2023 PGA DFS: FedEx St Jude DraftKings Preview

by Keith Flemming
2020 WGC FedEx DFS

The PGA Tour's FedEx Playoffs start this week in Memphis. That brings me to my 2023 PGA DFS: St Jude DraftKings Preview.

We're a mere three events away from ending a memorable season for the PGA Tour and golf in general. The top-70 players on tour this season will start the playoffs in Memphis at the St Jude Championship. Next week the top-50 players will tee it up at the BMW and the season will end with the top-30 players at Eastlake in Atlanta.

Those who qualified for the FedEx Playoffs will compete for 75 million dollars over the next three weeks. The players who qualify for East Lake are guaranteed to make at least $500,000 and the winner will earn a cool $18 million dollars.

Position Payout
1 $18 million
2 $6.5 million
3 $5 million
4 $4 million
5 $3 million
6 $2.5 million
7 $2 million
8 $1.5 million
9 $1.25 million
10 $1 million
11 $950,000
12 $900,000
13 $850,000
14 $800,000
15 $760,000
16 $720,000
17 $700,000
18 $680,000
19 $660,000
20 $640,000
21 $620,000
22 $600,000
23 $580,000
24 $565,000
25 $550,000
26 $540,000
27 $530,000
28 $520,000
29 $510,000
30 $500,000

For the last two weeks of the PGA Playoffs, I'm going to alter the format of this article slightly. Starting next week instead of my official DraftKings lineup and four additional DK plays, I will include an official DraftKings lineups and then fade a player from each price range on DK. It doesn't feel right giving 10 players in fields of 50 and 30 players.

But for now, let's discuss the FedEx St Jude Championship at TPC Southwinds.

You can find me on Twitter @KeithFlemming to keep the conversation going! Be sure to listen to my weekly guest appearance Wednesdays at 1 pm Eastern on The Inside Drive on ESPN Northwest Radio. 

2023 PGA DFS: St Jude DraftKings Preview

Venue (TPC Southwinds)

This is the second year that the St Jude at TPC Highlands will be the first leg of the FedEx Playoffs. Last year Will Zalatoris picked up his first career PGA Tour win in a bizarre playoff with Sepp Straka. If you didn't see that playoff check the link below.

The good news is we have data from last year's event that featured the top-125 players who made the playoffs. The better news is this venue hosted a WGC event from 2019-2021. Those events were not full-field events that featured 70 players.

Harris English is the only former champion in the field this week. The defending champion Will Zalatoris is still recovering from surgery earlier this year. For reference, the players who won this event in the last decade include Abraham Ancer, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson.

TPC Southwinds is known for its lightning-fast and firm Bermuda greens. The course is a par-70 playing 7,200 yards and change that features thick penal Bermuda rough. Players will have to deal with water hazards lurking all over the course. This tournament is a true test from the tee to green and the eventual winning score is normally a modest one.

TPC Southwinds only features two par-5s that are both reachable for a majority of the field. They are the only holes on the course that play 0.1 strokes or more under par. The course features twelve holes that the scoring average is above par. This is not an easy golf course by any metrics or means.

Top-10 players in the field who gained the most Total Strokes at this event in the last 5 years

  1. Hideki Matsuyama
  2. Rory McIlroy
  3. Rickie Fowler
  4. Jason Day
  5. Patrick Cantlay
  6. Tommy Fleetwood
  7. Jordan Spieth
  8. Jon Rahm
  9. Sam Burns
  10. Matt Kuchar

*All the players on the list above have at least three starts in the last five years with the exception of Sam Burns. These players consistently position themselves well off the tee, have strong mid-iron games, and are comfortable with firm/fast Bermuda greens.

Course Comps

  • Eastlake
  • TPC Sawgrass
  • PGA National

A small number of players in the field have top-15 finishes at two of the three venues listed above over the last two years. They are Sungjae Im, Scottie Scheffler, Sepp Straka, Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Hadwin, and Russell Henley.

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Par 4 Scoring (400-500 yards)
  • Fairways Gained
  • Strokes Gained Putting (Bermuda Firm and Fast)
  • Proximity 125-200 yards
  • Course and Comp History

Top Stat Detail: Top-10 Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (Last 12 Rounds)

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Rory McIlroy
  3. Alex Smalley
  4. Collin Morikawa
  5. Rickie Fowler
  6. Russell Henley
  7. Stephan Jaeger
  8. Patrick Cantlay
  9. Vincent Normann
  10. Viktor Hovland

Second Top State Detail: Top-10 Strokes Gained Approach (Last 50 Rounds)

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Collin Morikawa
  3. Jon Rahm
  4. Xander Schauffele
  5. Rickie Fowler
  6. Hideki Matsuyama
  7. Tony Finau
  8. Wyndham Clark
  9. Alex Smalley
  10. Max Homa

10 players in the field who are Top-30 T2G and above average Strokes Gained Putting (Bermuda)

  1. Tyrrell Hatton
  2. Tommy Fleetwood
  3. Adam Schenk
  4. Jon Rahm
  5. Xander Schauffele
  6. Wyndham Clark
  7. Rickie Fowler
  8. Justin Rose
  9. Jordan Spieth
  10. Cam Davis

My 2023 PGA DFS: St Jude DraftKings Lineup

Rickie Fowler ($9,500)

Rickie Fowler has been a staple in my official lineups from this article. He's rewarded me with a stellar season including a win and nine top-15 finishes since March. Fowler has a good record at this event with three straight top-20 finishes at TPC Southwinds.

