Most-selected players: CIMB Classic
October 11, 2017
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
Fantasy Outlook: 2017 CIMB Classic
We're only two weeks into 2017-18 but we may already have our runaway candidate for the season's most shocking group decision.
How Justin Thomas isn't populating 100 percent of the rosters submitted for the CIMB Classic defies explanation. Sure, there's the contrarian angle, but then there's just flat-out foolishness. With no cut, only 78 golfers in the field, the imbalanced benefit of bonus points due to the absence of ShotLink and virtually zero chance of needing more than three starts in Segment 1 for any golfer, there isn't a reason to at least stash the two-time defending champion on your bench.
Elsewhere, you've tiptoed into scuffling Thomas Pieters, who slots 16th overall at 11.5 percent. That aversion is unlikely to last long, but he'll be more valuable when all shots are measured, anyway. Remember, only the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open remains as a full-fantasy scoring event in Segment 1.
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NOTE: Rob’s Rating refers to where our Fantasy Insider slotted a golfer in his Power Rankings ("PR") and other preview material.
Owned rank Player Percentage Rob’s Rating 1st Justin Thomas (def. champ) 65.50% PR1 2nd Hideki Matsuyama 62.90% PR4 3rd Paul Casey 48.00% PR3 4th Brendan Steele 41.30% PR2 5th Kevin Na 24.10% PR5 6th Xander Schauffele 23.00% PR6 7th Graham DeLaet 21.00% Draw 8th Gary Woodland 19.00% PR12 9th Ian Poulter 17.80% PR11 10th Emiliano Grillo 16.90% Draw
Golfers in the Power Rankings and outside the top 10 in most owned
Power Ranking Player Owned rank Percentage 7 Scott Piercy 22nd 7.4% 8 Rafa Cabrera Bello 11th 14.7% 9 Chez Reavie 18th 10.0% 10 James Hahn 30th 4.9% 13 Charl Schwartzel 20th 8.7% 14 Keegan Bradley 14th 12.6% 15 Thomas Pieters 16th 11.5% Wild card Bud Cauley 13th 13.2%
Owned rank Player Percentage 12th Ollie Schniederjans 13.7% 15th Anirban Lahiri 11.8% 19th Jason Dufner 9.6% 23rd Branden Grace 7.3% 25th Charles Howell III 6.4%
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It would have been understandable if Justin Thomas didn't pace the field of 78, but why mess with a sure thing? In fact, as loyal readers of this space have come to learn, chalk almost always leads ownership percentages regardless of common sense or strategic influence. Saying nothing of JT at the CIMB Classic (because he's my selection), I've come to accept the phenomenon as circumstantial piece of evidence that not all gamers play in every event. Naturally, when you're a sometimer, the most notable and potent options will get the love.
However, take note of that devotion to Anirban Lahiri in second with 9.4 percent! That speaks to the crafty gamers who know that they're guaranteed FedExCup points at TPC Kuala Lumpur where Lahiri placed T3 last year. He also finished T9 in his last individual competition (BMW Championship) and you're not going to miss him in this format. Bravo.
Owned rank Player Percentage 1st Justin Thomas (def. champ) 12.8% 2nd Anirban Lahiri 9.4% 3rd Hideki Matsuyama 8.4% 4th Paul Casey 6.7% 5th Brendan Steele 6.3% 6th Gary Woodland 4.8% 7th Rafa Cabrera Bello 4.0% 8th Kevin Na 3.7% 9th Scott Piercy 3.5% 10th Graham DeLaet 3.2%
Owned rank Player Percentage 11th Ian Poulter 2.8% 13th James Hahn 2.4% 15th Emiliano Grillo 1.9% 17th Thomas Pieters 1.6% T23 Branden Grace 0.9%