Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fantasy Golf: Farmers Insurance Open Preview

Time for the first of about five unofficial starts to the 2016 season as we get a field featuring about a dozen "A List" players including major winners Jason Day, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler . . . (Oh you didn't hear? Rickie High-Tops won in Asia last weekend and just vaulted past the hundreds of players who've actually won a major into future golf immortality. Allow me to elaborate in footnote).* We've also got a major caliber oceanside course in California to distract many of us from the fact our worlds are now defined by eight foot snow banks that ain't going anywhere anytime soon.       

The chalk pick this week is obviously Day who won it last year and finished 2nd in 2014 but, as we learned with Jimmy Walker at the Sony, chalk only lasts so long before it starts to fade and you find yourself stuck in the middle of some stupid chalk metaphor and it forces you to wonder if four days of being snowbound with your wife and kids has turned your brain into nonfunctional mush . . . and we're back. So as I was saying, the FGR play this week is to pass on the favorite again as we did with Walker in Hawaii and Patrick Reed last week and play the odds that someone new will step-up. That someone is Brandt Snedeker who won here in 2012 and is red hot. Not to mention, you want to take advantage of Sneds early before the nagging injuries kick-in so it's either here or Pebble Beach. If you don't think it's here, then use Jimmy Walker or have some fun and roll the dice with Phil.  

And now I will return to the set of The Shining and continue working on my novel . . . and continue working on my novel . . . and continue working on my novel . . . and continue working on my novel . . . and continue working on my novel . . . and continue working on my novel . . .         

Farmers Insurance Open Odds

. . . and continue working on my novel . . .
and continue working on my novel . . . 
1. Jason Day - 7/1
2. Rickie Fowler - 10/1
3. Dustin Johnson - 14/1
4. Justin Rose - 16/1
5. Brandt Snedeker - 18/1
6. Phil Mickelson - 18/1
7. Jimmy Walker - 25/1
8. Patrick Reed - 25/1
9. Hideki Matsuyama - 28/1
10. Bill Haas - 30/1

Ten Guys We Like

Jason Day - 7/1
Jimmy Walker - 25/1
J.B. Holmes - 33/1
Charles Howell - 50/1
Harris English - 60/1
Emiliano Grillo - 66/1
Jamie Lovemark - 80/1
Nick Watney - 90/1
Scott Stallings - 90/1
Billy Horschel - 100/1

The One and Done Pick: Brandt Snedeker

The Sleeper Pick: Scott Stallings


* After Rickie's momentous victory in Abu Dhabi last weekend, there was some clamor that we are entering the age of a "Big Four" in golf comprised of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Fowler. This would apparently be the modern version of golf's original "Big Three" which was Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer who combined to win 34 majors or 27 more than their would be successors. While stopping short of yelling at everyone to get off of my lawn, I would suggest we slow the fuck down a bit, especially with regards to Fowler who has three career PGA Tour wins which is two less than Spieth and Day each had . . . last season.   

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The 2016 Fantasy Golf Draft Results

Last week we held the 20th version of what is now known as the Fantasy Golf Report's Officially Sanctioned Season Long Fantasy Golf  League a/k/a the FGROSSLFGL if you like yourself a good acronym (and who doesn't?). The rules are simple. Draft the six players you think will earn the most total cash in 2016 with an eye on bonuses for winning majors, WGC events and the Players. No two teams can have the same player and Jordan Spieth is ineligible under the Tiger Woods Rule which hadn't been implemented since back in the day when its namesake used to run circles around the field.  

