The season’s final week is finally here!
It’s been a long grind for a lot of us on the PGA DFS circuit and it all culminates this week as the Top 30 players in the FedEx Cup head to East Lake.
If you’re not aware, the finals have been setup a bit differently this year and DraftKings’ pricing reflects those changes as well. It’s still a no-cut event, as only 30 players will be on the course this week, but the scoring format has changed drastically.
Justin Thomas’ win last week propelled him into the lead of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, therefore he will be starting the event at -10 and is priced similarly to someone leading an event for Showdown or Weekend contests. Cantlay begins two strokes back, Koepka starts three back and so on down the list until you get to Bryson, Louis, CH3, Glover and Kokrak who all start TEN SHOTS BACK.
For the Tour Championship purposes, these guys are all out of it, but they’re not completely worthless to us. See below for more info on that.
Roster construction this week should be interesting, and I’d encourage more of you to run multiple lineups this week because it should be fun to see how you can build different lineups with the way pricing is this week.
The only constant this week is the course. East Lake has hosted this event off and on since 1998 but has been the place for the Tour Championship since the FedEx Cup Playoffs was introduced in 2007 (won by Tiger Woods).
Every player in the field gets at least $395,000 just for showing up and while there is some risk in selecting some of the players at the bottom of the leaderboard for fear of withdrawal, there are some players down there who will use the added incentive to place in the Top 10 to their advantage (10th place gets a bonus of $830,000).
The bonus structure for players has also changed this week as the bonus used to only go to the winner at a whopping $10MM. This year, the winner gets $15MM (as if $10MM wasn’t enough), 2nd gets $5MM, 3rd gets $4MM, 4th gets $3MM and 5th gets $2.5MM.
As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this article this season and hope you continue to subscribe to our golf package next season as we enjoy seeing all of you have success using our tools and articles.
o The Course
· East Lake Golf Club
· Par 70
· 7,300 yards
· Bermuda greens
o Location: Atlanta, GA
o Corollary Courses/Performances: Augusta National (fast greens, shaved surrounds)
o Past Champions:
· 2018: Tiger Woods -11 over Billy Horschel
- 2017: Xander Schauffele -12 over Justin Thomas
- 2016: Rory McIlroy -12 in a playoff over Kevin Chappell & Ryan Moore
- 2015: Jordan Spieth -9 over Danny Lee, Justin Rose & Henrik Stenson
- 2014: Billy Horschel -11 over Jim Furyk & Rory McIlroy
KEY STATS TO TARGET
o Strong Emphasis – SG: OTT+SG: APP, Birdies or Better, Par 5 Scoring
o Important – Scrambling, P4 Scoring 450-500 yards & 400-450 yards
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
Justin Thomas (DK $15,500)
· History: 7th– 2nd– 6th
· Form: Win – 12th– DNP – 12th
· Fun Facts: His good friend is Jordan Spieth (not present this week)
· Analysis: As I mentioned above, JT starts the week with a two stroke lead over Cantlay. The price is warranted, I guess, if you think each stroke is worth $1,500. JT has been rolling the past month, but having a lead might make him play safe the first round and force him to only fire at the obvious pins. I think I like him more as a “chaser” than a front-runner and with the new format and cheap prices at the bottom of the lineup I think he’ll be much higher owned than he should be.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $12,400): We had our fun with Cantlay & JT together last week, but we’re going to have to look elsewhere this week. Cantlay has two Top 25 finishes (both outside the Top 15) here, but he’s coming into this event at the highest level to date. Starting out two shots back shouldn’t be any concern and I’d expect a lot of builds to begin with Cantlay over JT because of the massive price difference between the two. That should be fine for cash games, but I’d look to start with JT, Brooks or Rory in GPPs.
