2017 Dell Technologies Championship – Friday, September 1st through Monday, September 4th

Damn, Deej. That was incredible. I know it’s probably annoying to hear me harp on it so much, and obviously it doesn’t work out every time, but this is why I love driving distance so much.

Deej is in dark blue, and stuck his 94 yard second shot to four feet, making an easy birdie. Spieth had about 180 to the cup because he hits like a wimp, and couldn’t get it close enough to compete. There are obviously a number of counterpoints but life is just so much easier when you are closer to the hole. Spieth has literally changed the method of analysis I use because he is so good at making up for this in other ways, but this is why I am so stubborn about refusing to include him in the top tier with DJ and Rory.

Anyway, it was a cool tournament and the FanVice team absolutely murdered again. What a fun ride this year has been.

Moving forward we are now into the second round of the playoffs, The Dell Technologies (formerly Deutsche Bank) at TPC Boston. This is the same course that the tournament has been played at for years, so there is plenty to work with. Overall the course is really long, with a couple of very short par 4s that give you a less imposing looking 7300 yard par 71. People bash here though, and it is often going to be helpful.

There are three par 5s but none are particularly gettable. Less than 10% of third shots at the 542 yard 2nd and 530 yard 18th were putts, only TWO (off 338) third shots at the 600 yard 7th were putts. The fairways are super forgiving, especially further down. At 300 yards the fairways are top three widest on tour. Massive spraying will always be a problem and the rough is slightly worse to recover from than average, but distance should be king. Some shorter hitters have turned in results here, but it has required some ridiculous iron work.

Second and third shots will come from a myriad of lengths. There are the normal large chunk from 150-200 yards, a decent share from 200+ due to the long par 4s, as well as some shorter irons from the short par 4s and third shots at the unreachable par 5s.

I’m not sure if it was due to wind direction or a strategy change but driving distances on a number of holes were very different last year than they traditionally have been (some longer, some shorter). I will look more into it and discuss on the late show Wednesday. UPDATE: already did look into it because this changed how the course played significantly, and the wind was indeed blowing primarily to the east last year, when it typically has been to the west. West is forecast to be the dominant direction again this year, which means 2014-15 data is probably more indicative of what strengths are needed than 2016.

As of right now, I’m playing this as gimme distance and I want the whole bag of irons. Missing fairways is going to be pretty bad so I will avoid the worst sprayers, but the fairways are also somewhat difficult to miss. I will really value SG:OTT and prefer a player that is capable of getting it 290+ or so. If not, they better be elite with the longer irons.

Pricey (9.0+ DK):

Pricing is more or less back to normal after a week off from Deej/Spieth being the most expensive guys. Their dominance last week has put them back on top and in turn lengthened the odds/reduced the price tags of all the next tier guys. This is major level quality so pricing does look soft but it is mainly because the field is so high quality.

I certainly prefer Dustin Johnson-12.0/19.2 to Jordan Spieth-12.1/19.0 if forced to pick one at the very top, but I don’t mind Spieth here as there are several holes I think his game can take advantage of, specifically with his shorter irons. I will sprinkle both in, but in initial builds I’m liking my lineups more if I dip down and start with two (or potentially even three) of:

Hideki Matsuyama-10.1/17.6, Rory McIlroy-9.8/17.4, Rickie Fowler-9.7/17.4, and Jason Day-9.5/17.4:

Rickie is the cash lock here.

-‘Deki’s price has come back to earth and he is that dude with every iron that I’m looking for, I think he is a great buying opp after the MC letdown last week.

-Day has question marks about the driver. Rory has question marks about everything else. Both are elite tournament plays given their upside and depressed price tags. Rory specifically is in that Justin-Rose-last-week-why-the-hell-is-this-guy-so-cheap-territory where some flyers are necessary.

Mid-range (7.4-8.9k DK):

Paul Casey-8.9/16.4: Lock in Casey in cash, rinse/repeat. Matt Kuchar-8.8/16.1 is another fine cash play.

Sergio Garcia-8.4/15.3: I suppose it’s possible that he has taken his foot off the gas after finally securing a major title and getting married all in the same year, but I’m not willing to forgo the talent at this price tag. Hits over 300 and straight, another all-around iron player, just needs to make some putts. Probably the best overall player you can buy for under 9k, has a pair of top 5s in his five starts over the last 10 years here.

Adam Scott-7.9/15.9: This is a little uncomfortable after he just had a child and has been flying back and forth from Australia a bunch, BUT he needs to perform to move on (currently 73rd, top 70 play next week), has historically destroyed this course (top 10 in four of last six), is maybe the best iron player here now that Stenson has withdrawn, and is checking in at under 8k. Lots to like, maybe more of a tournament play.

Patrick Reed-8.5/16.0 has the history and the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ factor to just light the place on fire if he’s feeling it. Almost doesn’t make sense to break down his stats. Charley Hoffman-8.3/14.9 continues to silence the critics, myself among them. Daniel Berger-7.6/14.4 and Brooks Koepka-8.7/16.1 are better players than their tags, with plenty of room to destroy the price tag.

Cheapies (below 7.4 DK):

I am not particularly in love with the plays down here besides Tony Finau-7.1/13.9, who’s price remains a joke and is a lock for me. As for the rest of the cheapies, 6/6 isn’t getting it done if everyone finishes in the 40s and I prefer balanced lineups where I load up on the middle tier guys with explosive upside, hence the extra plays there. If you need fillers I can mess with (in order of preference) Jason Kokrak-7.4/12.9, Patrick Cantlay-7.2/14.4, Harold Varner-6.8/12.4, Russell Knox-7.1/12.1, or Emiliano Grillo-6.9/12.4. More egregious flyer picks to come on the premium late show on Wednesday night!

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Go and get it everybody.

Find me on Twitter @andrewmbarron or in the FanVice Premium Slack @hotmajik if you wanna talk strat/make jokes/argue