What an exciting finish to the BMW Championship last week at Olympia Fields, with Jon Rahm($12,700 DK $12,500 FD) coming from behind, firing a stellar six under par 64 to beat Dustin Johnson ($15,200 DK $14,400 FD) in a playoff. That exciting finish has set the stage for a shootout at Eastlake this week for the final event of the PGA Tour season. The Tour Championship (PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs ) standings link is here for your perusal. As was the format last week at the BMW Championship, there is no cut this week, but your standing in the FedEx Cup determines your poll position, that is handicapped from the top seed Dustin Johnson at 10 under par, to Billy Horschel at even par for the final 30 seed in the field, all vying for a $15,000,000 pay day. There will be more strategy necessary than in a regular week to picking a unique roster as with only 30 competitors you will own 20 percent of the field and the advantage the top seeds will have based on their current FedEx Cup standings will make it difficult for a player to win the (Tour Championship ) tournament and FedEx Cup if they are starting the event more than six strokes back. For DFS purposes the only change to the point system is that the final bonus place finish points will include the start position to par. So, for example, Dustin Johnson ($15,200 DK-$14,400 FD) will start out with the 30 first place bonus points, but as soon as he loses the lead those points will fluctuate and be fluid throughout the event. Otherwise, the actual points awarded to each player per hole for their actual performance each round, and the bonus points, remain the same.
This week at (East Lake Golf Club ) the course will be playing to a Par 70 at 7,319 yards. East Lake GC was designed by Donald Ross and will demand being in the proper quadrant of the greens to be able to score well on these undulating and fast greens. As was the case last week at Olympia Fields, ball striking will be at a premium. Strokes gained off the tee and on approach will be the key statistic categories to look at in choosing your roster, and obviously to win, a competitor will have to ‘roll the rock’ well too. East Lake will be set up firm and fast with moderate rough, but not playing quite as tough as last week. In 2019 at East Lake GC Rory McIlroy($9,700 DK-$10,200 FD) won at -18 under par, counting a -5 under par start, and came back from a five-stroke deficit during the course of four rounds over Justin Thomas($11,900 DK-$12,000 FD) who was seeded number one last year to start the Tour Championship.
This stellar field of 30 is headlined by Dustin Johnson ($15,200 DK-$14,400 FD) who has qualified for East Lake the last 12 years in a row, the longest active streak, but has yet to win the FedEx Cup. Jon Rahm ($12,700 DK-$12,500 FD) is second in salary who made a long clutch putt on the first playoff hole last week to win the BMW Championship and carries a confident game and momentum into the Tour Championship this week. Another heavy-weight battle should ensue between the number one and two competitors for all of the cash this week.
The weather forecast for Friday through Monday calls for temperature highs between 92 –86 degrees. The chance of precipitation is between 10 to 20 percent on Friday and Saturday, and 30 to 50 percent on Sunday and Monday. The chance of thundershowers is high on Sunday and Monday. The wind will vary in direction from NW at eight miles per hour to the ESE at six miles per hour. With only 30 competitors in the field and tee times reasonably close together the weather should not be much of a variable that will favor a morning or afternoon wave.
A-List DFS Picks at The Tour Championship: 2020
The most probable winners amongst the elite competitors this week are seeded appropriately in the top four positions with Dustin Johnson ($15,200 DK-$14,400 FD), Jon Rahm ($12,700 DK-$12,500 FD), Justin Thomas ($11,900 DK-$12,000 FD), and Webb Simpson ($11,000 DK-$11,300 FD). This grouping is strong on strokes gained from a combination of distance, and on approach proximity to the hole. In addition, the aforementioned, are the leaders in wins and top 10 finishes. Ultimately, even the best of ball strikers will have to make their fair share of putts to find their way to the victory circle. While there are no bargains here, you will get what you pay for. Even though Dustin Johnson ($15,200 DK-$14,400 FD) is a heavy favorite to win and the statistics support this conclusion, I believe he is too expensive to front your roster if he finishes anywhere other than first. I believe the best value out of the top four is Justin Thomas this week, being one of the leaders in strokes gained in all ball striking categories and being a model of consistency with top five finishes here at East Lake GC, including winning the FedEx Cup in 2017.
B-List DFS Picks at The Tour Championship: 2020
It seems ludicrous to call this grouping from five through thirteen the B-List, but
with the limited field and the starting strokes under par for the first four
competitors these players will have to play really well to challenge for the win this week. However, it would not surprise me if the winner came from the top of this B-list in Collin Morikawa ($10,400 DK $10,800 FD), Bryson DeChambeau ($10,100 DK $10,500 FD), or Rory McIlroy ($9,700 DK $10,200 FD). Good values in this grouping are Daniel Berger ($9,100 DK-$10,300 FD), Xander Shauffele ($8,900 DK $9,500 FD), and Tony Finau ($8,200 DK $9,000 FD) based on their ball striking statistics and consistent play in recent weeks.
C-List DFS Picks at The Tour Championship: 2020
Picking two to three out of this grouping seeded from 14 – 30 that rises to the
occasion and has a top 12 finish will be critical to a winning line-up. You will
likely want to select two expensive picks and then two in the middle and then one to two on the lower third that will cash in a winning ticket for you. Good values in this grouping are Joaquin Niemann ($6,300 DK-$8,400 FD), Billy Horschel ($5,700 DK-$7,000 FD), Ryan Palmer ($5,400 DK-$7,300 FD), and Mackenzie Hughes ($5,200 DK-$7,000 FD).
Who Not To Pick This Week?
In effect you are fishing in a barrel this week. With a field this small and stakes this high you are going to likely not find too many stinkers. In many ways it might be the hardest field of the year to handicap – even compared to the majors or invitationals like The Genesis or The Memorial. In larger fields, I will pick some more duds for you.
While these are a few teasers for this week, more in depth analysis and justification for my recommended lineup plays, or don’t play this week, are exclusively available for members of DFSExperts.com. Send us any fodder for the “Wall of Fame” including screenshots. We will put them up on social and proclaim you the DFS champion of the world. Good luck, and Golf On!
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