Expert picks for the Sentry Tournament of Champions

Can Justin Thomas defend his title at the Sentry Tournament of Champions? Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The best golfers in the world will head to Maui, Hawaii for the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the first event of the 2018 calendar year.

Our ESPN and FantasyGolfInsider experts have laid out the players whom they believe have the skills to succeed and provide big fantasy point totals.

Picks to win

Jordan Spieth

Past success alone makes Spieth a good pick for Maui. He's gone second, first and tied for third in his three appearances. But there is also the idea of being prepared, which Spieth seems to be especially keen on. Some go to Hawaii to knock off the rust; Spieth typically arrives ready. And he had a good showing in his last tournament a month ago, a tie for third at the Hero World Challenge. -- Bob Harig

Justin Thomas

It's always chalky to pick the defending champ, but the festivities at Kapalua require a different mindset from most events. While many players in the winners-only field are dusting off the clubs and still working off those holiday cookies, the guys who enter the week ready to play are handsomely rewarded. That means Thomas, who should feel right at home picking up where he left off last year.-- Jason Sobel

Rickie Fowler

Remember the guy who won Tiger's tournament in the Bahamas? That's the same guy who also finished sixth and fifth in his two previous starts at this event in Maui (2013 and 2016). Fowler is poised to have one of "those" years as his life and game are both in fine order at the beginning of 2018.-- Michael Collins

DraftKings value picks

Brendan Steele

Steele seems like the one not to fade this week as he seems like a great fit for this event and comes in at a reasonable price and may go under the radar with so many cheaper options below him. He's one of the best on the approach on Bermuda surfaces, which is a good start, and he's a middle-of-the-road player in all the other metrics on Bermuda grass. -- Taras Pitra

Daniel Berger

There are a lot of unknowns this week as most players have not played in an event in a couple of months and a lot of players have never played at Kapalua before. We need to try and identify players that we think can come off a long layoff and perform well ... and one of those guys is Berger. ABbermuda green putting master, Berger is one of the top young players in the world. He played here last year and took 14th and has a ton of upside having recorded six top 10s last season with two runner-up finishes and a win at the FedEx St Jude. He has the ability to compete with the big names in the field this week and put up a needed 20-under par. -- Jeff Bergerson

Russell Henley

Henley has finished T3 here (2015), tends to show up in Hawaii (first, 51st, T17, T13), and is absolutely nails on Bermuda grass. With all the Augusta comparisons at this track, Henley has finishes of 31st, 21st, 11th at the Masters since missing the cut in 2013. Although form isn't much of a deciding factor given all the breaks in the schedule, Henley last missed a cut at St. Jude's in June. Statistically, Henley checks a good number of boxes relative to his price: He's an excellent Bermuda putter that avoids 3-putts tremendously, scores well on par-4s and in general is better than average from 50-125 yards out. -- Adam Daly

FanDuel value picks

Bryson DeChambeau

We knew it was only a matter of time before DeChambeau figured things out and got out of his own head enough for his natural talents to take over and propel him into the winner's circle. He started 2017 by missing the cut in 13 of 17 starts before starting a run of making it to the weekend in 11 of his past 13 starts including a win at the John Deere Classic. It's a massive turnaround and can be traced directly to an improvement made with his putter once he ended his experimentation with various grips and styles of putters. Losing this stress on the greens has also helped him to relax and be the ball striker he's known for coming out of college as his approach game has really shaped up over his last 8-10 starts. -- Zach Turcotte

Cameron Smith

Smith took full advantage of the fall season of the PGA Tour while it made stops over in Asia. A T5 finish at the CIMB Classic was followed up with a solo third-place finish at the CJ Cup. The Australian then hopped over to the Euro Tour to play in his native country where he won the Australian PGA Championship. This kind of form should not diminish too much while both tours took a break during the holiday season and I expect Smith to pick up right where he left off. The Tournament of Champions is a stacked field but he has shown upside in the past when many of the world's greatest golf talents come together. For $8,200 over on FanDuel this week, Smith offers that midrange value we are looking for and will allow you to still get a top-tier golfer or two in your lineup. -- Erik Dantoft