Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational
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The Olympics once again gave us another entertaining event and saw American Xander Schauffele stand atop the podium on Sunday afternoon. Alongside him were two surprise medalists in Rory Sabbatini(Silver) and C.T. Pan(Bronze) and the Bronze even went down to a three-player playoff. In that playoff was Rory McIlroy who was not at all interested in the Olympics in 2016 and wasn't overly excited prior to this year. That tune changed as he went through the event and I am sure he will be part of the Irish team in 2024.
With the Olympics in the rearview mirror, the PGA Tour now gets back to its regularly scheduled programming with just two events left until the 2021 playoffs. Technically three with the alternate Barracuda Championship this week but for DFS purposes and this article, we will be concentrating on the World Golf Championship event.
This marks the third year TPC Southwind has hosted a WGC event and before that from 1989 to 2018, it hosted the St. Jude Classic which was a full field event. That is the big difference this week as this will be a no-cut event with a limited field of 66 invited golfers. With World #1 Jon Rahm still out with Covid and Christiaan Bezuidenhout skipping the event, we have a loaded field with 48 of the Top 50 players in the world teeing it up at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
The course is a Par 70 that is listed at 7,237 yards on the scorecard and has been ranked 14th and 25th in the two year it has been used for the WGC and averaged as a Top 15 hardest course on Tour as the St. Jude Classic. Let's take a look at the scorecard, previous winners, and then dig into some stats.
Par 70 - 7,237 Yards
Greens - Bermuda
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2020 - Justin Thomas(-13)
- 2019 - Brooks Koepka(-16)
- 2018 - Dustin Johnson(-19)
- 2017 - Daniel Berger(-10)
- 2016 - Daniel Berger(-13)
Top Stats in the Model
When breaking down the top stats I use a combination of my own cheatsheet and the tools over at FantasyNational.com.
There are many factors that make this course challenging and it starts off the tee with tight fairways combined with very penal Bermuda rough. Then you add that only two non-Par 3 holes are straight and the doglegs are evenly split left and right and you have quite a test off the tee putting a ton of emphasis on accuracy and placement. I didn't even mention the 11 holes with water in play.
The next challenge comes on the approach as TPC Southwind has some of the smallest greens on Tour. We usually see a GIR average in the low 60% range not only should we be looking at SG: Approach and Proximity stats, we should also be factoring in SG: Around the Green/Scrambling. Birdies are always key and we have seen an average of about 15 for the field in each of the last two years so Birdie or Better % is once again high in my model.
With all that said, let's get into the picks.
Top Tier Targets
If going with the narrative of having lower exposure to those who just finished the Olympics, Koepka falls so beautifully into the #1 spot this week. Even with those guys, I would still have Brooks at the top as he checks every box starting course history. He has won the event and finished 2nd in the two times TPC Southwind hosted the WGC here and he also has two Top 3 finishes here in 2015 and 2016 when it was the St. Jude Classic. Then you add the form of three straight T6 or better finishes and an elite Tee to Green game(3rd in this field) you have a core play in all formats for me this week. Back up the Brinks truck!
Spieth is ranked higher in my overall model but from a PTS/$ perspective I will travel to the bottom of the top tier and lock in on two-time(& back-to-back) St. Jude Classic winner, Daniel Berger. Not only that, he finished T2 here in his first trip to TPC Southwind as a WGC event. He also comes in with some form having made seven straight and 10 of his last 11 cuts including a win(Pebble Beach) and five Top 10 finishes. Looking at my "Last 24 rounds stat model), Berger ranks 15th in fairways gained and 4th in SG: Approach which is a deadly combination here. I will have tons of exposure in all formats.
Mid Tier Targets
I am really not sure how this $8K range is going to play out in terms of ownership and have a feeling Fitz could come low owned being more expensive than Reed, Lowry, Webb, and others. That isn't the only reason he is on my radar as he returns to TPC Southwind for the second time after a T6 last year. The form has been decent all year(10 of 12 cuts in 2021) but statistically is where he stands out for me. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks(in this field) 3rd in SG: Off the Tee, 8th in Fairways Gained, 26th in SG: Around the Green, 20th in Par 4 scoring, and 14th in SG: Putting. Lock and load in all formats.
This $8K range on DraftKings has seven players who played last week in Tokyo and of that group, I feel most confident in Ancer. It comes down to the consistency for me as he has made 19 of 22 cuts this season including six Top 10's and 15 Top 25 finishes. Then looking at the stats form, he ranks 7th in SG: Off the Tee, 5th in Fairways Gained, 23rd in SG: Approach, 4th in Par 4, and 3rd in putting. He has also had some success here with a T18 back in 2016 and a T15 last year when it was a WGC event. All things considered, I will have exposure to Ancer in all formats and might also be betting him Top 10/Top 20.
World Golf Ranking (#25)
Vegas Odds (80/1)
Prepare yourselves for a chalk Billy Horschel week as he returns to TPC Southwind where he has finished Top 10 in five of his last seven trips including 2019 as a WGC. He profiles so well here as he hits fairways very consistently(14th in driving accuracy on the sheet) and putts very well on Bermuda greens. I am not expecting another Top 10 here but love the +450 number on that finish and feel that is his upside but at these prices I am more than happy with a Top 25 finish and/or 15+ birdies.