Two weeks remain in the FedExCup Fall, with players continuing to attempt to earn their PGA TOUR status for next season and to improve their qualification for next season’s signature events. This week, the field is headed to Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda for a week of tropical resort golf.
This will be the fifth straight year the event takes place at Port Royal, so we have some solid course history to work with for many of the competitors, who should know their way around this relatively short par 71 with Bermuda grass greens.
The field this week isn’t as strong as it has been for several events this Fall. Lucas Glover, Adam Scott, Brendon Todd and Akshay Bhatia are some of the most well-known names in the field. Last week’s winner, Erik van Rooyen was one of several players to withdraw from the event to focus more on The RSM Classic, which wraps up the FedExCup Fall next week. The only remaining winner from this Fall in the field is Luke List.
There are some strong international players along with some young rising stars in the field. It’s a great chance to get to know some of the players further down the PGA TOUR ranks and catch some of the players who will be future breakout stars and good values in bigger events with more of the top players in the field.
After next week’s tournament, the players in the top 125 will earn their exempt PGA TOUR status for 2024. With the top 50 locked at the start of the FedExCup Playoffs in August, players are also competing to finish in spots 51-60, which would qualify them for the first two signature events of 2024, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and The Genesis Invitational. It will be fascinating to watch the projections for both of those groups shift as the next two weeks play out.
This week’s format follows the typical formatting with a full-size field cut to the top 65 and ties after 36 holes.
This weekly GPP post focuses on players with lower ownership projections than their potential performance. Finding high-leverage plays is critical for GPP success. The picks here are designed to go against the grain and take advantage of players who may be overlooked or not selected due to risk factors.
Since these are GPP picks, we can accept more risk if it raises the lineup’s ceiling. High-risk, high-reward options with low ownership create the “boom-or-bust” style lineups that usually lead to large-field success.
GPP contests are contests that have large numbers of entries and pay out huge prizes to the top few percent. Since this week is a major, the largest GPP on DraftKings is the $300K Sand Trap, which awards $100K to first place.
The players highlighted will be good options if they deliver in all formats, but they come with risk factors that usually keep them from being the safest plays. Safety and reliability should be the focus of lineups in cash and double-up contests, where finishing in the top spot isn’t quite as important. To find specific guidance for all contest types, check out our full Daily Fantasy Golf coverage each week.
No matter what type of format you prefer, be sure to use the FantasyLabs PGA Models to help you make the best choices. These models use stats and simulations to highlight different players’ strengths and weaknesses. A few critical new stats for GPP play are Perfect% and SimLeverage, which are further explained here.
Usually, I rely on the Stroked Gained Model, which is very predictive of results. I also tend to lean into players that gain shots on approach since week-to-week putting performance can be highly volatile, even for the best players on the PGA TOUR.
As you dig into the numbers, you can enjoy the many tools that FantasyLabs offers, including the Lineup Optimizer, which effortlessly creates up to 300 lineups. Alternatively, you can use the Lineup Builder if you prefer a more hands-on approach.
Check out my top picks in each price range listed below.
Editors note: SimLeverage and Perfect% numbers may change after this piece is published. Be sure to check the PGA Models for any updates to the sims.
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High-Priced PGA DFS Picks
Thomas Detry $10,500
This week doesn’t really have a huge name with a sky-high ownership percentage, but both Adam Scott, Taylor Pendrith, and Akshay Bhatia are projected for over 20% ownership. They are each strong plays, and I’m especially high on Bhatia, who has become one of my favorites. However, if you’re looking for some leverage for your GPP lineup in the top price range, I’d go with Detry. Detry’s ownership is projected to be just under 20%, giving him a 74% Leverage Rating, which is the highest of the players priced over $9,600.
Detry is in the fourth-most optimal lineups in our sims and has the fourth-best odds to win the week, according to Vegas. He also is tied with Scott and Todd for the best odds to finish in the top 10, and he matches five Pro Trends, which is tied for the third-most in the field. He has the second-highest median, ceiling, and floor projection in the field, behind only Scott.
Last year, Detry finished runner-up at this event to Seamus Power, who is not in this year’s field. It was Detry’s second straight top-25 in his two career appearances in Bermuda. He returns to the course this year with some nice momentum. He hasn’t missed a cut on the PGA TOUR or the DP World Tour since July and has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his last eight tournaments on those two tours. He has three top 25s in that stretch, dating back to his T13 at The Open Championship.
The 30-year-old Belgian has excelled on this course and other short courses. He stands out statistically as one of the best putters on the PGA TOUR, and as a result, he can get hot and go low in a hurry. He’s looking for his breakthrough PGA TOUR win and brings one of the most well-rounded games to Port Royal this week. He could still make a late-season push for Rookie of the Year if he ends up getting that win this week.
Lucas Glover $9,500
Glover won back-to-back starts last summer at the Wyndham Championship and the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which was the first event in the FedExCup playoffs. He rode that momentum all the way to a T18 at the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, so his card and status are secured for next season. He took a couple of months off but returned last week to make the cut at the World Wide Technology Championship, finishing T59.
This week, Glover offers the second-most SimLeverage of all the players priced over $9K since he is in the sixth-most optimal lineups in our sims with a 17.6% Perfect% but is projected for an ownership under 14%.
He made the cut last year on this track in his Butterfield Bermuda debut, and the course should fit his game since he’s an elite wedge player, ranking inside the top 20 in almost every stat from under 125 yards, which should be a common distance this week.
Glover has shown he can win in much, much stronger fields than this one, and he seems to be getting a little overlooked in favor of Ben Griffin, Luke List, and Taylor Pendrith, who are just a little cheaper and come with more hype and projected ownership. For GPPs, Glover is a good way to go against the flow and grab both leverage and upside.
