Bryson DeChambeau ran away with last week’s event at the Northern Trust, in the process clinching a coveted American Ryder Cup spot and making this week’s event, the Dell Technologies Championship, a key tournament for positioning going into the final stretch of the FedEx points race, while also being the final opportunity for both American and European players to impress their captains for wild-card spots on the Ryder Cup team.
The event this week is played at TPC Boston, a Par 71 that, thanks to the Labor Day weekend, will be starting on Friday instead of a Thursday. (It also gives DFG players an extra day to obsess about their lineups.) It’s a 7,342 yard Par 71 course that will play very challenging, befitting its status as a Championship course, but with a specific focus on iron play and scrambling. You don’t necessarily need the longest bombers on the planet, but you want guys that will chip it close.
It is the time of year where I start to really think of narrative plays over pure course-match, how-do-they-putt-on-bentgrass type stat analyses. Most of the golfers here are world class. Who needs a win or a T5 finish to make to the Ryder Cup, or simply advance to next week’s FedEx event? Who wants to be positioning themselves with an insurmountable FedEx point lead?
Dustin Johnson ($11,600 – DraftKings, $12,500 – FanDuel)
DJ falls in the narrative category of “cementing his place atop the FedEx point list”. A good performance here would allow him to put distance between him, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. And on a pure price structure, I LOVE the fact that he is the highest priced golfer this week. People won’t go through the effort of forcing DJ onto their lineup due to salary concerns – that’s precisely the reason why you should try to cram him in there. I feel his ownership will be lower than it should be – that’s the perfect time to have him.
Jordan Spieth ($10,000 – DraftKings, $11,600 – FanDuel)
Spieth has the “needs to play well in this tournament to have a chance at the FedEx points championship” narrative working. He’s been frustrating as hell this year, but he’s been playing a lot better of late, especially in the area of putting, which is an encouraging sign. Spieth may need to win this to stay relevant in the FedEx points chase, and I think he will do exceedingly well.
Henrik Stenson ($8,600 – DraftKings, $10,800 – FanDuel)
There is nothing more deadly than a motivated Henrik Stenson, and this week he needs a good finish to secure a valuable at-large bid to the Ryder Cup team. Add to this that he’s arguably the best iron player in the world, and – assuming he’s 100% – I think he’s another great narrative play.
Paul Casey ($7,900 – DraftKings, $10,500 – FanDuel)
Speaking of “European players recovering from injury that need a great showing this weekend to make the European Ryder Cup team – hel-LO, Paul Casey! As an added bonus, Casey’s price differential between DK and FanDuel demonstrates something amiss with DK’s pricing of the Englishman. It points to Casey chalk, but he’s good chalk.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($7,300 – DraftKings, $10,200 – FanDuel)
I don’t know why the European golfers this week are priced so low, but it’s something you need to take advantage of. The Spaniard is my favorite value on the slate – perfect game for this course, needs a good finish to make the Ryder Cup team (he’s firmly on the bubble), and he’s also riding some scorching form over the last month.
Chris Kirk ($6,800 – DraftKings, $8,300 – FanDuel)
Finally, in the bargain tier I think Chris Kirk fits the “needs to win, or at least Top 5, to get a well-deserved chance to play next week” narrative. Chris Kirk is an excellent approach golfer that has done outstanding all year, and seems like a good candidate to make one last high finish in order to get a step closer to the PGA Championship.