Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The 2014-15 PGA Tour Preview (sort of)

Since the next PGA Tour season technically starts on Thursday, I feel obligated to generate some kind of preview despite the fact that last season literally ended sixteen days ago. I'll be honest, when I look at the tour schedule page for the rest of 2014, I can't tell you with a whole lot of certainty which tournaments are legit and which ones are fluff.  I will assume that if you're starting your fantasy golf season now: (1) you are probably basing your league on FedEx Cup points which will be awarded from the Frys.com Open through the OHL Classic in November before they take a holiday break until the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and (2) you should probably be writing this post instead of me because you are clearly more invested at this point than I am. (Yeah right, a guest writer . . . good one).

I hereby nominate Dianna Agron to
play you know who's wife in the
movie. Just seems like a good fit.
The most valuable tool for evaluating the upcoming season is probably last season's regular season FedEx Cup standings before the playoff results started screwing with them. You then have to account for players who came on strong like Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk. And then you have to find a place for wild cards like Tiger, Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner but, word to the wise, nothing will crush a fantasy golf squad like injuries, drugs, crazy chicks and, worst of all, complacency (right 2013 Bubba?).

So the way I'm going to handle this is to list my top thirty
based on how I see them finishing the 2015 regular season. Remember that it's tough to accumulate points when you play somewhere else so guys like Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Martin Kaymer are at a disadvantage. On the other hand, if you're playing lights-out, it doesn't really matter how many times you tee it up as Rory and Sergio proved. The number in parentheses is where they finished in 2013-14 FedEx Cup regular season points.

1. Rory McIlroy (1): The best player in the world. End of story.

2. Sergio Garcia (7): He's having fun and I expect a big year but do you want to root for him?

3. Jordan Spieth (8): Two seasons and a Ryder Cup under his belt. Now it's time to win more.

4. Matt Kuchar (4): Take him and relax. Picking Kuch is like buying a Subaru.

5. Adam Scott (14): No more Stevie Williams on the bag = no more inferiority complex.

6. Tiger Woods (218): Because this is where you go all-in with pocket tens.

7. Jimmy Walker (2): The Ryder Cup and three wins last season proved he's the real deal.

8. Dustin Johnson (6): Because this is where you go all-in with pocket eights.

9. Rickie Fowler (16): T5, T2, T2 and T3 in the 2014 majors . . . yes please.

10. Justin Rose (18): The U.S. Open hangover should be gone and a second major is imminent.

11. Billy Horschel (69): Playing as well as anyone on the planet (Earth that is).

12. Jim Furyk (5): He'll keep finding a way to threaten the top ten without winning.

13. Chris Kirk (10): He's a lock for the 10-15 spot. The Ryder Cup snub should be a motivator.

14. Henrik Stenson (70): Betting that 2014 was an anomaly and not the start of a tend.

15. Hideki Matsuyama (22): Great all-around game and took home the 2014 Memorial title.

16. Zach Johnson (11): Can't imagine him finishing much lower. God won't allow it.

17. Patrick Reed (9): He'll keep succeeding just to stick it in your face . . . bitch.

18. Keegan Bradley (23): Two year winless drought. He's due for at least one hot week.

19. Jason Dufner (57): Set to play later this month but neck injuries are scary . . . like spiders.

20. Brendon Todd (12): Great putters like Todd tend to lurk around the top 20.*

21. Jason Day (34): Was ready to re-enter the picture and then only played eleven times. Huh?

22. Cameron Tringale (61): My first of three breakthrough picks. Just has the look of a player.

23. Martin Kaymer (14): I could see him finishing in the top five or around fifty-five.

24. Ryan Moore (19): He's going to land around this spot and he's yours if you want him.

25. Ryan Palmer (30): Can bomb it and finally started showing signs of consistency.

26. Brooks Koepka (N/A): Breakthrough No. 2. Finished 12th in the All Around stat category.

27. Hunter Mahan (62): Prime candidate for another baby related slump. Waiting on more intel.

28. Bubba Watson (3): Could be another version of 2013. See above re: "complacency."

29. Phil Mickelson (45): Put some heat on himself at the Ryder Cup which is a good thing.

30. Russell Knox (48): Breakthrough No. 3. Gut feeling. He's from Scotland so he must be good.

So there you have it. We'll revisit this list before the Tournament of Champions when you should be starting your fantasy league anyway (kids today . . . harumph). In the meantime, we'll have the chance to gather a little data to load into the FGR super-computer as I try to keep a low profile while hanging onto the back of the Orioles' bandwagon. 

Footnote
But I am smiling.

* And in Todd's case, I do mean lurk. Let's hope his highly successful 2014 season gives him enough clout to upgrade that PGATour.com profile picture.

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.