John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

PGA DFS: Deutsche Bank Championship

PGA DFS Expert Chris Garosi will put you in the money on DraftKings for the Deutsche Bank Championship!

One week down on the march to the Tour Championship and Patrick Reed comes away with a victory The Barclays last week. We are down to the top 100 (well, not Danny Willett and who knows about Henrik Stenson) in the FedEx Cup standings this week for the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

Daily and weekly fantasy sports have become all the rage. Battling it out over an entire season is fun, but sites like DraftKings offer a quicker payoff and big payouts for winners! Not only do they offer daily action in the four major professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) as well as college basketball and football but also the PGA Tour.

Your DraftKings lineup is made up of six golfers you select from within the $50,000 salary cap.

Each week DraftKings offers a wide selection of games to enter at a variety of price points. You can even get a feel for the game in a freeroll contest. Before you put your cash on the line, I'll offer my Top Values and Steals in this space every week, specifically geared to help build a winning DraftKings squad. I'll also give you my Overpriced golfers to avoid and a couple of “Vegas Says…” tips to help you find those players for GPPs.

The key to cashing in Daily Fantasy Golf is getting golfers who make the cut.

You can cash if you get at least four golfers who make the cut though it can be tough with just four. With five (or if you are lucky six) you are nearly assured of cashing. So, you'll see some focus on making cuts while trying to balance upside for those top 10 finishes everyone is chasing.

Tournament Stop

This week we enter the second week of FedEx playoffs. This tournament runs starts on Friday and runs through Monday to take advantage of the Labor Day holiday. We are now down to 100 eligible players as we continue to whittle the field down to the final 30 who will compete for the top prize.  

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, so any results before 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!

Recent Tournament History

TPC Boston has been the host since 2003, but the major re-design by Gil Hanse (with Brad Faxon consulting) in 2007 means we only care about results since then. Hanse also redesigned the Blue Monster Course at Trump National Doral (the site of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship) in 2013.  So, perhaps we’ll take a gander at the leaderboard for the last three years.

He’s also redesigned many other courses (the East Course at Winged Foot and Monterey Peninsula Country Club at Pebble Beach among them). Starting in 2012, he also worked on the restoration of Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey (site of the Barclays in 2014). Finally, he was the designer for the course used for the Rio Olympics. So, there aren’t a ton of Hanse courses out there, and many of them are restoration projects so we’ll tread lightly looking for “Hanse” experts.

We have enough recent history to be able to rely on historical tournament data this week.

Finished in the top 20 each of the last three years: Jason Day

Finished in the top 20 two of the previous three years: Chris Kirk, Matt Kuchar, Henrik Stenson, Hunter Mahan, Keegan Bradley, Kevin Stadler

First timers: Jon Curran, Derek Fathauer, Branden Grace, Emiliano Grillo, Adam Hadwin, Sung Kang, Smylie Kaufman, Patton Kizzire, Jamie Lovemark, Patrick Rodgers, Tyrone Van Aswegen, Harold Varner III, and,  Si Woo Kim

Current Form Review

Each week, we’ll take a look backward at the last three tournaments on the PGA and European Tours. We will lump the Olympic results into the European section again this week.   

Statistical Report

Where should we focus our statistical microscope this week?  

Par 5 Scoring Average (P5SA): There are three par 5s, and that is where a lot of the scoring will come from this week. We will need to see par 5 scoring on our golfers’ resumes.

Par 4 Efficiency 450-500 yards (P4E450-500) – Hello old friend.  Six of the 11 par 4s on the course fall between 451 and 495 yards. So, we want golfers who can score (or at least make pars) regularly on par 4s of this distance.

Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green (SG: APP) – SG: APP is a part of SG: T2G so there is a bit of double counting going on here. That said, we’re going to see nearly 75% of all shots from between 150 and 200 yards this week.

For more on how SG: APP, check out this primer on all the Strokes Gained stats.

