2018 TOUR Championship Preview and DraftKings Picks

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

 Go follow BigBucksNoWhammie (@BPSnow11 on Twitter) for an AMAZING course preview. As NFL season comes in these previews will be much lighter and I will have heavy focus on football.

Course: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA; designed by Donald Ross in 1913; redesigns by Rees Jones in 1994 and most recently 2008

-Par 70, 7346 yards

-Hosted tournament every year since 2004

-Previous winners and top 5 finishers:

2017: Xander Schauffele (-12) over Thomas, Henley, Kisner, Casey

              2016: Rory McIlroy (-12) in playoff over Chappell, Moore, Casey, Hideki

              2015: Jordan Spieth (-9) over Lee, Rose, Stenson, Casey, DJ, Bubba

              2014: Billy Horschel (-11) over Furyk, Rory, Day, Kirk, Rose

              2013: Henrik Stenson (-13) over Spieth, Stricker, Webb, DJ

-Fairways: Zoysia

-Rough: TifBermuda

-Greens: Bermuda that runs around 12.5 on the stimp

-Average green size around 6,300 sq. ft.; about average for the tour

-Field: 30 players; No Cut

East Lake Golf Club

We’ve reached the conclusion of the official PGA Tour 2017-2018 season and we get a tremendous offseason of 2 weeks after this before the season starts back up again at the Safeway Open in October. This final field is the Top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings and while every player has a “mathematical” chance to win, I would say it’s more like 15 guys, and even more realistically, 5-7 of the top guys has a chance to win the tournament and win the $10 million prize. East Lake plays as one of the longer and difficult courses in the FedEx Playoffs with 72 bunkers, 3 water hazards, and fairways that are not all that wide. The greens were switched from Bentgrass to Bermuda in Jones’ latest redesign (2008) and should hold better than the past, despite the extreme Atlanta summer heat. As is customary on TOUR, with only 2 Par 5s, it is crucial that players make birdie on all or most of their 8 opportunities as well as doing their best to avoid bogeys on the Par 3s. The Par 3s played at a 3.06 stroke average in 2017, with 3 of the 4 playing in the Top 8 hardest holes on the course. Given the longer Par 3s (3/4 are over 200 yards with the 4th playing just around that number), while most people will look at a target range of around 125-150 to account for wedges, I’m putting a strong emphasis on 200+ as well as 175-200 to include all Par 3s and the longer approaches into the Par 5s (this will then account for 1/3 or more of total approach shots on the course). Here’s a look at the course scorecard, followed by my key stats:

Hole Par Length Rank Avg. Strokes BoB (2017) O/U Par
1 4 469 2 4.280 8 0.280
2 3 197 11 2.975 19 -0.025
3 4 391 16 3.825 32 -0.175
4 4 479 3 4.133 15 0.133
5 4 442 14 3.892 25 -0.108
6 5 525 18 4.433 67 -0.567
7 4 481 6 4.042 20 0.042
8 4 455 7 4.025 22 0.025
9 3 235 5 3.125 12 0.125
10 4 424 13 3.908 25 -0.092
11 3 214 3 3.133 11 0.133
12 4 389 15 3.858 27 -0.142
13 4 440 9 4.000 24 0.000
14 4 520 1 4.317 6 0.317
15 3 211 8 3.025 20 0.025
16 4 454 12 3.958 21 -0.042
17 4 430 10 3.983 18 -0.017
18 5 590 17 4.492 64 -0.508
70 7346 69.404

 

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)

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

  • SG: BS
  • SG: APP (Custom Blend of Overall APP, 200+, 175-200, and 150-175)
  • BoB%
  • SG: Par 4
  • Fairways Gained
  • SG: Putting Blend
  • Scrambling
  • Bogey Avoidance

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

9K and Above:

Brooks Koepka ($10,000): I think it would be almost poetic for Brooks to finish with a serious bang after winning 2 majors to capture this event in yet another strong field, win $10 million, win Player of the Year, all while probably not giving a shit. He ranks 3rd in my overall model and comes in with a win, 5th, and an 8th in his last 5 starts and of course has the ability to go on insane birdie streaks. Brooks is 3rd in SG: T2G, 3rd in Scrambling, 5th in SG: BS, 2nd in SG: Par 5s, 8th in SG: APP blend, 9th in Bogey Avoidance, and 12th in BoB%. With a limited field and less exposure, I may very well take 100% Brooks, but at the minimum it will be 75-80%.

Tiger Woods ($9,500): I’m taking Tiger and he’s fucking winning.

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

Francesco Molinari ($8,200): I’m not normally a Molinari guy, but he’s very cheap this week and between him and Bryson, it’s insane what they’ve done over the summer. Molinari is 2nd in SG: T2G, 7th in Scrambling, 2nd in Bogey Avoidance, 4th in SG: APP, 3rd in SG: BS, 4th in Fairways Gained, and 7th in SG: Par 4s. Molinari had a random missed cut at the NORTHERN TRUST but after that took a week off and finished 8th at the BMW Champ. He hasn’t played here but that doesn’t stop me from thinking he’s a great play. 50+% for me.

Webb Simpson ($7,500): This is the best year I’ve seen Webb have and I expect him to finish it off strong this week. He’s been putting great all year and ranks 4th in my SG: Putting Blend this week, 1st in Scrambling, 9th in Bogey Avoidance, and 14th in SG: Par 4s. He recently finished 6th at the BMW Championship, 2nd at the Wyndham a few weeks ago, and course history wise, he has finished in the Top 5 twice. Even though it’s a longer course, I like Webb as a strong Top 10 or Top 5 upside this week and will probably own 50+%.

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Gary Woodland ($6,700): I expect the chalk from down in this range to be Kevin Na, followed by Keegan Bradley and maybe Phil, so I like Woodland as a strong play. Very cheap price for a guy who has really turned things around since the hangover he had after his win, finishing 6th at the PGA Championship, and posting 4/5 Top 25 finishes in his other 5 starts since then. Woodland has played here several times and has posted 2 Top 10 finishes in his last 3 starts. Stats wise, Woodland ranks 1st in SG: Par 5s, 5th in SG: BS, 8th in SG: APP, and 10th in SG: T2G. It’s hard to gauge what kind of ownership he’ll get but with my player pool being much smaller this week and limited field, I’ll probably take 30% or so.

My Favorite Cash Game Plays

Not playing cash this week with such a small field

Fades for Me

Just some ownership fades this week: Rose, Rory, Hideki, Horschel I expect all at 20-30% ownership

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 35% Key Stats, 50% Recent Form, and 15% Course History

  1. Justin Rose
  2. TIGER WOOOOOOOOODS
  3. Brooks Koepka
  4. Billy Horschel
  5. Dustin Johnson
  6. Bryson Dechambeau
  7. Tony Finau
  8. Francesco Molinari
  9. Rory McIlroy
  10. Webb Simpson

 

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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