Ahhh... There's springtime in the air in the form of renewal in October. The shortest turnaround in professional sports ends this week. The engraving on fantasy trophies is younger than some of the laundry piled in your closet.
If you're new to fantasy golf, welcome! If you're not, then forget about last season. Even if you won your league. Congrats, but trash-talking has a statute of limitations, and yours has just expired.
This column appears regularly on Tuesdays. It chases my Power Rankings and Wild Card (on Mondays), complements Sleepers and Expert Picks (Tuesdays) and sets up the One-and-Done and Stats Suggest (Wednesdays). We may fine-tune the lineup for 2014, but plan on the usual features through the first six events of the 2013-14 season.
I answer all emails and tweets of relevance, although I'm a bit backlogged at the moment due to the truncated offseason, so contact me if necessary. Good luck, have fun and thanks for reading!
On a Roll
Marc Leishman ... Giving him the benefit of the doubt after his debut in The Presidents Cup where he went 2-2-0. He may be buoyed by the select company he maintained for the week as he launches a new season immediately thereafter. And it wasn't like he was out of form prior with a T12 at the PGA Championship and a T16 at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Andrew Svoboda ... You won't find another golfer in the field that would just assume forget about his rookie campaign on the 2013 PGA TOUR while still hoping to maintain the form with which he concluded his TOUR-sanctioned schedule. In fact, despite his status this year, he qualified for the Web.com Tour Finals only through the secondary circuit, not via FedExCup points, and he had already wrapped up fully exempt status by finishing 25th on the regular-season money list on the Web.com Tour. Not done, the 34-year-old then emerged with the victory in the second leg of the Finals and starts third in the reshuffle. It's difficult to quantify what all of this means moving forward, but he has my attention, so he should have yours as well.
Horses for Courses
Jason Kokrak ... Shared runner-up honors in his debut at CordeValle last year to earn a return trip to the PGA TOUR in 2013 during which he fought through the learning curve and advanced to the BMW Championship. Led last year's Frys.com in greens in regulation and the all-around ranking.
Rocco Mediate ... It would require the right format to burn him, but the 2010 champ survived both cuts at CordeValle since. He's also remained busier than many in the field thanks to the Champions Tour where he's won twice this year, including just before Labor Day.
Not So Fast
Angel Cabrera ... Stick with the long-term ownership position as he's trended in that direction for years. You'll rarely read my endorsement in a weekly format.
Trevor Immelman ... Yes, he won the first-ever tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, but then missed the last three cuts.
Brooks Koepka ... Since his automatic promotion to the European Tour, he's 7-for-9 with four top 25s and a T28. While that's an acceptable record for an up-and-comer sitting 100th in the Official World Golf Ranking, he's facing off against a cosponsored PGA TOUR field for the first time. All that means is that we should be giddy about the future but cautious about the present. Remember that he's a non-member, too, so he's ineligible for the FedExCup unless he wins.
Back in the Saddle
Lucas Glover ... Had to walk off Liberty National during his second round with a wrist injury. Fully exempt through 2014-15, but he flashed enough form in 2013 that he enters the new season on an upward swing. Perfect for salary gamers.
Ben Crane ... A back injury bumped him from The Barclays during the second round. He's always battling something, but rebounds every time. Remain confident.
Justin Hicks ... Withdrew during the second round of The Barclays with an injury to a hip flexor. That was seven weeks ago and he's ready to go again.
Spencer Levin ... Returned to competition over the summer but limited his action to the Web.com Tour where he recorded three top 10s in eight starts. Sat out the entire PGA TOUR season after having surgery on his left thumb (torn ligament) just over a year ago. Has 28 starts on a Major Medical Extension, which amounts to a full season for him.
Blake Adams ... After major surgery on his left hip on Jan. 29, had hoped to rehab on the Web.com Tour in August but strained a hip flexor. Has 24 starts on a Major Medical Extension to earn $595,483 and retain status. All long-term formats should rally around him.
Briny Baird ... Back in action after having separately timed surgeries on both shoulders late in 2012. Aborted a comeback on the Web.com Tour early this year before shutting it down until this week. Fourteen starts remain on his Major Medical Extension. Lost in an epic playoff to Bryce Molder at CordeValle in 2011, but hold off on investing until he sheds the rust.
Jose Coceres ... Turned 50 on Aug. 14 and still has six starts on a Major Medical Extension. Hasn't played the PGA TOUR since 2009 due to an injury to his left wrist, but had success in South America since. In fact, in two events that contribute to his Official World Golf Ranking of 995th, he's finished first and T2 (in the same tournament in consecutive years).
Jonathan Byrd ... On Twitter on Sept. 23, he responded to a follower's question about scheduling as follows: "Fry's, Vegas, and McGladrey....then 2014 tournaments." Of course, it's not unusual when most golfers tweak their schedules, but it's worth watching to see if he commits to next week's stop in Nevada. He has 10 starts on a Major Medical Extension to earn $166,517 and retain status, but he's already secured conditional status if he needs it. Bottom line, don't let the MME turn you off.
Steve Marino ... Played in all four events in the Web.com Tour Finals but failed to post a top 50 and missed two cuts. That leaves him with status via a Major Medical Extension only. If he earns $413,596 in nine events, he'll retain status for the remainder of the season.
Andres Romero ... Officially went in the books as the first withdrawal of the 2013-14 season. His value is best reserved for the deep half of long-term formats.