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Welcome back to this season's final installment of the PGA DFS: Vegas Report. The top 30 players in the FedExCup standings will head to Atlanta with hopes of capturing the season-long title and $10 million bonus that comes along with it. Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas all control their destiny being in the top five of the standings and would lock up the title with a victory at East Lake. The rest of the field will need a win and some help if they would like to obtain the ultimate prize this week.

Last season, Xander Schauffele seized the title at East Lake, posting a 12-under par to defeat Justin Thomas by one stroke. Schauffele's victory moved him from 26th in the standings to third, but it was ultimately Justin Thomas who was the beneficiary of the grand prize of 10 million dollars. All players have a mathematical chance of being the FedExCup champion, but realistically, our winner will most likely come from one of the top 10 players. Without further ado, let's take a look at some value plays we will be targeting at the Tour Championship.

For a full review of the DraftKings PGA Slate this weekend, check out Seth Finkelstein's column reviewing picks at every price point.

And for a more in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly "Horse For The Course" column that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantasy National have built some incredible DFS Golf lineup tools including a Lineup Optimizer, Stat Engine, Ownership Projections and Course Breakdowns. They are by far the best daily fantasy Golf tools in the industry. Seriously. You can read all about them here and see screenshots. 

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2018 Tour Championship - East Lake Golf Club - 7,346 Yards - Par 70 - Greens Bermuda.

East Lake is a long par-70 that measures a whopping 7,346 yards. Similar to most weeks on tour, strokes gained approach will be vital. Many long irons will need to be hit, and East Lake can be considered a second shot course. Accuracy off the tee has been valuable in the past, but I will instead be trying to target golfers that can bludgeon the ball with their drivers. A high percentage of greens in regulation is essential, and I think players that can avoid hitting the majority of their second shots from over 200 yards will have an easier time scoring. East Lake has many challenging holes scattered throughout the course, so the ability to scramble will be critical.

Pick to Win

Brooks Koepka (13/1, DK Price $10,000, FD Price $11,300)

Five players come into the Tour Championship with a price tag on DraftKings of $10,000 or above. In reality, we can't go wrong with anyone in this range, but it is all about trying to find the best value we can. Justin Rose enters Atlanta as the betting favorite at 8/1, which makes him an automatic throwaway. That is not to say that he can't win, but the Englishman is way past his point of value in this territory. Dustin Johnson comes in just behind him at 9/1, and while there is potential value with the American not being the favorite for the first time in a while, we will have to pass because of some alleged off the course issues he is currently experiencing. These rumors have appeared to hamper Johnson's game over the past few weeks, and there is enough talent in this range that we don't have to settle.

That leaves us with Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka. I think the winner will most likely be one of these players, so it just comes down to pinpointing the best way for us to play this. With all three at 13/1 or less, it makes things somewhat tricky. The margins are very minimal, and I am afraid if we take two of these players as our selections, we will leave ourselves overly overexposed for the event, especially if McIlroy is the first name to grace our card at 9/1. McIlroy and Thomas are projected to be two of the five highest owned players on DraftKings, and I am going to try and pivot onto Koepka, who I believe is coming into the tournament under the radar.
*** News has come out about Justin Thomas dealing with a wrist injury entering the Tour Championship. He tweaked it at the BMW Championship. According to Thomas, he has been taping it up "just for precautionary measures." While I am not too worried about the injury, it does make me like pivoting onto Koepka even more than I did before.

Koepka has proven to be a big event player in his career, and the stakes are as high as they can get with 10 million dollars and the World number one ranking on the line. There are some roundabout scenarios where Koepka can capture the FedExCup title without a victory, but the most realistic path to the grand prize is winning and having DeChambeau and Rose conclude the tournament outside of second-place.

After winning the U.S. Open and PGA Championship earlier in the season, the big-hitting American has taken a backseat to Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Rose. However, Koepka has not performed poorly during his recent stretch and has been one of the most consistent players on tour over the past 18 months. The 28-year-old has made 31 of his previous 32 worldwide cuts and has posted three straight top-20 finishes since his victory at the PGA Championship. Not to mention, he is also ranked in the top-six in his previous 24 rounds compared to the field in scrambling, birdies or better gained, par-four scoring, greens in regulation gained and strokes gained off the tee.

