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What’s goin’ on everyone?! Welcome back to another DFS Golf preview article, where we are breaking down The Barclays, the first tournament of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed the Wyndham Championship, and thanks to this article, owned a share of Hideki Matsuyama, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Bud Cauley or Brandt Snedeker. Coming off a solid week at the Wyndham, let’s keep the momentum rolling into the playoffs.
The Barclays is the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and will be held at Bethpage Black, the course that hosted this event back in 2012, and hosted the 2009 and 2002 U.S. Open. Bethpage is a long course that will require good distance, but also puts a premium on accuracy due to the narrow fairways and dense rough. The greens are smaller than what the tour pros are used to, and surrounded by bunkers so strokes gained around the green is a stat I will be looking at. Obviously, like any week for me, birdie or better percentage is a stat I will use, along with proximity from 175-200+ and bogey avoidance.
Let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Henrik Stenson – $11,700
For GPPs, I wouldn’t talk anyone out of fading the top tier of golfers and taking more of a balanced approach this week, as it seems stars and scrubs will be the most popular lineup construction. But, if I have to pick one, I’m going with Henrik Stenson. We are all aware of his stellar recent form and his phenomenal performance at The Open, yet I still think he will be the lowest owned out of the top three golfers. I love him for cash, as he seems like a lock for a top-10, and also gives you some savings when you drop down to find some cheaper golfers. He’ll drive the ball well, pound the green in regulation and come Sunday, will be in contention.
Hideki Matsuyama – $9,900
We are on a hot streak here people! See Hideki, play Hideki is my motto, and has been for his last two events. Coming in with back to back top-5 finishes, Matsuyama has found his groove again. He ranks 5th in my weighted stat ranking, having elite stats across the board except for his usual putting and around the green stats. In a stacked field, Matsuyama could easily go over looked, especially sandwiched between Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson, two likely popular plays. Enjoy the ride folks.
Charl Schwartzel – $8,500
I’m a sucker for Charl most weeks, and it seems like I tend to gravitate towards him in loaded fields where his price is in the 8k range. He has missed just one cut this season and has finished inside of the top 10 35% of the time. He has high finishes in WGC events and respectable finishes at the majors this year. His combination of distance and good drive percentage, tied in with his elite strokes gained T2G and approach stats will bode will this week at Bethpage. He is a cash game lock in my eyes.
Paul Casey – $7,800
As I mentioned earlier, the pricing this week will shift players towards a stars and scrubs approach, making the high 7k range a dead zone. For me, Paul Casey will be a fantastic play who will most certainly be overlooked. Casey’s stats resemble those of Matsuyama, with great strokes gained stats until he gets on or around the green. Casey is 4th in ball striking and if he keeps that trend up at Bethpage, he should do very well navigating the narrow fairways and smaller greens. Three of his last five events have resulted in a top-20 finish, which include the PGA Championship (at Baltustrol, another Tillinghast designed course) and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Casey will remain under the radar this week, so he is one of my favorite GPP plays.
Jason Dufner – $6,600
I was on Dufner last week and he only returned a T22 finish, which is okay I guess. But, as I look at my model, Dufner shows up ranked 20th and at $6,600 – that’s a steal. Like Casey, Dufner is an elite ball striker and GIR style of player. His last missed cut was at Augusta, which I love to see when building a cash game lineup. Plug Dufner in alongside Stenson and Schwartzel and you have yourself a very safe, high upside cash game lineup.
Robert Garrigus – $5,700
The $5,000 range is littered with value this week, and I think a lot of the bigger names in this range will become chalky. Hopefully DFS players stick at the $5,900 price tag and overlook Garrigus, who is playing extremely well as of late, finishing inside the top-25 in six of his last eight events. He has the best proximity stats in the field, ranks 10th in GIR and 8th in birdie or better percentage. Those stats simply do not align with his price tag, making Garrigus an extreme value play and even a safe play in cash game lineups.
Price too high? Seems like chalk? Players I will have no share of.
