Power Rankings: Waste Management Phoenix Open

RSS

The 2016 fantasy golf season is off and running, as the PGA Tour heads to Arizona this week for the Waste Managemen Phoenix Open. A field of 132 players will tackle TPC Scottsdale, whose raucuous finishing stretch annually makes it one of the rowdiest Tour stops of the year.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Ryan Lavner. Click here for full fantasy assistance, including stats and picks.

Brooks Koepka won this event last year by one shot over a quartet of players. Here are 10 players to watch in Phoenix:

1. Brandt Snedeker: The hottest player on Tour, Snedeker rolls into Phoenix right off his improbable win at Torrey Pines. Snedeker now has finished T-3 or better in each of his first three starts of the year, and his record at TPC Scottsdale includes three top-10 finishes in the last five years, highlighted by a runner-up showing in 2013.

2. Bubba WatsonWatson has finished second here each of the last two years, including a playoff loss in 2014. He was also T-5 in 2012 and his game appears ideally suited for TPC Scottsdale, a bomber's paradise where birdies are expected in bunches. Will be making his first start since a T-10 showing in Maui.

3. Hideki MatsuyamaThe Japanese phenom finished T-4 in his Phoenix debut in 2014, then followed that with a runner-up finish last year. Matsuyama typically hits plenty of greens, a strong trait to lean on this week, but he seems to get an often-balky putter to cooperate in the desert.

4. Kevin NaHe has to get a win at some point, right? Na finished T-3 in Palm Springs, his fourth top-3 finish in six starts this season, and now returns to Phoenix where he has been a regular contender in recent years. Na's record at this event includes four top-5 finishes and no result worse than T-36 since 2012.

5. Brooks Koepka: The defending champ had no trouble adjusting to his new Nike equipment in Hawaii, where he finished T-3 at Kapalua. Koepka won last year in his debut appearance, and displays all of the attributes - length off the tee, accurate approaches and strong putting - that make him a threat to repeat.

6. J.B. Holmes: Holmes earned his first win here in 2006, then hoisted the trophy again in 2008. While his record since has been somewhat spotty - a T-5 finish in 2011 is his only top-40 result since his second win - Holmes has transformed his game over the last two years and finished T-6 last week in San Diego.

7. Martin LairdThe Scottsdale resident lives only a few minutes from this week's venue and often practices on the TPC Scottsdale range. He finished T-5 last year after holding the 54-hole lead, and Laird now returns on the heels of a T-8 finish amid difficult conditions this past weekend at Torrey Pines.

8. Ryan PalmerPalmer has a penchant for going low, and he came up one shot short behind Koepka here a year ago. He also finished T-5 in 2013, and Palmer typically does much of his damage on the west coast. That remains the case this season, as he followed a T-13 finish at Sony with a T-17 finish in Palm Springs.

9. Rickie FowlerFowler's early exit in San Diego was understandable given the jet lag after his win in Abu Dhabi, and he remains a name to watch this week. But his WMPO record outside of a runner-up in 2010 isn't exactly dazzling: T-26, T-46 and a pair of missed cuts over the last four years.

10. Charles Howell III: Still rolling right along. Howell's T-16 finish at Torrey Pines was his seventh top-20 finish in eight starts to begin the wraparound season. He'll look to remain hot in Phoenix, where his past results include a T-4 finish in 2010 and a T-6 finish in 2014.