PGA DFS

DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic

Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKingsFanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks for the Fed Ex St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.

As always, our goal is for DFS Report to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow PlayPicks on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.

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The Course

TPC Southwind is located just outside of Memphis, near Germantown. What was once a functioning dairy farm with a couple of silos and a windmill is now home to TPC Southwind.

It’s a par 70 course, designed by Prichard with help from the last debutante winner of the Masters, Fuzzy Zoeller. Covering 7,240 yards of rolling Tennessee countryside, TPC Southwind boasts 10 lakes and 94 bunkers to trip up players as they make their way around the zoysia fairways and Bermuda greens this week.

How it Plays

TPC Southwind is annually on the tougher end of the spectrum for tour courses, if the 10 lakes and 94 bunkers from the previous sentence didn’t give it away. It’s a technical course that requires an all-around game and more bogey avoidance than birdie-making.

With the winning score averaging between 8-12 under par, golfers putting together a 1-3 under round each day will be firmly in contention down the stretch on Sunday. With all the water and sand in play this week, hitting the small greens around Southwind is crucial to success. That said, finding the green is tougher than usual this week as TPC Southwind sees a significant drop-off in driving accuracy versus the average tour event. To be specific, 15 percent fewer fairways will be hit this week than during an average week. Golfers will get plenty familiar with the rough this week.

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The Breakdown

You will notice a significant lack of green coloring on this week’s ATK Card; that’s because this tournament is not about making birdies but avoiding bogeys. The players will have to do all their scoring damage on the two very gettable par 5’s this week.

Don’t get me wrong: you need to have birdies here, and some of the bombers we will talk about later can help deliver some scoring upside to your lineups. But overall, the short accurate hitters who know how to scramble and can get a hot putter on Bermuda fit the course profile you want this week. This is also a course where fit and history mean quite a bit more than usual. As we get into the golfers shortly, you will notice the same few names pop up atop the leader boards year after year here. It’s not a coincidence.

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Key Stats

  1. Strokes Gained: Ball Striking

2. Par 4 Scoring 450 yds+

3. Par 5 Scoring

4. Birdie or Better %

5. Bogey Avoidance

6. Prox 150-175

7. Prox from Rough

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PGA DFS Players:

*Disclaimer: Since it is the week before the U.S. Open, there are some extra field changes. This article is being written on Monday evening, yet several players will undoubtedly withdraw between now and Wednesday evening. Be sure to stay updated on field changes.

Top Tier: $11.7K – $9.8K

Dustin Johnson ($11.7K) 

While certainly the class of the field, DJ has withdrawn from this event before after a slow start. That’s definitely something to watch out for when paying for the highest-priced golfer of the slate. That said, DJ also fits the course very well and has previously won here. His skill set allows him to find an advantage on any course, and this week is no different.

Phil Mickelson ($10.6K)

It’s no secret Phil loves to tee it up and compete the week before a Major. He happens to do that pretty well every year at TPC Southwind, making him the safest Cash option in this range. Phil knows this place well and doesn’t pay the usual price for missing the fairways a bit since most of the field will miss more than usual. Then, his short game and putter help him make up ground. Even if Phil doesn’t put a top 10 performance together again this week, his scoring upside should help make up for that in the DraftKings format.

Henrik Stenson ($11.4K) 

Stenson is the big question mark in this range, having very little course history here and none of it in the last five years. In theory, Stenson fits this course to a T with his steady iron game and ability to leave the driver in the bag. Stenson playing here this week is unusual to me, simply because he doesn’t do it very often. I get the sense he is here solely to work on stuff for the Open next week. Stenson will likely go under owned this week and make for a high-end GPP play.

Brooks Koepka ($11.1K) 

Brooks is likely looking just a bit ahead to next week and his first Major title defense. In the meantime, he has TPC Southwind to contend with. In his previous outings here, he has fared very well, posting 37/2/3/19. His form has been heating up lately, and his dominate length and hot putter make him a threat to score prolifically in any field. As long as Brooks comes to play this week, he makes for an excellent GPP play.

