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Expert Picks: 2016 Northern Trust Open

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This week the 2016 fantasy golf season heads to California, as 144 players tee it up at the Northern Trust Open. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players, based on Golf Channel's fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell; editorial director Jay Coffin; associate editor Will Gray; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams; host Charlie Rymer and defending fantasy champion Ryan Lavner.

Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: Although he didn’t have his best stuff at Pebble Beach (T-21), the world No. 1 played solid last year at Riviera Country Club (T-4) and has top-10 finishes in six of his last seven worldwide starts.

Group 2: Jimmy Walker: The veteran has quietly put together another solid West Coast Swing with four top-15 showings including last week’s tie for 11th at Pebble Beach.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: His last PGA Tour victory was at Riviera (2007) and the dude has been a fantasy machine this season with eight top-25 finishes in nine starts.

Group 4: John Huh: Always take form over history and despite a less-than-stellar record in Los Angeles (he’s 1-for-3 in cuts made at the Northern Trust Open), Huh is fresh off of back-to-back top-10 weeks (Torrey Pines and TPC Scottsdale) and hasn’t missed a cut since Mexico last November.

Will Gray

Group 1: Jordan Spieth: Spieth showed last week that even his off weeks aren't that bad. A T-21 finish at Pebble was highlighted by a final-round 66, and now he heads to one of his favorite tracks in Riviera, where he finished one shot out of a playoff a year ago.

Group 2: J.B. Holmes: Holmes has opened the new year with four straight top-25 finishes and has played well here before, with five straight finishes of T-12 or better from 2008-2012.

Group 3: Freddie Jacobson: The "Junk Man" is playing some great golf right now, with a trio of top-5 finishes in his last four starts. He also finished T-3 at Riviera in 2013.

Group 4: John Huh: Not much current form to speak of in Group 4, but I'll bank on Huh who has won before on Tour and enters off three straight top-25 finishes.