The results are below (FGR picks are denoted with a "+") and, for those paying attention, the draft order is rigged to give the bottom picks an edge because you could take Rory McIlroy first and a jelly doughnut second and they'd still probably out-earn just about any combination picked at 12-13. We'll throw-in a bit of best pick/worst pick commentary for good measure and, because this topic is really pretty boring and honestly just some late week filler, instead of featuring a picture of a player from each round like a classy golf website would, we'll pay tribute to the corresponding entry in FHM's sexiest of 2015 list.   
#1 (Oh don't act so modest)


1. Rory McIlroy
2. Jason Day
3. Dustin Johnson+
4. Bubba Watson
5. Rickie Fowler
6. Justin Rose
7. Hideki Matsuyama
8. Zach Johnson
9. Brooks Koepka
10. Patrick Reed
11. Brandt Snedeker
12. Matt Kuchar

Best Pick: Brooks Koepka

Koepka was ranked third in the FGR's season preview and he's already showed signs of backing that up with a T3 at Kapalua. So did I pick him third when I had the chance? Of course not. I went with the semi-safer pick of Dustin Johnson proving once again that I love a bold prediction right up to the point where my money becomes involved.

Worst Pick: None

You could argue that Kevin Kisner should've been a first rounder and been picked ahead of Kuchar or Snedeker but that would be open to debate and the last thing we need right now is another debate.
#22 (Blue is my favorite color)


13. Henrik Stenson
14. Kevin Kisner
15. Jimmy Walker
16. J.B. Holmes
17. Danny Lee
18. Justin Thomas
19. Bill Haas
20. Paul Casey
21. Adam Scott
22. Sergio Garcia+
23. Jim Furyk
24. Robert Streb

Best Pick: Kevin Kisner/Justin Thomas

One or both of these guys is going to light it up this year and finish top five or close to it. I picked Sergio Garcia to go along with D.J. because I apparently hate myself. 

Worst Pick: J.B. Holmes

This is a tough one because everyone picked in Round 2 has Round 1 potential but, with the 16th pick, you're generally looking for a guy who might land you a major and Holmes has never come closer than a T14 in one and that was five years ago. He did have a T17 at the 2014 U.S. Open but other than that, the last two years have yielded mostly cuts and early Sunday tee times.
#26 (An old FGR favorite)


25. Webb Simpson
26. Steven Bowditch
27. Harris English
28. Kevin Na
29. Louis Oosthuizen
30. Phil Mickelson
31. Russell Henley
32. Charley Hoffman
33. Billy Horschel
34. Chris Kirk+
35. David Lingmerth
36. Daniel Berger

Best Pick: Billy Horschel

The Russell Henley and Louis Oosthuizen picks were also solid but Horschel has a greater upside as evidenced by his 2014 FedEx Cup run. I took Chris Kirk which was fine. Whatever. No he's not really what I wanted but he's fine. Let's just pay and get the fuck out of here.

Worst Pick: Steven Bowditch

Bowditch has a win in each of the last two seasons but, at the top of the third round, taking a guy who has missed twenty-four cuts in his last sixty-eight events is a little dicey. 
#41 (Underrated)


37. Tony Finau
38. Keegan Bradley
39. Russell Knox+
40. Shane Lowry
41. Matt Jones
42. Hunter Mahan
43. Ryan Palmer
44. Ryan Moore
45. Brendon DeJonge
46. Gary Woodland
47. Scott Piercy
48. Luke Donald

Best Pick: Tony Finau

The dude can bomb it and putt it which is a nice combination to have. In his first year on tour, he had sixteen top 25's and worked himself into the mix at both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship to start building some major experience. Let's just say that I was irked when he went two spots before my inevitable Russell Knox pick. If Knox doesn't pan-out for me this year, we're done. And I mean it this time. No more drunk dials or "random" encounters at the Carrabba's in Jacksonville Beach. (Yes I looked-up where he lives and restaurants in that area. There's nothing weird about that. Shut-up).

Worst Pick: Shane Lowry

Strong international player but Round 4 is too early for a guy who only made eight cuts in thirteen tournaments last year. It should come as no surprise that he's already been dropped by the team that picked him in favor of Zach "We Loved You in January" Blair.
#53 (Really underrated)


49. Ben Martin
50. Branden Grace
51. Jason Dufner
52. Brendan Steele
53. Tiger Woods
54. Marc Leishman
55. Patrick Rodgers
56. Anirban Lahiri
57. Shawn Steffani
58. Emiliano Grillo+
59. Martin Kaymer
60. Brendon Todd

Best Pick: Emiliano Grillo

You knew I had to start patting myself on the back at some point. For a second there, even I almost didn't even know who I was anymore. Grillo is ranked 32nd in the world and gives every indication that he's going to play a full tour schedule. His win in the fall already qualifies him for the Masters, PGA Championship, Players and Bridgestone. Just a solid all around pick. (Get over yourself).

