The 2021 FedEx Cup Playoffs are here, with Liberty National setting the stage for what is sure to be a wild three-week stretch. We all remember Dustin Johnson’s dominating performance at TPC Boston last year during the 2020 NORTHERN TRUST. This is a deep field featuring nearly all of the top players in the world. With a field this deep, there is talent to be found in the 6K range on DraftKings, but it’ll still take a Herculean effort to win the tournament. Seeking high-ceiling options, I considered a a number of key stats when selecting my PGA DFS 2021 NORTHERN TRUST Sleepers.
Obviously, the term “SLEEPER” can be interpreted in a number of different ways. In this case, it’s the lower cost players that stand out in key statistical areas, specifically the DraftKings 6K range.
Before I present this week’s picks, here are a few additional notes on Liberty National:
- Par 71 – 7,410 yards, including five Par 4’s over 450 yards, a Par 5 nearly 600 yards in length (#8) and a Par 3 that is 221 yards (#11)
- The course features smaller than average TOUR greens, which brings into play a number of statistical categories, including Proximity, Scrambling, and SG: Around the Green
- Liberty National features Bentgrass greens (if you focus on putting numbers)
- Located in Jersey City and near the Hudson River, it’s considered a coastal course
- Despite the coastal course location, the weather for the week does not appear to have major impacts, with the windiest conditions currently forecasted for Thursday (10-15mph)
- During his 2019 win at Liberty National, Patrick Reed gained 10.0 strokes Tee to Green, 2.6 on Approach, 2.1 Around the Green, and 3.2 Putting
- During the 2019 event at Liberty National, the top three finishers (Patrick Reed, Abraham Ancer, and Harold Varner III) all gained more than strokes Tee to Green (Translation: make this a key stat)
- SG: Approach is remains the most important stat in Fantasy Golf and should also be considered
I ran multiple models on FantasyNational and also checked key stats via the PGA TOUR website. The range of data I analyzed includes recent events and detail for the 2021 PGA TOUR season. Based off that information, here are my favorite 6K range sleepers on DraftKings, accompanied by their current odds to grab a WIN/Top 5/Top 10 at the event (via DraftKings Sportsbook).
Yes, with a field this deep, these should be considered significant long shots.
PGA DFS 2021 NORTHERN TRUST Sleepers: Top DraftKings 6K Range Plays
Chris Kirk (DK: $6,800, WINNER +15000, Top 5 +3000, Top 10 +1200)
Kirk ranks 3rd in the field in strokes gained on Par 4’s 450-500 yards (last 36 rounds played, via Fantasy National). It’s a specific stat, but an interesting one. He is also 13th in the field in Scrambling Gained, considering the smaller greens at Liberty National. Overall, Kirk is strongest on Bentgrass greens. While missing two cuts in his last three events, Kirk has gained in both SG: Tee to Green and SG: approach in his last five measured events.
Doug Ghim (DK: $6,200, WINNER +25000, Top 5 +5000, Top 10 +2500)
Let’s not get crazy… a win here is unlikely with this field. Still, Ghim is an interesting option considering the odds and the stats. He lost strokes tee to green at the Wyndham last week, but gained SG: Tee to Green in 12 of his previous 13 events. In the end, that has only led to two top 20 finishes. Still, Ghim is 13th in the field in Proximity and 17th in GIR Gained (last 36 rounds played, via Fantasy National). He’s an interesting option, especially at this price point.
Kyle Stanley (DK: $6,400, WINNER +25000, Top 5 +5000, Top 10 +2500)
Statistically, Kyle Stanley is an easy read. He has gained strokes Tee to Green, Off the Tee, and on Approach in eight straight tournaments. Stanley has also lost strokes putting in eight straight. This is where I say, “Hey, guys.. if ‘x player’ has a good week on the greens, the sky’s the limit”. For Stanley, he’s only gained strokes putting three times on the calendar year. So, it depends on what you’re looking for. Stanley has missed two straight cuts, but made the previous seven. He’s 6th in the field in Proximity and 20th in GIR Gained (last 36 rounds). Lights out with the irons, non-existent with the flat stick.
Hank Lebioda (DK: $6,300, WINNER +25000, Top 5 +5000, Top 10 +2500)
Lebioda burned me last week with his missed cut at the Wyndham. Despite that, this is a guy that ranks 9th in the field in SG: Putting, 16th in Proximity, 23rd in Scrambling Gained, and 21st in GIR Gained (all last 36 rounds, via Fantasy National). Prior to last week’s missed cut, he posted three straight top ten finishes. He sits 93rd in the FedEx Cup Standings, meaning he’ll need a strong performance to crack the top 70 and make it to the BMW Championship. He’s gained strokes Tee to Green in seven of his last eight events, so a strong week is a good possibility.
Brian Stuard (DK: $6,500, WINNER +25000, Top 5 +5000, Top 10 +2500)
Stuard will make you glaze over if you check the numbers too hard. Via Fantasy National (last 36 rounds), Stuard is 70th in the field in SG: Tee to Green and 59th in SG: Approach. He is also behind in performance on Par 4’s 450-500 yards in length (90th). Still, he has been strong on and around the greens (17th in SG: Putting and 16th in SG: Around the Green). Also, don’t discount his recent form: T15 at the Wyndham, T6 at the 3M, T15 at the Barbosol, and T8 at the John Deere. Sitting 85th in the FedEx Cup Standings, Brian Stuard has something to prove… or else.
Side Note: 6K Range
- Matt Wallace ranked higher than Brian Stuard, but the model was based off last 36 rounds played, which included incredible Tee to Green performances at the Wells Fargo, RBC Heritage, and Valero Texas Open. Since those events, Wallace has faded.
While my sleepers always consider the 6K range on DraftKings, there are a few 7K range players that I like this week. I’m strongly considering the following players:
Strong Mid-to-Low 7K Range Options
- Seamus Power (DK: $7,000, WINNER +13000, Top 5 +2500, Top 10 +1000)
- Keegan Bradley (DK: $7,500, WINNER +13000, Top 5 +2500, Top 10 +1000)
- Cameron Tringale (DK: $7,300, WINNER +9000, Top 5 +1600, Top 10 +700)
- Shane Lowry (DK: $7,500, WINNER +7000, Top 5 +1200, Top 10 +600)
Outside the world of sleepers, here’s my pick to win at Liberty National:
KP’s Pick to Win: Justin Thomas
JT is an interesting case. Everyone is so quick to dismiss him considering his inconsistent play in recent months, especially with the flat stick. Still, he finished T12 here in 2019 and sits 7th in the field in SG: Tee to Green and 5th in SG: Approach over the last 36 rounds played (via Fantasy National). He’s also 6th in Scrambling. For Thomas, it comes down to putting inconsistency. He lost 5.1 strokes on the greens at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, gained 4.8 at the U.S. Open, and lost 8.4 strokes at the Memorial. It’s a rollercoaster ride. Yet, he tends to deliver in key moments. This is a key moment. That plus he’s +2500 on DraftKings Sportsbook, a similar number that we saw from Rory McIlroy when he won at the Wells Fargo.
Who do you have as your favorite PGA DFS 2021 NORTHERN TRUST Sleepers on DraftKings? Chime in with your favorite plays below. Either that or stop by to praise or poke fun at mine. Just remember to consider the strength of the field when making bets or including any in your DK lineups.
Best of luck and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
All stats and data via PGATOUR.com and FantasyNational.com
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