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PGA Lineup Optimizer: The Barclays Classic (Fed Ex Cup Playoffs)

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If you haven't checked out our PGA Lineup Optimizer, it is now live and you can find it here: https://www.dailyfantasycafe.com/tools/lineupoptimizer/pga

Using the optimizer,, I've included the highest projected scoring lineup below to give our community an edge in lineup construction. Feel free to post comments regarding roster management, players you are having difficulty choosing between, as well as nuances between cash and GPP lineups.

For the Barclays Classic, Colussus chose the following lineup to be the highest scoring.

Jason Day: This is where Colussus and I split ways. It's done very well for us over the course of the year, but I see no reason to employ a studs and duds lineup construction, when there is so much value in the $6500-$8000 range. Nothing against Jason Day, as he is a great play for this week. Bethpage Black is a long course where bombers tend to excel, but Day has the unique skillset of being long off the tee, AND, an amazing putter, evidenced by him leading him the PGA Tour in SG: Putting. If I'm building a team around one player, Day has to be the guy. His price is reflected in that confidence, but I wouldn't overthink putting him in your GPP rosters, there is enough value across the board to make up for his high salary.

Dustin Johnson: Again, nothing at all against DJ, as he finished T3rd in 2012 at Bethpage Black, and has the length off the tee and the touch around the greens to succeed here. He is the 2nd highest salary this week, and that is no fluke. He makes a ton of birdies, avoids the big numbers that plagued him earlier in his career, and has won enough tournaments over the past three years where he is comfortable playing with the lead. My issue with rostering DJ and Day is that you have to go way down in the player pool to make up for their expensive salaries. Even if they finish 1st and 2nd, you are still going to have to find two more guys to finish in the top 10, and another two in the top 15-20 range who make enough birdies to outscore the players one or two strokes ahead of them. I just don't see it with respect to Harman, Summerhays and Stefani. Building around DJ during the Fed Ex Cup stretch is a wise strategy, as he's played so well during this stretch over the last several years, I would just consider balancing your roster with guys who possess the skill set to succeed at Bethpage Black. I will be expanding on these thoughts in The First Tee tomorrow.

Zach Johnson: Roster ZJ at $8100 is almost always a good value proposition, but this week is a different story. Bethpage Black is going to play at nearly 7500 yards, and the course prides itself on super slick greens with deep US Open type rough. That is not the type of venue that projects success for ZJ. There are other small ball players that have sustained success at Bethpage, namely Jim Furyk or even KJ Choi, but the problem is the roster construction, and depending on Johnson to finish in the top 10. Yes, he has the type of game that can avoid bogeys and not force his approach shots, but I just don't see where is going to make up enough shots to be in contention. The issue is not with him making the cut, or even a backdoor top 20, but if you are playing in large GPP's, there are other options out there at a cheaper price point that you can expect similar results from. This hurts to write, because ZJ is a favorite of mine, and a guy I think is generally underpriced and underappreciated for the most part, but if you are expecting a top 10 out of him this week, I think you are going to be disappointed come Sunday.

Brian Harman: Harman is actually an interesting contrarian play this week, having survived three of his last four cuts at the Barclays, not to mention he finished 5th the last time Bethpage Black hosted the Barclays. That year, his 5th place finish was at (-5), so you can see how difficult the course can play and how valuable birdies vs bogeys can be. Harman depends heavily on his putting, standing 16th in SG: Putting, but other than that, he is unimpressive in any one particular metric. He is not short for a guy who is 150 lbs soaking wet, but I worry about him on a course where he will have to play aggressive off the tee, much the same way I worry about Zach Johnson. After a five tournament stretch where his worst finish was 33rd, Harman comes into the Barclays with no momentum, having missed the cut in his last three tournaments. I hate to be a broken record, but rostering both DJ and Day force you into plays like Harman this week, and that is not a good feeling unless you plan on putting 100+ entries into your GPP's. There is much better PP$ value out there.

Daniel Summerhays: Summerhays is the ultimate grinder, a guy who depends on his putting and scrambling to make up for his lackluster game off the tee and from the fairway. Currently, he sits 115th in driving distance, 111th in driving accuracy and 137th in GIR. In other words, from tee to green, he is among the back half players on Tour. This worries me, as Bethpage Black is a track that can absolutely eat you alive if you are inaccurate off the tee, and that is compounded when you don't have the length to at least have some short irons into these rock hard greens. As good as he is on the greens (12th in SG: Putting), Summerhays would have to play his best golf of the year to contend. With the value lying in the middle to upper middle tiers this week, I do not see the need to dig this deep on the board when there are players whose strengths are much better suited for Bethpage Black. Summerhays will probably raise some eyebrows when players see how soft his pricing is this week, but he is cheap for a reason...he will struggle to make to pars on some of the longer par 4's, and will have trouble making birdies given his inaccuracy off the tee.

Shawn Stefani: Stefani paid off in a big way this past week at the Wyndham Championship, finishing 14th and providing tremendous value for his $6500 price tag. Stefani has some momentum heading into the Barclays, having survived seven of his last eight cuts, which includes a 9th, 11th and 14th place finish. He's ranked 123rd in the Fed Ex Cup rankings, so he will have some work to do this week if he wants to advance to the next phase of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs (top 100 advance to next week). His skill set revolves around a balanced game, but he has more weaknesses than he does strengths, and his inaccuracy off the tee worries me (135th in Driving Accuracy). He's 171st in SG: Putting, so he's not making up strokes on the green, and his once solid approach game has cooled off (69th in GIR %). When you put it all together, it becomes difficult to imagine a story where Stefani somehow improves three of the four major facets of this game and avoids the type of bad bogeys that contributed to him missing 9 of his first 13 cuts in 2016. He doesn't pose much risk, but his upside is not much more than a made cut, and maybe a top 50. With the best players in the world at Bethpage Black this week, Stefani just isn't worth rostering when you can find much higher PP$ projections at players in the middle 6000's.

9 months ago
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