The FedEx Cup Playoffs get going this week at Liberty National Golf Club, and we should expect more drama than the last time our eyes were drawn here during the U.S. rout at the 2017 Presidents Cup.
There’s a bit more of a sense of urgency this week than in previous seasons, with only two playoff events ahead of the Tour Championship at East Lake. The postseason field will be reduced to just 70 players for next week’s BMW Championship at Medinah and it’s time for those players down the standings to make a move.
Tiger Woods is comfortably inside the top 30 already as he looks to defend his Tour Championship title, joining Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and the rest of golf’s A-listers to get this party started in New Jersey.
Here are my top 20 fantasy picks for the week.
20. Charles Howell III
Rounding back into form at the right time, finishing T-22 at the Wyndham after a T-6 at the John Deere Classic. Already been a huge season for him. We’ll see if he can finish strong.
19. Collin Morikawa
Just a ridiculous start to his career with three top-5s and a win over the past month. No reason to think he can’t keep it going.
18. Patrick Reed
Been a quiet year, but don’t sleep on Reed. He enters the week off five consecutive top-25 finishes and has only missed one cut since the Valspar Championship in March.
17. Adam Scott
Hasn’t played much at all lately and the legs will be fresh at Liberty National, where he won the Barclays back in 2013.
16. Hideki Matsuyama
Play has drastically declined of late with two missed cuts in his last three starts. Might be getting a little burned out toward the end of a long season.
15. Tony Finau
Bounced back from a rough patch with a pretty quiet solo third finish at the British Open. Struggling with the short game this season but still right there at No. 16 in the FedEx Cup standings.
14. Tiger Woods
Clearly had some physical issues at the British Open and played like it. But he has two runner-ups at this course and has spent the past few weeks ramping up for a playoff push.
13. Jason Day
Still a top-level talent. Just stuck in a bit of a rut right now and hasn’t seen a big positive impact with new caddie Steve Williams on the bag.
12. Matt Kuchar
Kuchar missed the Tour Championship for the first time since 2009 a year ago and now has a chance to win the whole thing. Been a special season.
11. Tommy Fleetwood
He’s been razor sharp of late and simply ran into a Shane Lowry-sized buzzsaw at the British Open. Should have a great postseason run.
10. Webb Simpson
Coming in hot off back-to-back runner-up finishes and has put himself in the mix a ton the past few months. Also has two strong starts at Liberty National, finishing T-15 in 2013 and eighth in 2009.
9. Rickie Fowler
Played well his last time out at the British Open and has had some really strong playoff showings the past few years.
8. Justin Rose
Haven’t heard a ton from Rose since Torrey Pines, but he’s a reliable top-20 guy most weeks.
7. Justin Thomas
Wrist sure doesn’t look like a concern anymore with three straight finishes of T-12 or better.
6. Xander Schauffele
The 2017 Tour Championship winner already has two wins this season and has a chance to do something special over the next three weeks.
5. Patrick Cantlay
Mr. Consistency has been top-25 or better in eight of his last nine starts, and the stats match up with anyone on Tour throughout the bag.
4. Jon Rahm
Five consecutive starts of T-11 or better entering this one and maybe the hottest guy in the field at the moment.
3. Dustin Johnson
Hasn’t had a top-10 since the PGA Championship in May, but he’s only made five starts and is always capable of a big-time heater.
2. Rory McIlroy
Bounced back from the Portrush disappointment with a T-4 in Memphis and hoping to pick up his third win of the season.
1. Brooks Koepka
The guy is winning non-majors now, too? That’s trouble for the rest of the Tour as Brooks prepares for his Player of the Year victory lap.