We saw a multi-hole playoff in back to back weeks on the PGA TOUR as this past weekend Cameron Davis captured his first win by defeating Troy Merritt over a five hole playoff that also involved Joaquin Niemann for one hole. Davis has always been a popular DFS play for me, and obviously as the eventual winner he was a key piece to lineups last week.
This week the TOUR heads to the John Deere Classic which is one of the last events to make it’s return to play after being cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. It is back in the traditional spot on the calendar right before The Open Championship, which often leads to a weaker field. It might be putting it lightly to call this a weak field this year as only Daniel Berger and Sungjae Im rank in the Top 30 of the World Golf Rankings. The good news is that TPC Deere Run has a lot of similarities to Detroit Golf Club from the Rocket Mortgage Classic, making it an easy track to analyze for this week off of last week’s results.
Unfortunately, my schedule this week with travel over the long holiday weekend didn’t allow me to get to the course preview for the John Deere, but Matt Vincenzi has us covered with his stats that matter article at The Action Network. Landon Silinsky also put out his cash-game plays for this tournament to give us a good baseline of some of the safer plays and builds for the week.
In this article I will focus on what has become the standard GPP on DraftKings with the $15 Flop Shot that gives $200,000 to first across a $700,000 prize pool. Now, let’s get into the picks.
Daniel Berger ($11,100 DK/$11,900 FD)
This is simply going with the best player in the field, and while that didn’t work out too well last week, I’ll still go right back to it with a steady player like Berger. If it were not for The Open next week, he would be unquestionably the top owned player in this field, and the gap in odds would be even stronger. TPC Deere Run should be a perfect track for him where he can take advantage of his elite iron play which has had him gaining 1.3 to 6.7 strokes on the field over his last five events and two of those were major championships.
It’s an added bonus that he has come course history with a fifth-place finish here in 2017 and we might get some ownership “only” around 20% as people try to read his mind to determine his motivation on the week. I won’t try to play those mind games and will instead take the best player at a high clip this week.
Kevin Na ($9,500 DK/$10,700 FD)
My contrarian pick in the upper price range will be with Kevin Na. We know this tournament can turn into a bit of a putting contest, and there aren’t many you’d rather have than Na in that type of scenario. Yes, his last two events have been fairly ugly on approach, but he is a player that rarely needs to show form to come out of nowhere for a high finish. I will take that chance this week at single digit ownership for an elite putter on his favorite surface and someone that has two Top-13 finishes in his three trips to the John Deere Classic.
Maverick McNealy ($8,800 DK/$10,600 FD)
I am running through the good putters here for a stretch, but it looks like McNealy will come with a much higher ownership bump than Na. He has been in much better form over the past several events and he’s my pick to come through with the win this week. TPC Deere Run is known for producing winners for their maiden victory, Needless to say, I love McNealy’s fit for this course and the opportunity to be the next one with his first win.
Pat Perez ($7,700 DK/$9,000 FD)
One more time on the good putters and one that is trending with his flat stick in Pat Perez. As a person that typically doesn’t buy into putting trends I am really going outside of the box with my picks this week, but in this field you have to find something to rely on.
Perez comes in off a strong week at the Rocket Mortgage where he finished 14th despite issues off the tee, due to his putter that gained 8.7 strokes on the field. It marks six of his last seven events where he has gained strokes on the greens, and this is an event he has putted well in the past. I’ll take some shares of Perez to see if he can keep the putter going and get a little better play tee to green.
Richy Werenski ($7,600 DK/$9,400 FD)
One of my favorite low owned plays this week will be with Richy Werenski. He’s a birdie maker that has an extreme preference for the bentgrass putting surfaces he will see this week at TPC Deere Run. We will get him at single-digit ownership despite a solid Top-25 finish last week in Detroit and three consecutive made cuts at this event. He makes a nice pivot in lineups off the chalky guys like Perez and Steve Stricker.
Value and Sleepers
Scott Stallings ($7,300 DK/$9,100 FD)
I didn’t necessarily expect to see this name as one of the tops on my list this week, but it appears I am also not alone there. One of the chalkiest players in the lower price range will be Scott Stallings, but it all seems to check out as he comes in hot off of back to back events with solid ball striking play. The only real concern is his issues on bentgrass, though he has overcome them at TPC Deere Run to the tune of three Top 18 finishes in his last four trips to the John Deere Classic.
Roger Sloan ($6,900 DK/$8,700 FD)
I am a bit of a Roger Sloan truther if there is such a thing, so it pains me to see many others jumping on board as he hovers near double-digit ownership for the week. The Canadian is simply underpriced for this field coming in off of a T-21 on a similar course in Detroit, and really just needing a bit more consistency in his game to post a high finish. I’ll be there and likely over the field on him this week with the hopes he can help provide some stability to allow me to grab multiple big names up top.
Alex Smalley ($6,000 DK/$7,600 FD)
Now we are really digging deep to try to find some value to allow us to pair Berger with anyone we want by grabbing a min priced player in Alex Smalley. He has Monday qualified for each of the past two events, and we know how low you have to go to make that happen. In fact, this week he posted a 62 to get into the field, showing that he is still playing solid golf even off his missed cut in Detroit. If he happens to make the weekend at the John Deere, he will make value on that alone, but the fact he has shown how he can score, he could be a key piece to a big lineup this week.