John Deere Classic: July 13th through July 16th
We are more or less into the PGA Tour’s dog days now. After the U.S. Open, American golf has a string of pedestrian at best tournaments before revving back up with Bridgestone and the PGA Championship heading into the playoffs. The marquee players are mostly in Europe now, working up to next week’s Open Championship. Unfortunately, Draftkings still appears wary of traveling abroad until tourist season starts next week, offering Euro GPPs about 1/40 the size of the ones available for the John Deere Classic. So let’s get into the Alex Cejka talk.
I see this course in a relatively similar light to the Greenbrier last week, with massively open fairways and not a ton of trouble available off the tee. It is effectively shorter, however, playing about the same distance but being a par 71 instead of 70. It typically is fairly easy, playing as an upper half course in terms of DK points/round despite being short a par 5 and attracting a marginal field. Good players should be able to tear it up, with winning scores usually in the 20s under par.
Length/Fairways: Distance will be nice but not necessary, as there are a number of ways to get from tee to green here. The fairways are tough to miss so I’m not afraid of taking some bombing sprayers in hopes of easy wedge shots into the green. The overall distribution of second shots is very wide, so the overall SG: Approach metric is a nice predictor variable.
Greens: Like last week, there are significantly fewer 0-50 yard shots here than at most courses, so greens appear easy to hit. They are of average to below average speed (11.54 stimp), which should help the approaches stick to their landing spots. Additionally, there may be a little rain, which would slow them down even more. As always, who hits the 15 footers is going to be in the hunt, but finding out who that will be is largely a fool’s errand. I want approach players who will get those 15 foot attempts and hope they don’t suck too much at them.
Weather: It can occasionally be windy here, but nothing that has turned it into a major or anything. Check back, as you’d rather avoid wind if you can, but I’m not overly concerned at the moment.
On to the golfers:
Pricey (9.0K+ DK):
All of these plays seem overpriced, but there is plenty of value to load up on which makes it fairly easy to fit in one or two. Luxury spends, but the opportunity if being afforded to us.
Daniel Berger-11.3/17.9 is the best player (RIP Bubba) and has been eviscerating weak fields like this all year.
Danny Lee-10.2/17.0 is in ridiculous form, with an untouchable iron game going. He has also done well at this course in the past and at courses that have had similar results.
It is easy to see why Zach Johnson-9.1/16.4 has done so well here historically, with a number of shorter wedge shots into the green. I really don’t like the dude and he is having a trash year, but I may end up taking a few shots, especially if he looks to be lower owned.
Mid-range (7.5-8.9 DK):
Bud Cauley-8.5/15.3: This is more of a GPP play but I think people might be getting sick of his up and down results, as he has turned in a few chalk MCs lately. Top 10ed here last year, has the skills to rack up the birdies if he has it going at all.
Kevin Na-8.0/15.5: Continues to churn out results, and a fantastic iron player from all distances. The price tag is rising but the quality of the field is declining. I won’t hesitate to play him in cash again this week.
Bubba Watson and Ryan Palmer continue to rate out well for me based on their long track records of success, but obviously their games are in the tank. The trouble is the price tags keep coming down and taunting me. Minimal, but some exposure as these two for around 8k in this field is absolutely crazy if they can even be 70% of their old selves for a week.
Chad Campbell-7.6/14.7 has been gaining strokes tee to green all season, and when the putter has rolled he’s been pulling out high finishes. Seems pretty simple.
Bryson Dechambeau-7.8/14.9 is baffling me right now, and I’m excited to talk to Ben and Pat about what they think of him this week. Not a guy I would typically think of attacking in a high scoring affair, but dude has quietly carded 19, 19, and 17 birdies his last three starts.
Cheapies (below 7.4 DK):
J.J. Spaun-7.2/12.7: Basically young Zach Johnson, dude hung in last week in his second start back from an injury. I think the real results are going to show soon and this is the kinda place for it.
Alex Cejka-6.7/12.4: Plays well with the irons from all distances, stupid cheap, played well at a similar place last week. I’ll buy a bit.
Harold Varner-6.8/13.2: I just love this man’s scoring potential, and I don’t think people will gravitate to bombers this week despite the potential for high scoring. Seems like an optimal tournament play, got it done last week.
Don’t mind shots on the usual cadre of young kids such as Wesley Bryan, Grayson Murray, or Ollie Schneiderjans. All playing a bit erratically for big shares, but nice tournaments fillers.
Site Specific Values:
FantasyDraft: As always, the younger players seem to be a little underpriced compared to DK, and are worth jamming in to be able to afford some of the higher priced guys.
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FanDuel is back, with a roster of eight golfers counting for all four rounds. A potential improvement for sure, and duplicate lineups won’t be anything to worry about. However, if we say traditionally 10-15% of lineups get 6/6 through that implies around a 70% hit rate for DFS players. Add two more guys to the roster and you can halve that 10-15% for the number of 8/8 teams. We will be seeing weekend golf there sooner rather than later.
Go and get it everybody.
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