Daily Fantasy Golf Preview: World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Cheat Sheet

The Course

  • TPC Southwind
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Par 70
  • 7,244 yards
    • Formerly the host of the St. Jude Classic (1989-2018), now it will be taking the place of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
    • Bermuda greens and rough, zoysia fairways
    • Greens are fast, undulated, and somewhat hard to hit (fairways are also harder to hit than the Tour average)
    • 94 bunkers and 10 waters hazards (lakes, streams, and ponds) — more balls find the water here than any other course
    • Tougher tree-lined course, winning score is typically around -10 to -13 (could be lower with a stronger field)
    • The course plays deceivingly long: the two par 5’s are reachable and two of the par 3’s are under 180 yards, this leaves seven par-4’s that extend past 450 yards

Key Stats

  • SG: tee-to-green
    • SG: approaching-the-green
  • Proximity
  • Driving accuracy
  • GIR
  • Birdie to bogey ratio
  • Par 3 scoring (I’m guessing this somewhat correlates with good iron play)

The Field

Right now there are 64 players in the field with 46 out of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking confirmed to be in attendance. Golfers who qualified but won’t be playing this week include, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari, and Bernd Wiesberger. This will be a no-cut event so everyone in the field will have the opportunity to play all four days.

Strategy

It also wouldn’t be a bad strategy, with only 64 golfers in the field, to leave some money leftover while you are entering a lineup into a large tournament. There will be many high ownership golfers and many duplicated lineups, so for a unique lineup it may be wise to leave some money on the table.

Big Dogs ($9,300 and up on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Rory McIlroy ($11,100 DK – $11,700 FD) – last week Rory opened up with a round of +8 before shooting -6 in the second round to narrowly miss the cut. He’s been known for his ability to go very low and last week’s charge at the Open Championship will more than likely remind everybody of that as we come into an event that doesn’t have a cut. He finished 74th last week at the Open, the last time he finished 74th was at the Memorial — where he went on to win the following week at the Canadian Open.
    • Patrick Cantlay ($9,800 DK – $10,900 FD) – Cantlay finished 41st last week at the Open but only shot one round over par (which was the fourth round where the average score was just over +2). Over the last several years Cantlay has been one of the best ball strikers on Tour with the main difference this year being his excellent putting. I don’t see that changing now and with a small field and no cut I could see him being a popular pick again this week as people try to fit as many elite scorer’s into their lineups as possible.

Risky (GPP)

    • Brooks Koepka ($11,600 DK – $11,900 FD) – Brook’s last three non-major finishes have been a 50th at the Canadian Open, a 57th at the Travelers, and a 65th at the 3M Open so with him as the top priced golfer, and this not being a major, I could see his ownership being very low this week. But what many might not know is that in his last five WGC’s (excluding match play) he hasn’t finished worse than 27th. Brooks has also made his last five cuts at TPC Southwind with a pair of top 5’s so maybe this is a course that really fits his eye.
    • Justin Thomas ($10,700 DK – $11,100 FD) – Thomas has lost the feel for his putter this season but is now coming off of back-to-back finishes of 11th or better so hopefully that can build some confidence in his flat stick. This year he is still 2nd in SG: tee-to-green, 2nd in GIR, and 1st in birdie or better percentage, so with four days and no cut JT should see his fair share of birdie putts… it will just be a matter of whether or not he can roll them in.

Value ($7,700 – $9,100 on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Adam Scott ($8,700 DK – $10,300 FD) – Scott finished at +9 after two rounds at the Open Championship so that might help his ownership stay low, making him an interesting GPP play, but for now I’m going to keep him in my Cash picks. One bad finish isn’t enough to steer me away from Scott after the year he has been having (he just needs to make sure he uses his long putter this week). Back in 2017 he also finished 10th at TPC Southwind so on top of his form this year it’s good to see that he has been at this course before and has had success here.
    • Webb Simpson ($8,200 DK – $9,500 FD) – Webb finished 30th last week which improves his streak of top 30 finishes to seven straight events. At the WGC last year he finished 24th and came into the playoffs strong with a 2nd place in the Wyndham Championship and then capped the year off with back-to-back top 10’s in the last two legs of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Webb will be looking to finish strong yet again this year as the playoffs approach (just two weeks away).
    • Chez Reavie ($7,900 DK – $8,700 FD) – Chez has now missed two straight cuts but will be coming to a course where he hasn’t finished outside of the top 15 in his last three attempts. Irons are crucial at TPC Southwind and each of the last five years Reavie has been in the top 10 in driving accuracy, top 13 in proximity, and top 50 in SG: approaching-the-green, so it’s no wonder why his accuracy has been able to help him avoid the water and post low numbers here by attacking these pins.

