Golf Draft Kit: RotoWire Staff League Results

Golf Draft Kit: RotoWire Staff League Results

This article is part of our Golf Draft Kit series.

RotoWire held its annual staff golf league draft Monday with the least top-heavy draft in its 21-year history. For those of you who have a golf league and spend a fixed budget on your golfers, these results can hopefully be a guide for your league. 

The RotoWire staff golf league took place on Jan. 11. Our rules base winners on total earnings in PGA Tournaments from the Sony Open to the final FedExCup event (we skipped the Tournament of Champions and also didn't use the fall portion of the 2020-21 wrap-around schedule), excluding those PGA Tour events held the same week as the World Golf Championship tournaments and the British Open. We also use only a fraction of the final FedEx championship event money since it's massive relative to the other tournaments.

Our format also includes bonus points for the four majors. As a result, some European players may be ranked higher than your league. If a European golfer plays in just the four majors and WGC tournaments, he'll still have a lot of value in our league. Our league had 14 members, a budget of $100 per team and each team starts five golfers per week with a total roster of nine golfers. The league has been around since 2000.

Rather than one golfer seen dominating the major events and tour, our league was divided on the top players. After some years where the top golfer would go for $70 or more, the league hasn't been as top heavy the past two years with the money more spread out. The number of players going for $55 or more has declined the past three years from four in 2018 to two each of the previous two years. This year, there was just one player at $55 or higher (Dustin Johnson). In 2020, five players went $50 or more with $465 paid for the top ten golfers. In 2021, that would fall to just two players over $50 and $453 paid for the top ten golfers. The message from our league was it's increasingly the best strategy to spread the risk.

The 2021 league had Dustin Johnson as the top golfer at $55. Justin Thomas was the top golfer in 2020 at $64. Dustin Johnson was the most expensive golfer in our league in 2019 at $60 with Justin Thomas at $57.

I had a strategy to take spread my budget more on players after paying $51 on Rory McIlroy last season and having him disappoint, with his frequent fades on Sunday becoming draining. I took a number of older players who were formerly reliable, going for a last year's bums strategy. I figured the odd season with frequent downtime and travel issues due to COVID-19 may have thrown them off their game rather than an underlying decline in their skills. Though taking both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson may have overdone it, as my team looks like a 2002 All-Star squad.

Notable sleepers who went for more than most expert rankings included Viktor Hovland ($36), Scottie Scheffler ($30), Doc Redman ($11), Corey Conners ($13) and Will Zalatoris ($8). 

I thought Tony Finau at $30 was a great value as he was the least expensive player in RotoWire's top ten projected leaders in his format. For example, Xander Schauffele went for $47 and was projected at No. 8 vs. No. 9 for Finau. Harris English at $24 was another great value, but his lower price may have been a factor of draft dynamics since he was brought up late when few had money to spend.

While these dollar values may not exactly fit your league's rules, this should be a good benchmark for your draft preparation.

Here are the participants:

Greg Vara - RotoWire golf writer
Len Hochberg - RotoWire golf writer
Kevin O'Brien - RotoWire golf editor (and league's defending champ)
Jeff Ritter - Director of Content at Morning Read
Jeff Erickson - RotoWire senior editor
Peter Schoenke - RotoWire president (and worst real golfer in league)
Tim Schuler - RotoWire COO (and the league's best actual golfer)
Scott Pianowski - Yahoo! fantasy writer 
Joe Sheehan - baseball scribe of the Joe Sheehan newsletter and elsewhere
Scott Jenstad - RotoWire baseball writer and high-stakes champ
Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin - friend and former RotoWire staff contributor, respectively
Josh Ross - former RotoWire staff contributor
Justin Green - former RotoWire staff contributor
James Smith - former RotoWire staff contributor

