I'm going to re-issue my challenge from last week. It went a little something like... this... *tunes radio*... "I pretty much ran the table for the U.S. Open over at GoDraft.com, which means I need more challengers! Click the link, join up, and come take my not-so-hard-earned winnings. Once the PGA games open for the week, you can find me in the We Talk Fantasy Sports league or in various other games as RiskRewardGolf. I promise to play nice. Maybe." Unfortunately, unbeknownst to your humble prognosticator, there were no games on GoDraft. I mean, how good am I at predicting when I can't predict that? Well, they've since fixed that and games will be a weekly occurrence. Find me there or hit me up on twit at me on the Twitter for a head-to-head.
I'd like to say there's a deep field this week, one ripe with choices on the lower end of the spectrum to pull from, but there isn't. Instead, as the summer rolls into the Open Championship at St. Andrews, most of the biggest names are taking the week off before heading to the Scottish Open for some hot links-on-links action, Louisiana Hot Link meets Linguiça style. Of course, there's still games to be had out there in the fantasy world, so let's start navigating the coin toss that is rest of this field.
You might recall from my Power Rankings for this week that I mentioned players with good distance and accuracy from the tee mixed with solid ball-striking stats tend to fare well here. If you don't, go back and read it, lazy sack. If you do, good, because the rest of this is going to make a whole lot more sense.
My Power Rankings draw on statistics only, while Risk and Reward draws more on gut feel and intuition about players who missed my Top 15. In this column, you'll find "Lay-Up", "Going For It", and "Hazard". Look for more subjective analysis here, as opposed to the Power Rankings, where I rely strictly on data. Lay-Up may contain players who, barring a Great Flood, will bank you some points. Going For It is where I'll have players that may have missed the Power Rankings or who I feel present an excellent opportunity to pick up a win, but carry some considerable risk. Lastly, Hazards, where I often find myself on any given Sunday, should be avoided.
John Peterson - TA: 65.83, CHG: (-6) - Looked unperturbed by his recent hand injury while playing out the Travelers Championship. Peterson could use a little more length off the tee to be a perfect fit, otherwise, he's a perfect fit. If you recall last week, I went waaaay out on a limb putting Jason Kokrak here. I'd have looked like a damned genius had he not dunked two balls into the drink on 17, spoiling what looked like a certain Top 15. Not feeling that frisky this week, Peterson is as "risky" a safe pick as I'll allow.
Brendon Todd - TA: 46.43, CHG: (+7.2) - Miss a cut at the U.S. Open and suddenly you're on everybody's hitlist. I'm going to call shenanigans on that, since Todd is still an excellent player. His trouble, which happens to be what made him a must bench at the U.S. Open? Dude's short. Not physically, he's 6-foot-3, just driver impaired, averaging just 275 yards off the tee. He's not the perfect archetype for The Old White, but I'll give him a pass. His T15 last week and T4 last year have earned him at least that.
Patrick Reed - TA: 51, CHG: (-15.2) - I think Reed was still having nightmares last week about punting away his chances while in contention at the U.S. Open. More likely, the course penalized his relative inaccuracy off the tee and no amount of short game magic could make up for it. This week rewards his length, but like Todd, he comes with some downside - accuracy. No matter, Reed is an excellent scrambler and putter, so he should manage just fine.
Tiger Woods - TA: 76.17, CHG: (-16.6) - When you're in the company of Oscar Fraustro and Greg Chalmers on my lists, you're bad. As in, not good. Like, get it together... man. I'm worried, yes, but not too much. Why? His putting. He'd be ranked right around 64th in strokes gained on the greens if he had enough rounds to measure, and while his 3-putt avoidance could use some work, its an indicator (to me, for whatever that's worth) that he really is just working on his swing. Tiger pulled T17 at the Masters, and sure, he stunk it up at the U.S. Open but so did names like Rickie Fowler, Chris Kirk (only after making the cut) and last week's winner Bubba Watson.
Shawn Stefani - TA: 51.71, CHG: (-15) - Hosed a lot of people with his MC at the FedEx St. Jude, myself included. Still, when a player does so many things well like he does, its not often he'll stay out of the mix. Hits all the right stats and throws in a decent putter as well. 2-for-2 here but still seeking a Top 25. Should easily find that this week.
Cameron Tringale - TA: 54.5, CHG: (-10.4) - For all my odd and risky picks last week, I'm not straying terribly far from the beaten path this time around. Tringale is playing good, but not great, golf this year and though he's looking like he won't eclipse his stellar season just a year ago, he should have some good golf still in him. His accuracy and reasonable length from the tee should serve him well here.
Jason Bohn - TA: 50.38, CHG: (0) - Short and extremely accurate off the tee, and yet, he missed the cut last week at a course that should have rewarded his pinpoint tee-to-green skills. His T11 last year is his only made cut at The Greenbrier and I'd argue that he's due for a drop-off in returns for fantasy players.
Tiger Woods - TA: 51.71, CHG: (-16.6) - Nope, not crazy. I know he's here twice, and for good reason. There's two Tiger's out there. The one that showed up at the Masters and proved he still had something in the tank and the one to trashed up Chambers Bay en route to losing to a 15-year-old amateur. At best, he's a gamble, at worst, well, he's hopeless.
Johnson Wagner - TA: 74, CHG: (-10.4) - His course history would suggest that he's comfortable here, a horse-for-the-course, if you will. Five straight missed cuts would suggest that he won't be comfortable anywhere, even sleeping on his own couch. Granted, as a three-time TOUR winner, he's got a comfy couch. Which, to be honest, I'm not sure makes my metaphor better or worse...
Normally, I'd list here who I've started this week in my non money games. Since I've called you all out and you're going to be taking my money, I'll leave my even-shorter list hidden. Come find me over at GoDraft.com if you must know come Thursday morning. Add your Yahoo Fantasy Golf foursome to our group for the Summer Season!
Group ID: 11809