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Risk and Reward - Quicken Loans National

Anyone else excited for fantasy football season? I'm terrible and the guys here at We Talk Fantasy Sports will probably deflate my Win-Loss record more than a Tom Brady game ball, yet I can't help but feel the energy in sports-dom as another NFL season revs up. For the record, you might have found your way here for some fantasy golf advice, but you should really stick around for all the other great content here. Obvious plug is obvious.

When my cohorts are laughing at my abysmal football totals, I can at least stay warm in the comfort of fantasy golf. This week's tournament, though, is somewhat discomforting. The weak field asks many of us to tag in players who we might not otherwise consider. While these guys are mostly second and third-tier players, remember, the difference between them and first tier is often just a stroke or two on average. In short, they're still really darn good at this game.

Additionally, the dearth of course knowledge should lend itself to even greater parity throughout the field, but that only answers who might make the cut. For closing the deal, look for players who've done it before and you can look no further than David Hearn last week for a reason why. Don't mistake a lack of starpower for a lack of drama. The Quicken Loans National should prove to be plenty entertaining.

My Power Rankings draw on statistics only, but 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. 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. As always, you can find me over at


Harris English - TA: 49.13, CHG: (+1.2) - Harris English has been rebuilding his swing for much of the year and he's not quite there yet. At least, he has appeared to be over the hump yet. He's back to consistently making cuts, going 6-for-his-last-6, something he hasn't done since the early part of the season. Statistically, he's a fairly complete package, so if he can minimize the errors and trust his swing, he could easily walk away with this one.

Bill Haas - TA: 56.38, CHG: (-19.2) - 2009. 2009 was the last year Bill Haas missed three cuts in a row. This can't and won't last, though it appears something is amiss in camp Haas. Across the board, he's statistically worse than he was last year, which seems more like a hazard that a safe pick. When you consider that Haas still ranks higher than most in many categories, it starts to make a little bit more sense. In a weak field, expect him to find some traction.

Chesson Hadley - TA: 76.67, CHG: (-9.6) - This week's dark horse pick. He's not only won before, he's eclipsed many of his 2014 totals except for one category - wins. He's got little more than that going for him, I'll admit, but every once in a while hunches pan out. My gut is never wrong, except when I crave Indian food, which I love and my gut does not.


Johnson Wagner - TA: 58.125, CHG: (+16.4) - His 18th place finish at last weeks Canadian Open marks his fourth straight cashed check in stretch that also includes a Top 5 and Top 10. As a multiple winner on Tour, Wagner has the closing experience needed for an edge in a weak field, but I just can't give him a complete vote of confidence. In seeming spite on his solid stats, Wagner has nine total missed cuts in 19 starts. In other words, barely better than 50/50. By comparison, Chesson Hadley with a much higher TA has eight missed cuts in 25 starts - better than 65 percent.

James Hahn - TA: 60.00, CHG: (+10.2) - As a well rounded player, Hahn stands to play a solid tournament just about anywhere. Sandwiched a missed cut with a T11 and a T6 in his last three starts. Now I'm hungry. Hahn appear to lose his briefly after taking home his first win but he appears to be highly motivated again. Of course, shortly after his maiden victory, Hahn's wife gave birth to their first child. Sleep deprivation does crazy things to a golf swing.


Ricky Barnes - TA: 50.38, CHG: (+17.8) - STOP. Ignore the T3 followed by a T11. Do not pass go! Barnes is nearly dead last in GIR, edging only Mike Weir as one of just four players on Tour hitting less than 60 percent of greens. With little knowledge of the course, hitting greens will save headaches navigating unfamiliar bunkers, rough and other terrain. I suspect, given his poor accuracy on just about every front, Barnes will struggle to manage a course he's yet to play.

Jon Curran - TA: 64.13, CHG: (-18.8) - Fallen off a cliff since climbing his way onto my Power Rankings. I wouldn't expect anything to change immediately, since climbing cliffs takes considerable time. Get the defibrillator if you're planning on giving him the nod, as he'll likely need a jump and then some to get moving.

Tiger Woods - TA: 64.88, CHG: (-16.6) - Flat out embarrassed me at St. Andrews. I plugged him pretty hard, all things considered, and he never even flirted with making the cut. I still don't believe he's forever lost, but the hole he's in looks deeper and deeper with each missed cut. Wait for the signal flare, rescue ship and subsequent news announcement of his rescue before considering a lineup spot for him.

Normally, I'd list here who I've started this week in my non-money games, something I'll likely start doing again soon. Since I'm continuing my challenge to all of you this week and you're going to be taking my money, I'll leave my even-shorter list hidden. Come find me over at if you must know come Thursday morning.  

Group ID: 11809
Pass: wetalk

Thanks for Reading!

Kyle Donovan