Yahoo DFS Golf: Tour Championship
Yahoo DFS Golf: Tour Championship

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Atlanta, GA
East Lake Golf Club - Par 70 - 7,346 yards
Field - Top 30 in FedExCup standings
Purse - $9M

The Preview

The finale of the FedExCup Playoffs is upon us as the culmination of the 2017-18 PGA Tour season winds down with a $10 million prize for the top point-earner come Sunday afternoon. A modest 30-entrant field is left standing after three playoff events, but the prestigious crew of Tour Championship qualifiers are coming off a well-deserved week of rest before heading to Atlanta. East Lake Golf Club has played host to the tournament every year since 2004, with five past champions and six newcomers making appearances this year. The PGA Tour has announced a completely different format and schedule for the playoffs next season, so enjoy the 2018 edition while the commentators attempt to clear up any confusion.

Recent Champions

2017 - Xander Schauffele
2016 - Rory McIlroy
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Billy Horschel
2013 - Henrik Stenson
2012 - Brandt Snedeker
2011 - Bill Haas
2010 - Jim Furyk
2009 - Phil Mickelson

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Tee-to-Green
GIR Percentage
Birdie Average
Driving Accuracy

Crowning a Champion

East Lake Golf Club favors the top players in GIR percentage and birdie average, but it takes a great deal of accuracy off the tee along the tree-lined layout to ultimately translate shot making into scoring. Thanks to a significant amount of rain in the southeast during recent weeks, the course should play both softer and easier than usual as fairways and greens become easier to hit. Putting hasn't been too difficult at this venue because the dance floors aren't nearly as tricky as some layouts on Tour, but scrambling should play a factor if GIR numbers are down. Favor the better ball strikers when selecting lineups this week, while keeping in mind the more powerful options can elect to keep driver in the bag for additional accuracy.

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Justin Thomas - $46

Thomas dealt with a minor wrist issue during the final round of the BMW Championship, which could force him to wear tape at East Lake as a precautionary measure. However, the ailment didn't keep him from a scoring average of 66.25 at Aronimink GC and he doesn't seem overly concerned. The 25-year-old has finished 2-T6 in two trips to the Tour Championship, and he ranks third in SG: Tee-to-Green and fifth in birdie average.

Justin Rose - $45

Overtaking the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time ever with his playoff loss at the BMW Championship, Rose has strung together back-to-back runner-up finishes heading into the season's finale. The Englishman owns seven top-10s in his last nine starts and has three top-fives in eight career appearances at East Lake, including a pair of seconds.

Rory McIlroy - $42

This is an intriguing price for someone who won at East lake in 2016 and tied for second two years prior, but he also went 5-T12 at the recent BMW and Dell Technologies Championships. The fifth-ranked player in the world is just $2 more than Bryson DeChambeau and $4 more than Tony Finau, presenting quite a bit of value.

Glue Guys

Tommy Fleetwood - $37

An East Lake first-timer, Fleetwood heads to Atlanta without any finish worse than a T24 through the first three legs of the FedExCup Playoffs. The Englishman is top-10 in both SG: Total and birdie average.

Tiger Woods - $32

With top-6 finishes in four of his last seven starts, Woods is inching back towards his first victory since 2013 thanks to brilliant iron play as he leads the Tour in SG: Approach. If he can convince himself to keep the driver in the bag when necessary and sacrifice distance for FIR percentage, Woods could get the job done at East Lake.

Bubba Watson - $30

Watson, who is prone to missing fairways off the tee, makes up for it with his length, as he ranks second on Tour in SG: OTT. After a stretch of three missed cuts in five starts leading up to the playoffs, he's turned it around with finishes of T16-T7 during the past two events.

Bargain Bin

Webb Simpson - $26

Simpson's T6 at the BMW Championship brings his total of top-10s to eight in 2018 alone, ascending to 17th in the OWGR after beginning the calendar year outside of the top-40. He's finished top-5 twice in five starts at East Lake GC and leads the Tour in scrambling while also sporting a hot putter.

Billy Horschel - $22

Horschel bounced back from a sinus infection with a T3 at the BMW Championship following his withdrawal at the Dell Technologies Championship, adding his second top-3 of the playoffs after also placing T3 at the Northern Trust. Horschel has been top-notch in keeping the ball in the fairways and on the greens throughout the season, ranking 16th in driving accuracy and fifth in GIR percentage.

Xander Schauffele - $20

A min-priced Schauffele is certainly a steal as he figures to see inflated ownership, entering the week as the defending champion while coming off a T3 at the BMW Championship. He ranked top-4 among the field in both SG: Approach and SG: Putting at Aronimink GC in his last start.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

For a second consecutive playoff event we have limited options with a tiny field and the absence of a cut. This is a perfect opportunity to deploy a studs and duds approach while targeting riskier weapons than usual, lending a greater chance at lofty birdie or better percentages. Expect the champion to finish in the top-5 or better in GIRs by week's end.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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