The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
Last week was filled with intrigue as two American Ryder Cup hopefuls dueled down the stretch. Bethpage Black lived up to the hype and played extremely tough, contributing to a late meltdown by Rickie Fowler. Fowler’s gaffs allowed Patrick Reed to take the win and the final automatic Ryder Cup Spot. This week the players will be taking on a much more “fun” course in an event which takes place over the long weekend and has an unusual Friday-Monday schedule.
The field this week is now cut down to 100 players after the first leg of the playoffs and after this week the field will get pared down further to 70 (for the BMW Championship next week). That being said, there is still a cut line in place here at the DBC as 30 of the 100 golfers entered will not be allowed to play the weekend. Getting 6 golfers through to the weekend will be critical for DFS purposes as only 30% of the field will be cut after Friday, making it easier statistically at least for DFS players to get 6/6 through. As for the field itself, this tends to be one of the deepest of the year and all of the world’s big names are here. Sergio Garcia has returned after a week off and Henrik Stenson will be back in the field after withdrawing last week with a bum knee (however keep an eye on his status). Some of the top players who had poor weeks at the Barclays like Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jimmy Walker, will be looking for rebounds here to cement their status for the Tour final.
TPC Boston, Massachusetts
Par 71, 7200-7300 yards
TPC Boston is one of the golfer’s favorite courses of the year (and mine as well). It rewards aggressive play and features drivable par 4’s, reachable par 5’s but also contains some tougher, longer holes. In short it’s a fair but challenging test where good play is rewarded with low scores. The course was designed by Arnold Palmer in 2001 but redesigned in 2007 by Gil Hanse and actually shortened a bit (mainly a couple par 4’s were made into drivable holes).
The front side is generally where players will need to get their scoring done as the first hole and the fourth are both drivable/easy par 4’s. The second is also a reachable par 5 and plays as one of the easiest holes on the course. The back nine features a few longer par 4’s where players will need accurate drives off the tee. Fescue style rough lines this course in areas and players who are inaccurate could find themselves laying up for their second shot. TPC Boston finishes with a fairly easy par 5, so expect to see some lead changes and possible drama on the final hole.
As far as key distances go six of the par 4’s fall between 450- 500 yards and so while this course doesn’t play exceedingly long, players will have to handle these longer, tougher holes well to score for the week. Looking at players who excel from this distance, either in hitting greens or scoring in general is definitely a good place to start any statistical research for the week.
Last 5 winners
2015—Rickie Fowler – -15 (over Henrik Stenson -14)
2014—Chris Kirk – -15 (over Russell Henley, Bill Haas, Billy Horschel -13)
2013—Henrik Stenson – -22 (over Steve Stricker -20)
2012—Rory McIlroy – -20 (over Louis Oosthuizen -19)
2011—Webb Simpson – -15 (over Chez Revie Playoff)
- The last 5 winners of this event have all ranked inside the top 25 in scoring average and within the top 27 in the all-around ranking in the year of their victory.
- Four of the past five winners had landed a T10 or better in their previous 5 starts before their respective win.
Birdie or Better Average
Strokes Gained: Approach
Par 5 Scoring
TPC Boston requires players to take advantage of scoring holes. As noted above, several of the past winners have found themselves ranked highly in scoring average in the year of their victory. Looking at both scoring average ranks for the year and Birdie or Better Percentages this week is something I can get behind. The winners here usually get to at least -15 and this is a week where birdie bonuses will be more key than placing points on DraftKings.
Another category of importance seems to be strokes gained: approaching the green. Past winners here haven’t needed to be super accurate or long necessarily, and last years winner Rickie Fowler ranked outside the top 25 in both driving accuracy and distance for the week. A good approach game seems more vital however as Fowler was ranked 6th in greens in regulation. I’d consider weighting player’s strokes gained through approaches more heavily this week as a result.
