After a run of strong fields with some of the top players on TOUR, we have arrived at the John Deere Classic, which lacks star power. Many players are preparing to go overseas for the co-sanctioned Scottish Open and then the year’s final major at The Open Championship.
We’ll have to get ready this week to play some names at larger price tags in DFS than we are used to, as Webb Simpson and Adam Hadwin sit atop the pricing and odds boards. Many of the names we are used to in certain tiers have moved up one, but that is the primary mental adjustment we need to make this week as we look to attack the $20 Pitch + Putt Contest with $200,000 to first.
If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
Now, let’s get into the plays for the week.
Adam Hadwin $10,400
I usually try to avoid the chalk in the top range, and you can certainly do that with Sahith Theegala or Jason Day. That said, I don’t have a lot of interest in either this week. Day is only up here because he’s a recognizable name, as his game has been well out of form and doesn’t seem playable. I may be overanalyzing on Theegala, but he will be thinking about that 18th hole at the Travelers for a while. The last time he was that close was at the Waste Management, and he fell out of form for a few weeks trying to get it back. I’d rather take the known entities of Hadwin and Simpson to start the large majority of my lineups this week.
Hadwin has been in good form and looks to come in with slightly lower ownership than Simpson, though both should be quite popular. The Canadian has four top-10 finishes since March, with two coming in elite fields at the US Open and The Players. He has been solid throughout the year and will look to continue that on a course where he hasn’t finished worse than 18th in two appearances.
Charles Howell III $9,300
What year is this? Yes, it’s 2022, and CH3 is over $9,000 in DFS. I think it’s mostly his course history that puts him at this price tag, but I am a buyer as he has shown an ability to get around this track and his overall form is decent. He actually rates out as the top player overall in the Bailey Model, and if he can turn things around with the approach play that failed him on the weekend at the Travelers, he could be in line for another solid finish at the John Deere. The ownership on Howell makes him a solid play for large-field GPPs as we will get him at single digits, and there is very little to separate the chalky players above him from his potential ceiling.
Cameron Davis $8,400
Some of the chalk I’ll be willing to eat this week is with Davis. He is arguably priced too low for this field, and his scoring ability makes him a DFS consideration every week. This event is historically a birdie fest, and the way he can score in bunches makes the Australian a core type of play for me. I expect he will be near or over 20% ownership, but I am willing to take on that chalk and look for ways to get different elsewhere.
J.T. Poston $8,000
J.T. Poston put together a runner-up finish last week at the Travelers Championship, and I am going to look to ride the hot hand. He’s a player that has shown to be streaky at times with his game, and I think we could see him put together another solid outing on a course that should suit his game. The hesitation and what may keep ownership lower than projected is that he hasn’t finished better than 64th on this course and has missed the cut in his last two appearances. I hope he gets a bit overlooked as he is another player I would consider for my core this week.
John Huh $7,800
I was hoping people would see the name and price and go away from Huh, but he is expected to garner ownership in the low teens. He is one of my favorite plays at any price this week, and the Bailey Model rates him out right behind CH3. Huh comes into the event in great form with three straight top 25s, including two top-15 finishes. He’s gained strokes in all categories tee-to-green in each of those tournaments, and if he does that again, he will have a great chance to replicate or improve upon his T7 finish in 2018.
Ryan Moore $7,200
This is almost a pure course history play as we haven’t even seen Moore on TOUR very much this year, though this will be his third event in June. It will be only his seventh tournament of the year, but he flashed some decent play his last time out at the RBC Canadian Open, where he gained 5.1 shots on the field tee-to-green. I liked finding that, but again, this is mostly about his affinity for this course. He was the runner-up in this event last year, and it was his fourth top-8 finish in nine appearances at the JDC, including his win in 2016. We can certainly do much worse than taking a low-owned large-field GPP shot on Moore recapturing his magic at TPC Deere Run.
Lee Hodges $6,900
I mentioned above that I felt Davis was underpriced, and I feel the same about Hodges. He could easily be with the other young players in the mid $7,000 range, and I would have the same interest. He comes in off a top-25 finish at the Travelers and has already shown an ability to go low earlier in the year. He finished 3rd at the AmEx, another notoriously low-scoring event, and with his added form, he is someone I will go to fairly frequently when I drop into this range.
Vaughn Taylor $6,800
Taylor is the top-rated player in the Bailey Model in the $6,000 range, and it’s not particularly close. Taylor is another course history guy for this event, having made the cut in seven of his last eight tournaments. His best finish was 6th back in 2019, and his iron play has been in form to try to repeat that feat. Taylor has gained more than three shots on approach in each of his last three tournaments played, but he hasn’t been able to get anything else going. I’ll take a few shots that Taylor can get it all clicking, and if he can make it through to the weekend, he certainly has the upside to help us win a big contest.
Photo Credit: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Pictured: Adam Hadwin.