PGA DFS: Top Cash Game Picks for the Memorial Tournament

The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.

The TOUR heads to Ohio this week as Muirfield Village hosts the Memorial Tournament. The course is a long par 72, measuring at 7,500 yards with bent grass greens.

I’ll be highlighting the best cash game / single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.

My analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gaineda set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average, it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.

Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.

There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:

  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
  • Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green

Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.

If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models – Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.

The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.

And don’t forget to utilize our various PGA DFS tools like our Lineup Optimizer, Lineup Builder, PGA Correlation Dashboard, and our Trends tool.

The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.

PGA DFS Core Picks

Jordan Spieth ($ 9,700 DraftKings)

I don’t see one reason not to go back to Spieth this week, coming off one of the quietest T7s you will ever see last week at Colonial. He wasn’t superb with his ball-striking for the first three rounds but went nuclear on Sunday, gaining 1.7 strokes off-the-tee and 1.6 more with his irons. It’s hard to imagine that his putting has held him back, but that remains the case. Over his past 24 rounds in this field, Spieth is No. 2 in SG: Tee-to-Green and 111th in SG: Putting. This is undoubtedly something that will correct itself, and that could very well be this week.

Speith has elite history at Muirfield Village, making the cut in eight of his nine career starts with four top-20s and two top-10s. He’s been rock-solid, and when he’s playing well like this, he’s almost a lock to finish in the top 10. There’s not a ton to like in the low $ 7,000 range this week, meaning we need to be mindful of how much money we spend at the top. We get a nice discount here on one of the hottest players on the planet with a strong course history — no need to overthink here.

Cameron Young ($ 8,800 DraftKings)

Young is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on TOUR. He’s just 25 years old and has virtually zero weaknesses in his game, which is scary. We know fellow wunderkinds Will Zalatoris, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa all struggle with their short games to a certain extent. Young ranks No. 1 in this loaded field in Total Strokes Gained across his past 36 rounds. Eleven of the top 15 players in the world are teeing it up this week, just to put in perspective how good Young has been.

Not only is Young eighth on TOUR in driving distance, but he amazingly ranks No. 1 in SG: Around-the-Green over his past 16 rounds as well. This is not normal folks, and we definitely need to take note. I genuinely think we are just scratching the surface on how good this kid will be, and Muirfield should be a perfect track for him to pick up his first career PGA TOUR victory. He’s been playing like a $ 10,000 player, and we can roster him for $ 8,800. You can almost argue starting your rosters with him.

Joaquin Niemann ($ 8,300 DraftKings)

Niemann consistently gets overlooked by the DFS community, despite being a top-25 machine. His history at Muirfield is a mixed bag. He missed each of his past two cuts here, but before that, he went T27 and T6. His only missed cut this season was at the Honda Classic, which we know is a luckbox type of event with all the water hazards, so we can give him a pass.

Niemann looked great at the PGA Championship, finishing T23. He looked especially strong on and around the green, good signs heading into Memorial. He is simply too talented a golfer to be this cheap, and he should be a cash game staple for us this week.

Mito Pereira ($ 8,000 DraftKings)

Until this young Chilean gives us a legitimate reason not to roster him, we will continue going back to this well. He bounced right back after his collapse at Southern Hills to finish T7 last week at Colonial. He’s showing absolutely no signs of showing down, and we’ll be looking back soon wondering why he was still priced at $ 8,000 on DraftKings.

Pereira ranks eighth in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 48 rounds, and if you take a more recent view, he ranks fourth over his past eight rounds. His game is truly firing on all cylinders, and I don’t envision him missing the cut in this spot. We know his upside is sky-high, so we’re getting a massive discount on one of the hottest golfers on the planet.

PGA DFS Value Picks

Patrick Reed ($ 7,900 DraftKings)

Reed finally showed some signs of life last week, posting his first top-10 finish since the Hero back in December. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as now he comes to one of his favorite courses on TOUR in some good form. In six career starts at Muirfield Village, Reed has finished outside the top 30 just once, posting three top-10’s in the process.

At his best, Reed can still tackle a challenging course like few others, and his premier bunker play will come in quite handy at a track littered with them. At worst, he should be a pretty strong bet to make the weekend, which is enough at his price tag.

Chris Kirk ($ 7,700 DraftKings)

Kirk has been a bit up and down of late, but is coming off two really strong performances at the PGA Championship (T5) and the Charles Schwab (T15). His history at Muirfield is also a mixed bag, posting a few missed cuts, with a pair of T26s and T4 mixed in as well.

His rolling numbers are fantastic, sitting fourth in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green and 10th in Total Strokes gained both over his last 36 rounds. Kirk’s odds to top-20 this week do not reflect his DraftKings salary, making him an elite value play.

Aaron Wise ($ 7,500 DraftKings)

Wise has become a lot more consistent this season and is in the midst of a really strong stretch of golf. He’s finished inside the top-25 in three of his past four starts, including a T6 at the Mexico Open. It will come down to whether or not his putter cooperates this week, but Wise’s ball-striking has been elite all season.

Wise sits 13th in SG: Ball-Striking and 20th in SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 48 rounds. He also finished T6 at this course one year ago, which is nice to see. He will likely be popular among the sharp DFS players this week, which is an indicator we should be rostering him as well.

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