PlayerSalaryFantasy Team
Dustin Johnson55Jeff Erickson
Justin Thomas53Joe Sheehan
Rory McIlroy49Jeff Ritter
Bryson DeChambeau49Tim Schuler
Xander Schauffele47Len Hochberg
Jon Rahm46Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Brooks Koepka41Greg Vara
Collin Morikawa39Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Sungjae Im37James Smith
Viktor Hovland37Jeff Ritter
Patrick Cantlay32Greg Vara
Tony Finau30Peter Schoenke
Daniel Berger30Josh Ross
Scottie Scheffler30Josh Ross
Webb Simpson30Scott Pianowski
Hideki Matsuyama30Scott Jenstad
Matthew Wolff28Kevin O'Brien
Patrick Reed28Scott Jenstad
Tyrrell Hatton25Justin Green
Harris English24Kevin O'Brien
Abraham Ancer23James Smith
Cameron Smith21Scott Jenstad
Joaquin Niemann20Kevin O'Brien
Rickie Fowler19Scott Pianowski
Cameron Champ19Tim Schuler
Jason Day17Peter Schoenke
Billy Horschel17James Smith
Justin Rose16Peter Schoenke
Matthew Fitzpatrick16Joe Sheehan
Tommy Fleetwood16Tim Schuler
Marc Leishman15Peter Schoenke
Adam Scott15Jeff Erickson
Gary Woodland15Scott Pianowski
Bubba Watson14Justin Green
Corey Conners13Greg Vara
Tiger Woods12Peter Schoenke
Matt Kuchar12Scott Pianowski
Kevin Kisner11Jeff Erickson
Doc Redman11Kevin O'Brien
Brendon Todd10Josh Ross
Jason Kokrak10Len Hochberg
Ryan Palmer10Len Hochberg
Keegan Bradley10Justin Green
Kevin Na9James Smith
Paul Casey9Josh Ross
Chez Reavie9Scott Pianowski
Harold Varner III9Justin Green
Dylan Frittelli9Justin Green
Will Zalatoris8Josh Ross
Sebastian Munoz8Kevin O'Brien
Jordan Spieth8Joe Sheehan
Byeong Hun An7Scott Pianowski
Si Woo Kim7Joe Sheehan
Lanto Griffin7Len Hochberg
Zach Johnson7Len Hochberg
Louis Oosthuizen6Jeff Erickson
Sergio Garcia6Jeff Erickson
Sung Kang6Joe Sheehan
Russell Henley6Len Hochberg
Henrik Norlander6Scott Jenstad
Erik van Rooyen5Greg Vara
Charles Howell III5James Smith
Alex Noren5Josh Ross
Joel Dahmen5Scott Pianowski
Mackenzie Hughes5Joe Sheehan
Adam Long5Len Hochberg
Carlos Ortiz5Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Brendan Steele5Justin Green
Phil Mickelson4Peter Schoenke
Christiaan Bezuidenhout4Jeff Erickson
Max Homa4James Smith
Aaron Wise4Josh Ross
Harry Higgs4Tim Schuler
Brian Harman4Len Hochberg
Ian Poulter4Len Hochberg
Will Gordon4Scott Jenstad
Cameron Davis4Scott Jenstad
Brandt Snedeker4Justin Green
Bud Cauley4Justin Green
Richy Werenski3Peter Schoenke
Doug Ghim3Greg Vara
Kevin Streelman3James Smith
Talor Gooch3Kevin O'Brien
Robby Shelton3Kevin O'Brien
Matt Wallace3Jeff Ritter
Keith Mitchell3Jeff Ritter
Xinjun Zhang3Tim Schuler
Scott Piercy3Tim Schuler
Matthew NeSmith3Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Sam Burns3Scott Jenstad
Emiliano Grillo3Justin Green
Maverick McNealy2Peter Schoenke
Lucas Glover2Greg Vara
Andrew Putnam2Greg Vara
Lee Westwood2Josh Ross
C.T. Pan2Josh Ross
Kristoffer Ventura2Scott Pianowski
Robert Streb2Kevin O'Brien
Denny McCarthy2Joe Sheehan
Sepp Straka2Joe Sheehan
Shane Lowry2Jeff Ritter
J.T. Poston2Jeff Ritter
Branden Grace2Jeff Ritter
Francesco Molinari2Tim Schuler
Adam Hadwin2Tim Schuler
Luke List2Tim Schuler
Mark Hubbard2Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Tyler Duncan2Scott Jenstad
Wyndham Clark2Scott Jenstad
Patton Kizzire1Peter Schoenke
Cameron Tringale1Jeff Erickson
Pat Perez1Jeff Erickson
Davis Riley1Jeff Erickson
Nick Taylor1Greg Vara
Sam Ryder1Greg Vara
Danny Lee1James Smith
Michael Thompson1James Smith
Tom Hoge1Scott Pianowski
Akshay Bhatia1Kevin O'Brien
Robert MacIntyre1Joe Sheehan
Patrick Rodgers1Jeff Ritter
Brandon Wu1Jeff Ritter
Bernd Wiesberger1Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Martin Laird1Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Chris Kirk1Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin
Wesley Bryan1Mike Regan/Daryl Shevin

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Schoenke
Peter Schoenke is the president and co-founder of RotoWire.com. He's been elected to the hall of fame for both the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and Fantasy Sports Writers Association and also won the Best Fantasy Baseball Article on the Internet in 2005 from the FSWA. He roots for for the Minnesota Twins, Vikings and T-Wolves.
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