Fantasy Golf Tournament Preview- Tour Championship

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff September 21, 2015 16:05

This is it folks, the culmination of an absolutely unbelievable 2014-2015 fantasy golf season, the Tour Championship. Fear not, the 2015-2016 season will be upon us in a couple of weeks, so we will catch our breath and be ready to crush everybody during the fall season. We have seen such a colossal boom in DFS golf this year that we are very excited for the continued expansion this coming year. We will be adding tools that will add value and continue to help you be profitable playing fantasy golf. Keep in mind, the more growth in the industry the better for all of team FGI. New people will be nowhere near as sophisticated and knowledgeable as you are in DFS golf and thus your edge will continue to increase. The fall season is such an excellent time to capitalize on our edge, we can’t wait.

This week, the Tour Championship consists of the Top 30 players in FedEx Cup points and is held at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. East Lake has been the home of this event since 2004, so we can look closely at tournament history, which is unlike last week’s BMW, which alternated locations. East Lake was originally designed by Donald Ross, but in 1994, Rees Jones, son of famed golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, restored the original design. East Lake is a Par 70 and measures 7,307 yards long. Courses in which Donald Ross was at least partly responsible for the design number in the hundreds.  You can easily search all of those online, but we will mention a couple of them since they were recently played and those include Sedgefield Country Club which hosted the Wyndham Championship and Plainfield Country Club, which hosted the Barclays. We can look at how the players in this field fared on those courses and see if there is a correlation. Generally this is a smaller weighting that we place on this variable, but still one that we consider.

Although it has been difficult to prognosticate what the scoring will look like for the first three legs of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, this week will most likely look more similar to the first two (The Barclays and Deutsche Bank) than to the score-fest that we witnessed at the BMW last week. The winner the past few years in the Tour championship has scored -11, -13, -10, and -8 respectively. Like last week there will not be a cut, so all players will play four full rounds (barring a WD or DQ).
The key statistics that we will be analyzing include strokes gained tee-to-green, greens in regulation, Par 4 scoring, total driving, birdie or better %, and strokes gained putting in that order. Greens in regulation stood out dramatically as a meaningful statistic over the past few years. Below is an example of how the best 10 guys in greens in regulation finished.

GIR                  Player                 Finish
1                  Billy Horschel             1
T-2                Jim Furyk                  T2
T-2                Rory McIlroy              T2
T-2                Bubba Watson           14
T-5                Chris Kirk                 T4
T-5                Russell Henley           12
T-7                Adam Scott                 T9
T-7                Justin Rose                T4
9                  Sergio Garcia              T9
10                 Rickie Fowler               8

In our opinion this is not a great week to be playing in DFS cash games because the amount of variability is great and there are not any deep value plays. We would recommend that you play a fraction of your normal weekly bankroll this week and only in GPPs. Do not blow the profits in which you have accumulated throughout the season in a week where we do not have as large of an edge. Play some, but get your normal weekly bankroll ready for the in a couple of weeks.

In GPPs this week it will be more about picking six guys who finish top ten, then it will be about identifying value. This is another reason we are going to leave most of our bankroll off the table. We gain an edge every week by utilizing overlooked and unknown players, this week there are not any of those guys. In analyzing the pricing for Draftkings, I am not convinced that the guys in the $7,500-$8,500 range will produce any better results than those from $6,700-$7,400. This makes us lean toward more of a high end/low end roster composition than a middle/balanced approach. We are going to need all six guys in the Top 10 to have a chance in any large GPPs and we are pretty certain the top seven priced players will compose a good share of the top 10. The pricing this week on Draftkings is surprising soft considering the size of the field. We can easily roster Jason Day and five other very solid players that are all capable of top 10s. However we can also fill a roster with three lower priced studs,  and then only have to have three lower priced guys. An example would be Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson. This seems like a much higher likelihood to have all six in the Top 10. The only catch is Day or Rory cannot win the tournament. You need to decide which route you are going to take and it is going to depend on who you think will win the tournament. Obviously everybody will be on Jason Day, because he is in an unbelievable zone, but keep in mind how unbelievably hard it is to win a tournament, despite how easy Day is making it look.

