Five tournaments have elapsed since Volume Three.
Webb Simpson won our U.S. Open; Marc Leishman captured the Travelers Championship; Tiger Woods won his third event in 2012 at the AT&T National; Ted Potter, Jr. broke through at The Greenbrier Classic; and Zach Johnson ended Steve Stricker’s reign at the John Deere Classic.
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 the measurements for rises and falls 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 Three Rank) ... Comments
1. Tiger Woods (1) … Still the most dominant fantasy golfer out there.
2. Luke Donald (3) … I worry about his irons digressing, but I like his schedule better than McIlroy’s.
3. Rory McIlroy (2) … He will play five to six more events on the PGA TOUR after the Open Championship. Peripherals are not outstanding, but he is an easy pick in the 3-hole.
4. Matt Kuchar (5) … Mr. Consistency and his SG-Putting (65th) continues to trend forward.
5. Webb Simpson (11) … The U.S. Open winner continues to get it done. Skipped the Open Championship to stay home with his pregnant wife who is due to deliver the couple's second child any day.
6. Steve Stricker (9) … There is nothing sexy about him in this spot, except you can count on a consistent effort every week.
7. Hunter Mahan (8) … Scrambling is now 89th compared to 54th after Volume Three. This is not a concern since he usually sits middle of the pack in this stat.
8. Dustin Johnson (6) … This ranking is on potential (lot of it) and the inconsistent jackpots he provides.
9. Phil Mickelson (4) … I cannot see myself drafting him higher than any of the people above him.
10. Lee Westwood (10) … He is moving to South Florida with the family. Provides an uptick for me.
11. Zach Johnson (15) … ZJ has nine career wins. I am sold.
12. Justin Rose (7) … His putter haunts him, but his ball-striking is impeccable in the right conditions.
13. Jason Dufner (12) … He continues to earn this ranking.
14. Bubba Watson (14) … Has gone from a bomber to a top-tier talent.
15. Jim Furyk (16) … He struggles to make enough birdies and needs a tough track to contend, but he is a perfect second-round selection.
16. Rickie Fowler (17) … I am a believer, but it took me a while.
17. Adam Scott (19) … Like McIlroy, Scott will play five or six more events and his lack of events hurt many gamers in ‘13. Elite skills though.
18. Keegan Bradley (13) … He has struggled a bit of late, but he is fine in the long run.
19. Bill Haas (18) … See Keegan Bradley.
20. Carl Pettersson (21) … He loves courses with small greens that can highlight his outstanding short game. Solid ball-striker, but cannot stand up to the elite.
21. Ernie Els (25) … He continues show signs of life with the flat stick, but like Furyk, he struggles to make enough birdies.
22. Brandt Snedeker (24) … Coming back from a rib injury and finished T38 at the Greenbrier.
23. Kevin Na (23) … Suspect irons at times, but his game continues to improve each year.
24. Bo Van Pelt (20) … BVP continues to get lost while in contention, but his skill set is strong.
25. Jason Day (22) … Continues to slide down my board. His irons continue to hurt his long-term value. Missed the Open Championship following the birth of his first child.
26. Jonathan Byrd (26) … For real. His short game is outstanding.
27. Graeme McDowell (41) … I wish he played over here more often, but he continues to prove that ’11 was a fluke.
28. John Senden (34) … Scrambling stats continue to improve (55th).
29. Ryan Palmer (31) … I wish I owned him.
30. Martin Laird (29) … See Ryan Palmer.
31. Ben Crane (43) … Ranks fourth in Par Breakers and he has four top 10s.
32. John Huh (37) … I've owned him since Torrey Pines and got lucky that he fired, but I am now a believer.
33. Fredrik Jacobson (64) … He is healthy and ready to pounce.
34. Aaron Baddeley (27) … Ranks 174th in GIR. I will let you deduce the situation.
35. Nick Watney (39) … Not at ’11 form, but he is showing signs of something special, like in ’10.
36. Spencer Levin (32) … Taken a step backwards in last four weeks.
37. Ian Poulter (33) … His irons have been gross the last two events (ranked 85th in GIR after Volume Three, but now ranks 142nd). U-G-L-Y
38. Charl Schwartzel (38) … Has the total game, but part-time PGA Tour member hurts his overall value.
39. Cameron Tringale (35) … Poised to breakout; he does not have a weakness. Ranks 41st in scrambling, 25th in SG-Putting in ’12 compared to 97th and 47th, respectively, in ’11.
40. Jeff Overton (49) … Buy low if you can.
41. Geoff Ogilvy (28) … Made nine of his last 10 cuts. He is so close.
42. Brendon de Jonge (46) … Fantasy stud. Do not worry that he does not win. He continues to trend forward with irons and short game.
43. Robert Garrigus (62) … Will get to next level. Birdies are there, plays hard courses well, bombs it, stripes his irons and his short game is improving. BUY BUY
44. Sergio Garcia (30) … I am losing patience.
45. Ryan Moore (47) … Has now made nine straight cuts.
46. Padraig Harrington (77) … Has made huge strides and his SG-Putting is trending forward.
47. Peter Hanson (36) … Definite “keeper” if he takes up full membership on the PGA TOUR.
48. Scott Piercy (50) … Can go low, but he seems to get in his own way sometimes. Great rounds explode too often.
49. Kyle Stanley (53) … Showing signs of life again.
50. Ted Potter, Jr. (n/a) … I was all over the “Wizard” to start the year, but I abandoned ship. Happy he broke through. He now has 12 career professional wins. Mini-Tour Legend.
