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The Deutsche Bank Championship Preview
Round 2 of the Fed Ex Cup (FEC) Playoffs kicks off this Friday from Norton, MA for the Deutsche Bank Championship. Patrick Reed took round one down in impressive fashion at Bethpage Black and moved into 1st in the FEC points list. TPC Boston is the track, a par 71 that measures 7,207 yards, with easy to hit fairways that let everyone take out the big stick and let it fly. Check out BJ's 'The First Tee' for a more in depth look at TPC Boston.
99 of the top 100 in the FEC points list are in attendance, with Danny Willett being the only ommission. The top 70 in FEC points after this week will qualify for the BMW CHampionship next week at Crooked Stick Golf Club. Marc Leishman sits 71st in points right now, so he needs a good finish to advance, amd has a very attractive price tag on Draftkings of $5,800. There is serious motivation aside from money to get as many points as possible before the Tour Championship at East Lake, as the top 5 players in points will control their own destiny. A win at the Tour Championship by anyone inside the top 5 would win the FEC and the additional ten million dollars that goes with it.
Key Stats for TPC Boston
Strokes gained approach (SG:APP) is the first key stat I identified this week, as it's been very predictive to success in the past at TPC Boston. Aside from 2014, which seems like an anomaly, the top 3 has been littered every year with players who have strong approach games. In 2012 and 2013 alone, every player that finished T3 or better also finished that season inside the top 30 in SG:APP. Louis Oosthuizen didn't make the cut for the picks section, but I think he's a very good tournament play this week that should have under 5% ownership. He has gained an average of 7.247 in his two starts at the DBC, best of anyone in the field by almost two full strokes. Par 5 Scoring (P5S) is the next key stat that has been important here over the years, and last year was no different. Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Charley Hoffman finished 1-2-3 respectively, and also finished the season inside the top 50 in P5S. Birdie or better percentage (BoB%) makes it's regular appearance in the key stats section, with four of the last six winners finishing inside the top 15 in BoB%, and all inside the top 50. I'm not going to have much exposure to Henrik Stenson this week, which is strategic due to his knee injury flaring up, but that could come back to bite me. He has the highest lifetime BoB% at TPC Boston (28.5%) in his four appearances, and also has the highest BoB% of anyone on the PGA Tour over the last three months (27.8%). He's also a former champion here, so I certainly won't talk you off of him in tournaments.
Top Pin Seekers
Jason Day - DK Salary $12,500 - Easy to hit fairways will mitigate his issues lately off the tee, as every other facet of his game, especially the putter, is firing on all cylinders. He has the highest projection on the Colossus Optimizer, and with the soft pricing this week, I will have some heavy exposure to Day in every format. Nine of his last eleven rounds have been in the 60's, and he has the highest strokes gained total on average in FEC events since 2014 (Via Future of Fantasy). Ranked 3rd in P5S & BoB%, and has really good course history with 5/6 trips here no worse than a 13th place finish. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 15-20%
Jordan Spieth - DK Salary $11,600 - It's so close for Spieth right now, and I'm overly confident he will win one of the remaining three events this season. His strokes gained approach numbers looked much better last week, and that part of his game had been holding him back. He has CRUSHED the par 5's here (-0.64 avg) in his three appearances, and has a 4th place finish in 2013. Has played very well on courses with easy to hit fairways, and if his putter stays hot, don't be surprised to see him hoisting the trophy on Monday afternoon. Top 8 in P5S & BoB%. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 8-13%
Adam Scott - DK Salary $10,400 - Scott will be the mega chalk this week, and for good reason. His price is very nice, and he's playing some great golf with T20's in four of his last five starts. He also has top 10's in three of his last trips to TPC Boston. He's ranked 1st in SG:APP, 10th in BoB% & 12th in P5S. In eight starts at TPC Boston, he has an impressive strokes gained tee to green average of 6.153 (Via Fantasy Golf Metrics). $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 22-27%
Rickie Fowler - DK Salary $10,000 - I won't jump off the Rickie wagon just because he couldn't close a 54 hole lead last last week, and if anything, this course sets up even better for his game. Looking through the strokes gained sheets on Future of Fantasy, he has really crushed it at FEC events, par 71 layouts, driver heavy courses, and on Bentgrass greens over the last three seasons. He's ranked in the top 50 in the three key stats, is in great form, and is the defending champion. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 10-15%
Middle Tee Plays
Bubba Watson - DK Salary $8,900 - As you can see here, I really like the 8-9k range this week. Bubba finished up last week with a 66 on Sunday, and although he doesn't have the best course history here, I'm all in this week. For under 9k I'm willing to overlook it, considering he's ranked in the top 25 in the three key stats, and will be able to feast on the par 5's.