The remaining two golfers in this range — Daniel Berger ($10K) and Billy Horschel ($9.7K) — are in similar spots this week. Both have historically done very well at this event, but both are in mediocre form at the moment. Their games both fit this course well. Billy is looking to work his way inside the top 60 golfers in the world to get a spot in the Open next week. And Berger is hoping to defend his title a second consecutive year and keep the St. Jude Classic Cup at home for three straight years. Both golfers are very much in play this week.

Finally, we have seen at least one, if not two (or more) golfers from this range topping the leaderboards in a given year. If history says anything about lineup construction this week, you will need to have plenty of exposure to this top tier.

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Mid Tier: $9.7K – $8K

Luke List ($8.3K)

List is coming off a decent performance last week in Ohio that saw him gain strokes off the tee as usual, but he was positive in strokes approach and even around the green. He is still in form, and it makes sense to roll with him this week based on his price and the 18th-place finish he posted here last year. List posted that 18th on the back of 7+ strokes gained approach, and he can certainly replicate that this week if he is positioned well off the tee. Priced up enough to keep him from being über chalk but low enough for him to be a value even if he doesn’t put a top 15 performance, List should use his length to gain an advantage this week.

Steve Stricker ($8.8K) 

The ageless one is teeing it up with the young guns again this week at another course that suits Steve well. Steady off the tee and into the green with a strong putting game, Stricker must make par and find a few birdies a day to string together a ~9-under performance this week to find himself in the mix. Currently, his game is firing on all cylinders, both on the Senior tour and when he tees it up on the PGA. Please note Stricker qualified for the US Open late last night, so watch for the potential withdrawal.

Charl Schwartzel ($9.4K) 

Despite missing the cut last week, Charl has posted some impressive results of late: a 2nd at the Players and a 9th at Quail Hollow. He also put up a 2nd place here last year. Given his erratic form but high upside, Charl can be loaded up in GPPs for some low-owned leverage if you can stomach the risk.

Others to consider: Tony Finau, Joaquin Niemann, Harris English, Keegan Bradley

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Value Tier: $7.9K and Lower

Brandt Snedeker ($7.6K)

Brandt has struggled plenty this year, but recently, he seems to have turned a corner. He’s posted decent results at some familiar tracks, and his recent missed cuts have been on the number. I don’t think Brandt is too far away from a really good week. Annually one of the best ball strikers and Bermuda putters on tour, Brandt fits very well at this course. The problem is that he hasn’t played here in five years, and the last time he did, he missed the cut. If you go way back to 2001-07 though, he posted 5/35/MC/29/15. That’s solid history. Currently, Brandt has no tags on FanShare, and I doubt that changes much, making Brandt an elite GPP pivot play this week in the value range.

Ben Crane ($7.4K)

The lost member of the GOLF Boys, Mr. Crane is having a bit of a resurgence right now. This could be his week to cash it all in on a track he likes and at which he’s won previously. His course history is a bit too much to ignore this week at his price point. Annually one of the more consistent golfers at TPC Southwind, Crane has gained 35.14 strokes here in the last five years. This is very much a course-history play, but not without a smidgen of current form. Crane tipped the scales with an 8th in Texas and an 11th six weeks ago.

Joel Dahman ($7.1K)

Joel is on an absolute tear lately: three top 20 outings in his last four tournaments. Dahman is not a flashy golfer but does everything above average. That’s just the kind of game I am looking for around TPC Southwind. Joel likely agrees about his game fit at this course as evidenced by his 18th place last year in his debut. I’ve been backing Dahman ever since he made the jump to the PGA Tour, and I’m not about to stop now. I’ll be taking a significantly overweight stance on “My Guy Joel” this week.

Others to consider: Chez Reavie, Kevin Chappell, Stewart Cink, Seamus Power, Troy Merritt, Wesley Bryan

That does it for Fed Ex St. Jude Classic breakdown. Good luck this week, and I’ll see you next for The U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.

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