Fantasy Golf Insider: 9 players to target at Deutsche Bank Championship

The Deutsche Bank Championship, the second event of the FedExCup Playoffs, kicks off Friday with a 100-player field. The top 70 finishers will advance to next week’s BMW Championship. Further to finishing inside the top 70, the top players are seeking a top-5 seed in the standings for the best shot at the $10-million FedExCup title following the TOUR Championship.

The winner of The Barclays, Patrick Reed leads the FedExCup field with 3,575 points. World No. 1 Jason Day isn’t far back with 3,195 points. Reed’s best finish at the Deutsche Bank was a T4 in 2015. Fellow USA Olympian Rickie Fowler finished T7 last week and is the defending champion at TPC Boston.

Here’s a look at the past three Deutsche Bank Championship leaderboards:

2013 2014 2015
1. Henrik Stenson (-22) 1. Chris Kirk (-15) 1. Rickie Fowler (-15)
2. Steve Stricker T2. Russell Henley 2. Henrik Stenson
3. Graham DeLaet T2. Billy Horschel 3. Charley Hoffman
T2. Geoff Ogilvy

Per FantasyInsiders, the key stats for TPC Boston in Norton, MA are Driving Distance (DD), Par 4 Efficiency 450-500 Yards (P4E), Par 5 Scoring (P5S), Strokes Gained: Approaches (SGA), Birdie or Better Percentage (BoB). These stats have been strengths of past winners and need to be used in combination with recent form and course history when assembling lineups.

Top Tier, Top Dollar, Top Results

Rickie Fowler

Fowler is coming off a T7 at The Barclays, a result made far worse by a Sunday round of 74. The poor finish snapped a streak of seven straight rounds in 60s dating back to the start of the Wyndham Championship. The 2015 Deutsche Bank champ scored in the 60s in each of his four rounds last year, outlasting playing partner Henrik Stenson by one stoke in the final round.

Fowler ranks 23rd in DD, 12th in P4E, 16th in P5S, 44th in SGA, and 42nd in BoB. Fowler just missed out on a guaranteed spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team last week, but he has the final three tournaments of the year to convince captain Davis Love III he is worthy of a selection.

Jordan Spieth

While less of a statistical favorite than other top options Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy, Spieth will likely come with the lowest ownership of the group. He is ranked fourth in BoB, eighth in P5S, and 25th in P4E. He’s just the 51st longest driver of the year, but he ranks third in Birdie Average and fourth in Scoring Average.

He ranks third in Going for the Green – Birdie or Better, succeeding 67.71 percent of the time. He missed the cut in this event last season, but he made his previous two, including a fourth-place showing in 2013. Spieth has the upside to win any tournament, and his lower projected ownership can offer DFS owners the same opportunity.

Bubba Watson

While Watson has played this tournament each of the past nine years and made the cut in seven of those events, he has never finished higher than 16th. It’s surprisingly mediocre, if not poor course history, considering the length of the course, typically tailored to Watson’s game.

While not overly different than his ranks in other years, Watson is the fourth-longest driver on tour, with a fourth in P5S, 16th in BoB, 24th in SGA, and 29th in P4E. He is coming off a T13 last week, and a T8 at the Olympics in his previous event. He hasn’t won since February, but he makes for a strong contrarian selection.

Best Value With a Chance

Gary Woodland

Woodland rebounded from a missed cut at the John Deere Classic to finish T4 at The Barclays. He used an eagle and 12 birdies to post an overall score of 7 under.

Woodland offers much of the same appeal as Watson, just with a lower salary and a lesser pedigree. He ranks seventh in DD and fifth in P5S, with other ranks of 21st in SGA and 46th in P4E. He placed 12th at this event last year, and he has made the cut in each of his four appearances. At a reasonable salary, he is an option in both cash games and GPPs.

Johnson Wagner

Wagner has saved his best golf of the season for the most important stretch. He recorded consecutive fifth-place finishes in order to secure his spot in the top-125 for the FedExCup Playoffs, and he finished 22nd at The Barclays, off the strength of a final-round 64. He has made the cut here in each of four appearances spread out over eight years.

Jimmy Walker

Walker is conveniently priced considering he’s the most recent major winner. He has missed each of his past two cuts at the Wyndham Championship and The Barclays, but he didn’t shoot anything worse than a 74. He has also missed the cut in two of his past three attempts at TPC Boston, but he did finish ninth in 2014.

Walker holds a top-40 rank in each of the week’s five key stats. Ownership will likely be high considering the discounted price, but he needs to be a cash-game staple, while deserving GPP consideration as a salary saver.

If Everything Goes Right

Patton Kizzire

Kizzire missed the cut at The Barcalys and is ranked 72nd in FedExCup points. The third-highest-ranked rookie will need to improve by two places in order to advance to the BMW Championship.

He had made four previous cuts, all he needs to do with such a low salary. His best rank in the key stats is a 41st in SGA, but he doesn’t rank worse than 89th (DD) in any of the other four. His extra incentive this week makes him well worth a GPP selection at a near-minimum salary.

Hudson Swafford

The eighth-longest driver on tour, Swafford also ranks 23rd in BoB, 27th in P4E, and 29th in P5S. He placed 33rd in this event last season, his lone appearance at TPC Boston. While he has made just 20 of 28 cuts on the season, Swafford has made each of his past 11 cuts dating back to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in early May.

Charles Howell III

Charles returned last week from a lengthy break due to an undisclosed medical procedure. The nine-week absence from tournament action predictably led to a missed cut at The Barclays, but he has still managed to advance to this week’s event. He has made the cut in eight of nine tries at TPC Boston, posting three finishes in the top 40.

He ranks seventh in P5S and 17th in DD. He can save owners plenty of cap space in hopes of a return to form.

Top Fades

Jim Furyk

Furyk’s lack of length will likely hurt his chances this week, especially while being priced among the tour’s longest drivers. He ranks just 164th in DD and 96th in P5S. He does have four top-10 finishes among his nine straight cuts made at TPC Boston. He finished T37 when he won the FedExCup in 2010.

Louis Oosthuizen

Oosthuizen hasn’t had a top-10 finish since placing seventh at the Valspar Championship in March. Often priced among the field’s elite players, the South African just hasn’t been able to perform up to his requirements. He ranks in the bottom half of the field in average fantasy points, while having a top-tier salary.

Branden Grace

Grace will make his debut at TPC Boston and the Deutsche Bank Championship, following up consecutive missed cuts in his past two events. His best rank in a key stat is an 11th in SGA, with his lone other top-100 rank being a 54th in DD.

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