Fantasy golf power rankings: 2018 Hero World Challenge

NASSAU, BAHAMAS - DECEMBER 03: Tiger Woods watches his ball on the 16th tee during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany course on December 3, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR) Ryan Young/PGA TOUR

Fantasy golf power rankings: 2018 Hero World Challenge

PGA Tour

Fantasy golf power rankings: 2018 Hero World Challenge

The Hero World Challenge begins Thursday at Albany in New Providence, Bahamas.

Host Tiger Woods headlines a star-studded 18-player field that also includes Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and defending champion Rickie Fowler. Albany is a par-72 layout that is favorable to the bombers and forces players to separate themselves from the second shot onward.

Here is a ranking of every player in the field for fantasy-golf purposes:

1. Justin Rose: Has six straight top-8 finishes capped by his recent win in Turkey. Recorded his best finish in three trips to Albany last year, tying for fifth. Well-rested after skipping European Tour finale in Dubai.

2. Justin Thomas: Finished solo 11th in Hero debut last year, and could fall in line with a small trend of players doing much better in Year 2 at Albany. Hasn’t pegged it since T-36 in South Korea.

3. Rickie Fowler: Defending champion also was T-3 in 2016 and solo third in ’17. Looked solid in two fall starts – T-4 at Shriners and T-16 at Mayakoba.

4. Tiger Woods: The Match is finally over after a Phil Mickelson extra-holes win at Shadow Creek. Time for Woods to get back to 72-hole stroke-play events and build off of his Tour Championship victory last September. Woods tied for ninth at last year’s Hero in first start back from an April 2017 back fusion.

5. Bryson DeChambeau: Making Hero debut, but he knows this course. Also attended last year’s Hero as a spectator. Has three wins in last five starts, too.

6. Patrick Cantlay: Making Hero debut this week, but he’s riding some momentum after runner-up showing in Vegas and T-7 in Shanghai.

7. Xander Schauffele: Another Hero rookie this week, Xander has had a nice fall with a win in Shanghai and a T-16 showing in Dubai. This could be a good course for him as he sometimes struggles off the tee with his accuracy.

8. Patrick Reed: Has gone second, 10th and T-5 in three trips to Albany. But he’s playing a third straight week after T-2 in Dubai and T-45 at Hong Kong Open.

9. Bubba Watson: Followed 2016 win with T-6 in 2017 before not playing last year’s Hero. Just one top 10 in his last nine worldwide starts, but he’s always a strong horse-for-course guy.

10. Dustin Johnson: T-14 or worse in two of three starts at Albany. Was T-3 in 2016. But still, doesn’t tend to play these silly-season events great. Also was T-30 at WGC event in China this fall.

11. Jason Day: Will play Hero at Albany for first time this week after a fall season where he was T-5 at the CJ Cup and T-11 in China. Iron game was down last season and hasn’t been great so far this season.

12. Jon Rahm: Makes Hero debut this year after recently snapping streak of five straight finishes outside of the top 10 with T-4 in Dubai.

13. Tony Finau: Takes first crack at Albany this week. Hasn’t been his usual sharp self since runner-up finish at WGC-HSBC Champions, but this a course that should suit him well.

14. Keegan Bradley: Strong playoffs likely helped him earn first ticket to Albany. Was recently sixth at WGC event in China and T-17 at Australian Open.

15. Alex Noren: Was T-12 in first Albany appearance last year. T-9 in Dubai was his first top 10 since French Open win last summer.

16. Gary Woodland: Earned a sponsor exemption this year as he makes Albany debut. Had five consecutive finishes of T-12 or better before T-41 at Mayakoba.

17. Henrik Stenson: Shook off some rust following elbow surgery with T-12 finish in Dubai. Followed second-place finish in 2016 with 17th-place showing last year at Hero.

18. Hideki Matsuyama: Tied for last in Albany debut in 2016 before winning Hero the next year. Was T-5 last year. But he’s finished outside of the top 40 in two straight … Japan Tour events.

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