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The Approach – Tour Championship and season review

Nolan Kelly



Jason Rouslin's weekly article previewing his top contrarian PGA DFS picks for your fantasy golf lineups at the Travelers Championship.

BMW review

Keegan finally did it two weeks ago, holding off Justin Rose and Xander the Mander down the stretch to claim a well deserved first victory since 2012. The SGT2G monster somehow managed to par the 18th hole to tie Justin Rose and head to a playoff, after an errant tee-shot and an approach that hit the gallery. Notably, Keegan didn’t go full Keegan. We had a middling week at the Approach, with none of our plays cracking the top-25. That tournament seems like forever ago.

Alright, it’s almost time for the shortest offseason in all of sports, one that makes month-long European soccer breaks look like yearly sabbaticals. Not sure what DK has in store for the Ryder Cup, but I’m guessing we’ll be taking the week off before starting up the 2018-19 season with Brendan Steele Open in early October.

The Approach this season:

In this industry, I feel like credibility is important, so  here’s a review my picks, using Awesemo’s grades, since we started the column back in May:

Outside of one god-awful week at the Greenbrier (yeah I’m throwing it out, don’t @ me), we had 32 of 36 cuts made, two winners and 16 top-20s, with an average DraftKings salary of around $7600. Not too shabby. Starting next season, I’ll keep DK and FD point totals as well as ownership stats, so we’ll have a better idea of how we’re doing.

Rundown of picks and results:

Fort Worth: 2/3 cuts made: 2nd, 14th (DK salary average: $7300)

Memorial: 3/3 cuts made: 4th, 13th, 44th (DK salary average: $7300)

St. Jude: 2/3 cuts made: 6th 30th, (DK salary average: $7400)

U.S. Open: 3/3 cuts made: 16th, 25th, 44th (Dk salary average: $8000)

Travellers: 2/3 cuts made: 14th, 44th, (DK salary average: $7600)

Quicken loans: 3/3 cuts made: 13th, 27th, 44th (DK average salary: $7700)

Greenbrier: 0/3 (DK average salary: $7600)

John Deere Classic: 3/3 cuts made, 2nd, 7th, 34th (DK average salary $7500)

British Open: 3/3 cuts made: 17th, 35th, 67th (DK average salary: $7800)

Canadian Open: 2/3 cuts made: 2nd, 37th (DK average salary: $7200)

Bridgestone: No cut event. Results: 1st, 68th, 24th (DK average salary $8100)

PGA Championship: 3/3 cuts made: 6th, 19th, 71st (DK average salary: $7900)

Wyndham: 3/3 cuts made: 24th, 55th, 57th (DK average salary: $7300)

Northern Trust: 3/3 cuts made: 1st, 8th, 48th (DK average salary: $7700)

Dell championship: Cut NA (70 of 98): 24th, 48th, 69th (DK average salary: $8900)

BMW championship: Cut NA: 29, 38th, 61st (Dk average salary $7300)

East Lake

The Tour Championship heads to Atlanta for the final event of the 2017-18 season. With $10 million on the line for the FedExCup, Sunday is gonna be fun to watch.

East Lake is a traditional 7400 yard, Par-70, with narrow fairways and fast Bermuda greens. Players will need to be long and accurate off the tee. These fairways are a full 10-yards on average narrower than our last two tournaments at Aronimink and TPC Boston.


With nothing but the cream of the crop left, you’re going to need to let ownership dictate where you go with lineup construction this week. With four rounds and almost nothing separating the top of this field, anyone can win it. You can leave a tonne of money on the table without sacrificing too much. It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s the best way to avoid lineup duplication in large GPP, small field events.

Our own Ben Rasa suggested on the Pat Mayo show that he’s going to build teams that focus on various player strengths this week, and I think that’s a smart way to go. I’ll be doing some short-term and long-term ball striking teams (Kyle Stanley Captain Mode, engage), as well as some driving accuracy teams. The long-hitters narrative is getting some play this week, which makes sense, given the length of the course, but driving accuracy back-tests well here.

I’ll also place a huge emphasis on Birdie or Better percentage this week –with four guaranteed rounds, scoring is going to be important.

Finally, it’s looking like ownership is going to concentrate on a few players down at the bottom, so I’ll be trying to find pivots off the low-priced chalk, while not being afraid to roster mid to high priced chalk.

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The Plays

Rory McIlroy: DraftKings: Grade: A, Value: E; FanDuel: Grade: A, Value: C

For whatever reason, the ownership never seems to follow Rory. I’m guessing he’ll come in at less that Justin Thomas, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson, which makes him a nice leverage play at the top. It’s an old story at this point, but if Rory had had his putter going at the BMW in the fourth round, he could have won that tournament by three strokes. Rory has won at East Lake before, and he’s first in the field in strokes gained over the past five years here. He has the best Vegas bargain rating in the field on both FanDuel and DraftKings. It’ll come down to whether or not he can keep is driver in the fairway. He’s coming in as the 11th highest owned golfer in the field, which isn’t bad.

The Stats:

  • Top-ten in ST and LT ball striking
  • 6th in LT SG:P on fast Bermuda
  • Top-10 in SG: P4 and P5, custom ranges

Francesco Molinari: DraftKings: Grade: C, Value: C; FanDuel: Grade: C, Value: D

It’s only been two months since Molinari’s British Open win culminated a stretch of impeccable form, but DFSers don’t seem to be rostering him as much of late. If we want ball strikers and fairway hitters, Molinari is our guy. I’m expecting a lot of stars and scrubs lineups this week, with so many amazing players priced at the bottom, so this range might go overlooked. Molinari’s stats are ridiculous. If he’s low-owed I may go 70-80% in lineups this week and hope that he can re-capture his early-summer form.

The stats:

  • 4th in ST BoB
  • Top-three in ST and LT GIR
  • Top-five in ST and LT driving accuracy
  • Top-five in ST and LT ball striking.
  • First in ST SG:TOT

Low-owned GPP fliers

I don’t know if 10% qualifies as “low owned,” but Aaron Wise is projected for the second-lowest ownership on the slate on both sites. He has ‘A’ values from Awesemo on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Wise can get as hot as anyone on tour and he makes a tonne of birdies. I also don’t mind throwing Patrick Reed in a few lineups. He’s projected at 10% as well and is only $6900.

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GPP Fades:

With ownership so concentrated and no one sticking out at the top on either site, it doesn’t make a tonne of sense to take strong positions on ownership at the top this week. I do prefer going to the lesser owned top players, but the discrepancy isn’t as high as it normally is.

Tiger is projected as the highest owned golfer on DraftKings. I’ll likely go elsewhere and hope that he continues to have driving accuracy issues. On FanDuel, not much stands out. I might go underweight on Rickie Fowler at 33% owned, though he is a supreme bargain at only $9700.

Writing this article has been so much fun this season. See you in a couple weeks. Thank you for reading!

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in using my technical writing skills to articulate and clarify our content in order to help you become a better fantasy sports players player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing [email protected].

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