Jim Furyk - DK Salary $8,800 - Old Man Furyk makes a rare appearance in the picks segment, but his career stats at TPC Boston and current form are too much to overlook. The price is reasonable too, as I expect him to be in the mix on Monday. He has two top 10's in his last three starts, and finished 4th here last year. He's come inside the top 25 in 75% of his starts here, and has the 2nd highest strokes gained tee to green average all time at TPC Boston (Via FGM).
Brooks Koepka - DK Salary $8,700 - Rough week at the Barclays, but was still able to make 18 birdies. Top 40 in BoB% & P5S this season, and had back to back top 10's before the Barclays coming off of his ankle injury. Averaging 77.3 Draftkings point over the last three months, 4th best in the field (Via FGM).
Hideki Matsuyama - DK Salary $8,600 - Ignore the MC at the Barclays, as he was just derailed by a bad 2nd round. Had top 4 finishes in his previous two starts, and is ranked 2nd in SG:APP, 6th in BoB% & 20th in P5S. Before the Barclays, his previous eight rounds were in the 60's, and he has the 7th highest projection on the Colossus Optimizer.
Matt Kuchar - DK Salary $8,400 - Kuch has been remarkably consistent this year, and has four top 10's in his last nine starts. He has also has two top 10's in his last three trips to TPC Boston, and is ranked inside the top 50 this season in the three key stats. He may have had some Olympic hangover at the start of the Barclays, but was still able to make the cut and had a nice 69 on Sunday to finish the week.
Branden Grace - DK Salary $8,200 - Grace really burned me and many others at the Barclays with a MC,and I'm hoping that will keep people off of him this week. He's not far removed from his 4th place finish at the PGA Championship, part of a five tournament stretch where he had three top 10's. His boom or bust nature can drive you mental, but he will have low ownership around 5% at a fair price, with a real chance to win. Ranked 11th in SG:APP,
Daniel Berger - DK Salary $8,100 - Berger seems to check every box this week, and has a 12th place finish last year in his only appearance here. He's ranked inside the top 30 in SG:APP & BoB%, and had an impressive par 5 scoring average of -0.58 in last years DBC. It's the approach game that has been giving him trouble this year (ranked 137th in SG:APP), but like Spieth, he's really tightened it up in his last couple starts. He also gained 4.543 strokes on approaches at TPC Boston last year, so he obviously likes the sight lines into the greens.
GPP Dart Board Dreams
Jason Dufner - DK Salary $7,800 - There is so much incredible value this week with the soft pricing, so this section was hard to limit to just three players. A lot of DFS players will stack at least two of the 10K+ players in their lineups I think, leaving this range of players liable to be overlooked. Dufner's ranked 19th in SG:APP, 22nd in BoB%, & 39th in P5S, and has top 25 finishes in four of his last six starts. He also has top 18 finishes in four of his six appearances at the DBC, and has averaged an elite 88.4 Draftkings points.
Steve Stricker - DK Salary $7,000 - Stricker is the course horse pick of the week, although he hasn't played in this event since 2013, where he finished 2nd to Henrik Stenson. With easy to hit fairways, I think Stricker can hang this week his elite play on and around the greens (1st in SGP & 4th in SG:AG). In eight starts here, he's averaged 89.4 Draftkings point, 4th best in the field. He's won here in 2011, and is in decent form this season, with six straight made cuts including two top four finishes. Although he hasn't been strong on approaches this year, he has the 11th best strokes gained approach average at TPC Boston of anyone in the field. He will need a good finish to advance to the BMW Championship next week.
Hudson Swafford - DK Salary $5,500 - In this price range I also don't mind Kokrak, Leishman, Danny Lee and Simpson, but Swafford is playing some very good golf lately, and has the highest 'Cafe Value' on the Colossus Optimizer. He's made ten straight cuts, and came 33rd last year in his only appearance at the DBC. His stats are solid, ranked in the top 30 in BoB% & P5S, as well as a respectable 65th in SG:APP. His strokes gained around the green is the facet of his game that struggles (ranked 195th), but we may not have to worry about that this week as much because he's been peppering greens over the last three months (68.8% GIR).Stats used from PGA Tour, Fantasy Golf Metrics, Future of Fantasy, Fantasy Insiders