Top DraftKings PGA DFS Plays for the FedEx St. Jude Championship 2022
Top DraftKings PGA DFS Plays for the FedEx St. Jude Championship 2022
It really is a small world. Once again, my best plays of the season were saved for the Wyndham Championship. I was riding high on Sunday afternoon, after adding 10% more exposure to 20-year old Joohyung “Tom” Kim before lock.
This was in addition to a heavy presence of Russell Henley and Sungjae Im, along with three men who finished T-13 (Wise, Riley, and Stallings). At one point, my top lineup had three golfers tied for the lead at Sedgefield Country Club, with another one stroke behind. The coolest part about my whole weekend was how the story came full circle on Monday morning.
My first client on Monday was an 86-year old woman who described herself as an “avid golfer,” in that she plays virtually every day. When I asked her if she watched the Wyndham, her eyes lit up with joy. She exclaimed, “Of course I watched it. Unfortunately, it was my first time watching it on television in 12 years. I usually go every year to watch in person.” She then went on to explain that her brother is a member of Sedgefield and his house is next to the 14th fairway!
Who could have guessed that the tournament I have grown fond of from my DFS spoils could gift me with such an unbelievable story? My client is a marvelous lady who happens to visit Greensboro, North Carolina from Northern California quite often. To wrap the story up, she wished me the best of luck this week with my lineups for the Fedex St. Jude Championship.
The St. Jude is the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs to culminate the PGA Tour schedule for 2022. It is held at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. The par-70 layout sports Bermuda grass throughout and only stretches to a tour-average 7,200 yards. The defending champion is Tony Finau, who narrowly defeated recently-alleged LIV defector Cam Smith. The field is stacked with 125 of the best golfers from the 2022 season, including last week’s champ Tom Kim.
Since the biggest names in the sport are duking it out in hopes of advancing to the BMW Championship next week in Delaware, roster construction will be paramount. Especially on DraftKings, the most popular plays are priced sky high over $10k. This makes it exceedingly difficult to pair two of the big guns in the same lineup. Fret not, my modeling has revealed several values that work around this conundrum very smoothly.
Key statistics that were weighted most heavily in my player pool model include par-4 scoring, proximity on approach shots from 150-200 yards, and good old-fashioned Strokes Gained from Tee to Green (SG:T2G). In addition to the unparalleled PGA Study Hub, I was able to customize the weighting of each important stat metric using the new PGA Stats Model tab.
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With some of the extreme values on golfers who exploded to the top of my statistical model this week, I was able to pare down my player pool to between 24-26. This also allows my lineups to feature a bit more exposure to two or three guys I expect to win the tournament. With my feet ten feet off the Beale and the smell of Pollard’s BBQ in the air, let’s tee off.
Stick It Close: Studs to Target
Justin Thomas (DK: $10,200; FD: $11,500; Y!: $46)
Oh, how quickly the DFS sharks forget about JT. Not only is he the top player in my statistical model (by a good margin), he has placed in the top-10 in more than half of his appearances in 2022 (10/19). As far as rostership goes, he is projecting to come in as the 9th-most popular player at just under 15%. Thomas is my favorite to win this week and offers some decent leverage at the top of the board to boot.
Tony Finau (DK: $9,700; FD: $11,100; Y!: $39)
The Utah native is where the chalk gets really heavy. On the other hand, it’s pretty well explained by the fact that he has won his last two starts and is the defending champ here in Memphis. I don’t mind one bit, since the third-most rostered player in the projection (~18%) is also the 3rd-ranked player in the field according to my projections. Southwind is a ball-striker’s paradise and rewards good mid and long iron players. It’s no wonder Finau has this trophy on his mantle and will be tough to prevent from defending it this week.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK: $8,400; FD: $10,000; Y!: $39)
Sometimes an injury concern can scare the consensus away from the best DFS plays. I feel that way about Matsuyama this week. A wrist strain forced him out of the 3M a couple weeks ago, but he has announced his intentions of chasing FedEx Cup glory at the St. Jude. Hideki finished in a tie for second last year in Memphis, revealing just how well this course fits his game. The first Japanese Masters champion is 6th in my projections and, despite his bargain salary, is projecting under 9% rostership.
Other Studs in My Pool: Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, Sungjae Im, Will Zalatoris, Matt Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth, Shane Lowry, Collin Morikawa, Joaquin Niemann
No Gimme: Tap-In Values
Russell Henley (DK: $7,800; FD: $9,900; Y!: $31)
Run it back! Henley has been my Wyndham darling the last two years and lo and behold, he pops off the screen in my weighted statistical model again this week. He is entering the Bluff City on a real heater, showing incredible form with a 10th at the Rocket Mortgage and a 5th at the Wyndham the last two weeks. Southwind demands great ball-striking and Henley fits that bill to a tee. He leads this field in strokes gained on approach and will once again get to putt on his best surface, Bermuda. His rostership has fluctuated greatly, from 11% to 17%. Either way, I will have a good chunk of Henley exposure this week.
Chris Kirk (DK: $7,400; FD: $9,000; Y!: $32)
Once again, I will keep riding the quietest hot streak on the PGA Tour. The native Tennesseean scored 88.5 points on DraftKings at the Wyndham last week on a $7.8k salary. That pays the bills (and then some)! He is a screaming value yet again this week in his home state and stands out in my model as the 14th-highest projection. Rostering Kirk this week will put you alongside only 6% of the field, as well.
Luke List (DK: $6,500; FD: $7,900: Y!: $28)
Thankfully, the greens at TPC Southwind are not nearly as challenging as many courses on the PGA Tour. Luke List has been absolutely brutal with the flat stick. In nearly every other metric, List has been world class. The 37-year old bomber is top-10 in every ball-striking category, but finds himself down in the bargain bin with the loose ends this week. I’m taking a huge risk here, but List is the only sub-$7k golfer in the field with 100-point upside in DFS. If he can find any rhythm at all with his putter, the 2% of us playing him will be raking in the dough.
Other Values in My Pool: Keegan Bradley, Aaron Wise, Mito Pereira, Harold Varner, Taylor Pendrith, Mark Hubbard, Adam Hadwin, Scott Stallings, Kurt Kitayama
I will be with you for an entire PGA Tour season of DFS picks. I hope you join me in victory throughout 2022 and beyond. I promise to be a better DFS golfer than an actual golfer. You can find all of my musings on Twitter. Good luck and hit ’em straight!
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