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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational


Welcome back to the PGA DFS: Vegas Report. Shane Lowry carried the pride of Ireland with him at the Open Championship, capturing his first major title in runaway fashion. The Irishman's sixth shot victory over Tommy Fleetwood was the largest margin since Louis Oosthuizen's triumph in 2010 at St. Andrews and was just the third time a player has won by six or more strokes since 1976.

While the victory does come as a bit of a surprise to some, the 32-year-old has been trending towards this for years. Four previous top-10 showings in majors since 2014 have highlighted a few of his recent close calls, but it was his collapse during the 2016 U.S Open that may have helped Lowry achieve his dreams this time around. Carrying a four-shot lead entering Sunday, Lowry failed to walk out of Oakmont as the victor after a final round 76 allowed Dustin Johnson to seize the championship, but as the famous saying goes, "sometimes you win - sometimes you learn."

It was evident this past Sunday that Lowry was erudite enough to grow from his past failures in the most significant moments, and because of his epic victory, the country of Ireland has been given another reason to celebrate. "Sláinte!"

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.  Sign Up Now!

2019 WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational

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

To see who the RotoBaller staff is selecting in the weekly 'One and Done' contest, click here.

 

TPC Southwind

7,244 Yards - Par 70 - Greens Bermuda

After years of being one of the lowest-tiered tournaments on tour, the St. Jude Classic has found a way to parlay their event into WGC riches. Sixty-four of the best players in the world will give TPC Southwind their best shot, and only the likes of Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Francesco Molinari will be missing out on the party in Memphis this weekend. A lot of the usual participants of this tournament have been relegated into having to head north to Reno for the Barracuda Championship, which includes Daniel Berger, a back-to-back winner at the event in 2016 and 2017.

The actual course measures 7,244 yards but does play longer than the yardage may indicate. Seven par-fours stretch over 450 yards, and while the par-fives aren't extremely lengthy, there also aren't many eagle opportunities to be had. The fairways feature Zoysia grass, and 76 bunkers and 11 water hazards surround the property. Unlike some weeks where the water is just there for show, TPC Southwind punishes errant shots. More balls find the lake here than any other course on tour, and despite some relatively decent scores over the years, the venue played as the 11th most difficult last season.

Seven of the last eight winners have led the field in strokes gained tee to green for the week, so we will be attempting to pinpoint players who excel in that area. Add in strokes gained approach, ball striking, proximity from 150-200 yards, opportunities gained and par-four scoring, and I believe we have a pretty good blueprint for how to attack our card this week.

WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational

#1 Brooks Koepka - 12/1

DK Price $11,600, FD Price $11,900

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 13.8%

If Brooks Koepka is able to whittle down a field from 156 players to around 20 players who have a shot to capture the title during major championship events, does the same logic apply for this week's 63-man WGC - FedEx St. Jude Classic? If so, we might be looking at a tournament where Koepka is the only person capable of winning (at least according to his math.)

This concept that the American is a big-game hunter and only cares about four tournaments a year does hold some credence because the 29-year-old has been adamant that every event is a tune-up if it is not a grand slam, but at what point does that statement become invalid? You could sell me that some of these smaller events wouldn't be able to hold his attention from Thursday to Sunday, but are we really going to make the argument that the four WGCs and Players Championship are not worth his time? If that were actually the case, Koepka wouldn't be here this weekend and would have nine months to relax and do whatever he pleases before the Masters comes around in April.

Personally, I think it is a bit of his macho demeanor shining through during interviews when he says some of the stuff he does. A minimum payday to show up and mess around for four days isn't what Koepka is signing up for this week, but the majority of people inside the DFS industry will swear that Koepka is only here to pick up a check. Many small-scale factors help to create or diminish value, but the idea that Koepka's odds are better to win a tournament that has 60 percent more players is ridiculous if you ask me. I'd have priced Koepka as the favorite at 8/1 and will gladly take a 33 percent increase in his outright price because of this perception that follows him. Anytime we can grab Koepka at a number that is yielding around a four percent win equity advantage, it seems like a no-brainer.

