TPC Boston is hosting this weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Once again, we have only the best of the best on hand, creating both a top-heavy AND a deep field. Here are a few players I like to return value and provide upside this weekend from every price range.
Jason Day ($12,500) – Day is primed to finish out 2016 almost as strong as he did 2015. Maybe not multiple wins-strong, but now with two straight top-5’s, he has himself solidly in second in the FedEx Cup points race, and he can stay there if he just keeps playing the way he is now. For me, he not only has more upside than anyone, but he brings a level of safety that just makes your roster feel more stable.
Rory McIlroy ($11,100) – Rory is one of the best players in the world, and he likes it here. That’s enough for me, even in a week with a loaded field. He’s never missed a cut in five tries, and he has been inside the top-5 twice, including a win in 2012. It was his putter that failed him last weekend, but he showed the ball striking that has left him with a 68% Greens in Regulation (GIR) rate, and that means he will be giving himself enough opportunities to score to make him an obvious upside play.
Henrik Stenson ($10,700) – It really would be too bad if an injury completely derailed his opportunity to finish this season out strong. He had finally broken through, allowing his game to come to the forefront with huge performances at the British Open and then the international games, and building up six top-15 finishes in his last eight, including five top-10’s and four top-5’s. Hopefully his knee is well enough for him to perform for four straight days this weekend. Make sure to monitor Stenson’s status.
Patrick Reed ($10,200) – Last weekend’s winner and now #1 in total FedEx Cup points, Reed is an obvious option, but that doesn’t make it wrong. The Barclays may have been his first win of the season, but it was his tenth top-10. If he is stepping up his game and closing out tournaments, he might very well stay at #1 in this points race. He is one of those players who show up best in the scoring categories: he might not be a world-beater off the tee, or with his irons, or on the green but he does everything well and can bring it all together as well as anyone. Last weekend just about got him into the top-25 in Birdie or Better %, and he was already there in adjusted Scoring Average.
Emiliano Grillo ($9,000) – The rookie qualified for the playoffs in his first year, and he showed up like he intended to do work, finishing T2 with three rounds in the sixties and never going over par. He already has three top-10’s and a win under his belt in year one, and he is doing it with the kind of well-rounded game that can succeed on any course, inside the top-75 or so in Driving Distance, top 40 in GIR and well within the top-50 in overall Birdie or Better .
Brooks Koepka ($8,700) – Another young player with tons of upside, Koepka has officially qualified for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, and is just outside the top-25 in FedEx Cup points after last weekend’s showing at The Barclays in which he failed to crack par, but at least made the cut with a 73-72-73-73. Prior to that had been two straight top-tens, and even last weekend, his skills were on display, as he finished up with 18 birdies, tied for second most in the field. If he can avoid the mistakes that did him in last weekend, then he has already shown the ability to excel, as proved by the 58 DraftKings fantasy points he provided with a T70 performance at Bethpage Black.
Gary Woodland ($7,700) – The opposite of Koepka, Woodland came in with a T4 last weekend despite carding only 12 birdies. This was only possible, of course, because he managed just five bogeys and only one double, the exact kind of game that could keep him in contention this weekend on a course that came in as the third toughest par-71 on Tour last year and only got harder, adding length to two of the more reachable holes. The issue, of course, is whether that’s the Woodland who shows up again this weekend, as this was his first top-20 finish in a month and a half, since a T12 at The Open Championship.
Justin Thomas ($7,600) – Thomas, like Woodland, is someone who found success at Bethpage, but he did it with a little more flair, racking up 16 total birdies to Woodland’s 12. That’s how he managed to get within 15 fantasy points of Woodland despite finishing six spots lower on the final leaderboard. And he has been doing just that somewhat consistently all year long, with six top-10’s on the year and now two so far this month. Top-50 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, when he is at his best, he can put himself in positions to score when other players can’t, giving him plenty of upside even with so many top-players on hand.
Johnson Wagner ($7,500) – Wagner has managed to stay completely off the radar during his recent run of three straight inside the top-25. The top-5’s at the John Deere Classic and Wyndham Championship, though, were easier to ignore than the T22 he claimed last weekend in another loaded field. He shot a 74 in the first round and 76 in the third, but still finished so high because of a ridiculous 64 on Sunday as his second round under par. Those four rounds are perfectly indicative of the kind of option he is this weekend, with the upside of putting up bunches of fantasy points in a hurry. If he can continue his recent strong play, he is someone you could turn to especially in tournament play.
Charley Hoffman ($7,300) – A former winner here, he also finished with a solo-3rd last year, and he is returning with his game in good shape, with two straight top-25 finishes. The 67 he shot on Sunday last weekend obviously helped his cause, vaulting him up the leaderboard to end up at T13. That kind of convergence of trends makes you feel more comfortable. He has jumped more than 20 spots each in GIR % and Strokes Gained: Putting over the last two weeks, showing the kind of all-around game he’ll need to continue the streak through Labor Day.
Tony Finau ($6,500) – Finau is a cheap option who has elite distance off the tee and had enough of a short game to finish T25 at the Travelers and 12 at The Barclays over his last two appearances. Finau has the length to match up with anyone on Tour, and that puts him in a position to give you much more upside than other options you’ll find in this price range.
Hudson Swafford ($5,500) – Swafford has just one top ten finish on the year, and yet is 82nd in the FedEx Cup points race at the moment. He’s done it by routinely making cuts, playing consistent golf and that’s made him a sneaky solid fantasy option, with 60+ DraftKings fantasy points in eight straight tournaments. He is definitely someone I am targeting to fill out my roster when I start off with a top-priced option, especially in a cash game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.