Fantasy Golf 2012: The Farmers Insurance Open Preview

John Miller@SportsSomethingCorrespondent IIIJanuary 25, 2012

Can D.A. Points beat out a field that contains Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson amongst many others?
Can D.A. Points beat out a field that contains Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson amongst many others?Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Just like that, we are already in Week 4 of the fantasy golf season. Amazing, right? Well, depending on where you live.

As a guy who had to shovel his car out of the snow this week, it seems pretty cool to me that they've been golfing for a month now.

If you are new to fantasy golf or haven't been following my previews so far, check out my Golf 2012 - Week 1 Preview article—that should help lay everything out for you.

This week, the tournament is the Farmers Insurance Open. It will be played at Torrey Pines Country Club in La Jolla, California. Torrey Pines features two courses (North and South) that will be in play for the tournament.

Bubba Watson is the defending champion; he received $1,044,000 for his win here in 2011.

Neither of these course plays particularly easy. The South Course is one of the longest tracks on Tour, checking in at 7.598 yards. It's also a very difficult scrambling and putting course. The North Course features some of the most difficult fairways to find from the tee on tour. Again, scrambling and putting are both at a premium here.

Also worth noting is that this is a pair of courses that will absolutely favor those that have played them before. This is not an event in which you will see a golfer who has never entered win. Nor is it likely to be where a golfer earns his first win on Tour.

The winner this week is looking at a million-dollar payday, so this might not be a bad week to go with some of your trusty old plow-horses, so to speak.

That means we are looking for golfers with a track record of success at Torrey Pines. Ideally, these golfers will have some length off of the tee, while hitting a high percentage of fairways and putting well. Of course, that's a recipe for success on any course, but these particular skills could help a bit more than usual this week.

Not only is Bubba Watson huge off of the tee, he's also the defending champion of the Farmers Insurance Open.
Not only is Bubba Watson huge off of the tee, he's also the defending champion of the Farmers Insurance Open.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Who is on the team this week?


Yahoo! Weekly Lineup Game

Group A

Nick Watney (Starting)—This was really a coin-flip between Watney and Phil Mickelson. Group A is extremely deep this week, but both Watney and Mickelson have sterling track records at Torrey Pines.

Despite Mickelson's strong finish last week, his bouts of wildness at the tee have me leaning towards Watney.

Robert Garrigus (Bench)—This is an interesting pick because I can't see it mattering unless Watney completely tanks, which is highly unlikely. I wouldn't want to waste Mickelson AND Watney in the same week if that did happen, so Garrigus makes for an interesting bench stash.

He's one of the longest players off of the tee on Tour and he's off to a hot start in 2012.

Also worthy: Phil Mickelson, Charles Howell III and Keegan Bradley


Group B

Bubba Watson (Starting)—It's hard not to go with the defending champion here. His skills off of the tee play well here and Watson led the field in Greens In Regulation in the only tournament he's played so far in 2012.

D.A. Points (Starting)—A bit of a surprise here, given the depth in Group B this week. Points has an excellent history at Torrey Pines and in his two starts so far in 2012 he's finished 12th and sixth, respectively.

Points isn't an every-week option, so it's a good move to start him on one of his best tracks while he's hot.

Rickie Fowler (Bench)—This is Fowler's first event in 2012, but he has a solid history here, finishing 20th and fifth in his previous two appearances. His distance off of the tee will give him an advantage over many others in the field this week.

He's a perfect bench stash given that it's his first tourney of the year.

Brandt Snedeker (Bench)—Snedeker is coming off of an eighth-place finish last week at the Humana Challenge. He's an excellent putter who has finished ninth and second in his previous two appearances in the Farmers Open.

Also worthy: Brendon de Jonge, Justin Rose and Ernie Els


Group C

Ben Crane (Starting)—Crane has been rock solid so far in 2012, finishing ninth and eighth in his two starts. He's also one of the most accurate players on Tour off of the tee. Not to mention he won this tournament here in 2010 and finished tied for 14th last year.

Matt Every (Bench)—As you can tell, despite the number of golfers in Group C, the pickings are fairly slim this week. Every finished tied for sixth in his only start so far in 2012. He finished tied for 15th in his previous appearance here back in 2012.

Also worthy: Kevin Sutherland and Pat Perez


Okay, now, who do you pick in your Weekly/Survivor/Eliminator/Earnings League?

This one is a bit trickier. Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney would be my initial choices, but I would probably prefer to save both players. So if I'm not going to go with a "favorite," I'm looking for a golfer that I don't know when/where else I would use if not here.

That means I like: Robert Garrigus, D.A. Points, Brandt Snedeker and Ben Crane.

Out of these players, Points is the player who jumps out at me. The other three are all off to great starts this season and could very well be useful elsewhere. I'm going with D.A. Points because of his excellent history here and the fact that I might never use him elsewhere this season.

Do you have any questions?

If so, please use the comments feature below if you have anything to ask or anything to add to the discussion. If you have a lineup or roster question, please be as specific as possible regarding the setup of your league.

Good luck to all this week.


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