Sam Ryder … Rookies struggle in crashing the field of 132 at TPC Scottsdale because the cutoff for entry usually lands near the top of the Web.com Tour graduate reshuffle category. So, when he got off to a slow start as a rookie in 2017-18, he didn't come close to snaring a tee time. Now that he's fully exempt for finishing inside the top 125 of the FedExCup, the hurdle is history. Even better, he aligns with the profile for success better than many who have been here before. He finished last season ranked T10 in total driving, second in greens in regulation and T16 in proximity to the hole. He also finished ninth in good drive percentage, a value reflecting a combination of fairways hit and greens or fringe in regulation on par 4s and par 5s. It's a skill with which course co-collaborator and updater, Tom Weiskopf, was associated. You'll also find it peppered throughout this week's Sleepers. Ryder already is on the board this season with a pair of top fives, including a solo third at TPC Summerlin, another desert layout.
Ted Potter Jr. … When the lefty is on his game, he's splitting every fairway and going bonkers with the putter. Not long off the tee as compared to most of his peers, it helps explain why he's able to prevail in tournaments like the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. which he'll be defending next week. His one-two punch can inflict some damage at TPC Scottsdale as well. At 7,261 yards stretched out, it's about average on the PGA TOUR. He connected four red numbers en route to a T24 in 2013, but hasn't returned since missing the cut a year later. Currently fourth in good drive percentage, 22nd in driving accuracy and 21st in greens in regulation. Already has a pair of top 15s on suitable course for him this season – The Club at Nine Bridges and Waialae.
Vaughn Taylor … No matter the existing design of TPC Scottsdale when he's appeared and despite the five-year hiatus from the tournament until his return in 2017, he's acquitted himself nicely over time. Overall, he's 7-for-9 with a solo seventh and a pair of T11s, one of the latter of which last year. For all of 2017-18, he ranked 12th in good drive percentage. Took last week off after a T7 at the Desert Classic where he placed T8 in good drive percentage and T5 in putts per GIR.
Brian Stuard … While his lone PGA TOUR victory occurred in the last edition of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans as an individual competition in 2016, which was shortened to 54 holes due to weather, he's profiled best throughout his career in the tropics. A T8 at Waialae three weeks ago helped prove that point. However, TPC Scottsdale has been good to the veteran as he's yet to miss a cut in five tries. His record includes a T10 in 2015 and a T16 in 2017. Finished last season ranked 18th in good drive percentage.
Matthew Wolff ... Of all the places where he could have splashed onto the PGA TOUR, he landed in a dandy. The 19-year-old sophomore at Oklahoma State University turns heads with his funky action. It's a move that's vaulted him to No. 4 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He walked off 2018 with two outright wins, a share of another title and a fourth-place finish at an amateur event at renown Royal Melbourne Golf Club. While a direct parallel to Jon Rahm is unfair to both golfers, it was in 2015 when the Spaniard placed T5 as an amateur at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, proving that the test is fair no matter the inexperience at this level. Wolff's skill set can't help but remain sharp given that one of his fellow Cowboys is 2018 U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, who sits No. 3 in the WAGR.
NOTE: Sleeper is a relative term, so Rob uses unofficial criteria to determine who qualifies. Each of the following usually is determined to be ineligible for this weekly staple: Winners of the tournament on the current host course; winners in the same season; recent major champions; top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking; recent participants of team competitions.