John McNamara

Long-Term 101

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Long-Term 101, Volume Three

Friday, June 15, 2012


I enjoyed putting Volume Three together. Since Volume Two, five tournaments have elapsed. Matt Kuchar took home THE PLAYERS; Jason Dufner won the Byron Nelson; Zach Johnson emerged at Colonial; Tiger Woods willed his way to victory at the Memorial; and Dustin Johnson overtook the field at the St. Jude Classic.

 

All of these winners ranked inside my top 20 in Volume Two and there weren't any huge movements at the top of the 101, but several players were bumped outside the number. In addition, several others up and down the list.

 

I continue to have inquiries if the rankings were designed for a specific “type” of league. The answer is no.

 

The purpose of the Long-Term 101 is to highlight the fantasy value over a 365-day period instead of a weekly synopsis. This yearlong cheat sheet uses top finishes (money) and quality of play as measurements for the rise or fall within the different volumes.

 

It will benefit gamers who are in full-season draft leagues and trade leagues. Since it's a continual synopsis of the ups and downs of each player, it also serves weekly gamers that like to follow trends.

 

These rankings will be based on the 2012 money order, trends, regularity of events on the PGA TOUR only, and player’s future schedules. I also lean heavily on a fivesome of important stats: par breakers, adjusted scoring, greens in regulation, scrambling and Strokes-Gained Putting.

 

I will post six features throughout the year, tying these columns to big events or to a time on the schedule with some significance.

 

Please utilize my “Open Door” email policy to make each fantasy team a success in ’12. I will answer every email and will prefer to talk via the phone on certain occasions. Find me on Twitter at @J_McNamara_Golf or email me at JMacFantasyGolf@aim.com with any questions.

 

Rank  Player (Volume Two Rank) ... Comments

1.       Tiger Woods (1) ... Stat Line: 12th in Par Breakers, 3rd in Adjusted Scoring, 7th in GIR, 19th in Scrambling, 25th in SG-Putting. Quite strong and his win at Muirfield is proof.

2.       Rory McIlroy (3) ... Trending forward in all five stat categories. Still bullish.

3.       Luke Donald (4) ... Passes Phil and I continue to see growth, but irons are not as sharp as 2011.

4.       Phil Mickelson (2) ... Actually led my attributes, but the WD at Memorial is strange. Still would take him fourth in a yearlong draft today.

5.       Matt Kuchar (13) ... Big win at THE PLAYERS and he ranks 79th in SG-P compared to 121st in Volume Two. Big surge in par breakers as well.

6.       Dustin Johnson (22) ... Comes back from back injury with a T19 on a TOUGH Memorial track and wins on a TOUGH St. Jude track. I am a believer.

7.       Justin Rose (8) ... Concerned about recent downward trend in SG-P, but nothing a little bentgrass greens cannot cure. Consummate ball-striker.

8.       Hunter Mahan (5) ... Could move him down further with negative trends in par breakers and adjusted scoring, but like Rose, Mahan likes summer time bentgrass greens. Long-term stud.

9.       Steve Stricker (6) … I am surprised to see him rank 94th in SG-Putting and 67th in Adjusted scoring (both going backwards), but he is too hard to overlook in the ninth spot.

10.     Lee Westwood (11) … Can you imagine if he could make something on the greens? That would be scary, but he sits in a consistent spot.

11.     Webb Simpson (10) … Irons, scoring and putter are heating up, but he is digressing in scrambling since Volume Two and ‘11 (156th now, 122nd before Volume Two and 60th last year).

12.     Jason Dufner (15) … Hard to pull the trigger on Dufner over Bradley, Watson and others, but he dominates the results and stats except for SG-Putting.

13.     Keegan Bradley (9) … No alarms going off, just not getting much from his game right now; buy low if someone is disenchanted.

14.     Bubba Watson (7) … Impressive in so many facets of the game, but can he take his game to next level every week he tees it up?

15.     Zach Johnson (21) … He stated he was an underdog every week. He is right, but since '07, he has won at least once event every year except ‘11. I will take that from a second-rounder.

16.     Jim Furyk (19) … Last year was an anomaly. Get back on board.

17.     Rickie Fowler (32) … Trending forward with his SG-Putting (121st, which is not great), but I like the positive direction in that area and all other phases of game are strong.

