Fantasy Insider: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

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Zach Johnson plays well against tough fields, which makes him a solid one-and-done pick this week.

It's time for an update, fellow gamers. Call it a New Year's evolution.

The latest iteration of this column will act as a funnel for the insight, analysis and opinion that I provide on a weekly basis. Gone are the days of searching for the Power Rankings Wild Card and One-and-Done feature in the TOUR Report as both will be parked here from now on. This is in addition to the newly simplified approach of Draws and Fades that will debut with the Sony Open in Hawaii. Notable withdrawals and golfers returning from an injury, illness or other relevant matter will remain staples of this space.

Got a question for Rob? You can contact him via
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As for my other features after the Power Rankings, the usual stack of Monday features (Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions) can be found, as always, on the FANTASY GAME page under FANS in the top right.

On Tuesdays, my stand-alone Sleepers feature returns, and I'll be adding a new, recurring feature next week. It may or may not influence your lineups, so stay tuned. You can also continue to find my choices for's fantasy game in the weekly Expert Picks where I'm attempting to defend my 2013 title.

Because of the compilation of information included in the revised Fantasy Insider column, it is shifting to Wednesdays. This will allow for the occasional surprise and necessary review of important news that has been released after I've filed earlier in the week. Also on Wednesdays, I will reprise my weekly segment on "Talk of the TOUR" with John Swantek on the Tour's SiriusXM channel.

Despite all of these angles, I don't expect all of your answers to be found within. So, continue to hit me up on Twitter or via email when necessary.

Thank you for your loyalty and devotion. Now let's get to work!


With no cut and only 30 golfers in play at Kapalua, there are no wrong answers this week. Even for the skeptical, the list of the usual suspects you'll rule out is shorter than the complement of viable options. This sets up a golden opportunity to stretch and think outside the box.

Only Harris English is unavailable to me as I burned him at The McGladrey Classic; yep, a week too soon. Dustin Johnson emerged with the trophy in last year's 54-hole gustfest and he's a recent winner in China, but I'll continue to holster my self-imposed, one-time mulligan reserved for defending champions.

As I assess the remaining selections on the board, I can't help but remember how Adam Scott failed to reward my patience at the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship. I saved him all season for that tournament (thanks to top 10s at TPC Boston in 2010-2012), but he disappointed with a T53. This isn't to say that he won't qualify as a smart option again at that event this year, but I'm hoping to strike while the iron is hot now. Put me down for the Aussie at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

I'd endorse Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson as high-octane potentials as well. If you're apt to lean more heavily toward the guaranteed payday and save all of the above, consider Chris Kirk and Ryan Moore, both winners in the fall. I'm just as confident about English, Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker, but Kapalua tends to reward the experienced. Only once in the last 11 editions has a first-timer triumphed (Daniel Chopra, 2008).

Two-man formats should automatically pencil in Martin Laird. His inconsistency kills his value in one-and-dones, but he has a T4 (2010) and a solo second (2012) in two appearances at Kapalua.


OHL Classic at Mayakoba: Briny Baird; MC; $0.00; 0.000 FedExCup points
Overall Record: 5-for-6
Earnings: $616,980.66
FedExCup points: 345.083
Wins: 0
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 2
Top 25s: 3
Missed Cuts: 1
Withdrawals: 0
Disqualifications: 0

Notable WDs

Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose ... Each is scheduled to begin his 2014 slate at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Jan. 16.

Tiger Woods ... Plans on opening his season on Jan. 23 at the Farmers Insurance Open where he's the defending champion.

Graeme McDowell ... Off until the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Feb. 6.