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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational


Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Michael Thompson emerged victorious at something of a lackluster 3M Open to log the second PGA Tour win of his career.

We knew going in that the relatively weak field in Minnesota could cause some volatility in DFS contests, but I don't know that anyone expected the total bloodbath that ensued for many DFS players. I advised through multiple outlets last week that I would personally be scaling back my investment for the 3M and I hope that you guys followed suit. The upcoming week provides its own set of challenges, as we head to Memphis for a limited (but elite) field, no-cut event in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

Editor's Note: Golf is back! Come join the fun and win big with RotoBaller. Get our full-season PGA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off! Our exclusive DFS Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, DFS Projections and weekly DFS/betting articles! Sign Up Now!

 

WGC-FedEx St. Jude Overview

After a *ahem* less-than-stellar field at last week's 3M Open, we get the stars back for this week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (think the name is long enough?) in Memphis. This area and course have been longtime hosts of a PGA Tour event, but last year was the first time it was upgraded to the majestic WGC status...Honors and benefits, already at the age of nine.

The "Big Game Hunter" Brooks Koepka walked away with the win last year and he'll be back to defend against the likes of new world-number-one Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and a host of the PGA Tour's elite. This is a WGC event, which means a small field and no cut. From a DFS perspective, we want to try our best to avoid duplicate lineups (try leaving some salary on the table) and can feel free to get a little aggressive, as we're guaranteed four rounds from all players (barring a WD). One quick research note...when you are digging into course history this week, make sure that you find results from the FedEx St. Jude Classic prior to last year, as many things you'll find will actually be course history for the now-defunct WGC-Bridgeston, which this tournament replaced on the schedule.

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Southwind

Par 70 - 7,237 Yards, Greens: Bermuda 

Doglegs, bunkers, and water hazards...oh my! That's what awaits players at this former Memphis dairy farm. TPC Southwind winds through lakes, streams, and ponds with the danger of water always lurking...especially on the par-3 11th hole that is almost a 'baby brother' to the famous 17th island green at TPC Sawgrass. Many of Southwind's par-4's have dogleg tendencies, which forces the bombers to throttle down a bit, though we have seen long hitters like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka play very well here. Precise ball striking will be key, as the water hazards and almost 100 bunkers in play demand accuracy. Southwind is a long-ish Par 70 and ranked as one of the tougher tracks on the PGA Tour last season.

Both these fairways and greens are tough to hit, so I will primarily be targeting ball strikers with sharp iron games. Since this is a WGC event with no cut, I'll be willing to sacrifice consistency a bit in order to target players that can rack up birdies. We have eight par-4s that are 450 yards or longer, so I'll lean towards guys that fair well on long par-4s

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • 2019: Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2018: Dustin Johnson (-19) *Winners listed prior to 2019 won the FedEx St. Jude Classic on this course.
  • 2017: Daniel Berger (-10)
  • 2016: Daniel Berger (-13)
  • 2015: Fabian Gomez (-13)
 

Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big in 2020.



More PGA DFS Analysis

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy golf articles and weekly analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

 

The Horse

Daniel Berger

DraftKings: $9,600
FanDuel:
$10,500
Notable Course History: Win ('16 & '17)

Nothing fancy here, as it's hard to write a course history article and not include Daniel Berger when he's playing at TPC Southwind. Berger has conquered the Memphis track twice in his career, winning back-to-back FedEx St. Jude Classic titles in 2016 & '17. Those victories came before this tournament became a WGC event, so the fields weren't anywhere near the caliber that we'll see this week, but Berger's track record on this layout can't be ignored.

In addition to his strong course history, Berger heads into this week with some scorching form. Outside of a missed cut at the Memorial in his first start after taking a multiple-week break, the FSU alum has been perhaps the most consistent player on the PGA Tour in 2020. The short week at Memorial was his first missed cut of the year and the first time he finished outside of the top-38 in 2020. Berger ran off an impressive five-tournament stretch where he recorded a win, three top-fives, and a top-10 before taking the time off in the leadup to Memorial.

He didn't play bad at Muirfield Village and has actually never succeeded on that layout, so I'm willing to chalk it up as a "knock the rust off" outing. He'll be much more comfortable at TPC Southwind and his standing of second in this elite field in SG: Total over his last 12 rounds indicate that his game has been firing in all facets. Berger also carries a juicy blend of being able to make birdies (second in field Birdies or Better Gained), while avoiding big numbers (eighth in Bogeys Avoided). His course history will garner lots of buzz, but his $9.6k DK price tag will be a turnoff for many, which might mean we can grab some leverage by rostering him in GPPs.

 

The Ponies

Justin Thomas

DraftKings: $10,700
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: T12 ('19)

Not a ton of course history for a lot of the "elite" players at the top this week, as many didn't tee it up in this tournament prior to it becoming a WGC event. That's the case with Justin Thomas, who logged a T12 in his lone trip to TPC Southwind last year.