Worst Pick: Tiger Woods

There's a pretty good chance he's not even going to play this year which would be a shame because nothing livens-up Friday afternoon golf coverage like watching a blimp shot of a cart taking him from the 14th hole back to the clubhouse Ford Bronco style.
#65 (Late round value)


61. Boo Weekley
62. Smylie Kaufman
63. Will Wilcox+
64. Morgan Hoffman
65. Jason Bohn
66. Kevin Streelman
67. Nick Watney
68. Pat Perez
69. Brian Harman
70. Charles Howell, III
71. Sang Moon Bae
72. Charl Schwartzel

Best Pick: Smylie Kaufman

You're basically playing with house money in the 6th round so why not let it fly on a kid who's already shown he can win, is 6 for 6 on cuts made and had a respectable finish at Kapalua? Not to mention, Smylie Kaufman sounds like a Jewish gangster and those guys are badass. 

Worst Pick: Sang Moon Bae

Bae would have been a steal if not for the fact that he'll be serving in the South Korean military for the next two years. Kim Jong-un would've been a better pick based purely on pedigree.    

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fantasy Golf: CareerBuilder Challenge Preview

The Fantasy Golf Report has been brought to its knees (literally) by a debilitating virus this week so temper your expectations more than you generally would. The bright side, if there is one, is that this is only impacting the preview of a tournament with a C+ field* and it's keeping me inside during two days where it's so cold in Maryland that my dog stuck his nose out this morning and said "fuck that, I'll hold it." 

Patrick Reed won this thing in 2014 and is the favorite this week and he would no doubt be a viable pick but this tournament is such a crapshoot that you'd hate to burn him while a bunch of random guys gobble-up all of the top cash. (Winners and runner-ups over the past four years include Brian Gay, Johnny Vegas, Sung Joon Park, Steve Wheatcroft, John Mallinger and Robert Garrigus . . . this tournament is notorious for multi-man playoffs). Better to go with a less valuable asset like Ryan Palmer or Charley Hoffman and hope one of them can find the twenty-five birdies it's going to take to win.

The CareerBuilder Challenge Odds
We don't think there's a connection between
this picture and the CareerBuilder Challenge
but, if you can find one, all the better.

1. Patrick Reed - 9/1
2. Matt Kuchar - 16/1
3. Zach Johnson - 18/1
4. Ryan Palmer - 25/1
5. Bill Haas - 25/1
6. Webb Simpson - 30/1
7. Kevin Na - 33/1
8. Robert Streb - 35/1
9. Charley Hoffman - 35/1
10. Jason Dufner - 40/1

Ten Guys We Like

Ryan Palmer - 25/1
Bill Haas - 25/1
Charley Hoffman - 35/1
Brendan Steele - 40/1
Kevin Chappell - 55/1
Jerry Kelly - 80/1
Jamie Lovemark - 80/1
Brendon Todd - 90/1
Tim Clark - 125/1
Shawn Stefani - 150/1

The One and Done Pick: Ryan Palmer

The Sleeper Pick: Jamie Lovemark


* This event just hasn't been the same since they took Bob Hope's name off of it. At least with CareerBuilder taking over for Humana, we have (a) some idea what the sponsor does to make money and (b) an excuse to show a monkey video.

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Sony Open Preview

OK. This isn't rocket surgery. You either think that Jimmy Walker is going to keep rolling at the Sony Open or you don't. The pros to that position are that he's won it two years in a row and he was solid last week finishing T10 at the Hyundai. The cons are that he's been inconsistent of late and that it's really fucking hard to win the same tournament three years in a row unless you're Pre-2009 Tiger Woods* or Steve Stricker playing in Illinois against Zach Johnson and 125 guys named "Chad" and "Troy" who didn't qualify for the British Open. We're going to play the odds here and go a different direction with Matt Kuchar who digs this course and is way overdue for one of those random wins that makes you say, "hey look . . . it's Matt Kuchar." 

