What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! Welcome to the second week of the FedEx Cup Playoffs! If the next three events come close to what the Northern Trust provided, we are in for a treat. The battle between DJ and Spieth is something golf fans have been dying for all season long.
The Dell Technologies Championship is the second leg of the playoffs and hosted at TPC Boston. This course has hosted this event for years, but was redesigned in 2007, limiting some of the course history we can draw from. A completely different contrast from last week at Glen Oaks where we had no course history at all. TPC Boston is a 7,300 yard Par 71, with three Par 5s, two of which should be reachable by most. This track is the easiest course in the playoff circuit, with the winning score typically eclipsing -15. The fairways at TPC Boston are wide, with some of the easiest to hit greens on tour. That does lend itself to a lot of long putts, making three putts a cause for concern. However, this week is all about ball striking, with the two stats I am looking at the heaviest being Strokes Gained Off the Tee and Strokes Gained Approach. Birdie or Better Percentage will also carry a lot of weight due to the scoring potential TPC Boston offers. Par 5 Scoring Average and Bogey Avoidance will also be factored into the stat model this week.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Dustin Johnson – $12,000
What a performance. Not much else can be said about the way Dustin Johnson won the Northern Trust Open. His drive on first playoff hole spewed confidence and an attitude we saw with DJ right before Augusta. In his post round interview, DJ said he feels like he is finally back where he was in April – that is a scary thought for the rest of the field. His ownership will be high so you better shove all in if you want to jump aboard the second of back to back wins. This is DJ’s FedEx Cup to give away, and I think he has a little birdie in his ear that would really want $10 million dollars….
Jason Day – $9,500
If DJ doesn’t win this week or falls down another set of stairs, Jason Day has the next best shot. It’s been a long time since we saw back to back impressive results from Day. He has gained strokes in all categories over the past two events, something he hasn’t done since 2015. He has always had an incredible all around game and I think this is the spot where he is going to break through. His price on DraftKings is extremely affordable and will likely be one of the highest owned golfer’s this week.
Paul Casey – $8,900
Paul Casey is turning into a rich man’s Matt Kuchar. Except instead of top 20s, Casey gets you top 5s and is the same price. Casey has three top 5s in his past six events, and five straight top 15s. It’s like every event he flips on cruise control and always ends up on the final page of the leaderboard. Sure, he never wins any of these events but he continues to put himself in great positions to pay off his DraftKings price tag. Casey came second at this event last season, and I will not be shocked if he finds himself in that exact same position this year.
Adam Scott – $7,900
Adam Scott is back in action and DraftKings is pricing him as if he’s taken the last couple of years off. $7,900 is insane for one of the best cut makers, hell, golfers in the world. He took some time off after the PGA as his wife recently gave birth to the couple’s second child. Now, Scott returns with #NappyFactor fully engaged and ready play his way into the next couple of playoff events. Scott needs a good showing this week at the Dell to remain in the playoff picture. I think he easily gets it with a top 10 this week and moves on to Chicago.
Patrick Cantlay – $7,200
Ready to eat some $7K chalk? That’s exactly what Patrick Cantlay is this week and with good reason. He put on a tee to green clinic last week at the Northern Trust, gaining 10.8 shots. He did lose 2.9 on the green, keeping him outside of the top 5. Cantlay has had an interesting year after taking a lot of the season off to help mitigate a future back injury. With a good showing at the PGA and last week at the Northern Trust, his tee to green game will vault him back into the Sunday picture at TPC Boston.
Marc Leishman- $6,900
We struck out last week with Marc Leishman missing the cut on the number. It was a tough pill to swallow but DraftKings makes it easy to forgive when the decreased Leishman’s price by $1,500. That seems like a drastic over correction to one off week. Last week was Leishman’s third missed cut in the past 12 months. I feel very comfortable that he will find his putting stroke this week after losing 3.7 strokes on the green last week. He also gained 4.8 shots on approaches at the Northern Trust, which will carry over quite nicely to TPC Boston.
Dell Technologies Research Spreadsheet
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Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jon Rahm – $10,600
How in the world does Jon Rahm only have three tags on FanShareSports? He finished third last week at the Northern Trust Open, jumped up to the 5th ranked golfer in the world and is only $10,600. All of the attention is going back to Spieth and DJ because of what they did last week. Rahm is flying under the radar in a week where the hype should be off the charts! He gained 6.1 strokes on approach shots last week while only gaining 1.8 off the tee. You’d expect that his off the tee game will bounce back this week and the wider fairways should help his cause. Rahm could be sub-15% owned this week which will be an easy situation to take advantage of in GPPs.
Brooks Koepka – $8,700
Another elite golfer with barely any tags on FanShareSports is Brooks Koepka. He has only been mentioned four times this week after his T49 last week at the Northern Trust Open. Koepka lost 4.8 shots around the green at Glen Oaks, a challenge that TPC Boston simply does not present. Koepka has been known to pop when least expected and this could be the week for that. He has a legitimate chance of winning the FedEx Cup if he can pull of a win within the next three events. His best chance might be here at the Dell Tech Championship, where is Par 5 scoring ability will become extremely important.
