly, make those key clutch putts to save par, have a strong iron game, hit it long, and properly position your ball off the tee for the next shot.

You really do need a strong overall game here at Muirfield Village. That is why you see the top of the line golfers win and compete at The Memorial.

If you want more of an edge besides the statistics, I would say look at course correlation. Muirfield Village is a tribute to Augusta National and they do play pretty similar to each other. Look at the winners and the golfers who have had success at Muirfield and Augusta.

Hideki Matsuyama won here last year, how did he do at Augusta this year? He finished fifth. Justin Rose has never missed a cut at Augusta, he is a former winner here at Memorial. Matt Kuchar has won at Memorial and has been a top ten machine at Augusta. Bubba Watson was in contention at Memorial last year; he won The Masters last year as well.

If you want to go that extra mile in your research I would advise looking at past results at The Memorial and The Masters.

Jun 1, 2014; Dublin, OH, USA; Jack Niklaus congratulates Hideki Matsuyama after he won The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

One of the frustrating things I’ve come across is the cap this week is tight. It’s tough to stack even just two premier golfers. For example, you cannot have Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day on the same team. It just cannot be done this week. You can take the three cheapest golfers and you still won’t have enough space on your team. That is incredibly frustrating.

I’m very high on those golfers this week and I’ll have a lot of exposure to them. Coming in I was planning on working in those golfers plus Bill Haas and Chris Kirk figuring that they wouldn’t be too expensive, but unfortunately, they are just a couple of notches below the likes of Rose, Matsuyama, Fowler, etc. and Kirk is over five digits himself.

Last week, to me, was nice and easy. But this week it’s going to be a challenge juggling those golfers around throughout various lineups.

As I mentioned above, this is a big boy tournament and basically my strategy is the “stars and scrubs” approach. There’s not going to be much of a balance because when you look at DraftKings’ salary one of those top 14 golfers or so (not including Tiger Woods) will win. And there are a handful of other golfers I like below that $8,500 range, but my main focus are those top golfers.

If you are going to be going with that approach as well, you are going to need a lot of salary relief. So, the 2015 Memorial Tournament fantasy sleeper picks will be really cheap this week. We’ll be talking about golfers that are cheaper than $6,900. I’ll break them up into three groups of three golfers just to give you an idea of how I’m thinking this week.

Upper Lower Class

Charles Howell III, Brendon de Jonge, and Russell Knox are probably the safest cheap picks. Howell III has made the cut the last three times he has played at Muirfield Village.

Brendon de Jonge has made the cut at The Memorial four of the past five years including a T-12 in 2010, and Knox is currently playing some rock solid golf. Knox has made the cut in 14 of 18 tournaments this year, including in his last five tournaments.

You can fit those three plus a Hideki Matsuyama, Bill Haas, and someone mid-tier. Maybe even a Jason Day, Chris Kirk, and another mid-tier golfer. You can get some flexibility atop with these three. However, you can get even more flexibility if you go cheaper with these golfers…

The Longshot Veterans

Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, and Kenny Perry are veterans that have had a lot of success in the past. They are risky due to their age, especially Kenny Perry, but it may prove to be rewarding. These will probably be very unpopular choices, especially Perry, but it maybe worth the risk.

Singh is having a pretty solid year as he has made the cut in ten of fourteen tournaments. After starting off slowly, Els has made the cut in four of his last five tournaments including a T-22 at The Masters. Perry maybe 54 years old, but he is coming off a T-16 at the Byron Nelson last week.

Dirt Cheap

Hudson Swafford, Erik Compton, and Seung-yul Noh are about as cheap as you can get. In fact, Compton is the cheapest pick, Noh is only 100 dollars more, and Swafford is only 100 bucks more than Noh.

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There’s not much to go off with Noh, other than the fact that he is talented. Noh doesn’t have a lot of success here at Muirfield, he has really struggled this year, and hasn’t made the cut in his last three starts.

The only saving grace is that he is talented and the last time he made the cut was at The Masters where he finished T-38. Noh is a really risky pick, but compared to everyone around him he has a higher ceiling.

When in doubt go with some Georgia Bulldogs. Swafford hasn’t played at Muirfield Village, but he comes from that hotbed in Georgia. Swafford has made the cut in five of his last seven tournaments.

Compton has made the cut in seven of his last eight tournaments and he has had a little bit of success The Memorial.

Compton has missed the cut the last couple of years here, but in 2009, 2010, and 2012 he made the cut. In 2012, he finished T-38.

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