Welcome back to Golf News Net’s weekly fantasy golf picks. Each week of the PGA Tour season, we’ll present our top picks for that week’s tournament and make recommendations for DraftKings’ one-week fantasy leagues.
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It was a long week at the PGA Championship, but we got a first-time major winner in Jimmy Walker and a compelling final few holes of excitement thanks to Jason Day.
Now, the Tour moves to Connecticut for a later-than-usual Travelers Championship. This event has a history of welcoming young players and enjoying good scoring at TPC River Highlands. Bubba Watson defends the title he won last year in a playoff against Paul Casey.
For GNN Plus subscribers, you can access our NEW searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present, our top-15 finish chart and season-long trends on DraftKings valuations. They’ll be available at your disposal as part of a growing set of tools to help in your research.
2016 Travelers Championship top 10 picks
1. Bubba Watson – The Travelers is Bubba’s personal playground, winning twice, including last year in a playoff over Paul Casey.
2. Patrick Reed – Reed was a part of the story fairly early at the PGA Championship, but he faded in the end. Nonetheless, T-12 and T-13 in back-to-back major starts.
3. Zach Johnson – ZJ deserves a good look this week because he’s in overall solid form and he has a very consistent mark here at TPC River Highlands. Only missed two cuts in 10 starts with a slew of top-25 finishes.
4. Brooks Koepka – Koepka put on a gutsy performance at the PGA as he heals from a ligament injury in his right ankle. Conceivably, this is a course he can dominate if he can keep the ball in play.
5. Brendan Steele – Steele is a horse-for-course pick this week. He’s got three top-15 finishes here in the last five years. However, he’s missed the cut in his last two starts, the final majors of the year.
6. Paul Casey – The playoff runner-up from last year deserves a look this week, particularly considering his strong finish at the PGA Championship. He hits a lot of greens, so he’ll have lots of chances to score.
7. Matt Kuchar – Kuchar has been a dud in the majors this year, but he has been excellent pretty much the rest of the time. This tournament fits that latter window.
8. Ryan Moore – RyMo routinely turns in a top-15 finish in this championship. The downside is that he’s not playing well overall.
9. Branden Grace – Grace makes a lot of sense from tee to green. However, he may as well have putted with a wedge into the house at Baltusrol. We’ll chalk that up to slow greens.
10. Webb Simpson – On good, not great, form since missing the cut at his host club in May at the Wells Fargo. Good track record in this championship.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Bubba Watson – $12,300
2. Ryan Moore – $7,800
3. Tyrrell Hatton – $7,700
4. Daniel Summerhays – $7,600
5. Keegan Bradley – $7,600
6. John Senden – $6,700
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If you want to win at DraftKings daily fantasy golf, you have to figure out a way to find six golfers that play all 72 holes and earn roughly 85 points each.
You likely have to identify a couple of players in the top five, at least the top seven, and you’d ideally not have a player finish outside the top 20.
Doing that takes research, looking at a variety of factors, including:
- Finish trends, both in recent weeks on the PGA Tour and at that week’s event,
- Salary trends, deciphering which players are showing value based on their performance, and
- Statistical trends, identifying the common threads among winners in that week’s event
That’s what Golf News Net will deliver each week to GNN Plus members in this space, offering a complete research package which dives into these three areas to find the players that should be in your lineup for this week.
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We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five PGA Tour events — not their last five starts. Here are the players in this week’s field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five non-Stableford PGA Tour events:
- Aaron Baddeley – 2 – T-12 Quicken Loans National, WIN Barbasol Championship
- Andres Gonzales – 2 – T-12 Quicken Loans National, T-4 Barbasol Championship
- Branden Grace – 2 – T-10 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, T-4 PGA Championship
- Jon Rahm – 2 – T-3 Quicken Loans National, T-2 RBC Canadian Open
- Matt Kuchar – 2 – T-3 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, T-9 RBC Canadian Open
- Michael Thompson – 2 – T-4 Barbasol Championship, T-14 RBC Canadian Open
- Patrick Reed – 2 – T-12 Open Championship, T-13 PGA Championship
- Robert Garrigus – 2 – T-8 Quicken Loans National, T-11 Barbasol Championship
- Tyrrell Hatton – 2 – T-5 Open Championship, T-10 PGA Championship
- Webb Simpson – 2 – T-6 Quicken Loans National, T-13 PGA Championship
- Zach Johnson – 2 – T-10 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, T-12 Open Championship
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the Travelers multiple times in the last five years:
- Brendan Steele – 2
- Bubba Watson – 2
- Carl Pettersson – 2
- Charley Hoffman – 2
- Chris Stroud – 2
- Freddie Jacobson – 2
- Ken Duke – 2
- Kevin Streelman – 2
- Marc Leishman – 2
- Ryan Moore – 2
- Webb Simpson – 2
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at the Travelers Championship. Our guys this week: Webb Simpson.
DraftKings salaries change from week to week, depending on field strength and size, as well a player’s recent record and their history on a course. It’s in looking at how a salary changes over time that we might get some clues as to players that could be a little overrated or underrated.
Here’s the list of players in the field playing $1,000 over their average salary this season:
- J.B. Holmes
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Patrick Reed
- Martin Laird
- Soren Kjeldsen
- Paul Casey
- Francesco Molinari
- Daniel Berger
- Brooks Koepka
- Branden Grace
- Webb Simpson
- Bubba Watson
- Jon Rahm
Here are players with multiple top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing this week at or less than their average salary this season:
- Aaron Baddeley – $10 BELOW
- Andres Gonzales – $347 BELOW
- Michael Thompson – $381 BELOW
- Robert Garrigus – EVEN