Daily Fantasy Golf Preview: John Deere Classic

Cheat Sheet

The Course

  • TPC Deere Run
  • Silvis, Illinois
  • Par 71
  • 7,258 yards
    • Stadium course designed by D.A. Weibring (hosted here since 2000)
    • Bentgrass greens and fairways
    • Tree-lined course that is heavily bunkered, only has a couple of water hazards, and lends itself to low scoring
    • Winning score is typically around -20 (since 2000 it’s been anywhere between -16 and -27)
    • Top 5 finishes qualify for the Open Championship next week
    • Michelle Wie was a sponsor exemption here in 2005 and 2006 & Jordan Spieth became the first teenager to win on Tour since 1931 with his victory at the John Deere Classic in 2013

Key Stats

  • SG: approaching-the-green
  • Driving accuracy
  • GIR
  • Par 4 scoring
  • Par 3 scoring

The Field

We have another 156 man field but the top three priced golfers don’t even have their pictures on DraftKings; that should tell you where the talent level is at this week. Luckily we have some exciting young players that are having breakout seasons to watch and the Asian-sensation Ho Sung Choi will also grab headlines this week (the guy with the crazy swing and funky antics).

Big Dogs ($9,000 and up on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Kevin Streelman ($10,000 DK – $11,100 FD) – Streelman has been as consistent lately as anyone in this field and he has more experience than the young guys priced above him. He’s also played at TPC Deere Run in four out of the last five years; placing better each year and even finishing inside of the top 10 last year. In such a poor field I could see him being one of the highest owned guys this week so I’m going to lean on him heavier this week for Cash lineups. After writing this Kevin Streelman WD, my sources (twitter) are telling me that he is to replace someone in the Open next week.
    • Sungjae Im ($9,700 DK – $10,800 FD) – Sungjae has been on a great run as well making five straight cuts coming into this event with four of those inside of the top 25 (including a T15 last week). He’s also been about as good as anyone in this field over the course of the last year so I see him being a very safe pick at the John Deere Classic… he’s made 20 out of his last 29 cuts and found the top 25 in 45% of those tournaments.
    • Charles Howell III ($9,500 DK – $11,300 FD) – Howell has played in this tournament in three out of the last five years and made the cut in each of those events with two top 25 finishes. He’s been improving as of late with three straight made cuts and a T23 at the 3M Open last week. If he continues this trend he should be in the conversation for a top 10, especially in such a depleted field.

Risky (GPP)

    • Lucas Glover ($9,800 DK – $11,500 FD) – it turns out I was right about sticking with Glover last week because he went on to finish inside of the top 20 for the first time since the PGA Championship. He’s been pretty rocky with two missed cuts right before his 7th place finish at the 3M Open and he had two missed cuts in the John Deere Classic before finishing 25th here in 2017 as well. Glover’s price has skyrocketed since last week but with his ability to climb the leaderboard — he might be worth it.
    • Daniel Berger ($9,300 DK – $10,700 FD) – with Brian Harman right above him, Berger could fly under the radar after his T15 last week in Minnesota. Harman has turned it on as of late and has a great track record here (including a win) so I feel like all eyes will be on him in this range. That leaves Berger as a sneaky good play here with his game quietly getting better and having finished 5th at TPC Deere Run back in 2017.
    • Ryan Moore ($9,200 DK – $10,600 FD) – Ryan Moore has played well in this event and even won it back in 2017 but since then he has missed the cut here and finished 55th last year. He’s also coming off of two missed cuts in his most recent tournaments so I could imagine the combination of these two factors has his price a little lower than it should be. Moore’s ownership could get somewhat higher with this apparent discount but $9,200 for a guy with win equity in a tournament where the three highest priced guys are all rookies is hard to pass up.

Value ($7,400 – $8,900 on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Nate Lashley ($8,500 DK – $9,600 FD) – within this price range the guy that I have as the most likely to make the cut is Nate Lashley. The type of golfer I am keying on this week is based off of past winners (Ryan Moore, Zach Johnson, Brian Harman, Steve Stricker): an accurate driver, he doesn’t have to be long but he has to be accurate going into the greens and Lashley certainly fits that build. He’s 19th in SG: approaching the green, 22nd in GIR, and 9th in proximity, bogey avoidance, and par 4 scoring. He missed the cut last week after his win at the Rocket Mortgage but I expect him to bounce back here.
    • Vaughn Taylor ($7,700 DK – $8,900 FD) – Taylor has made six straight cuts coming into this week with his worst finish in that time coming at the Charles Schwab where he finished 58th. He has three top 20’s in that stretch with a 4th place finish at the Travelers. Vaughn has played in the John Deere Classic in each of the last four years and has only missed one cut out of the four, so for $7,700 or less it may be hard to find a more seemingly reliable pick this week.
    • Troy Merritt ($7,500 DK – $9,200 FD) – Merritt got off to an okay start last week and shot -1 on Thursday but proceeded to shoot a combined -15 in the next three rounds to end at 7th place. He’s also made four out of his last five cuts at TPC Deere Run with a 20th place finish coming back in 2014. He seems to be having a decent year, is fairly hot at the moment, and seems to be comfortable on this track so it is somewhat surprising to see him priced this low.