In addition to our FGR stone cold lead-pipe lock of the week, below you will also find our list of preferred players from across the odds spectrum. For the Sony Open, this is mainly based on the theory that guys who have played well here before will play well here again. Exhibit "A" for that proposition is Tim Clark who has been mostly unreliable since 2010 but who pokes his head above ground a couple times a year and has some quality showings in Hawaii including a pair of 2nd place finishes in 2011 and 2013. The less risky version of Clark is Jerry Kelly who has eight top ten finishes in Hawaii which makes sense because he's from Wisconsin and he was born in 1966 which means he's motivated by his escape from the cold and his love of 80's television detective, Hawaii resident and all-around great guy Thomas Magnum. (We leave no research stone unturned regardless of relevance).

The Sony Open Odds
"And Miss Hawaii 2015 is . . . MISS OHIO!!! 
(Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right)."

1. Jimmy Walker - 16/1
2. Kevin Kisner - 18/1
3. Adam Scott - 18/1
4. Zach Johnson - 20/1
5. Matt Kuchar - 20/1
6. Justin Thomas - 22/1
7. Brandt Snedeker - 28/1
8. Kevin Na - 30/1
9. March Leishman - 33/1
10. Graeme McDowell - 33/1

Ten Guys We Like

Jimmy Walker - 16/1
Matt Kuchar - 20/1
Russell Henley - 35/1
Chris Kirk - 40/1
Harris English - 40/1
Charles Howell, III - 45/1
Jerry Kelly - 80/1
Scott Piercy - 50/1
Pat Perez - 150/1
Tim Clark - 250/1

One and Done Pick: Matt Kuchar

Sleeper Pick: Jerry Kelly


* We need two names for Tiger based on the line of demarcation he crossed that fateful night in 2009 because he's really two different people: (1) The greatest golfer of all-time; and (2) The most famous Perkins Restaurant & Bakery customer of all-time. Maybe we could call the second guy "Perk."

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Hyundai Preview

Three things you should probably know before following my advice this week: (1) Last year my pick was Kevin Streelman who finished tied for 22nd out of a field of 33; (2) In 2014 my pick was Gary Woodland who finished tied for 13th out of a field of 30; and (3) In 2013 my pick was Scott Piercy who also finished tied for 13th out of a field of 30. Clearly this tournament has my number or I don't have its number or I have the wrong number or it gave me the wrong number to get rid of me at a bar. Whatever it is, it ain't working so this year we're going to try something new. (If you're still reading after the phrase "my pick was Kevin Streelman," thank you for your patience).

The previous FGR strategy for picking this event could be described as "designed cowardice" because we would intentionally use a player who we honestly had little faith in because we were more worried about burning a quality guy we might want to use later in the year. As noted above, the results that strategy has yielded have been the real golf equivalent of aiming away from the trees on the right and hooking it into the pond two fairways over on the left a/k/a 2015 Tiger Woods. 

So this year, we're aiming straight down the middle, closing our eyes and swinging as hard as we can with Dustin Johnson. He won this thing back in 2013 and seems to have righted his mental ship with a tie for 5th at the HSBC back in November. This pick will have the added benefit of making D.J. unavailable to us for the majors which is right where you want him. Our sleeper pick is Scott Piercy because there must've been some reason we liked him back in 2013 and doggonit, that's good enough for us.

In addition to the typical fantasy golf bullshit (TFGB), the 2016 version of the Fantasy Golf Report will also provide, at no extra charge, a list of value rankings in case you want to use this information for purposes that are beyond recreational.* These are the players I would be most likely to incorporate into a six man roster if a fictional salary cap was involved. If you do decide to travel down that highway of sin and risk the wrath of the New York Attorney General, always remember the golden rule that you must build at least one roster around Jordan Spieth (you did NOT hear that from me . . . shit, I've already said too much . . . I was never here).        

