Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

PGA DFS: FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind (FanDuel Breakdown)

Fantasy Golf Expert Ryan Baroff helps you DOMINATE the field on FanDuel as players get ready to tee off the FedEx St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind this week!

FanDuel recently updated their PGA DFS offering, so players are trying to figure out the new format and optimize their lineups accordingly. They've taken away their split rosters and made their PGA product very similar to DraftKings’ product. The main difference is that you’ll still have eight golfers to choose, and each player will accrue points for all four tournament rounds.

FanDuel Golf Scoring System:

  • Eagle = 7 points
  • Birdie = 3.1 points
  • Par = 0.5 point
  • Bogey = -1 point
  • Double bogey (or worse) = -3 points

  • Streak bonus = 0.6 points per hole under par
  • Bounce back (birdie or better after making bogey or worse) = 0.3 points
  • 5+ Birdies in a round = 4 points
  • Bogey-free round = 5 points

  • 1st place = 20 points
  • 2nd-5th place = 12 points
  • 6th-10th place = 8 points
  • 11th-25th place = 5 points

Tournament Stop

This week, the Tour moves to Memphis and TPC Southwind, the longtime host of this event. The course is a par-70 where accuracy is going to be key. Fairways and greens are tough to hit, and elite iron players (and putters) have had success here over the years. Players are going to be able to hit driver off most tees, but hitting the fairways is going to be critical to success. If the wind picks up, so will the bogeys. Because we have a par-70, we need to focus on par-4 scoring. Specifically, we have a handful of long par-4 holes (over 450 yards), which is like what we saw last week. Players near the top of the ball-striking statistic on Tour are my primary targets this week.

The last thing that I’ll point out this week is that it is the week before a major, so results are going to be even more unpredictable than usual. There will be a plethora of WDs pre-tournament, and even some midway through the event. Many Tour pros like playing the week before a major, and many others take the week off. There’s also a large contingent of players in the field who can only reach the U.S. Open with a win in Memphis, so maybe give an extra look to those players. This week’s field is headlined by Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka, and Phil Mickelson.

Recent Tournament History

TPC Southwind has been the longtime host of this event, so we have plenty of tournament history to draw upon. Here are the results from the previous three seasons.

Current Form Review

Each week, we’ll look backward at the last three tournaments on the PGA and European Tours. I have included the top-20 from the past three full-field events: the Byron Nelson, the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, and last week’s Memorial.

Statistical Report

Birdie or Better % (BoB%): There are not many weeks where we aren’t going to target birdie or better percentage because that’s what fantasy golf scoring is all about. There’s going to be plenty of bogeys this week, so we need birdies to offset the damages. Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Scott Piercy, Phil Mickelson, Luke List, and Francesco Molinari top this field in birdie or better percentage on Tour. It’s possible to have a player finish top-10 in fantasy points while not finishing anywhere close to the top-10 in the actual event.

Strokes Gained Approach (SG:APP): TPC Southwind has always been a stern test, emphasizing ball-striking and all-around game. Strokes gained approach has been one of the biggest indicators of success her over the years. Scrambling is difficult, so players who can hit the most greens with an excellent proximity will have a massive edge over the field. Some names that stand out in the field are Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari, Kyle Stanley, Ian Poulter, Stewart Cink, and Phil Mickelson.

Strokes Gained Around-the-Green (SG:ARG): TPC Southwind is a traditional ball-strikers course, but the greens (and fairways) and small and difficult to hit. That’s going to create many scrambling opportunities for these players, so short game will be a major key to success. Gaining strokes around-the-green is critical this week, and I think our winner will come from this list of SG:ARG specialists: Ian Poulter, Matt Jones, Cameron Tringale, Rickie Fowler, and Phil Mickelson.

Studs

*In order of my rankings

Rickie Fowler ($10,500)

Fowler is the man to beat this week, and Vegas agrees. He nearly won the Memorial last week but fell apart a bit down the stretch. He’s gaining strokes on the field in all categories and is one of the players on Tour who seems to hold form for several weeks. He’s only played here once but did post a 13th place finish. He’s looking ahead to Erin Hills, but Fowler needs every win he can get on Tour. If he’s motivated, Rickie will win this week.

Phil Mickelson ($9,700)

This is a very fair price for Mickelson, who loves this course. He’s finished 2nd, 3rd, 11th, and 2nd the past four seasons, and fits the mold of who I’m targeting this week. Phil hits deadly irons and can scramble as well as anyone on Tour. The one concern for Mickelson this week is the distraction before next week’s U.S. Open. He made headlines by saying he’s likely to skip the event for a family function, so you know the media will be all over him this week. In any event, I can’t think of a better place for Phil to get back into the winner’s circle.

