East Lake GC: Atlanta, GA Par 70, 7,385 Yards
Defending Champion: Xander Schauffele (-12) by one over Justin Thomas
Primary Stats- Par 4 SG, GIR, Fairways Gained
Secondary Stats- Driving Distance, SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach
Timeframe: Past 12 Rounds unless specified. May look at last 24 and 100 rounds as well
This is it. The last event of the season is the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Only 30 golfers are playing, with their eyes set on winning the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes along with it. If anyone in the Top 5 (DeChambeau, Rose, Finau, Johnson, or Thomas) win, they will win the FedEx Cup. There are other scenarios where each can win and someone below them as well. That could factor into ownership this week, so pay attention to see who's getting talked about and if the FedEx Cup is being mentioned as a reason why you should think about playing one of these top 5.
Football on MyFantasyFix
For those of you playing DFS Football, you really need to check out the tools available here on My Fantasy Fix. For those of you that are just looking for free content, I do a podcast with Bennett Karoll of SiriusXM each week, looking at a few key situations going into each week. This is available on almost every podcast listening service, including iTunes, Google, Stitcher, and Spotify, to name a few. Phil Backert of SiriusXM looks at a few players in great matchups and explains why you should play them (In Week 2, he hit on Christian McCaffrey and Nelson Agholor).
If you are looking for more, consider a monthly or seasonal Premium subscription. With this, you get a premium podcast where myself, Phil, and Michael Waldo break down the slate in more detail. You also get updates when injuries and news breaks 24 hours before kickoff each week. Finally, you get access to the optimizer, which includes projections and a lineup builder. On the optimizer, you can enter your own projections if you choose, the Fantistics VAM rating (where should you spend your money), ownership projections, and many our extensive statistical database. $35.99/month, $99.99 for the season, which includes a 14 day trial if you subscribe for the season package. If interested, click here to sign up.
I usually do some statistical analysis here, but I think there's something much more important this week: Game Selection. There are exactly 30 golfers, and we are picking 6. That means every player will have one-fifth of the field. It's also impossible for certain combinations of players to be chosen and some combinations are very unlikely (highly doubtful anyone would want or should choose 6 players in just the 6k and 7k range). This means there are only a limited amount of combinations that people will choose. So, you really have to be smart about what contests you are choosing. The way I approach this is the following: I am not entering any contest that I don't plan on max entering. Even if I usually play one entry, I throw it into some 3-max, 20-max, and maybe 150-max games. Not this week. I suspect if I did that, there would be at least one other person, possibly more, that have the same lineup.
I will only be playing single-entries for that reason and for one other: It's a 30-man field. The variance is even higher than usual, in an already high-variance sport. 15th place most weeks is good; this week, it's middle of the pack. With position points weighed so heavy, it's too variant for me to want to place a lot of money at risk for it. You may also want to consider leaving salary on the table. Most studies show that people will leave anywhere from $0-$200 on the table. So, consider leaving more to give yourself a better chance at making a unique lineup.
Finally, I'm just going to list one player from each price range. It doesn't mean I will play that person in my teams this week or that I won't play anyone else. With 30 players, I feel like mentioning 5 golfers is enough and give you some reasons to consider each person I write-up. Projected ownership could also factor into my lineup decision making. I don't think there will be a Wednesday update unless something significantly changes by Wednesday night.
Brooks Koepka (10,000)
Koepka has won 2 majors this year: this is almost a major and we have seen Koepka be able to turn his game on for these big events. His finishes in the Playoffs have been fine, just not elite: 8th, 12th, and 19th. However, only one of those twelve rounds were in the 70s. Brooks was 6th at East Lake a year ago, so he's had prior success here. Kopeka ranks 2nd Tee-to-Green, 3rd in Driving Distance, and 11th in Approach. He needs to win and get some help from 6th to win the FedEx Cup, but I think he completes his Player of the Year award with a Tour Championship win.
Tiger Woods (9,500)
An oddity that there are only two players in this range. Tiger will be popular; simply because he's a logical player to insert with a 10k+ player, he's a former winner at East Lake, and the casual NFL player who wants to play golf this week, will simply play Tiger because they know who he is. Tiger has improved each step of the playoffs, going from 40th to 24th to 6th. Like Koepka, he tends to show up at big events and what better way for him to cap of his return than to win the Tour Championship (very slim chance he wins FedEx Cup). Tiger is 3rd in Approach, 6th in Fairways Gained, 7th Tee-to-Green, and 8th in Par 4 Strokes Gained. I don't see myself playing him due to ownership; but take away ownership, and he makes for a great play.
Francesco Molinari (8,200)
This is in an interesting price range. You have #1 in FEC standings, Bryson DeChambeau at 8,400, and you have #3 in FEC standings, Tony Finau, at 8,600. This should mean a lot of players take both of them, leaving Molinari as a low owned, high upside play here. Francesco missed the cut at the first playoff event due to an extremely cold putter, took the second event off, and finished 8th at the BMW. While I do prefer some experience at East Lake, it's not a requirement, so I don't mind going with Molinari, who hasn't played here before. He ranks 2nd in my stat model over 12 rounds: 2nd in Approach, and 3rd in Tee-to-Green, Par 4 SG, SG: Approach, and Fairways Gained. It's an ownership play for me; plus, Molinari has been elite since late May: I can play one more time, especially if he's sub 15% owned.
Billy Horschel (7,300)
I was curious to see where Horschel would end up price wise this week: this feels way too cheap for his current form. He has a missed cut sandwiched between two 3rd place finishes at The Northern Trust and BMW Championship. Horschel hasn't played here since he won the event and FedEx Cup in 2014, and was 7th the year before as well. He's #1 in my stat model, ranking 1st in Tee-to-Green and Approach, 2nd in GIR, 5th in Fairways Gained, and 9th in Par 4 SG. I do expect him to be popular but with his form and history here, he's going to have to get above 30-35% ownership before I start thinking of not playing him this week.
Kyle Stanley (6,100)
At some point in these events, you have to consider a "punt play." Stanley is a decent punt for me, with Top 10 Upside. He did finish 20th here a year ago, but I think a similar finish still would work for you, if you got the other five to finish in the Top 8-10 or so. Stanley is 1st in Fairways Gained, 6th in GIR, and 8th in Approach. I'm really hoping for a Top 10 here at this price, and may not argue with a 12-15th place finish either. He has some scoring ability, which could help this week at 100 above minimum.
Thank you for everyone, subscribers, and new readers who found this in the past month and a half or so. It's been a fun golf season, and let's hope we find the right combination this week to do well. I will continue to do a shorter type of write-up for the Fall Swing; maybe something similar to this format, as it isn't as popular with football going on (plus, I'm also busy with football content). Good luck this week, and I'll see you back here in two weeks for the start of the 2018-2019 season with the Safeway Open. Yes, the PGA Tour has the shortest offseason of any sport in the world. Enjoy this week and enjoy the "break."