18.     Bill Haas (17) … Might be a bit high, but I like this spot for his long-term value.

19.     Adam Scott (12) … I am hitting the panic button. 

20.     Bo Van Pelt (19) … Great stats, but only has one win in career. Already has five top 10s in ‘12.

21.     Carl Pettersson (30) … Incredible short game and is always a threat on medium-to-short courses with small greens.

22.     Jason Day (16) … See Adam Scott above. However, Day showing positive trends but ranks 161st in GIR. Ouch. Baby due in next month, too.

23.     Kevin Na (26) … Working on third straight year to finish inside the top 30 on the money list. Forget all the goofy pre-shot antics; Na can play.

24.     Brandt Snedeker (14) … Recent injury is a concern, but like his long-term mojo.

25.     Ernie Els (27) … Love the moxie he showed trying to earn his way into the Masters. Recent slide in par breakers and adjusted scoring is not a huge concern.

26.     Jonathan Byrd (58) … Byrd is charging quickly and is trending forward in all major stat categories. He has racked up five top-10 finishes.

27.     Aaron Baddeley (31) … Poor irons are keeping him from reaching ‘11 heights, but I like recent week trends.

28.     Geoff Ogilvy (36) … I am still a believer even though he does not have a top 10 since last September.

29.     Martin Laird (35) … Buy low boys and girls; he is prime for a breakout this summer.

30.     Sergio Garcia (33) … Continues to roll the rock well (19th in SG-P), but his scrambling is holding him back. Good peripherals though.

31.     Ryan Palmer          (39) … Like Laird, Palmer is going in right direction in a hurry and already has four top-10 finishes in 13 starts.

32.     Spencer Levin (56) … I like his game, but it is tough to watch when he is in contention. Would take him in fourth round for sure.

33.     Ian Poulter (59) … Personally, not a fan, but his game is trending forward and his putter is like lava in ‘12 (8th in SG-P) compared to 2011 (128th in SG-P).

34.     John Senden (24) … Needs right track, right time, and right conditions to contend, but his game is steadily getting better.

35.     Cameron Tringale (44) … Great keeper option and his stats continue to rise slightly. Solid gains in his short game too.

36.     Peter Hanson (38) … Great keeper opportunity and he could be on the PGA Tour in ‘13. Owns a house at Lake Nona.

37.     John Huh (55) … Continues to shine.

38.     Charl Schwartzel (20) … Might be higher if he decided to devote more time to the PGA TOUR.

39.     Nick Watney          (23) … Showing signs of life, but short game is atrocious to his ‘11 numbers and more like his ‘10 splits.

40.     Ben Curtis (82) … Stats are off the hook and he has three top 10s in eight starts. Kudos to whoever grabbed him off the waiver wire.

41.     Graeme McDowell (25) … Mediocre short game and he is too inconsistent on a weekly basis. Probably still too high.

42.     Charles Howell III (29) … My big breakout player has become a big letdown. I did trade John Rollins for him, but it will most likely be a wash.

43.     Ben Crane (42) … Not scoring near as well in ‘12 as years past.

44.     Bryce Molder (48) … Struggles to make enough birdies, but hits many greens and saves par regularly.

45.     D.A. Points (87) … Darren Andrew is getting hot.

46.     Brendon de Jonge (74) … He's following same path as Darren Andrew.

47.     Ryan Moore (89) … Okay, if you follow me on Twitter, you know I have been down on Moore, but I cannot overlook his recent run. He is not out of the woods, but he is in the clear.

48.     John Rollins (54) … Just do not know which chocolate candy you will get each week with him.

49.     Jeff Overton           (50) … Slight digression in his stats since Volume Two, but this Hoosier can turn it around quickly.

50.     Scott Piercy (52) … Still a believer and I am glad I drafted him.

51.     David Toms (40) … One of my favorite people in the world, but the MC in Memphis is concerning.

52.     Martin Kaymer (47) … Needs a big summer to justify where many drafted him, including me in the seventh round.

53.     Kyle Stanley          (28) … “Calling all cars, calling all cars.” Do we have a sighting for Kyle Stanley? He seems to be lost around a green somewhere.

54.     Bud Cauley (46) … The rigors of a long season seem to be catching up with the young rookie.

55.     Brian Davis (60) … Solid all-around player, but his irons (111th in GIR) keep him from going to next level.

56.     Louis Oosthuizen (51) … See his fellow compatriot, Charl Schwartzel.

57.     Johnson Wagner (49) … Sliding backwards, but he will be out here for at least two more years starting in January.

