PGA DFS Core Plays - DraftKings & FanDuel: FedEx St. Jude Championship

Top-ranked DFS player, Notorious, breaks down his favorite PGA DFS plays at various salary ranges for the coming week’s golf tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.

FedEx St. Jude Championship

Welcome to the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs. Tom Kim needed to win last week in order to be eligible for the playoffs and he did exactly that. Winning by five strokes in your 15th career PGA Tour start is impressive, especially when you consider the fact that the 20-year old started the event with a quadruple bogey. He spotted the field four strokes and still managed to win by five strokes. Everyone is clamoring to the fact that he gained 12.5 strokes with his putter, but he also gained 5.5 strokes with his ball striking.

The first playoff event will be held at TPC Southwind. This course has held the St. Jude event every year since 1989, but we need to be careful when looking at course history. For starters, many of the sites out there have event history and not course history. This course has held the WGC event the last three years, but was a full field event prior to 2019. We also need to factor in the field size when looking at course history. A T45 finish in one of the WGC events isn’t nearly as valuable as a T45 in a full field event. Luckily, this is all factored into the course history scores in this week’s model.

As for the course, TPC Southwind is a Par 70 that measures 7,243 yards. It may not seem daunting at first glance, but this is the second longest Par 70 on the PGA Tour. There are only two par fives on the scorecard and eight par fours that measure at least 445 yards. The fairways are narrow and there is a significant penalty if you aren’t playing from the short grass. Water is in play on 11 of the 18 holes and the bermuda rough is around 2.5 inches thick, which can create some very tricky lies. While strokes gained off the tee or total driving is your best bet when it comes to off the tee metrics, I certainly prefer accuracy over distance this week.

The greens at TPC Southwind are extremely small (4,300 square feet) and tough to hit on average. If you are playing from the rough, you can only expect to hit the green in regulation about half of the time. Given the small greens and the number of hazards in play, approach play will be vital to success this week. Even if you are striping the ball, you will still miss a fair share of greens, which makes around the green play more important than usual. Unlike the birdie fests of the last few weeks, you can get away with mediocre putting here. In fact, three golfers have either won or finished second while losing strokes putting at this event over the last three years.

As Justin Thomas said, this isn’t a difficult golf course if you are playing from the fairway. That is obviously a big if given the narrow fairways and how tough they are to hit on average. Ideally, we want to target golfers that are good total drivers of the ball, golfers that are elite with their irons, golfers that can scramble, and golfers that are comfortable on bermuda greens. With little wind in the forecast and with a stacked field, I expect the winning score to be in the mid-teens. One final note is that there are only 121 golfers in the field this week, so at least 54% of the field is going to make the cut.

Downloadable and Customizable Model for the FedEx St. Jude Championship

Tournament Info

Field Size:

  • 121 golfers

Cut Rule:

  • Top 65 and ties

Weather Forecasts

Key Statistics

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Around the Green
  • Total Driving
  • Strokes Gained Putting (Bermuda)

Core Plays

Will Zalatoris

DK: $9,500 — FD: $10,800 — YH: $41

SG: OTT — 10
SG: APP — 1
SG: ATG — 45
GIR — 8
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 63
Noto’s Rating — 85.7

It’s been a while since I’ve really nailed the core plays, so I am hoping this can be a breakthrough week. Ever since he narrowly lost at the U.S. Open, I’ve had this event circled as one that Zalatoris could win. He is a self-proclaimed major specialist that tends to play his best golf on difficult courses. TPC Southwind certainly fits the bill, as the fairways are narrow, the greens are small, and there are water hazards everywhere. More importantly, we’ve seen many golfers contend at this event while losing strokes putting. That sounds right up Willy Z’s alley. He’s managed to play well each of the last two weekends, he has a new caddie on the bag, and he leads the field in strokes gained on approach over the last six months. Let’s get that first win Z!

Corey Conners

DK: $7,600 — FD: $9,800 — YH: $36

SG: OTT — 6
SG: APP — 18
SG: ATG — 90
GIR — 4
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 54
Noto’s Rating — 78.5

Sticking with my ball striker theme, how do we not like Conners? Over the last six months, he’s sixth in this field in strokes gained off the tee and 18th in strokes gained approach. His T54 finish last week doesn’t look great on paper, but he actually gained 8.4 strokes tee to green (significantly more than Tom Kim). If you take out the three Opens (U.S., Scottish, British), he’s actually gained exactly 8.4 strokes tee to green in three straight events. His scrambling has improved this season and he’s actually a positive putter on bermuda greens. He seems very safe after finishing T37 or better at this event each of the last three seasons.