Scoring Average (SA) – We’ll also look at overall scoring average as we’ll need players who can score. The winner of the tourney will probably be between 15 and 20-under for the week.

Par 3 Efficiency 200-225 yards (P3E200-225) – Our tiebreaker for the week as we have four par 3s on the course and they range from 187 to 231 yards. So, the range isn’t perfect, but it’s close enough to use for tie breaking purposes.

I’m focused on 2016 stats of course, but will certainly refer to 2015 if needed.

And of course, we examine Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) with more weight on SG:T2G again this week.

Weather Report

As always, check back on the weather Wednesday to see the final forecast. This week it looks like the weather won’t be an issue at all as the only “concern” is for rain showers on Thursday morning. The wind should be manageable, and temperatures likely won’t cross 80 degrees for a high until Sunday.


Jason Day ($12,500)

"So Day battled another health issue last week (fatigue)? Say it ain't so. As per usual, it doesn’t seem to faze Day in the least as he picked up a T4. It was his second top 5 in a row and third in his last five events. He's missed just one cut in 2016. Day sits second in my stats only look at the field (11th in SG:T2G, 40th in SG:APP, 1st in SG:P, 3rd in P5SA, 15th in P4E450-500, 2nd in SA, and 1st in P3E200-225). He's enjoyed his recent trips to the Deutsche Bank with three straight top 15 finishes as well as five in his last six DBC starts.

Adam Scott ($10,400)

If Adam Scott could just putt as a below average Tour pro, he'd win every week. Unfortunately, he cannot do so (consistently). Even with those struggles, he's still seventh in my model (1st in SG:T2G, 1st in SG:APP, 140th in SG:P, 12th in P5SA, 15th in P4E450-500, 5th in SA, and 27th in P3E200-225). The Aussie has performed quite well here with five top 10s in 10 trips including a win in his 2003 debut. He's had three of those top 10s in his six trips since the Hanse redesign. The T4 last week was his second top 10 in four events, and those are his first two top 10s since back to back wins at the Honda and Cadillac back in early 2016.

Sergio Garcia ($9,500)

Sergio has skipped this event three of the last four years, but that one trip was a T4 in 2013. He hasn't played anywhere since finishing T8 at the Olympics and had four top 5s in his five events leading up to Rio.  He is eighth in the field in my stats model with only his putter to be concerned about (12th in SG:T2G, 15th in SG:APP, 114th in SG:P, 39th in P5SA, 4th in P4E450-500, 6th in SA, and 40th in P3E200-225). He's not missed the cut in five overall trips here and has three top 20s.

Emiliano Grillo ($9,000)

Grillo, like Patrick Reed, comes into the DBC in scorching form with three straight top 15s and seven in his last nine worldwide events. And like Reed, the stats don’t favor him this week as he’s outside my top 50 (54th in SG:T2G, 67th in SG:APP, 106th in SG:P, 52th in P5SA, 102th in P4E450-500, 55th in SA, and 64th in P3E200-225). Should we care as the Argentine makes his debut here?

Let’s take a look at the rest of the over $9,000 crew.  

Overweight – I like the golfer more than his price indicates I should, and I’ll have him in a higher percentage of lineups than usual. The guys in the Studs section above are my core players in the upper salary range, but the overweight players here can also be used in that same way.

Neutral – The price is right. It’s the Goldilocks tier – not too high; nor too low. The player looks to be priced reasonably given the risk, course history, current form, etc. I will have him on a representative number of lineups, but I won’t go heavy on any of them. Remember – this isn’t a fade. It means the price is fair, and he should be rostered this week.

Underweight – It’s not a complete fade, but I will have him in fewer lineups than one would expect. I rarely entirely exclude a premium player, but if I play 20 lineups, I might have an underweight player in only one lineup some weeks. I certainly exclude some of the higher priced golfers some weeks, and I’ll tell you when I will not use a golfer at all.

