Expert Picks for FedEx St. Jude Classic
There won't be many on the bandwagon with us, but we are jumping back toward hope by taking Villegas as part of the upper half of the rankings for the St. Jude. His history on these links is rather impressive and no one can deny he has been persistent in chasing success on this track during the bulk of his career. If he can gain any semblance of ability, Villegas should compete.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #19 - Not Entered
Simpson lacks the professional length of career touted by the men listed above, but his stunted resume at the St. Jude is impressive nonetheless. This kid knows how to swing on this particular track and will do so again this week. He comes in with wind at his back and a unique sense of confidence in Memphis, making his services worthy of consideration.
Brian Gay [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #109
Gay is a former champion, allowing us (along with a stunted field low on options) to bring his struggling back to the top half of the weekly rankings. We would warn he represents a definitive breaking point where you might suggest the risk is becoming a significant factor in the choices based on recent momentum (Gay is struggling horribly), but his history suggests this track might bring out his best.
Austin is another former champ who joins the list with a severely-lacking sense of accomplishment over recent starts on the Tour. He has struggled to get in the mix at any tourney this season but Austin is always thinking about the confidence he holds on this Southwind track and he knows he can compete. He does almost every year.
Verplank brings the fear of recent injury to the counter for fantasy owners as we continue to work through the more dangerous commodities for the week. He has struggled to play well when he has been able to swing over recent weeks, and while he holds a respectable record of performance on this Memphis track, we worry he's not as stable as we might like from a fantasy starter.
Kim hasn't been a true factor in professional golf in any way this season. He's off his mark and working for every stroke he earns, and he's not winning many. If he can get right before the season is lost, it's likely to happen at this particular track. It's tough but fair and Kim should be able to take full advantage.
Byrd was on his best behavior at Memorial last week and as such we are recommending you consider his value and momentum. He's not touting respect as a world elite, he's not on our regular list of starters for this course, but his game is at a level where it may not matter.
Rollins struggled to earn respect with the inability to maintain success over any prolonged period of time. That said, he always seems to get in the hunt at the TPC Southwind and his history is somewhat suggestive of a decent target for sleeper shoppers in fantasy leagues near you.
Fredrik Jacobson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #47
Jacobson is a regular on the lower ranks of the suggestion list, and we are coming back for more this week with a note suggesting we might consider pushing him higher with a better sense of momentum. He has a ton of work to admire on this track over recent seasons and we would expect he could get this season working in the right direction with another surge in Memphis this time around.
Padraig Harrington [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #54
Padraig should, by measure of talent and proven skill, be in our top ten. The only reason to keep him out would be lagging momentum (check), lagging history (check), and/or a strong field (not a check). We have him on our "avoid" list with two out of three.
Barnes has shown a bit of spunk on recent courses played and he tends to work well when fields are thin and the majors are entering our radar. He doesn't tout significant history in Memphis but he can play.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
It seems Snedeker tends to fall for a few weeks after a chance to compete for a win and we wonder if the time for rebound is here. We're betting he'll save rather than extend with the major around the corner.