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DraftKings DFS Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: 2020 PGA TOUR THE NORTHERN TRUST

Geoff Ulrich gets you set for THE NORTHERN TRUST with winning trends and his picks for your fantasy golf lineups.

PGA: Wyndham Championship - Final Round Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their DraftKings roster selections.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: PGA TOUR $1.55M Beantown Battle [$500K to 1st]


The Field

Editor’s Note: Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from this week’s tournament at TPC Boston.

The field this week comprises only the top 125 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings, but the cut procedure will be similar to a normal event, with the top 65 and ties making the weekend. After this event, the top 70 golfers in the FedExCup standings will qualify for the next event (the BMW Championship) which will be a no-cut event. Players currently outside the top 70 will, therefore, need big weeks here to gain enough points to qualify for the BMW.

With a ton of money up for grabs in the next three events — especially at the Tour Championship where the winner gets $15 million — all of the big names will be in attendance here. Tiger Woods ($8,700) will be making his second appearance in three weeks as he tries to grab another FedEx Cup — he’s won it twice (2007 and 2009) — and comes in ranked 49th in the standings. Coming in at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in those standings for this event are Justin Thomas ($11,300), Collin Morikawa ($10,200) and Webb Simpson ($9,500), who will all be jockeying for good position going into East Lake and the Tour Championship. Some big names like Brooks Koepka ($9,100), Tommy Fleetwood ($8,300) and Justin Rose ($8,000) all rank well outside the top 70 heading into this week and will be gunning for a good finish just to stay alive for the final two events.


The Course

TPC Boston, Massachusetts

Par 71, 7,342 yards; Greens: Bentgrass

TPC Boston is one of the more interesting setups the players get to see on the Tour and is often rated as one of their favorite stops. The course hasn’t been seen on the PGA TOUR in over a year now with it last being in action at the now-defunct Dell Technologies Championship. With slightly generous fairways and rough that can vary between very penal and easy to hit out of, it generally rewards aggressive play and features several scoring holes — including two driveable par 4s and some very reachable par 5s. The course rated out as just the 37th toughest venue on Tour in 2018, although it played tougher in 2017 and rated as the 28th toughest course that year. The course was designed by Arnold Palmer in 2001 but redesigned in 2007 by Gil Hanse and actually shortened a bit (mainly a couple of par 4s were made into drivable holes).

TPC Boston will generally allow some low scores throughout the week but it isn’t a complete pushover. It contains some tougher, longer par 4s on the back nine which challenge players with tough approaches and smaller green complexes coming in. Greens here can also get quite quick and with a new mid-August date this year we could see firmer conditions than we have in the past.

The front side is generally where players will need to get their scoring done as the first hole and the fourth are both driveable/easy par 4s. The second is also a reachable par 5 and played as the 16th-easiest hole on the course last year. The back nine features a few longer par 4s where players will need accurate drives off the tee or risk facing tough approaches that could lead to bogies. The fairways are not overly hard to hit here but fescue-style rough lines this course in areas and there are several small right to left bends or small doglegs off the tee here that require some finesse.

Statistically, there’s not one overarching thing that past winners have done well here but a solid week throughout the bag will certainly be needed by those looking to contend.

2020 Outlook: Temperatures here for the first three days look fantastic. It has been nice in the Boston area for a while now and the sun continues on early in the week with highs in the mid-80s and clear skies expected. Wind can sometimes be a factor at this course given that there are some open, links-style areas but gusts aren’t expected to reach much past 8-10 mph the first three days, with Saturday afternoon looking like the only spot where the wind could potentially pick up at the moment. Sunday does call for some potential T-Storms, so we could see early tee times for the final round. Otherwise, this course should play quite firm and may get tougher as the week goes on depending on how they set things up on the weekend.


Last 5 winners

2019 — Patrick Reed -16 (over Abraham Ancer -15)

2018 — Bryson DeChambeau -18 (Tony Finau -14)

2017 — Dustin Johnson -13 (in a playoff over Jordan Spieth)

2016 — Patrick Reed -9 (Over Sean O’Hair -8)

2015 — Jason Day -19 (over Henrik Stenson -13)


Winning Trends

- Seven out of the past 10 winners of this event finished T22 or better in their previous start before winning.

