Fantasy golf power rankings: 2018 Safeway Open


What offseason? The PGA Tour begins its new season this week at the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

Silverado Resort’s North Course, which has hosted this event since 2014, tips out at 7,166 yards. For a par 72 with four par-5s, that’s below average in the length department. Players will need to make tons of birdies to have a chance, and the longer hitters, like many Tour courses, have an advantage this week.

Some statistics to consider: strokes gained putting, strokes gained tee to green, approach shot proximity and par-5 scoring.

The field is void of many big names, but it will be nice to see some new faces. Many of these rookies or recent Web.com Tour grads could be viable fantasy options this season.

Here are my top 25 fantasy options for the Safeway Open:

1. Patrick Cantlay: Best Safeway finish is T-47, but that included a closing 75. He finished last season ranked ninth in SGTTG and 17th in par-5 scoring. Made last 10 cuts last season with three top-10s during that span.

2. Beau Hossler: Finished 74th in Safeway debut last year, but that included a final-round 80. Ranked fourth in SGP last season. Missed just four cuts last season and made it to the BMW.

3. Emiliano Grillo: Has cracked top 30 twice since winning in Safeway debut, in 2016, but no top-25s. Ranked 12th in SGP last season.

4. Ryan Moore: Has three top-10s in five Safeway starts and finished last season ranked 12th in SGTTG.

5. Joaquin Niemann: Ballstriking extraordinaire makes his Safeway debut this week. Hasn’t played since T-33 at Wyndham, but contended on a few occasions last season.

6. Peter Uihlein: Shot 75-73 to miss the cut in last year’s Safeway debut. Inspired playoffs included three starts and a T-12 at TPC Boston.

7. Brandt Snedeker: Hasn’t pegged it at Silverado since he was T-17 in 2016. Ranked 18th in SGP last season. Disappointing playoffs after Wyndham victory.

8. Brendan Steele: Two-time defending Safeway champion. Ranked 45th in SGTTG last season. Did miss four straight cuts before 60th-place finish at BMW.

9. Luke List: Seven of eight rounds under par, but no top-25s in two Safeway starts. Finished last season ranked sixth in SGTTG and 24th in par-5 scoring.

10. Chris Kirk: Was T-8 at Safeway in 2017. Ranked 10th in proximity last season. Didn’t miss a cut after Houston last season.

11. Dylan Frittelli: Now that he has his PGA Tour card, he should start making a lot more noise in the U.S. Notched two top-20s in Web Tour Finals and is ranked 69th in the OWGR.

12. Cameron Davis: Young Ausie posted two top-3 finishes in Web Tour Finals. Strong iron player who can also make a bunch of putts.

13. Chez Reavie: Has made seven straight cuts at Safeway with five top-25s. Struggled with ballstriking toward end of last season but still finished 49th in SGTTG and fourth in proximity.

14. Adam Hadwin: Hasn’t cracked top 40 since T-7 in 2011 Safeway debut, when the event was at CordeValle. But he did close last season with three straight top-25s.

Phil Mickelson (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

15. Phil Mickelson: Has gone T-8, T-3 in last two trips to Silverado, but a likely Ryder Cup hangover could hamper his play. Ranked 10th in SGP and 17th in par-5 scoring last season.

16. Hunter Mahan: T-3 in Safeway debut, in 2015, and T-13 last year. Ranked 32nd in SGP last season. T-2 at DAP Championship to help him regain Tour card in Web Tour Finals.

17. Denny McCarthy: Missed cut in last year’s Safeway debut. Ranked 20th in SGP on Tour last season. T-13 or better, with one win, in all four Web Tour Finals events.

18. Abraham Ancer: Best finish in two Safeway trips was last year’s T-37. His T-7 showing at TPC Boston helped him make it to BMW.

19. Chesson Hadley: Ended Safeway struggles with T-3 last year at Silverado. Started last season strong in ballstriking categories before finishing 36th in SGTTG. Was also 11th in proximity. Nothing better than T-45 in last seven starts of 2017-18.

20. Kevin Streelman: Has made five of eight Safeway cuts with two finishes of T-16 or better. Ranked 23rd in SGTTG last season.

21. Martin Laird: Perfect in six Safeway starts with a T-3 in 2015 and T-8 in 2017.

22. Sangmoon Bae: Won 2015 Safeway, but military service kept him away until 2018, when he missed the cut in his return to Silverado. Stepped up at Web Tour Finals with T-6 and a win.

23. Ollie Schniederjans: Notched best Safeway finish in three starts last year, with T-17. Ranked 36th in SGP last season. Struggled in playoffs with two MCs.

24. Jamie Lovemark: Perfect in six Safeway starts and but just one top-20 aside from a T-2 finish in 2009 at Grayhawk.

25. Kevin Tway: T-40 is his best finish in four Safeway starts. Ranked 17th in par-5 scoring last season.

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