East Lake GC: Atlanta, GA Par 70, 7,385 yards
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy (-12) in playoff over Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring (Emphasis 400-500 yards)
Secondary Stats- Par 3 Scoring: 200-250, Birdies, SG: Around-the-Green
Timeframe: Past 12 Rounds unless specified
Lineup Lock: 11:40 am EST (10:40 CST, 9:40 MST, 8:40 PST)
Welcome to the final event of the 2016-2017 PGA Tour Season: The Tour Championship. The big thing to keep in mind while watching: if Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman, or Jon Rahm this week, they win the FedEx Cup. If someone else wins, we will have to wait and see how different scenarios are played out. This article is going to be shorter than the usual ones as this is a 30-man field and I'm not going to be giving out many picks. However, I will discuss more strategy for this week. Before I get to the strategy, there are a few things I want to point out:
Unless something happens that requires it, there will not be a Wednesday update this week.
Chances of rain Thursday and Friday, but doesn't look like anything significant. Winds look to be under 10 mph on Thursday. No weather advantage. Also, this tournament is different in that they will re-group after each round.
There are some long seasons in sports, but I'm not sure the PGA Tour can be matched. The 2017-2018 season starts on October 5, 11 days after the Tour Championship. Looks to be three invite-only events in Asia and a few events in the U.S. The U.S. events won't attract great fields, but is a good start to see how the new web.com Tour graduates do.
As far as golf coverage on My Fantasy Fix, it will continue as normal. I will still post the files on Monday night, and the article will be up by Tuesday night. Also, for the Fall Swing, everything will be free on MyFantasyFix. The premium paid subscription will start with the Sony Open in mid-January. Finally, the only other difference you will see is that I will not always use DraftKings pricing for my picks. I will use FanDuel pricing some weeks, Fantasy Draft some weeks, and Draftkings some weeks. If you have a favorite site, please let me know.
The Fantasy National Pregame Show
If you are on Facebook, click here and give this a like. I will be having a video posted on Tuesday about this week's Tour Championship (about 5 minutes long). I plan on doing this most weeks that there is a tournament. It will be free for everyone to watch and I will mention a couple of players, with the more in-depth research and analysis in the weekly article.
Tour Championship Strategy
Look, there isn't any nice way to say this: it's not a great DFS tournament for us. But, it doesn't mean that it's not playable. We just have to be smarter about our game selection. Personally, I'm avoiding FantasyDraft and FanDuel this week, as picking 7 out of 30 players and 8 out of 30 players, respectively, is something I don't want to do this week. I'm also avoiding cash games (too much variance when you are rostering a minimum of 20% of the field). Finally, I'm only playing single-entry tournaments. Whatever tournament you are entering, I think you have to go max entries. There are only a limited amount of combinations based on the salary cap and 30 golfers. If you have one entry in a 150-max tournament, your lineup will likely be duplicated. Plus, those with 150 entries are going to have a lot of combinations, making it harder for you to win. 3-Max or 5-Max tournaments are fine, and I can do a single lineup in those.
However, I think the best strategy of the week is a common tournament strategy that is tough to implement: Leave salary on the table. The more max entries there are, the more salary you need to leave. I'm not talking leaving $100 or $200 remaining. I would say leave a minimum of $500, and if you can leave $1000+, I think it's a good idea. This is the best way to give yourself a unique lineup and let you take down a tournament, if everything goes according to plan.
With player selection, you will probably need all six golfers to be in the Top 10, with the winner and possibly 2-3 others in the Top 5 to win. 15th is usually pretty good, but it's only average this week. On the course history sheet, I adjusted the colors to include Top 5 and Top 15. DraftKings has a range of 11,600 to 6,200, which is almost inviting everyone to go stars and scrubs. I love the idea of avoiding the 10k+ players and really focusing on the 8k tier, with a 9k guy and the rest being in the 6k and 7k range. My initial lineup on DraftKings has over 1,000 left on the table. FanDuel is inviting a stars and scrubs approach as well. Fantasy Draft is tough as always, with only 7 players below the average salary amount remaining if you start with the most expensive player, Jordan Spieth. You may be forced to go with a balanced strategy there.
Lastly, I'm only mentioning three picks this week. I don't like the idea of giving you 10 names (one-third of the field) or giving picks to make a lineup. One of the things we do at MyFantasyFix is to give you the information to make your own selections, and this is especially true this week with such a limited field. Though, I will tell you a 4th player to consider, but you will have to go watch my video on Tuesday to know who that is.
??? I reveal on the video.
Justin Rose (8,900)
There are three things I mainly look at: Stats, Course History, and Recent Form. Rose is a good play in 2.5 of those things. Course History starting in 2015 and going back in time: 2nd, 4th, 6th, 2nd. His form in the Playoffs has been really good: 10th, 10th, 2nd. Statistically, he's average if looking at the past 24 rounds, but gets really good at past 8 and 12 rounds. He's Top 5 in Approach and Tee-to-Green, He's Top 10 in Par 4 scoring over last 8 rounds, and has shown decent ability on Par 3s over past 12 rounds. He feels due for a win with recent form and course history. I'm not calling a win for him, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does.
Patrick Cantlay (7,800)
Cantlay is one of two rookies to make it to the Tour Championship (Xander Schauffele the other) and is the only one not to miss a cut this season. His run in the Playoffs is pretty solid: 9th, 13th, and 10th. In that span, he ranks 5th in Approach and 6th in Tee-to-Green. He's average or above average in every other category I'm looking at, which is better than his 24 round ranks. Cantlay is playing well at the right time of year and could see him threaten another Top 10 this week. He also is in that price range that he may go ignored, due to roster construction.
Gary Woodland (6,400)
Speaking of golfers who have been playing well recently, Gary Woodland would fit into that category. After dealing with some family business for most of the season, Woodland has bounced back from a MC at the Northern Trust to finish 18th and 27th. He has two straight Top 10s at East Lake. Woodland's 12 round stats aren't great: 8th in Approach is his best. But, when we get to the past eight rounds, we see much better results: 1st in Approach and 8th Tee-to-Green. This holds up in the past 24 rounds, as he ranks 4th in Approach and 10th Tee-to-Green. With this being a second shot course (Approach very key) and a longer Par 70, Woodland has the length and game to be able to perform well here this week. At this price, if he can get a Top 10, he will be part of winning tournament teams.
Don't go crazy with this tournament, as there should be wild swings from Thursday thru Sunday. It's a good week to put a lineup in and see what happens. I'm playing less this week than I have all year. Just the way it sets up. Please give the National Fantasy Pregame show a like and view the videos that we are all posting on there. If you have something you would like to see there, or with this article, please let me know. It has been a great first season doing golf on MyFantasyFix, and I look forward to continuing with Season #2 in two weeks as the Safeway Open kicks off the 2017-2018 season. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.