Lastly I’d definitely recommend you weigh par 5 scoring heavily this week. The last 9 winners of this event (since the re-design) have ranked as follows in par 5 scoring in the year of their win: 1-1-4-4-1-1-4-22-19. The par 5’s are very scorable here and need to be taken advantage of this week. It’s likely the leaderboard will be littered with players ranked well in this area of play.
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful of putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week.
|Brandt Snedeker||51-1||$7,700||Gary Woodland $7400 and 67-1
Sean O’Hair $7800 and 80-1
Paul Casey $7900 and 80-1
|Steve Stricker||90-1||$7,000||Jamie Lovemark$7200 and 125-1
John Senden $7200 and 150-1
Si Woo Kim $7300 and 110-1
HORSES FOR COURSES
- Phil Mickelson loves being aggressive and this course has suited him well in the past. Phil won this event after the changes were made in 2007 and has a 10th and 4th in his past 5 visits.
- Jason Dufner has a fantastic record at TPC Boston. Since 2009 Dufner has yet to miss the cut at this event in 6 visits and also has a 2nd and a 9th place finish to his name here. His aggressive iron play should give him numerous chances at birdie this week.
- Jason Day loves this course and it really shows in his results as he’s landed finishes of 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 7th and 12th here in his last 6 visits. Day has been a birdie or better machine at this course over his career and is a great course horse this week.
- Sean O’Hair is an interesting addition to this list coming off his great week at the Barclays. O’Hair has made the cut in 5 out of 7 appearances at TPC Boston but has three top tens to his credit here in that span. He’s definitely someone to keep an eye on this week.
While last week saw the golfers take on a very US Open style of course, this week’s venue is entirely different in that we should see a lot of birdies rolling throughout the week. What this means for DFS is that birdie points and bonuses will play more of a factor and that those lower salaried players will have a better chance of putting up decent totals, even if they don’t finish high up in the standings. This should be a great week to target some of those players under 6500 who will be more likely to thrive under the different conditions and, at the very least, make some birdie points on those easier par 4’s and 5’s. Unlike last week where most of the top plays were big names we should see a few more lower-priced players with big weeks here. I’d definitely look towards a stars and scrubs approach in Boston.
Top Performing Studs from recent weeks
– Patrick Reed
– Jason Day
– Emiliano Grillo
Top Performing Value plays from recent weeks
– Sean O’Hair
– Johnson Wagner
– Ricky Barnes
MY PICK: Phil Mickelson ($9300)
Let’s try this again. I’ve included Phil in this spot numerous times this season with middling results mostly, but I won’t be deterred, because he really is playing great golf this season. Phil is ranked 1st in scoring average, 7th in all-around ranking, 12th in par 5 scoring and is coming off a decent week at the Barclays where he scratched up to a T13 by the end of the week after a solid final round. This week though, the course offers more opportunity for players to be aggressive and that should suit Phil just fine, who has openly referred to TPC Boston as “one of my favorite places to play”. While Phil may not have won since 2013, it’s easy to forget that less than two months ago he put on one of the best displays of golf we’ve seen in the past few years when he dueled with Henrik Stenson at the Open Championship. I think Lefty has a win in him this year and I think this is where he gets it. He’s my main selection for the week.
MY SLEEPER: Daniel Summerhays ($6000)
Sleeper Qualification: must be under $7000 in salary and projected by me to be less than 10% owned
Summerhays is either going to make me look very bad for recommending a player who has missed his last two cuts, or a genius for telling you to get back on him this week. One of the main reasons I am optimistic for a bounce back from Daniel is the fact that he ranks highly in a lot of key stats this week. Summerhays is inside the top 50 in both scoring average and all-around rankings and also ranks 27th in par 5 scoring. While the two missed cuts may be concerning also consider that Summerhays has been a model of consistency on tour the past few years and hasn’t missed three cuts in a row since 2013. In other words, he deserves the benefit of the doubt here. In his last three visits to TPC Boston Summerhays has put up finishes of 22-57-9 and I think he can build on his record this week. Don’t forget that only a month ago he finished top 5 at a major championship, a similar performance this week would make him a huge value play.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.