Brooks Koepka (DK $12,200): Brooks starts the week out three shots back, which shouldn’t be an issue as long as he starts out his round dropping putts. His aggressive play should be an asset for us this week and he’s been vocal on social media about his desire to add to his bank account. At over a $3,000 discount from JT, he’s my number one play this week not only because of what I already listed, but also because he’s a great course fit and confirmed that when finishing 6th here two years ago.
Tommy Fleetwood (DK $7,700)
· History: 11th
· Form: 11th– 43rd– DNP – 4th
· Fun Fact: He loves yoga and meditation
· Analysis: Fleetwood starts out nine shots back this week, so he’s basically out of contention for the $15MM bonus, but he should be a solid value play to build around and still has a shot at making over a million in bonuses if he can finish inside the Top 8. As of writing, I’m not sure where he’ll slot in ownership-wise, but if he’s going to be chalky I think I’d pass on him in GPPs even though he finished well here last year and wait to pick him back up next season. Sadly, I think we’ll have to wait until next spring before we get a PGA Tour win out of our boy.
Paul Casey (DK $7,500): Casey starts out the week eight shots back, which means he’s basically out of the running to win the event as well. However, he offers us some salary relief and brings a solid game which should result in some low scores. Casey’s history here is pretty impeccable as he’s finished 11th– 5th – 4th – 5th in his last four appearances which indicates a strong course fit and someone we should absolutely be building around. I was worried about him WD’ing last week, only because he’s done it before, but since he didn’t, I don’t think we need to worry about that this week.
Justin Rose (DK $6,900)
· History: 4th– 10th– DNP – 2nd
· Form: 52nd– 10th– DNP – 11th
· Fun Fact: Recorded the first hole in one in Olympic golf, where he also won the gold medal
· Analysis: Rose really dug a hole for himself after last week’s performance, but the defending champion isn’t completely out of it for our purposes. Even though he’s starting the week eight shots back, I don’t think he’s a high risk play as someone who could potentially withdraw from the event. His history here over the past ten years is riddled with Top 10’s (six straight to be exact) which shows me he’s a great course fit and someone we should be looking at often when building our lineups.
Sungjae Im (DK $5,900): First timer at the Tour Championship who starts out nine shots back. He’s been a grinder all year, playing in 36 events this season which has helped him climb to 54th in the world. His best finishes to date have come on bermuda grass greens and all on courses which require strong ball striking. At $5,900, I think we could jam him into a couple lineups with JT and possibly someone else over $10,000 that could really pay off come Sunday.
Charles Howell III (DK $5,000): Howell makes his return to East Lake for the first time since 2011 where he finished 6th. Unfortunately for him, he starts the week ten shots back and will have to come out of the gates firing at almost every pin if he wants to set himself up for a strong weekend. That’s the good news for us, especially at this price. He’s a strong course fit as he’s solid from tee to green and like many other players from the south, he’s much more comfortable on bermuda greens.
Webb Simpson (DK $9,700): The Phillip Rivers of the PGA Tour (in regards to how many kids he has) probably could use $15MM to help put all of them through college. He’s a tee to green guru whose found a putting stroke he can depend on week in and week out and has done so quite well on bermuda greens. He’s someone I really like as a GPP pivot because of where he begins the week and how aggressive he can play when he needs to start dropping birdies.
Abraham Ancer (DK $7,100): Ancer’s a first timer at East Lake, but his game should suit the course as he’s shown us his game is starting to fit on most courses. He’s basically free-rolling some extra cash this week, but as a young star, I think he’s hungry for more and the six stroke deficit to start the week shouldn’t be too daunting.
Bryson Dechambeau (DK $5,500): Another week where Bryson’s ownership was much higher than expected means we’re going to go back again in hopes of low ownership. Bryson starts the week ten shots back, and while he hasn’t been clicking on all cylinders as of late, I think now that the whole “slow play thing” has had another week to erase itself from the memories of the Tour he should be able to focus more on golf than what he’s going to say in his press conference following his rounds.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!
– Pari (@hitthehighdraw)