We all know how important drafting can be to the success of a team. Keepers don’t always turn out, and it helps to have one or two late picks that impress. Let’s take a look at the top five Spreadsheet Fantasy draft steals.
5. He’s certainly not the flashiest player, but Jason Dufner has been lights out in 2012, pulling in more than 500 points and two wins. Many of you will recall Dufner’s meltdown at last year’s PGA Championship, which looked like it could be the end of the road for poor Duff. When James took a flyer on Dufner with his fourth round pick in this year’s draft, he immediately regretted the pick. However, Dufner has powered back this year to give James two of his 18 career wins, and has the most points of any drafted player. Dufner’s seven top tens this year will certainly buy him keeper status until next year, when the Duff will look to break through on the Major stage.
4. Although he has less points than Dufner, Ernie Els makes fourth place on our list due to his victory at the Open Championship. Els is also the only drafted player to win a Major this year and astoundingly he sat around until Brent picked him in the sixth round. After registering 165 points in his first 9 starts, Brent decided it was time to part ways, and he traded the Big Easy for Bryce’s Gary Woodland. The move turned out disastrous as Els would go on to a top ten finish at the U.S. Open and victory at Royal Lythem(over Brent’s own Adam Scott), while Gary Woodland would be dropped in favor of Charlie Wi. And that is how one of the league’s best picks can become one of it’s biggest heartbreaks.
3. Third place on our list is the first of three original 2010 picks, Dustin Johnson. In his three years on Bryce’s team, Johnson has cashed four wins(tied for the league lead) and over 1300 points. After the first year’s slightly delayed draft, Johnson came flying out of the gates with a win at the league’s first tournament and also added another win at the BMW Championship in the second last week. Although he would accidentally bench a win from Johnson in 2011, Dustin’s performance through the first two years held Bryce afloat while Tiger got his groove back.
2. With 25 top tens through the first three seasons, Luke Donald has been the poster boy for Spreadsheet Fantasy consistency despite being a fifth round pick back in 2010. He’s missed just six cuts in our first three years, registered two wins, and held the world #1 ranking for much of that stretch. He has also scored the second most points through the first three years of competition, at 1550. Although he has been criticized for not having won a Major Championship yet, Donald’s 12 top threes through our first three years show his ability to contend, and it’s just a matter of time before he breaks through for his first Major.
1. Number one on our list is the Spreadsheet Fantasy all-time points and smiles leader, Matt Kuchar. Prior to the original draft in 2010, Kuchar had put together back-to-back 5 top ten seasons, but no one seemed to notice as he went un-drafted. Just days later, the league realized how stupid it was to draft nine players instead of an even ten, so an expansion round was created, and that’s when Beast nabbed the league’s best. In the first year Kooch put up 9 top tens, including a win at the Barclays, and led the league with 635 points. His performance in the second year took a bit of a dip, but his 8 top tens were still good enough for 535 points and earned Beast a podium spot for the second straight year. This year Kooch is lighting it up again, with a massive 545 points and five weeks to go. Matt Kuchar is the league’s highest scoring player ever, and the number one draft steal.