This article is part of our PrizePicks Golf series.
PrizePicks offers a unique twist on DFS play in the form of Over/Under picks for individual players in almost every sport imaginable. You have the opportunity to pick two, three or four players per entry, and the goal is to predict whether the individual player will end up over or under the projected total PrizePicks provides. For PGA play, you are required to pick at least one Over and one Under play. The legend for scoring in this format is as follows:
|Double Eagle or Better||13|
|Double Bogey or Worse||-1|
Unlike your usual PGA DFS platforms, PrizePicks offers PGA gameplay on a per-round basis, not for an entire tournament. So, the projected totals you see today are for the individual rounds on Thursday, and once Thursday's round commences, you will see updated numbers for Friday, and so on.
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SPECIAL NOTE!!! For regular Prize Picks players, you'll notice a new feature! The site is now offering a 'Flex Play' option. Unlike the 'Power Play' option, you can still make a good bit of money if you get one player wrong. The payouts will be less, but you can still make a mistake and earn more cash.
This the final week of the PGA regular 'season', which means we're headed back to East Lake in Atlanta for the FedEx Cup Finals.
Even though the networks want us to be excited about the FedEx Cup, let's face it – many of us don't even know how the points system works, and even if we do, it's obvious that it has its shortcomings. Despite a stellar showing all season from a guy who currently ranks, say, 3rd in the rankings, the 30th ranked player could win the tournament and take down the Cup due to the points structure. When you consider that the Cup system rewards players based on the entire season, it doesn't seem fair. This year, they've decided to fix the issue, but not everyone is exactly on board with the idea. Players will start the tournament with preset scores that you could almost call handicap adjustments based on the FedEx cup standings. Justin Thomas (currently 1st) will start the weekend at 10-under par, Patrick Cantlay at 8-under par, and so on all the way down to players at the bottom, who will begin the tournament 10 shots back. For our purposes, this weighted leaderboard means that a lot of the guys towards the bottom of the rankings will be flag hunting all weekend and taking chances wherever possible, so we're going to try and target the best GIR players and good approach ball-strikers in the group that will need to make up ground. The bolstered starting scores DO NOT count towards the Over/Unders on PrizePicks, so keep that in mind as you watch the tournament.
East Lake Golf Club – Par 70, 7,385 yards
Having grown up in the Atlanta area, I'm pretty familiar with East Lake. Although I have a soft spot for the course, I have to admit that it's an odd place for this final showdown. Why? Well, in my opinion, it's just too easy for the Tour's best players. The layout also isn't anything special when you look at it objectively. The biggest challenge is probably placement off the tee, as the fairways are on the narrow side. I'm placing a premium on driving accuracy this week, and not on length – the course only provides us with two Par 5s.
EXAMINING THE FIELD
The 30-man field will play all four rounds this weekend, and East Lake is a track where we can look back on past history to find an edge. Here's a list of previous winners going back eight years:
With the exception of Rory, you can see that you don't need to be long to win here. In fact, last year we saw a lot of players bag their drivers and stick with lofted woods and long irons on most of the holes. Schauffele and McIlroy are the only two past champs on our slate, so they will have an extra boost of confidence when tackling this course.
Although rain is in the forecast all weekend, the tee times for this tournament are stacked pretty tight, so no individual group will have an advantage.
Matt Kuchar – 18.0
With a T-10 and a T-15 in his past two appearances at East Lake, I think Kooch is a pretty reasonable Over candidate to hit 3-under on this course. Even though he ceded his Round One Scoring title a few weeks ago, he still has one of the best track records on Thursdays. Other positive metrics include a 70% GIR (9th), 11th in Par 4 Scoring Average, and a fairly accurate tee shot (31st).
Tommy Fleetwood – 19.5
I wish this number was a tad lower, but I can still put Fleetwood up here with some confidence. He regularly makes my Over list due to his lightning-fast starts. While a lot of his metrics fall short, he sticks it in one major category – scrambling. He's the unquestioned top scrambler on Tour currently, and since he's starting nine shots back this week, he'll be looking to gain every stroke he can around the greens.
Rickie Fowler – 19.0
We've seen signs of the old Rickie in recent weeks, and after a T-12 at the BMW I think we might see some surprises from the Puma King heading into the weekend. Fowler is a fierce competitor when motivated and I think being eight shots back will help fuel his resolve to catch up with the rest of the field. With excellent marks in Round One and Par 4 Scoring Averages, I like his chances.
Patrick Cantlay – 21.5
One of these guys up top will hit this number, and I'm going to go with Cantlay as a guy who won't get there. For starters, he'll begin Thursday among the leaders, and Thursday is a little too soon to take chances. Rather than risk himself out of contention, I think Cantlay's game will be pretty safe in the first couple of rounds. He also is pretty dreadful compared to the rest of the field in Driving Accuracy (154th), and that could get him into trouble on this course.
Dustin Johnson – 20.0
Over the past four years, 7-under is the best DJ has mustered over FOUR rounds at East Lake, so I find it highly unlikely that he'll find his way to the over on Thursday. Granted, he came in 3rd last year, but he was graced with one of his best GIR performances from 2018 in that tournament. It's hard to fade Johnson like this, and he burned me two weeks ago, but his driver can go awry from time to time and he's definitely not one to gain many strokes around the green. The long ball won't really help him on this course.
Justin Thomas – 21.5
Thomas looked unstoppable one minute and dreadful the next on the way to a win at Medinah. I don't want to be a "doubting Thomas" (sorry for that one), but I just don't see him beating this threshold after last week's win. I'm not concerned with his wrist any longer, but he still didn't look like his normal self for much of the tournament. He really turned it on with his putter and he knocked a few in around the green, which is where he usually struggles a bit. I got his Over right last week because I felt he was due, but I'm switching the script this week and playing him as an Under.