PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: FedEx St. Jude Championship (2022)
The FedExCup playoffs have arrived! After 11 months of competing, the top 125 golfers in the FedExCup rankings will advance to compete at the first playoff event located at TPC Southwind. Rickie Fowler managed to be the last player in at 125, while four-time winner Scottie Scheffler remains atop the rankings.
Last weekend was the breakout of Joohyung “Tom” Kim, who cemented his legacy with his first PGA Tour win epically. The 20-year-old South Korean went four-over-par on his first hole at Wyndham but went nuclear for the remainder of his rounds, winding up winning by a five-stroke lead at -20-under-par. Kim has some of the best irons on Tour and has notched three T10 performances in nine events as a result, launching him to 35th in the FedExCup standings.
The best of the best will be competing in the final event with a cut-line, creating a ton of value when constructing DFS lineups. I’ve dug deep to lock in the best prospects to target at TPC Southwind based on their recent production, skillset, course history, and salary cost. Let’s gear up and cash out lineups during an exciting, heart-pounding weekend of playoff golf in Memphis!
- 2021 – Abraham Ancer (-16)
- 2020 – Justin Thomas (-13)
- 2019 – Brooks Koepka (-16)
- 2018 – Dustin Johnson (-19)
- 2017 – Daniel Berger (-10)
Relevant Betting Stats
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Scrambling percentage
- Bounce back percentage
- Fairways in Regulation percentage
- Greens in Regulation percentage
TPC Southwind is a par 70 course that tips at 7,238 yards. While it’s not the lengthiest course on the PGA Tour circuit, it has narrow fairways and small greens to challenge tee shots on all 18 holes. The fairways are comprised of zoysia grass, while the bermuda greens average just around 4,300 square feet. The bermudagrass rough only measures upwards of two-and-a-half inches, which will be a manageable situation with errant tee shots and approach shots.
The course emphasizes accuracy with irons, which has been a constant theme found in most winners during the 2022 PGA Tour season. Of course, a hot putter will always override pedestrian iron play. However, most players will need to create ways to maintain par without hitting their greens in regulation. This is also known as scrambling. Bouncing back from bogeys will also be a reality most have to accept at some point during their rounds at TPC Southwind. Remember, birdies trump bogeys in DFS due to the scoring format on DraftKings and FanDuel. So if a player tends to hit a couple of bogeys but has a strong scrambling percentage or the ability to manufacture several birdies per round, don’t avoid them. Rather, seek the players who perform well in adverse conditions by applying these metrics.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Cam Smith ($10,500)
Don’t let the LIV rumors turn you away from Cam Smith. He’s fresh off his first Major win at St. Andrews and averages 4.76 birdies per round, which is the most in the PGA. Sure, he is not good in strokes gained off-the-tee, which is an important metric to consider at TPC Southwind. However, Smith is ranked 12th in strokes gained putting, third in strokes gained approaching the green, and 33rd in bounce-back percentage. He previously finished T5 (-14) at TPC Southwind last year and has seven T10 finishes in 2022. Smith is my top blue-chip prospect that I’m targeting in most lineups based on past success, current momentum, and guaranteed birdies.
Will Zalatoris ($9,500)
Zalatoris possesses arguably the best irons on the PGA Tour right now. He’s collected three second-place finishes and eight T10 finishes in 22 events this year but his recent stretch of T28, T20, and T21 have lowered his salary on DraftKings to $9,500. Zalatoris is the top-ranked player in strokes gained approaching the green, second in strokes gained tee-to-green, and 11th in strokes gained off-the-tee. It’s this last metric that is particularly notable, as TPC Southwind can be dominated by precise iron play. Zalatoris has an inconsistent putter but he did manage a T8 (-12) finish at TPC Southwind during the regular season last year. Lock up a player who is +220 to wind up with a T10 finish this weekend.
Sam Burns ($8,600)
The best value play on the DraftKings DFS slate appears to be Sam Burns. The 26-year-old has been flying under the radar recently due to four consecutive finishes either outside of the top 25 or missing the cut line. Don’t be fooled. Burns nearly won at the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational last year, going T2 (-16) after Abraham Ancer bested him and Hideki Matsuyama in a two-hole playoff round. Burns is ranked 74th in strokes gained off-the-tee but 10th in strokes gained putting, while also ranking inside the top 25 for strokes gained tee-to-green and approaching the green. A 4.37 birdie average is also quite alluring. Do yourself a favor and get Burns into numerous lineups at a great value this weekend.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000
Tony Finau ($11,100)
Finau’s style of play aligns perfectly with TPC Southwind. He just won back-to-back events and used Wyndham to rest up for Memphis. The 32-year-old American is ranked 11th in strokes gained off-the-tee, ninth in strokes gained approaching the green, and fifth in strokes gained tee-to-green. A shaky putter is the only aspect of Finau’s game historically but he’s been a vastly improved player with the flat stick recently. In 2021, Finau went T34 after going 4-over-par in the final round here. Don’t expect that to happen again. He’s equipped with elite irons and is +2000 to win outright, which makes him the eighth most likely player to win this weekend. Finau is a safe investment due to the high floor, high ceiling capability he possesses.
Joohyung Kim ($9,700)
I couldn’t resist recommending the hottest player in the PGA right now. Yes, Tom Kim is on an absolute heater right now, earning three T10 finishes across the last month. This includes his dominant win at Wyndham, where he started +4 and ended up winning the tournament by five strokes, saving a nine-under-par performance for his final round. Kim averages 4.24 birdies per round, has precise irons and is an equally impressive putter. He has proven time and time again that a new course will not inhibit his ability to produce. Lock Kim in as a significant value at under $10,000 on FanDuel.
Denny McCarthy ($9,000)
Sometimes, a rough patch is exactly what a player needs to motivate himself ahead of a huge tournament. This is the scenario for Denny McCarthy, who has missed two consecutive cuts and three in his last four events. Looking closer, the 29-year-old American produced three finishes of T5, T7, and T6 across June and early July. McCarthy’s best skill set is his putter, which is ranked third in strokes gained putting. He also possesses an accurate driver and is talented in strokes gained around the green, which counters his inconsistency in hitting greens in regulation and off-the-tee. At $9,000, McCarthy possesses massive upside but is a bit risky due to his recent disappointments. It will be his debut at TPC Southwind but I’m willing to invest in McCarthy’s upside.
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.