The Players Championship is often referred to as golf's unofficial fifth major and this year TPC Sawgrass, a course specifically designed to host this tournament, will be hosting the PGA Tour best for the 50th time. The 2024 Players Championship begins on Thursday with tee times starting at 7:40 a.m. ET and the field will be made up of 144 of the world's best players. The Players Championship field is the strongest in golf and that will make for difficult decisions as you craft your Fantasy golf lineups for PGA DFS and other Fantasy golf formats.

Scottie Scheffler is the tournament's defending champion and he ended nearly a year-long winless drought with a dominant five-shot win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week. Scheffler is the No. 1 players in the world and he's now racked up seven extremely high-profile wins in just over two years. So how much exposure should you have to Scheffler this week, and who else should you be targeting for Fantasy golf? Before making any 2024 Players Championship fantasy golf picks, you have to see The Players Championship fantasy golf rankings from SportsLine handicapper Eric Cohen.

Cohen is an avid golf bettor who correctly predicted the pre-tournament outright winner of the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic (Rickie Fowler +1400), 2023 PGA Championship (Brooks Koepka +2000), 2023 Honda Classic (Chris Kirk +3500), 2022 Open Championship (Cameron Smith +2200), 2022 U.S. Open (Matt Fitzpatrick +2500) and 2022 Phoenix Open (Scottie Scheffler's first career victory at +2800). 

Cohen is a contributor to SportsLine's YouTube shows including "Early Edge" and is the host of "The Early Wedge" golf show. Anyone who has followed Cohen's predictions has made positive gains on their golf picks.

Now, Cohen has ranked his top golfers for the 2024 Players Championship. Cohen's picks are only available at SportsLine.

2024 Players Championship expert picks

One player Cohen is getting behind for his fantasy picks is Hideki Matsuyama. The 32-year-old Japanese superstar is already a nine-time PGA Tour winner and a major champion (2021 Masters), and he's already won a signature event this season. Matsuyama overcame a six-shot deficit entering the final round of the Genesis Invitational by shooting a 62 to win.

He followed that up with a T-12 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week and he's now up to No. 17 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Matsuyama has been top 25 in six of his eight career starts at The Players Championship and he finished solo fifth at TPC Sawgrass last year. He also tied the course record with an opening-round 63 here in 2020 before the tournament was canceled because of the COVID outbreak and that go-low potential is a big reason why Cohen is backing him here.

On the other hand, the golf expert is fading McIlroy, despite his status as one of the favorites entering the week. McIlroy won The Players Championship in 2019 and is currently No. 2 in the OWGR but he's not in particularly strong form entering the week. He's finished outside the top 20 in all four of his PGA Tour starts this season and he's struggled of late at TPC Sawgrass.

"Since his win here, McIlroy has gone missed cut, tied for 33rd and missed cut, losing more than 12 strokes putting combined in those three events. Sure, he could absolutely win any given week with his talent but I'll be playing against him at The Players," Cohen said. See all of Cohen's Players Championship picks at SportsLine

How to set 2024 Players Championship fantasy golf lineups

For this week, Cohen is backing several underdogs in his 2024 Players Championship fantasy golf picks, including a triple-digit longshot who is a "who knows how to win against top competition at a huge price" that can help spice up your Fantasy golf lineups. See who it is, and get all of Cohen's fantasy golf picks, at SportsLine

Who wins The Players Championship 2024, and who are the top players to target for your PGA fantasy golf picks? Visit SportsLine now to get Eric Cohen's fantasy golf rankings, all from the fantasy expert who has called six outright winners since 2022, and find out.