Dustin Johnson ($12,100) – Neutral -DJ is second place in the stats-only look for the week (3rd in SG:T2G, 26th in SG:APP, 44th in SG:P, 8th in P5SA, 2nd in P4E450-500, 3rd in SA, and 16th in P3E200-225). He has two T4s in six starts at the DBC, but no other finish in the top 25. He bounced back last week at The Barclays with a T18 after missing the cut at the PGA Championship. He had a run of five top 5 finishes in his six starts prior the PGA Championship.

Jordan Spieth ($11,600) – Slightly underweight - Spieth missed the cut here last year after posting a T4 and T29 in his first two starts. It's hard to miss the cut here as the top 70 plus ties make it through to the weekend, but he did it by firing 74-73 in the first two rounds. Is he ready for redemption? Well, he is fourth in the stats model for the week (14th in SG:T2G, 74th in SG:APP, 5th in SG:P, 8th in P5SA, 25th in P4E450-500, 4th in SA, and 7th in P3E200-225). The young American finished T10 last week at The Barclays which was his fourth top 15 in his last eight events.

Rory McIlroy ($11,100) – Neutral - So, what to do with Rory? He’s at the edge of the elite regarding price, but is his game all there? Well, he’s certainly not got the putter going as he continues to fiddle with grips and clubs and all manner of things to get the putter working. Even with his wonky putter, Rory is 12th in my stats model this week (2nd in SG:T2G, 58th in SG:APP, 130th in SG:P, 2nd in P5SA, 5th in P4E450-500, 8th in SA, and 73th in P3E200-225). He’s had two top-five finishes here including a win in 2012 while his other three starts at the DBC put McIlroy outside the top 25.  He finished T31 last week at The Barclays with a new putter, but he’s only a few weeks removed from a string of four top-five finishes in five events.

Henrik Stenson ($10,700) – Complete fade - Do want to risk the Swede in an event where 70% of the field makes the cut? Nope, me neither. His withdrawal last week hurt a lot of players. At this point, he’s in the field, and it looks as though he’ll play this week.  If you want a low owned player with top 10 upside, he’s your man. He won here in 2013 and finished second last year. We know his ownership levels will be in the basement.

Patrick Reed ($10,200) – Slightly overweight - Reed sits 21st in my model after picking up the victory last week at The Barclays (22th in SG:T2G, 69th in SG:APP, 58th in SG:P, 12th in P5SA, 107th in P4E450-500, 20th in SA, and 37th in P3E200-225). However, Reed is not one who I lean heavily on his stats to determine his usage. Reed’s current form is undeniable as he’s finished in the top 25 in his last seven events, top 15s in six of those seven and capped it off with a win last week.  His first two trips to the DBC were awful finishing T70 and T74. But, last year he broke through at TPC Boston with a T4.

Rickie Fowler ($10,000) – Underweight - All the Fowler owners were sitting pretty on Saturday evening with their boy in control and then Sunday happened. Fowler cratered with a final round 74 to fall to T7. Still, those three sub-70 rounds leading up to Sunday were encouraging as Fowler posted his first top 10 in a stroke play event since the Wells Fargo Championship. He's still fifth overall in my stats model for the week (7th in SG:T2G, 44th in SG:APP, 46th in SG:P, 16th in P5SA, 12th in P4E450-500, 11th in SA, and 116th in P3E200-225). The defending DBC champ missed the cut here in 2013 and his win last year was his only top 20 at this event in six attempts.

Justin Rose ($9,700) – Underweight - Rose has had almost zero success at TPC Boston since the redesign. He’s played the event six times, missed the cut in four of them (including last year) and finished in the top 50 just once (2013’s T16). He’s 23rd in my stats model for the week (8th in SG:T2G, 35th in SG:APP, 105th in SG:P, 16th in P5SA, 129th in P4E450-500, 12th in SA, and 35th in P3E200-225).  He finished T31 at The Barclays last week as he reveled in the glory of his Olympic gold medal won two weeks’ prior.