Brooks Koepka – $10,100
I like Brooks a lot and think he is a great play if it weren’t for one thing. I’m taking a walk down narrative street for this one, but Koepka has secured his Ryder Cup spot, something he has been playing through an injury in order to make. He has been dealing with torn ligaments in his ankle, which he played through and had heavily taped his last few events. He sits 19th in the FedEx Cup rankings, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he bows out early this week in order to get an extra week of rest. His ownership will be high, so if you fade Brooks and he does withdraw, you will gain a massive advantage.
Matt Kuchar – $9,200
Thanks to Brad Messersmith, another golf writer here at DFSonDemand, I have taken notice that Kuchar tends to suck in strong field events like majors or WGC events. The Barclays will be no different. Sure, he back-doored a bronze medal last week at the Olympics, but I am not paying $9,200 for a golfer with very limited upside. A finish in the 40s seems like a reasonable expectation.
Si Woo Kim – $8,400
Coming off of his first career PGA Tour victory, Si Woo Kim receives a hefty bump up in salary. He has been playing well this season, but I expect people to use him based solely off of his recent form. His proximity stats worry me a lot this week. I am fading him completely and spending my money elsewhere.
So you got burned?
Previously high owned golfers you should jump back on.
Rory McIlroy – $11,600
Rory was a popular pick his last time out at The PGA Championship, missing the cut and pissing a lot of people off. These types of finishes stick with people a little bit longer because it was on a big stage at a major. This is a great spot to jump back on Rory, on a course he has finished 10th and 24th at in the past. He sits 36th in the FedEx Cup rankings, so he is safe for now but he still needs some solid finishes to get into the last event of the season.
Webb Simpson – $6,000
Here is a guy who burned so many players last week, as Simpson had a less than stellar finish at the Wyndham Championship, a course that is literally in his backyard. Webb goes from $10k+ to $6,000, which is a huge price drop and may bring people back to him. Regardless, enough people will be bitter at Webb and fade him and keep his ownership lower than it should be at his price tag. Webb was $4,300 more expensive than Harold Varner III last week, who missed the cut. This week, Simpson is just $100 more. Take advantage while you can.
Daniel Summerhays – $5,800
Summerhays was a very popular play at the John Deere Classic, coming off of two great performances including at 3rd place finish at the PGA Championship. The sour taste in people’s mouths left by MC from the John Deere will still be lingering. At $5,800 and very good recent form, Summerhays is a great GPP play.
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Adam Scott – $9,500
I anticipate Phil Mickelson being a very popular play this week, and at $200 cheaper, Adam Scott will go more overlooked than he should. He ranks 1st in my weighted stat rankings, 1st in strokes gained T2G and dominate in the proximity stats. He is lacking the top finishes as of late, but he has won multiple times on tour this year. Scott comes in at a great price, likely low ownership and definitely has a chance of winning the first playoff event of the year.
Branden Grace – $8,700
Are people aware that Branden Grace is even in this field? What I am hearing and reading so far makes no mention of Grace, a guy who is having a great season so far. He missed the cut at the Travelers, but his 4th place finish at the PGA Championship is enough for me to get back on board. Priced right under Patrick Reed, a golfer fighting for a Ryder Cup spot and likely a popular pick, I’ll pivot off of Reed and take the upside of the South African instead.
Patrick Rodgers – $7,400
This could be the ultimate pivot play. Patrick Rodgers is priced $100 more than two golfers I think will be extremely chalky. Kevin Na and Russell Knox, both priced at $7,300 and both are in great current form, will be extremely highly owned this week. Patrick Rodgers ownership could easily be below 2%, and his stats for this week are better than both Na and Knox. Rodgers will have plenty of distance to get around Bethpage, has great ball striking and GIR stats as well. I will definitely have enough shares of Patrick Rodgers to be overweight on him.
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 Barclays. Follow me on Twitter @EPattersonFS for more golf talk!
Good luck this week everybody!