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Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – John Deere Classic
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This week the PGA Tour returns to TPC Deere Run for the John Deere Classic after having to cancel the event in 2020 due to the pandemic. With this being the last event before the Open Championship and final major of the season, we have a very weak field that doesn't include one Top 10 player in the World Golf Rankings and just five who rank inside the Top 50. The biggest thing to train yourself for this week is blocking out the names as they will be overpriced due to season averages. This is key to remove any bias you might have on a player you routinely play in the low $7K range who is now $8K-$9K.
Much like last week, we are going to see a birdie fest as this event has ranked outside the Top 35 in difficulty in each of the last five years and seen an average winning score of -22. I will be looking much more at Strokes Gained: Approach over Off the Tee simply because the average fairways hit has been close to 70% over the last five years. Not that I rule it out completely, however, as the Kentuck Bluegrass rough is listed at 4" and can turn hopes of a birdie into a par save at best real fast. With the setup being a Par 71, that means one less Par 5 putting emphasis on Par 4 Scoring and it has shown to have high correlation to finish position. Finally, Birdie or Better % will make up a large portion of my stats model and if using Fantasy National Golf Club tools, I also love looking at Opportunities Gained and Birdie Gained together to see if a player may be under or over performing.
With all that said, let's look at some course info, previous winners, and then get into the picks!
TPC Deere Run
Par 71 - 7,268 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2019 - Dylan Frittelli(-21)
- 2018 - Michael Kim(-27)
- 2017 - Bryson DeChambeau(-18)
- 2016 - Ryan Moore(-22)
- 2015 - Jordan Spieth(-20)
Top Tier Targets
The top tier is a bit tricky this week with the weaker field and ballooned pricing but if there is one player up here I am willing to pay for it's Berger. He has been the most consistent over the course of the season making 15 of 17 cuts with a win(Pebble Beach), six Top 10's, and 11 Top 25 finishes. Looking more short term, he has been red hot with the irons gaining 4+ strokes on approach in four of his last five events and ranks 1st in the area in this field over the last 24 rounds. In that same time frame, he ranks 8th or better in Par 3, 4, and 5 scoring, and both opp and birdies gained. It's Berger time at the John Deere Classic this week.
Henley was clutch here in 2019 gaining 8.4 strokes tee to green and 4 strokes putting but came up just short of a win(T2). That combined with his form and I would have thought he would be pushing the $11K mark on DraftKings with Berger. Speaking of the form, he seems to have found something after a run of missed cuts and bad finishes and comes into this week off a T13 at the U.S. Open and T19 at the Travelers Championship gaining 5+ strokes tee to green in both. The iron game has been the highlight as he has gained 6.9 and 3.3 in those events. He is my favorite PTS/$ play in the top tier and will most likely be the highest owned player in this event.
Mid Tier Targets
If just using a long term model, Hossler may not stand out in terms of stats or form but he appears to have figured something out in the summer months. After losing strokes Tee to Green in five straight events in April and May, he has gained 4+ strokes Tee to Green in three straight events(Palmetto, Travelers, Rocket Mortgage), all resulting in Top 25 finishes. In his last and only trip to TPC Deere Run, he used a hot putter(+5.9 strokes putting) to pick up a T26, and to be honest, that was the source of a lot of his better finishes. Now that he is much more of a complete player coming into this event, I absolutely love the value at these prices and will also lay an outright bet on him.
World Golf Ranking (#114)
Vegas Odds (70/1)
The players I listed above are likely to all be Top 5 in ownership this week so if you don't want to split with 420 of your closest friends you will need some plays to separate yourself. For me, I love making these pivots in the value and mid-ranges as this is where the most volatility lies. On top of Hossler being high owned in this range I feel Steve Stricker, who won this event three years in a row from 2009-2011, will also take on a lot of ownership. I love the pivot to Werenski who is starting to piece things together gaining strokes on approach in two straight and putting in three straight. He also has some nice course history(for the price) as he has made the cut in all three trips to TPC Deere Run with two Top 25 finishes.
World Golf Ranking (#256)
Vegas Odds (150/1)
The chalk in this range I think comes down to Roger Sloan and Adam Schenk and I lean the latter who has been much more consistent when looking at the iron game. Schenk has just two Top 25's on the season but like others I mentioned above, seems to have found something Tee to Green. That is perfect timing as he returns to TPC Deere Run off a T6 in 2019.
Others I am considering in this range: Roger Sloan, Bronson Burgoon, Scott Brown