Phil Mickelson ($9,300) – Slightly underweight (ownership concerns) - Uh oh. Lefty appears atop my stats model for the week (16th in SG:T2G, 7th in SG:APP, 2nd in SG:P, 12th in P5SA, 37th in P4E450-500, 1st in SA, and 8th in P3E200-225). So, what does that mean for us this week? It likely means his ownership will be sky-high. He's finished outside of the top 40 in his last three starts at the DBC but does have three top 10s in nine starts here including a win in 2007. He finished T13 last week for his third top 15 in his last five events. It continues to be an uneven season for Mickelson as he's finished MC, T20, T2, MC, T27, T13, second, T33 and T13 in his last nine events.

Louis Oosthuizen ($9,100) – Neutral - Oosty has an excellent, if limited, record here with a second place finish in his 2012 debut and a T12 last year.  He's not elite based on stats as he's 31st in the field (24th in SG:T2G, 41th in SG:APP, 131th in SG:P, 106th in P5SA, 32th in P4E450-500, 33th in SA, and 28th in P3E200-225). He looks to have corrected the issues he had in midseason as he's made three straight cuts in a row with each finish in the top 25 including a T18 at The Barclays last week.


Before we get started, there a couple of golfers to shy away from this week Kevin Na ($7,600) said he would not play this week as his wife was scheduled to give birth. His wife gave birth on Monday, so it looks like he’ll say in. However, he’s not played well here in the past even if he’s 14th in my model for the week (32nd in SG:T2G, 3rd in SG:APP, 75th in SG:P, 121th in P5SA, 24th in P4E450-500, 18th in SA, and 88th in P3E200-225).

Also, Alex Cejka ($6,000) looks like a solid value, but he withdrew last week with a pinched nerve in his neck. He's struggled with injuries for much of the season. Monitor the news and Twitter to see if there are any updates on his condition this week. Cejka has only teed it up once here since the redesign, and that was last year's T39. He rates tenth in my stats model (45th in SG:T2G, 10th in SG:APP, 98th in SG:P, 12th in P5SA, 11th in P4E450-500, 60th in SA, and 16th in P3E200-225). He's finished in the top 25 in his last three events worldwide including a T21 at the Olympics in his last start.

Now, on with the show!

Brooks Koepka $8,700

Koepka is 18th in terms of the statistical profile for the week (34th in SG:T2G, 71th in SG:APP, 19th in SG:P, 39th in P5SA, 87th in P4E450-500, 6th in SA, and 135th in P3E200-225). He missed the cut in his maiden trip to the DBC last year, and it wasn’t close as he finished 94th in a field of 98. He finished T70 last week at The Barclays after back to back top 10 finishes at the Travelers and PGA Championship.

Pivot plays: Jim Furyk ($8,800) is probably the safer play in this range as he’s never missed a cut here and has four top 10s since the redesign including last year’s T4. His worst finish since the redesign was a T37 in 2010. He’s 16th in my model this week just behind Zach Johnson (32nd in SG:T2G, 3rd in SG:APP, 75th in SG:P, 121th in P5SA, 24th in P4E450-500, 18th in SA, and 88th in P3E200-225). He’s made nine cuts in a row on Tour with top 10 in his last three. He was T41 last week at The Barclays.

And I have to mention Billy Horschel ($8,500) who looks to be on one of his patented hot streaks. He backed up his T5 at the Wyndham with a T13 at The Barclays. He’s made the cut in each of his three trips here finishing T70, T2, and 72nd. The year he finished second? He reeled off back to back wins at the BMW and Tour Championship to take home the cartoon check at the end of the playoffs. He’s 42nd in my stats model for the DBC (23th in SG:T2G, 28th in SG:APP, 77th in SG:P, 96th in P5SA, 123th in P4E450-500, 37th in SA, and 156th in P3E200-225).

