THE NORTHERN TRUST 2018 DraftKings Preview

All stats from!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @fantasygolfers @sscherman

We got a weak field and as a result we had relatively week drama for most of the Wyndham this past week. We did get some on the back nine of Sunday, but when CT shanked his drive on 18 it was kind of settled for Brandt and we could move on. I had a pretty solid week as all my cash lineups hit pretty easily and with my highest exposure guy being Brandt, it was hard to not be profitable. I felt really good after his wizardly 59 but bad days from Jason Kokrak and Sam Ryder missing more than their fair share of 5-10 footers definitely kept me from a massive ROI week. We like the process though and are moving onto the first leg of the FedEx Cup series! Some good and bad from last week:

The Good

  1. Having around 50-60% of my 25 lineups contain Brandt certainly was a differentiator especially because he was only around 8-10% owned depending on the contest…odd
  2. Overall core was solid as Moore finished T6, Ryder and Kokrak made a few eagles, and obviously Sned was the winner
  3. Low priced Hughes had a solid performance at his price ($6,800)

The Bad

  1. Henley missing the cut by 1 certainly wasn’t good as I had about 30% of him…
  2. Not owning Webb seemed like a fantastic decision until he fires a 63 to come T2… that certainly dropped a lot of my winnings and was frustrating behind belief
  3. Speaking of guys charging, thanks a lot RCB and Suri who ALSO looked like good fades until Sunday…

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of

In order of importance (excluding SG: T2G since it’s ALWAYS key):

  • SG: BS (Ball Striking)
  • SG: APP (Custom Blend)
  • GIRs Gained
  • SG: Short Game
  • Fairways Gained
  • SG: Putting Blend
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Par 5s

Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):

9K and Above:

Tiger Woods ($10,100): As if I wouldn’t play him… we all saw what he did in a losing effort at the PGA Championship and if he keeps the driver mostly in the bag this week, which he certainly SHOULD, I like him to contend. I’m also not just blowing smoke up his ass (well I am), but he ranks #4 in power rankings and in terms of stats, 26th in SG: T2G, 3rd in my SG: APP blend, 15th in Bogey Avoidance, 11th in SG: Short Game, 5th in DK Points Gained, and 3rd in BoB%. I love him every week but especially here as he looks to contend to win the whole FedEx Cup. Oh yeah, his last 4 finishes are 2nd, 31st, 6th and 4th… I assume in order to be double the field I’ll need at least 40+%, which is more than fine with me.

Justin Rose ($9,900): 5th in my stats model and the guy I believe sets up best for this course among the entire field. Rose ranks 20th in SG: T2G, 8th in Bogey Avoidance, 10th in my SG: Putting Blend, 21st in Fairways Gained, 6th in SG: Short Game, and 8th in DK Points Gained. Rose has not finished outside of the Top 25 since around April I believe and his last 5 starts has a 19th, 2nd, 9th, 10th, and 6th, which includes 3 majors during that span. I’ll probably take Rose at 50+% depending on ownership and expect him to be my highest owned guy.

Jordan Spieth ($9,600): Thought I would add this 3rd play in here to say I’m jumping back on Spieth. I think his putting is coming back and in my model for the week he ranks 12th in my SG: Putting Blend, 9th in Bogey Avoidance, and 30th in SG: Short Game. I’m not saying he looks like elite 2015 Spieth but I still think he’ll be relatively low owned, so I’ll take a chance on him in GPPs… no cash for me though. ~25%?

Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):

Zach Johnson ($8,700): I talked about this course setting up well for Rose and I see the same thing for ZJ this week, whom has been one of the more consistent players the last few months. ZJ has 6 straight Top 20s, which includes 3 majors and a WGC and his ability to hit most fairways and employ a stellar wedge game makes him a great set up for both GPPs and cash games this week. He ranks 7th in Scrambling, 19th in SG: Putting Blend, 6th in SG: Short Game, and has played this course before, having finished T22 and T21 in 2014 and 2010, respectively. I will probably target approximately 25-30% and hope to double the field while also playing him in cash.

