Webb Simpson ended a run of first-time winners at Harbour Town Golf Links last year, and he will be back to defend his title when the 2021 RBC Heritage tees off on Thursday. Simpson got his second win of the 2020 season after four straight debutants won the event in Hilton Head Island, S.C. This year's field also includes world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and notables like Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay. Johnson is the 10-1 favorite in the latest 2021 RBC Heritage odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Simpson is the 12-1 second favorite, ahead of Cantlay (16-1), Morikawa (20-1) and Berger (20-1).
Can Will Zalatoris (25-1) build on his second-place Masters finish and get his first tour victory? Or is there another surprise who would be a winning addition for your 2021 RBC Heritage Fantasy golf picks? Before making any 2021 RBC Heritage 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 year -- including Simpson at last year's RBC Heritage as a 30-1 long shot.
Harbour Town "should be an ideal course fit for him," Gehman said before last year's event, "considering he's an accurate driver and ranks in the top 10 on tour in strokes gained approach."
Just last week at Augusta National, three of Gehman's top eight picks for the Masters finished in the top five. That includes Justin Spieth and Xander Schauffele, who tied for third.
"He's figured out his irons, gaining a ton of strokes on approach since January, and now he heads to his happy place," Gehman said of Spieth before the event.
At the previous full-field PGA Tour event, the Honda Classic, the field was limited by its placement between The Players and the Match Play, but Gehman still picked five golfers in his top 10 who tied for 13th or better.
Gehman has been on fire all season. At The Players, three of Gehman's top seven picks made the top 10, and at Pebble Beach, three of his top four made the top five. The Farmers leaderboard looked like a who's who of Gehman's rankings, with five of his top nine picks finishing tied for seventh or better. 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 RBC Heritage 2021 over at SportsLine so you can crush your Fantasy golf picks.
2021 RBC Heritage Fantasy golf picks
Gehman believes Simpson's game is just too good to pass up at a place like Harbour Town. Simpson's only weakness is length off the tee, and he excels in every other facet. That's what makes him perfect for the course, where accuracy is far more critical than distance. The former U.S. Open champion hits more than 71 percent of his fairways (fifth on tour) and almost 70 percent of greens in regulation (23rd). He tied for 12th at the Masters, going under par in three of four rounds.
Cantlay isn't nearly as consistent and seems to be in a rut, so Gehman is fading him this week. The Californian has shot 70 or worse in seven straight rounds and missed the cut in his past two full-field events, finishing 8-over last week at the Masters. A mediocre Match Play performance came in between, and he is not particularly long (63rd on tour) or accurate (80th) off the tee. When he misses the fairway, he misses badly, with an average proximity of more than 34 feet (166th).
How to set your 2021 RBC Heritage Fantasy golf lineups
Instead, Gehman is expecting a big week from a monster long shot who comes in higher than 40-1. This overlooked player has been on a strong run recently and is strong in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation, and Harbour Town rewards precision. Gehman is only sharing who it is, and his top 30 golfers in order, right here.
Who wins the RBC Heritage 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 year.