Since PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf was dark for the Ryder Cup, I’m giving you a reading assignment. If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with what I wrote in the Fantasy Insider last week.
With no fantasy action, I took advantage of the extra space and what was a captive audience for a specific, fresh topic to analyze the Fortinet Championship in the context of the fantasy game. Also included are enhancements planned for this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship. They include the promised ability to view entire rosters (not just Starters) and the tool to compare rosters. But there’s more baked in, so please read that and continue to read this.
The ongoing narrative of the introduction of the newest version of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf is that enhancements will continue to roll out in time. In addition to what I shared last week, all player cards on the roster page include the word, “SWAP,” above the swap icon. This eliminates the confusion experienced during the season-opener.
Also new this week will be the emergence of the projected cut during the second round.
Another feature in the pipeline is a chart with all of the picks for the featured experts in Expert Picks (linked below). In the past, only my selections appeared on the page.
I’ll use that to circle back to another message that I conveyed in last week’s FI; that is, the public league in which we are competing is “PGA TOUR Experts.” The league named “pga experts” is not directly affiliated with the staff and me.
Lastly, while it won’t impact us until Segment 2, it’s worth planting the seed now that the Farmers Insurance Open has been shifted to be contested Wednesday-Saturday, Jan. 26-29. The primary impact on us is that the roster deadline will be 24 hours earlier than usual. Certainly, by then, it’ll be top-of-mind, but it’s never too early to be aware.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the Sanderson Farms Championship (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Cameron Tringale (+4000) … Consider him No. 16 in the Power Rankings proper. It’s funny how commodities are knocked despite consistently strong form. However, he’s recorded only one top-15 finish in his last 11 starts and has no better than a T16 contributing to a 4-for-4 slate at Country Club of Jackson. It means that he’s had plenty of chances to belong in the top 15, but the results suggest otherwise. It’s the fine line between that attention and the same in here that many gamers will overlook. But not you. (Thank you.)
Peter Malnati (+10000) … If the Power Rankings cared only about course history, he’d have been near the top as the tournament’s all-time earnings leader. That’s what a victory (in 2015) and a runner-up finish (in 2020) do for that. He also cashed in three of his four starts in between. However, the retreat into this section is a reflection of his lengthy lulls in between peak performances. He enjoyed a solid opening to last season, but then went over seven months without a top-40 finish in individual competition until rising for a T22 at Silverado two weeks ago. He deserves this endorsement, but because of his extremes, he might go under-owned in DFS. So, although he seems to be an obvious pick at CC of Jackson, he sets up as a tasty fractional investment.
J.T. Poston (+12500) … Second choice for the Wild Card but he arrives from a different angle. He’s 5-for-5 at CC of Jackson with a T11 in 2019 and a solo third last year, and he’s just two months removed from the playoff loss at Keene Trace, but that’s his only top 25 in the last six months and his only top 10 since his appearance here a year ago. Still, as a relatively long hitter who scores well on par 5s, and as the second-ranked golfer in Strokes Gained: Putting from last season, it’s understandable that he’s connected in every trip to the SFC.
Si Woo Kim (+3300) … Always most valuable in long-term formats, but in this event at this time, take the plunge. Fulfilled his horse-for-the-course projection for a T2 at Wyndham in August, and then opened this season with a T11 at Silverado. Also cashed in the last two editions of the SFC. That’ll work.
Austin Cook (+15000) … A month ago, I didn’t think that I’d be endorsing him now, but he connected T11s at the KFT Championship and Fortinet, so ride the wave with him pulling up the rear in aggressive lineups.
Odds sourced on Tuesday, September 28 at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
Matthew Wolff (+5000) … As he cleans the slate after a challenging 2021 portion of last season, I’m most interested in how he’s going to build his schedule. The SFC is a soft open at a great time, so it’d make sense for him to put four rounds together and challenge for a top 20, and on talent alone you should throw a unit or two at him, but he’s a contrarian until further notice. And there’s nothing wrong with that value.
Gary Woodland (+4000) … Nice complement in full-season league but the 37-year-old has been too inconsistent since incurring his injuries at this time last year. Also getting his first look at CC of Jackson.
Adam Hadwin (+8000) … He’s shown flashes but his approach game has regressed measurably. It’s a critical component of success at CC of Jackson, which he hasn’t seen in six years.
Denny McCarthy (+12500) … That he’s singled out like this is an indication that the spotlight is stronger for a reason. Indeed, with a T7-T18-T6 run at the SFC since 2018, he presents as a workhorse. However, with only one top-35 finish in the last five months, you’re tossing all of your hope into the notion that CC of Jackson is his nirvana. This is why he presents as a trap. I’ll grant that there’s correlation between his slumps before popping at Sedgefield as well, but the timing of running through the tape in that event is the opposite of this week’s experience.
Kevin Stadler (+100000) … Provided he doesn’t withdraw before his opening round, this will the last start via his Major Medical Extension that dates back to time missed during the 2015-16 season. Only a victory would fulfill the terms of even conditional status, but of course that would vault him into the winners category, anyway. Every other finish would result in a demotion into the Past Champions category. The secondary goal would be a top 10 to prompt an exemption into next week’s Shriners, but at 41 years of age, he’s in no-man’s land as a touring professional, so it remains to be seen if he continues to plow forward when the opportunities are available.
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Talor Gooch … I had him positioned prominently in the Power Rankings until he pulled out just before I filed on Monday. Without more detail on the reasoning for his decision not to play this week, it can’t be ruled out that entry into the upcoming no-cut, limited-field invitationals is influencing long-range scheduling. That’s almost always easier to decipher after the fact, but we’ll miss him at the SFC.
Russell Henley … His 2021-22 season debut remains on ice. Whenever he splashes, he’ll be a short-lister for us.
Hank Lebioda … Since withdrawing during the 3M Open due to his father’s serious health matter, the lefty has missed three cuts in as many starts.
Troy Merritt … He was released to compete in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this week.
J.B. Holmes … Ended a two-month break following a back injury and missed the cut at Silverado despite a pair of 1-under 71s. Fully exempt this season and a deep bargain in salary leagues, but he’s yet to prove that he can stay healthy.
POWER RANKINGS RECAP – RYDER CUP
Power Ranking Golfer Record
1 Jordan Spieth 1-2-1
2 Jon Rahm 3-1-1
3 Patrick Cantlay 3-0-1
4 Ian Poulter 1-2-0
5 Rory McIlroy 1-3-0
6 Justin Thomas 2-1-1
7 Viktor Hovland 0-3-2
8 Xander Schauffele 3-1-0
9 Sergio Garcia 3-1-0
10 Daniel Berger 2-1-0
11 Paul Casey 0-4-0
12 Shane Lowry 1-2-0
13 Tony Finau 1-2-0
14 Lee Westwood 1-2-0
15 Dustin Johnson 5-0-0
16 Matt Fitzpatrick 0-3-0
17 Scottie Scheffler 2-0-1
18 Harris English 1-2-0
19 Bryson DeChambeau 2-0-1
20 Tommy Fleetwood 0-1-2
21 Collin Morikawa 3-0-1
22 Tyrrell Hatton 1-2-1
23 Brooks Koepka 2-2-0
24 Bernd Wiesberger 0-3-0
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
September 28 … Will MacKenzie (47)
September 29 … Matthew NeSmith (28)
September 30 … none
October 1 … Scott Gutschewski (45); Grayson Murray (28)
October 2… George McNeill (46); Callum Tarren (31)
October 3 … Danny Willett (34)
October 4 … none
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