Despite the lack of a track record on this layout, JT makes tons of sense as a spend-up option. Though he's prone to random, out-of-the-blue missed cuts (Travelers & Genesis come to mind this year), Thomas has demonstrated consistent excellence both before and after the COVID-19 layoff. His putter can run cold, but he's been tremendous in all facets as of late, and ranks third in this WGC field in SG: T2G over his last 12 rounds, while excelling at both making birdies (17th Birdies or Better Gained) and dodging blowups (sixth Bogeys Avoided).

In a no cut event such as this, we can let ourselves get aggressive and creative when constructing rosters. You can pair JT with another stud that you like up top this week with no fear of a missed cut from the bottom portion of your roster. He narrowly missed a win a couple of weeks ago at the Workday and it feels like Thomas has a "W" coming soon.

 

Brooks Koepka

DraftKings: $9,200
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: Win ('19), T2 ('16), T3 ('15)

Brooks is really more of a cool talking point this week, rather than a true recommendation. One thing to consider is that unlike most of the "elite" options in this week's field, Koepka actually regularly played this tournament before it was a WGC event, and recorded two top-three finishes on this layout prior to winning at TPC Southwind last year.

Outside of the nice course history, things are pretty cloudy when it comes to what to expect out of Brooks. He's looked out of sorts for basically the entire year if we're being honest, battling both a knee injury and a swing that is not the one we've seen win four major championships. He missed the cut last week at the 3M, but actually looked improved tee to green, gaining over three strokes OTT and 1.8 strokes on Approach, only to be betrayed by an ice-cold putter (-5.1 SG: Putting).

We know that Koepka can "flip the switch" better than any player in golf, and with the PGA Championship on the horizon next week, it is "go time"...and we have to feel like we'll see some positive signs from him this week in Memphis if he's going to be any sort of factor at TPC Harding Park 10 days from now. I've practically sworn off trying to get Brooks right in "regular" events - and maybe this is yet another situation where he mails it in - but this sets up as an interesting spot due to his comfort level on this layout and with the year's first major coming up next week.

 

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Billy Horschel

DraftKings: $8,500
FanDuel: $9,500
Notable Course History: T9 ('19), T4 ('17), T8 ('15)

Let me first state that Billy Horschel's DK price tag feels pretty gross in this elite field. That said, I'm intrigued by Billy Ho in this spot, as he brings an eye-catching blend of course history and trending form to the table this week.

The former Florida Gator has logged three top-10s on this TPC Southwind track since 2015 - including a T9 against a comparable WGC field last year. Horschel is undoubtedly streaky, but his numbers indicate that he might be entering into a hot stretch, as he's gained strokes T2G, OTT, on Approach, and Putting in each of his last two starts.

It's easy to think of Horschel as a mid-tier type of player, but we've seen him play extremely well in different stretches over his career and emerge victorious from elite fields such as this one. It's early in the week as I write this, but I suspect his DFS price will keep his ownership low, which makes him an intriguing option on a week where we are trying to differentiate our builds.

 

Ian Poulter

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $8,900
Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T31 ('17), T6 ('14)

The $7k price range on DK is a tough nut to crack this week, as we run into players with good form and little to no course history, or vice versa. Ian Poulter seems like a reasonable compromise, as he flashed a spot of form recently at the Workday and does have two top-10's on his TPC Southwind resume, including a T8 in last year's WGC format.

The Englishman never blows us away statistically, but he's a veteran that knows how to handle this sort of tough golf course and is well equipped to handle the lurking dangers on this layout due to his fairways-and-greens style of play.

There are certainly some flashier (and younger) names available in the $7k's, but the cagey Poulter has a knack for popping up with strong finishes on tough golf courses against elite fields. The Englishman has a top-five and two top-10s in four WGC starts since 2018, and may very well go overlooked by the masses this week.

Chez Reavie

DraftKings: $6,700
FanDuel: $8,200
Notable Course History: T27 ('19), T6 ('18), T4 ('17)

We'll close out this week's HFTC with my favorite sub-$7k play, Chez Reavie. Reavie can run hot and cold - especially with the putter - but he heads to Memphis and a Southwind track where he's historically performed very well, with his game trending in the right direction.

The veteran notched two nice outings at Muirfield Village, recording back-to-back top-25s in the Workday and Memorial, while gaining strokes in every major statistical category in both of those starts. Reavie has now gained strokes OTT and on Approach in three straight events, while ranking fifth in this elite field in Bogey Avoidance over his past 12 rounds...a stat of importance this week on a layout that annually sees more balls in the water than any other venue.

Reavie's struggles with the putter and uneven play often take him out of serious DFS consideration on normal weeks, but this no-cut event presents us with the perfect opportunity to fire him up. Even in this elite field, he offers top-10 upside on this golf course.

 

 

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Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Improve From Week 6

This series continues into its sixth week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. In Week 6, we saw performances such as Ryan Tannehill throwing for 364 passing yards, the Houston Texans running backs combining for 66 rushing yards, and the New... Read More


Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right? Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift. Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More