News & ToursFebruary 18, 2015

Fantasy Fix: Why Bill Haas' wife might be the key to his week at Riviera

First off, our apologies for not tabbing jewelry mogul Michael Lund in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. We didn't realize eight-handicappers were capable of shooting even par in tournament conditions at Monterey Peninsula. We do realize what tour pros are capable of, though, so we're glad the focus shifts back to them this week at the Northern Trust Open. Who do we like at Riviera? A look at our weekly Yahoo! fantasy golf lineup:

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Starters -- (A-List): Bill Haas. We'll take the 2012 champ here over last year's winner, Bubba Watson, due to Haas' more consistent play at Riviera. In addition to that playoff victory over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, Haas has a T-3, a T-12 and a T-23 in the last four years. Haas' wife, Julie, is expecting the couple's second child, but her due date is next Friday and she encouraged Bill to play this week. He'll be checking the phone, but we're going to count on her timing being as good as her husband's track record here.

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(B-List): Jimmy Walker. Does this guy ever have a bad week? His T-21 at Pebble Beach was by far his worst start of 2015. Walker has two T-4s at Riviera, a course he's professed his love for in the past. No reason not to like him this week.

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(B-List): Dustin Johnson. We rolled the dice with DJ at Pebble last week and he came through with a T-4 despite a shaky first day. Johnson has oddly gone back and forth with success and failure in this event (T-3, MC, T-4, MC, and a solo 2nd last year), but there's too much good to overlook -- provided his caddie gives him the right tee time.

(C-List): Keegan Bradley. Has it really been two and a half years since he won on the PGA Tour? Perhaps Riviera is the place to end that drought. In the past three years, Bradley has finished no worse than T-20 in this event while shooting just one over-par score (72) on the difficult track.

Bench/Backups: Bubba Watson, Nick Watney, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Thomas.

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Knockout/One-and-done pick: Bill Haas. I know you don't want to hear it, but we were agonizingly close to predicting a win for Haas at the Humana and to going with Snedeker in this spot last week. We'll go with Haas here instead and hope he's got more than his usual one win per year planned for this season. His sub-standard strokes gained/tee to green and his woeful strokes gained/putting thus far suggest he has yet to really start playing well. Ben Hogan famously said "Golf is not a game of good shots. It's a game of bad shots." Perhaps, that's what makes Haas the perfect pick at Hogan's Alley.

Previously used: Jason Day (Famers -- WINNER!), Charles Howell III (Sony), Dustin Johnson (Pebble), Geoff Ogilvy (Hyundai), Ryan Palmer (Humana), Brendan Steele (Phoenix).

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