Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – Northern Trust Championship

The Course

This year The Northern Trust, formerly known as The Barclays, will head to New Jersey where Ridgewood Country Club will host the event for the fourth time since 2008. The course is a par 71 that extends to just over 7,300 yards and was designed in 1929 by A. W. Tillinghast, which sounds like the name of a guy who was born to design golf courses. The greens are poa annua and bentgrass while the rest of the course has ryegrass added to that mixture. Ridgewood is actually 27 holes with the three separate 9 hole layouts being “creatively” referred to as the Center, East, and West courses.

A first look at scores and winners from The Barclays from the prior years it was held at Ridgewood Country Club show that short game and accuracy trumps the long ball. In 2014 the average driving distance here was 10 yards shorter than the season average and several golfers who finished in the top 10 even lost strokes to the field off of the tee for that week. That year Matt Kuchar, who isn’t known for his distance with the driver, finished T5 and four years prior in 2010 he won the event.

The last three times this event was held here the winning scores were -14, -12, and -8, so this won’t be the birdie-fest we saw last week at the Wyndham Championship. Most of the fairways are lined with trees on both sides so inaccuracy off of the tee will likely kill your chances here. Ridgewood is a grinder’s course so being precise to your lay-up spots and into the greens will be paramount while scrambling, SG: around the green & putting will help you stay under par if you miss the sand protected greens.

Key Stats

  • SG: Approaching the Green
    • SG: Around the Green
    • SG: Putting
  • Birdie or Better
  • Scrambling
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Driving Accuracy

The Field

This marks the first event of the four-week FedEx Cup Playoffs where the top 125 in FedEx Cup points qualify to play. There have been six players to withdraw from the tournament either due to injury or simply to rest for the next week. Among those are Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Rodgers, and Bud Cauley with no alternates because it’s the playoffs.

Big Dogs ($9,000 and up on DK)

  • Solid
    • These are the best golfers in the world and realistically any one of these guys can win this weekend but I believe that there is only one guy that comes with more risk than anybody else in this price range.
  • Fore
    • Brandt Snedeker ($9,000 DK – $10,300 FD) – coming off a win last week at the Wyndham Championship and having three other top 10’s in his last eight events has Sneds overpriced in my eyes. The most robust field of those top 10’s was at the RBC Canadian Open, while between the U.S. Open, The Open, and the PGA Championship his best finish was a T42.

Value ($8,900 – $7,400 on DK)

  • Solid
    • Zach Johnson ($8,700 DK – $9,900 FD) – he’s had six straight events where he finished inside the top 20 including three major championships and a WGC. ZJ could end up being very highly owned because of his recent form but still has a hard time cracking the top 10. He’s a good play in cash games but might be a good fade in GPP.
    • Patrick Cantlay ($8,600 DK – $9,800 FD) – Cantlay has made his last six cuts averaging just over 18th place in that time span. He also has two top 10’s out of his last six and one of those came at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
    • Tony Finau ($8,500 DK – $10,600 FD) – Tony is 11th on tour in birdie or better average and likes to play in big tournaments. He has three top 10’s at majors this year and just recently had a 10th place finish at the WGC.
    • Tyrrell Hatton ($8,100 DK – $9,100 FD) – in Tyrrell’s last six events he has finished outside of 28th place once and he’s been in the top 10 three times. He’s hot right now and is a pretty good bargain on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
    • Alexander Noren ($7,900 DK – $9,800 FD) – he missed his last cut but before that Noren had four straight events of 31st or better, including a win in France.
    • Gary Woodland ($7,700 DK – $9,400 FD) – Woodland is playing great golf with three straight events in the top 25 and has had some success here back in 2014 finishing 13th.
    • Ian Poulter ($7,600 DK – $9,200 FD) – Poulter has only missed one of his last seven cuts and in those tournaments he finished no worse than 31st. His last three tournaments have been T12, T10, and 31st.
    • Ryan Moore ($7,500 DK – $9,300 FD) – he’s made six out of his last seven cuts and is well suited for the Ridgewood. Moore is the 4th best scrambler on tour, 4th best at finding fairways off of the tees, and 5th best at avoiding bogeys.
    • Stewart Cink ($7,500 DK – $8,900 FD) – Cink has three top tens in his last six events and the worst he has finished in that time is T37. He’s the 6th best at SG: approaching the green, which might be the most important stat this week.
  • Risky
    • Adam Scott ($8,900 DK – $10,100 FD) – he’s coming off a 3rd place finish and looks to be playing some decent golf again but I don’t see a high enough floor for his $8,900 price tag.
    • Patrick Reed ($8,400 DK – $11,000 FD) – Reed is one of the best around the green (8th) and scrambling (16th) this year which is good for this course but he hasn’t cracked the top 20 in his last five events.
    • Paul Casey ($8,300 DK – $10,700 FD) – in Casey’s last three events his best finish is 31st. He was steady before that but I don’t see a high enough ceiling that would make putting a lot of ownership in him to be worth it.
    • Matt Kuchar ($8,200 DK – $10,400 FD) – Kuch has missed three of his last five cuts but the cuts he did make were 9th and 14th place finishes. He won here in 2010 and placed 5th in 2014 so he could be a horse for the course or he could continue his recent skid.
    • Xander Schauffele ($7,800 DK – $10,000 FD) – it’s mind-blowing to look at his stats for this week where he’s outside the top 75 in every category that’s important, and yet he has two top 10’s out of his last three major championships.
    • Louis Oosthuizen ($7,700 DK – $9,500 FD) – Louie was on a roll before he had to withdraw from the PGA Championship because of his back. His ownership will be down because of it but with his recent form and fit for this course it’s hard to completely overlook him.
    • Kevin Na ($7,600 DK – $8,800 FD) – Na has made his last six cuts including a win at the Greenbrier and 19th place finish at the PGA Championship. He looks to be a good fit for this course statistically speaking and even finished T9 here in 2014.
    • Bryson DeChambeau ($7,400 DK – $9,900 FD) – Bryson has missed two of his last three cuts and his best finish in that time was a 30th place. But his potential to bounce back makes that $7,400 sticker look pretty enticing for GPP play.

