by: Brent Harder
One of the most highly anticipated day’s on the Spreadsheet Fantasy calendar has come and gone, with a record 6 members attending the draft. But now the real fun begins, as all 7 – yes, 7 – teams will look to hunt down a championship, something that has proved to be elusive from everyone except for James. For the second year in row, and up and comer was taken with the first overall pick of the draft. Keegan Bradley will look to prove last season wasn’t a fluke, and no one hopes it wasn’t a fluke more than the newest member of the league, Lawrence. Lawrence is also hoping Bradley isn’t as big of a bust as last year’s first pick, Jeff Overton.
We will begin the draft analysis with the Beast (we are going in alphabetical order). The saying lightning strikes twice certainly applies to the senior member of the league. Beast owned six of his ten players last year, and after contending for first for the better part of the season, I guess you can’t really blame him. However, outside of his keepers and Jim Furyk, his team has some relative unknowns, in the likes of Kevin Streelman, Spencer Levin, and the trending downward Johnny Vegas. Third place could be a tough call for Long John in 2012.
The hottest team in the last quarter of the season last year was Brent, as he catapulted himself into second place, and with
arguably the strongest set of keepers in the league (Donald, Choi and Scott) there is no reason to think he can’t do one spot better. Team International has drafted a record four Americans this year, and if Anthony Kim can his game to where it should be, Brent should be in for a great year. And who wouldn’t want to see the Big Easy be on the winning team.
He may have narrowly escaped setting the all-time futility record last year, but Bryce has returned and looks to make this a great year, and one look at his roster makes you think it will be MUCH better. Of course the wildcard on the team is Tiger, but a December win has him looking in mid-season form, and with last year’s FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas back on board, this has to be the pre-season favorite. Throw Aaron Baddeley, Martin Laird, and David Toms – all who won last year – and this is a scary team.
Dave’s first year in the league was something he’d rather forget, setting the all-time record for fewest top tens. Luckily, his team this year looks to better. Make no mistake, his keepers underachieved last year, but look for Watson, Westwood, and Rose to perform better this year. Throw in a surging Serg(io), and Dave should at the very least compete this year.
Fuchs is always under incredible scrutiny when picking his fantasy sports teams. And although his methods may seem a little flawed sometimes, he is coming off a fantasy football championship this year, so maybe he is on to something. I’m not convinced though, especially after looking at his golf team. His team features no proven superstars, and many one shot wonders, such as Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell. Throw in the fact many of his fraternity members are European and don’t play in the US much, so this could be a long year for the Swan River Stallion
The two-time defending – and only – champion of the SSF league has once again assembled a strong team, but a three-peat will be hard to come by it would appear. Look for Phil Mickelson to continue the disappointing play that hurt him down the stretch, and if you take away Rory’s major, his season in the US was nothing more than average. As far as his draft goes, he took some real risks in Ben Crane and Camillo Villegas, who combined for less than 300 points last year. Charles Howell was a strong pick, but I can’t see a third straight win.
And finally, a warm welcome to the newest member of the league, Lawrence. Last year proved it is difficult for expansion teams to come in and do well, and that is what Lawrence is facing this year. Webb Simpson could be ready for another breakout year, but I would be surprised if Keegan Bradley can repeat his performance from last year. However, this team does have the wildcard of all wild cards…Miguel Angel Jimenez