The Memorial provided us with some excitement as we had a lot of horses in the mix on the back nine on Sunday. We had top five finishes from Fowler and Kuchar and top ten finishes for two of the 100-1 longshots (Stanley and Watson). Hopefully, those guys provided you success on DraftKings, your One-and-Done league or helped you cash a few bets.
This week, the Tour heads to Memphis for the Fedex St. Jude Classic. Similar to last week, there are some key stats that we will need to focus on. Based upon the setup at the par 70 TPC Southwind, I expect players to have between 8-10 approaches into the green from 150-175 yards. So I’m definitely going to be targeting players who succeed in that range. I also will be looking at Strokes Gained Approach as the last six winners ranked in the top 18 for that week. The scoring on this course is never super low. I expect the winning score to be in the low double digits as the lowest winning score over the past seven years is -13.
I think this is a week to bet less than we normally would. There will be a lot of variance and it will be very difficult to predict the results. Many players will be looking forward to the US Open next week. Other players may be exhausted from playing the 36 hole US Open sectional qualifying on Monday.
Francesco Molinari $10,500
When analyzing DK salaries each week, I attempt to project ownership based on a multitude of factors such as price, current form, recency bias, course history or even general popularity. With that being said, of the top four priced golfers this week, I expect Molinari to be massively underowned. The other three players have been playing well lately and have a large fan base who are just looking for a reason to play them (Fowler, Koepka, Scott). There are many great reasons to take Molinari this week besides the low ownership. He ranks second in SG Approach and 11th in birdie percentage. The common misconception is that Molinari is a plodder who doesn’t make many birdies and thus is not good for DK scoring. That couldn’t be further from the truth. One other nugget that helps Molinari this week is the fact that he is back putting on bermuda greens. Molinari has a 1.7 strokes gained putting differential between bermuda and other surfaces. Molinari is also fresh off a 2nd place finish at the BMW Championship a few weeks ago. If you are looking to hit it big in a DK tournament this week, roster Molinari.
Ian Poulter $7,600
Poulter’s stats fit this course like a glove. He is 8th in SG Approach and is 23rd in proximity from 150-175 yards. He finished sixth here in his last appearance in 2014. He has found form of late as shown by his second place finish at the Players.
Stewart Cink $8,000
With a field that is going to be very volatile, we need to have some consistency in our lineup. Cink can provide that as he has finished in the top 30 in eight of his last ten events and is three for three in cuts at this event. He is 12th in SG Approach and is 33rd in birdies which help his DK scoring.
Charl Schwartzel $7,900
Another week…another fade of Schwartzel. I expect him to be highly owned this week due to it being a weak field and Steve Stricker at the exact same price recently withdrawing. I'll take my chances not being part of the 20% that rosters him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him WD during the first two days. If he struggles early, I wouldn't expect him to grind out a cut knowing the US Open is the next week and he is still dealing with a sore wrist. I'd much rather play Poulter or Cink even if they are highly owned.
Koepka will be one of the more popular picks this week in your league. In his three appearances here, he has finished 19th, 3rd and 2nd. In a weak field this week, that is more than enough reason to roster him.
Berger makes for a good pick this week since he is the defending champ and loves putting on bermuda greens. He has a similar love to these greens as Molinari as he has gained 1.4 strokes putting on bermuda versus other types of grass. Ask yourself: where else would you want to roster Berger this year? (nothing comes to mind)
Stanley pops off the charts again this week. He is seventh in SG Approach the Green and 11th in proximity from 150-175 yards. He has found form of late evidenced by finishing in the top eight in three of his last five starts.
Longshots to Win
Ben Crane (200-1 to win)
Crane is the prototypical horse for a course. He has four top 20s in his last seven appearances including a win in 2014. At 200-1, I’m willing to roll the dice with a previous champ in a weak field.
Bryson Dechambeau (200-1 to win)
Bryson showed some signs of life by advancing out of Sectional qualifying. We know Bryson is good with his irons so maybe he can catch a hot putter this week?