Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: The Deutsche Bank Championship
We’re heading up to Boston this week for the second stop in the FedEx cup playoffs and the Deutsche Bank Championship. We are down to 100 players (though only 99 are teeing it up this week) as we march toward the Tour Championship. I’m back again to provide daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings’ PGA game.
It’s a great week to check out DraftKings as they have some top notch contests. Come on over and take a look.
The tour heads to TPC Boston in Norton, MA south of Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship. The course is a par 71, 7,241-yard golf track with 58 bunkers where water comes into play on about half of the holes.
The Tour doesn’t have a lot of par 71s on the docket, but the TPC Boston is one. It has three par 5s, 11 par 4s and four par 3s. The course was redesigned in 2007 by Gil Hanse, so any results prior to the redesign aren’t nearly as useful even though the tournament has been held here since 2003. And, the cut is still top 70 and ties so more than 70% of the starters will see the weekend. You can take some risks!
We could see some wind on Friday, but looks like it will be relatively dry. Check back Wednesday to see how the weather finally ends up.
Scorecard breakdown: Four (4) par threes, eleven (11) par fours and three (3) par fives.
We have 99 of the top 100 in FedEx Cup points with Sergio Garcia taking another week off. And even though we have just 99 players, the cut line doesn’t change. So, 70 (plus ties) of the 99 will see the weekend.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
TPC Boston has been the host since 2003, but the major re-design by Gil Hanse in 2007 means we only care about results since then. Hanse also redesigned the Blue Monster Couse at Trump National Doral (the site of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship) in 2013. I will take a look at those leaderboards for the last couple of years to see players who might also succeed here. There aren’t a lot of Hanse courses out on Tour, so I won’t go any further in researching them.
We have enough recent history to be able to rely on historical tournament data this week.
As for stats to focus on, feel free to pick any scoring stat you like with focus on par 5 scoring of all flavors. It’s an easy course (one of the simplest on Tour) so it will be a birdie-fest. And you’ll need players who can score to succeed this week.
This week, I’ll focus on:
Par 5: Birdie or Better (P5:BB) – In reviewing the top 20 results for the last few years, nearly half of the scoring seemed to come from the three par 5s. So, we need to have someone who can scorch par 5s.
Par 4: Birdie or Better (P4:BB) – I’ll also look at par 4s, but you don’t have to be great on them to sit on the leaderboard.
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) – The best plays will rise to the top and we’ll use this stat to determine the best players on Tour currently.
I also always examine Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green every week with SG: T2G being more important and more predictable from week to week.
DraftKings Expert Picks
Jason Day | $11,800 – Do I need to do any analysis here? He’s won three times in his last four times out and his worst finish in his last six tournaments (a run that included three majors) was a 12th place finish at the Bridgestone. If you trust some of the cheaper options below, then roster Day where you can. He’s got four top 20s in his last five trips to TPC Boston.
Jordan Spieth | $11,300 – Does he bounce back or is he finally worn down from a rigorous season? Don’t know, but his 57th place in PR:BB scares me off of him this week. He’s one of the best players in the world, but I’d rather pay $500 more for Day and find a lower priced bargain to make up the difference. He was T34 in his first and only start here last year.
Rory McIlroy | $11,200 – First, I’m not worried about his ankle. He’s had more time off after his initial foray back to golf so he should be fine. He’s had two top five finishes (including a win) in the last three years. I wonder if he might be a bit under owned here, and I like him especially in GPPs.
Dustin Johnson | $10,800 – Johnson looks tailor-made for this course and he’s 14 th in P5:BB, third in P4:BB and 12th in SG:T2G. He’s made the cut in all five of trips to the TPC Boston. He’s had two top five finishes at the Deutsche Bank and also has back to back top fives at the WGC-Cadillac (another Hanse course). But, perhaps most importantly, he put up his best Sunday round of the season last week! His six-under 65 may have finally kicked the Sunday demons out.
Henrik Stenson | $10,500 –Stenson won here in 2013 and followed it up with a T26 last year. He hasn’t missed a cut worldwide since January of this year. His work at majors this year hasn’t been great, and I think that’s colored my evaluation of him on other courses. He’s put up five top finishes in his last six non-majors including a solo second last week. So, even though his profile doesn’t fit perfectly (41st P5:BB, 58th P4:BB, but second SG:T2G) he’ll likely end up in the top 20.
