Making Quail Hollow his second start back from a wrist injury, Brooks Koepka played steady golf to make the cut and finish T42 at one-over par. Koepka shot two-over throughout the first two days and finished up the weekend with a one-under par 70. This week, he heads to the TPC Sawgrass stadium course, where his best finish was a T17. Koepka is ranked 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 72.356.
Heading into the 2018 Players Championship, Matt Kuchar has played solid golf, making the last 13 cuts. The past champion has missed two cuts and has two top-25 finishes since 2013. Kuchar has four top-25s this season and ranks 14th in sand save percentage at 59.76 percent. He is ranked 21st in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 70.704.
Phil Mickelson added his sixth top-10 this season with his T5 finish at the Wells Fargo Championship. He finished at seven-under par and tied Peter Uihlein and Paul Casey. This week, Mickelson heads to the Players Championship where he won in 2007. Mickelson ranks second in sand saves at 66.67 percent and third in strokes gained total at 2.220, which will play a factor at the Stadium course. Lefty is ranked 19th in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 69.755.
Marc Leishman is making his ninth start at the Players Championship. He has had an up-and-down relationship with this Pete Dye golf course. In the last five years, he has cracked into the top 10 once and finished in the top 25 twice, showing he knows how to navigate the TPC Stadium course just fine. Leishman is ranked 12th in birdie average at 4.15 and 19th in strokes gained around the green. He is ranked 16th in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 70.435.
Alex Noren missed the cut this past week at the Wells Fargo Championship. He carded a two-over 73 on Day 1 and then proceeded to fall apart on Friday with a five-over 76 to miss the cut at seven-over par. Noren will head to TPC Sawgrass for his second Players Championship. Last year, he finished T10 at four-under par and ranks ninth in strokes gained total at 1.594. Noren is ranked 18th in the Official World Golf Ranking and has a scoring average of 69.972.
Rickie Fowler shot a two-over par 73 in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship to finish T21 at two-under par. Fowler finished in seventh in sand saves, making 77.78 percent, and tied for third in scrambling at 77.27 percent. Fowler heads to the Stadium course as a past champion looking to become the seventh repeat champion. Fowler is ranked sixth in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 69.928.
Jason Day cruised to his second win of the season with a solid two-under 69 final round. Day held off tough competition and went two-under par on the “Green Mile” (holes 16-18) to best Aaron Wise by two shots. He led the field in strokes gained around the green, total and in putts per green in regulation. Day makes his way to the Players this week as a former champion and in fantastic form. He has had two top-20 finishes at the event in the last five years. With Day’s win, he moves into the No. 7 spot in the Official World Rankings and has a scoring average of 69.529.
Jordan Spieth showed up at the 2014 Players tournament and finished T4 at 10-under par. Since that fantastic finish, Spieth has failed to make the cut in the past three years. This week heading into the Players, Spieth is second in strokes gained tee to green at 1.829 and is third in greens in regulation percentage at 71.53 percent. The three-time major champion sits ranked fourth in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 69. 757.
After missing the cut at the Zurich Classic, Justin Thomas added another top-25 finish to his resume. Finishing T21, Thomas came home Sunday with a one-under par 70. Thomas was third in driving distance with an average drive of 338 yards and eighth in scrambling, coming in at 72 percent. This week, Thomas heads to the Players, where he failed to make the 54-hole cut, but he also has two top-five finishes here. Thomas is ranked No. 2 in the Official World Golf Rankings and has a scoring average of 69.248.
Cameron Smith will make his second career start at the Players Championship this week. Smith failed to make the cut at TPC Sawgrass in his debut last season. The 24-year-old Australian golfer is quietly having one of the best seasons on tour. He has produced five top-10 finishes, which includes a T5 at this year's Masters. Smith, who is a resident of Jacksonville, Florida, will get to play at a course less than 50 miles from his home this week. Smith carries a $7,600 price tag on DraftKings and is projected to be only six percent owned. At such a low ownership projection, Smith makes for an intriguing option in all leagues.
Si Woo Kim shocked the golf world last season when he took home The Players Championship title. Kim finished at 10-under par, three strokes ahead of second-place finisher Ian Poulter. Kim, who came into the 2017 Players at odds of 400/1, will enter the tournament this year at odds of 100/1. Kim's first PGA Tour title came at the 2016 Wyndham Championship, and because of a back injury, he was not able to defend his title the following year. Since 2005, no defending champion at The Players Championship has yielded a top-15 finish during their title defense. Kim comes into the week with four consecutive made cuts on the PGA Tour. His $7,200 price tag on DraftKings makes him an intriguing GPP flier.
Kevin Chappell got off to a hot start in 2018, logging three top-10s while making seven consecutive cuts. Unfortunately, Chappell's season sputtered when he was forced to withdraw from the WGC-Dell Match Play in March with back pain. He has struggled to regain his form since the injury. He was unable to get anything going at the Masters or the RBC Heritage and missed the cut in both events. Chappell was able to manage a tie for 30th at the Valero Texas Open last month. If he is over the back issue, Chappell could be dangerous at the Players Championship this week. He finished T35 in 2017 and second in 2016 at TPC Sawgrass. Chappell is an intriguing GPP target at his $7,400 DraftKings price.
Jason Dufner shot a one-over par last weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship, tying him for 42nd place. In his previous five stroke-play events before the Wells Fargo Championship, Dufner had missed three cuts and did not have a finish better than T55. The made cut is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but clearly Dufner is still struggling to find consistent success. This week he will try to turn his luck around at the Players Championship. In his last five showings at TPC Sawgrass, Dufner has made four of his five cuts. Unfortunately, his highest finish came during his 2014 appearance, which only resulted in a T48. Dufner makes for an impossible golfer to trust until he shows some form.
Since winning the Safeway Open to kick off the PGA Tour season in the fall, Brendan Steele has been a consistent cut-maker. He has played the weekend in seven of eight tournaments, missing his only cut at the Masters. Steele is most effective with his driver, but that advantage will be somewhat muted at the Players Championship this week. He has struggled on the greens as of late but will need to get the putter going in order to contend at TPC Sawgrass. Steele is looking to better his T6 finish in last year's Players.
Daniel Berger is not a player that gets a lot of media attention, but he is quietly having an excellent year. He has made the cut in 11 of the 12 events he’s played this season and has a strong seven top-25 finishes. The two-time PGA Tour winner would love to add the prestigious Players Championship to his growing resume. Berger has had mixed results at TPC Sawgrass but did manage a T9 finish in 2016.