Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – John Deere Classic
Chris will be bringing you weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. As every week in DFS PGA changes with the course setup, field of players and weather, Chris will be providing a range of different picks for cash games as well as upside plays for tournaments. If you have any questions to lineup lock you can reach him a variety of ways. Leave your question/comment below in the comments section, find him in the DFSR Chat room or hit him up on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9). Chris is also providing his DFS PGA Weekly cheatsheet where he provides stats, course history, current form, fantasy points, and much more. Grab your copy today and edge out the competition.
John Deere Classic
With the OPEN Championship at Royal Portrush just a week away we have a very interesting week for daily fantasy golf. A lot of players have already made their way across the pond to play the Irish Open last week, including Jon Rahm who won the event, and this week another group of top players heads over to play in the Scottish Open. That leaves us with another weak-field John Deere Classic that contains no players inside the Top 50 and just 12 who rank inside the Top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings. While the field lacks the top talent in the World, it more than makes up for it with a ton of young, talented, and exciting players. In a better field last week at TPC Twin Cities we saw Matthew Wolff, a shot behind Bryson DeChambeau already in the clubhouse, make a 26-foot Eagle putt for the win on the 18th hole.
TPC Deere Run is a Par 71 that has a posted distance of 7,268 yards. It is one of the easiest courses on Tour routinely ranking around 40th(of about 50 courses) in difficulty annually and -22 has been the average winning score over the last five years here. One of the things that drives the lack of difficulty(for Tour Pros) are the wider than average fairways that produce an average driving accuracy over 70%. While the Bentgrass greens are slightly smaller than average(5,500 sq ft), they are soft and slow(11.5 on stimpmeter) and very receptive making them play bigger while generating a GIR above 70% on average. This puts a ton of emphasis on Strokes Gained: Approach and I will also be looking at Proximity from the mid yardages ranges(125-175 yards). Looking at previous leaderboards(via Fantasy National), I also noticed a much higher correlation from Par 4 Scoring to finish position than par 5 scoring so that is where I will lean when weighing the two in my model. Finally, it will be a birdie-fest out there again so make sure to look at Birdie or Better % as it correlates closer than anything else to fantasy scoring.
TPC Deere Run
Par 71 - 7,434 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Approach Shot Distribution
Previous Five Winners
- 2018 - Michael Kim(-27)
- 2017 - Bryson DeChambeau(-18)
- 2016 - Ryan Moore(-22)
- 2015 - Jordan Spieth(-20)
- 2014 - Brian Harman(-22)
Top Stats in the Model
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Proximity(125-150 & 150-175 yards)
- Par 4 Scoring
- Birdie or Better %
Top Tier Targets
This week we have a decision at the top like no other week in DFS PGA that I can remember. The three most expensive options(on DraftKings) are rookie golfers who have a combined 10 events played between them since they turned pro earlier this summer. The price is definitely warranted, however, as Wolff showed his upside with a win last week and while Morikawa(T2, T36, T35, T14) and Hovland(T13, T13, T54) have may not have wins yet, neither has missed a cut since turning pro with some very consistent play. I slightly lean Hovland this week as he comes in ranking(in this field) 3rd in SG: Approach, 1st in Proximity, 4th in Par 4 Scoring, 1st in Opportunities Gained, and 9th in Birdies Gained over the last 24 rounds(via Fantasy National). I will likely be going a more balanced approach for cash games but Hovland is definitely a core GPP play for me this week.
The Streelman train rolls on as this marks week four in a row he has made the article. He has not only been consistent making eight straight cuts going back to the Valero Texas Open but has also flashed some upside with three Top 10's and four Top 15 finishes in that time. More impressive to me when looking at his stats during this stretch is that he has gained strokes off the tee, on the approach, and around the green together in three straight events and has gained strokes both off the tee and approach together in seven of those eight events. The price has reached a season-high which is relative to the field and with the consistency, I will have exposure in all formats.
**Kevin Streelman has withdrawn from the John Deere Classic**
Mid Tier Targets
Speaking of consistency, Peter Malnati has been just that lately making seven straight and 12 of his last 13 cuts in stroke-play events with seven finishes of T31 or better. He is an excellent putter which helps him pay off his value making the cut at a mid-range price so consistently but the upside is not that far off considering he has gained strokes on the approach in six straight events ranking 2nd in the field in SG: Approach, 10th in Par 4 Scoring, 18th in Opportunities Gained, and 19th in Birdies Gained over those last 24 rounds. His price only went up $100 on DraftKings keeping his salary in the sub $8K making him a top target for me in all formats this week.
World Golf Ranking (#196)
Vegas Odds (80/1)
Ryder hasn't really shown us much(10 of 15 cuts) since the start of the season with Top 5's at the Safeway Open and Shriners Open and that alone should have him a very low owned GPP play. What I like to see that does somewhat point to a breakout, especially here, is that he has gained strokes on the approach in five straight(13.4 strokes combined) and eight of his last 10 events. He finished runner-up here last year in his first trip to TPC Deere Run and is 3rd in my stats model ranking 26th or better in SG: Approach & Ball Striking, Proximity from 125-75 yards, Par 4 & 5 Scoring, Bogey Avoidance, and Birdie or Better %. At his price, I will have exposure in all formats and will also be throwing a long shot outright winner bet on him with an Each Way Top 5 as well as a Top 20 bet.
World Golf Ranking (#272)
Vegas Odds (90/1)
He burned me last week as a GPP value play but I am going back to the well again this week with the rookie. He is a good ball striker having gained strokes off the tee and on approach together in six of his last seven events but the putter is an absolute roller coaster(-2.3, +5.6, -5.9, -.6, -5.7 strokes gained/lost putting last 5 events). I will take the ball striker who pops putting a few times a year and gets close to the top of the leaderboard considering he is very cheap and is also likely lower owned.
World Golf Ranking (#359)
Vegas Odds (110/1)
Yet another rookie in the article which illustrates just how much GPP over Cash I will be running this week. Lebioda is back on my radar after he has shown us some consistency(for the price) making eight of his last 10 cuts in stroke-play events with two Top 20 finishes as well. He has also gained strokes on the approach in four straight and seven of his last eight events while also gaining strokes putting in three straight. He could be on his way for his second Top 10 of the season but at these prices, I would be thrilled with a Top 25 finish.
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for six years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in college football, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NHL and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jager_Bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.