The new PGA Tour season is upon us and this will be a jam packed year with 50 events on the schedule most of them to be played in 2021. There are 6 majors in total and for all types of fantasy golf players there will be non-stop golf to watch.
Although I have shifted much of my fantasy golf to DFS playing mostly at DraftKings and FanDuel, I still have two year long fantasy golf leagues that I have been in for years and with every start to a new PGA Tour season I have to look at what guys underperformed the previous year and now would be considered sleeper picks for my fantasy golf league for the year.
This year is a bit different because I always include new PGA Tour card rookies into my sleeper picks. I have made some nice teams with rookies that graduate from the Korn Ferry Tour including last year with Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler and the previous year with Sungjae Im. Unfortunately this year the Korn Ferry 25 who qualified for a card don’t get to play on the PGA Tour except for a few tournaments and some sponsor exemptions because with Covid, many of the tour players from last year were affected so this year they got to keep their card and thus the rookies got put behind the top 150 money earners from last season.
The rookies get to return to the Korn Ferry Tour and play for next year and some alternate events however if any player wins 3 tournaments on the Korn Ferry Tour, they will get bumped up to PGA Tour status.
Regardless, I will only focus my sleeper picks on guys that were on the tour last year, have their card but underperformed in their money earnings and will be a great pick up for a yearlong fantasy golf team.
Many of the names below aren’t sleeper picks in the real sense of the word as they are still some of the better golfers in the world but because of the circumstances picking them will help you win your full season golf league
Top 2021 PGA Tour Sleeper Picks
Justin Rose was bad last year Covid, or no Covid but Justin Rose isn’t this bad yet I don’t think. He is a major champion and still ranked in the Top 20 in the world as this is being written so he will get to enter all the majors and the WGC tournaments which are all the big money prize events. Rose may not be able to compete with some of the other big names on Tour but he will get back to respectability in 2021 and make more than the sub $1 Million he made last year.
Koepka became a bigger sleeper pick for 2021 when he announced that he is skipping the first of the two US Open’s on the schedule to heal up some of his injuries. That is a bit concerning for a guy to skip a major but given how hard the Winged Foot course was going to be it may make some sense to skip it. Koepka is still a great golfer and like Rose will be in all the big events so him winning more than he did last year is almost a lock…if he is healthy enough to play this year.
Fleetwood was about to start playing the big PGA Tour events when Covid hit and when golf started up again Fleetwood took his time returning from the UK and then had to quarantine for a couple of weeks. By the time all that was done, his season never really got on track. Listen, Fleetwood is a good young golfer and will one day win a major and many had predicted that he was poised for a breakthrough last year…so bank on the breakthrough to happen in 2021 instead.
If you truly want a sleeper pick for the 2020-2021 PGA Tour season then look at Burns. Formerly an NCAA player of the year, Burns has been on Tour for a couple of years with so-so results. At this point in his career he will either make a jump to the next level or fight to keep his card in the future. I am banking on him playing in as many events as he can to get a more comfortable footing on the money standings by the end of the year and with more events played come more chances for a win.
Redman has some decent showings in the second half of last season and makes me think that he could make the step up this year. For a season long fantasy golf league he is worth it to take a flier on in hopes that he plays in enough weaker field events that he has some big finishes or even a win.
McNealy seems to have been around forever and yet he only had his first full season last year. He qualified at 18 into the 2014 US Open and had played in the odd event since but in his first full PGA season he had three Top 10’s and was OK. This kid has some talent and could make a jump this year to another level.