Risky (GPP)

    • Bryson DeChambeau ($8,800 DK – $10,400 FD) – DeChambeau also missed the cut last week but before that he was really starting to turn the corner with back-to-back top 10’s. He’s played here twice, in 2015 and 2017, with a 45th and missed cut at those events but I’m content with him getting experience on this course because he isn’t the same player as he was back then. Bryson’s ball striking has really started to come around as well as his putting so that is the perfect recipe for this course and this event, especially when you see that he has been top 10 in birdie or better average since the beginning of the 2018 season.
    • Gary Woodland ($8,100 DK – $9,100 FD) – Woodland missed his last two cuts and missed the cut the last time he played in the St. Jude Classic back in 2016 so he might have fallen off of most people’s radars by now. But he’s 8th on Tour in SG: tee-to-green and 2nd in birdie or better percentage so with a guaranteed four rounds he should have plenty of time to score and won’t be feeling the pressure of having to end his missed cuts streak.
    • Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7,900 DK – $8,600 FD) – one of the more popular names further down the pricing board at the Open last week was Rafa… and he burned quite a few people where he missed the cut at +6. I’m hoping that will keep his ownership down this week because before the missed cut he had two top 10’s at the Irish and Scottish Opens and when Rafa played at TPC Southwind last, back in 2017, he finished inside of the top 5.

Sleepers ($7,600 and under on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Billy Horschel ($7,500 DK – $9,000 FD) – Billy Horschel missed the cut last week at the Open, just like the other five sleepers down here that played overseas, but his course history should more than make up for it. Last year at the St. Jude Classic Billy only finished 51st but his three prior times in the event were all finishes of 8th place or better. Horschel has been very good at finding greens in regulation over the last several years and his form before coming into the Open was solid so I’m more than willing to stay on him this week.
    • Brandt Snedeker ($7,400 DK – $8,700 FD) – Snedeker missed the cut right on the number last week but before that he had finished inside of the top 20 in four out of his last six events (with two of those being in the top 5). He’s been one of the best short-game players over the last several seasons and last year at this course he finished 6th so Sneds will be looking to continue his solid play before defending his title next week at the Wyndham Championship.
    • Nate Lashley ($6,500 DK – $7,700 FD) – Lashley also missed the cut right on the number last week at the Open but made it close by shooting 69 on the second day after an opening round 75. Nate is top 20 this season in SG: approaching-the-green, GIR, proximity, bogey avoidance, and par 4 scoring so for only $6,500 I can see him being a popular stars-and-scrubs pick for his relative safety.

Risky (GPP)

    • Matthew Wolff ($7,500 DK – $8,500 FD) – Wolff followed up his win at the 3M Open with a 37th place finish at the John Deere Classic just two weeks ago. Before that he had an MDF and a missed cut in his two prior events so there seems to be some risk regarding Wolff. It’s tough to tell where his ownership will be but with Horschel priced right beside him and Poulter and Snedeker priced just beneath him I can’t imagine he’ll be all that popular; so it will be interesting to see if people roll the dice with Wolff and if he can keep this little hot streak alive.
    • Ian Poulter ($7,400 DK – $8,500 FD) – Poulter was a bit of a mess last week but he has made his last two cuts at TPC Southwind including a 6th place finish back in 2014. At times he has shown elite level iron play and has six top tens this year with five other top 25’s so he is always a candidate to climb the leaderboard, especially on a course where he has played well in the past.
    • Keegan Bradley ($6,900 DK – $8,300 FD) – in his last six events Keegan has only finished better than 44th once (2nd at the Travelers). In each of the last five years he has been inside of the top 30 in SG: tee-to-green and has really dialed in his irons over the course of the past two seasons. Even though Keegan has been rocky lately he should be a pretty good fit for this track and with no cut his volatility and potential to blow up shouldn’t hurt him as bad, especially because he’s shown the ability to shoot 5, 6, even 7 under in a given round.

 

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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.