Zach Johnson $8,000

ZJ hasn’t finished in the top 15 here in seven tries, but he’s only finished outside the top 30 once. His current form resembles his course history to some degree as he’s finished between T33 and T48 in his last four events after a run of four straight top 20 finishes. He’s 15th in my stats model this week (73rd in SG:T2G, 56th in SG:APP, 29th in SG:P, 44th in P5SA, 18th in P4E450-500, 21th in SA, and 104th in P3E200-225) and I think he’ll be a safe option this week.

Pivot plays: Daniel Berger ($8,100) finished T12 in his debut at the DBC last year and he looks to be primed for another run at the top based on his profile (39th in SG:T2G, 29th in SG:APP, 47th in SG:P, 62th in P5SA, 63th in P4E450-500, 31th in SA, and 179th in P3E200-225). He finished T73 at the PGA, T5 at the Travelers and T70 at The Barclays in his last three PGA events.

Gary Woodland $7,700

Woodland saunters into TPC Boston off a T4 at The Barclays, arguably his best result of 2016 when field strength is taken into account.  My stats like him this week placing him 13th in the field (13th in SG:T2G, 21th in SG:APP, 117th in SG:P, 5th in P5SA, 46th in P4E450-500, 22th in SA, and 77th in P3E200-225). He’s teed it up at the DBC in four of the last five years and has two top 25s including his best finish in his T12 last year.

Pivot plays: Jhonattan Vegas ($7,400) is one my favorites to play each week and this week is no different. He’s 26th in my model (51st in SG:T2G, 84th in SG:APP, 70th in SG:P, 20th in P5SA, 9th in P4E450-500, 85th in SA, and 48th in P3E200-225). He’s made six straight cuts and has four straight top 25 finishes in stroke play events. Vegas has played the DBC once and finished T42 in 2011.

Charley Hoffman ($7,300) is right behind Vegas when looking at stats (28th in SG:T2G, 45th in SG:APP, 95th in SG:P, 96th in P5SA, 46th in P4E450-500, 38th in SA, and 31th in P3E200-225). He’s made seven of eight cuts here since the redesign with a win in 2010 and a third place finish last year.  He’s made back to back cuts with each resulting in a top 25.

William McGirt $6,800

My good friend Dirt McGirt is back on the list this week as he's 11th  according to his stats profile (38th in SG:T2G, 62th in SG:APP, 25th in SG:P, 85th in P5SA, 35th in P4E450-500, 26th in SA, and 14th in P3E200-225). He's teed it up at the DBC in each of the last five years, making four cuts and securing one top 20 finish (last year's T12).  His recent form isn't great having made only four of seven cuts on Tour since his win at the Memorial with two top 10s in those four weekends.

Pivot plays: John Senden ($7,200) seems expensive until you look at his history at TPC Boston. He’s made seven cuts in seven starts since the redesign with four top 15s and no finish worse than last year’s T33. He’s a reasonable 36th in the model this week (91st in SG:T2G, 76th in SG:APP, 31th in SG:P, 75th in P5SA, 51th in P4E450-500, 59th in SA, and 29th in P3E200-225). The Aussie veteran made four of his last five cuts including a T31 at The Barclays last week.

Tony Finau $6,500

Finau missed the cut at the DBC in his debut last year but expect better things from the young bomber. He finished 12th last week at The Barclays after a T25 at the Travelers.  The stats don’t like him this week (74th in SG:T2G, 133rd in SG:APP, 113th in SG:P, 20th in P5SA, 69th in P4E450-500, 56th in SA, and 150th in P3E200-225) so call this a hunch.

Pivot plays: Chris Kirk ($6,400) is just outside the top 50 in my model this week (47th in SG:T2G, 42th in SG:APP, 103th in SG:P, 106th in P5SA, 57th in P4E450-500, 94th in SA, and 99th in P3E200-225). However, this recommendation is more about course history as he’s made five cuts in five starts with a win in 2014 and every finish in the top 35. He’s alternated missed and made cuts over his last five events including his miss last week at The Barclays.

