WATCH: VALUE PLAY – GRAEME MCDOWELL
The FedEx St. Jude Classic tees off Thursday morning from TPC Southwind in Memphis, the last stop on the PGA Tour before the season’s next major. Many of the top players in the world are sitting this one out, but there are still plenty of interesting decisions to be made. Here are a few names to consider at every price range as you start putting together your lineups.
Brooks Koepka – ($11,500) – Koepka clearly seems to love this place, finishing inside the top-20 each of the three times he’s played here, and inside the top three for the last two. He has started to turn in some of the performances we expected coming into the season recently, with three straight solid showings that began with the Masters. Last weekend he faltered on Sunday to end up T31, but he still drove the ball very well off the tee and tied for second in Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR %) for the weekend, showing the kind of well-balanced game that could lead to plenty of success at TPC Southwind.
Francesco Molinari ($10,500) – His last two performances were a T6 at THE PLAYERS and then a solo second on the Euro Tour, at the BMW PGA Championship. And those were just the two most recent of his 13 top-25 performances in his last 16 appearances. He has been consistent enough for every cash game lineup you’re putting together and, sitting inside the top-10 in Total Strokes Gained, he certainly has the upside to warrant consideration in your DraftKings tournament lineups as well.
Phil Mickelson ($10,200) – With the announcement that he is going to miss the U.S. Open for his daughter’s graduation, this weekend becomes even more important to the player most famous for always liking these weeks before the big tournaments. He has spoken openly about how much he enjoys the layout here, and it is reflected in his results, which include a T2, T3 and T11 in his three most recent attempts.
Billy Horschel ($9,500) – This comes down to one thing more than anything else: three straight top-10 finishes at this tournament. That’s enough to get him into my cash game lineups. And when you consider that he has had some legitimate success recently with his win at the AT&T Byron Nelson, there is every reason to trust him for at least one more week.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($8,600) – A player who can dominate on the greens, the key for him to succeed at TPC Southwind is the approach shot. The course can make up-and-downs tricky, but a solid drive can leave you a very makeable iron shot from the fairway, so performance off the tee and on approach is paramount. And once you get there, you have to capitalize. While Bello is only 147th on Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, that number has been climbing recently, and if he can extend that trend to another weekend, he’ll be putting himself in a great position to sink a few putts and get into contention.
Kyle Stanley ($8,400) – Inside the top-10 in three of his last six starts, there is every reason to wonder why he is so cheap here, actually. Currently seventh in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee as well as Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, that sounds to me like a player who is going to take full advantage of every opportunity this course gives to wind up with solid birdie opportunities. And sitting 12th in overall scoring average on tour for the year, he’s done plenty to convince me he can capitalize on those chances.
Brian Gay ($8,200) – Gay has had four top-10 performances here before, including a win and a sixth place finish as recently as last season, and while he hasn’t been at the very top of his game for quite a while, when he has been going well it’s been because of his putter. Right now he is 13th in Strokes Gained: Putting, a skill he’ll look to put to work on a course he likes.
Chad Campbell ($7,600) – He’s made his last two cuts, managing 27 birdies and an eagle over those eight rounds. TPC Southwind is a fair test all around, which you can see challenge different players in different ways. However, a hot streak on the greens can make a mid or low-priced option into a solid fantasy contributor anywhere.
Kevin Tway ($7,400) – He may have missed the cut last weekend, but this price still seems low for someone with four top-20 performances in his last five (including that MC). Sixth on tour in Driving Distance, over this recent stretch of stellar play, he has been able to turn that distance into good looks at the pin and legitimate birdie chances. This is something he will have the chance to replicate at TPC Southwind, where solid work off the tee can set you up to convert plenty of scoring chances.
Danny Lee ($7,200) – After a rough start to the season, Lee had a run of five straight made cuts in March and April, with three top-25 performances mixed in. After missing the weekend again at the Valero Texas Open and THE PLAYERS, though, he bounced back with his best performances of the year, finishing fifth at the AT&T Byron Nelson and sixth at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, recording 33 birdies against just 18 bogeys in the process. With a nice mix of length and touch in his game, he is the kind of well-rounded player who could flourish here if he’s playing at his best this weekend.
Brian Stuard ($7,000) – On a course with relatively small greens and plenty of challenges in the short game, accuracy on approach is critical, and Stuard right now is sitting sixth on tour in Proximity to Hole. Two weeks ago in his top-25 finish at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational, he closed out the weekend with a 65 on Sunday, showing the kind of scoring potential that could make him a useful contributor in any format contest this weekend.
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.