The 2017 fantasy golf season heads east this week, as the focus of the golf world shifts to the Tar Heel State for the Wells Fargo Championship. A field of 144 players will tackle Eagle Point Golf Club, which is hosting the event for the first time.
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.
James Hahn won this event last year in a playoff over Roberto Castro. Here are 10 players to watch in Wilmington:
1. Dustin Johnson: Johnson makes his much-anticipated return from injury this week and will make his first start since winning the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He won that tournament of course, just as he did his prior two starts, and deserves to be a favorite in a moderately weak field despite any lingering concerns about rust.
2. Jon Rahm: The Spaniard has been cruising since his breakthrough win at Torrey Pines in January, with no finish worse than his T-27 result at the Masters. After taking three weeks off, he'll get back to action on a venue where his lack of course knowledge is neutralized by a new venue - not that it's exactly slowed him down elsewhere this year.
3. Kevin Kisner: Kisner nearly willed a victory for him and Scott Brown at the Zurich Classic before falling short in a Monday playoff. But he's familiar in the southeast, often plays some of his best golf here and now has contended three times this spring. A runner-up finish at Bay Hill and a T-11 finish at Harbour Town show that another win is close.
4. Phil Mickelson: Lefty has been a mainstay at this event since its inception, but he'll be starting from scratch just like everyone else with the shift to Eagle Point. But he has six top-25 finishes in nine starts since coming back from hernia surgery, a solid run of consistency for a player still looking for his first win in nearly four years.
5. Adam Scott: After Johnson, Scott is the next highest-ranked player in this week's field at No. 11 in the world. His typically strong ball-striking stats have taken a bit of a dip this season, but the Aussie finished T-9 at the Masters in his most recent start and heads to North Carolina rested after three weeks off.
6. Daniel Berger: Berger's missed cut last week alongside Thomas Pieters at Zurich was certainly a surprise given the form with which he entered the week. Berger won last year in Memphis and has top-10 finishes in both Houston and Phoenix this season. He enters this week ranked 15th on Tour in birdie average, so he should have no trouble adding circles to his scorecard.
7. Wesley Bryan: Bryan makes his first individual start since winning the RBC Heritage last month. That victory at Harbour Town was certainly no fluke given his prior opportunities at Riviera and PGA National, and the rookie clearly thrives when tee-to-green proficiency is required. With four top-10s in his last six starts, confidence is clearly not a concern.
8. Paul Casey: The Englishman continues to quietly contend, his latest effort being a T-6 finish at Augusta National. Casey hasn't won on Tour since 2009 but he has been a consistent challenger this season, with T-16 or better in four of his last five starts overall. He boasts a strong stat line that includes 16th in strokes gained tee-to-green and sixth in strokes gained around-the-green.
9. William McGirt: Webb Simpson will get plenty of attention this week as an Eagle Point member, but McGirt may be the local to keep an eye on. He has shown no signs of regression after notching his first win last year at the Memorial, and now he returns to his native state on a run of three straight top-25s that includes a T-22 finish in his Masters debut and a T-3 finish at Harbour Town.
10. Bud Cauley: After injury stalled his early rise as a pro, Cauley appears to have found his footing. Top-10 finishes in each of his last two individual starts show that the former Alabama product is ready to contend, and he made it three in a row last week by teaming with Justin Thomas for a T-5 finish in New Orleans.