Justin Rose | $10,200 – Your call. His history says no, his profile says yes. Over his last five trips to TPC Boston he’s had only one top 20 finish. But, he’s a scorer as he’s fifth in P5:BB and 14th in P4:BB while sitting sixth in SG:T2G. I say history rules over profile slightly, but I can see the argument for rostering him this week.
Bubba Watson | $9,800 – Watson is my guy this week, and I don’t think a lot of folks will be on him. Profile? Check – He’s second in P5:BB, eighth in P4:BB and first in SG:T2G. Current form? Check – He’s finished top three in his last four tournaments. Course history? Eh, well – his top finish since the renovations was a T16 in 2011 (best finish T11 in his debut in 2006). It’s too tough to ignore his profile and form this week.
Zach Johnson | $9,300 – I may be getting a bit picky, but for the players at $9,000 and above I want someone who will be in the top 10. Johnson’s had three top 20 finishes in his last six times at TPC Boston, but hasn’t found the top 10. I think that’s likely related to his solid, but not spectacular scoring stats – he’s currently 40th in P5:BB and 42nd P4:BB). Those numbers are fine, just not elite.
Jim Furyk | $9,000 – Furyk hasn’t missed a cut in his decade of starts here at TPC Boston. He’s also in great form having made seven straight cuts with four top 11 finishes in those seven cuts. He’s pretty likely to see the weekend and he’ll probably be on the leaderboard.
Rickie Fowler | $8,900 – Fowler’s run of five straight cuts made was broken last week at the Barclays as he followed his opening round 68 with a 75. That is bad news for last week us, but good news for this week us. I imagine many will be off him last week after the missed cut. He’s four for five in cuts made here with a top finish of T23 here last year. He doesn’t have the best history at the course. But his profile works well as he’s 14th in P5:BB and 39th in SG:T2G.
Hideki Matsuyama | $8,800 – Matsuyama is 39th in P5:BB, sixth in P4:BB and seventh in SG:T2G. That’ll play this week. He made his debut last year and finished T57 so that’s not much to go on. But, he did put up a T13 last week so perhaps he’s heating back up.
Brooks Koepka | $8,700 – Yes, everyone will be on him looking for the bounce back that everyone expects. And for good reason. He’s sixth in P5:BB, 22nd in SG:T2G and fifth in P4:BB. He hasn’t played here previously, but does have a T17 at the WGC-Cadillac this year at Doral.
Louis Oosthuizen | $8,600 – Healthy or not healthy? You decide. I’ll pass.
Matt Kuchar | $8,500 – Kuchar is 22nd in P5:BB, 38th in P4:BB and 24th in SG:T2G so the profile works at TPC Boston. He’s nine for 11 in cuts made and has three top 15 finishes at the Deutsche Bank. He’s made nine cuts in a row and is in off a disappointing T39 at the Barclays.
Brandt Snedeker | $8,400 – Snedeker had a run of three straight top six finishes at TPC Boston. However, he has stumbled the last two years with a T47 and missed cut. His profile is a bit fringy with a 46th in P5:BB, 38th in P4:BB and 65th in SG:T2G. He’s had only one top 15 finish in his last five Tour events and has missed the cut twice in that run.
Paul Casey | $8,300 – Casey’s profile works here as he’s 38th in P5:BB, 26th in P4:BB and 10th in SG:T2G. He’s only played here twice with his last trip in 2010 when he finished T25. He’s made nine straight cuts and if it wasn’t for his 76 on Friday, he could have gone quite low at the Barclays last week. I think he’ll be low-owned as he’s in a tough spot salary-wise. I think many will go a couple of hundred dollars up or down to grab more popular players.
Phil Mickelson | $8,200 – Want to take a chance on Phil? I wouldn’t be mad at you. TPC Boston is a gambler’s course and Phil is the ultimate gambler. He won here in 2007 and hasn’t missed a cut in eight trips. But it’s been an up and down season as exemplified by his last four tourneys – T20, 63rd, 18th and T50. He’s eighth in P5:BB, 26th in P4:BB and 56th in SG:T2G.
Webb Simpson | $8,100 – Simpson is four for six in cuts made at TPC Boston with a win and another top 10 (T9 last year) on his side. He’s made five straight cuts on Tour with one top 10 in that run. But, what intrigues the most about Simpson is his par 5 standing (he’s fourth in P5:BB) and SG:T2G (fifth). His par four work is atrocious (168th in P4:BB), but he has enough fire power to score well on the par 5s and see the weekend leaderboard.
