TPC Southwind: Memphis, TN Par 70, 7,244 yards
Defending Champion: Daniel Berger (-10) by one over Whee Kim and Charl Schwartzel
Primary Stats- Greens in Regulation, Par 4 SG, SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green
Secondary Stats- Fairways Gained (Accuracy), DK Points, Total Strokes Gained
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified.
Roster Lock: 7:00 am CST (8:00 am EST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST)
Same weather each of the first two days: low to mid 80s in the morning, low 90s in the afternoon. No rain chances, winds below 10 mph. Slightly windier on Friday but not significant. No weather advantages for either tee time group. However, the past couple of weeks, for whatever reason, the Thursday PM/Friday AM has had much better scores. I think it's coincidental, but if you want to try and stack that way, go for it. I'm not going out of my way to do so.
I stumbled upon this: Yahoo is offering DFS Golf now. Much more penal for double bogey or worse, but higher reward for birdies. Also, big bonus points if a golfer can go on a 4, 5, or even 6 hole birdie streak. Anyway, they only have 3 large field GPPs: $5, $1, and $0.25. The quarter GPP should fill. However, as of 11:00 am EST on Wednesday, the $1 and $5 are about 15% full. Could be a lot of overlay, meaning it's easier for you to cash and place higher. Both the $1 and $5 games are paying $1,000 to winner. May be worth throwing a lineup or two over there. (HINT: Niemann is minimum salary on Yahoo. There are also some mispriced players. Stars and Scrubs is my way to play over there this week).
Pricing is out for the U.S. Open. I will have this article done by Sunday night. However, it may be done earlier than that as well, so check back each night. The U.S. Open tournament history file is uploaded right now.
I don't play much Euro Tour DFS, but apparently, the same 10-20 names get talked about every week there, leading to high ownership. It looks like that same type of thinking has hit this week for the St. Jude. According to FanShare Sports, here are the highest projected owned players (20% or above, unless I list differently): Luke List, Dustin Johnson, Ben Crane, Phil Mickelson, Peter Uihlein, Tony Finau, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Joel Dahmen, Matt Jones (18%).
A lot of this is due to the U.S. Open withdrawals of players in the 8k range and a weaker field. I try not to get off of anyone that I wrote a full analysis of; however, due to ownership, I'm excluding Peter Uihlein (25%). I think he is still a fine play: But I also tend to think that there is enough risk at his pricepoint, that I don't want to be that chalky.
Players I am NOT playing that I mentioned in original article: Berger, Koepka, Finau, Horschel, Schwartzel, Uihlein, Thornberry, Piercy, Lowry, Putnam, Jones, Ancer, and McInerney. If I had to play a couple out of this group, it would be Lowry, Kopeka, and Putnam. Most are ownership fades. If you like one of them though, play them. I'm playing a very chalky Luke List, and separating myself from the field elsewhere. I'm also playing Dahmen and Crane on other sites; just not DraftKings. In tournaments, which is all I'm playing this week wtih a strange field, you have to make a stand. I am making my stand with these players.
Players I am USING that were not in Original Article:
- Kevin Tway (13,000 Fantasy Draft). Second week in a row he was my last golfer over on Fantasy Draft. 14th in Total Strokes Gained and Par 4 SG, and 16th in Tee-to-Green. 5th and 9th the prior two weeks before a 65th last week.
- Stewart Cink (6,800 DraftKings). Does nothing spectacular, but has been great on his approaches all year (5th in Approach, 25th GIR). 10th here last year, has made cut the last four years at TPC Southwind. Don't need much at this price and allowed me to fit in a DJ lineup and Mickelson/Stenson lineup on DraftKings.
The final version of the FedEx St. Jude Classic happens this week. This event is becoming a World Golf Championship event next year, and will take place later in the summer, instead of its traditional spot the week before the U.S. Open. We have already seen a lot of field withdrawals, due to players advancing from sectional qualifying on Monday for the U.S. Open. Following Rob Bolton (@robboltongolf) on Twitter is a good way to keep track of everyone who has withdrawn already.
As of the time this is published on Tuesday (2:00 pm EST), here is an official list of golfers who have withdrawn:
- Bud Cauley
- K.J. Choi
- Beau Hossler
- Jamie Lovemark
- J.J. Spaun
- Steve Marino
- Keegan Bradley
- Patrick Rodgers
- Russell Knox
- Adam Scott
- Ollie Schniederjans
- Patton Kizzire
- Will Mackenzie
- Lucas Glover
National Fantasy Pregame Show
We are taking a break from this, and potentially doing something else in the future. Stay tuned.
U.S. Open/PGA Championship
I am hoping the U.S. Open pricing comes out later this week. If so, my goal is to have the article posted by Sunday night. It may be sooner, so if you are wanting to do early prep, keep checking. I will post the tournament history for the U.S. Open in the next couple of days.