The Hyundai Odds

Ah Hawaii, the land of ten
thousand lakes . . . or something.
1. Jordan Spieth - 4/1
2. Jason Day - 11/2
3. Dustin Johnson - 7/1
4. Bubba Watson - 8/1
5. Patrick Reed - 10/1
6. Rickie Fowler - 11/1
7. Zach Johnson - 20/1
8. Brooks Koepka - 20/1
9. Justin Thomas - 22/1
10. Kevin Kisner - 25/1

The FGR Value Rankings

1. Dustin Johnson - 7/1
2. Jordan Spieth - 4/1
3. Zach Johnson - 20/1
4. Jimmy Walker - 35/1
5. Scott Piercy - 60/1
6. Bill Haas - 66/1  
7. Emiliano Grillo - 40/1
8. Steven Bowditch - 150/1
9. Chris Kirk - 66/1
10. Justin Thomas - 22/1

The FGR One and Done Pick: Dustin Johnson

The FGR Sleeper Pick: Scott Piercy


* Not that we advocate or in any way support that type of imprudent behavior which is why we're only providing odds. You'll have to make the conversion to salary cap dollars on your own. If you can't figure-out how to do that, I would suggest a hobby that's less addictive and where the deck isn't as stacked against you like Keno or crystal meth.

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

The 2016 Fantasy Golf Preview

Welcome to the Fantasy Golf Report's 2016 Fantasy Golf Preview where we waste an inordinate amount of time ranking players for those two dozen people who still care what some semi-qualified guy thinks about how Rickie Fowler will fair over the next ten months. As in years' past, the FGR will try to avoid going with complete chalk in an attempt to identify a few players who will exceed or fail to meet expectations and in doing so, will almost certainly fail to meet expectations. 

With that in mind, we can make one prediction about the 2016 season with almost absolute certainty (or at least we're pretty sure) and that is that at least three of the players who finished in the top five on last year's money list will not finish in the top five on this year's money list. And we can say that because we haven't had consecutive seasons where three of the same players finished in the top five since 2008-09 when Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Kenny "Shades" Perry did it. That means that at least three of these guys - Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson, will likely experience at least a mild regression in 2016.

That's where the statistical analysis ends. The rest of this list will be compiled using what we like to call the Sheriff Hammond Method of applying bullshit and experience. So kick-back and prepare to experience some of our bullshit as we attempt to forecast how the 2016 PGA Tour money list will shake-out.*


1. Jordan Spieth: This has to be the safest fantasy golf pick since pre-2010 Tiger Woods. Spieth is supremely talented, young, motivated and, to the best of our knowledge, he only goes to Perkins for the pancakes.

2. Rory McIlroy: This ranking is obviously predicated on the belief that McIlroy will avoid mixing booze and soccer this year (note: we have no evidence that alcohol was a factor in McIlroy's injury last year, we're just guessing based on past personal experience).

3. Brooks Koepka: Our first upstart. Before Koepka ran out of gas in the playoffs last year, he finished T6 at the Bridgestone, T5 at the PGA Championship and T6 at the Wyndham in consecutive weeks. He also showed he can win by taking the Waste Management Phoenix Open and, if I have the third pick in my draft, there is no way in hell I'll have the onions to take him.

Never again. And this
time I really mean it.
4. Dustin Johnson: As someone who had an interest in DJ last year, I understand that he's like a bad Tequila experience but just because you did nine shots of Cuervo one night in 1993 and it made you feel like you had a live wolverine roaming around in your digestive system the next morning doesn't mean you should swear-off Margaritas for the rest of your life (well maybe it does but, for the sake of this analogy, we're going to say it doesn't). Despite his U.S. Open catastrophe, he still won a WGC event, finished fifth on the money list and appears to generally have his shit together.

5. Justin Rose: You could put the next five guys in a hat (it'd have to be a really big hat) and randomly pick where'd they would fall in the rankings. I probably would've put Bubba here if I hadn't made such a big deal about three guys not repeating in the top five.

6. Bubba Watson: So instead I put Bubba here but I'd draft him ahead of Rose. (The integrity of these rankings is growing by the minute).