#2 Jason Day - 33/1

DK Price $8,300 FD Price $10,200

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 14.6%

Consider me moderately surprised that nearly 15 percent of DFS lineups are projected to take Jason Day as of Tuesday morning. I'd have anticipated that gamers would be off of him after his implosion at the Open Championship, but it does make logical sense when you consider his skill level and cheap price tag. The real question becomes: How will the public view him from an outright betting perspective?

Before I discuss Day a little further, I do want to mention the hype surrounding Bryson DeChambeau this week. I don't necessarily disagree with anyone that the American is inching closer to capturing a title here shortly, but it rarely ends well when everyone is on the same player or team. We see this weekly when you look at consensus plays for the NFL, NBA and MLB, and the real advantage comes in being able to ignore those traps if possible. I may end up missing the boat when it comes to DeChambeau because of this mindset, but enough people will abandon ship if a victory doesn't arrive shortly, and I think that is a much better time to buy into the hype.

The DFS and outright markets are meant to coincide with one another because DraftKings does tend to copy the odds when making their pricing, but a very tiny discord has taken place when comparing the two for the St. Jude Invitational because of the limited field. The outright market was forced to jumble together a handful of players into the same range, which includes Matt Kuchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Jason Day. Up to $700 separates those seven players on DraftKings, but only three points separate them in the outright market. It makes sense why some have been willing to take a discount on Day who is the cheapest of the seven on DFS sites, but why isn't the same trend following with his outright price?

In my opinion, the no-cut feature of the event allows gamers to save a few dollars in their minds by selecting Day, but most aren't betting him because they believe he has little chance to actually win. His outright price opened at 30/1, has already drifted to 33/1 and could be on the rise even higher by the time Thursday arrives. I have Day priced at 25/1 to capture the title in Memphis this week and would have switched him and Stenson in every market if I was the one making the final numbers.

#3 Matt Kuchar - 33/1

DK Price $9,00, FD Price $10,000

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 15.4%

Matt Kuchar is going to see one of the largest swings from last week to this week when it comes to his stature in the outright market. The 13th-ranked player in the world was a trendy selection to capture his first major title at Royal Portrush but should continue to drift in the market as we get closer to teeing it up in Memphis.

Kuchar has already climbed three points since opening at 30/1, and a lot of that stems from the 41-year-old only being able to muster a share of 41st place at the Open Championship. As a general rule of thumb, public bettors are fickle when it comes to who draws their money for an event because it is all about "what have you done for me lately?" That never quite works for multiple reasons - most notably due to the fact that as soon as your casual bettor is aware of something, the sportsbooks have already adjusted a players price to account for the perception. It doesn't mean that a golfer cannot still win when being heavily touted and wagered upon, but it does decrease your long-term expected return when you are paying a lower price to buy into the narrative.

Similar to Day, DFS players will be willing to buy into Kuchar's safety this week, but I don't believe many will be running to place a wager on the nine-time PGA Tour winner at his current price. We may see this number drift slightly higher to 35/1, but anything above 30 is worth a wager by my projections. We don't have a massive window of value presenting itself here, but there is enough to justify a play on golf's new villain.

#4 Marc Leishman - 66/1

DK Price $7,600, FD Price $9,800

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 7.2%

Marc Leishman ejected at the Open Championship on Thursday, posting a seven-over 78 en route to what would turn into a missed cut for the Australian. In the process, Leishman sunk nearly 20 percent of players on DraftKings and will most likely be put into timeout this weekend in Memphis by most of those who rostered him in Ireland.

While it is never a positive to implode in the fashion that Leishman did at the Open, there are a few reasons to remain optimistic when it comes to the 26th-ranked player in the world. Before last weekend, Leishman had made 23 of his past 25 weekends - including three straight top-35 results, and I believe throwing his result away at Royal Portrush is all we can do when handicapping him for the St. Jude Invitational.

Open Championships will always be slightly hit-and-miss due to the potential for weather bias to hamper a particular portion of the field, and it is difficult to place too much weight onto anything that happens during these oversea events in general. Leishman has shown that he does his best work when faced with Bermuda greens and ranks fourth compared to the field when it comes to strokes gained putting on them during his previous 50 rounds. If this tournament had been played before Leishman's letdown in Ireland, he would have been priced in the same range as Tyrrell Hatton, Andrew Putnam and Phil Mickelson, so if the casinos want to give us an extra 11 points of value because of one unfortunate result, I'll gladly back the 35-year-old at 66/1 this weekend.

