DraftKings PGA Lineup Advice: Tour Championship
Skipping the jokes about how this is the end of the PGA Tour season but the next one starts in two weeks: Welcome to the Tour Championship, where the contrast between the quality of the field and how much fans care to tune in is never greater in professional golf.
For DFS purposes, the most important point to bear in mind this week is that this is just a 30-man field. Thus, ownership levels will necessarily be much higher-than-average. Throw in the fact that there are clear favorites and no cut, and you could probably pick against the proverbial chimpanzee and lose as often as you win.
Nevertheless, we persist, with an extra focus on value this week.
East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, is the host again this year. Good iron play is the most important factor at this par-70 Donald Ross design. Naturally, the absence of two par-5s makes distance off the tee less of an issue. Further, those nasty folks at the PGA Tour grow the rough up a bit for the season finale, so the boys will need to find this fairway this week.
If you want to go chalk…
Justin Thomas isn’t worth paying the fifth-highest price for this week. Brand appeal, birdie ability, and some big wins will make J.T. a super chalky play, but he’s too much of a feast-or-famine play to pick over Rahm or Matsuyama, who are immediately beneath him on the ole salary board.
Jordan Spieth: $11,600
Spieth’s goal of peaking for the season finale looks like it could be a reality: He’s finished inside the top 10 in the first three playoff events. Further, he won the Tour Championship in 2015. The top-priced golfer this week, Spieth is only $11,600, so you’ll be able to comfortably build lineups around the Texan. And who better to roster at a course that preferences approach play than the season leader in strokes gained: approach?
Rickie Fowler: $10,900
In Jeff Sagarin’s vaunted ranking of relative performance over the past year, Rickie Fowler is the No. 1 guy. He tied for second at the BMW Championship and was a top-15 finisher at the Dell Technologies Championship the week before. Even better for our purposes this week, Fowler finished inside the top 15 in his two most recent Tour Championships. 26th in strokes gained: off-the-tee this year, 23rd in strokes gained: approach, and second in total strokes gained.
Deep sleeper(s) (not very deep in a field of 30)
Pat Perez: $6,400
Let’s try Pat Perez at only $200 more than this week’s cheapest players. Double P has made it to the Tour Championship for the first time, and he’ll be keen to pocket some coin so he can expand his collection of Jordan shoes. He’s finished top 15 in his two most recent starts. 28th in total strokes gained this season.
Birdies are the name of the game in GPP. Season leaders in birdie-or-better percentage (BoB%) listed.
1. Justin Thomas ($9,900)
2. Jordan Spieth ($11,600)
3. Hideki Matsuyama ($9,000)
4. Rickie Fowler ($10,900)
5. Brooks Koepka ($8,100)
Paul Casey: $8,600
Paul Casey has never finished worse than fifth at the Tour Championship. Casey’s tie for 33rd at the BMW Championship was a letdown, yes, but it was his first non-top-15-finish since the Travelers Championship. Fifth in strokes gained: tee-to-green, eighth in total strokes gained. Ninth-highest salary? Come on. Casey ought to be $1,000 more expensive.
Kevin Chappell: $7,600
No. 15 in the salary department this week, you can expect Chappell to return good value with a top-10 finish this week. He finished second at East Lake last year. He’s finished top 15 in four of his last six starts, including a tie for 12th a the BMW Championship. 31st in strokes gained: off-the-tee this season. 34th in strokes gained: approach.