15 DFS Golf Picks for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St.Jude Invitational
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Digest data and insights from this article to help with your fantasy golf picks for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St.Jude Invitational, and try out our PGA Optimizer to make more informed player selections for your DFS lineups. All the best this week!
The World Golf Championships-FedEx St.Jude Invitational
Recap from last week: It was an exciting week for golf at the Olympics in Japan - huge congrats to Xander Schauffele for winning the gold, Rory Sabbatini really went off in his final round with a -10 to secure the silver, and C.T. Pan won the bronze in an incredible seven-man playoff that went four extra holes - well done by all three medalists! A decent number of these Olympians now make the long trek back to North America for the last World Golf Championship (WGC) tournament of the 2020-2021 PGA Tour season.
Preview for the WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational: This will be just the third year for this particular WGC event at TPC Southwind, but this tournament originally started in 1999 when it was originally named the WGC-NEC Invitational and played in Firestone, Ohio. The FedEx St.Jude Classic originated back in 1986 with that tournament being played at TPC Southwind since 1989 - it then got WGC status in 2019 and has been played as an invitational ever since. The PGA Tour returns this week after 60 players competed at the Olympics last week, so it's an exhausting trip back for those who played last week. We will see most of the world's top golfers in Southwind, Tennessee, this week, and it should be an exciting week for the sport with the playoffs just two weeks away - players will be hungry for points this week to pad their FedEx Cup point totals. Winners at the WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/FedEx St.Jude Classic over the past five years include Justin Thomas in 2020, Brooks Koepka in 2019, Dustin Johnson in 2018, and Daniel Berger won in both 2017 and 2016.
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Tournament purse: The prize money for this year's event is set at $10.5M, the winner receives $1.82M and also earns himself 550 FedEx Cup points.
Course and key stats: TPC Southwind is 7,244 yards in length, is a par 70, and the greens are Bermudagrass. The winning score at the WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/FedEx St.Jude Classic over the past decade ranges from -9 to -19, so the winning score this week should land in this big range somewhere - likely around -15 or so. Some of the core key stats to include in your custom models this week in order of importance are strokes gained: around the green, strokes gained: putting (on Bermudagrass), birdie or better percentage, strokes gained: total, and strokes gained: tee-to-green.
The field: Every WGC tournament field is small and exclusive and this one is no different - we will see 66 golfers in action this week with no cut line, no #1 Jon Rahm though since he recently tested positive for COVID-19 which also took him out of the Olympics last week, but 48 out of the top 50 ranked players in the world will be competing, so the field is oozing with talent. On a scale ranging from A to D, I rank the field strength to be an A.
Three questions I have about the WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational this week:
1. How much fatigue will the Olympic golfers have? I can't imagine traveling to play golf in a country that has at least a 13 hour time difference, then coming back to play the week after - talk about jet lag! Some of the Olympic golfers should be fine this week for the most part, but I think we will see some of them show rust because of the long trip back and from all of the time zone leaping. At least they are gaining lots of time coming back to North America though, so that's a positive for them this week as opposed to last week.
2. Should you favor non-Olympic players? I must admit that I'm slightly more bullish on the players who didn't compete in Japan last week. They should be more rested and ready to go than those who are coming back from 72 holes or more of golf. If you like a couple of players about the same, then you might want to go with the player who stayed in North America and watched the Olympics on television.
3. Will Xander Schauffele excel or put up a lackluster effort? Schauffele is typically really strong in WGC events, but this week's one, in particular, has me wondering how good he will be after winning the Olympic event last week. He could keep the momentum going in a positive way, or he could be a bit drained and still soaking in the golden victory - hard to say which version we will see.