The only thing holding Koepka back from entering the winner's circle again has been his putting. Over his previous 12 rounds, the second-ranked player in the world sits 27th in this week's field for strokes gained-putting. However, the switch to Bermuda greens may help to get Koepka back on track. In the Americans last 12 rounds compared to the field, he ranks first in strokes gained putting on Bermuda greens. There is nobody I trust more on the PGA Tour to show up and succeed at prestigious events, and Koepka has an opportunity to cement his claim as the best player in the world.

Sleepers

Bubba Watson (40/1, DK Price $6,500, FD Price $9,300)

East Lake wouldn't appear to be an ideal venue for Bubba Watson's game. He has never been a great player with his long irons, and he is an average scrambler at best. But if strokes gained off the tee does end up being the most critical factor, the American can overcome and thrive in Atlanta.

Watson's results at East Lake in the past would seem to indicate that strokes gained off the tee will be one of the most important factors of the week. In his previous four appearances since 2012, the 39-year-old has finished no worse than 14th and has provided two top-five finishes in 2012 and 2015. Watson was one of the most popular plays at the BMW Championship, but an opening round 71 took him out of contention before he had an opportunity to get going. A closing stretch over his final three rounds of 65,65 and 66 ended up being lost in the shuffle because of his poor first round.

Watson has won three times on tour this season and is coming off of a share of seventh place just two starts ago at the Dell Technologies Championship. The 12-time PGA Tour winner ranks second on the season in strokes gained off the tee and can capture the FedExCup title with a victory and a little help from DeChambeau and Rose. The motivation should be there for Watson, and that is a good enough to warrant a flier at odds of 40/1.

Head-to-Head Play of the Week

Brooks Koepka +125 over Justin Rose -145
Brooks Koepka $11,300 price tag on FanDuel vs. Justin Rose $11,200 price tag on FanDuel
Brooks Koepka 26.1 percent projected ownership vs. Justin Rose 45.7 percent projected ownership

Ownership projections for the Tour Championship are still a little hazy, but I have a feeling that Justin Rose is going to end up being one of the chalkier plays of the week, especially on FanDuel where he has a reduced price compared to DraftKings. Pricing is very soft across the board on all DFS sites, and it is very critical to try and find a way to differentiate yourself from the pack. Rose does come in as the most expensive player on DraftKings, which could theoretically reduce his ownership, but it will not be hard to find six players to fit within your budget this week, so prices are slightly irrelevant.

The no-cut feature and small field will make things much more difficult from a head-to-head wagering perspective. All competitors will get to play four rounds, and we won't be able to win our bet before the weekend. That is of course barring a player being forced out of the event because of an injury. I have mentioned many times in these head-to-head write-ups that I dislike pairing top-10 caliber golfers against one another. These wagers are too much of a coin flip, and that makes it so we can't surpass the kind of expected return on investment that we would hope.

But things change when the rules of an event change and we need to identify two crucial factors if we want to win money this week. For starters, with it being such a small field, we need to determine a list of players that we think have an increased likelihood of capturing the title at East Lake. I feel like this week places a greater emphasis on the upside players present. In everything we do from wagering to DFS plays, we should be trying to put together a collection of golfers that can win the title.

The second factor we need to look at is the value of the actual bet we are selecting. Every player is sectioned off into a quadrant of similar caliber players this week, and the sportsbooks have had two weeks to prepare lines. We aren't going to be offered golfers of different quality levels against one another. I think with Brooks Koepka being our pick to win, our best bet is to find a matchup for him and try to exploit some value from it.

Our options to bet Koepka against are the following:

Brooks Koepka +125 vs. Justin Rose -145
Brooks Koepka +104 vs. Rory McIlroy -121
Brooks Koepka -107 vs. Justin Thomas -109
Brooks Koepka -114 vs. Tiger Woods -102
Brooks Koepka +120 vs. Dustin Johnson -140

I think Koepka, Thomas and McIlroy are the three most likely winners of the event, so I would automatically eliminate those other two. I'd also prefer not to lay juice on Koepka over Woods if alternative options are offering a plus number. So that leaves us with a bet against either Justin Rose or Dustin Johnson. As I mentioned above, Rose is the player that has exceeded his caliber in this range and is now being offered as an incorrect price. I know that is a weird statement to make against the new No. 1 ranked player in the world, but I don't think there should be a difference in what Koepka is versus Rose and what he is versus Woods. I usually wouldn't target a head-to-head wager against Rose, but I feel like Koepka is a nice pivot play in a short 30 player event.

 

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