7. Jason Day: Financial types are fond of the phrase "past performance is not an indicator of future outcomes" which is their way of saying, "this stock could really go just about anywhere because, for all we know, the CEO is an embezzling psychopath with a coke habit and a flamethrower in the trunk of his Maserati." If you've followed Jason Day's career, you know what I'm getting at here.

8. Rickie Fowler: This is probably a bit low for Rickie but again we kind of pigeon-holed ourselves with that top five theory (seemed like a good idea at the time). Two big "despites" for Rickie: (1) Despite the fact that he's now been around for a while, he's still only won three tournaments; and (2) Despite finishing top five in all four 2014 majors, his best finish last year was a T12 at the Masters with two T30's and a missed cut at the other three. Someone in your league is going to pick him earlier than this just because he's into the whole Rickie Fowler thing. If you're that guy, good luck . . . with everything.

Kisner and I seem to share the common
gift of having a "resting bitch face."***
9. Kevin Kisner: We climbed aboard the Kisner bandwagon after his second playoff loss last year at the Players and he's been solid ever since. This year it looks like he's ready to jump to the next level after finishing second at the HSBC and then finally getting his first win at the RSM Classic where he dominated. I don't really have anything funny to say about him but then again, Kevin Kisner is no laughing matter.  

10. Hideki Matsuyama: He had four top fives by April last year including a T5 at the Masters but then settled in for a season of B+ golf which would've been fine if he hadn't been hyped as a potential breakthrough player. My main concern is that he's going to hit that pause at the top of his swing one day and think, "wait, now what?" and that'll be the end of that.

11. Zach Johnson: ZJ proved last year that he ain't going anywhere with ten top 10's and his second major. Since 2009, he's only had one year that you could describe as disappointing (2011). He's your basic turkey club sandwich pick. You're never going to call it the best lunch you ever had but you're never going to be let down either.

12. Henrik Stenson: Check-out the money totals for the Swedish roller coaster over the past four seasons: $791,107 (2012), $6,388,230 (2013), $1,894,235 (2014) and $4,755,070 (2015). He's going to make or break your season depending on whether he's in the mood so drafting him is pretty much like one day of being married stretched-out over ten months. Buyer beware. 

13. Matt Kuchar: After being more reliable than a Subaru driven by a St. Bernard for as long as we can remember, Kuch slipped to 28th on the money list last year. Part of that can be attributed to the fact that the next generation kind of ran him over but it probably had more to do with him just having the predictable off year that every player has sooner or later. Look for him to settle into the 10-20 spot on the money list for the next few years and hopefully he swipes a major along the way because who doesn't love Kuch? 

14. Robert Streb: Let's be honest, if Robert Streb walked into the room wearing a t-shirt that said "Hi I'm Robert Streb" and then handed you three forms of identification, you still probably wouldn't know who he was but he made it all the way to the 2015 Tour Championship where he finished 18th. He also finished 5th at the Bridgestone and T10 at the PGA Championship so he's got big stage game.

You'd think we'd like a guy who's been
described as arrogant and abrasive
but you'd be wrong. As usual.
15. Patrick Reed: When using these rankings, it should always be noted that we rank players we can't stand about five spots lower than we should even though we know we're doing it. 

16. Paul Casey: You know the drill. Pick him somewhere around here and then pray he doesn't fall off his snowboard, step on a roller skate or eat some bad sushi. He's probably one of the five or six most talented players in the world but the fact is that the first word that comes to mind when describing him is "fragile" and the last word is "reliable." Buyer Beware Part II.

17. Bill Haas: Don't underestimate the fact that he played well at the Presidents' Cup after being one of the most blatant cases of nepotism since every professional sports team owner thought it would be a good idea to let his son have a hand in running the team.** It's not easy to keep your nerves in check when, the night before your first match, Patrick Reed, Chris Kirk and Dustin Johnson are shoving you around the humidor and knocking the brandy out of your hand asking "where's your daddy now?"   

18. Jim Furyk: On the one hand, he's forty-five years old and he finished last season on injured reserve missing the last two FedEx Cup events. On the other hand, we seem to find an excuse to downgrade him every year and, since 2012, there probably isn't a player who has exceeded expectations by a wider margin when it comes to consistency. On a third hand, we're just not big fans of watching him play so this is likely another case of a Patrick Reed tainted ranking scenario.    

