This article is part of our FantasyDraft PGA series.
La Quinta, California
PGA West Stadium Course - Par 72 - 7,113 yards
PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course - Par 72 - 7,204 yards
La Quinta Country Club - Par 72 - 7,060 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $5.9M
Formerly labeled the Bob Hope Classic, this week's CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California is the first leg of the West Coast Swing following the PGA Tour's two-week stint in Hawaii. A weak field includes just one player inside the top-15 of the Official World Golf Ranking (Jon Rahm), while other big names include the red-hot Brian Harman, Patrick Reed, Kevin Kisner and Phil Mickelson to name a few. The distinct pro-am format features three rounds at three separate venues for all 156 entrants before a 54-hole cut, when the top-70 and ties will head back to the PGA West Stadium Course for Sunday's final round. The CareerBuilder Challenge has been known to lend a plethora of scoring opportunities to the field as winning scores figure to reach at least 20-under-par. As a result, it'll be important to focus on building lineups around the top ball-strikers with an ability to go extremely low.
2017- Hudson Swafford
2016 - Jason Dufner
2015 - Bill Haas
2014 - Patrick Reed
2013 - Brian Gay
2012 - Mark Wilson
2011 - Jhonattan Vegas
2010 - Bill Haas
FantasyDraft Value Picks - based on $100,000 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Jon Rahm - $17,300
Situated at third in the Official World Golf Ranking, Rahm is the clearly best player in the field this week as displayed by his position as the betting favorite. His recent form is excellent with a win at the European Tour's DP World Tour Championship preceding a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in his past two starts. The trio of courses this week will present the 23-year-old Spaniard with plenty of birdie and eagle opportunities. He ranked third on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green and seventh in par-breaker percentage last season, setting him up nicely for a ball-striker's paradise.
Webb Simpson - $16,500
A T4 at the Sony Open marked Simpson's fifth top-20 in his last six starts, while he currently ranks sixth on Tour in scoring average this season. Simpson heads to La Quinta with plenty of momentum after posting scores of 63-65 in his final two rounds at Waialae Country Club last week. He's also made much-needed improvements with the flat stick, climbing to 28th in SG: Putting through 13 measured rounds during his 2017-18 campaign.
Bud Cauley - $15,500
Cauley has been absent from competition since the RSM Classic in mid-November, but he notched a pair of top-10s to go along with four made cuts in four starts during the fall series. He's also been impressive at the CareerBuilder in recent years, finishing T3-T14 in 2017 and 2016. Cauley is top-12 on Tour in both SG: Tee-to-Green and SG: Putting this season, while he's also 26th in terms of proximity.
Chris Kirk - $14,500
Kirk has posted back-to-back top-10 finishes heading into the CareerBuilder Challenge, where he notched a top-25 result in 2017. He ranked first among the field in SG: Around-the-Green at last week's Sony Open, but he's also 31st in SG: T2G and fifth in average proximity on approaches from 125-150 yards out.
David Lingmerth - $14,200
The 30-year-old hasn't played since a T17 at the RSM Classic as he took time off after becoming a father in December, but he'll be back in action this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge where he's finished runner-up twice in five starts. Lingmerth's advantage will be the putter, having ranked sixth on Tour in one-putt percentage and 11th in putting from inside 10 feet last season.
Brian Stuard - $14,000
Stuard impressed at the Sony Open with four consecutive rounds of 67 or less en route to his T4 finish, while he also led the field in driving accuracy and ranked second in SG: Putting. He's nestled just inside the top-25 in the FedExCup standings through six events played, and the 35-year-old also ranks 17th on Tour in proximity.
Scott Piercy - $13,800
PIercy fired four consecutive under-par scores at the Sony Open last week as he posted his second top-25 finish of the season. He ranked third among the field in SG: T2G, ninth in SG: Approach and fourth in birdies made as he produced at an above-average level from a ball-striking standpoint at Waialae. If he's able to make improvements with his putter this week, Piercy could be in line for his first top-10 since last May.
Aaron Wise - $12,100
It would be wise to throw a couple lower-priced darts into your lineups this week in order to stack a few of the weapons at the top. Wise, a rookie out of the University of Oregon, has experience not only winning on the Web.com Tour, but also finished top-35 at last year's CareerBuilder and owns a pair of top-25s this season. The 21-year-old ranks 42nd on Tour in SG: Putting and 54th in SG: Off-the-Tee.