I expect Fowler to close this season with a bang starting this week. I love his odds to win at 28-1. He is in the top 10 in the field in strokes gained tee to green, approach, and ball-striking. The top-5 players in the FedEx playoffs are only playing for cash this week. There is no result that is going to drastically help or hurt their chances of winning the FedEx playoffs. For that reason, I am not including the top-3 players in the world and the playoff rankings this week.

Another option in this price range: Tyrrell Hatton ($9,700) Hatton is one of the best in the field tee to green this week and he putts the best on Bermuda greens by a significant margin.

Jason Day ($8,900)

I love the fact Jason Day is talking about his desire to win the FedEx playoffs to his home country's media. This proves this is a goal he wants and can still attain this year. It would be a perfect bookend to a comeback season that saw him get his first win in several years.

It should surprise no one that Day with his fifth child on the way and having just picked up his first win in years, he went thru a slump from mid-May thru June. He took some time off and came back to finish runner-up at The Open.

I love Day this week and I love his odds to win the FedEx playoffs. Day is top-40 in the field this week in all strokes gained categories. This is a field that consists of the top 70 players from this season on tour. He's top-15 in strokes gained total, off the tee, short game, around the greens, and putting.

If that is not enough of a reason to love Day this week. In his last four starts at TPC Southwinds, he has two top-10 finishes while averaging over 4 strokes on the field in each of those events.

Wyndham Clark ($8,500)

Wyndham Clark is an extreme value on DraftKings at his price this week. I am assuming this is due to him having never teed it up at this event, but Clark has thrived at the more difficult events this season on tour. He won the US Open and has top-35 finishes at TPC Sawgrass, Memorial, Bay Hill, and the Genesis.

Clark is top-10 in the field in strokes total and strokes gained approach. He's top-15 in the field in strokes gained tee to green and short game. I love Clark at his odds to win this event 35-1 and I also like his current odds to win the FedEx playoffs.

Another option in this price range: Cameron Young ($8,200) Young has two top-10 finishes in his last five starts in large part due to him gaining strokes on the greens. If Young continues to gain strokes on the greens and combines that with his consistent ball striking, he could make a run in these playoffs.

Sam Burns ($8,100)

I have mentioned many times in this column and on our show Two Off The Tee about my love for Sam Burns on courses with Bermuda greens. He's earned the nickname Bermuda Burns. He's $8,100 on DraftKings this week despite two top-15 finishes at this venue, including a runner-up in his only limited-field event held at TPC Southwinds.

Sepp Straka ($7,700)

Sepp Straka will be high-owned on DraftKings and a popular pick this week on betting cards. That is not going to stop me from including him in my official lineup or having him on my betting card. Straka is playing great golf with a win and a runner-up finish in his last three starts.

Over his last five events, Straka is gaining strokes in all major strokes gained categories. He has a top 10 in the last year at two of the three comp courses East Lake and PGA National.

Another option in this price range: Justin Rose ($7,200) Rose has a top-15 finish at this venue in a limited field event in 2019. He is a great value on this course at his DraftKings price. I like his prop odds to top-5 and top-10 as well.

Aaron Rai ($7,000)

Maybe Aaron Rai will be low-owned this week on DraftKings with him missing the cut last week and for his horrible stance on covers for your golf irons. There is no other reason to leave Rai at his price this week out of your DK lineups.

Rai is top-10 on tour in driving accuracy this season and over the last 30 rounds, he is top-10 in both strokes gained total and on approach. In his two starts at this event, Rai's worst finish is 26th. This includes a T-12th finish at TPC Southwinds in a limited-field event. He is the exact kind of ball striker who finds success at this venue.

Another option in this price range: Eric Cole ($6,900) You didn't really think I would leave Eric Cole out of my ten official plays for the first week of the playoffs? My favorite play on DraftKings this year is once again priced way too low. He's made the cut in ten of his last eleven events and lost in a playoff earlier this year at comp course PGA National.

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Now that you have read the 2023 PGA DFS: St Jude DraftKings Preview, be sure to check out the rest of our golf content, including my show Two off the Tee on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel Tuesday night. Each week, my cohost Allen and I will break down the tournament for that week and give betting/DFS plays. 

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