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Top Stud Picks:

Jason Day- Yes, masters of the obvious, but is there anybody else in the field that you like more to win this event than Day? We know the current stretch that he is on right now is one of the best all-time, but he also has a great track record at East Lake. Last year Day finished 4th, 14th in 2013, and 6th in 2011. Not that you needed any other reasons to like Day, but here is a fun side note: Rees Jones designed the reconstruction of East Lake. Another course that Jones designed the reconstruction for- Torrey Pines, and Day’s finishes the last three years at the Farmers Insurance Open held at Torrey Pines- 1st, 2nd, and 9th. In a week where it is essential to pick the winner, Day looks to be that guy.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 5th
Greens in Regulation- 6th
Par 4 Scoring- 1st
Total Driving- 57th
Birdie or Better %- 1st
Strokes Gained Putting-5th


Rory McIlroy- The fact that Rory was able to finish T4 while losing -.39 putts to the field is a testament to just how dominant he can be. If he is able to start dropping even a few of those putts, he will give Day a run for his money this week. As with Day, Rory has played well at East Lake in his two appearances taking 2nd last year and 10th in 2012.  His pricepoint is such that is impossible to roster him and Day, so you will have to choose one -or- fade them both as a strategy like we talked about above.

Statistics do not qualify for PGA Tour Ranking.


Justin Rose- East Lake has been very king to Mr. Rose in the past. Over the past three years Rose has finished 4th last year, 6th in 2013, and 2nd in 2012. He had a hiccup at the Deutsche Bank and missed the cut, but outside of that he has been nothing short of amazing over the last two months ( T16 @ Barclays, 4th @ PGA Championship, T3 @ WGC Bridgestone, T4 @ Quicken Loans, T6 @ The Open). Last week he played solid although not up to our expectations finishing T13. If you are looking to fade the top couple of guys, we think Rose is the next best option.  His price point allows us to roster him along with two of the following: Dustin, Rickie, Bubba, or Stenson, which is pretty appealing us.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 8th
Greens in Regulation- 9th
Par 4 Scoring- 21st
Total Driving- 4th
Birdie or Better %- 4th
Strokes Gained Putting-90th


Top Value Picks:


Patrick Reed- He had the opportunity to be one of the few players last week that scored lower than 70 in each of his four rounds, and qualify for the 5 bonus points on Draftkings , but alas he bogeyed the 16th hole on Sunday, which gave him a 70 on the dot and a T28 finish. This following up an outstanding performance at Deutsche Bank, Reed seems to be getting in a groove lately. His price is also very attractive as he is well under the average priced player on Draftkings.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 39th
Greens in Regulation- 136th
Par 4 Scoring- 11th
Total Driving- 159th
Birdie or Better %- 19th
Strokes Gained Putting-11th


Robert Streb- Yes we have recommended him most weeks, but this week at his price tag in DFS he is really enticing ($7,300 on Draftkings). In a week where you need to identify certain lower priced players who are capable of finishing Top 10, there are not too many with the same likelihood as Streb. He has nine Top 10 finishes this season including a T10 at the PGA Championship and 5th at WGC Bridgestone lately. He is great in strokes gained tee-to-green and greens in regulation, the two most important statistics that we are referencing this week. A combination of Streb with stud guys like Fowler and Stenson does not sound all bad.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 24th
Greens in Regulation- 17th
Par 4 Scoring- 11th
Total Driving- 62nd
Birdie or Better %- 23rd
Strokes Gained Putting-27th


