Tragically, winter has come. The cold and snow and harsh, horrible hell that is the cold, white abyss of winter has arrived. Golf? Oh, it seems so far away — but for those who are looking to dominate their fantasy golf leagues come January must stay focused. The work begins now.
Just because the PGA Tour is off until January 4th and the only golf being played on American soil is meaningless doesn’t mean you can’t be thinking about Fantasy golf.
In fact, if you’re a serious player and you’re NOT thinking about fantasy right now, you’re being lapped and you’re wish for 2018 may end up being for a mulligan.
Now that names 40-11 have been released, we’ve got just 10 more fantasy studs to reveal!
Now, it’s time to delve into a handful of names who should already be on the minds of any good fantasy player — or anyone who doesn’t live under a rock.
While this portion of the list includes only one major winner, it’s quite possible 3 or 4 of them will be able to claim such an honor by this time next year. All the names represented possess the talent to take down one of golf’s crown jewel events –but whether they ever will remains to be seen:
10. Patrick Cantlay
One of the biggest stories of 2017 was that of Patrick Cantlay — the former can’t-miss kid who, for circumstances far beyond his control, had. Cantlay has been through injury, rehabilitation and a horrific personal tragedy and in 2017, climbed all the way back to the top. Personally, I spent much of the season extolling the virtues of starting Cantlay in nearly all fantasy formats and, most of the time, it paid off. For a guy who played exclusively on sponsors exemptions and medical extensions, he earned his Tour card outright for 2018 — then, collected hist first career PGA Tour win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, guaranteeing he’d be a fixture on Tour for years to come. He should also be a fantasy fixture for you in 2018.
9. Pat Perez
A late-bloomer by his own admission, Pat Perez has finally found the form that many expected from him a long, long time ago. For those who didn’t know, Pat Perez once took down Tiger before either of them were anybody — when he won by 8 shots over Woods at the 1993 Junior World Championship. Perez opened 2016 with a win at the OHL Mayakoba Classic — his first PGA Tour triumph since the 2009 Bob Hope Classic — and proceeded to put together the best year of his career. He kicked of the 2017-18 season with a win, too, claiming the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in October. Next year, he’ll be eligible for all four majors and every WGC event — a first. From a fantasy standpoint, Perez still shouldn’t be considered a “Sure thing,” but he’s certainly a solid sleeper choice week in and week out in 2018.
8. Patrick Reed
For the first time since 2012, a PGA Tour season without Patrick Reed collecting a single victory. The five-time Tour winner showed flashes of the brilliance that has made him one of the most talked about player on Tour in the last five seasons, so all was not lost. Reed had plenty going on off the course to keep him entertained, what with his wife Justine expecting their second child, a bout with kidney stones and issues with equipment hanging over him. He still played incredibly golf at the Presidents Cup and finished T-2 at the PGA Championship in August so, as I said, all was not lost. Give Reed a little time to adjust to life, but expect him to return to the winner’s circle in 2018 and to fantasy prominence.
7. Charley Hoffman
Few players have had better seasons without collecting a victory than Charley Hoffman had in 2017. Starting with a T-4 at the Genesis Open in February, Hoffman got hot and stayed hot most of the season, providing savvy fantasy players a potent sleeper pick week in and week out. He finished the season with two runner-up finishes, two third places finishes, seven top-10’s and top-25 finishes in 14 of 24 made cuts. He also made his first team event, chosen as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup matches in October. In addition, Hoffman played great at the Masters, missing serious contention due to one bad round and collected the best major finish of his career — a solo 8th at the U.S. Open.
6. Jordan Spieth
There isn’t much more to say about Jordan Spieth that hasn’t already been said or that won’t be said again and again. At just 24 years old, he’s probably the best player in the game. It is inarguable that he is a once in a generation talent. Everyone knows how great Spieth is, but it’s fun to recite some of his accomplishments out loud. Eleven wins and three majors since 2015. He’s a PGA Championship shy of the career grand slam. He has appeared in the Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola all five years he’s been eligible, winning it in 2015. Spieth’s appearance on this list is less to tell you why you should start Jordan Spieth every chance you get in any format, and more to simply admire the accomplishments of our generations best player.