Stewart Cink ($7,500): Cink has been playing like a young 20 year old the last few months rather than his 45 year old self. This guy has been on a tear and I’m going to keep owning him until he lets me down. In his last 6 starts, Cink has THREE Top 5s which includes a 4th at the PGA Championship and a T2 at the Travelers I believe. He’s 7th in this field in SG: T2G, 22nd in SG: BS, 17th in Scrambling, and 13th in DK Points Gained and has played this course before, finishing T15 twice and 38th in 2008. I like Cink in all formats this week as I’ll target probably around 20-30% and most likely play him in cash.

Keegan Bradley ($7,000): I really hope Keegan doesn’t get talked up too much and get to a 15+% ownership range because no one wants chalk Keegan and it’ll more or less ensure a MC. One of the best ball strikers on tour, Keegan is 13th in the field in SG: T2G, 21st in Bogey Avoidance, 11th in SG: BS, 18th in Fairways Gained, and 28th in SG: Par 5s. We all know his Achilles heel is his putter so if he can maybe just putt field average, I think he’ll easily pay off this too cheap price tag. I’m considering Keegan in cash which is terrifying but GPP wise I might go as high as 30% if necessary and possibly triple the field.

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Andrew Putnam ($6,600): Putnam is popping decently well in my model this week from a tremendous value standpoint (28th in my Power Rankings compared to 82nd ranked DK player and 83rd in betting odds). At this price, remember, we’re looking for a made cut and maybe some more upside with even a Top 30 finish to provide massive value. Putnam ranks 15th in Bogey Avoidance, 18th in Fairways Gained, and 27th in GIRs Gained. He struggles on Par 5s a little bit and definitely can get cold but at this price I think he’s worth maybe 7-10%, or maybe a little more, depending on ownership.

Fliers (Take it or Leave it):

Vaughn Taylor ($6,200): Has played decently here many years ago and is the minimum price; just a made cut would be huge value and Taylor is quite consistent for the most part.

Ryan Armour ($6,500): Has been playing great recently and despite being a huge bomber, he’s 12th in this field in Fairways Gained and is a good scrambler (27th in Scrambling). Could get up to around 5% so maybe 7-10% to be overweight or even out the field and put him in a lineup or two.

My Favorite Cash Game Plays

1) Justin Rose

2) Zach Johnson

3) Stewart Cink

4) Ian Poulter

Fades for Me

Hideki Matsuyama: Getting a lot of talk of getting things back together and has potential to get quite chalk around 20% ownership. He not only is a weak putter but ranks 91st in the field in Fairways Gained, 75th in Scrambling, and 70th in GIRs Gained.

Joel Dahmen: Pops quite highly in my model, as you’ll see below, but with his potential to be around 12-15% ownership, I don’t have much of an issue fading. He has great stats but those mostly come in weaker fields and this week he’s teeing it up against the best in the world.

Matt Kuchar: Obviously has not had his best stuff here but I think will garner some decent ownership due to his win here in 2010 and this being a course that sets up well for his style. Kuchar ranks 104th in the field in SG: Par 5s, 97th in BoB%, 79th in SG: BS, and has missed 4 of his last 6 cuts. No thanks.

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 45% Key Stats, 50% Recent Form, and 5% Course History

  1. Dustin Johnson
  2. Justin Rose
  3. Justin Thomas
  5. Brooks Koepka
  6. Francesco Molinari
  7. Patrick Cantlay
  8. Jon Rahm
  9. Stewart Cink
  10. Webb Simpson
  11. Gary Woodland
  12. Tommy Fleetwood
  13. Joel Dahmen
  14. Rafa Cabrera Bello
  15. Ian Poulter
  16. Jason Day
  17. Tony Finau
  18. Brandt Snedeker
  19. Adam Scott
  20. Kevin Na

Predicted Chalk

  1. Tony Finau – 24%
  2. Jason Day – 22%
  3. Tiger Woods – 21%
  4. Dustin Johnson – 20%
  5. Justin Rose – 18%


Follow me on Twitter @sscherman and follow @AmateurHour_Pod too for picks, podcasts with FIRE guests, and weekly picks to win!!

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