58.     K.J. Choi (34) … See Adam Scott.

59.     Mark Wilson          (37) … He should petition Commissioner Finchem to play all the events on the West Coast as Wilson is going backwards on the eastern side of the Mississippi River.

60.     Charlie Wi (68) … Horse for certain courses, but ranks 26th on the money list already in ‘12.

61.     Pat Perez (65) … Strong upside, but I have been saying that for years.

62.     Robert Garrigus (57) … Game hinges upon flat stick and it is still bad, but trending forward.

63.     Matt Every (73) … Solid game and can go low!

64.     Fredrik Jacobson (45) … Slowly is getting his game back.

65.     Chris Stroud (67) … Short game is awesome, but irons (133rd in GIR) have a lot to be desired.

66.     Henrik Stenson (71) … Strayed off path with his short game since Volume Two, but he continues to improve his irons. 

67.     Kevin Stadler (98) … Many of his stats are leveling out to solid attributes and he has three top 10s in 2012.

68.     Harris English (69) … Cannot seem to get over the hump when in contention, but poised for stardom.

69.     Sang-Moon Bae (43) … Fought a little injury bug (sore right shoulder) and the recent rust is affecting his short game. He has struggled since P2 at Transitions.

70.     Seung-yul Noh (93) … Love where his game is going; made seven straight cuts.

71.     Michael Thompson (62) … Rolls rock great, but chipping and irons hold him back.

72.     Chris Kirk (53) … Solid since Volume Two, but his SG-P (174th) causes drastic decrease in Volume Three.

73.     Kevin Streelman (76) … Scrambling made a jump, but nothing else is worth noting except he has missed his last two cuts.

74.     Jimmy Walker (n/a) … Solid skill-set and has three top 10s this year.

75.     Ryo Ishikawa (79) … Can he take the next step on the PGA TOUR? Still not sold.

76.     J.B. Holmes (75) … Showing signs of being closer, but his irons are not matching solid season with his short game.

77.     Padraig Harrington          (85) … Ranks 10th in adjusted scoring.

78.     Brian Gay (63) … Trending backwards in par breakers and adjusted scoring.

79.     Ken Duke (77) … He keeps getting it in the hole with fewer shots than many every week.

80.     David Mathis (n/a) … Smoke and mirrors, but he has made six of his last seven cuts with five top 25s.

81.     George McNeill (61) … The rearward trend in GIR is worrisome.

82.     Robert Allenby (72) … I was in between Senden and Allenby on draft day and chose Senden. Humble Brag.

83.     Vijay Singh (84) … Watch out as his irons are heating up again, but the putter is still gross (174th in SG-P).

84.     Sean O'Hair (64) … Recent neck injury and inconsistent play affect his long-term value.

85.     Jonas Blixt (n/a) … Blixt made four of his last five cuts with four top 20s. Huge upward trends. 

86.     Rory Sabbatini (78) … He finished T2 at the Memorial, finally putting together improvements on which he's been working with Rick Smith.

87.     Blake Adams (106) … If he can stay healthy (reoccurring back issue), then he will continue to rise.

88.     Gary Woodland (41) … Who would like draft day over when you called his name?

89.     John Mallinger (99) … Now ranks 42nd in GIR.

90.     Brendan Steele (90) … I do not see the allure.

91.     Y.E. Yang (70) … Ball-striking is going in wrong direction.

92.     Greg Chalmers (66) … I would like to have draft over with this person when I called out his name.

93.     Camilo Villegas (80) … Ended 2011 well, but has struggled with consistency issues in ‘12.

94.     Colt Knost (n/a) … Not a huge believer, but I do like his long-term value.

95.     Charley Hoffman (97) … Irons starting to heat up again.

96.     Harrison Frazar (81) … Has one more year of eligibility off win at the St. Jude Classic in 2011.

97.     David Hearn          (n/a) … If Hearn could make some more birdies (147th in Par Breakers), and then he could get even higher up the board.

98.     Chad Campbell (n/a) … He can still stripe it.

99.     James Driscoll (n/a) … Great short game with positive trends in his irons.

100.   John Merrick (n/a) … Great stat line and finished second at the St. Jude.

101.   Greg Owen (n/a) … Ranks eighth in GIR, 23rd in par breakers, 22nd in adjusted scoring, but short game holds him back.

 



John McNamara wrote full-time for Rotoworld in 2010 and 2011, but he still maintains the pulse of the landscape. He was FSWA’s Golf Writer of the Year in 2008 and 2010.
Email :John McNamara



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