Mid-Priced PGA DFS Picks
Alex Smalley $8,900
Smalley has a great history in Bermuda and comes in with strong recent form. My only slight hesitation with his is that he’s chalky, with a 19% projected ownership. However, I think he’s set up to ultimately be worth going with despite that. Just be sure to differentiate your Smalley lineups with lower-owned options when possible.
Smalley has finished in the top 12 at Port Royal in each of the last two seasons with a scoring average of 68.13. He made the cut in each of his two events in October, highlighted by a T16 at the Sanderson Farms Championship in his first FedExCup Fall event.
In his nine most recent PGA TOUR appearances, the 27-year-old out of Duke has exceeded salary-based expectations seven times. Like Glover, his game fits the distances expected to be the focus of this week’s track. He also typically plays well on Bermuda greens.
Smalley has the highest median, ceiling, and floor projections of any player priced under $9K and the second-highest Perfect% of the players in that price range. Like Detry, he’s in search of his first PGA TOUR victory, and also, like Detry, this sets up to be a premium opportunity for him to claim that first trophy.
Brandon Wu $8,100
Wu was in my picks last week as well and turned in a solid week at the World Wide Technology Championship, making his sixth straight cut and exceeding salary-based expectations for the fifth time during that run of success.
This will be his third straight year teeing it up at this event after solid T34 and T35 finishes in the last two seasons.
Wu has the third-highest Perfect% of all golfers under $9K and ranks in the top 15 in the field in SimLeverage. He also ranks in the top 10 in Pts/Sal and Projected Plus/Minus.
Looking back at his career history, Wu has shown his game fits well at seaside resort-style courses like this one. He has strong results in Mexico and Puerto Rico in the past, along with his decent track record here. He always brings a high ceiling, and he’ll be looking to finish the year strong since he currently sits at No. 67 in the FedExCup Fall as he looks to get into the “Next 10” for the signature events.
Value PGA DFS Picks
Martin Laird $7,500
Of all the players in the entire field, Laird brings the second-highest SimLeverage this week. The four-time PGA TOUR winner has missed 15-of-29 cuts this season, but he has also posted five top 25s, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the 3M Open in July. Most of those missed cuts are from early in the year since Laird has found his stride a bit and exceeded salary-based expectations in six of his last seven events, including last week’s World Wide Technology Championship, where he finished T31 after firing four rounds in the 60s.
Laird’s game should be a good fit for this track since he fares well on shorter courses and relies on accurate approaches from short distances to compensate for his lack of being able to boom it off the tee. He has not teed it up at this event in the past, but he has had strong results at similar courses.
Of all the players under $8K, Laird brings the third-highest median, ceiling, and floor projections in our models.
The veteran has found some solid form lately and should be able to offer some strong value leverage with his projected ownership of just 6%. He also is one of the players who should be just fine if the wind kicks up, which some of the forecasts say could be a major factor this week depending on when players tee off in inconsistent conditions.
Cameron Percy $7,000
Percy ranks inside the top 10 in the entire field in SimLeverage and is projected for an ownership under 3%. He’s a GPP flier to some degree, but several indicators point to the veteran Aussie as a strong play. He has the eighth-highest Projected Plus/Minus and the sixth-highest Pts/Sal in the entire field.
In each of the last four years, Percy has played this event with three made cuts, including a T35 last year. He has the seventh-highest ceiling, median, and floor projections of the 95 players with salaries under $7,500 in this field, and no one cheaper than him has higher projections in any of those categories. Percy has the second-highest SimLeverage and is in the fifth-most optimal lineups of all the golfers under $7,500.
Percy also comes in with a little bit of recent form after back-to-back made cuts at the Sanderson Farms Championship and the World Wide Technology Championship. While he is unlikely to contend for the win this week, his projections give him a very strong chance to make the cut, and getting him at such low ownership with that potential at $7K definitely makes him a value to consider for GPP lineups.
Sleeper PGA DFS Picks
Satoshi Kodaira $6,800
None of the 70 golfers under $7K come with projected ownership over 8%, so playing anyone from this price range will set your lineup apart, especially if you can get decent results. According to our sims and our projections, Kodaira is one of the top plays in this price range. He had a strong T30 at the Fortinet Championship to start his Fall and then was in contention in his native Japan at the ZOZO Championship before a final-round fade saw him sink just out of the top 10.
Kodaira has the third-highest median and floor projection of the players under $7K and the fourth-highest ceiling projection. He brings an impressive 83% Leverage Rating and the highest SimLeverage of all players under $7K since his ownership is projected to be under 2%. He has the highest Perfect% and the highest Pts/Sal in the price range while also bringing the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus.
This will be his first trip to this event, but Kodaira will be looking to make a strong push to the finish this year since he enters this week sitting at No. 160 in the FedExCup Fall.
Ryan Armour $6,700
Another one of the veteran players in the field who profiles well for shorter courses like this one where length off the tee isn’t prioritized is Ryan Armour. Armour posted a pair of top 10s at this event in 2019 and 2020 but missed the cut here last season.
He hasn’t had much success this season, but he did open with a 69 at the Sanderson Farms Championship a few weeks ago, where he picked up his one PGA TOUR victory back in 2017. He missed that cut but did make the cut last week at the World Wide Technology Championship to exceed salary-based expectations by 28.1 DraftKings points.
Armour will look to build off that made cut this week, and on this track where he has had success in the past, he makes a decent bargain play. He has the fourth-highest SimLeverage of the players under $7K since he has the sixth-highest Perfect% and projected ownership of under 1%. Like all players in this price range, he’s definitely high-risk, but if you’re going this cheap, there are a few things to like about Armour’s chances this week.