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What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I’m going to quickly move off of the Barclays recap because it was a horrible week for me! Being hit with the double withdraw (Stenson and Garrigus) definitely took its toll, combined with terrible performances from Matsuyama and Grace. Weeks like these can leave you discouraged, and make you re-evaluate your strategy, but I trust my process is working as it has in the past, so I will chalk up that last week to bad luck.
It’s time for the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, The Deutsche Bank Championship held at TPC Boston. This event will be the easiest leg of the 2016 playoffs, where the winning score will come in around -15 to -20. With scores like this, I am looking at birdie or better percentage, strokes gained T2G, some proximity stats and bogey avoidance. Usually on birdefests I don’t pay attention to bogey avoidance, but it makes a lot of sense to me now. Bogeys will result in a lot of two shot swings, where other golfers may be making birdie. Scrambling for pars will be crucial to keep players in the hunt and at the top of the leader come Sunday.
Let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Jason Day – $12,500
Alright, I am finally on board with the highest priced golfer this week. There isn’t much I can say on Jason Day that you will not already know, other than I think he is the safest bet at a top 5 this week, and clearly has the best chance to win. A top 5 is the minimum requirement for any of the four highest priced golfers. Rostering an $11K+ golfer who finishes outside of the top 10 or 15 is crushing to a lineup. I am ignoring ownership on Day, as I will likely have close to 75% ownership on him. If I miss, I miss, but I am going to go down fighting with the best player in the world.
Rickie Fowler – $10,000
Fowler is the defending champion of this event and showed real signs at The Barclays of the elite form we are used to witnessing from Rickie. He was a -1 round away from winning the Barclays, but instead turned in a +3 performance. Rickie ranks 1st in bogey avoidance on the season, even though he has struggled most of the year. I think he found something last weekend that you will not see in his stats. He made one bogey in the first three rounds at the Barclays, and I see no reason for that form of golf to not carry of this week.
Bubba Watson – $8,900
At first glance, this price was a steal. At second glance, this price was still a steal. Bubba has back to back top 15 performances, and finished The Barclays with a final round 66. He ranks 6th in strokes gained T2G, is a fantastic par 5 scorer (as we know) and is 16th in birdie or better percentage. I like Bubba for all formats this week and can definitely envision his name within the top 5 at the end of Sunday’s round.
Russell Knox – $7,500
The biggest snub of the Ryder Cup teams, has had a fire lit under his ass. It baffles me that Russell Knox was not selected to the European team since he has been playing so well this season. He is two weeks removed from a victory, finished 12th at this event last season, ranks 9th in bogey avoidance and has great proximity stats – all pieces of the equation that result in Knox being a phenomenal play.
Scott Piercy – $6,200
In the events that the best players in the world show up too, Piercy seems to sneak his way onto the leaderboard. He came out of the gates hot last week at The Barclays, but tailed off a bit to finish 22nd. Apparently that performance was not good enough for DraftKings, as his price has dropped for this week. I’m definitely thinking Piercy can poke his head into the top 10 this week, at a very low ownership percentage.
Hudson Swafford – $5,500
Ummm, am I missing something here? The dead minimum for a golfer coming into this event making 11 straight cuts is an absolute steal. The 100 man field this week means less golfers will miss the cut, so having 6/6 through will be crucial. Why not go with Swafford whose stats are head and shoulders above the rest of the $5,500 golfers and has outstand cut making ability. I’m definitely considering using Swafford in cash.
Price too high? Seems like chalk? Players I will have no share of.
Emiliano Grillo – $9,000
He is becoming a staple near the top of the leaderboard, but I do not see myself owning Grillo this week. For one, I like so many of the other golfers around Grillo, and find myself gravitating towards them. I think he will be very popular due to his recent form. Grillo also ranks 110th in bogey avoidance, which scares me because he also ranks 48th in BoB%, which might not be enough to keep him in the -15 range.
Sean O’Hair – $7,800
Sorry Sean, I’m not buying your second place finish at The Barclays, and I refuse to pay $7,800 for a golfer who has only made 62.5% of his cuts this season. There are so many other guys in this range I would rather pivot too.
Jerry Kelly – $7,100
Old man Jerry at a birdefest? No thank you. Jerry Kelly is 155th in birdie or better percentage, so it is shocking to see him have previous success at this course. I just do not see the upside in rostering Kelly at his higher than usual price tag, on a course that doesn’t seem to fit his game.
So you got burned?
Previously high owned golfers to consider.
Henrik Stenson – $11,600
What to do with Henrik Stenson will be a big decision for DFSers making lineups this week. I’m going to guess he will be completely overlooked because of another withdraw scare. He will come in under 10% owned easily, so if you are making 20 lineups this week, having Stenson in a couple might be a great idea. If he performs well, you will be lapping the field. GPP flier only.
Brooks Koepka – $8,700
Koepka was loved last week because of his recent form and relatively low price, but only managed to squeeze past the cut and finish 70th. For me, this will be a good time to jump back on Koepka, at a much lower price. My biggest scare for him last week was his injury and lack of motivation, but he played all four rounds, so any signs of a lingering injury are gone in my eyes. Play Koepka with confidence this week.
Hideki Matsuyama – $8,600
Oh Hideki, how dare you treat the DFS world that way? He missed the cut at The Barclays in dramatic fashion last week, missing fairways, greens and putts all over the place. The missed putts are expected, but it was odd to see Matsuyama struggle so much with his ball striking. I do not see that trend continuing this week and I expect Hideki to find the form he had before The Barclays. He will be very low owned this week and is at the lowest price you will see him on DraftKings.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jim Furyk – $8,800
I could be way off in thinking that Grillo will be fairly chalking this week, but that assumption gives me a chance to talk about Jim Furyk. He is still on the edge of being cut from the FedEx Cup playoffs, plus is playing to be considered as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup Team. He has great results at TPC Boston in the past, with multiple top 15 finishes. All the arrows are pointing towards a high finish from Furyk this week.
Patrick Reed – $10,200
I think Adam Scott will be extremely popular this week because he was talked about so much last week and pulled through for those who backed him. No one seems to be talking about the golfer who just won, Patrick Reed. He has played a ton of golf this season, but that does not seem to be slowing him down. He finished 4th at this event last year, and we have seen previous FedEx Cup champs win multiple tournaments in the past. This could very well be Patrick Reed’s FedEx Cup to win.
Branden Grace – $8,200
This is a great spot for extremely low ownership for Grace. He is priced below Matt Kucharand Charl Schwartzel, two very popular plays. He blew up last week with and ugly missed cut. And he’s Branden Grace. I’m hoping last week was just the wrong week to pick Grace to show up, and THIS is the correct time.
Thanks again for reading my preview article. I hope you find it helpful and read some about some golfers you hadn’t thought of for The Deutsche Bank Championship. Follow me on Twitter @EPattersonFS for more golf talk!
Good luck this week everybody!