- Six of the past seven winners of this event have finished T13 or better at the year’s final major championship.


Winners Statistics and Course Highlights

Bryson DeChambeau (2018-Dell Technologies Championship*)

*this was the last time a playoff event was played at TPC Boston

SG: OTT—+3.3

SG: APP—+4.1

SG: TTG—+7.7

SG: ATG—+0.1

SG: PUTT—+4.9

  • The field here has averaged around 64% of fairways hit over the past three events that were played at TPC Boston, which is slightly higher than the Tour average.
  • TPC Boston carries five par 4s that measure in over 450 yards. As a result, approaches >200 yards tend to be one of the more popular distances the players will face this week.
  • The past three winners here have gained over +3 strokes putting and on approach for the week. Consistent play throughout the bag though is needed as none of the past three winners here have lost strokes in any major statistical category for the week.

Finding Values

Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful of putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week.

Abraham Ancer $7,700 and +5500

Comparable:

  • Jordan Spieth $7,800 and +9000
  • Matthew Wolff $7,800 and +7000
  • Gary Woodland $7,800 and +7000

Paul Casey $8,500 and +3500

Comparable:

  • Tiger Woods $8,700 and +4500
  • Hideki Matsuyama $8,600 and +4500
  • Tony Finau $8,800 and +3500

Course Horses

*TPC Boston was last used on Tour in 2018 at the Dell Technologies Championships

1. Rory McIlroy ($10,800; best finishes: win-2012, 2016): Rory has a sterling record at TPC Boston, landing wins here in 2012 and 2016. McIlroy came from behind both years to steal victory and ranks second here in SG: Total at this venue over the past five events played here.

2. Phil Mickelson ($7,300; best finishes: win-2007, T6-2017): Phil won at TPC Boston back in 2007 directly after changes to the course were made. He also has T10 and T6 finishes here over his past few visits. He finished T12 here in 2018 and has looked in good form of late. Seeing him compete this week would not be shocking considering his record at the venue.

3. Paul Casey ($8,500; best finishes:2nd-2016, T4-2017): Casey’s had numerous chances to take home a title at TPC Boston, blowing a big lead here in 2016 to take home runner-up honors. He has looked solid in his lead up to this event and seems likely to be in the mix at what has become one of his favorite venues over the years.

4. Patrick Reed ($9,000; best finishes: T6-2017, T5-2016): Reed has flourished at TPC Boston over the years, picking up T6-T5-T4 finishes at this venue between 2015-2017. His solid around the green game and good Bentgrass putting splits have played well here.

5. Hideki Matsuyama ($8,600; best finishes: T4-2018): Matsuyama’s been very consistent at this venue over his career, posting top-25 finishes here between 2015-2018, with his best effort coming when he landed a T4 in 2018. He’s looked OK in spurts in 2020 but will need a better effort on and around the greens this week, compared to what he’s shown of late, to contend.


Recent Form

1. Collin Morikawa ($10,200 — Recent finishes: Win-T20): Morikawa swaggers into this week’s event having picked up two trophies and a runner-up finish since the restart began. He’s beaten every single one of the players in this field multiple times now over the past eight events and leads the field in SG:APP stats over the past 50 rounds.

2. Jason Day ($9,300 — Recent finishes: T4-T6-T4): Day has been a marvel of consistency since finding his game at the Workday Charity Open five weeks ago. The Aussie has now posted four straight top-10 finishes, including a T4 at the PGA Championship where he led after two rounds.

3. Justin Thomas ($11,300 — Recent finishes: T37-win): Thomas cooled off a bit at the PGA Championship and again struggled to find his best game on the West Coast. He comes in with a win and a runner-up finish over his past five starts though and is a past winner at TPC Boston, so a quick bounce-back should almost be expected.

