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DFS Dish: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Marc Leishman

Marc Leishman

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The 2019 majors are officially over but the regular season pushes on. We have just two weeks remaining until the FedExCup Playoffs begin.

But first, another FedEx-sponsored event is taking place this week in Memphis.

Let’s dive through the weather and course-fit angles to see if we can find some value for this week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

It’s a limited field of just 64 golfers with everyone guaranteed to play all four rounds, barring a WD.

For DFS purposes, that means no cut-line to sweat. Most people initially gravitate toward Stars and Scrubs lineups because even the scrubs will play all four rounds. However, a balanced build will give you a higher chance of getting all six golfers inside the top 15 or top 20. There is no right or wrong here, just something to consider when building your rosters this week.


Weather Update

Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high near 85 degrees. Calm winds around 5 MPH.

Friday (R2): Sunny with a high near 87 degrees. Winds calm around 5 MPH.

No rain in the forecast and the temps are manageable. Should be a great week for scoring in Memphis. At least as much as the tough course will allow them to score.

The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don’t get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I’m having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.

The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.


Phil Mickelson (68.63 Projected Pts): Lefty did a hard reset ahead of The Open but it didn’t help snap him out of his slump. He’s now lost strokes to the field in 6 of his last 7 starts. Course history will draw gamers to Mickelson but I will gladly fade due to his putrid form.

Gary Woodland (68.63 Projected Pts): Struggled with the putter last week so I’d normally like him to rebound. However, his wife is approaching her due date so Woodland could be called away at any moment. I’ll put him way down the board and avoid him entirely.


Adam Scott (65.32 Projected Pts): He let gamers down last week at The Open but golfers are allowed to have a few bad weeks now and again. For Scott, he’s been brilliant all year so I’m looking for a nice bounce back this week as he returns to the States. The Aussie has played at TPC Southwind twice and finished top 10 in both of those trips.

Matt Wallace (37.08 Projected Pts): It’s hard to gauge motivation for a lot of the golfers that are flying straight from Northern Ireland. As for Wallace, he’s one of the golfers I trust the most to give it his all, any time he pegs it. He’s a proven winner with four Euro Tour victories on his resume. I will give him a boost up the DRAFT board.

Course Fit

The summer schedule calls for a lot of bentgrass or bent/poa courses but we return to bermuda greens this week. Let’s see who likes that...

Looking at sample-size-adjusted performance on bermuda since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:

Dustin Johnson
Rory McIlroy
Jon Rahm
Tommy Fleetwood
Jason Day
Justin Rose
Justin Thomas
Patrick Cantlay
Henrik Stenson
Webb Simpson
Matt Kuchar
Hideki Matsuyama
Paul Casey
Sergio Garcia
Marc Leishman

Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:

Keith Mitchell
Corey Conners
Jim Furyk
Jon Rahm
Sergio Garcia
Ian Poulter
Louis Oosthuizen
Kevin Kisner
Webb Simpson
Chez Reavie
Marc Leishman
Tommy Fleetwood
Rory McIlroy
Jason Day
Billy Horschel

Overlap List: Looking for overlap on the two lists we see Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, and Marc Leishman.

Rory is looking to bounce back from the emotional missed cut. Rahm is interesting because he struggled with bermuda when he first joined the TOUR but has quickly adapted. Perhaps people are still looking at his quotes and early bermuda results and we may catch people napping on the Spaniard.

Value Spotlight

Marc Leishman: Hasn’t made this an annual stop on his schedule but he did finish T29 back in 2009, his only appearance at TPC Southwind. Let’s hope his skipping of the event was due to scheduling and not something he disliked about the course. On paper, he’s a primo value option, ranking top 25 in season-long form in this field and top 15 in bermuda performance. Arriving off a missed cut at Royal Portrush, his ownership should also stay relatively low. Sounds like a good time to strike since he costs less than the average price alloted across the industry.

Best of luck in all your contests this week!