If you need some PGA DFS before diving head first into football research, you’re in luck! As always, my goal each week is to offer targets in each price range, identifying two to three low-cost/reasonable floor targets as core pieces for all my lineups.
In DFS golf, it’s all about getting your guys to the weekend, first and foremost. Generally, I will fill out my roster with guys in the $7,100-$9,000 range. The factors I consider are event history, course layout versus player strengths, recent form, and prime bounce back candidates who are playing well, but happened to miss the cut the prior week.
One factor does not necessarily outweigh another. And, like any good speculative decision-making process, instincts always play a role. Of course, there’s my personal favorite factor–as is the same with other fringe DFS sports–the DK pricing model has no clue what the fuck it is doing!
Fake Pigskin Exclusive: Join Monkey Knife Fight and Get an Instant 100% Deposit Match PLUS a Free $5 Game!
All that in mind, let’s take a look at the John Deere Classic (JDC) information to clarify some unique characteristics that you may want to consider before lineups lock.
Course: TPC Deere Run Silvis, IL Par 71 Yardage 7,257
The TOUR completes the Midwest leg this week in Silvis, Illinois with its annual precursor to the Open Championship. Unlike the previous two weeks, TPC Deere Run has been a mainstay on the PGA calendar, playing host every year to the JDC since 2001.
Like the last two events, the JDC has always played as one of the easiest tournaments on tour, where the winner typically will need to shoot around 20 under par to be in the mix. Even with plenty of course history to draw from, player appearances are very inconsistent year over year due to the pending Open Championship the following week. With most of the top players in the world competing in the Scottish Open this week to sharpen their links game, it will be another relatively shallow field that is wipe open for the taking.
That said, it would be no surprise for the newly turned pro batch of rookies to continue their strong play in Silvis. It also presents a splendid opportunity for fringe players to gobble up some much-needed cheap FedEx points late in the season. Here are the past five winners and their scores:
Keys to Success
My top two stats to weigh this week in order are:
- Ball Striking (BS)
- Strokes gained: Approach-the-green (SG: A)
Emphasizing these two stats the last couple months has been very helpful. Especially in tournaments where piling up birdies is a must, these two stats together reflect how consistently a player is putting himself in position to do just that.
Going back to May, this table has identified guys like Nate Lashley, Hank Lebioda, and Sepp Straka as strong performers week to week. Accordingly, all their prices have seen substantial increases from the mid 6k range over that time.
To help sift through the field regarding just the key stats I put the table below together using all data from the official PGA Tour website. It is listed in order of each players’ composite ranking, an average of each players’ ranking in the two key stats for this week. Sort as you wish:
|Name||Salary||Composite Rank||BS||SG: A|
|Charles Howell III||9500||57.5||8||107|
|Harold Varner III||7400||103.5||90||117|
|Ted Potter, Jr.||6600||159||170||148|
|José de Jesús Rodríguez||6200||183||187||179|
|Tyrone Van Aswegen||6300||0||0||0|
|Ho Sung Choi||6000||0||0||0|
*player without data have not played in enough PGA events for stats to qualify
Price Range Targets
Chalky McChalkerson (Five figures to 8.4k–20 players)
New venues must really bother Ryan Moore. What turned out to be two consecutive birdiethons for the field, and looked like a great opportunity for a vet in solid form to make a late season push, did not pan out for Moore, who flamed out with missed weekends in both.
Much like the Travelers Championship from a few weeks ago, the UNLV alum is a regular at the JDC. And, he almost always keeps hotel reservations booked through Sundays.
In 10 career JDC appearances, Moore has just one missed cut, three top-10s, including a win in 2016. I think he responds well to the friendly confines, and bounces back big in Silivis.
Prices have gotten really stiff on the hot rookie hands for good reason, but I think the safest one in this range for a high floor is still Joaquin Niemann. If I’m investing five figures, the inevitable inconsistency of new tour players is something to consider. Both Niemann and, especially Moore, have more experience with the highs and lows of week to week play on the PGA Tour.
Sweet Spot (8.3k to 7k–44 players)
I discussed Cameron Tringale’s bounce back season heading into last week, and he continued his stellar play with a modest T-42 finish. His price point has not budged, which makes him remain a favorite building block of mine this week.
Another couple of players that will help create cap room for Moore are Johnson Wagner and Carlos Ortiz. Wagner just took advantage of the shallow 3M Open field with a T-23 finish, and has legit success at the JDC, having made four of his last five weekends including three top-10s.
After earning his way back to the PGA Tour via the Korn Ferry circuit, Ortiz is now quietly enjoying a career best season with a T-5 last week, his third top-10 of the season. Ball striking led the way for the Mexico native in Minnesota where he ranked seventh in strokes gained: tee-to-green for the week. He also now sits ranked an impressive 26th in ball striking for the year. I like Ortiz to keep it rolling at the JDC, where he will be looking to cash his first check in what will be his third appearance.
Sneaky Low % Owned (Below 7k ~93 players)
It wouldn’t be the JDC without me mentioning Dylan Meyer. My first ever DFS golf write-up a few years ago on a platform that no longer exists included a missive on the former Illinois All-American, when he was making his PGA debut at the 2017 JDC, as an amateur.
The glasses wearing, visor rocking savage went on to miss the cut, and has had moderate success in PGA events since, making six weekends in 10 events. This season on the Korn Ferry tour, Meyer has been downright awful, but that might be all the more reason to take a shot with him this week in what will be a true “home” game.
For the more risk averse approach that still presents reasonable upside, Justin Suh and D.J. Trahan are my favorites this week. I made the case for newly turned pro Suh to join his fellow rookies, and finally crack a weekend in Minnesota last week. He came through with a T-58 finish, and I think he is sick of seeing all his boys notch top-10s and get wins under their belts. He is my favorite pick in this range as a sneaky contender.
Trahan does not have enough rounds recorded to show up in the stats, but when he did earlier in the year, his ball striking rankings were phenomenal. He needs to take advantage of every start, as he attempts to regain status on the PGA Tour. This is the right field for him to do that.
Best Bounce Back Candidates
- Ryan Moore–See above.
- Nate Lashley–Understandlable letdown after his amazing win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
- Doc Redman–Same concept as Lashley, who he finished sole runner up to in Detroit.
- Sepp Straka–Been one of my favorites all season. Missed back to back weekends just once since early 2019.
- Jhonattan Vegas–Has not cashed a check in three starts going back to May. Good ball striker. Has not played here in four years, but is three out of four in cuts made in his career here. Seems like the perfect spot for a random Vegas top-10.
Best Course History Plays
- Moore-See above.
- Charles Howell–Ten of 11 JDC cuts made, seven top-25s, two top 10s.
- Zach Johnson–Not sure what to do with him this week at his price. But if ZJ is ever going to get his season going it would be here where has cashed 11 straight checks, including seven top-5s, with a 2012 win.
- Chad Campbell–Super random course history player of the week. Campbell has made the cut in all 11 career JDC appearances. Over his 16 year stretch playing here, he’s collected seven top-25s, and tied his JDC best finish last year with a T-7. Don’t try to make sense of it. Just know it.
Last season, I started including my core players to build around in all my lineups. I try to identify targets before prices are released to stay focused, and avoid editing my lineup 2,000 times ten minutes before lock.
These selections are players that I believe have top-25 floors with top 10 upside, and a reasonable case to win. More detailed results are to come as the season moves along. This week’s selections:
Good luck in Illinois! Don’t hesitate to reach out on twitter compliments and insults are always welcome. Also follow my new podcast! We are back next week for our third episode to talk the final major of the season.