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The Approach: St Jude Classic Preview

Alex Baker



Yahoo PGA DFS Picks Fortinet Championship optimal lineup optimizer free expert rankings projections ownership best bets lines this week Jon Rahm Doug Ghim Webb Simpson

Memorial review

The Approach recommendations all made the cut last week at the Memorial.  At the top of the list, Patrick Cantlay was leading until midway through the final round, but still finished in fourth place, just one shot back of the leaders. Ryan Moore continued his excellent run of form with a T13, and Kevin Streelman finished 44th but was top-20 in scoring on both sites, behind 20 birdies. Awesemo’s rankings also recommended eventual winner Bryson DeChambeau (top salaried A grade on DK). Cameron Smith disappointed for the second week in a row, this time as our low-owned GPP flier, but if you’ve got the courage to fire him up again, you’re going to get him at 1-2% ownership at the U.S. Open next week.

The St Jude Classic

We’re on to TPC Southwind this week, the last tune-up before the tour heads over to Shinnecock Hills, NY, for the 118th U.S. Open. TPC Southwind is a 7,250-yard Par 70, with only two P5s and seven P4s between 450-500 yards. It’s another second shot course (our third in a row), with a higher correlation to strokes gained approach than your average PGA course and a lower correlation to strokes gained putting. We’re looking at tons of water hazards, some hard to hit Zoysiagrass fairways and bermuda grass greens. With the U.S. Open next week, there have been several late WDs, so make sure to go back and get these players out of your lineups if you haven’t already. Here’s the list:

Adam Scott

Keegan Bradley

Russell Knox

Patrick Rodgers

Ollie Schniederjans

Lucas Glover

Patton Kizzire

Will MacKenzie.

What to do at the top?

Outside of Dustin Johnson, who’s projected at 40% ownership on FanDuel, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka, and Phil Mickelson are all projected at 20-25% on both sites.  You could make a case for every one of them, so I’ll probably sprinkle some ownership on all four, with a slight lean towards Awesemo’s highest graded of the four, Brooks Koepka (Grade: C, C) and Henrik Stenson.  I’m not a course history guy, so I’ll be going full fade on the overpriced and out of form Daniel Berger.

The plays:

Chez Reavie: DraftKings: $7600, Grade: A; FanDuel: $9200, Grade: C.

It feels like a while since we’ve had a Chez Reavie week. Last year’s St. Jude started an insane run of form for Chez. Between June 2017 and March of this year he made 22 straight cuts and had 14 top-25s.  Since then, he’s fallen off a bit, but the good news is we’re getting him at a slight ownership reduction (projected at 15-16% on both sites).

Reavie looks like a good course fit here. He’s number-five in my long-term custom approach model, he’s 12th in the field in my custom Par-4 scoring model (first in the 400-450 range) and second in the field in fairways gained, which might come in handy on these difficult to hit fairways. His 69.3 long term adjusted round score is sixth-best in the field and he’s priced outside the top-25 on both sites.

Tom Hoge: DraftKings: $7300, Grade: A; FanDuel: $8200, Grade: A

I can’t say I play Tom Hoge too often in DFS, but he’s got a few things going for him this week. First, he shares his name with a delicious sandwich, so, I’m already on board. Second, he’s one of only three golfers to get an A grade on both sites in Awesemo’s rankings. Some stats to back it up: over the past 50 rounds he’s number one in the field in proximity, a stat that has traditionally correlated well with success at TPC Southwind, and he’s third in the field in my custom approach model over the last 100 rounds. Hoge’s also been noticeably better on bermuda than on other putting surfaces. At 5% projected ownership on both sites, I’ll be overweight on the field.

Shane Lowry: DraftKings: $7600, Grade: A; FanDuel: $9100, Grade: B

Lowry’s stats aren’t popping, but he’s never really been a stats guy. He’s got a 28% Vegas bargain rating on both sites and he has the 16th best OWGR in the field but is the 29th highest priced player on both sites. He just finished atop the leaderboard at the final USGA U.S. Open qualification tournament, so it’s a little surprising that he didn’t WD this week. Still, in this weak field, Lowry is an in-form, high-pedigree player, with huge upside and decent ownership.

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Low-owned GPP Flier:

I might sprinkle a little DFS cheddar on David Lingmerth (grades A, B) this week. He’s projected at around 5% ownership but has a top-five Vegas bargain rating on both sites. A few years ago, he was one of the hottest names on tour, but he’s cooled of late. Still, his putter can catch fire any time.

The fades:

FanDuel: Dustin Johnson. It’s always tempting to play DJ, but at 40% ownership, that’s a bit rich. I’d rather go down to Koepka, take the savings, take half the ownership and still maintain the upside. Just stay out of the water, Brooks.

DraftKings: Tony Finau. Another tough fade. I love playing Finau as much as the next guy, but he’s projected as the highest owned golfer on DraftKings at 35%. With his historic putting struggles on Bermuda, that’s enough for me to go full fade and cry myself to sleep on Sunday when he finally breaks through.

A self-proclaimed U.S. history buff, stats enthusiast, and rabid fan of anything Detroit (yes, even the Lions), Alex started playing daily fantasy sports in 2013 and never looked back. After graduating with a degree in mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008, he began developing advanced statistical models and applied his unique skill-set first to poker, then as a full-time DFS player. He has since dominated DFS, becoming a fixture on leaderboards and cementing his position as the top-ranked overall player according to RotoGrinders. Competing in most guaranteed prize pool tournaments, he has ranked in the top 3 across major sports, including NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, and MLB. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of fantasy sports with new and experienced players alike. Career Highlights: No. 1 Overall Ranking; 14x FanDuel $100k winner, 11x DraftKings Hundred-Thousandaire; 20x Live Final qualifier. You can contact him on Twitter @awesemodfs or by emailing [email protected].

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