This article is part of our FantasyDraft PGA series.
Firestone Country Club (South Course) - Par 70 - 7,400 yards
Field - 71 entrants
Purse - $10M
The South Course at Firestone Country Club is primed to play host to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for one last time as FedEx has elected to pay their dues in sponsoring the event for the foreseeable future down in Memphis, Tennessee next season and likely beyond. The legacy of Firestone involves a lengthy spell of dominance from one of golf's largest figures, as Tiger Woods has won more times in Akron than a majority of PGA Tour players come close to winning in their entire careers. The course caters entirely to the best ball strikers in the field, while just one reachable par-five places a huge emphasis on par-four scoring and GIR percentage in general. Distance off the tee plays a key role in having manageable approaches shots and the creation of scoring opportunities. As for additional strategy in this 71-entrant event, don't be afraid to pull the trigger on those who are normally considered "risky" as everyone in the field is guaranteed four rounds with no cut.
2017 - Hideki Matsuyama
2016 - Dustin Johnson
2015 - Shane Lowry
2014 - Rory McIlroy
2013 - Tiger Woods
2012 - Keegan Bradley
2011 - Adam Scott
2010 - Hunter Mahan
2009 - Tiger Woods
FantasyDraft Value Picks - based on $100,000 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Rory McIlroy - $17,600
You can't argue with McIlroy's history at Firestone CC with a quintet of top-10 finishes in seven appearances, including a 2014 win at 15-under. He's coming off a share for second place at The Open and ranks top-10 on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, driving distance, scrambling and scoring average.
Tiger Woods - $17,400
Woods has won the Bridgestone Invitational a ridiculous eight times, so his placement as the third-most expensive option on the board comes as no surprise this week with ownership expected to be inflated. Tiger's recent form includes top-six results at The Open and Quicken Loans National, so a combination of course history and current production create the perfect storm for Woods to potentially find the winner's circle for the first time since 2013 this week. He ranks sixth or better on Tour in SG: T2G, SG: Total, SG: Around-the-Green and SG: Approach, while he's also 18th in par-four scoring.
Rickie Fowler - $16,100
Fowler hasn't finished outside of the top-10 at a Bridgestone Invitational since 2013, stringing together results of 9-T10-10-T8 the past four seasons. He also tied for runner-up honors in 2011, so he owns one of the better track records among the field at Firestone with an average finish of 19.1 in eight total appearances. Still seeking his first win of the 2018 calendar year, Fowler ranks sixth on Tour in par-four scoring average.
Francesco Molinari - $15,800
Molinari is sandwiched directly between a pair of fellow international studs in Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood on FantasyDraft's board this week, which is a development that not many experts would have predicted at the start of the season as Molinari has become arguably the hottest golfer in the world. The British Open champion has rattled off results of Win-T2-Win-T25-2-Win in his last six starts worldwide. It makes sense to continue riding the scorching-hot hand, especially given his sub-$16k price tag.
Xander Schauffele - $14,900
Schauffele has been a threat on the biggest of stages all season, placing T2 at both the Open Championship and PLAYERS Championship to go along with a T6 at the U.S. Open. He found his groove around this time of the year in 2017 before eventually winning the TOUR Championship, as he also finished top-15 at his Bridgestone debut. The 18th-ranked player in the OWGR is averaging 305.2 yards off the tee through 110 measured drives this season.
Thorbjorn Olesen - $13,900
Olesen's recent upswing over in Europe includes finishes of T12-T6-T2-Win in four of his last six starts, with his victory coming at the Euro Tour's Italian Open. The 28-year-old put up a top-10 performance in just his second career Firestone appearance last year, while he's currently seventh in the Race to Dubai.
Emiliano Grillo - $12,600
The Argentinian failed to make it through to the weekend at The Open, but had finished top-25 in three of his previous four starts. Grillo, who notched a top-15 finish during his Firestone CC debut in 2016, ranks ninth on Tour in driving accuracy, 18th in GIR percentage, 14th in SG: Putting and 20th in SG: Off-the-Tee.