Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: TOUR Championship

With the PGA Tour's modified format in play, which golfers are values this week at East Lake?

By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel's daily fantasy golf offering.

Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week. It's a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.

But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.

Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the TOUR Championship
at East Lake GC
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Driving Accuracy
Birdie or Better Rate
Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda

East Lake generally plays tough, and it's a course where driving accuracy is more important than usual on the PGA Tour, via datagolf. The birdie rates from the fairway and rough don't deviate from the Tour average here, but it's not the worst week to value accurate drivers. That's what helped Chez Reavie finish eighth last year. Rory McIlroy finished third in fairways gained during his win. That said, of the 8 of the 11 players to tie for a top-10 spot finished in the top-12 in distance gained. I'm valuing strokes gained: off the tee a lot.

For a more detailed breakdown on the course, check out our course primer from Mike Rodden.

As for some quick tournament strategy, here's last year's optimal lineup (sorted by draft percentage).

2019 FanDuel
TOUR Championship
Optimal Lineup
Rory McIlroy $11,400 123.1 46.55%
Brooks Koepka $12,100 86.8 46.51%
Adam Scott $9,300 89.3 20.00%
Xander Schauffele $10,500 103.7 18.91%
Paul Casey $8,300 86.8 14.33%
Chez Reavie $7,100 81.9 4.22%

Justin Thomas was $14,200 last year and entered with the 10-stroke lead. He finished third. Patrick Cantlay plummeted from second with a -8 score to finish 21st. It can happen.

Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Justin Thomas (FanDuel Salary: $12,000 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +550) - I've got nothing against Dustin Johnson ($14,400) or Jon Rahm ($12,500), but Thomas comes with some savings and a -7 starting score, all while really having the best long-term tee-to-green game in the field. He also sat on the pre-tournament lead entering last year's TOUR Championship but wound up -3 through his 72 rounds to finish just third. He's the best statistical fit in my model over the past 50 rounds and is a strong cornerstone if we pass over DJ and Rahm -- which you certainly shouldn't do blindly. I'd rank them Thomas, Rahm, DJ based on their salaries. Just don't overlook JT.

Bryson DeChambeau ($10,500 | +2000) - DeChambeau's game isn't quite what we may have thought it'd be, and we're playing up accuracy this week. That said, DeChambeau leads this field in putting and birdie rate gained over the past 50 rounds. He's 11th in putting on Bermuda over a 100-round sample. We need golfers who can score and climb the leaderboard. DeChambeau at least obviously has that potential.

Others to Target:
Dustin Johnson ($14,400 | +175) - DJ is still a good value at the salary and deserves to be jammed into lineups when possible.
Jon Rahm ($12,500 | +250) - Like DJ, worth the salary and worth prioritizing with the spotted strokes.
Webb Simpson ($11,300 | +1200) - Easy pivot to an elite iron player and Bermuda putter who didn't play last week. All golfers above $10,000 are strong plays, but some will naturally be less popular.
Rory McIlroy
($10,200 | +2000) - Tore up East Lake last year, and his wife, Erica, gave birth already. He should be good to go four rounds.

Mid-Priced Picks

Xander Schauffele ($9,500 | +2700) - Schauffele's biggest knocks are birdie rate (18th) and Bermuda putting (21st over a 100-round sample). Other than that, things are good: seventh tee-to-green and first in bogey avoidance. Schauffele has finished first, seventh, and second here the past three years. He's a top-tier DFS value.

Tony Finau ($9,000 | +5000) - Finau can play from behind (he's starting -2), and that's usually when we get the best from Finau (don't quote me on that). Point being: Finau can play without a ton of pressure and work his way to the top. He's 10th in approach and 15th off the tee but is also improving as a putter (14th in putting over the past 50 rounds).

Others to Target:
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,000 | +2900) - Hideki's gained in putting four straight events but struggles on Bermuda.
Patrick Reed ($9,200 | +5000) - Reed's 8th in birdie rate and 10th in Bermuda putting but has been awful at East Lake.
Scottie Scheffler ($8,600 | +8000) - Mr. 59 can go low and get back in the mix; he's 10th in birdie or better gained.

Low-Priced Picks

Tyrrell Hatton ($8,200 | +10000) - Hatton's only 2020 event with negative adjusted strokes gained: approach was the WGC-St. Jude. Hatton is starting -2 and is 7th in Bermuda putting. It's hard to hate an elite iron player with good putting at this salary.

Viktor Hovland ($7,000 | +21000) - We need upside from these cheaper players, and Hovland sure has the potential to climb the leaderboard. Among the 10 golfers priced at $8,400, only Hovland, Hatton, and Joaquin Niemann ($8,400) are in the top-10 in the field in approach. He can fall apart in the short game, but if Hovland's game clicks, he can pour in birdies (13th).

Others to Consider:
Joaquin Niemann ($8,400 | +15000) - In the mix last week to finish T3 while gaining strokes off the tee and from approach in elite field.
Kevin Kisner ($7,100 | +12000) - Kisner runs us only $100 more than the minimum as the second-best Bermuda putter in the field.
Billy Horschel ($7,000 | +21000) - Accurate driver who is a great putter on Bermuda and has a win here (2014) plus a runner-up (2018).