The 2017 fantasy golf season heads to Arizona this week, as the PGA Tour travels to Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. A field of 132 players will tackle TPC Scottsdale, including its famed par-3 16th hole.
Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.
Hideki Matsuyama won this event last year in a playoff over Rickie Fowler. Here are 10 players to watch in the desert:
1. Hideki Matsuyama: Despite a middling performance in San Diego, Matsuyama is a clear favorite this week. He has never finished worse than T-4 in three career appearances, chasing a 2015 runner-up with his playoff win last year. The ball-striking prowess that led him to four wins to close out 2016 tends to thrive at TPC Scottsdale.
2. Jordan Spieth: Spieth is making just his second appearance in Phoenix, having finished T-7 in 2015. While the recent headlines have gone to other young players, Spieth hasn't exactly struggled out of the gate in 2017, as he finished third in both Maui and Kapalua. He just might take back some of that spotlight this week.
3. Bubba Watson: Easily the best resume of any player to have never won this event. Watson lost a playoff to Kevin Stadler in 2014, finished T-2 the following year and hasn't been worse than T-15 here since 2012. The title may still elude him, but expect another strong finish from the two-time Masters champ.
4. Justin Thomas: The new "hottest man in golf" returns to action after two weeks off, having won both of his starts in Hawaii. Thomas contended on a sponsor invite at this event two years ago, finishing T-17, and despite a missed cut last year he returns to TPC Scottsdale brimming with confidence and looking for a third straight trophy.
5. Jon Rahm: Last week's winner will now play a home game in front of partisan crowds and just a few miles from where he went to school at Arizona State. Rahm's victory at Torrey Pines was seen by most as a harbinger of things to come, and more success could be in store this week on a course he knows well and where he finished T-5 as an amateur two years ago.
6. Ryan Moore: The Ryder Cup hero has feasted at this event, finishing T-4, T-6, T-17 and T-11 in his last four trips to Arizona. Moore maintained his Hazeltine momentum throughout the fall portion of the new season and finished T-3 in Maui in his most recent start, indicating he doesn't plan to cool off anytime soon.
7. Brendan Steele: A winner at the season's opening event, Steele has remained hot with a pair of top-10 finishes since. He also tends to play well at this particular event, with three straight finishes of T-6 or better from 2012-14. Steele also finished T-17 in Scottsdale last year and appears in store for another strong showing.
8. Phil Mickelson: Mickelson is in the midst of a five-week stretch to start the new season, and the sports hernia injury that sidelined him during the offseason seems to be a non-factor. Mickelson has finished T-21 and T-14 in his first two starts this year and now returns to a course where he has won three times and nearly shot 59 in 2013.
9. J.B. Holmes: It's been a while since Holmes' twin titles in Scottsdale (2006 and 2008), but he still knows how to bomb it around this particular venue. Holmes tied for sixth last year and is coming off another resurgent season that saw his return to the Ryder Cup. A T-33 finish last week ended his offseason break.
10. Keegan Bradley: Bradley struggled through much of last season, notching only two top-10 finishes, but has turned things around in the new campaign. His T-4 finish at Torrey Pines was his third top-10 result in just seven starts, and his TPC Scottsdale credentials include four top-25 finishes over the last five years.