The Weekly Wedge: 2018 John Deere Classic

150

What’s up, Playmakers? Welcome back to another edition of the Weekly Wedge and the debut for our PGA department on the brand spankin’ new DPA 2.0. Our team has been working tirelessly over the last couple of months to bring you guys a new feel and a whole new look on what it means to be a Playmaker. I hope you guys like the new site as much as we do, because honestly, I think it looks amazing. We will never stop trying to improve ourselves for you guys and believe me when I tell you this is just the beginning of what we hope to bring to the DFS community in the near future. So thank you, Playmakers, for sticking with us and there is plenty more to come!

This week we are looking at the 2018 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. Much like last week where Kevin Na caught the W, this weekend is shaping up to be another scoring fest. With TPC Deere run being one of the easiest and shortest courses on tour – 38th out of 50 toughest courses on tour in 2017 – I am definitely expecting another race to -20.

At just about 7,200 yards, this par 71 course has extremely wide fairways and very easy-to-hit greens. With slower, Bentgrass greens I think we are going to be seeing plenty of lawn darts out there as players will have plenty of opportunities to get the ball tight and right up next to the hole. To make things even easier for the players to reach that 20-under mark, there are no water hazards off the tee here so they won’t have to worry about losing strokes to the drink. Although it’s going to be tough for players to really lose control of holes off the tee, where they leave the ball for their second shot is going to be huge. I know hitting greens is always important no matter where you play but this week is going to be all about the approach and giving yourself good opportunities to score. Getting into the red figures on as many holes as possible is really going to be the key to keeping up with the rest of the field. No room for being conservative here. You got to just pick your spots and fire away at the green here at TPC Deere Run.

In terms, of strategy, I think a studs and duds approach is going to be very effective in a larger, weaker field like this one. If you’re looking to takedown a GPP, I think you have to start by punting a couple guys and then fitting in as many studs as you can to round out your lines. With not too many ‘superstars’ and a very gettable course overall, I think we’re definitely going to see some of the cheaper guys come out to play this week. Getting a couple of those low-priced, low-owned guys into your lineups is going to be essential in placing high up in those large-field GPPs.

A lot of people are going to be taking this week off to save some money and prepare for the Open and the Milli-Maker next week, so you can definitely count on me taking advantage of that and attacking with some underdogs that I like to compete this week. As always, have fun and good luck out there, Playmakers. And remember… Approach, approach, approach!

Key Stats

  • SG: Approach – measures the amount of strokes gained from shots not off the tee and more than 30 yards out
  • Proximity to Hole – the average distance a player’s ball comes to rest after an approach shot
  • SG: Putting – measures the amount of strokes gained from shots on the putting surface
  • Birdie or Better % – the percent of time a score of birdie or better was made
  • DK Scoringthe amount of Draftkings points a player produces per tournament

$10,000 and Above | Zach Johnson | $11,200

ZJ is one of the course horses this week and I am 100% ok with paying up for him at this price, especially if you’re going with someone in the sub-$7k range. Of course he’s going to carry a lot of ownership but this whole tier is going to be chalk with such a weak field this week so that shouldn’t scare you off one bit. Not only is ZJ a bona-fide cut-maker, he’s also one of the best ball strikers on tour and has been for years. This year on tour, he ranks 2nd overall in proximity and is ranked inside the top-40 in BOB%. Over the last 50 rounds Johnson ranks 6th in DK points, 4th in SG: Approach, and 4th in overall SG. On top of making 15/16 cuts this year, he has finished inside the top-40 over his last three starts and inside the top-20 over his last two. Zach Johnson is easily one of the most talented players in the field this week and the conditions are shaping up nicely for him to contend for his first win of the year.

Pivots:

Francesco Molinari | $11,600

Joaquin Niemann | $10,400

$9,900 – $9,000 | Wesley Bryan | $9,100

I have always loved Wes Bryan as a talent, but it’s been pretty tough for me to get behind him at any point this year. However, he’s starting to heat up and flash some of that talent that we all know he’s capable of. After only finishing in the top-30 once since January, he’s made an appearance there twice over his last three starts and has made the cut in five straight starts. Add some good recent form to two top-10 finishes in a row here at the John Deere Classic and you have a confident golfer headed into a tournament with much worse golfers than himself. Over the last 24 rounds, Bryan ranks 21st in the field in SG: Putting, 14th in SG: Approach and in the top-40 in DK points. He definitely has the skills necessary to play well here and his course history suggests that he clearly loves playing here.

Pivots:

Steve Stricker | $9,800

Chesson Hadley | $9,500

$8,900 – $8,000 | Chris Kirk | $8,900

You best believe that I am going right back to my guy Chris Kirk this week. After finishing 6th at the St. Jude Classic, he’s had over a month of rest and I think that is going to pay huge dividends for him. Kirk has been on fire this year, making 16/20 cuts with 4 top-10 finishes. Another fantastic ball striker, he ranks 13th in the field in SG: Ball striking, 18th in SG: Approach and 25th in DK scoring over his last 24 rounds. He has been solid all year long and is great ball striker who putts well enough to score on some of the opportunities he is most definitely going to give himself on a track like this. I don’t love this price range, but Chris Kirk is a very consistent player who always comes in at relatively low ownership.

Pivots:

Scott Piercy | $8,300

Kevin Streelman | $8,100

$7,900 – $7,500 | Chez Reavie | $7,500

Before the debacle at Shinnecock, Chez finally showed some of what we saw at the beginning of the season by finishing 6th at the St. Jude Classic. Through last weekend, he’s ranking in the top-40 on tour in GIR% and 13th overall in proximity to the hole. Over his last 50 rounds, he ranks in the top-25 in the field in SG: Approach, SG: Putting and DK points. Coming off of two missed cuts (one of them being at Shinnecock), I think Chez has a great opportunity to bounce back and get back to where he was at the beginning of the season at a course that he has historically played pretty well at.

Pivots:

Nick Watney | $7,600

Joel Dahmen | $7,600

$7,400 and Under | Corey Conners | $7,300

After providing some nice value for us a couple weeks ago, I’m going right back to him again for some more value. Although he’s only made the top-10 once this year, he has quietly been a consistent cut-maker all year long. Making 18/22 cuts this year, I love Conners this week to stay above that cut line and continue to score throughout the weekend. And even though he has an outside chance at winning the whole thing, you need to have a guy who provides value at a low price by making the cut and finishing at least within the top-30. Over his last 24 rounds, Conners ranks 6th in the field in SG: Ball striking, 8th in SG: Approach and 31st in DK points. I think Conners has a great chance to make the cut and finish high up in the leaderboard this week.

Pivots:

Robert Garrigus | $6,900

J.J. Henry | $6,700

Anthony is the DailyPlayAction’s resident DraftKings PGA expert, and shares his thoughts and opinions at his own discretion. Anthony plays DraftKings himself, and although he shares his opinions, he is free to implement other players in his rosters without notice. Anthony nor the DailyPlayAction are responsible for losses accrued by using DPA rosters.