4. Xander Schauffele ($9,700 — Recent finishes: T10-T6-T13): Schauffele has been hovering just below the top of the leaderboard almost every week it seems, as the 2017 Tour Championship winner now has landed four straight finishes of T14 or better. He was T10 at the PGA Championship, where he gained over +7 strokes Tee to Green for the week.

5. Tony Finau ($8,800 — Recent finishes: T4-T65-T3): Finau gets a bad rap for not closing out events but he’s played extremely well since the restart and has looked dangerous in his past few events. A T8 at the Memorial was followed up by a T4 at the PGA Championship where he lasted until the bitter end and was beaten only by an unconscious Collin Morikawa.


DFS Strategy

Cash Games: With a ton of solid players available in the $7K range this week, starting lineups here with Bryson DeChambeau ($11,100) does look appealing. Coming off his best finish in a major, the American is now coming to a course he has won on before and he should be in a position to overpower many of the holes this week with his tee ball. Tony Finau ($8,800) offers similar appeal and is coming off a great stretch too, he finished T4 here in 2018 to DeChambeau. Hideki Matsuyama ($8,600) has also been very consistent at this track and should like the scoring nature of this event. After those two, the likes of Abraham Ancer ($7,700), Harris English ($7,600) and Dylan Frittelli ($7,000) all offer good appeal as value targets.

Tournaments: From a GPP perspective, bypassing the top three golfers and starting your lineups with lower-owned plays in the $9K region has some appeal. Both Patrick Cantlay ($9,200) and Xander Schauffele ($9,700) remain winless on the season but both have been hovering near the top of leaderboards all year. One or both seem likely to contend again soon before the season ends. Billy Horschel ($7,900) almost won here in 2014 and clearly likes the way his game is rounding into form after last week, he makes for a solid big-field GPP target here too, along with Si Woo Kim ($7,700-see below). Both could get overlooked due to the elite nature of this field. Other big-field GPP targets here include Byeong Hun An ($7,300-see below), Russell Henley ($7,300), Alex Noren ($7,100), Sam Burns ($6,900) and Danny Lee ($6,100).


MY PICK: Si Woo Kim ($7,700)

Kim has been flashing some very solid form of late and may be going a bit overlooked due to all of the other great young golfers that are currently making waves on the PGA TOUR. The South Korean is still a youngster himself at just 25 years of age and may finally be finding a level of consistency with his game that eluded him early in his career. Kim has now made the cut in seven straight starts and has looked dialed in lately, with T13 and T3 finishes recorded in his past two events.

The lack of finish last weekend at the Wyndham was disappointing but, statistically, this is a player who is clearly feeling it right now. Kim’s gained +4 strokes or more on his Approaches in three of his past four starts and has also added consistency off the tee, an area where he can get wild from time to time. While it has now been over three years since he last won on Tour, Kim did dust the world’s best with relative ease when he won THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP in 2017 and won’t be intimidated by the elite field in play here. His game should set up well for the all-around test that TPC Boston provides and his sub-$8K price on DraftKings makes him one of the most appealing DFS picks, in my eyes, for the year’s first playoff event.


MY SLEEPER: Byeong Hun An ($7,300)

An’s put together a couple of nice starts in a row now and feels like a player who should fit well with this week’s setup. The South Korean has finished T12 and T22 in his past two starts and was hovering around the lead for much of the WGC Memphis event before falling off late. While it’s been slow going for Benny since the restart, his play throughout the bag over the past couple of events has been solid. He’s gained over +2 strokes with his irons in his past two starts and his around the green game has again begun to look elite — an important factor for this week as players finishing inside the top-10 at TPC Boston have typically scrambled at a very high rate.

The biggest change with An, though, has been on the greens where he’s now gained over +2 strokes putting in two straight events, a big move for a player ranked 187th in SG: Putting for the season. His ability to score with both his irons and short game here should make a big difference on a course with multiple short par 5s and driveable par 4s, making him a nice value target for me at under $7.5K.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: PGA TOUR $1.55M Beantown Battle [$500K to 1st]


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