Fantasy Insider: FedEx St. Jude ClassicJune 04, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
One of the most exciting elements of leagues that allow drop-adds, trades and keepers is that the back half of the PGA TOUR schedule contains three majors, two doubleheaders and three no-cut tournaments. All have the capability of shifting overall standings with a single swoop. At the same time, veterans of these formats know that we're entering that time of the season when they know what it will take to contend. Hope is at the essence of why we play fantasy sports, but ownership strategy matters most.
If you already know that a 2013 title is not in your future and it's time to rebuild, consider angling at the values for guys that will qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. With the new qualifying process forthcoming, the top 125 in FedExCup points has never been more important to gamers.
Jason Bohn was the last man into the 2012 Playoffs with 363 FedExCup points. After last year's Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance was in the books -- it was the 24th of 37 tournaments -- 81 golfers had more than 363 FedExCup points, thus had already qualified for the postseason using this frame of reference. After last week's Memorial, which was the 23rd of 36 events before this year's Playoffs, 83 golfers have more than 363 FedExCup points. So, even with one fewer tournament (due to the move of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba to the fall of the 2013-14 schedule), there are two more golfers inside the projected bubble.
So, the idea is to leverage this evolving line of demarcation when talking trade or picking off a potential free agent on the fringe. Since the top 125 in FedExCup points will be fully exempt next season -- as opposed to the top 125 in earnings -- hope is complemented the constant of redefined value.
Look for my choices for PGATOUR.COM's fantasy game in Expert Picks. My one-and-done selection, analysis and season totals will appear in The TOUR Report on Wednesday.
On a Roll
Jimmy Walker ... Extended his PGA TOUR-high consecutive cuts made streak to 24 at Muirfield Village, where he survived on the number. While he missed the cut at TPC Southwind last year, you must respect that he's currently 18th in FedExCup points, 17th in adjusted scoring and third in par-4 scoring average. He also made the cut in his previous three trips to Memphis.
Brian Davis ... TPC Southwind is the site of the first of his five runner-up finishes on the PGA TOUR. That was in 2007. En route to a T8 at last week's Memorial, he closed with three straight rounds under par, one of just three to turn that trick. (The other two finished 1-2 -- Matt Kuchar and Kevin Chappell.) And as I've written ad nauseam, the Englishman can ride a hot streak like few can.
Matt Jones ... He's performed so well at times this season that it was a surprise to learn that his T6 at the Memorial was his first top 10 of the year. The Aussie is 0-for-2 at TPC Southwind, but he's solid throughout his bag. His rededication has also paid dividends in that he's 63rd in FedExCup points.
Horses for Courses
Ben Crane ... Granted him the benefit of the doubt here, but be on alert. He didn't make my published lineup in this feature for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial even though he was a textbook fit. He then missed the cut. With the focus shifting to TPC Southwind where he's survived six consecutive cuts, three going for a top 15, he sets up nicely again this week.
Ken Duke ... He's 4-for-4 with a T7 last year when he closed with a 5-under 65. Coming off a T16 at Muirfield Village where he ranked T16 in greens in regulation and led the field in proximity to the hole. Also placed T5 in par-4 scoring average.
Not So Fast
Ian Poulter ... Missed the cut in his only previous appearance at TPC Southwind in 2010. He arrives this week having missed the cut in his last three stroke-play starts worldwide.
Peter Hanson ... Shared 30th place at the Nordea Masters, his fourth consecutive stroke-play start sans a top 25. First appearance at TPC Southwind.
Robert Allenby ... He's seventh in all-time earnings at this tournament, highest among non-winners, but he's 3-for-16 this year with no top 25s. There would have been numerous similar comparisons earlier in the season that resulted in this same calculated fade.
Brian Gay ... Opted not to complete his second round at Colonial after it was suspended on Friday night of the tournament. Had missed two cuts prior to it and hasn't posted a top 30 in his last 11 starts.
Kevin Stadler ... He's missed three straight cuts and has scored 73 or higher in six of his last nine rounds. Like most, he's gone through rough stretches like this before. All that does is set him up as a sleeper at TPC Southwind where he's logged two top 15s in his last four trips, including a T11 last year.
Robert Streb ... After an encouraging start to his rookie season extending through a T22 in Houston, he's fallen 44 spots in FedExCup points to 124th thanks to six consecutive missed cuts.
Brendan Steele ... Shot 16-over 79-81--160 at Muirfield Village for his fourth consecutive missed cut, but had little trouble in the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday to earn one of 15 available berths into the major.
Jonathan Byrd ... Still hasn't found a groove in eight starts after returning from surgery on his left wrist. Best finish among two cuts made is a T66 at Harbour Town.
Troy Matteson ... He's missed each of his last five cuts. Over par in nine of his last 11 rounds. Zero top 50s in his last 12 starts.
Nicholas Thompson ... He's missed the cut in each of the last six tournaments and has been over par in the second round in the last five. However, he shared runner-up honors at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, so maybe that will inject a little mojo into his season.
Back in the Saddle
Paul Goydos ... First live action since the 2012 Northern Trust Open. Sidelined with a wrist injury for which he had two surgeries. Has 21 starts on a Major Medical Extension. Turns 49 years of age on June 20.
Brad Fritsch ... Returns after back pain forced him to withdraw prior to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He was prepared to give it a go at Muirfield Village, but didn't crack the field, finishing as first alternate.
D.H. Lee ... Had to walk off Colonial during his second round two weeks ago due to a back injury.
Michael Bradley ... A back injury knocked him out of the HP Byron Nelson Championship before the final round.
Jordan Spieth, Brian Stuard and Josh Teater ... All qualified for the U.S. Open on Monday.
Charlie Wi ... One of the four eliminated in the 11-for-7 playoff at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio.