This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
FedEx St. Jude Classic
TPC Southwind - Par 70 - 7,237 yards
Field - 63 Entrants
Purse - $10.25M
An Irishman winning the Open Championship at Royal Portrush became the stuff of legend as Shane Lowry joined the exclusive list of major champions with a demanding six-shot victory. Amid the celebration, Lowry consequently decided to withdraw from the 2018-19 campaign's final WGC event, but there are still many big names on hand. The show goes on back in the States as steamy Memphis, Tennessee welcomes the world's best players in a drastic change of scenery and climate compared to Northern Ireland. Firestone CC in Akron, Ohio had originally played host to this WGC finale on an annual basis, but TPC Southwind presents a great challenge this year with its tight layout and minimal par-5 freebies. Expect a lot of sunshine with little chance of precipitation and tame winds throughout the week, with high temperatures slated to flirt with the 90-degree mark as humidity levels intensify over the weekend.
Recent Champions (St. Jude Classic @ TPC Southwind)
Key Stats to Victory
GIR percentage - Landing among the top-5 toughest venues on Tour in this metric last year, less than 60 percent of the greens were hit in regulation here in 2018
Scrambling - Any time GIR rates are so deflated, scrambling usually plays a major role as SG: Around-the-Green and one-putt percentage are key
P4: 450-500 efficiency - Seven of the 18 holes at TPC Southwind measure within this range, while the importance of par-4 scoring is heightened by the fact only two par-5s appear on the entire scorecard
Driving accuracy - Dry conditions could result in an increased number of tee shots rolling through narrow fairways, but trimmed bermuda rough isn't exceptionally penalizing
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Rory McIlroy - $48
While the masses flock to Dustin Johnson at the top of the board as a two-time past champion in Memphis, McIlroy can serve as quite a valuable pivot coming off his missed cut at the Open Championship, where an enormous amount of pressure weighed on the native Northern Irishman. He struggled to break 80 during his first round at Royal Portrush, but did rack up seven birdies Friday to ultimately tie for the lowest Round 2 score with a six-under 65. McIlroy still ranks first among his peers in both SG: Tee-to-Green and bogey avoidance over his last 24 rounds, and he notched a top-10 result in his last trip to TPC Southwind back in 2012.
Justin Thomas - $42
Finally appearing to round back into form after being slowed by a wrist injury for much of the spring and early summer, Thomas went T11-T9 in Europe at the Open Championship and Scottish Open to remain inside of the top 10 of the OWGR. Throughout his past four measured tournaments on the PGA Tour, Thomas has gained a total of 30.4 strokes from tee to green, and he's second in this metric on the season. Putting issues have proven especially costly as of late, however, so he'll need to make strides with the flat stick in order to scramble during his TPC Southwind debut.
Xander Schauffele - $36
With a win earlier in the season at the WGC-HSBC Champions, Schauffele has now placed T24 or better in six of eight career World Golf Championship appearances. He faltered in brutal conditions during Sunday's final round at Royal Portrush, falling into a tie for 41st, but he managed to break 70 in Rounds 2 and 3. Schauffele leads the way in SG: Off-the-Tee over his past 12 trips around the course, and he's eighth in GIR percentage during this span as well.
Webb Simpson - $35
Placing top-30 in seven consecutive events as he heads to Memphis, Simpson is second to none on Tour in scrambling and ninth in SG: Total. The 20th-ranked player in the OWGR is also fourth in par-4 scoring over his last 24 rounds, thanks in large part to unprecedented developments with his short game. He tied for third at TPC Southwind in 2014.
Chez Reavie - $34
Back-to-back missed cuts at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and then overseas at the Open Championship are understandable after a long-awaited win at the Travelers Championship, but Reavie should be eager to rebound this week. He's got the goods to do it, too, finishing T6-T4-T12 in his last three TPC Southwind showings. Reavie paces the field in FIR percentage over his last 24 rounds and he's second on Tour in driving accuracy this season.
Patrick Reed - $28
Reed has only made the cut in one of four attempts at the St. Jude Classic, but that lone instance included a solo-fifth result. He ranks fifth in SG: Approach over his last 12 rounds and fourth in SG: Around-the-Green throughout his past 24. Reed's short game is a major advantage at a difficult venue like TPC Southwind, and he's on a roll with finishes of 10-T23-T5 in his last three starts.
Henrik Stenson - $26
Up to second in driving accuracy, seventh in bogey avoidance and 11th in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds, Stenson has remained steady with results of T8-T9-T4-T20 from the RBC Canadian Open through the Open Championship. Similar outcomes have been produced in his last two TPC Southwind performances as well, as he placed T26 in 2018 and T13 in 2012. The Swede now leads the PGA Tour in SG: Approach and ranks fifth in driving accuracy, so he's primed to make an improvement from his current positioning of 81st in the FedExCup standings.
Tyrrell Hatton - $20
One of just five players to shoot even-par or better in all four rounds at Royal Portrush last week, Hatton strolled to consistent scores of 68-71-71-69 to tie for sixth at the Open Championship – his second-best finish in a major in his career. The Englishman has been busy and might be somewhat fatigued with three consecutive starts over in Europe, but he also collected a top-15 at the Scottish Open and ranks ninth in P4: 450-500 efficiency over his last 24 measured rounds.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week
A slim 64-entrant field should entice additional risk tolerance as the absence of a 36-hole cut ensures every lineup will advance six of six selections, barring an expected withdrawal of course. As a result, expect to see various strategies in use, including both balanced attacks and the studs-and-duds approach, especially with a handful of marquee names like Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and the aforementioned Stenson priced below $30.