Robert Streb | $8,000 – As we know Streb owns par 4s (25 th in P4:BB) and is OK on par 5s (83 rd in P5:BB) and is great tee to green (26 th in SG:T2G). His debut last year at TPC Boston went as well as he could have hoped finishing T9. He hasn’t missed a cut since late April and has eight top 10 finishes in those 10 starts. Put Streb in your cash game lineups with confidence.
Justin Thomas | $7,900 – Much like Koepka, I think a lot of gamers will be on Thomas. He has made six cuts in a row and has four top 20s in that period. He makes his debut here, but on the strength of his first place standing in P5:BB, 48th in P4:BB and 18th in SG:T2G, he’s got all of the tools to succeed again this week.
Ryan Palmer | $7,800 – Palmer’s perseverance last week (finished T6) after losing his father to a car accident was remarkable. I wonder if he can continue that focus – I can’t imagine his grief. He’s six for nine in cuts made at TPC Boston, but hasn’t seen the top 10. He was T16 last year, but missed the cut the prior two years. His profile works (48th in P5:BB and 27th in SG:T2G) so he should succeed. I hope he can continue to succeed on the course while grieving his father’s passing.
Luke Donald | $7,800 – His profile doesn’t work. He’s made seven of eight cuts at the Deutsche Bank including two top 10 finishes (2010 and 2011). He’s made 11 worldwide cuts in a row with four top 20 finishes. So, he’ll likely make the cut (as will most), but I’m not sure he’ll see the leaderboard on Sunday.
Russell Henley | $7,800 – Henley finished tied for second in his second trip to the Deutsche Bank last year. He’s made five cuts in a row with three top 20s. He finished 72nd last week at the Barclays, but his 44th spot in P5:BB gives me some hope this week.
Patrick Reed | $7,800 – Reed is 32nd in P5:BB, 45th in P4:BB and 41st in SG:T2G so he checks all of the boxes. He’s made the cut both years he’s played here, but he’s finished T70 and T74…so, not so good. However, he did win at the WGC-Cadillac at Doral in 2014 – a course re-designed by Gil Hanse as TPC Boston was. So, perhaps his profile fits a bit and he can make a run.
Bill Haas | $7,700 – Haas likes this course as he’s eight for nine in cuts made and had his second top 10 of his career at this tournament last year. He also finished T6 at the WGC-Cadillac (which is played on a Hanse redesign) in 2014 and T7 this year. His profile doesn’t fit perfectly (only his SG:T2G at 30th is remarkable among the three stats we’re reviewing). He’s made five straight cuts on Tour including two top 10 finishes. I think he’s a premium player stuck down here and makes a great option for your lineup.
Tony Finau | $7,700 – If this is the first time reading my column, welcome and continue reading this Finau piece. If you’ve been here before, just load him into your lineup and move on. Beyond his fantastic profile (17th in P5:BB and 18th P4:BB as well as e was 18th and 21st in those categories on the Web.com tour last year), and his current form (11 of 12 cuts made with 10 top 25s), he’s likely also a great human being with rugged good looks and a terrific sense of humor.
Jason Dufner | $7,600 – Dufner is perfect in six trips to TPC Boston and has been in the top 20 four times in those six trips. His profile doesn’t seem to fit except for his tee to green game (19th in SG:T2G). I like him this week to continue his run of making cuts (eight in a row) and I can see a top 20 finish for him.
Billy Horschel | $7,600 – Horschel was T2 here last year. He’s missed the last two cuts on Tour. Choose your own adventure here – current form or recent history?
Danny Lee | $7,600 – Lee put up a T35 in his debut at TPC Boston. He’ s made seven of eight cuts on Tour coming in with four top 10 finishes. He’s slowed a bit with a 43rd at the PGA and a T30 at the Barclays. I think I’ll probably fade him as I think we might have seen the hot run come to end.
Keegan Bradley | $7,600 – Ignore form when it comes to Boston and Keegan as he’s made three cuts in a row here and all finishes were in the top 20. He’s 11th in P5:BB and 16th in SG:T2G while he wallows in 112th place in P4:BB. The profile has worked the last three years so there isn’t a reason to believe he can’t make it work again this year.
David Lingmerth | $7,500 – Lingmerth’s profile doesn’t quite match up, but his current form is non-pareil. Yes, he missed the cut last week, but he’s still made seven of his last eight cuts with five top 12 finishes in that period.
Jimmy Walker | $7,400 – Terrible current form. Pass.
