The second week of the playoffs is upon us. While we witnessed a duo between the two best players in the world last week, this event has tended to feature a larger variety of winners over the years and so I wouldn’t be shocked if a player a little longer in the odds won. The venue this week is also a little more familiar as TPC Boston remains as host and hasn’t seen much change ever since it was redesigned back in 2007 by Olympic course designer Gil Hanse. The tournament this week starts on Friday and some notable withdraws have already occurred, including Henrik Stenson who is skipping this week due to some tendonitis in his knee.
Course Preview: TPC Boston is essentially an original and very creative par 71 layout, that mixes numerous drive-able par 4’s and some easier par 5’s with some longer challenging par 4’s and par 3’s. While the event has been won by bombers like Rory McIlory in the past it’s also seen shorter hitters do well here, like Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson. Even though it’s consistently ranked as one of the easier venues to score on, the course it generally demands elite ball-striking from players who want to put up a low score. For fantasy purposes, length off the tee should be de-emphasized a bit here for players who are consistently finding the greens and who are confident enough on the greens at the moment to sink some putts.
Jon Rahm ($10,600): Rahm started off the playoffs nicely last week with four straight rounds under par at a tougher par 70 golf course. The Spaniard’s approach game was on point last week as he gained over six strokes on the field over four rounds in that area. Outside of a few bad holes and some mistakes around the green, Rahm could have easily been in the mix to make it a three man playoff last week and a switch to an easier course might be the trick that puts him over the top. Given the price break you’re getting here over Spieth and Dustin and a switch to what is more of a second shot course, rostering Rahm this week in fantasy makes sense.
Jason Day ($9,500): Day couldn’t quite put it all together last week, but a second straight top ten at his under-10k price made him a decent DFS play. The trend continues this week as Day has not crept up over 10k on DraftKings and comes to course he’s had plenty of success at in the past. Day is actually 38 under par at TPC Boston over the past five seasons (fourth best – via @JustinRayGC) and the fact his approach game saw massive improvement last week (+3.87 strokes) is a sign that we should probably keep riding this train here.
Louis Oosthuizen ($9,100): Like Day, Oosthuizen started off his payoffs well with a T10, and like Day, Louis has a fantastic record at TPC Boston which makes him a great target here. Over 12 competitive rounds since 2012, Louis has shot 67 or better six times, a record which includes both a 63 and a 64. Louis struggled around the greens at Glen Oaks, but he was hitting his approaches just fine and was T3 in Greens in Regulation. While his price looks high, that should keep his ownership down in gpps and his birdie rate on this course makes him an excellent target regardless.
Others: Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey
Justin Rose ($8,100): Rose found some form last week at Glen Oaks, ranking first in SG: Approaches for the week. The putter did not cooperate for him there but the consistent ball striking is a definite plus. Rose’s record at TPC Boston is a tad sketchy, but a T4 here from way back in 2006 and a T16 from 2013 aren’t awful, and the fact he enters this week with his swing troubles seemingly behind him makes him an exciting value. Of note is also the fact he won his gold medal on a similarly designed Gil Hanse course last season. He’s good value at a lesser price than Webb Simpson and Charley Hoffman this week.
Kevin Kisner ($7,700): Kisner is an easy player to gloss over this week. Since the PGA he’s had two uninspiring starts, but at the same time, hasn’t really done anything to really lose our trust either. Kisner has made the cut at TPC Boston in both of his appearances and a T12 from 2015 is definitely encouraging. The Georgia native is also a strong bentgrass putter, having gained over 1.1 strokes more with his putter on the surface than any other (via fantasygolfmetrics.com) and the fast bentgrass greens at TPC Boston could definitely provide an advantage. I think we see him show up this week.
Patrick Cantlay ($7,200): Cantlay is going to be a popular name this week in DFS circles but he’s playing too well for me to ignore. So far in only ten starts, Cantlay has yet to miss a cut on tour and recorded his third top-ten of the season last week with a T10 at the NTO. Cantlay ranked first for the week in Greens in Regulation last week and if his ball striking keeps up here he’s going to challenge for the top ten or better again. The bottom line is that the price break we’re getting here on DraftKings is too good, I’d roster with impunity and look to diversify with lower owned players in other spots in your line-up.
Others: Francesco Molinari
High-Upside GPP Picks
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,100): Matsuyama missed the cut badly last week, but there’s no reason not to expect a bounce-back here. Numerous players have come back to win the second week in the playoffs after missing the cut at the first event—including Rickie Fowler in 2015—and there’s no reason to think Matsuyama can’t follow that pattern either. His strong approach game fits well with TPC Boston and the fact he’s improved his finishes here in each of the past three seasons is definitely a good sign he feels comfortable with the venue coming in.
Russell Henley ($7,600): Henley started well last week but petered out as the week went on to finish T25. The venue this week is less of a bombers venue however, and it’s one that Henley is familiar with as he finished T2 here back in 2014. Henley struck the ball fine last week, but struggled with the flat-stick a bit, a club that is usually one of his best. When he nearly won here in 2014, Henley did so largely through the work of his putter and, being a much better ball-striker now, if that same scenario plays out he’ll be around the leaders again. He’s a good gpp target this week.
Si Woo Kim ($6,700): With two wins on tour in just two years, and a WD rate that even Henrik Stenson would be proud of, Si Woo is the ultimate gpp play almost every time he tees it up. The young Korean didn’t complete the PGA Championship due to a wonky back but the fact he played all 72 holes last week is encouraging, as was the fact his ball striking numbers were pretty good at Gen Oaks. Kim finished T15 at this venue last season and has proven he can show up with the putter when it matters. I wouldn’t go crazy, but he definitely qualifies as a high upside play this week in such a small field at the min-price.
Other: Emiliano Grillo
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Cantlay, Si Woo Kim
– Russell Henley, Francesco Molinari, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Emiliano Grillo
Louis Ooosthuizen 36-1
Justin Rose 45-1 EW
Patrick Cantlay 80-1 EW
Russell Henley 90-1 EW
Kevin Kisner 90-1
Si Woo Kim 250-1 EW