Greetings all! I am excited to be back this week after an exciting US Open won by Brooks Koepka. The US Open yielded many more birdies than usual, which led to many fantasy points. However, most of the top players in the world really struggled, with many missing the cut.
I had an excellent week, cashing all 3 of my lineups in DraftKings’ millionaire maker tournament, including finishing in 372nd out of 110,000 with one of those lineups. For a brief period on Friday afternoon, that lineup was all the way up to 17th place, but when Pat Perez missed the cut on the number, it left me with no shot at the huge prize.
The entire group of players in that excellent lineup were recommended in this space last week: Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Brendan Steele, Russell Henley and Perez. I hope you all listened to some of my advice and also had profitable weeks.
We are now on to Cromwell, Connecticut and the TPC River Highlands Course for the Travelers Championship. This is an easy and short par 70 course measuring only about 6,800 yards. Last year, Jim Furyk fired a tour record 58 in the final round at this tournament, which gives you an idea of just how easy this course can play. The weather looks like it will be perfect this weekend, and I expect the players to take aim.
We have a nice field for this event, including top 10 players Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, as well as some other top 20 players like Paul Casey and Justin Thomas. Given the large amount of par 4s on the course, one of my stats of the week is birdie or better percentage on par 4s. In addition, since I expect there to be many birdie chances, I used proximity to the hole on approach as another key stat. The last few stats that I weighed heavily were strokes gained approach, greens in regulation and strokes gained putting.
Let’s see what we came up with:
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Jordan Spieth ($11,400 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) – After firing an encouraging 68 in the final round of the US Open, I have a feeling that many people will be on Spieth this week, but I can’t find any reason not to play him. Spieth leads the field in strokes gained approach, is 2nd in greens in regulation, 2nd in proximity and 4th in par 4 birdie percentage. I think this is going to be a big week for the young Texan, as I predict that he wins this tournament and has a score approaching 18 under par.
Justin Thomas ($10,200 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel) – If you are a GPP only player, I can see the benefit in having a few shares of Rory McIlroy or Jason Day, who will probably have depressed ownership after a dreadful showing at the US Open. I will likely fully fade Day and only play a little of Rory, instead opting for Thomas who is a much better course fit. Thomas ranks first in the field in par 4 birdie or better percentage and 3rd in the field in strokes gained approach. He is also in the top 10 in the field in greens in regulation and proximity. If that all was not enough, Thomas finished 3rd at this event last year, firing all 4 rounds in the 60s including a final round 62. I will be playing a lot of JT.
Upper Middle Class
Brandt Snedeker ($9,400 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) – Snedeker came back from injury about a month ago and did not look right for his first couple of tournaments. At the US Open last week though, Snedeker looked like his old self finishing in 9th place. He has had success at this tournament in the past, with 2 top 11s in his last 2 appearances at this event. His success is not hard to explain as Snedeker ranks 11th in the field in par 4 birdie or better percentage and 11th in strokes gained putting. I think Snedeker will contend this week.
Kyle Stanley ($8,600 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) – Stanley is a guy who has not had great success at this tournament in the past, missing the cut 3 of his last 4 years at this event (though he did have a top 20 in the other appearance). I am not overly concerned with Stanley’s course history as he has quite simply been a much better player this year than in years past. Stanley’s stats also line up beautifully for a nice finish here as he is 4th in the field in strokes gained approach, 3rd in proximity and leads the field in greens in regulation. I should note that Stanley is a bit expensive on DraftKings, though I will still have a few shares, but he is prohibitively cheap on FanDuel and will be all over my lineups on that site.
