Although the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is the last of the four tournaments of the season to be contested on multiple courses, it's the only for which an annual check of the weather forecast presents influential value. The American Express also is played over three courses, but it's often so nice in the Coachella Valley that a review of the conditions usually is cursory.
Part and parcel with fantasy prep for the AT&T is an apples-to-apples comparison to a recent edition with similar elements. Since the second and third rounds of the 2019 edition were impacted by inclement weather and gusty winds, it's necessary to dial back the time machine another year for a fair representation of what's expected this week.
In 2018, sunshine and warmer air than what's forecast this week blanketed the tournament. Just like what's anticipated this week, wind freshened as the tournament continued. Below are the scoring averages per round for all three courses. Each is sorted beginning with the lowest average in relation to par.
-1.442 = MPCC
-0.769 = Spyglass Hill
-0.692 = Pebble Beach
-1.231 = MPCC
-0.686 = Spyglass Hill
+0.404 = Pebble Beach
-0.137 = MPCC
+0.308 = Pebble Beach
+0.804 = Spyglass Hill
Remember that MPCC is a par 71 with four par 5s, so it's worth finagling six of your 12 starts in the first three rounds on the course. However, because Pebble Beach will be hosting the most notable talents in the third round (for television purposes) when the wind will blow the strongest, consider front-loaded on MPCC in rounds one and two with combination of four and two or three apiece.
Now, Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill are stock par 72s, and without ShotLink turned on for fantasy purposes, variance in fantasy scoring on the whole likely will prove to be negligible. So, there's a valid argument to stick with the chalk and ride it out. Even if this was the last tournament of the season, other factors would supersede strategy in building a roster around and through the wind.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Daniel Berger; Patrick Cantlay; Paul Casey; Cameron Champ; Jason Day; Brian Gay; Tom Hoge; Maverick McNealy; Alex Noren; Vaughn Taylor
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Jordan Spieth … You navigate to the Fantasy Insider for any number of reasons, but you've likely stopped looking for my take on the 2017 champion of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That's fine. He's retreated into the position of personal preference in our world, which means he continues to sit atop the speculative stocks. I don't see anything or assume something you don't. What all of us witness is the work. This is what it looks like. It's golf. Yet, there must be purpose with the preview. Impressive results notwithstanding, he's 7-for-7 in this tournament. The 54-hole cut extends his hope by one round to maintain a perfect record. And even though he missed the cut by two at TPC Scottsdale last week, there's value in the fact that he doesn't miss many.
Matt Kuchar … This won't surprise anyone, but the rub is that he's not in the Power Rankings. For a guy who's best known as a shorter-hitting sharpshooter, that's he's just 2-for-3 with one top 60 (T22, 2019) on the current rotation of courses is disappointing. Of course, he's only a couple of weeks removed from a nail-biter of a win in Singapore, and he logged a consistent T16 in Arizona last week, so he comes to us as insurance in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf.
Vaughn Taylor … Veteran gamers won't soon forget that he prevailed as the sixth-to-last man in the field in 2016. He was on Past Champion status at the time. Now 43 years of age, he hasn't looked back, but it's been much more than bonus time. He's off to a terrific start this season with a sturdy blend of accuracy off the tee and a scoring mentality. Continue to make room for him on short courses for the foreseeable future.
Kevin Kisner … If you ever needed evidence that he can putt on all surfaces, not just bermuda, note that he's 4-for-7 in this tournament with a T10 in 2017. To be certain, his class is permanent and he's already risen for a T4 in 2020 (at Waialae).
Jimmy Walker … This mild endorsement is rooted in his comfort level with and affinity for the tournament. His most recent of five top 10s occurred just two years ago (T8). His record is highlighted by the victory in 2014. He's also 3-for-4 in 2020 with eight red numbers in his last 11 rounds. They are baby steps and reflections of the grind no matter his health.
Pat Perez … He's missed only three cuts in 17 appearances, the last 14 of which consecutive, and he's connected six cuts made this season, two of which for a top 10. That positions him quietly at 45th in the FedExCup standings. But most of all, you know he loves this format on these courses. Superb complement across the board.
Mark Hubbard … It's now five years since he walked off Pebble Beach and proposed to his current wife, Meghan. He missed the cut that week but returned with a pair of paydays in the next two editions. Back now after a two-year-hiatus, he's fresh off a T9 at the WMPO, his third top 10 of the season.
