DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: TOUR Championship
Daily fantasy golf requires a new approach for each and every event.
The course and field change week after week, making no two contests alike. That means you need to refine your approach for each PGA Tour event to try to find golfers who are primed to excel for your daily fantasy golf lineups.
The pricing on DraftKings is quite different this week, with the starting strokes awarded to the top players in the FedEx Cup Standings creating an uneven starting point. Golfers at the top of the board start the event as many as 10 strokes below par, and everyone else will have to play catch-up. Considering the winning score at East Lake last year was 11-under par, those golfers who are awarded free strokes and the accompanying finishing bonus from DraftKings have a tremendous advantage.
Golfers not near the top of the board will need to go for broke on every hole to hope to gain that many strokes on their opponents, and it would be downright shocking if someone outside the top 10 managed to climb all the way up and win this thing. Pricing reflects the imbalanced starting scores, making game theory and lineup construction that much more important this week. These golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club.
|Key Stats for the TOUR Championship at East Lake GC|
|Strokes Gained: Off The Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 3s (200+)|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda)|
Let's get to the picks. For details on why these stats stand out this week, check out the course primer.
Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
Justin Thomas (Starting Score: -10 | DraftKings Price: $15,500 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +250) - Thomas is in a different stratosphere of price, more than $3,000 higher than the next highest golfer. He has had an inconsistent season with the putter that clicked last week, but his approach game has been one of the best in world all season. He is unsurprisingly first in strokes gained: approach, but he is also second in birdies or better gained. He'll be a hard man to catch with a head start and white hot irons.
Rory McIlroy (-5 | $10,600 | 9/1) - McIlroy gets just half as many strokes as Thomas as a reward for inarguably a much stronger overall season than JT. McIlroy won THE PLAYERS and the RBC Canadian Open, and had an outrageous stretch of top 10s over the course of the season. McIlroy contended week in and week out, and he can certainly continue to do so despite giving four top players a head start. McIlroy is first in birdies or better gained, strokes gained: off the tee, and strokes gained on par 3s in both the 200-225 and 225-plus buckets. At almost $5k cheaper than Thomas, Rory is the best value not only above $9,500 but maybe on the entire board.
Dustin Johnson (-3 | $8,400 | 27) - DJ has been in a funk of late, and his world class form has left him. He has just one finish better than T20 in the past four months, but that finish was a runner-up at the PGA Championship. He was also T2 at Augusta and won the WGC-Mexico earlier in the season, so the top end finishes are still there even in what must be considered a down year. He was the only man within six strokes of Brooks Koepka at Bethpage, and his triumph in Mexico was an absolute blowout. He reached 21-under, followed by McIlroy at 16-under, and no one else was better than 11-under. Notably, Thomas needed a Sunday 62 to get to 9-under. It is highly unlikely, but not inconceivable, that DJ can outpace Thomas and the rest of the leaders by enough strokes to make up the starting strokes. He is third off the tee and fourth in birdies or better gained.
Adam Scott (-3 | $8,200 | 33) - The Aussie made headlines griping about course setup this week, and the best way to prove his point would be to keep his name in the public's mouth as long as possible. A strong finish from the middle of the pack would achieve that, as Scott starts with Johnson way back at 3-under par. Scott is fifth in strokes gained: approach and seventh in birdies or better gained, and he has finished T9 or better in five of his last seven starts. In the primer, we talked about golfers who can have hot putting rounds or tournaments, even if they are not one of the best putters overall. Scott fits that bill, as he is 28th in strokes gained: putting but has nine rounds this year in which he gained at least 1.5 strokes with the flat stick.
Low Priced Options
Paul Casey (-2 | $7,500 | 100) - Casey might be reconsidering his decision to skip the NORTHERN TRUST looking up the leaderboard at all the talent above him. Casey is pretty far back but comes at a nice discount in price relative to his overall ball-striking numbers -- fourth on approach and fifth off the tee. Casey rates out very well on the comparison courses covered in the primer, particularly at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, on which Casey is the two-time defending Valspar champion. Casey also has back-to-back top 5s at the Wells Fargo Championship site, Quail Hollow Club.
Justin Rose (-2 | $6,900 | 41) - The mismatch in odds and price for Rose versus Casey is obvious. While the starting strokes system is new to this year, Rose has crushed East Lake in the past to the tune of three top-four finishes in the last five years. His runner-up finish last year was good enough to clinch the FedEx Cup, and he will surely not go quietly no matter where he starts. Also in Rose's favor is his performance on the course relative to fantasy scoring, as he gains more DraftKings points than anyone in the field.
Corey Conners (-1 | $6,100 | 260) - Conners is an elite ball-striker -- third in approach and fourth off the tee -- and has played extremely well in the Playoffs after a season that saw extreme highs (win at the Valero) and lows (missed five of six cuts in the events preceding his win). Conners thrives in soft conditions that mitigate his putting woes, but long term, Conners' skill set lines up pretty well when his irons are on. He is 26th in this field in strokes gained: putting on bermuda, but he is 5th on putts between 10-15 feet on that surface. If he can knock it to that range and get the putts to roll, he can climb the leaderboard and score loads of fantasy points along the way.
Jason Kokrak (EVEN | $5,300 | 320) - Like everyone starting in this bucket, Kokrak's chances are thin. But he has an opportunity to put a cherry on top of the best season of his career with a strong finish and a climb up the leaderboard. Kokrak is top 10 in both ball-striking stats, as he ranks seventh off the tee and eighth on approach. He is also 3rd on par 3s between 200-225 yards and 11th in strokes gained: putting.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.