Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Fantasy Golf Preview Part 1: The Draft Results

I think I've got an idea for how
we could make the "Elf on the
Shelf" slightly less annoying.
Here we go with the first installment in the Fantasy Golf Report's multi-part 2014 PGA Tour preview (I'm going to try to keep this entertaining for those who don't give a rat's ass about fantasy golf). This year we have some added intel as the annual FGR pick six fantasy league drafted the day after Christmas to get the jump on the PGA's early start date (January 3rd) and believe me, nothing makes for a party like gathering a bunch of beleaguered middle-aged dads together at a bar on December 26th. The guy who had the audacity to suggest a round of shots was beaten about the head and then tossed into the street. (Actually that's not true as it would've required more than one person to actually get out of his seat and that wasn't happening).

We powered through six rounds of nineteen teams drafting in a little over forty-five minutes. (Nineteen teams?!? Isn't that too many?!? Won't that dillute the talent pool?!?) I'm glad you asked so emphatically fictional person sitting next to me because it smoothly segues me to the introduction of our new and improved format born out of my desire to keep the league fresh but more out of my refusal to run two leagues this year. By the way, if you want to annoy people, merge two fantasy leagues, change the rules on a week's notice and then schedule the draft for the day after Christmas. Bah hum suck it.

Despite my best efforts, I still had too many people who wanted to play (what can I say? I have a certain charm) so I was left with the choice of (a) telling some past players to go pound sand, or (b) modify the rules. After much deliberation and a miniature version of the FGW on my shoulder telling me not to be a douche as usual (which I thought was a bit uncalled for), I decided to go with (b). But what to do? Nineteen teams would mean guys like Charles Howell, III and Brendon de Jonge would be getting drafted in the second round and, as a matter of principal, I couldn't have that. This called for something truly radical.

I decided from the outset that the basic format would stay the same - draft six golfers in a modified snake draft (top pick goes first in rounds 1, 4 and 5 while the last pick goes first in rounds 2, 3 and 6) but with one major wrinkle (are you ready for it? . . . . are you SURE???). This year as many as two teams could share the same player so that (a) everyone would have more quality players to root for throughout the season and (b) we wouldn't be scraping the bottom of the barrel for the likes of Chez Reavie and Fabian Gomez in the 6th round (no offense guys). Oh and one more thing, Tiger was ruled ineligible again this year because he made 35% more money than the next best player last year and I think he might widen that margin this year, especially if he improves his cheating.*

Here's how it played-out. The order is based on combined draft position for each player's two picks with the spots where he was picked in parenthesis:**

Why not dance this
year's final dance to
. . . the PACHENGA?
1. Matt Kuchar (1st and 4th)
2. Henrik Stenson (2nd and 6th)
3. Adam Scott (3rd and 5th)
4. Brandt Snedeker (8th and 11th)
5. Rory McIlroy (9th and 10th)
6. Phil Mickelson (7th and 13th)
7. Justin Rose (12th and 16th)
8. Steve Stricker (14th and 24th)
9. Jason Dufner (15th and 23rd)
10. Jordan Spieth (19th and 22nd)
11. Keegan Bradley (17th and 26th)
12. Zach Johnson (20th and 25th)
13. Webb Simpson (18th and 29th)
14. Jason Day (21st and 28th)
15. Dustin Johnson (27th and 30th)
16. Bill Haas (31st and 38th)
17. Billy Horschel (32nd and 37th)
18. Hunter Mahan (34th and 35th)
19. Sergio Garcia (36th and 50th)
20. Charl Schwartzel (40th and 42nd)

So if you add the two numbers together and then divide by four, you approximately get the ranking position. I have a loose mathematical understanding of why this is the case but I don't feel like explaining it. Just know that if you have a draft with a similar format, it's going to come out looking something like this. And hey look, here are a few sample rosters that I found intriguing so you can see how this thing shook-out and so I can fill some more space:

4th Pick (My Team)          
1. Matt Kuchar                
2. Hunter Mahan            
Dude stop the cart. You
almost ran over my boner.
3. Graham De Laet          
4. Lee Westwood            
5. Jonas Blixt                  
6. Scott Piercy
8th Pick
1. Brandt Snedeker
2. Bill Haas
3. Sergio Garcia
4. Harris English
5. Gary Woodland
6. Charley Hoffman

12th Pick                         
1. Justin Rose                
2. Dustin Johnson          
3. Nick Watney              
4. Chris Kirk                  
5. Bo Van Pelt              
6. Kyle Stanley              

18th Pick
1. Webb Simpson
2. Jason Day
3. Charl Schwartzel
4. Jimmy Walker
5. Bo Van Pelt
6. Louis Oostuizen

So there you go. It's like having two mock drafts in one. I'll get more into sleepers and overrated players in Part 2 along with the Fantasy Golf Report's top 30 but this should serve as a nice Clams Casino appetizer (and buy me more time to do my homework).

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* The Tiger exclusion was first used back in 2001 when he was coming-off a season in which he earned $9,188,321, won three majors and more than doubled Phil Mickelson's second place total of $4,746,457. It was the equivalent of a fantasy running back having 3,200 yards and 36 touchdowns.

"Be that as it may Alex, those people
have never been in my kitchen."
** It should be pointed-out that six of the nineteen teams were drafted in absentia so the picks were made straight off of the 2013 money list. The result was that guys like Billy Horschel, Kevin Streelman and Steve Stricker probably went higher than they should have but who knows? One of last year's no-shows landed Adam Scott, Billy Horschel and Harris English in the same league where my extensive research generated a last place roster that included Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and K.J. Choi. (For you Cheers fans, note that "Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and K.J. Choi" is also the clue for the Final Jeopardy question: "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?")

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