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The PGA Tour returns to one of America’s greatest golf courses this week, as the golfing world sets it’s focus on Riviera.  That means it’s time for our 2016 Northern Trust Open picks.

Last year Korean born, American raised James Hahn, previously more famous for his dance skills (see his classic version of Gangnum Style here) than his golfing exploits, upset some of the biggest names in golf, to claim his first PGA Tour title.

This year he will be challenged by a strong field that includes five of the top eight players in the Official World Golf Ranking. Those looking to take the prestigious L.A. Open crown will include World number one Jordan Spieth, #3 ranked Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson (6th),  Justin Rose (7th) and Dustin Johnson (8th).

Watson is a former winner of the event, having won the title in 2014.  Other former champions in the field include 2013 winner John Merrick, Bill Haas, the 2012 victor, and 2011 titleholder Aaron Baddeley.

So who are the main contenders to add their names to the list of winners at Hogan’s Alley.  Here are our 2016 Northern Trust Open Picks.

2016 Northern Trust Open Picks – Draft Kings

Listings include the player’s current world ranking (OWGR) and the salary they have been assigned by Draft Kings (DK$), a leading daily fantasy sports site.

Tier 1 (DK Salary $9,000 and over)

Dustin Johnson, USA (OWGR=8, DK$=$11,300) – Second in L.A. the last two years means he’s likely in the mix come Sunday.

Jimmy Walker, USA (OWGR=24, DK$=$10,600) – Has a solid record at Riviera with four Top 20’s in the last five years and is in good form.

Charl Schwartzel, SAF (OWGR=31, DK$=$9,600) – Top 5 in L.A. in 2013 and 2014, and coming in off a win on the European Tour last week.

Tier 2 (DK Salary between $7,500 and $8,900)

Paul Casey, ENG (OWGR=28, DK$=$8,900) – T2 here last year. Is there anyone on tour more overdue for a win?

Andy Sullivan (OWGR=29, DK$=$8,400) – A relative unknown stateside, but one of the hottest young players on the European Tour.

Jason Dufner, USA (OWGR=64, DK$=$7,800) – It only seems right that Ben Hogan’s number one disciple on tour would win at Hogan’s Alley someday.

Tier 3 (DK Salary between $6,600 and $7,400)

James Hahn, USA (OWGR=104, DK$=$7,300) – Pretty well have to take the defending champion at this salary hit.

K.J. Choi, KOR (OWGR=133, DK$=$7,100) – Solid record in this event and has shown a little form lately, including a 2nd at San Diego.

Vaughn Taylor, USA (OWGR=100, DK$=$7,100) – Can he ride the wave of the Pebble Beach win for another week.  At this price we’ll take the chance.

Tier 4 (DK Salary between $5,800 and $6,500)

Kyle Reifers, USA (OWGR=198, DK$=$6,500) – Tied for eighth at the Northern Trust in 2015.  Hoping those memories can bring some form.

Matt Every, USA (OWGR=141, DK$=$6,500) – Made the cut last three years, including a T6 in 2014.  At this level, that’s all you can ask for.

Peter Malnati, USA (OWGR=155, DK$=$6,400) – A PGA Tour winner in this tier is always a good deal, even if he has no record to speak of at Riviera.

2016 Northern Trust Open Picks – Yahoo Fantasy Golf

Here are our Yahoo Fantasy Golf Picks for this week:

List Starters Bench Third String
A Dustin Johnson Jordan Spieth Bubba Watson
B Jimmy Walker Jason Dufner Justin Rose
B Rory McIlroy Hideki Matsuyama J.B. Holmes
C Charl Schwartzel Andy Sullivan Paul Casey

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