#5 Eddie Pepperell - 110/1

DK Price $7,200, FD Price $8,300

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 2.7%

It does concern me somewhat that Eddie Pepperell has had minimal success when coming to the United States to play golf, but the three times the tournament has been played on Bermuda grass, the Englishman has finished third, 16th and 57th. Numbers can sometimes be deceiving when not put into context, but his third-place showing came at the world-renowned Players Championship, so we aren't only talking about weaker field events during this time frame.

Pepperell is a wild-card in Memphis for many reasons, but his sub-three percent projected ownership and lofty outright price of 110/1 makes him a contrarian flier worth considering. The 38th-ranked player in the world graded out third last season on the European Tour in strokes gained approach and 14th in strokes gained tee to green, so there is upside to be had if his putter can cooperate the way I think it might on the Bermuda greens of TPC Southwind.

#6 Corey Conners - 250/1

DK Price $6,300, FD Price $7,400

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 10%

I only have Corey Conners at a win percentage of 0.57 percent, but there is a little value to be had with the market pricing him at 0.40 percent.

Conners has struggled recently with his putter, but the return to Bermuda greens could help the Canadian find the same form that helped him win the Valero Texas Open in April. Conners leads the tour in both greens in regulation and proximity to the hole, so a hot week on the putting surface could be enough to put 27-year-old in contention. He is still a huge longshot to win, but 175/1 would have been a fairer price on Conners this week.

My Top 30 Ranked Golfers For The Week

Key Stats: 25% Strokes Gained Tee to Green, 17.5% Strokes Gained Approach, 15% Ball Striking, 15% Proximity 150-200 Yards, 15% Birdie or Better Percentage, 12.5% Par-Four Average

60% Stats/30% Form/10% Course History


Head-to-Head Play of the Week

Eddie Pepperell +170 over Keegan Bradley -190
Eddie Pepperell $7,200 price tag on DraftKings vs. Keegan Bradley $6,900 price tag on DraftKings
Eddie Pepperell 2.7 percent projected ownership vs. Keegan Bradley 12.7 percent projected ownership

0.80 Units to Win 1.36

The write-up this week is quite simple for Eddie Pepperell (+170) over Keegan Bradley (-195). I have this matchup priced out as Bradley (-135) and Pepperell (+115) and believe we are getting a 9.5 percent advantage in implied probability. Since I only have Pepperell at 46.5 percent to win the matchup this week, I have decided to recommend just .80 units to earn 1.36. I do want to make it clear that I am not advocating a full-fade of Bradley this weekend, although his 12.7% projected ownership on DraftKings is something I will ignore from a game-theory perspective in large-field GPP contests.

2019 Head-to-Head Record (15-9-2)

+6.97 Units Year-To-Date From H2H Bets

Tournament

Head-to-Head Bet

Bet

My Picks Finish

Opponent Finish

Result

Total

Safeway Open

Sangmoon Bae +130 Over Chris Kirk

1.00 Units to Win 1.30

MC (+2)

MC (E)

Loss

-1.00

CIMB Classic

Kevin Na -120 over Kevin Tway

1.50 Units to Win 1.25

T19 (-17)

T27 (-13)

Win

1.25

CJ Cup

Paul Casey +100 over Marc Leishman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T18 (-8)

T18 (-8)

Push

0

WGC-HSBC

Thomas Pieters +120 over Kevin Na

1.00 Units to Win 1.20

T18 (-1)

T54 (+10)

Win

1.20

Shriners

Austin Cook +100 over Russell Henley

1.00 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+1)

MC (-1)

Loss

-1.00

Mayakoba

Kevin Chappell +100 over Charley Hoffman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T41 (-9)

MC (+2)

Win

1.25

RSM Classic

Patrick Rodgers -105 over Bronson Burgoon

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

2nd (-19)

MC (+2)

Win

1.00

Sony Open

Jimmy Walker -115 over Kevin Na

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

T51 (-6)

Did Not Start

Push

0

Desert Classic

Anders Albertson -110 over Anirban Lahiri

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T34 (-14)

MC (-8)

Win

1.00

Farmers Insurance

J.B. Holmes +130 over Branden Grace

0.70 Units to Win 0.91

MC (+4)

MC (+3)

