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Sport 2021 Wells Fargo Championship Fantasy golf rankings, picks: Back Justin Thomas, fade Viktor Hovland

08:00  05 may  2021
08:00  05 may  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

Norwegian woods: Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura grab lead at Zurich Classic with best-ball 62

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Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau head a star-studded field as the PGA Tour returns to Charlotte, N.C. for the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship, teeing off Thursday at Quail Hollow Club. Thomas won the PGA Championship on this course in 2017, and he comes in as the 11-1 favorite in the latest 2021 Wells Fargo Championship odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Last year's event was canceled, so 2019 winner Max Homa enters as the defending champion, and he is listed at 35-1. Other golfers expected to contend from the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship field include Rahm (12-1), DeChambeau (16-1), Rory McIlroy (18-1) and Xander Shauffele (20-1).

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a person wearing a hat: May 17, 2019; Bethpage, NY, USA; Bubba Watson plays his shot from the sixth tee during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bethpage State Park - Black Course. © Provided by CBS Sports

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So, should you be looking at the big names like Thomas and Rahm for your 2021 Wells Fargo Championship Fantasy golf lineups? Or would a less-obvious player like Joaquin Niemann (33-1) or Abraham Ancer (35-1) put you in better position to win? Before making any 2021 Wells Fargo Championship Fantasy golf picks, check out the latest Fantasy golf rankings from data scientist Rick Gehman.

With his expansive database of golf statistics, course data and betting odds, Gehman creates advanced models and back-tests them constantly. These models have produced 12 outright winners in the past 18 months and three this season, including Viktor Hovland at 25-1 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and Daniel Berger at 20-1 at Pebble Beach.

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At last week's event on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course, 11 of Gehman's top 20 players finished tied for 21st or better, with runner-up Keegan Bradley and third-place finishers Cameron Tringale and Viktor Hovland all appearing in the rankings.

And in the previous week's team event in New Orleans, five of Gehman's top eight finished T-8 or higher, including Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, who lost in a playoff.

Gehman has been on fire all season. At the Masters, three of Gehman's top eight picks finished in the top five. That included Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, who tied for third. Three of his top seven at The Players made the top 10, and at Pebble Beach, three of his top four had top-five finishes. Anyone who has followed his advice has cashed in huge.

Now, Gehman, co-host of "The First Cut" podcast on CBS Sports, has revealed his top 30 players for the Wells Fargo Championship 2021 over at SportsLine so you can crush your Fantasy golf picks.

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  Tour Championship, even the Ryder Cup, not out of reach for Max Homa As Max Homa entered the locker room at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow, the memories of the last time he was there came flooding back. That’s when he had to wait out a suspension of play during the final round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship as he chased his first PGA Tour…That’s when he had to wait out a suspension of play during the final round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship as he chased his first PGA Tour title. A sudden queasiness hit his gut, just as it did on that day when he finally tasted victory after an arduous journey to being a Tour winner.

2021 Wells Fargo Championship Fantasy golf picks

Thomas is the No. 2 player in the world, and Gehman expects him to keep proving he deserves that spot. Thomas won the Players in March and has finished in the top 25 in 11 of his 13 events this season. He leads the tour in scoring average (69.738), is tied for second in strokes gained tee-to-green and fourth in strokes gained total. He took over the lead in the FedEx Cup standings after tying for 13th last week at Innisbrook. He is one of the best ball-strikers on tour and led the field in strokes gained off the tee, tee-to-green and approach last week.

On the other hand, Gehman is slightly fading Viktor Hovland, who is listed among the contenders at 22-1. The Norwegian tied for third at Innisbrook and is a strong and accurate driver, ranking fourth in strokes gained off the tee. But he also is 103rd in strokes gained putting and 62nd on approach. He has been a bit up-and-down, with a T-49 and a missed cut in March. The 23-year-old hits more than 68 percent of his greens, ranking 36th on tour, but he is 104th in proximity to the hole at more than 37 feet, and players need to hit it close at Quail Hollow.

Wells Fargo Championship tee times, TV/streaming info for Friday's second round

  Wells Fargo Championship tee times, TV/streaming info for Friday's second round Quail Hollow plays host once again for the Wells Fargo Championship. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Five-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler looked upbeat as he shot a 1-under-par 70 in Thursday’s firs t round at Quail Hollow. He said a recent break was a reset as he tries to find his past form with a new swing. Peter Malnati had missed eight consecutive cuts heading into the first round. So of course he shot 4-under-par 67 to get on the first page of the leaderboard. The first-round leader, by two shots over KH Lee and Keegan Bradley, is Phil Mickelson.

How to set your 2021 Wells Fargo Championship Fantasy golf lineups

Instead, the golf analyst is backing a huge long-shot who comes in higher than 50-1, but has played Quail Hollow extremely well. Gehman is only sharing who it is, and his top 30 golfers in order, right here.

Who wins the Wells Fargo Championship 2021? Who are the top golfers to target? And which overlooked player can help you win your league this week? Visit SportsLine now to get Rick Gehman's Fantasy golf rankings, all from the data scientist who's called 12 outright winners in the past 18 months.

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