Good morning boys and girls! Welcome to another week of daily fantasy golf. Last week was another decent one in this space as among the 15 players I recommended were a number of guys at the top of the leaderboard: Russell Henley, Tony Finau, Jamie Lovemark, Nick Taylor, MacKenzie Hughes, Bryson DeChambeau, Danny Lee and Jimmy Walker. Unfortunately, I did not recommend Xander Schauffele, though I did actually play him last week in some successful lineups.
On to this week, the PGA tour stops in Illinois for the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. The John Deere is typically one of the weakest fields of the year, taking place the week before the British Open and is also one of the easiest courses of the year, as the winner typically has a score in the -20 range. As a result, we are looking at scoring average, birdie or better percentage, strokes gained approach and proximity as key stats of the week. Let’s fire it up and see how we do.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Brian Harman ($10,900 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel) – Harman is playing inspired golf this season, as is evidenced by his 2nd place finish at the US Open, as well as his 4 top 10 finishes in his last 7 starts – including his win at the Wells Fargo. On top of his great form, Harman excels in our stats of the week, ranking 5th in the field in scoring and 4th in birdie or better percentage. If that all were not enough, Harman is a past winner of this event in 2014, and has finished in the top 25 at the John Deere classic two other times. I will be starting him with confidence.
Kyle Stanley ($9,600 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) – Kyle Stanley has quickly become one of my favorite golfers this season and his play has started to mirror his fantastic statistical profile. Stanley won his last start and has 3 top 10 finishes in his last 6 starts. Stanley also leads the field in scoring average, is 3rd in birdie or better percentage and 2nd in proximity. His course history is also pretty decent with three top 25 finishes, including a runner-up placement in 2011. Stanley will be all over my lineups, especially on FanDuel where he is far too cheap.
Upper Middle Class
Zach Johnson ($9,100 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel) – Johnson quite simply owns this golf course. Before finishing a still respectable 34th last year, Johnson had top 3 finishes at this event in the last 5 years, including winning in 2011. And while Johnson’s form is not fantastic, he has made 5 of his last 6 cuts, including two top 30 finishes. It is easy to see why Johnson excels at this course as he is in the top part of the field in proximity and strokes gained around the green. I think Johnson will finish in the top 10 again this week.
Chez Reavie ($8,400 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) – I may have 100% exposure to Reavie on FanDuel, where he is ridiculously cheap. Reavie has been playing inspired golf recently, with 4 consecutive made cuts, including a top 20 and a top 10. On top of that, Reavie is 9th in the field in scoring average and leads the field in proximity. While his course history is not fantastic, Reavie has made 4 consecutive cuts at this event, including a 4th place finish in 2011 and a 15th place finish in 2013. I think Chez will have another solid week of golf.
Matt Jones ($7,700 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) – FanDuel lineups will be easier for me to make this week as the guys I like are priced fairly highly on DraftKings, but bargain basement on FanDuel. Jones is another guy that I think is well suited for this course as he is 11th in the field in scoring average and leads the field in strokes gained approaching the green. Jones comes into this tournament playing pretty good golf, having made 6 of his last 7 cuts including two top 20 finishes. On top of that, his course history is solid with two top 10s on his record at the Deere. The Aussie should be geared up for another nice finish.
Chad Campbell ($7,600 DraftKings/$6,600 FanDuel) – Campbell is another guy who has found his form recently with 3 top 15 finishes among his last 5 tournaments. Campbell’s good form should continue as he is 15th in the field in scoring average and 20th in the field in strokes gained around the field and proximity. Campbell is another dude with good course history, having made 8 straight cuts at this event, including 4 top 15 finishes. He will be a key cog in my lineups.
Bang for your Buck
Curtis Luck ($7,100 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel) – Luck has been playing some really good ball as of late, and I think it is time to insert him in some lineups. The 20-year-old Aussie has made 6 of his last 7 cuts and has finished in the top 20 at his last two events. This is a guy who was the top amateur in the world very recently, and his good form should portend many good things to come. On a track this easy, I could see Luck making a ton of birdies. He is certainly worth a look in your GPP lineups.
Scott Brown ($7,000 DraftKings/$6,200 FanDuel) – Brown is a guy who plays well at certain tracks, and if you can peg him right, he usually rewards you with a top-tier finish. I used Brown’s prowess at the Puerto Rico Open to great success earlier this year and I hope to reap the rewards again while using him on another course that he loves. Brown has 4 top 25 finishes in his last 5 trips to this event, including two top 10s. I will be spending some cash to see if he can repeat his good luck in Illinois.
Michael Kim ($6,900 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel) – Kim is a guy whose stats say he should be a monster at this course. Kim ranks 12th in the field in scoring average, 19th in birdie or better percentage and 26th in strokes gained around the green. Kim’s form is also decent with 3 straight made cuts, including a top 30 finish last week. He also made the cut in his lone trip to this event last year. There are not too many guys that I love under $7,000 on DraftKings, so Kim is a guy I am banking on this week.
Brian Gay ($6,800 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) – If you look at the guys who have had great success at this course, you see players like Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson – not the longest guys, but guys who are extremely accurate. Gay is another such player and his stats seem to indicate that a strong week is ahead. Gay is in the top quadrant of the field in scoring, strokes gained around the green and proximity. And while he has missed the cut in two of his last three appearances at the John Deere, Gay also does have a top 10 and two more top 20 finishes in his career at this event. I think he is a nice play at this price.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
I will throw out a few others that I will be playing this week:
Danny Lee ($10,200 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) is playing some inspired golf these days with top 10 finishes in 4 of his last 7 tourneys. He might be chalky, but I will have my fair share.
Bryson DeChambeau ($7,800 DraftKings/$6,600 FanDuel) is an incredible talent who is getting hot with 3 straight top 26 finishes, including a 14th place finish last week. I think he will contend again.
Steve Stricker ($9,800 DraftKings/$9,300 FanDuel) seems a bit too expensive, but he has won this event 3 times and is also near the top of the field in scoring, proximity and strokes gained around the green.
Wesley Bryan ($7,300 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel) has not been playing well recently, but this track seems to suit his game. He finished 8th here last year and could contend again.
Chris Stroud ($6,800 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel) is my father-in-law random pick of the week. He has made 7 of 8 cuts at this event, including a 5th place finish two years ago and finished in 20th place last week. Maybe my father-in-law is on to something.
Good luck to all of you this week!