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’s a two-tournament week in golf, with the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour and the 60-player men’s Olympic golf tournament in Brazil. Both tournaments have fantasy golf games, particularly on DraftKings, this week. So, here we’ll offer our normal analysis for the weekly PGA Tour event, including our GNN Plus analysis.
We’ll also offer a free top 10 for the men’s Olympic golf tournament, as well GNN Plus analysis, and you can find that here.
The Deere is a fascinating event because of the players who continually support it and their success there, namely Jordan Spieth, who isn’t in the field this year to defend, and Zach Johnson, who otherwise owns this event.
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 John Deere Classic top 10 picks
1. Zach Johnson — Zach has been in the top three here in each the last five years. Enough said.
2. Jon Rahm — Rahm has locked up his PGA Tour card and is playing pretty freely. Went sideways after a good start at Hartford, finishing T-25. Learned a lesson in a shootout event he can apply this week.
3. Daniel Summerhays — Summerhays has enjoyed a good run of late and is a fixture in the top 15 in this championship, with three top-15s in the last five years.
4. Steve Stricker — Stricker had three consecutive wins in this event, so it’s a no-brainer to add him to a lineup in non-salary-cap leagues. He’s overpriced this week, but he’s on a great run, too.
5. Jerry Kelly — Kelly finished strong at TPC River Highlands to get in the runner-up position. He has a good record in this championship as well on a course that doesn’t penalize a lack of length.
6. Robert Garrigus — Garrigus has enjoyed a special summer, reinvigorating his career with a slew of top-15 finishes. It’s a little tight here, but Garrigus won’t have to work hard off the tee to get around TPC Deere Run.
7. Ryan Moore — Moore is in the Goldilocks part of his schedule, playing the Deere and the Travelers in back-to-back weeks, places where he has been solid throughout his career.
8. Gary Woodland — Woodland is playing good golf this summer, and he’s looking to extend that streak here. He doesn’t have much of a Deere record, but he’s a good option.
9. Kevin Na — Kevin Na has hung around the top 25 in his last three starts, which included two majors and a WGC. This is a course, like the TPC in Vegas, that fits his game.
10. Wesley Bryan — Yeah, we could pick another PGA Tour regular, but Bryan has won three times on the Web.com Tour and is now a free-and-clear PGA Tour member.
My DraftKings team for this week:
1. Zach Johnson – $13,000
2. Scott Brown – $8,100
3. Spencer Levin – $7,400
4. Michael Thompson – $7,100
5. Tyrone Van Aswegen – $6,600
6. Carlos Ortiz – $6,400
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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 PGA Tour events:
- Daniel Summerhays – 2 – 3rd PGA Championship, T-11 Travelers Championship
- Michael Thompson – 2 – T-4 Barbasol Championship, T-14 RBC Canadian Open
- Robert Garrigus – 2 – T-11 Barbasol Championship, T-5 Travelers Championship
- Spencer Levin – 2 – T-14 RBC Canadian Open, T-11 Travelers 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 Deere multiple times in the last five years:
- Zach Johnson – 5
- Steve Stricker – 4
- Daniel Summerhays – 3
- J.J. Henry – 2
- Jerry Kelly – 2
- Johnson Wagner – 2
- Ryan Moore – 2
- Scott Brown – 2
- Steve Bowditch – 2
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at the John Deere Classic. Our guys this week: Zach Johnson, Daniel Summerhays.
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 $1,500 over their average salary this season in a very overvalued field:
- Billy Hurley III
- Wesley Bryan
- Brian Harman
- Rhein Gibson
- Gary Woodland
- Kevin Na
- Robert Streb
- Ryan Moore
- Jerry Kelly
- Robert Garrigus
- Daniel Summerhays
- Zach Johnson
- Jon Rahm
- Steve Stricker
There are NO players with multiple top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing this week at less than $500 ABOVE their average salary this season. Value isn’t there.
TPC Deere Run is typically a shootout course. You’re thinking 20 under par heading into the week to get the job done. That means you’re going to need to make a lot of putts, as well be very aggressive on par 4s.
Let’s look at strokes gained putting and then par-4 birdie/better percentage ranks:
2. Steve Stricker (T-84)
8. Daniel Summerhays (28)
9. Martin Piller (T-98)
12. Adam Hadwin (89)
T-13. Brian Harman (T-37)
17. Retief Goosen (176)
T-20. Andrew Landry (174)
T-20. Brendon Todd (196)
From this list, I’d like Summerhays and Harman. We obviously know Stricker is a good pick.[/s2If]