2017 John Deere Classic – July 13th through July 16th
The Open is only one week away which means most of the top players are in Europe or resting, but the PGA tour has the John Deere Classic for us to try and breakdown. This is most likely going to be a scoring fest, and it features one of the worse fields of the year. Still, weak fields can usually unveil some value and between this and the Scottish Open in Europe it should be a somewhat interesting week. That is as good as I can spin this week, in reality I am just waiting for the Open to get started which is my favorite tournament of the year.
The course this week is TPC Deere Run from Silvis, IL. We get the atypical par 71 layout which means 3 par 5s, two of which will be eagle opportunities for the field. The yardage rates out at about 7270 yards in distance, but the scoring is going to be there with the winner having a chance to get into the -20s. Course seems like it does not reward bombing too much with most players choosing to club down and set themselves up for easy second shots. Guys hit a lot of fairways here, leading to a lot of greens hit and plenty of birdie chances. Putting usually is the difference, but we can say that most weeks it is just very hard to calculate who will go nuts with the flat stick. I will be finding those solid iron players who can set themselves up for reasonable birdie looks on most holes. Birdie or better % is important because if your golfer does not have upside this week you are going to be in trouble. Motivation is always a question mark the week before a major, with a few guys playing here for what seems like no reason. I will not just automatically throw those players out, but it is something to note that they may be looking forward to next week more than focusing on taking down this tourney.
It is bad, really bad. The Scottish Open field smokes this one with most guys getting acclimated to the conditions over there, but we still have a few recognizable names. Berger and Kisner headline the field and then it’s a bunch of middle tier / former good players filling out the rest of the elite prices. With such a weak field, you are going to see some lower quality players have a chance to get into contention and this should open up some value if you can find the right guy who gets it going.
Week was solid even though I had 0% Xander. Props to him he got it done especially with a dart on 18 to lock it up and he seems to be a name who is going to be around for a while. Finau and Henley being my top two owned guys helped and I was overweight on Streb who I was rooting for to get the W. The weekend slate was where I really did some damage thanks to Phil, Jimmy Walker and of all people Bryson played well which was big for me.
Euro was not so good because Rory missed the cut, he struggles at the Irish Open and obviously is not clicking right now. Rahm dismantled the course, it was impressive to watch and he clearly is going to be a popular pick next week.
** As always keep an eye on weather and wind. If you are around Wednesday night 9 PM EST check out the DeeperDive show where we will update and break down the latest info we get as this article is written a few days before lock **
Kevin Kisner $10.4k DK, $16.6k FDraft – Not in love with the very top tier as each guy is already in the Open so not sure where their heads are at. Berger also makes sense as he probably is the favorite and has the talent few do in this weak field. Kisner is slightly cheaper, but stats wise grades out well with his deadly iron game. Not someone I think of targeting for a shootout, but he has the ability to go low with the amount of birdie looks he should be getting on these easy to hit fairways and greens.
Danny Lee $10.2k DK/$17k FDraft – While I was underweight on Lee last week and he finished 9th which did not kill me or help me. He is playing great golf and is one of the favorites to snag a win this week and get into the open. Fits the mold with good irons and is a better putter than most of the guys I will be targeting. Recent form and course history both check out making Lee a pretty safe top tier option who clearly has the upside we want.
Zach Johnson $9.1k DK/$16.4k FDraft – Course history is absurd with a win and plenty of other top showings on his resume. He clearly likes this course and this tournament so I do not think motivation will be a factor. Not having a good year, but perfect spot for him to turn it around and with limited options to choose from I do not mind taking some shots with ZJ.
Kevin Na $8k DK/$15.5k FDraft – Great with the approaches and I have been targeting him the past few weeks as I think he is starting to round into form. Putting is the key with this guy as he should have plenty of birdie looks, if he converts he will be in contention and if not, it will be a frustrating week for Na owners. Price is very reasonable in a field like this and Na makes for one of my favorite mid-range plays of the week.
Bryson DeChambeau $7.8k DK/$14.9k FDraft – Not the biggest Bryson fan, but he is quietly putting it together with three straight good weeks. He has played 5 weeks straight which is a little concerning, but when he is dialed in like this it probably is good to keep playing. His putting is miserable at times, but his irons lately have been great giving him plenty of reasonable chances for birdies. Not ideally built for a shootout, but someone I do not want to miss out on as I think he is close to breaking thru.
Chad Campbell $7.6k DK/$14.7k FDraft – Rarely if ever play do I play this guy, but strong finish last week made me take notice. Two of his last three tournies he has top 10’s and he has some very legit course history. Add in he is very solid around the green and with the approach shots, he should return value at this price tag with a chance to really give your team some upside.
Curtis Luck $7.1k DK/$14k FDraft – Mostly a price specific play as he is priced really cheap for a field where he is one of the more talented players. 20th last week after a 5th place showing two weeks ago shows that Luck is figuring it out after a somewhat rocky start to turning pro. He is doing a lot of damage with the putter which always is scary because that can change at any point, but in weaker fields I target pure talent more than usual and Luck is clearly one of the most talented players at this price point.
Luke List $7k DK/$12.8k FDraft – Huge boom or bust option here so only GPP worthy, but List has been killing it tee to green and one of the worst on tour with the putter lately. The recent form should scare most people away and it is concerning how bad he has been on the greens, but he is worth some GPP shares with the upside he possesses especially over on Fantasy Draft where he is really cheap.
Robert Garrigus $6.6k DK/$12.4k FDraft – One of the few guys in the 6’s that im comfortable taking a shot with. Still definitely only a GPP play as Garrigus has not been consistent at all this year. Great iron player and has had success at this course before. With such a cheap tag does not need much to pay it off and frees up a ton of salary if you take a few top end players.
Fades & Notes
Lucas Glover – Bentgrass and Glover do not mix so I will be fading as I always do when I see him having to deal with this surface
Good luck everyone!
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