Risky (GPP)

    • Ryan Palmer ($8,600 DK – $9,300 FD) – Palmer is one of the most likely guys to win this tournament according to my model and he’s only priced at $8,600 this week. He’s made 10 out of 15 cuts this year and has four top 10 finishes but the reason he is priced so low might be because of his finishes at this event. He’s only played it twice in recent history and missed the cut back in 2017 and was an MDF the following year. Palmer’s upside potential might increase his popularity this week but I’m willing to bite the bullet on some chalk here for a drastically under-priced golfer.
    • Mackenzie Hughes ($7,900 DK – $9,000 FD) – Hughes finished 16th in the John Deere Classic last year and is playing some really nice golf at the moment as well. He’s made five straight cuts and three of those have been 21st place finishes or better. In that same stretch he has shot -4 or better in 7 out of 20 rounds so he is showing the ability to heat up quicker than a microwave once he starts stringing together good shots; making him an intriguing play this week.
    • Talor Gooch ($7,700 DK – $9,000 FD) – Gooch has been one of the better iron players this year ranking 17th in SG: approaching-the-green, 13th in proximity, and 6th in GIR. His scoring numbers are also great where he’s top 25 in birdie or better, par 5, and par 4 scoring so he fits the build pretty well of previous winners at TPC Deere Run. (I just stopped mid-write up to place a bet on him to win… for what it’s worth lol). Gooch has made four out of his last five cuts but did finish 73rd last week at the 3M Open so I’m hoping his ownership is lower than it should be this week.

Sleepers ($7,300 and under on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Joey Garber ($7,300 DK – $8,900 FD) – Joey Garber has now finished inside of the top 30 in four out of his last five tournaments and that includes a 7th place finish last week. In those five events he has played 18 total rounds with only one round being worse than +1; and that was only a +2. His scoring and accuracy into the greens has really come around as of late so it’s hard to turn him down at only $7,300.
    • Shawn Stefani ($7,200 DK – $8,700 FD) – Stefani missed the cut here last year but before that he made four straight with a 13th place finish in 2014. This year he is 47th in SG: approaching-the-green and 41st in GIR, and he also has three top 20’s in his last seven events including a 15th place finish last week. So it would seem that Stefani has decent ball striking, scoring potential, and a solid track record coming into this week .
    • Roger Sloan ($7,100 DK – $8,100 FD) – tied with Shawn Stefani last week at the 3M Open was Roger Sloan at -14 on the tournament. He doesn’t blow you away in the stat department but he is fairly consistent and is coming off of a stretch where he’s only missed one out of his last six cuts. On top of that, Sloan hasn’t been in the John Deere Classic since 2015 but he did finish 18th that year.

Risky (GPP)

    • Doc Redman ($7,200 DK – $8,300 FD) – after shooting +6 in the first round last week Doc Redman went on to miss the cut at the 3M Open (that was with a double and quadruple-bogey on the card). But the week before he finished 2nd at the Rocket Mortgage and his only other tournament on Tour this year was the Wells Fargo where he finished 18th. It will be interesting to see what his ownership will look like after his missed cut but I believe he has a lot of potential for someone in the lower $7,000’s so he could be worth the risk either way.
    • Jonathan Byrd ($7,100 DK – $8,000 FD) – when you look at his stats you realize Byrd is the right golfer type to win on this course, then when you look at the course history you realize he won here back in 2007. The last time we saw him was at the Canadian Open where he finished 14th on a course that fit his eye as well but before that he finished last at the Wells Fargo and next to last at the Byron Nelson. It’s a tough look to play that poorly in two of your last three starts on Tour but if people don’t dig too deep into course history they may not realize how much potential Byrd has this week.
    • Michael Thompson ($7,000 DK – $8,700 FD) – after missing three out of his last four cuts, Thompson was an MDF last week at the 3M Open after shooting +5 in the third round. He’s also missed three out of his last four cuts in this event but like I said last week: this is a cheap price tag for a guy that has eight top 20’s this season, especially in this bad of a field.

Dark Horses

Risky (GPP)

    • Robert Streb ($6,900 DK – $8,200 FD) – Streb has only made the cut here once in the last three years but before that he finished 14th back in 2015. He’s also golfing fairly well at the moment making three out of his last four cuts with all three finishes at 35th place or better. In that time he has shot 14 rounds and he’s only finished +1 twice and the rest of his rounds have been even par or better with five of those being -3 or better.
    • Wes Roach ($6,800 DK – $7,900 FD) – Roach missed two out of his last four cuts but he finished 11th and 3rd in the two tournaments where he made the cut. He has some experience in the John Deere classic with not much success but this might be the best form he’s had coming into this event.
    • D.J. Trahan ($6,500 DK – $7,300 FD) – D.J. finished 63rd at the Canadian Open and before that he WD from the Byron Nelson. He hasn’t played a whole lot this season but his stats are pretty good and he has some good finishes: 7th at Sanderson Farms, 18th at Pebble Beach, 16th at the Puerto Rico Open, and 10th at Corales Puntacana. That’s not the strongest resume but I have high hopes for him at such a cheap price tag.

 

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Mark Lee

Written by 

Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression (the two might be related). Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy sports guru by night.