Most-Picked Players: Genesis Open
February 16, 2017
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Sergio Garcia is making his Segment II debut this week, making his first PGA TOUR start since October. (Harry How/Getty Images)
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO
A week ago at this time, we were concerned about how the weather would influence performance at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am where only actual scoring and bonus points were measured. Lo and behold, Jordan Spieth prevailed to give his faithful following (35.0 percent) 250 bonus points. To put his impact into perspective, I’m (sadly) outside the top 500 in the Expert League alone, had Dustin Johnson (solo third place) and Brandt Snedeker (solo fourth) rostered in the final round, and still lost ground.
Friday’s forecast for this week’s Genesis Open is horrible, but the full array of fantasy scoring is in play, so there’s little we should do in modifying from our regular attack. However, while percentages determining how many gamers are out of starts on any golfer are not available, ownership fatigue is noticeable in this week’s dispersion.
For starters, Sergio Garcia paces the field of 144 with just 45.4 percent. That represents both relatively mild interest (No. 1-ranked golfers usually garner over 50 percent) and the breadth of the field. That the Spaniard occupies the perch also speaks to the fact that he’s making his 2017 debut in the U.S. In other words, we all had all three starts remaining for him in Segment 2.
Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott slot properly in the second and third holes, respectively, but AT&T champ Jordan Spieth is fifth with just 34.8 percent and Hideki Matsuyama is seventh at 33.5 percent. If the Genesis Open was contested, say, in January, you know that more gamers would be on board because we’d have more starts to burn.
Jason Day didn’t populate my Power Rankings, but gamers squeezed him into the top 10 with 19.6. That feels more like the necessity to roster him than it does an endorsement, though.
While it’s noteworthy that stalwarts Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Genesis’ all-time earnings leader Phil Mickelson rank outside the top 10 in ownership percentages, other may surprise you as well. That club includes Bill Haas (16th, 9.5 percent), Paul Casey (21st, 7.9 percent) and Charl Schwartzel (34th, 3.9 percent).
Just imagine our challenge (and the elevated level of fun it would yield) if every field was as deep as this one.
NOTE: Rob’s Rating refers to where our Fantasy Insider slotted a golfer in his Power Rankings.
No. Player Percentage Rob’s Rating 1 Sergio Garcia 45.4% No. 3 2 Dustin Johnson 40.9% No. 1 3 Adam Scott 37.6% No. 6 4 Bubba Watson (defending) 36.9% No. 8 5 Jordan Spieth 34.8% No. 4 6 Justin Thomas 33.7% No. 14 7 Hideki Matsuyama 33.5% No. 2 8 Justin Rose 22.6% No. 5 9 Brendan Steele 20.8% No. 9 10 Jason Day 19.6% Wild Card
Golfers in the Power Rankings and outside the top 10 in most owned
Power Ranking Player Owned Rank Percentage 7 Jim Furyk 32nd 4.2% 10 Matt Kuchar 19th 8.3% 11 J.B. Holmes 22nd 7.9% 12 Phil Mickelson 13th 12.8% 13 Keegan Bradley 18th 8.7% 15 Patrick Reed 17th 8.8%
PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done presented by SERVPRO
Remember the tossup at Pebble Beach? Brandt Snedeker and Phil Mickelson were separated by only two gamers to rank a respective first and second overall. And in true coin-flip fashion – at least as it concerned those two – Sneds’ fourth-place finish crushed Mickelson’s solo 65th, last among the golfers who completed 72 holes. The difference between success and well, lack thereof, is often that tight, but let’s move on.
In this format, it’s reasonable if not a prerequisite to consider how Mother Nature will affect the draw at the Genesis Open. However, what looks promising for one half can easily swing into the other direction if play is suspended as it might be (almost sure to be?) on Friday. If it is, the early-late split figures to benefit. Of the top-10 most owned, only defending champion Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama and J.B. Holmes aren’t in the early-late half. So, use them as tests against the theory.
In a vacuum, Dustin Johnson deserves to be No. 1 at Riviera Country Club, but Sergio Garcia clips him by just 0.7 percent for the top spot. That said, there is a stingy contingent that prefers not to invest in big shooters when the weather doesn’t fully cooperate. What’s more, Garcia’s value is arguably greatest at THE PLAYERS since he might be the only horse for that course. DJ is gold almost everywhere.
I selected Adam Scott, who sits comfortably in third. It didn’t hurt that he’s in the early wave in the opening round, but I wouldn’t miss him as much as DJ, Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth. Remember that my plan is to end-load for the FedExCup Playoffs, so adjust your reaction accordingly.
Notables outside the top 10 include Jason Day (11th, 2.2 percent), Brandt Snedeker (12th, 2.1 percent), Phil Mickelson (18th, 1.2 percent), Charl Schwartzel (21st, 1.0 percent) and Thomas Pieters (27th, 0.6 percent).
No. Player Percentage 1 Sergio Garcia 17.1% 2 Dustin Johnson 16.4% 3 Adam Scott 10.3% 4 Bubba Watson (defending) 4.9% 5 Paul Casey 4.2% 6 Brendan Steele 3.9% 7 Justin Rose 3.8% 8 Hideki Matsuyama 3.2% 9 J.B. Holmes 2.9% 10 Jordan Spieth 2.8%