Jason Bohn | $7,300 – Bohn can’t solve par 5s (137th in P5:BB), but he can on par 4s (fourth P4:BB) as well as 34th in SG:T2G. I like Bohn just about every week and this week is no exception. He’s made all six cuts at the Deutsche Bank. And he’s having the best season of his career as he’s made nine cuts in his last 10 starts and has four top 15 finishes in his last five starts.
Harris English | $7,200 – Don’t like his current form. I think he’ll be fine, but there’s just not enough upside in a limited field.
Charley Hoffman | $7,100 – Charley won here in 2010 (his only top 10 in nine trips). He is 48th in P5:BB so perhaps he can catch lightning in a bottle again.
Ian Poulter | $7,100 – Current form is bad. Atrocious. Horrific. Ghastly. He’s missed four of five cuts coming into this week.
Kevin Na | $7,100 – Na.
J.B. Holmes | $7,100 – Holmes makes for an intriguing pick this week. He’s not playing too well (though not too badly either). He’s made the cut the last four years and finished T11 in 2010. He was also second at the 2015 WGC-Cadillac – another Hanse redesign. He’s a GPP-only option for me, but he could bomb his way to contention this week.
Chris Kirk | $7,100 – Kirk came back from a broken hand last week and showed rust as was expected as he put up an opening round 76. He followed that up with a Friday 68 and missed the cut. But, that 68 gives me some hope that he can right the ship and we can take advantage of his history here. He won last year and has made the cut in his other three trips to the Deutsche Bank. He’s 36th in P5:BB and 55th in SG:T2G so he’s got some skills that should work here.
Brendan Steele | $7,100 – Steele jumps out at me as a great value this week which likely means he misses the cut. Well, he missed the cut last week after making three straight cuts with two top 15s prior to that missed cut. Steele is 31st in P5:BB, 17th in P4:BB and 15th in SG:T2G. He has one of the best profiles this week.
John Senden | $7,000 – Course horsey alert! He’s played this tournament 11 times and made the cut 11 times. He was T5 last year and hasn’t finished lower than T21 since 2008. He’s not in the best form (made two of his last four cuts), but it doesn’t matter when TPC Boston comes calling.
Steven Bowditch | $7,000 – Bowditch was T45 here last year and his profile fits (34th in P5:BB, 45th in P4:BB and 60th in SG:T2G). He bounced back well with a T13 last week at the Barclays so it looks like he should be solid going forward.
Carl Pettersson | $6,900 – T4, 75th, T6, CUT – that’s King Carl’s last four events. He finished T9 here last year so he can do well on this course. His profile doesn’t fit particularly well, but he’s due!
Nick Watney | $6,900 – Watney missed the cut the first five times he played the Deutsche Bank. And then he made his last five cuts there though his best finish is a T20. He’s 43rd in P5:BB, 60th in P4:BB and 44th in SG:T2G so his profile fits as well. He’s made four of seven cuts on Tour coming in with every finish between 30th and 39th.
Russell Knox | $6,900 – His 118th place in P5:BB won’t play here this week. We need scorers on par 5s and Knox isn’t that.
Hunter Mahan | $6,800 – Do we trust Mahan again and his unbelievable run in the FedEx Cup playoffs? It’s tough to do so with his struggles last week even though he had two top 15s in his last four trips here.
Gary Woodland | $6,800 – Horrific form. Pass.
Will Wilcox | $6,800 – Withdrew on Wednesday.
Statistical darling week after week. Blew up last week and missed the cut, but his game hasn’t changed in one week. He’s 73rd in P5:BB, 31st in P4:BB and 2 st in SG:T2G so his profile could work if he can keep scoring on those par 4s. His missed cut last week ended a run of five straight cuts made.
Matt Jones | $6,700 – He’s 21st in P5:BB so he’s got a shot this week. He’s made three of his last five cuts on Tour with his best finish a 21st at the PGA. He doesn’t have anything in his course history to talk about, so you’re banking on that Par 5 scoring coming through.
Shawn Stefani | $6,700 – Stefani made his debut at TPC Boston last year and finished 68th. His stats work here, however as he’s 30th in P5:BB, 20th in P4:BB and 40th in SG:T2G. His form’s a bit bumpy, but he’s got the game to succeed.
Chad Campbell | $6,600 – Campbell is 62nd in P5:BB and 47th in SG:T2G so it’s not the best profile, but there are pieces here to work with. He hasn’t played this tournament since 2012 and had his run eight straight cuts made broken last week.
Camilo Villegas | $6,600 – I like Villegas a lot again this week. He always brings his “A” game in the playoffs. He has three top 15s here, but none since 2008. He’s made three of four cuts on Tour coming in and has been in the top 30 each of the cuts he’s made. He’s 42nd in P5:BB so he can score on the long holes.
