THE NORTHERN TRUST is set for Aug. 19-22 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. That means it's time to pick your optimal DraftKings fantasy golf lineup for the first round of the FedExCup playoffs.
Here's what our best NORTHERN TRUST lineup looks like in this week's golfer predictions:
Jon Rahm ($11,500)
The World No. 1 arrives in Jersey City as the clear-cut best golfer on the planet. The numbers bear that out — he has a Tour-leading 12 top 10s this season; he ranks 1st in SG: Total, 2nd in SG: Off-the-Tee, 2nd in SG: Tee-to-Green, 3rd in GIR and 1st in Scoring Average; and he's saved his best stuff for the biggest events — a win at the U.S. Open and top 10s at both Masters, The Players, the PGA and the Open Championship. He has only one win, but he was cruelly robbed of another by a COVID-forced withdrawal at the Memorial. He finished T3 at Liberty National in 2019. The numbers don't lie.
Daniel Berger ($9,100)
Berger fits the mold of some past FedExCup champions (Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas) — a guy who hasn't won a major but has the all-around game to points-race his way into contention and then win the whole enchilada. Berger has done just about everything well in his breakthrough season — he's 8th in SG: Total, 8th in GIR and 5th in Scoring. Top 10s at the Players, U.S. Open, the Open Championship and WGC-FedEx St. Jude show that he's comfortable on the big stage.
Patrick Reed ($8,600)
The last time THE NORTHERN TRUST was held at Liberty National (2019), Reed raced to a 1-shot win over Abraham Ancer, shooting a 16-under 268 with four rounds in the 60s. This season has been a mixed bag for Reed, but we're happy to overlook his occasional inconsistency (and his cheater's rep) and focus on his bulldog determination and his ongoing love affair with shutting up his haters. He's been a wizard with the putter this year (6th in SG: Putting).
Billy Horschel ($7,600)
The 2014 FedExCup champ has had his best season since that championship campaign, posting a win at the Match Play and a runner-up at the WGC Workday and missing only three cuts in 17 tournaments. It wouldn't surprise us to see him make a run at another Cup. He finished T21 at Liberty National in 2019.
Harold Varner III ($6,700)
In our weekly bargain hunt, Varner caught our eye this week thanks to something that happened two years ago — a T3 at THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liberty National in 2019. Varner maintains a fairly low profile, but he's played some good golf this season, finishing in the top 25 about a third of the time. When you're points-racing, you could do a lot worse.
Chesson Hadley ($6,100)
Hadley squeezed into the playoffs on the strength of a final-round 62 at the Wyndham that included a hole-in-one, although he had to wait out some anxious moments while rooting for other guys to falter. His emotional reaction made him a guy we want to root for: "It’s emotional because I care. I’m not just out here for fun. This is my job and I love it and I care deeply about it and that’s why I’m emotional."