You will also be seeing a very early preview article for the PGA Championship in the next week or two. This is because on Monday, I was able to attend Media Day at Bellreive Golf Club just outside of St. Louis. I got to see Justin Thomas hole out his 18th hole from 125 yards, and then play the course. (Didn't get to play hole 14 as time ran out). I will be posting my thoughts and pictures from the event. This will be a FREE article for everyone and will remain posted until the conclusion of the PGA Championship. Feel free to share this one with other golf fans or those who play fantasy golf.
This may be a good tournament to play less of your bankroll on. With the player withdrawals that have already occured, we are going to see higher ownership now on the golfers right around the withdrawn golfers prices. Also, there is always a concern that someone playing in the U.S. Open next week, may withdraw early, especially if off to a slow start. Finally, this field has been weakened with the withdrawals. While the top priced golfers include some big names, the depth of the field has been considerably weakened. All of those are reasons I will probably play 3-5 lineups this week.
TPC Southwind is a Par 70, so this immediately has me looking at Par 4 SG, since there are 12 Par 4s on the course. It's another second shot course, meaning golfers will have to hit the right part of the green. It's why I am including SG: Approach and Greens in Regulation. The rough is not long, but positioning off the tee is important. I've included SG: Tee-to-Green and Fairways Gained for that reason. Finally, I decided to include DK Points and Total Strokes Gained as overall based categories, trying to find those few players in the 6k and 7k range that do well here, that we can use to round up our lineups.
Thoughts in This Tier:
I think you can make a case to play every single player in this tier. Perhaps foolishly, I will not be playing Daniel Berger (10,000) despite the fact he's won this event two years in a row. His form right now is not what you want to see out of a 10,000 player: No Top 10s this season and back to back finishes in the 50s. I also think I may take my stand on Brooks Koepka (11,100) despite finishing 2nd at the Fort Worth Invitational and good course history. His stats are good, except approach and fairways gained. I think I just happen to like DJ more and a couple others just below him more. If Koepka was 500 or more cheaper, I think I would be on him.
Dustin Johnson (11,600) is a former winner of the St. Jude and has a stellar record since (5th, WD, 24th, 10th). That Withdrawal may be enough to scare some people off of him, but the price would do it as well. Is Top 10 in my stat model in every category except for Fairways Gained. If you can fit him in, he is a great play. But, I don't think you have to force him in.
Phil Mickelson (10,600) loves playing the week before a major, so you don't have to worry about a withdrawal risk from him. He's played here the past five years, with no finish worse than 11th. While he tends to have a blowup hole or two every tournament, he's made no fewer than 15 birdies in any recent tournament where has has made the cut. It's no surprise then that he ranks 1st in DK Points. Also is 2nd in Total Strokes Gained, 10th in Par 4 SG, 12th in Approach, and 14th Tee-to-Green.
Henrik Stenson (10,400) is #1 in my stat model this week, ranking in the Top 10 in every single category. He ranks first in GIR, Fairways Gained, and Par 4 SG. Stenson has 6 Top 10s this season and only one missed cut. He hasn't played here since 2012, when he finished 13th. Also, if you are concerned about a withdrawal risk; don't. Last year, he had to start the Wyndham Championship to play enough events to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and retain his card. All he had to do was start, and could withdraw and get those perks. He won the event.
Cash: MIckelson, Stenson
GPP: Johnson, Mickelson, Stenson
My ranking, factoring in Price: Mickelson, Stenson, DJ
Thoughts in This Tier:
Thanks to the withdrawals of Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott, there are only four players in this range. I will not be playing co-defending runner-up Charl Schwartzel (9,200) as his form is too inconsistent for my liking and stats don't add up.
There are two that I don't think I'll play, but understand why you would want to. The first is Billy Horschel (9,700), who has some great tournament history here (4 straight Top 10s), but has struggled with his approach game in recent weeks. He has lost strokes on approach in six of his last eight starts this year. The reason he's had four straight Top 10s here: he's been gaining a lot of strokes on approach. Maybe TPC Southwind brings back his approach game, but at potential 10%+ ownership, I'll pass. Same with Tony Finau (9,300) who is always popular and may be the reason I don't play him. I also don't like his course fit, as he's one who is better when he can hit lots of drivers and have more than two Par 5s. He does have four Top 25s in his last five starts, but isn't excelling in any one area of his game. 6th in DK Points and 10th Total Strokes Gained if you want to go here.
The only one I see myself potentially playing, unless ownership is crazy is Byeong-Hun An. (9,200), who is coming off a playoff loss to DeChambeau last week at The Memorial. An has only lost strokes on approach once this season, and has been great off-the tee. Probably a good reason he ranks 3rd Tee-to-Green, 4th in DK Points, 6th in Total Strokes Gained, and 7th in Par 4 SG.
