Golf Barometer: Power Up

Golf Barometer: Power Up

This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.

Three months have passed since Rory McIlroy was crowned champion at East Lake, and although NFL Sundays have overshadowed golf broadcasts throughout the fall portion of the 2022-23 PGA Tour schedule, FedExCup points and increased purses have still been distributed from September's Fortinet Championship through November's RSM Classic. 

With the turn of the calendar year approaching, we'll take a look at a handful of players that are rising or falling in fantasy value, as well as provide a few brief injury-related snippets about some household names.

VALUE RISING

Jon Rahm

Despite banking north of $5 million in official earnings during the 2021-22 campaign, Rahm had his worst season since 2017-18, as he finished outside the top 10 in the FedExCup Standings while sliding from first to as low as sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. He's looked like his typical dominant self this fall, however, notching multiple wins overseas at the DP World Tour Championship and back home at the Spanish Open, becoming a three-time champion of the event. Prior to these recent victories on the DP World Tour, Rahm tied for runner-up honors at September's BMW PGA Championship before posting a T4 at THE CJ CUP in South Carolina, where he ranked second among the field in both SG: Tee-to-Green and total birdies in his lone PGA Tour start so far this season. He's the betting favorite at this week's Hero World Challenge everywhere you look.

Seamus Power

Power failed to collect a single top-25 result from the

Three months have passed since Rory McIlroy was crowned champion at East Lake, and although NFL Sundays have overshadowed golf broadcasts throughout the fall portion of the 2022-23 PGA Tour schedule, FedExCup points and increased purses have still been distributed from September's Fortinet Championship through November's RSM Classic. 

With the turn of the calendar year approaching, we'll take a look at a handful of players that are rising or falling in fantasy value, as well as provide a few brief injury-related snippets about some household names.

VALUE RISING

Jon Rahm

Despite banking north of $5 million in official earnings during the 2021-22 campaign, Rahm had his worst season since 2017-18, as he finished outside the top 10 in the FedExCup Standings while sliding from first to as low as sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. He's looked like his typical dominant self this fall, however, notching multiple wins overseas at the DP World Tour Championship and back home at the Spanish Open, becoming a three-time champion of the event. Prior to these recent victories on the DP World Tour, Rahm tied for runner-up honors at September's BMW PGA Championship before posting a T4 at THE CJ CUP in South Carolina, where he ranked second among the field in both SG: Tee-to-Green and total birdies in his lone PGA Tour start so far this season. He's the betting favorite at this week's Hero World Challenge everywhere you look.

Seamus Power

Power failed to collect a single top-25 result from the first week of July through the better part of October, but he rebounded in a big way with a win at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship before adding two more top-5s at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and The RSM Classic, ranking third in SG: Approach on St. Simons Island. He's earned the No. 1 spot in the early FedExCup Standings ahead of the new year while sitting seventh in putting average and eighth in birdie average through 22 rounds. 

Brian Harman

The 5-foot-7, 35-year-old might not profile as a top-25 golfer in the world, but he's ascended to 24th in the OWGR with back-to-back second-place finishes in his last two starts at Mayakoba and The RSM Classic, where he racked up 21 total par-breakers. Harman has yet to place outside the top-25 through four starts to begin the season, and he's gained strokes with his irons in six consecutive measured events dating back to a T3 at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Joel Dahmen

The fan favorite has given crowds something to cheer for all fall, finishing T16 or better in five of seven starts with three straight top-10s from the Mayakoba to THE RSM Classic. Dahmen is 35th or better on Tour in birdie average, GIR percentage and driving accuracy, gaining strokes off the tee in seven of his last eight measured starts despite lacking in the distance department.

Alex Smalley

Smalley most recently fired four rounds of 67 or better at Sea Island Golf Club en route to a T5 finish, pacing The RSM Classic field in SG: Tee-to-Green while hitting 63 of 72 greens in regulation. This ball-striking clinic came on the heels of a T4 at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, where he enjoyed the third-best putting performance of his career while also gaining 6.7 strokes from tee to green. The Duke University product owns four top-25s through seven events played this season, already surpassing the midpoint of his 2021-22 season's earnings in the process.