Lineup construction strategy this week: It's a small field event with tons of talent in play, so you can really stack your lineups since there's no cut line to worry about, and the pricing is fairly soft. I'll be going with stars and scrubs and hybrid builds this week - keep in mind that the last three champs on this course include Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson, so it's the superstars who tend to get the job done, especially in WGC's. Leave a bunch of money on the table for each GPP lineup you create to help your chances from an originality perspective - more dollars than a larger field event, and projected ownership numbers will be extra important to pay attention to on Wednesday since two or three golfers could be at least 30% owned.
All the best in your journey to win or at least be in the money in some contests this week - here are my 15 DFS golf picks which feature my top 3 players from each tier on DraftKings (DK) in no particular order, plus I include player salaries for DK, as well. I consistently provide recent and seasonal finishes for each of my picks, their performance's at the event over the last 5 years, and add in some tasty pieces of information and stats, also.
The $10K+ Range
Collin Morikawa (Salary: DraftKings - $11.0K) - I expected him to win the playoff for bronze last week at the Olympics, but he fell victim along with five others to a hot C.T. Pan to finish T4. He has been absolutely destroying the PGA Tour with six top 8's in his last seven starts including his huge win at The Open Championship two starts ago. He's the best approach player going but somehow he lost 1.53 strokes to the field last week at the Olympics, otherwise, he likely would have won. He's looking for his third win on the season and it could certainly come this week. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T20.
Brooks Koepka (Salary: DraftKings - $10.6K) - Koepka has been playing lights out over his last three tournaments with a T4, a T5, and a T6, he had a runner-up finish five starts ago at the PGA Championship and another one at the WGC-Workday Championship, and he won the Phoenix Open in February. He won the first installment of this WGC two years ago as well, so everything lines up for a big finish again this week. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T2, 2019 - Won, 2018 - T5, 2017 - T78, and 2016 - Withdraw.
Jordan Spieth (Salary: DraftKings - $10.4K) - Jordan just keeps piling up fantastic finishes almost every time he plays - he has eight top 9's this season including his win at the Texas Open and a runner-up finish at The Open Championship in his most recent start, plus his stats are near flawless since February. The only knock against him is that his tournament history here over the last two years isn't outstanding, but he should top his T12 from two years ago. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T30, 2019 - T12, 2018 - T60, 2017 - T13, and 2016 - T3.
The $9K Range
Louis Oosthuizen (Salary: DraftKings - $9.6K) - Oosthuizen is one of the best players in the world right now with three runner-up or co-runner-up finishes in his last five starts, he also had a runner up at the Zurich Classic in April to start this heater, and he has finished no worse than T18 over his last six stroke-play tournaments. He finished T6 here a year ago, and should be all over the leaderboard throughout this week again. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T6, 2019 - T20, 2018 - T24, 2017 - T50, and 2016 - T21.
Daniel Berger (Salary: DraftKings - $9.2K) - Berger has a special connection to this course as he won on it in 2016 and 2017 at the FedEx St.Jude Classic, and finished T2 here a year ago. He won at Pebble Beach in February, and has seven top 10's on the campaign. He's statistically sound across the board and should be poised to take a run at winning this week. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T2, 2018 - T48, 2017 - T17, and 2016 - Withdraw.
Scottie Scheffler (Salary: DraftKings - $9.1K) - He just keeps knocking on the door to win for the first time in his PGA Tour career, and one of these weeks it's all going to come together for Scheffler to hoist and kiss a shiny trophy. He has eight top 8 finishes this season if you count the Zurich Classic, and I like that his putting has been quite good recently including gaining almost 8.5 strokes at the U.S. Open. I expect him to better his T15 finish from last year - he's looking good for another top 10 finish, and it's quite realistic since he has three top 8's in his last four starts and two of those starts were at major tournaments. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T15.
The $8K Range
Matt Fitzpatrick (Salary: DraftKings - $8.8K) - He hasn't been playing his best golf lately, but Fitzpatrick did have a top 10 three starts ago, and has five of them on the season including a T4 at the RBC Heritage. The biggest positive that stands out to me this week about him is that he has two top 6's here over the last two years - I don't expect it to happen again this week, but the upside is there. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T6, 2019 - T4, 2018 - T48, and 2017 - T50.