Chris Kirk

DK: $7,400 — FD: $9,000 — YH: $32

SG: OTT — 19
SG: APP — 38
SG: ATG — 4
GIR — 67
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 55
Noto’s Rating — 71.7

Kirk is projected for sub-10% ownership this week, so it’s a little risky tagging him as a core play. However, I like everything about the play this week. For starters, he has gained strokes off the tee in 16 straight events. He’s not considered an elite driver of the ball, but he rarely misses a fairway. That will give him a big edge this week if he can stay out of the rough and the water hazards. His approach game is solid and he’s one of the best in the field around the green. The putting can be hit or miss, but I wouldn’t call him a bad putter by any means. He didn’t qualify for the WGC events here the last three years, but did finish T6 the last time he teed it up at TPC Southwind.

Conviction Plays

Scottie Scheffler

DK: $10,800 — FD: $11,700 — YH: $49

SG: OTT — 34
SG: APP — 6
SG: ATG — 13
GIR — 1
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 28
Noto’s Rating — 93.2

We currently have Scheffler projected for about 10% ownership, which feels extremely low. There are so many good options in the $10,000 range on DraftKings that he might get lost in the shuffle. His recent finishes haven’t been amazing, but he continues to strike the ball well. The difference between the last few months and his play earlier this year has been the putter. If he can catch a hot week with the flatstick, I could easily see him winning for the fifth time this season. He’s battling for the Player of the Year award, he loves bermuda courses, and he’s finished in the top 15 here each of the last two years.

Jordan Spieth

DK: $9,100 — FD: $10,700 — YH: $41

SG: OTT — 25
SG: APP — 28
SG: ATG — 14
GIR — 64
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 87
Noto’s Rating — 79.3

After this event last year, I was extremely bullish on Spieth. I went through every hole at this event and looked at how he scored. He was 15-under par on the holes where he played from the fairway, he was 3-under par on the par threes, and he was 8-over par on the holes where he played from the rough. While we shouldn’t put too much stock into a single event that happened a year ago, I am doing it anyways. He finished the 2021 season 135th in strokes gained off the tee. This season, he’s currently 29th in strokes gained off the tee. If he’s playing from the fairway all week, how do we not like his chances to win? The low ownership is icing on the cake.

Shane Lowry

DK: $8,300 — FD: $10,200 — YH: $39

SG: OTT — 46
SG: APP — 10
SG: ATG — 56
GIR — 19
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 71
Noto’s Rating — 83.9

Lowry was nothing short of terrible on the weekend at the Wyndham Championship, but he deserves a pass. He thought he missed the cut, so he flew home after his round on Friday. The cut line moved and he was forced to charter a private jet to make it back in time for his third round. If we take last week off the table, he’s essentially been playing stellar golf for the last six months. He nearly won the Honda Classic earlier this year, which is another bermuda course with water hazards everywhere. He’s one of the best iron players in the field and he’s finished in the top 30 at this event in each of his last three appearances.

Billy Horschel

DK: $8,200 — FD: $9,900 — YH: $38

SG: OTT — 30
SG: APP — 101
SG: ATG — 7
GIR — 21
SG: Putting (Bermuda) — 7
Noto’s Rating — 73.2

Horschel hasn’t sounded too confident heading into his last two events, but he was able to scrape out top 25 finishes at the Open Championship and at the Wyndham Championship. We know he’s capable of making a run in the playoffs and he has more win equity than most want to give him credit for. His ball striking can be extremely hit or miss, but he tends to have a few courses where the ball striking shines and this is one of them. He has made the cut in each of his last nine trips to TPC Southwind and has five top 10 finishes during that stretch.

PGA Betting Card

It never feels good missing out on a win of a golfer that you are a big fan of, but we can’t bet on everyone each week. A huge congrats to Tom Kim, who took down the Wyndham Championship after opening with a quadruple bogey. It wasn’t a complete loss though, as we did hit the Russell Henley top five and the Alex Smalley top 20. We came awfully close to the made cut parlay, but Denny McCarthy missed his second weekend in a row.

