The final event of the season is upon us, and it is a unique event no matter what angle you review it. DFS becomes much more interesting and strategic this week as the TOUR Championship is handicapped with strokes for each player based on their standings at the end of the season for the FedEx Cup. Scottie Scheffler, who ranks first at this stage, will start at 10-under, while Adam Scott, who was the last man into the field, will begin at even par. DraftKings has priced the players based on these strokes elevating Scheffler to a new high at $13,600 with a new floor down to $5,000 with Tom Hoge.
One thing to keep in mind this week is not to get too caught up in those starting strokes. It certainly puts the likelihood of winning heavily skewed to the players at the top, but it’s not like a normal week where those players have done the work that generates DFS points to get to that level. There are no birdies, no streaks, no bonuses, just a starting stroke and an assigned “finish” position to start the week. Many DFS players will have trouble separating the allure of those starting position points, but when you look at it, DraftKings assigns 6 points for 11th-15th and 3 points for 26-30th. The three points of separation there is the same as the points awarded for one on-course birdie. That means the separation between the guys at even and those at 3-under is simply one birdie.
As I get into the picks, I do want to get quite a bit of the top tier while being willing to try to find the best player in that bottom price point in order to try to build a GPP-winning lineup. The picks will be narrowed this week, along with more condensed ownership, but we will look to try to get different in particular spots to help us try to win a big GPP this week.
If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
And don’t forget about the tools that FantasyLabs has to offer, like our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.
High-Priced PGA DFS Picks
Xander Schauffele $12,300
My favorite play at the top of the board is Xander Schauffele compared to the others in his range. I think you can go down and start with Rory or others this week, but if Xander plays like he is capable and has shown over time at East Lake, he can contend for a bunch of points in DFS scoring as well as potentially have a chance to win the tournament even with starting four strokes back.
He showed some form last week at the BMW, playing in the final group, and posted a T3 finish. He now goes to arguably his favorite course on TOUR, where he is 54-under since 2017, 13 strokes better than Justin Thomas in second. There are going to be players that come in with ownership above 30% that wind up in the optimal build, and Xander will be the chalk I’m most willing to eat for the TOUR Championship.
Cameron Young $9,000
There are currently two players that are at $9,000 and above, projecting for ownership below 15%. The first is Cameron Smith, and I’ll undoubtedly have some shares though the concerns are a bit real with his hip issue and some less than stellar course history at East Lake. The other is Cameron Young, and I’ll go to him as a high-end pivot quite a bit as he starts in the same 3-under range with Rahm and Thomas but is discounted a bit with it being his first appearance at this event.
I’ll happily take a stab at a player that has been in the top five of this field in birdie or better over the last 50 rounds and has shown the ability to score in bunches. I’ll be leaning on scoring ability this week as I think that can play out to be more important than the ultimate finish position, especially with the dynamic pricing format.
Mid-Priced PGA DFS Picks
Collin Morikawa $7,900
It appears to me that Collin Morikawa is back. He found the patented cut with his irons last week, and if it wasn’t for a 10 on Sunday, his finish would have been much higher. I don’t worry too much about a score like that, which can skew the numbers, and I’ll just hope it affects others more as they begin to set rosters this week.
He’s way too cheap for his scoring ability and talent, and if he stays below 25% ownership as currently projected, I’ll be pretty happy to build him into my core.
Jordan Spieth $7,800
Speaking of posting a big number, that’s what Jordan Spieth did once he had taken over the solo lead over the weekend in Delaware. He tried to hit a really difficult shot to carry the water from a fairway bunker, despite the attempts of his caddie to persuade him not to, and it essentially eliminated him from contention.
He fell back over the next couple of days but is still showing form in his game and has a history of scoring ability at the TOUR Championship. I’ll once again lean on the elite potential he has, along with high upside in scoring and no-cut concerns that can help make Spieth a part of the optimal at this price.
Value PGA DFS Picks
Billy Horschel $6,900
Horschel has been a really good player at East Lake over the years, having won this event back in 2014. He has three other top-10 finishes to his name, and he is being overlooked to some extent in this field. Those factors, along with an iron game that started to show signs of life again at the BMW, will have me building him in as part of my favorite plays in the lower price range this week.
KH Lee $6,000
It’s interesting down low as players like Adam Scott and even further down with Aaron Wise are seeing some of the top ownership projections of the entire slate. I get it, but I also don’t want to fall in love with anyone in this range. The reality is that a couple of eagles, a hole-in-one, streaks, or a bogey-free bonus could be the difference in who is optimal this week.
I want to spread my exposure, and KH Lee is one I will have plenty of. He is someone who can score in bunches when he is on, as we have seen multiple times this season. He flashed it again on Sunday in Delaware as he surged out on Sunday, going 4-under through his first four holes and climbed 21 spots on the leaderboard with a closing 6-under 65.
He has the type of scoring ability I want to lean on this week, even if it comes with some bogeys.