Shane Lowry (Salary: DraftKings - $8.6K) - I really like Lowry's approach game and around the green play - it has led him to four top 12's in his last seven starts. His game is a pretty good fit for this track and it shows as he had a T6 here last year, and gained in all of the major stat categories except for a 0.01 loss with the flat stick, plus his golf game is in much better shape now than it was 12 months ago. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T6 and 2016 - T36.
Abraham Ancer (Salary: DraftKings - $8.3K) - I like what Ancer brings to the table for this week as he has six top 14's in his last eight starts including a runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, and the stats look quite good aside from being just average around the green. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T15.
The $7K Range
Harris English (Salary: DraftKings - $7.6K) - English has two wins this year including winning the Travelers Championship just two starts ago, and he has gained strokes in all major categories in his last three starts that had shot tracking technology in place. He hasn't played this course in recent years, but did have a T10 at the FedEx St.Jude Classic four years ago thanks to gaining well over 8 strokes with his approach game. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2016 - T27.
Brian Harman (Salary: DraftKings - $7.5K) - Harman has had a very consistent and successful season in many ways - he has five top 8's, six teen finishes, and other honorable results too. His stats read in a way that he just finds paths to finishing well - if one part of his game sucks then another part of his game is awesome, and he has had a bunch of starts where he gained in all of the major stat categories, as well. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2018 - T62 and 2017 - T50.
Jason Kokrak (Salary: DraftKings - $7.8K) - He has won twice this season, his most recent was at the Charles Schwab Challenge just four starts ago where he gained over 11 strokes with his ball-striking. He has five top 9's on the campaign including a stretch where he had three top 9's in a row from late February to mid-March. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T44.
The $6K Range
Cameron Champ (Salary: DraftKings - $6.7K) - Champ was the champ two weeks ago at the 3M Open - the only concern with it was he gained almost 8.5 strokes putting, so he comes with a bit of a red flag this week since his putting from last August to last month was downright atrocious. He had a T11 two starts ago at the John Deere Classic, so he's either turning a corner or about to hit another wall - I can't decide just yet. For his low price tag, I think he's worth a look with no cut line this week, and he did finish top 25 here last year, so if he does that again he's a pretty decent value pick. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: 2020 - T25.
Sam Burns (Salary: DraftKings - $6.9K) - He won his first PGA Tour trophy seven starts ago at the Valspar Championship, then followed that up with a runner-up at the Byron Nelson. He hasn't been overly impressive since then but did have a T13 two starts ago at the Travelers Championship and gained strokes across the board. I believe this will be his first WGC start and it could go any which way, but at least he comes in at a nice price point and does pop off at times. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: None.
Cam Davis (Salary: DraftKings - $6.9K) - Much like Burns above, Davis also won for the first time on the PGA Tour recently at the Rocket Mortgage Classic about a month ago. There isn't a ton of win equity in the $6K range, so I like that Davis has won recently and should still have lots of confidence to play half-decent this week. WGC-FedEx St.Jude Invitational/WGC-Bridgestone Invitational finishes over the last five years: None.
Results of the 15 players I picked for last week's Olympic Men's Golf Competition
The 10K+ Range
- Xander Schauffele - Won
- Collin Morikawa - T4
- Hideki Matsuyama - T4
The $9K Range
- Viktor Hovland - T14
- Shane Lowry - T22
- Paul Casey - T4
The $8K Range
- Corey Conners - 13th
- MacKenzie Hughes - 50th
- Cameron Smith - T10
The $7K Range
- Mito Pereira - T4
- Jhonattan Vegas - T16
- Antoine Rozner - T45
The $6K Range
- Ryan Fox - T42
- Wu Ashun - T32
- Henrik Norlander - T45
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Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience - including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings - specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.