19. Sergio Garcia: Coming-off one of the best seasons of his career in 2014, Sergio took a step back last year but it wasn't as bad as we may want to remember because of our tendency to cast him in a negative light. He had a T2 at the Players and a T6 at the British Open. He also made every one of his fifteen cuts and finished 31st on the money list. He's still one of the best ball strikers on tour and he's only thirty-five years old so there are at least two or three prime seasons still to come. This has all of the earmarks of a classic bounce back scenario. Now all you have to do is utter the words "I'll take Sergio" to make it happen. You may want to rehearse ahead of time so you don't pull a Steve Harvey and accidentally take Smylie Kaufman.****

20. Jimmy Walker: The fact that his only top twenty finish after May last year was at the Tour Championship where he only had to beat seven guys to accomplish it is more than a little troubling, however, his record in the early season events over the past three seasons gets him the nod over the next ten crap shoot players. Once you get past the Masters, however, trade him for Russell Knox, a sleeve of Pro V1's and a $20 Chipotle gift card.


These next ten guys all have top twenty potential as evidenced by the fact that they've all finished that high before (at least we think they have but don't quote us on that). The biggest upside play from this group is probably Justin Thomas while the biggest wild card is definitely Brandt Snedeker who could finish 5th or 50th depending on his health.

And Brandt just sprained his wrist
taking his visor off again.
21. Chris Kirk 
22. Russell Henley
23. Billy Horschel
24. J.B. Holmes
25. Brandt Snedeker
26. Kevin Na
27. Justin Thomas
28. Danny Lee
29. Charley Hoffman
30. Harris English


Here you have your formerly greats (Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan) along with your could be very goods (Russell Knox, Tony Finau, Patrick Rodgers and Will Wilcox). Phil is the biggest upside play and the biggest wild card. If he's somehow available this late, you have to take him because if he finds one more major run, it'll be worth it. Your cable TV version of DirecTV Phil Mickelson is Ryan Moore who will be sure to decrease your enjoyment of the 2016 golf season by 23%.
OK we confess this was the
only reason we put Mahan in the
top forty. Was it that obvious?

31. Russell Knox
32. Tony Finau
33. Adam Scott
34. Ryan Moore
35. Keegan Bradley
36. Emiliano Grillo
37. Patrick Rodgers
38. Will Wilcox
39. Phil Mickelson
40. Hunter Mahan


At this point you're searching for that international player who finds his U.S. groove the way Lee Westwood used to or the tour grinder who can elevate his game from a guy who finishes 15th-20th a lot to a guy who finishes 6th-10th a lot. Last year that guy was Charley Hoffman. This year we're thinking Jason Bohn fills that role but we say that with about as much confidence as a sports talk radio caller claiming, "Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are going to turn it around in Washington this Sunday." In a related fantasy sports story, Aaron Rodgers is dead to me.

Rodgers just seems
distracted lately. Hmmm.
41. Branden Grace
42. Brendon Todd
43. Danny Willett
44. Louis Oosthuizen
45. Gary Woodland
46. Marc Leishman
47. Scott Piercy
48. Graeme McDowell
49. Jason Bohn
50. David Lingmerth


* We still refuse to acknowledge the tournaments played between the Tour Championship and the end of the calendar year. This principled position is primarily driven by laziness.

** This would be a very rich topic for an ESPN documentary. How could a rich guy ever know that his son who never had to work for anything and earned the respect of no one would fail running a billion dollar company in a cut-throat business? It could be called Driving the Jim Buss into Oblivion.

*** "Resting Bitch Face" is defined by the Urban Dictionary as "a person, usually a girl, who naturally looks mean when her face is expressionless, without intending to." To expound on that from personal experience, the "Resting Bitch Face" is often misinterpreted to mean we don't like you when what it really means is that we don't care about you. If someone with a "Resting Bitch Face" doesn't like you, they'll usually just tell you.

**** Smylie Kaufman is a real player and, ironically, my parents were going to name me "Smylie" until I was born and they saw my face.

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