Gary Woodland – $8,000
Speaking of Par 5 scoring, Gary Woodland is another guy who could dominate these Par 5s when most golfers can’t. Woodland only has three tags on FanShareSports. He missed the cut last week and saw his price increase $1,000. Usually that is not a recipe for high ownership. Gary has finished T15 and T12 here the past two seasons, so TPC Boston is clearly a course that fits his eye. I do not expect his ownership to exceed 10%, especially with Justin Rose and Adam Scott priced right next to him.
Charl Schwartzel – $7,500
Charl Schwartzel had 17 mentions last week on FanShareSports, came T29, and now he has one. Were that many people pissed off of a top 30 from a golfer who was priced below $7K? Sure it’s not an amazing result, but it shouldn’t have killed the buzz as much as it has. Schwartzel is one of many golfers in the $7K range who will be overlooked as people build stars and scrubs lineups. If Charl can get his putter rolling just a bit and break his three event streak of losing strokes on the green, he has a chance to be in a late pairing on Sunday.
Brendan Steele – $6,900
Brendan Steele has had a season of two storylines. At the beginning of the year, he was a staple in a lot of cash lineups because he seemed to never miss a cut. Now, he has missed four of his last five cuts, but it has mainly been because of his putter. He has gained strokes both off the tee and on approaches in his last three events. Steele has made fours straight cuts at this event – giving up that he can break this recent run of poor form. Steele has only one tag on FanShareSports and has the upside you are looking for in a low owned GPP punt.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Rory McIlroy – $9,800
It sucks that we have to fade Rory, but right now it’s the only play. Two weeks ago Rory stated that we might not see him until next season because of an injury. It was extremely odd that he played last week at the Northern Trust Open, and his T34 finish suggests something is still lingering in Rory’s back. He lost 3.8 strokes on approach shots, making that three straight events of lost strokes in that category. SG:APP is my heaviest weighted stat and Rory showing no signs of improving his approach game. Add on the injury scare/potential withdraw, and I will go elsewhere in the $9K range.
Sergio Garcia – $8,400
When you think of ball striking, there are very few names that will pop into your head before Sergio Garcia. His entire career has been based around his ball striking, Lately however, it has been his approach game that is off and led him to a missed cut at the PGA Championship. In his past 12 rounds, Garcia ranks 69th in SG:APP and 68th in SG:Par 5s, two stats that should impact a player’s finish. I don’t see this being the week Garcia finds his form and his price should inflate his ownership to warrant fading him.
Russell Henley – $7,600
Russell Henley may draw some attention this week, solely on the fact that he was the first round leader at the Northern Trust Open. However, his stats in his past 12 rounds have been less than impressive. He ranks 54th in SG:OTT and 72nd in SG:APP, both huge red flags. Even though he came T2 at TPC Boston in 2014, he has missed the cut his last two trips here. Considering only around 30 golfers get cut at this event, missing back to back cuts is not the course history I am looking for.
Phil Mickelson – $7,500
Time to pick on Lefty once again. If you’ve been paying attention to golf over the past couple of months, you’ll know Mickelson has lost his game. If for some reason you haven’t been keeping up and think Mickelson at $7,500 is a fantastic deal – stop. Phil sucks right now and can’t be used on DraftKings. I pointed this out on Twitter – Phil’s betting odds are 125/1 right now. I’m guessing the last time he was this big of a long shot was over 20 years ago. Stay away from Lefty.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Hideki Matsuyama – $10,100
Hideki’s finish last week was certainly not the result we were looking for out of the highest priced golfer. In hindsight, it was a serious let down spot for Matsuyama following two intense battles in his previous two events. Now after his rare MC and a price decrease, Hideki is poised to bounce back on a track that should fit his eye. He has improved his finish each of the past three years at TPC Boston, coming T15 last season. He only has 16 tags on FanShareSports, so going overweight on him shouldn’t be difficult.
Brian Harman – $7,400
At the Northern Trust Open, Brian Harman gained some attention and a reasonable 14 tags on FanShareSports. He then on went on to miss the cut and is now being ignored by the industry, having his tag count drop to five. Not much has changed from this point last week. Harman lost 2.6 strokes around the green at Glen Oaks, something he shouldn’t have to deal with at TPC Boston. He was in the green for both SG:OTT and SG:APP, will be much lower owned than last week and his priced just above Patrick Cantlay who should be extremely chalky this week.
Russell Knox – $7,100
Knox has been somewhat of a yo-yo lately, with two missed cuts in three weeks, but a 5th place finish at the WGC Bridgestone four events ago. Last week at Glen Oaks wasn’t pretty, as Knox lost 4.1 strokes on the greens as wasn’t much better tee to green. With that said, Knox is returning to a course he has found success at the past three seasons. He has three top 30 results and back to back top 15s. Knox won’t have any ownership on him this week (three tags on FanShareSports) even with his recent spurts of solid form. Knox will find his way into about 10% of my lineups this week which will be plenty to be overweight.
Francesco Molinari – $6,900
The Italian Stallion let a lot of people down last week with a terrible performance and a trunk slam on Friday. His putter let him down at the Northern Trust, which is what carried him to a T2 at the PGA Championship. I expect some positive regression from Molinari’s putter this week, which some combine well with his elite tee to green game as of late. Even though he doesn’t bomb it, Molinari ranks 10th in SG:OTT over the past 12 rounds. He should hit every fairway this week and find himself with tons of birdie opportunities.
Thanks for reading the Dell Technologies Championship preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody!!