Sleepers ($7,300 and under on DK)

  • Solid
    • Russell Knox ($7,200 DK – $8,800 FD) – Knox has only missed one of his last nine cuts and the only one that he missed was at The Open where he finished one stroke off of the cut line.
    • Brian Gay ($7,100 DK – $8,000 FD) – Brian has made seven of his last eight cuts with four top 10 finishes in that time. He’s also top 30 in SG: around the green, SG: putting, birdie or better, scrambling, and driving accuracy.
    • Daniel Berger ($7,000 DK – $9,300 FD) – Berger missed two of his last four cuts but finished in the top 12 in two of his last three majors.
    • Keegan Bradley ($7,000 DK – $9,200 FD) – Keegan has made each of his last five cuts with a 4th and 13th place finish in that time. He’s also 3rd best on tour at SG: approaching the green and 15th in driving accuracy.
    • Emiliano Grillo ($7,000 DK – $8,300 FD) – his entire body of work is almost too good to pass up at this price. Grillo is top 20 in SG: putting, bogey avoidance, and driving accuracy and has made nineteen out of his last twenty-one cuts.
  • Risky
    • Phil Mickelson ($7,300 DK – $10,200 FD) – Phil has been brutal off of the tee but has still managed to scrape together two top 25’s in his last three events. He’s got good GPP potential for DraftKings assuming his ownership isn’t too high.
    • Kyle Stanley ($7,300 DK – $8,400 FD) – Kyle’s very up and down but has shown he can play with the big boys (2nd at the WGC) and he’s the 5th most accurate driver on tour.
    • Russell Henley ($7,100 DK – $8,600 FD) – Russell’s best finish in his last three attempts is a 50th place at the PGA Championship but before that he had four straight tournaments in the top 30.
    • Chris Kirk ($6,800 DK – $8,500 FD) – Captain Kirk has made six straight cuts with a top 10 but gets no respect at $6,800. He’s top 20 in SG: approaching the green, bogey avoidance, and scrambling.
    • Joel Dahmen ($6,800 DK – $7,500 FD) – his last three events have been top 10 finishes, granted they weren’t the strongest tournaments, but nonetheless it’s still quite impressive.
    • Austin Cook ($6,800 DK – $7,800 FD) – he’s made six of his last seven cuts with two top 10’s. Cook is top 40 in SG: around the green, SG: putting, bogey avoidance, scrambling, and driving accuracy.

Click Here to see Mark’s odds and projections for the Northern Trust Championship.


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Mark Lee

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Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression (the two might be related). Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy sports guru by night.