It seems like just yesterday our Sunday night social club was gathered in the living room of 403 Kirkbridge making our picks and still talking about Tebowmania. 18 weeks later, the league has reached the midpoint of its third season, and has seen three separate teams hold the lead at some point, which is already more than all of last year. Here’s a look at how the teams stack up halfway through the season.
1 – Dave – It’s hard to argue with this choice, as with 24 top 10s, Dave is on pace to shatter the record of 42 set just last year. It seems even when Dave’s golfers perform poorly, he still manages to get a couple of back door top tens, making it difficult for any team to gain significant ground on him. Of course the main reason for his success is the 525 points that were put up at the Masters. Bubba Watson has been full value this year, while Englishmen Justin Rose and Lee Westwood have shown Dave has one of the best set of keepers in the league. Throw in grinders like Cameron Tringale and Zach Johnson, and Dave’s team will be hard to beat.
2 – James – The team with most wins this year takes up the #2 spot at the turn. James team has been solid from top to bottom, with big names like Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, lesser knowns like Kyle Stanley and Jason Dufner responsible for his four wins on the season. The problem? All four of his wins have been tier #1’s. The main reason this guy hasn’t been able to hang on to the #1 spot is because of his inability to perform in big events. James has only managed 3 top tens in four tier 3/4 events this year, tied for the fewest in the league (Bryce). If he hopes to make up the 200+ points separating him from first place he will have to improve in this category, as big events are weighted towards the back half of the season. Still, with the likes of Mickelson, McIlroy, and the newly acquired Webb Simpson, there is no reason to think our loving commish won’t bring home is third SSF green jacket in as many years.
3 – Brent – Is it possible to turn an entire season around with the addition of just one player? Brent is proving it is. Since acquiring everybody’s orange crush, Rickie Fowler, three weeks ago, Brent’s team has put up 415 points, one win, three top 2’s, 6 top 10’s, and gone from last place in the standings, to within 65 of third. There’s no question Rickie Fowler has been the straw stirring Brent’s drink, has he’s put up 225 points in the three weeks Brent’s owned him. Poor Lawerence. Meanwhile, Luke Donald has also been putting up big numbers of late, posting back to back top tens. Adam Scott has quietly turned his season around with three straight top 15 finishes, and if Gary Woodland can find his game after injury, Brent still has hopes of pulling out a miracle comeback.
4 – The Beast – 26 weeks of futility came to an end this Sunday, as Beast picked up his first win since the 2011 John Deere Classic, with Matt Kuchar claiming the coveted Players Championship. Beast has never had a problem scoring top tens. Wins, however, have been a much different story. But if this Kuchar victory can kickstart things, he certainly has a chance to still make some noise. Two of Beast’s keepers have underachieved big time this year, with Jason Day and Steve Stricker not having nearly the year’s most SSF pundits had predicted. Just like last year though, the play of Bo Van Pelt has been a pleasant surprise, as BVP has somehow manufactured 5 top tens in 11 starts. Beast’s team is consistently good, but it seems to have a lack of a superstar, and that’s the main reason he will go his third straight year without a green jacket.
5 – Lawerence – Lawerence has made many questionable moves in his rookie season in Spreadsheet Fantasy (trading Webb Simpson, and dropping Rickie Fowler), but it’s because of one of the moves he did make that he finds himself this high up the ranks. Major champion Ben Curtis has once again found the form that lead him to the 2003 British Open, and the league’s newest member picked him up just in time. Curtis has averaged nearly 60 points in his last 4 starts, and last week’s second place finish shows he has no plans of stopping. Still, the future looks somewhat bleak for this team, as Curtis can’t be considered a dependable keeper. Right now, it would likely be Watney, Bradley, and Na, which would be toward the bottom of the keeper ladder.
6 – Fuchs – Our favorite masseuse has a hard time finding any love when it comes to fantasy sports, and his sixth place showing in the power ranks is further proof of that. He may still be in third place in the standings, but Fuchs has managed just 2 top tens since the Masters, and that has him in serious danger of falling down the standings. Two big wins by Hunter Mahan had propelled Fuchs to the top of the standings, but he has been in free fall ever since. Many experts felt Fuchs team was overachieving at the start of the year, and now it seems both Mahan and Brandt Snedeker have come back to earth. That’s bad news for the man from Swan River.
7 – Bryce – If you thought Fuchs team was free-falling, you haven’t seen anything yet. Bryce was the talk of the league after week 11, with Tiger Woods back in the winner circle, and Bryce less than 100 points out of first place. Well, since the Arnold Palmer Invitational Bryce has fallen to last place, and has registered just one top ten. A Dustin Johnson return is on the nearby horizon, but for a second straight, year, it looks like Team Bergman will be positioning himself for next year.
That’s a wrap gang. Enjoy the HP Byron Nelson Championship