Francesco Molinari ($8,700) 

If there’s ever a week for Molinari to break through for his first PGA Tour win, this could be it. For the past few months, he’s been one of the hottest players in the world. He finished 6th at the Players Championship and then 2nd at the BMW PGA Championship. He played decently here a year ago in his debut, posting a top-35 finish. Molinari is an elite ball-striker who has been making birdies in bunches this season. He’s one of my picks to win this week if the top-end guys don’t have their best.

Brooks Koepka ($10,100)

Brooks is trending in the right direction, and next week’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills suits his game perfectly. Erin Hills, in my opinion, will play similar to Whistling Straights, where Koepka posted a top-5 finish at the 2015 PGA Championship. Koepka struggled a bit last weekend at The Memorial but showed me enough to get on board this week. He loves this course, posting 2nd, 3rd, and 19th place finishes in his career. The concern for Brooks is that he’s a bit wild, and can get himself in trouble at TPC Southwind.

Adam Scott ($10,300) 

Scott has been consistent this season but seems to have been lacking some of the winning firepower. He’s never played this course, so I don’t expect a win here either. Scott is at the point of his career where he’s focusing on majors, so he’s using this week as a tune-up for Erin Hills. Particularly on the greens, where Scott has some demons to overcome. I expect him to hang around the top-15 this week, but he’s not someone I’m targeting as the anchor of my lineups.

Steals

Kyle Stanley ($6,800)

Stanley couldn’t qualify for the U.S. Open this week, but I think his sights are on a PGA Tour win. He’s been playing unbelievably well this year, statistically and in his tournament finishes. He posted another 6th place finish last week at The Memorial, his third top-10 finish in the past five events. He’s an elite ball-striker who has struggled on the greens but finally turned that around last week in Columbus. He’ll be a popular pick this week in Memphis.

JT Poston ($6,300) 

I love Poston this week if he tees it up. He won the Sectional qualifying yesterday and punched his ticket to the U.S. Open. It’s his first career major championship, and he hinted that he might WD this week to get his preparation started. Poston is a fantastic ball-striker and putter who has been very consistent this year. He’s a reliable birdie-maker and cut-maker and always checks in at a low price. He’s going to win one of the smaller events on Tour soon, and his form is strong.

Brian Gay ($5,700)

Gay has quietly played fantastic golf this season, especially on courses he’s played well at previously. This is no exception, as Gay is a past champion at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He’s made five of his past six cuts, including two top-6 finishes, and is full of confidence on the greens. He’s one of the best putters in the history of the PGA Tour and can catch fire any week. I don’t think he’ll win, but Gay is a great GPP and cash game play this week.

Pivot Plays

Charl Schwartzel ($8,100) 

Schwartzel was a late addition to the field this week, as he wanted more reps before Erin Hills. Although his finish last week was mediocre, he tweeted that he found something on the weekend, and wants to carry the momentum through this week. He sounds full of confidence, and I’m buying it. Schwartzel is an elite ball-striker who should be able to contend with the tough, windy conditions this week. The heat won’t be a factor either, as he’s used to it back home in South Africa. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schwartzel in contention on Sunday.

Billy Horschel ($7,700) 

Horschel is another player who has great course history and recent form. He’s played well this season, highlighted by a win at the Byron Nelson. He missed the cut last week at Memorial, and I’m a bit worried about burn out. This will be his fourth consecutive week playing, and next week’s U.S. Open will mark his fifth event in a row. Horschel has posted three consecutive top-10 finishes here and loves putting on this slick, bermuda greens.

Vegas Says…

This section focuses on “odds” players – those players whose odds vary the greatest on their FanDuel salaries. Keep in mind, this doesn’t make these players “good plays” or “bad plays,” but it simply measures the value based on their price. I’ve done this not just with the actual rankings, but as a percentage. So, if two players have a difference of 10 spots in pricing versus odds rankings, the player ranked higher overall will have a higher percentage. It’s a quick way to find value. I use an aggregate of odds from various oddsmakers to come up with my valuation.

The value differential column shows the number of spots lower in salary than their odds to win imply. The differential % column shows that as a percentage of the players FanDuel salary ranking. Here is a list of the top-20 “values” based on my aggregations:

Value Plays

Overpriced

On the flipside, we have the list of players Vegas believes are overpriced based on their odds to win. Using the same model and calculations as above, here are the top-20 worst “values” based on my aggregations:

FanDuel lineups for the FedEx St. Jude Classic

Stars and Scrubs

Balanced


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