Fantasy Golf Insider: 9 players to target at the Tour Championship

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With the field down to the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings, the 2016 PGA Tour season wraps up this weekend with the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. The no-cut event will be played on the Par-70 course for the 13th year in a row. The front and back nines have been reversed from previous seasons, hopefully leading to more exciting finishes on a difficult Par 5.

The winners of the first three playoff events have been Patrick Reed (The Barclays), Rory McIlroy (the Deutsche Bank Championship), and Dustin Johnson (the BMW Championship). Points have now been reset, with Johnson (1), Reed (2), Adam Scott (3), Jason Day (4), and Paul Casey (5) guaranteeing the $10-million prize with a victory this week.

The past six FedExCup champions have won the Tour Championship.

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

2013 2014 2015
1. Henrik Stenson (-13) 1. Billy Horschel (-11) 1. Jordan Spieth (-9)
T2. Jordan Spieth T2. Jim Furyk T2. Danny Lee
T2. Steve Stricker T2. Rory McIlroy T2. Justin Rose
T2. Henrik Stenson

Per FantasyInsiders, the key stats for East Lake GC in Atlanta, GA are Driving Accuracy (DA), Par 4 Scoring Average (P4S), Strokes Gained: Approach (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

Jordan Spieth

The defending champion of both East Lake and the FedExCup, Spieth enters this week ranked seventh in this year’s standings. He has three top-10 finishes in his past six events and two in his past three. He ranks second in P4S and fourth in BoB. He is also fourth in the field in fantasy points per week.

He ranks third in both Scoring and Birdie Average, important stats to note in a no-cut event. His Going-for-the-Green Percentage ranks just 47th on tour, but he vaults up to second in Birdie or Better when he does go for it. While his season has largely been viewed as a disappointment, he has as many wins (two) as missed cuts in 20 events.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is second in BoB, Birdie Average and sixth in Scoring Average. He’s fourth in the field in fantasy points per week. He ranks just 73rd in DA, but he is 33rd in SGA and 36th in P4S. McIlroy has never won the FedExCup, but he does have finishes of second and 10th at East Lake, in just three tries.

His inconsistent form has followed him in the playoffs, as his victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship was followed up by a disappointing 42nd at the BMW, to drop him out of the top five with a guaranteed shot at this year’s title. Prone to his fair share of double bogeys or worse, McIlroy can make enough birdies over four days to return value without a win.

Adam Scott

A tempered price in the middle of the top tier is sure to help make Scott one of the higher owned players of the week. He is primed to take home his first FedExCup title with a victory, as he enters third in the point rankings.

Scott ranks first in SGA and 10th in both BoB and P4S. He has played this event more times than anyone else in the field, collecting four top 10s in eight tries, including a victory back in 2006. He made all 18 of his cuts this season, and his fantasy scoring ranks second to only Dustin Johnson.

Best Value With a Chance

Gary Woodland

Woodland didn’t make it to East Lake in 2015, but he finished ninth the year prior. He ranks 15th in P4S, 21st in SGA and 44th in BoB. Known as a long driver, his accuracy suffers as a result, as he ranks just 146th in DA.

His 11 eagles this season are the 18th most on tour, and he ranks sixth in Par 5 Scoring. It isn’t the most important hole type of the week, but with a guaranteed four rounds, he’ll play enough Par 5s to have a chance to prop up his score.

Roberto Castro

Castro comes to East Lake for the second time in his career, ranking 21st in the standings. His lone previous appearance at the final event on the tour schedule was in 2013 when he posted a ninth-place finish. He qualified for this year’s event with a third-place result at the BMW Championship.

Castro ranks fifth in both DA and P4S as well as 30th in SGA and 50th in BoB. While he can’t score among the tour’s elite even at his best, he’s unlikely to play himself out of contention with just 222 bogeys in 26 events this season.

Daniel Berger

Possibly posing a threat to Scott as the most-owned player of the week, Berger’s oddly discounted salary is too tempting to fade in all lineups. He made his East Lake debut as a rookie in 2015, finishing 12th.

Seeded 26th in the FedExCup standings, Berger is among the favorites for the final spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. A strong finish here could guarantee his spot on the squad.

If Everything Goes Right

Ryan Moore

One of those competing with Berger for the final Ryder Cup spot, Moore is 14th in the FedExCup standings. He finished just 64th at the BMW, but he had two top 10s and a victory in his previous four events. His streak of seven consecutive events played is tied for the longest stretch in the field. Fatigue may be becoming a factor, but he’ll have benefited from the off week.

Moore ranks 15th in DA, 36th in P4S, 44th in SGA and 47th in BoB. His Scoring Average ranks 38th, but his other stats offer a safe floor with upside.

Kevin Na

Na is the statistical favorite of the week. He ranks second in P4S, third in SGA, 23rd in BoB, and 25th in DA. He placed 16th at East Lake in 2015 and 19th the year prior. He has a top-20 finish in each of his past three tries.

His 20-for-24 in cuts made this season is far too impressive of a pedigree for his bottom-tier salary. He doesn’t have a victory, but he does have eight top 10s. That’s all that is needed from this pricing tier.

William McGirt

McGirt ranks 10th in P4S and 19th in DA, and he’ll be making his first-career appearance at East Lake. He finished T41 at The Barclays, missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank but then placed T20 at the BMW. His lone victory of the season came back at the Memorial in early June. He averages just 3.54 birdies per round, but his scoring average of 70.393 ranks 31st on tour.

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