It’s tune-up time for the PGA Championship, and a strong field is set to compete at Quail Hollow Club for the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour. Quail Hollow is a par 71 clocking in at just over 7,500 yards, and nine of the 11 par 4s are 440-plus yards, so the key skills will be driving distance and mid- to long-iron play. Also, with longer approaches, expect to see a higher percentage of greens missed and a resulting emphasis on around-the-green abilities.
Here are some players to target in your fantasy leagues this week:
Justin Thomas $11,300
Thomas finished 13th last week at Valspar Championship while losing 6.5 strokes putting, his second-worst putting performance as a pro. His tee-to-green game, meanwhile, mirrored that of his winning campaign at the 2021 Players Championship: +4.2 strokes gained off the tee, +6.9 on approach, and +2.1 around the green. (At the Players, he was +3.5 off the tee, +6.5 on approach, and +2.9 around the green.) In the Wells Fargo Championship field, JT ranks first on approach, first in birdies, and sixth around the green. Oh, and he won the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.
Keith Mitchell $7,000
Last week, Mitchell finished 69th in spite of losing 12 strokes on the greens. And so, like Thomas, he is in excellent ball-striking form. Prior to the Valspar, he finished fourth (alongside teammate Brandt Snedeker) at the Zurich Classic and 17th at Valero Texas Open. He ranks 13th off the tee and 19th in driving distance in this week’s field, and he has finished eighth and 34th in his two appearances at the Wells Fargo. At $7,000, Mitchell is a great lower-priced option to pair with JT.
Niemann has gained a lot of distance off the tee this season, gaining 10 yards on average and going from 53rd on the PGA Tour in driving distance in 2020 to eighth in 2021. This boost has brought his overall game to another level and made him one of the top players with a driver in his hands. At Quail Hollow, this skill should help him tremendously. Niemann finished eighth last week and has placed 44th or better in 17 consecutive events. It’s only a matter of time before he claims a trophy.
If you still have Rahm available, he makes for a great contrarian play, as a large portion of your league has likely used him already. The Spaniard’s game is tailor-made (we’ve got puns!) for Quail Hollow: he is first in long-iron proximity, second off the tee, 10th on approach, 12th in birdies, and 15th in driving distance. In eight of his past ten events, Rahm has finished ninth or better, and it would not be surprising for him to break through at the Wells Fargo Championship for his first win of the season.