51. Ben Curtis (40) … Slipping, but I still like his long-term value.
52. Sean O'Hair (84) … Irons are getting crisp. Poised for a strong defense of his RBC Canadian Open title next week.
53. Bud Cauley (54)… Young talent, but grind of rookie season might be catching up with him. Will have huge ’13 season.
54. David Toms (51) … Putter has been cold in ’12.
55. K.J. Choi (58) … Has only one top 10 in ’12. Too good not to bounce back.
56. Charles Howell III (42) … Does not know his ABC’s (Always Be Closing).
57. John Rollins (48) … See Chucky Three Sticks.
58. Louis Oosthuizen (56) … Too inconsistent, but his Open Championship win clouds many gamers’ mind. Sell High.
59. D.A. Points (45) … The last four events have not been kind, but he's been battling injury, too. Negative trends across the board.
60. Bryce Molder (44) … Here is another breakout player I touted to start the year, but he has failed to fire.
61. Brian Davis (55) … Seems so close at times, yet so far.
62. Harris English (68) … Will be a fantasy stud.
63. Ken Duke (79) … DO NOT watch his swing. Just watch his results.
64. Mark Wilson (59) … Last six events have been fair at best.
65. Seung-yul Noh (70) … Close to breaking through. He has now made 11 straight cuts and is a great keeper option for ’13.
66. Charlie Wi (60) … Has value on certain courses.
67. Pat Perez (61) … PP always lets me down.
68. Michael Thompson (71) … GREAT U.S. Open and was a late entry into the Open Championship. Big upside.
69. Sang-Moon Bae (69) … Poor irons are catching up with the rookie.
70. Kevin Streelman (73) … Huge jump in scrambling since Volume Three, but irons are digressing a bit.
71. J.B. Holmes (76) … I am still bullish for ’13.
72. Henrik Stenson (66) … Continues to show that he is closer in top-notch form.
73. Chris Kirk (72) … His wife had a baby in March and he is getting back into form. Buy low if you can. Big time talent.
74. Brian Gay (78) … Working hard on his game. The fruits of his labor will pay off soon.
75. Marc Leishman (n/a) … Broke his maiden at the Travelers Championship in June.
76. Ricky Barnes (n/a) … Great trends with his irons, but his short game keeps him from next level.
77. Graham DeLaet (n/a) … Premier ball-striker and his short game is turning the corner.
78. Johnson Wagner (57) … Last top 25 was in March.
79. Jimmy Walker (74) … Irons leveled off since Volume Three, but I still like his game.
80. Ryo Ishikawa (75) … Big upside and almost a lock to capture his PGA TOUR card in ’13.
81. Rory Sabbatini (86) … Two top 20s since Volume Three.
82. Blake Adams (87) … Continues to make big strides.
83. Matt Every (63) … He and his wife had their first child and he took a five-week break. Played John Deere Classic and finished T58.
84. Charley Hoffman (95) … Making more birdies and he is starting to stripe it again. Short game still weak.
85. Chris Stroud (65) … Irons digressing.
86. George McNeill (81) … Nothing exciting since Volume Three.
87. Kevin Stadler (67) … Dropped from 70th to 124th in SG-Putting since Volume Three.
88. Greg Chalmers (92) … Cannot put four good rounds together. Ranks 163rd in GIR.
89. Y.E. Yang (91) … Does not have a top 25 on the PGA TOUR in ’12. Neck and shoulder injuries forced him to take a day off from preparing at the Open Championship.
90. Gary Woodland (88) … Great value in the ninth round, but injury to left wrist is still a concern.
91. Greg Owen (101) … Once led the all-around ranking on the Web.Com Tour and his ball-striking is strong.
92. John Mallinger (89) … Steady Eddie and continues to improve his putting.
93. Martin Flores (n/a) … Former Oklahoma Sooner All-American is finding his way.
94. Brian Harman (n/a) … The former Walker Cup member fires at every pin and his irons are improving.
95. Dicky Pride (n/a) … Has locked up playing privileges in ’13.
96. Daniel Summerhays (n/a) … I expected big things going into the ’11 season, but he failed to ignite. He has rebounded well in ’12 after securing his card through Qualifying School.
97. Robert Allenby (82) … So happy I took Senden instead to start year. Concerned.
98. Jonas Blixt (85) … Presently out of action with a rib injury, but he will be fine long-term.
99. Jerry Kelly (n/a) … He has made five of last six cuts. Positive trends in GIR, Par Breakers, Scrambling, and Adjusted Scoring since Volume Three.
100. Martin Kaymer (52) … Kaymer does not play enough events on this side of the pond to justify taking any higher. Fantasy Golf is a results-oriented game and he is not producing.
101. Luke Guthrie (n/a)… Guthrie, currently in his third-career PGA TOUR event (True South Classic), shot 65 in round one at Annandale. In addition, he has a top five, a top 20 and he has racked up $242,672. He has five sponsor exemptions left. Worth a flier.