Morgan Hoffmann | $6,600 – The Hoff is 12th in P5:BB so he can score (at least on par 5s). He debuted last year at this tournament and finished T35. He’s made three straight cuts on Tour coming in with his best finish a T26 at the Wyndham a couple of weeks back.
Zac Blair | $6,600 – Blair is 53rd in P5:BB so he could surprise this week. He’s coming in riding high of his best finish of the year with the T4 at the Barclays.
Jason Kokrak | $6,500 – Kokrak has played the Deutsche Bank twice and put up his best finish last year with a T16. He’s 18th in P5:BB, 64th in P4:BB and 50th in SG:T2G so the profile should work even if he’s missed three of his last four cuts including a withdrawal due to illness.
Carlos Ortiz | $6,500 – Great par 5 stats (13th in P5:BB), nothing else to write home about on his profile. He makes his debut here, but is on a solid run with five of six cuts made and a T24 last week at the Barclays.
Bryce Molder | $6,400 – He finished ninth here in 2012 which is something. Not much, but something which is more than I can say about most of the guys down here. He’s made 12 of his last 13 cuts and was T11 last week at the Barclays.
Sean O’Hair | $6,400 – O’Hair has a couple of top 10s at TPC Boston in the distant past, but does sit ninth in P4:BB this year so he’d have to get hot on the par 4s to make it work this week.
Boo Weekley | $6,300 – Weekley has only played here once in his last five years and that ended with a T35 in 2013. He’s missed two straight cuts on Tour so it’s likely no one will be interested in him this week. However, he has a solid profile as he’s 26th in P5:BB and 36th in SG:T2G. His 130th standing in P4:BB worries me a bit, but his profile looks pretty similar to Keegan Bradley’s so I’ll take the risk this week.
Johnson Wagner | $6,300 – Nice ‘stache. Bad fit.
James Hahn | $6,200 – Hahn’s just outside the top 50 in a couple of the stats we are looking at this week. He makes his debut here and is only a GPP option but could surprise.
Hudson Swafford | $6,200 – Swafford is 28th in P5:BB and 48th in P4:BB so he’s got the scoring part of the profile down pat. His form is off as his last three tourneys have ended with CUT, CUT and T50 (the Barclays). You’re hoping he regains some early season magic if you roster him this week.
Daniel Berger | $6,200 – I dare you. All of his stats check out pretty well (ninth in P5:BB and 46 th in SG:T2G). He’s missed five cuts in a row and hasn’t made a cut in the U.S. since the end of May.
Chesson Hadley | $6,100 – Hadley was T9 last year and his 47th in P4:BB gives him a shot again this year. His form is pretty bad right now as his best finish in his last five was 61st at the PGA.
Roster size: 6 Golfers
Golfers on each team will accumulate points as follows:
- Per Hole Scoring
- Double Eagle (DBL EAG): +20 PTs
- Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
- Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
- Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
- Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
- Double Bogey (DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Worse than Double Bogey (WORSE DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Tournament Finish Scoring
- 1st: 30 PTs
- 2nd: 20 PTs
- 3rd: 18 PTs
- 4th: 16 PTs
- 5th: 14 PTs
- 6th: 12 PTs
- 7th: 10 PTs
- 8th: 9 PTs
- 9th: 8 PTs
- 10th: 7 PTs
- 11th–15th: 6 PTs
- 16th–20th: 5 PTs
- 21st–25th: 4 PTs
- 26th–30th: 3 PTs
- 31st–40th: 2 PTs
- 41st-50th: 1 PTs
- Streaks and Bonuses
- Streak of 3 Birdies of Better (MAX 1 Per Round) (3+ BIR STRK): +3 PTs
- Bogey Free Round (BOG FREE RD): +3 PTs
- All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (ALL 4 RDS UND 70): +5 PTs
- Hole in One (HOLE IN ONE): +10 PTs
Scoring Notes: Ties for a finishing position will not reduce or average down points. For example, if 2 golfers tie for 3rd place, each will receive the 18 fantasy points for the 3rd place finish result. Playoff Holes will not count towards final scoring, with the exception of the “finishing position” scoring. For example, the golfer who wins the tournament will receive the sole award of 1st place points, but will not accrue points for their scoring result in the individual playoff holes.
Player Lock Notes: All golfers lock at the time the first golfer tees off on day 1 of an event.
Full rules are located here for DraftKings golf.