Brooks Koepka- Can he avoid the blowup round that seems to plague him in every tournament lately that knocks him out of contention? (Last week was his opening round 75) Well, we can’t guarantee that, but what we are confident is that he racks up points, no matter where he ends up finishing. Last week despite finishing T49 he scored 74 points on Draftkings. We have done comparisons like this before, but here are a couple of examples of what others scored who finished better than Koepka. Patrick Reed finished T28 and scored 72.5 and Kevin Chappell finished T23 and scored 74.5 points. We show these just to illustrate how valuable Koepka is to a DFS roster. Most people will continue to look at his finish in the standings and discard him, but the most important thing is points. In another week where there is no cut, his point scoring ability is significant. This will be Koepka’s first appearance at East Lake. Although the last four weeks have easily been Koepka’s worst stretch of his year, he still is a great fit for this tournament structure and the course.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 32nd
Greens in Regulation- 16th
Par 4 Scoring- 7th
Total Driving- 43rd
Birdie or Better %- 7th
Strokes Gained Putting-18th


Paul Casey- I will start out by saying that I hate Paul Casey with every ounce of my being and will for the rest of my life. For those of you who do not know, by withdrawing from the Deutsche Bank he cost us a definite $80,000 with a possible $180,000 at the Fantasy Golf World Championship. I am not sure if you have ever lost that amount of money on such a freak incident, but I had not and it stings so bad, I will never forgive him. That being said, we always preach about not allowing our emotions to dictate our decisions and we owe it to you our members to separate our hate for him and share important indicators that point to him being successful this week. His current form is very good placing T3 at Wyndham, T39 at Barclays and T23 at BMW. He actually was playing well at the Deutsche Bank before he withdrew shooting even par in the first two rounds placing him well below the cut-line. As we mentioned he played well at the Wyndham which is also a Donald Ross original design and he took 4th in his only appearance at East Lake in 2010. He is among the leaders in the two statistical categories we have as our most important this week, strokes gained tee-to-green and greens in regulation. We will say that he does have a propensity to withdraw in the middle of events and Deutsche Bank marked the 8th time he has done so. For that reason he is not a cash game option, but in a week where you need to do something to separate yourself from the field in GPPs, choosing this little rat might pay off.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 9th
Greens in Regulation- 4th
Par 4 Scoring- 11th
Total Driving- 10th
Birdie or Better %- 33rd
Strokes Gained Putting-122nd


Top Sleeper Picks:


Jimmy Walker- It is safe to say Jimmy Walker has never been the third lowest priced player in DFS before. ($6,900-Draftkings). Not only will choosing him allow you a lot of flexibility with the rest of your cap money, it will also give you a guy on your roster that we think could finish Top 10. It has been a while since Walker has cracked the Top 10, try May. But he played well last week at the BMW, shooting a 69, 69, 71, and 68. His problem was that he could not come up with the really low round that others did in the first two days. Walker finished T32. Scoring will be different this week and a -7 will look a whole lot better, which is what we think Walker is capable of. He competed at East Lake last year and finished 17th.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 82nd
Greens in Regulation- 102nd
Par 4 Scoring- 76th
Total Driving- 122nd
Birdie or Better %- 11th
Strokes Gained Putting-1st


Daniel Berger- How you go from missing the cut in seven straight events to a T12 and runner-up finish in stacked fields is absolutely beyond us. Berger showed us the tremendous ability that he has, earlier this season with finishes of T10 at Byron Nelson, T6 at Zurich, T2 at Honda, T10 at Pebble Beach, and T10 at Phoenix Open. Then came the 2-month debacle, where he was he missed every single cut. Now he seems to have regained that same top level form and we need to acknowledge it. He does not have any tournament history at East Lake, but he didn’t have any at Conway Farms either. Draftkings has yet to adjust to his current form and he remains in the bottom 1/3 of pricing at $7,200. He can easily make it onto a Day or Rory roster.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 35th
Greens in Regulation- 31st
Par 4 Scoring- 53rd
Total Driving- 21st
Birdie or Better %- 35th
Strokes Gained Putting-138th


Best of luck to all of the FGI family this week, we will talk to you again in a couple of weeks! If you have any questions between now and then, do not hesitate to shoot an email or tweet. We will be working hard to roll out new stuff for you.

-Fantasy Golf Insider


Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff September 21, 2015 16:05

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