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)

ROUND 1

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)

ROUND 2

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)

ROUND 3

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)

ROUND 4

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)

ROUND 5

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)

ROUND 6

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.