Season total: -53.5 units

This week: 14 units in play

To compare odds across all of the major sportsbooks, check out the Scores and Odds golf page.

Winner

  • Scottie Scheffler +1500 (FanDuel)
  • Will Zalatoris +2500 (BetMGM)
  • Jordan Spieth +2900 (FanDuel)

Top 5 Bets

  • Scottie Scheffler +320 (Caesars)
  • Will Zalatoris +550 (FanDuel)
  • Jordan Spieth +550 (FanDuel)

Top 10 Bets

  • Sam Burns +410 (FanDuel)
  • Billy Horschel +450 (FanDuel)

Top 20 Bets

  • Corey Conners +230 (DraftKings)
  • Chris Kirk +400 (Caesars)

Top 40 Parlay

  • Lowry, Kirk, Burns, Spieth +752 (FanDuel)
  • Henley, Conners, Horschel, Hatton +834 (FanDuel)
  • Zalatoris, Day, List +1188 (FanDuel)
  • Reavie, Steele, Pereira +1496 (FanDuel)

These odds were found at Scores and Odds and were available as of Tuesday afternoon.

Image Credit: Imagn

Meet the Experts Content Posting Times

Top-ranked DFS player, Notorious, breaks down his favorite PGA DFS plays at various salary ranges for the coming week’s golf tournament. Who should you be building around? Find out below.

FedEx St. Jude Championship

Welcome to the first leg of the FedExCup Playoffs. Tom Kim needed to win last week in order to be eligible for the playoffs and he did exactly that. Winning by five strokes in your 15th career PGA Tour start is impressive, especially when you consider the fact that the 20-year old started the event with a quadruple bogey. He spotted the field four strokes and still managed to win by five strokes. Everyone is clamoring to the fact that he gained 12.5 strokes with his putter, but he also gained 5.5 strokes with his ball striking.

The first playoff event will be held at TPC Southwind. This course has held the St. Jude event every year since 1989, but we need to be careful when looking at course history. For starters, many of the sites out there have event history and not course history. This course has held the WGC event the last three years, but was a full field event prior to 2019. We also need to factor in the field size when looking at course history. A T45 finish in one of the WGC events isn’t nearly as valuable as a T45 in a full field event. Luckily, this is all factored into the course history scores in this week’s model.

As for the course, TPC Southwind is a Par 70 that measures 7,243 yards. It may not seem daunting at first glance, but this is the second longest Par 70 on the PGA Tour. There are only two par fives on the scorecard and eight par fours that measure at least 445 yards. The fairways are narrow and there is a significant penalty if you aren’t playing from the short grass. Water is in play on 11 of the 18 holes and the bermuda rough is around 2.5 inches thick, which can create some very tricky lies. While strokes gained off the tee or total driving is your best bet when it comes to off the tee metrics, I certainly prefer accuracy over distance this week.

The greens at TPC Southwind are extremely small (4,300 square feet) and tough to hit on average. If you are playing from the rough, you can only expect to hit the green in regulation about half of the time. Given the small greens and the number of hazards in play, approach play will be vital to success this week. Even if you are striping the ball, you will still miss a fair share of greens, which makes around the green play more important than usual. Unlike the birdie fests of the last few weeks, you can get away with mediocre putting here. In fact, three golfers have either won or finished second while losing strokes putting at this event over the last three years.

As Justin Thomas said, this isn’t a difficult golf course if you are playing from the fairway. That is obviously a big if given the narrow fairways and how tough they are to hit on average. Ideally, we want to target golfers that are good total drivers of the ball, golfers that are elite with their irons, golfers that can scramble, and golfers that are comfortable on bermuda greens. With little wind in the forecast and with a stacked field, I expect the winning score to be in the mid-teens. One final note is that there are only 121 golfers in the field this week, so at least 54% of the field is going to make the cut.

Downloadable and Customizable Model for the FedEx St. Jude Championship

Tournament Info

Field Size:

  • 121 golfers

Cut Rule:

  • Top 65 and ties

Weather Forecasts

Key Statistics

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Strokes Gained Around the Green
  • Total Driving
  • Strokes Gained Putting (Bermuda)

Core Plays

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About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

  • FlyingArmBar4u

    Thanks Noto, hope your thumb is feeling better. I feel great about Will Z so let’s get it dude!!

  • FlyingArmBar4u

    What two other events are comp courses to tpc Southwind? Would travelers be one of them?

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