Taylor Montgomery

A string of three rookies round out our list of risers for this edition, beginning with Montgomery and his current standing of 11th in the FedExCup standings with six top-15s through seven starts. Montgomery harnessed the hottest putter on the planet in September and October, gaining a ridiculous 27 strokes on the greens across four tournaments from the Fortinet Championship to THE CJ CUP, but unlike Denny McCarthy, Montgomery also gained seven strokes off the tee during this stretch. 

Thomas Detry

Just one spot behind Montgomery in the early FedExCup standings lies Detry, who's placed top-15 in four of five events, including a runner-up effort in Bermuda. The 2015 Big Ten Golfer of the Year has averaged 314.6 yards on 40 measured drives, aligning with the 13th-fastest club head speed on Tour and a 4.70 birdie average.

Ben Griffin

The story of Griffin working behind a desk in the mortgage industry less than two years ago went viral when this first-time cardholder shared the 54-hole lead at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship before faltering on the back nine during Sunday's final round. Nonetheless, he's finished T29 or better in four of seven starts to begin his rookie campaign. Griffin is 18th in proximity from 50 to 125 yards and he's sixth in total birdies this season.

VALUE FALLING

Davis Riley

Riley flashed a ton of promise earlier in the year when he placed 5-T9-T13-T4-T13 from the Mexico Open through the Memorial Tournament not long after losing in a playoff at the Valspar Championship, but he's really strayed from contention ever since with zero top-10s in his last 15 starts despite playing against some much weaker fields throughout the fall swing. This is by no means a panic situation, but there was a point looking back where it wouldn't have been crazy if Riley became a PGA Tour winner before his buddy Will Zalatoris, though the talent gap has now shown its significance over time. Through 17 measured rounds this season, Riley has struggled off the tee as he ranks just 127th in distance, 141st in driving accuracy and 167th in SG: OTT.

Ryan Palmer

Palmer is lucky there wasn't a 36-hole cut at THE CJ CUP or he'd be 4-for-4 in MCs to begin the season, given he lost 5.4 strokes from tee to green there at Congaree Golf Club. He's just 222nd on Tour in GIR percentage and 228th in scrambling, which is a pretty concerning combination if the trend were to continue over a larger sample size.

Chris Kirk

Kirk has been credited with a respectable four made cuts through six events, but he hasn't posted a top-15 result since the RBC Canadian Open in June. He's averaging just 3.50 birdies per round and has hit only 66.39 percent of greens in regulation, severely lacking the upside he showcased throughout the first half of the calendar year.

Luke List

The once-popular daily fantasy darling hasn't even sniffed a ceiling outcome since his win 10 months ago at the Farmers Insurance Open. Things haven't gotten any better as of late, with List placing top-50 just once through six starts to begin his 2022-23 campaign, and he's lost an average of 3.5 strokes putting per tournament throughout his last 10 measured events.

Doug Ghim

Another guy who picked up steam in DFS circles the past couple seasons, Ghim's irons have completely failed him as he's lost strokes on approach shots in six consecutive measured starts. With his strength seemingly becoming a weakness, Ghim has missed the cut in five of seven events dating back to the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Chad Ramey

Although he was the only full-time rookie to win on the PGA Tour this past season, Ramey hasn't otherwise inspired much confidence with 11 missed cuts in his last 14 starts. He finished outside the top-100 in each Strokes Gained subcategory as a rookie, and he's now just 162nd in scoring average through the fall series. Ramey has gained more than 1.2 strokes from tee to green in an event just once since mid-May, and that lone occurrence happened recently at The RSM Classic where he missed the cut anyway.

INJURY UPDATE

Tiger Woods

Forced to prematurely withdraw from his own event in the Bahamas, Woods won't be teeing it up at the Hero World Challenge due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. However, he still plans to play The Match in just a couple weeks with the aid of a cart before attempting to team with his son, Charlie, the following week at the PNC Championship.

Will Zalatoris

Zalatoris was originally hopeful for an early-December return at the Hero World Challenge when initially discussing his timeline for a return from his back injury, but he's elected to wait until the turn of the calendar year. Having won the FedEx St. Jude Championship in August, Zalatoris is eligible to compete in the Sentry Tournament of Champions the first week of January.

Hideki Matsuyama

Much like Zalatoris, Matsuyama also has chosen to delay his return from a neck injury to January, so we'll likely see the eight-time PGA Tour winner at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, barring any setbacks.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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