Cash: An is Playable
GPP: An, Horschel, Fin
Joaquin Niemann (8,900)
The reason I cashed last week was because of Niemann, who was under 5% owned in the low 7k range. The price hike is steep but he's still a great play. Niemann has three Top 10s in 5 starts as a professional, and is one more solid finish away from getting his tour card for the rest of this year and next. Niemann is Top 10 in every stat category I look at except Par 4 SG (18th) and Fairways Gained (71st). His approach game is very strong as he has gained strokes in this category each week so far, and he is trending towards a win. He's playable in all formats. (Cash and GPP)
Peter Uihlein (8,500)
The former Euro Tour player had a tough start to the year, but has been trending nicely the past three weeks, with a 5th, 21st, and 5th. Uihlein did make the cut at TPC Southwind a year ago, but ended up 78th. He doesn't overwhelm in the stats: 15th in Total Strokes Gained, 22nd in Par 4 SG:, and 27th in both GIR and Tee-to-Green. But, in a weaker field with positive trends in finishes and approach, he makes sense in tournaments as a 2nd golfer or part of a balanced approach this week. (GPP)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
What's a week writing this article without the Luke List (8,300) recommendation? As always, his stats are great; Top 10 in everything except Approach (19th) and Fairways Gained (93rd). If he gains strokes on approach, he will make the cut: if not, he will miss the cut. But, his upside and scoring ability is too hard to ignore at this price, even if he does get chalky like I expect. The only other play in this range for me is Chris Kirk (8,000), who is no worse than 45th in any stat category (DK Points), with a 6th in Par 4 SG, and 10th Tee-to-Green being his best stats. Four straight made cuts with a 9th and 11th included in that timeframe.
GPP: List, Kirk
Ben Crane (7,400)
I think this is the first time I've written about Crane this year. Maybe it's because he's only played seven events in 2018, and has made the cut in six of them with an 8th and 11th in the last three tournaments. What got me looking at him was his tournament history: 10th last year, three other made cuts, and a past winner in Memphis. His stats are not bad either: 9th in Par 4 SG, 17th in Fairways Gained, 19th in Total SG, and 22nd in DK Points. The only concern is he's 120th in SG: Approach. However, he has had positive strokes gained in that category in the last four events. He's not a flashy name but with a solid history here and good recent form, I think he's playable this week. (Cash and GPP)
Joel Dahmen (7,100)
I've noticed that DraftKings has an issue sometimes pricing up players, who have been playing well. That's the case for Dahmen this week, who has three straight Top 20s on Tour. An added bonus is that he was 18th in this event in 2017, so things are trending nicely for him. Stats wise, he's 8th in my model: 4th in Par 4 SG and 15th in Approach and Tee-to-Green. His worst stat is 32nd in Fairways Gained. I wonder if he will become the trendy name this week. But as long as I'm not seeing 15-20% ownership on him, I think he's a really nice value at this 7,100 price. (Cash and GPP)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
Kevin Chappell (7,800) has a 4th and 22nd here the last three years. He's struggling right now with four missed cuts in his last five events. Despite that, ranks 12th in Total Strokes Gained and 18th in DK Points. I took a flyer in this event last year on Braden Thornberry (7,700) who was coming off winning the NCAA Individual title. Thornberry finished 4th here last year. He's only played one professional event this year: a 22nd in a web.com Tour event. I don't think I'll try to repeat history here, but don't mind him in tourneys if he's a 1% flyer type of play. Brandt Snedeker (7,600) seems way too cheap, but hasn't found his form yet in 2018. If I look at long-term stats, he's 8th in Par 4 SG, 17th in Total Strokes Gained, and 22nd in DK Points. I'm not passing up Corey Conners (7,600), who finished 8th in his last start. Is Top 20 in Tee-to-Green, Approach, GIR, and DK Points. Only stat he's not above average in is Fairways Gained. Chad Campbell (7,000) tends to be a better player in the summer than the winter/spring. Has three Top 10s the past six years at TPC Southwind, but missed four straight cuts this season before breaking that streak with a 42nd in his last start. 25th in Fairways Gained, rest of his stats are not good. Simply a tournament history play in GPPs.
Cash: Conners, Snedeker Playable
GPP: Chappell, Snedeker, Conners, Campbell
Others I may play in tournaments: Scott Piercy, Kevin Tway, Shane Lowry, Andrew Putnam, Tom Hoge
Thoughts in This Tier:
Matt Jones (6,900) has made three of his last four cuts on tour, including a 13th at the Byron Nelson. His past three years here: 18th, 26th, and 3rd. 25th Tee-to-Green. Abraham Ancer (6,900) has an 18th here in 2016 and has made three straight cuts. 21st in Par 4 SG: and 25th Tee-to-Green, is above average in every other stat category. A.J. McInerney (6,400) was 10th at the Shriners last season, and missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer when he lost 7 strokes putting (finished 36 holes at +2). Not the worst punt if you need it?
Cash: Ancer is Playable
GPP: Jones, Ancer, McInerney (Punt)
Another reminder to keep track of the news of any golfers who withdraw. We already have quite the list, but there may be a few others who withdraw as well. Just be careful with lineups this week. Also be on the lookout for the U.S. Open files and articles this week. Make sure to check out the Wednesday Update to see if weather and ownership have changed any of my thoughts, and for any other additional withdrawals. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.