Harris English ($6,600) has made eight cuts in a row but hasn’t had a top 25 in his last seven events. So, the upside looks limited based on current form. He’s 25th in the model for the week (107th in SG:T2G, 77th in SG:APP, 9th in SG:P, 62th in P5SA, 41th in P4E450-500, 35th in SA, and 16th in P3E200-225). The American made the cut in three of four starts at the DBC with his best finish his T12 last year.

Bill Haas ($6,400) is 57th in the model this week (20th in SG:T2G, 36th in SG:APP, 157th in SG:P, 131th in P5SA, 97th in P4E450-500, 25th in SA, and 12th in P3E200-225). However, the call on him is due to my bet on his low ownership. He missed the cut last week after making five cuts in a row.  The American has made seven of eight cuts since the redesign with three top 25s including a top finish of T9 two years ago.

Hudson Swafford $5,500

Do you want someone at a minimum salary who should see the weekend? Then Swafford is your man. He finished T33 last year in his debut. He’s 39th in my rankings based on his profile (106th in SG:T2G, 65th in SG:APP, 49th in SG:P, 29th in P5SA, 27th in P4E450-500, 79th in SA, and 99th in P3E200-225). Swafford has made 11 straight cuts on Tour with just two top 25s in that run.

Pivot plays: Daniel Summerhays ($6,000) has an intriguing course history here as he’s made the cuts in all four starts. He finished T9 last year and T22 in 2013.  The stats don’t like him much this week (122nd in SG:T2G, 129th in SG:APP, 10th in SG:P, 27th in P5SA, 107th in P4E450-500, 43th in SA, and 103th in P3E200-225). He’s also missed back to back cuts after a third at the PGA and T11 at the Travelers.

Old Man Value Play

Vijay Singh ($5,600) won here back in 2008 and had only missed one cut in six starts here since the redesign. He’s only played once in the last three years and finished T35 in 2014.  He’s made three of his last four cuts on Tour though no finish his been inside the top 50.

Vegas Says…

This section focuses on “odds” players – those players whose odds vary the greatest with respect to their DraftKings salaries. It’s a quick way to find value. I use an aggregate of odds from various oddsmakers to come up with my valuation.

In the chart below, the average odds column shows my aggregated odds (rounded to the next whole number) to win the tournament. The value column shows the number of spots lower in salary than their odds to win imply. The full list is below, but I generally only care about those golfers priced at $7,000 or higher.


Feel free to take a gander at those folks that Vegas believes are overpriced based on their odds to win. In the chart below, the average odds column shows my aggregated odds (rounded to the next whole number) to win the tournament.

The value column shows the number of spots higher in salary than their odds to win imply. You shouldn’t always avoid players on this list, but it’s another data point to add to our analysis.

I generally don’t worry too much about overpriced players below $7,000. The odds to win are tough to trust at that level and when you are spending that little on a player, a few spots in odds to win doesn’t make a big difference.  I’ll provide the full list but focus on those golfers priced at $7,000 or higher.

My Lineups for The Deutsche Bank Championship

Studs and Scrubs              

Hudson Swafford $5,700

Daniel Summerhays $6,000

Tony Finau $6,500

Emiliano Grillo $9,000

Adam Scott $10,400

Jason Day $12,500


Gary Woodland $7,700

Zach Johnson $8,000

Daniel Berger $8,100

Billy Horschel $8,500

Brooks Koepka $8,700

Jim Furyk $8,800

Stud Picks                          

Tony Finau $6,500

Gary Woodland $7,700

Zach Johnson $8,000

Billy Horschel $8,500

Brooks Koepka $8,700

Adam Scott $10,400

Jason Day Picks            

Hudson Swafford $5,500

Jhonattan Vegas $7,400

Gary Woodland $7,700

Zach Johnson $8,000

Jim Furyk $8,800

Jason Day $12,500

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