Loss

-0.70

Farmers Insurance

Jordan Spieth -110 over Alex Noren

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T35 (-7)

MC (E)

Win

1.00

Waste Management

Ryan Palmer +105 over Kevin Tway

1.00 Units to Win 1.05

T60 (E)

MC (E)

Win

1.05

Genesis Open

Hideki Matsuyama -110 over Jordan Spieth

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T9 (-7)

T51 (+1)

Win

1.00

Honda Classic

Zach Johnson -115 over Kiradech Aphibarnrat

1.43 Units to Win 1.25

T59 (+3)

MC (+10)

Win

1.25

Arnold Palmer

Chesson Hadley -110 over Chris Kirk

0.82 Units to win 0.75

T17 (-5)

T15 (-6)

Loss

-0.82

Players Championship

Tiger Woods +105 over Rickie Fowler

0.75 Units to win 0.79

T30 (-6)

T47 (-3)

Win

0.79

Valero Texas Open

Trey Mullinax -110 over Justin Harding

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

MDF (+1)

MC (+4)

Win

1.00

Masters

Bubba Watson -115 over Louis Oosthuizen

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

T12 (-8)

T29 (-4)

Win

1.00

Wells Fargo Championship

Joel Damen +120 over Chez Reavie

0.75 Units to win 0.90

2nd (-12)

T18 (-5)

Win

0.90

Byron Nelson

Trey Mullinax -105 over Brian Stuard

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+5)

T59 (-7)

Loss

-1.05

PGA Championship

Dylan Frittelli -105 over Cameron Champ

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+8)

T54 (+9)

Loss

-1.05

Memorial Tournament

Jason Kokrak -110 over Kyle Stanley

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T62 (+3)

MC (+2)

Win

1.00

Canadian Open

Ollie Schniederjans -110 over Nick Taylor

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+1)

-6 (T27)

Loss

-1.10

U.S. Open

Tiger Woods +160 over Rory McIlroy

1.00 Units to Win 1.60

T21 (-2)

T9 (-5)

Loss

-1.00

3M Open

Lucas Glover +100 over Charley Hoffman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T7 (-16)

MC (E)

Win

1.25

John Deere Classic

Talor Gooch +100 over Beau Hossler

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

MDF (-2)

T26 (-12)

Loss

-1.25

2019 Outright Bets That Have Finished Inside the Top-10

Player

Event

Odds

Finish Position

Matt Kuchar

Mayakoba Golf Classic

66

1

Corey Conners

Valero Texas Open

200

1

Rory McIlroy

Canadian Open

10

1

Chesson Hadley

CIMB Classic

110

T2

Dustin Johnson

Masters

12

T2

Adam Scott

Memorial

33

2

Ryan Palmer

CJ Cup

150

T3

Sam Ryder

Shriners Hospitals

80

3

Chez Reavie

Sony Open

80

T3

Justin Thomas

Waste Management

10

3

Tommy Fleetwood

Arnold Palmer

35

T3

Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Arnold Palmer

60

T3

Scott Piercy

RBC Heritage

150

T3

Xander Schaufele

U.S. Open

28

T3

Tony Finau

Open Championship

80

3

Lucas Glover

Honda Classic

60

T4

Brooks Koepka

Byron Nelson

7

T4

Jason Day

CJ Cup

13

T5

Sergio Garcia

WGC-Match Play

45

T5

Jason Day

Masters

40

T5

Marc Leishman

Memorial

66

5

Kevin Tway

Travelers

150

T5

Adam Hadwin

Canadian Open

70

6

Rickie Fowler

Open Championship

33

T6

Zach Johnson

RSM Classic

40

T7

Kevin Kisner

RSM Classic

40

T7

Troy Merritt

3M Open

175

T7

Lucas Glover

3M Open

90

T7

Webb Simpson

TOC

25

8

Jason Day

Players Championship

40

8

Hideki Matsuyama

Players Championship

40

8

Jason Day

Travelers

20

T8

J.B. Holmes

Safeway Open

60

T9

Gary Woodland

Farmers Insurance

28

T9

Hideki Matsuyama

Genesis Open

30

T9

Shubankar Sharma

CIMB Classic

150

T10

Troy Merritt

RBC Heritage

250

T10

Golf DFS News and Player Outlooks


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