Bud Cauley ($7,400 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) – I know that Cauley burned some people who played him last week at the US Open, but prior to that he had made his last 5 cuts, including 4 top 25 finishes and 3 top 10 finishes. Cauley is also impressive in the stats that I am looking for this week, ranking 5th in the field in strokes gained approach and 21st in the field in greens in regulation. I am expecting a good rebound from Bud this week.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,200 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel) – Grillo will be harder to fit into my FanDuel lineups, but he will be one of my go to guys on DraftKings this week. The young Argentine’s form is good, having made 9 of 10 cuts, with his only miss being at the US Open last week. Grillo is the 13th ranked player in the field and 42nd ranked player in the world and yet is priced cheaper on DraftKings than 4 guys ranked outside of the top 300 in the world. He also excels in 4 of my stats of the week, including ranking 18th in the field in strokes gained approach and 23rd in the field in par 4 birdie or better. Grillo should be an excellent play this week.
Bang for your Buck
Graham DeLaet ($7,100 DraftKings/$6,700 FanDuel) – When I first glanced at DraftKings and FanDuel prices, prior to starting my research, DeLaet did not stand out as someone who I thought would make my lineups. That has since changed, as DeLaet will now be my highest owned player. First, he is excellent in all 5 of my stats of the week, one of only 2 players who rank in the top 20 in the field in each of the stats that I am looking for (Justin Thomas is the other one, in case you were curious). DeLaet has also been dynamite at this course, with 4 consecutive made cuts, including top 5 finishes in 2 of his last 3 appearances at this tournament. I hope that DeLaet continues his mastery in Connecticut, because my profitability this week depends on him.
Webb Simpson ($6,900 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel) – Contrary to DeLaet, Simpson is a guy who stood out like a sore thumb on first glance at DraftKings pricing. Here is a guy who is ranked 20th in the field in the world golf rankings and who Vegas has installed as the 19th highest favorite in the tournament and yet he is priced near the bottom of the barrel on DraftKings. Simpson also stands out in my stats of the week, ranking 6th in strokes gained approach and 5th in proximity. He also finished in the top 5 of this tournament back in 2013. I will be playing Simpson a bit on FanDuel, but he is almost a must play at this price on DraftKings, especially in cash games.
Chez Reavie ($6,900 DraftKings/$6,400 FanDuel) – I was hoping that Reavie would fly under the radar a bit this week, but on my way home from work, I was listening to the excellent Tour Junkies podcast and they were touting Chez. No matter, as I will still be playing him quite a bit. Reavie is one of only 4 players who ranked in the top quarter of the field in all of my stat categories, joining Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Graham DeLaet. He even ranks first in the field in proximity to the hole. Reavie has also been playing excellent golf recently with 3 straight made cuts, including a 4th place finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic 2 weeks ago and an impressive 16th place finish at the US Open last week. Reavie has even made 4 straight cuts at this event with 2 top 25 finishes. I like him a lot this week.
Wesley Bryan ($6,800 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel) – Bryan has hit a bit of a tailspin after his inaugural tour win at the RBC Heritage classic back in April. I think that this easy, short par 70 will be just what the doctor ordered for him to turn his fortune back around. Bryan ranks 8th in the field in strokes gained approach, 19th in proximity and 25th in strokes gained putting. I think all of that is a recipe for a nice finish and I think we will be able to take advantage of some low ownership numbers in GPPs.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
I will throw out a few others that I will be playing this week:
Paul Casey ($9,700 DraftKings/$9,400 FanDuel) is an excellent 2nd in the field in strokes gained approach and 4th in greens in regulation. I hope his mind is in the right place after having a tough weekend at the US Open, but I will take my chances.
Marc Leishman ($9,300 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) is an absolute course horse with 5 straight made cuts including 3 top 11s and a win.
Charley Hoffman ($7,300 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) does not jump off the page in any of my stats of the week, but he is priced so absurdly low on DraftKings that he is almost a must play.
Jim Herman ($7,300 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel) ranks 3rd in the field in Greens in Regulation and 17th in strokes gained approach. He is way too cheap on FanDuel.
Tyrone van Aswegen ($6,700 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel) is my father-in-law, random recommendation of the week. He does have some decent course history with 3 straight made cuts at this event, including a 5th place finish last year.
Good luck to all of you this week!
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