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Kevin Na … The only curiosity here isn't a small one. How will his neck hold up in the cool conditions? He has ample experience on the Monterey Peninsula and success to go with it, but gamers always should steer clear of chronic neck and back issues when daytime highs struggle to escape the 50s. If you haven't on purpose before, use this as an exercise.
Charley Hoffman … He's showing signs of life again, but he's manufactured no better than a pair of T35s (2010, 2012) on these courses among just three cuts made in seven appearances.
Si Woo Kim … Finished T4 here last year, but he's 0-for-3 since Mayakoba with a mid-tournament withdrawal at The American Express due to a sore back.
Ted Potter, Jr. … Winner here in 2018 thanks in large part to a career-low 62 on MPCC in the third round. He missed the cut by 15 strokes in his title defense. While he'll pop for something special every now and then, it's far too infrequent to rationalize investment in everything but maybe a chip-and-a-chair DFS lineup.
Harold Varner III … Expecting him to love the format and experience in his debut, but he's opened 2020 with three consecutive missed cuts, this after concluding 2019 with 10 straight paydays.
Peter Uihlein … The first-timer has missed three of his last four cuts, but his entry furnishes a good reminder that he's eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs via conditional status. He may be coaxed to moonlight on the Korn Ferry Tour or elsewhere at times, but keep at least one eye on him as he does. Currently 174th in points.
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Joel Dahmen … Withdrew from last week's Waste Management Phoenix Open before his third round with an illness. It was his first mid-tournament WD in 84 career starts on the PGA TOUR. Now remedied after several days, the byproduct of the weekend off was additional rest. Should come cheap in DFS.
Hunter Mahan … Called it quits during his second round of the Farmers Insurance Open with a sore knee. Assuming he pegs it on the first tee of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, it will represent his final start via a Minor Medical Extension. He can fulfill the terms with a two-way T2 at worst. Short of that, a two-way T3 would secure conditional status for the remainder of the season. If he fails to achieve that secondary objective, he'll tumble into the Beyond 150 Reshuffle category as a past champion. The 37-year-old is 34th on the all-time money list, but he will not exhaust a career earnings exemption this season.
Andrew Putnam … According to his website, he'll be back at it at Riviera next week. Currently 82nd in the FedExCup and leading the TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting (in 12 measured rounds).
Sepp Straka … He's made only three of 12 cuts this season, but because two of them were T4s, he's 60th in the FedExCup standings. If all golfers performed like this, weekly fantasy games would cease to exist. You'd rather just play the lottery.
K.H. Lee … In his tournament debut last year, he didn't break par in any round and missed the cut. Like with Straka, Lee's similarly hot-and-cold 2019-20 includes a T5 at Sea Island, a T21 at PGA WEST and eight missed cuts. He's 94th in the FedExCup.
Robby Shelton … He was the last man in the field at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which meant four straight weeks on the road. Not that he isn't equipped to handle it, but at 58th in the FedExCup standings, he's earned the decision to rest (assuming that's why he withdrew).
Vince Covello … After opening the season with a T47 at Greenbrier, the PGA TOUR rookie has missed eight straight cuts. In only one of those (Sony Open in Hawaii), he'd have survived the cut under the old provision of low 70 and ties.
Ben Crane … When he appeared in the field after having withdrawn before his second round of The American Express due to a torn labrum, his commitment to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was a surprise. Buried in the Past Champions category, he doesn't have any fantasy value.
POWER RANKINGS RECAP – WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Jon Rahm T9
2 Hideki Matsuyama T16
3 Justin Thomas T3
4 Rickie Fowler T37
5 Webb Simpson Win
6 Brandt Snedeker MC
7 Gary Woodland T40
8 Matt Kuchar T16
9 Branden Grace T9
10 Bubba Watson T3
11 Collin Morikawa T25
12 Xander Schauffele T16
13 Sungjae Im T34
14 Byeong Hun An T9
15 Brendan Steele MC
Wild Card Tony Finau P2
SLEEPERS RECAP – WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
Kiradech Aphibarnrat MC
Bud Cauley T25
Chesson Hadley T59
Matt Jones MC
Martin Laird T55
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE GOLFERS ON THE PGA TOUR
February 4 … none
February 5 … Kevin Stadler (40)
February 6 … Tim Herron (50); Ricky Barnes (39); Collin Morikawa (23)
February 7 … none
February 8 … none
February 9 … none
February 10 … none