Each week, including this week’s 2018 Travelers Championship, Golf News Net offers daily fantasy (DFS) golf advice, picks, lineups and tips for DraftKings PGA Tour games, scrutinizing the pricing model and looking for players who will perform best in both guaranteed prize pool (GPP) events and cash games.[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]
FOR GNN PLUS MEMBERS ONLY!
For as little as $8/year, GNN Plus members get access to our in-depth weekly DraftKings picks, searchable database of PGA Tour results from 2011-present and top-15 PGA Tour trends.
For $75 per year or $225 for lifetime access, GNN+Forebucks members get even MORE, including our course fit modeling, Quality Stokes Gained data, course demand insights, grass-specific performance and further tools, as well individual access to fantasy expert Ryan Ballengee for your unique questions.
ADDITIONAL TOOLS INCLUDE
- Searchable PGA Tour results database — A full database of PGA Tour results dating back to 2011, including strokes gained breakouts, money, designers and grass info.
- PGA Tour top-15 finish trends — A look at the players who have finished in the top 15 in any of the last five PGA Tour events.
- Player-course fit modeling — This one is experimental, but I think it has lots of potential. This tool looks at the breakdown of each player’s Strokes Gained Putting, Approach, Off the Tee and Tee to Green when they finish in the top 25 and compare to the averages in those categories for top 25 finishers at each week’s event. I believe similarities in the breakouts can help clue us in to potential course fits (or horses for courses).
- Player performance comparison — Each player has different strengthes and, therefore, a different path to success, be that finishing in the top 15 or making the cut. So, we compare Strokes Gained Putting, Approach and Off the Tee when each player finishes in those positions to help understand player strengths and weaknesses.
- Strokes gained putting by grass type — Some guys just putt better on Bermudagrass or Bentgrass, the two dominant strains on the PGA Tour. Always helps to see specialists on either surface.
- Course demands: Each week, you’ll be able to see the strokes gained breakout — putting, approach, off the tee, tee to green — for each host course compared to the PGA Tour as it relates to winners, top-15 finishers and top-30 finishers.
- Top average Quality Strokes Gained for the year: Our Quality Strokes Gained combines strokes gained and strength-of-field figures into a single statistic, so this data shows the players who perform the best against the best competition.
- Top 50 QSG performances of the year: We wanted to help you understand Quality Strokes Gained more broadly, so we have the rolling list of the top 50 QSG performances of the year.
To access this research hidden below and MANY more fantasy golf tools, sign up for GNN Plus
2018 Travelers Championship preview
Wow, what a US Open! We had it nailed, from tipping Brooks, DJ, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, to suggesting you go in on an each-way bet with Tony Finau. It was a great week for our picks, and hopefully you were able to cash in on that.
This week, the PGA Tour isn’t too far from the Hamptons, with TPC River Highlands again hosting the Travelers Championship. This is a DEEP field, with five of the world top 10 in action and most of the world top 50 playing. Jordan Spieth defends, while Brooks Koepka plays, joining Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Paul Casey and others.
A reminder: All of the new tools we’ve released, this one sheet and, my ultimate goal, a weekly forecasting model, will be included in your GNN Plus membership through the end of the PGA Tour season. With the start of the new season, we’ll maintain the access to the traditional GNN Plus tools, including this weekly advice and the PGA Tour results database for the $10 (or less) per year of membership, and we’ll offer GNN Plus to existing members who sign up by May 31 for $50 per year or $150 for a lifetime membership.
2018 Travelers Championship DraftKings picks
Each week, we’ll offer players in 3-5 buckets of pricing so as to offer some mix-and-matching with your lineups based on our recommendations.
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five individual, stroke-play PGA Tour events.
- J.B. Holmes – 2 – T-13 Memorial, 3rd FedEx St. Jude Classic
- Brooks Koepka – 2 – 2nd Colonial, WIN US Open
- Kevin Tway – 2 – T-9 AT&T Byron Nelson, T-5 Colonial
Event Finish History
Here are the players who finished in the top 15 in this event in the last five years:
- Daniel Berger – 2
- Paul Casey – 2
- Ken Duke – 2
- Charley Hoffman – 2
- Russell Knox – 2
- Marc Leishman – 2
- Ryan Moore – 2
- Patrick Reed – 2
- Webb Simpson – 2
- Brandt Snedeker – 3
- Brendan Steele – 3
- Kevin Streelman – 2
- Chris Stroud – 2
- Bubba Watson – 2
It seems to me the best way to use Strokes Gained data is to give a sense of a course fit. My working theory is a player is a course fit — or a potential course fit, at least — if their Strokes Gained breakout when they finish in the top 25 is similar to the average for top-25 finishers at this week’s event.
Of course, current form then informs thinking around these possible course fits. However, in concept, many of these names make some sense and help narrow down a potential list of golfers.
This week, TPC River Highlands is a pretty easy par-70 course. There are some Pete Dye influences, though it’s not all his work. There are plenty of medium-length par 4s, and there are plenty of scoring chances for accurate tee shots. However, the course isn’t so penal that hitting fairways trumps hitting greens.
Here’s the overall breakdown:
Off the Tee: 22%
Total Tee to Green: 66%
Based on that data, some great course fits include:
- Daniel Berger
- Emiliano Grillo
- Chesson Hadley
- Russell Knox
- Martin Laird
- Marc Leishman
- Keith Mitchell
- JB Holmes
- Webb Simpson
- Brandt Snedeker
- Scott Stallings
- Kevin Streelman
- Justin Thomas
- Kevin Tway
2018 Travelers Championship DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and I think you can only really look at Patrick Reed here at $10,000. Justin Thomas maybe at the top, but that’s a budget killer. The others are question marks.
We have 17 players in this group, and you could build a great lineup just staying in this range. Paul Casey is a must-consider. Marc Leishman and Webb Simpson, too, have great histories here and are playing well. Daniel Berger, Bubba Watson and Xander Schauffele are good picks, too. On the low end of this range, I love Brian Harman and particularly love Russell Knox.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. This is typically very much hit-or-miss territory. However, we have some fantastic names in this range.
You have to like Brendan Steele at $7,600 given his track record here. Emiliano Grillo and Adam Hadwin catch my eye, both coming off disappointing Open performances. Kevin Streelman loves this place, though he could be a liability. Si Woo Kim is a good play if you’re into the Pete Dye facet of this course. Always up for picking Chesson Hadley, and I like Denny McCarthy on the upswing.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range with a threat to top-10. Please try to avoid this range.
Patton Kizzire is a hunch play, bothered he didn’t get in the US Open despite two wins this season. Dylan Meyer is making his PGA Tour debut, and he could tear this place up at $6,700. If you need to dig deep, Brandon Harkins keeps on making cuts, which is all you really want in this range.
My primary DraftKings lineup
- Paul Casey – $9,600
- Bubba Watson – $8,800
- Charley Hoffman – $8,700
- Brian Harman – $8,300
- Jim Furyk – $7,300
- Richy Werenski – $7,200