The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The PGA TOUR heads to Cromwell, Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. TPC River Highlands will be the host and measures as a 6,852-yard par 70. The greens will be a Bent/Poa blend.
I’ll be highlighting the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.
My analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average, it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.
Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.
There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
- Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
- Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green
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.
The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.
PGA DFS Conviction Play
Russell Henley ($7,800 DraftKings)
So far, my only lock of the week is Henley, who is egregiously mispriced. Henley is 35-1 to win on Pinnacle but sits at just $7,800 on DraftKings. He’s about 30 points shorter in the outright market than pretty much everyone priced around him.
There are too many things working in Henley’s favor, which almost makes it feel like a trap. He’s in the midst of his best stretch of golf this season, having posted six top-20 finishes across his past seven starts, including a T4 at the Masters. His rolling numbers during this run have also been elite, ranking eighth in this field in approach, 16th from tee-to-green, and 15th in total strokes gained.
Henley also has elite course history at TPC River Highlands, having made four of his five cuts at this event, with a T6 and two other top-19 finishes since 2016. Anytime we get to a shorter track where mid-range iron play is going to be important, Henley must be towards the top of your list. His lack of distance will not hamper him at this venue, and if he gets out to a fast start on Thursday, he’s a shoo-in top-20. There’s no need to overthink this spot.
Additional PGA DFS Cash/GPP Thoughts
Scottie Scheffler did it again last week, posting his fourth consecutive top-three finish. He’s yet to finish worse than T12 since the CJ CUP in October. There’s nothing I can say at this point that you don’t already know about the World No. 1. He’s an absolute machine and shows zero signs of slowing down. His one glaring weakness of late has been his egregious putting, but he even turned that around at LACC, gaining 1.2 strokes with the flat stick. Now that he remembered how to putt, he’s going to win by eight strokes one of these weeks, and if you’re not on him when it happens, you’re going to feel dumb. I will never call anyone who’s $11,300 in a field like this a must-play, but Scheffler is the best play on the board if you can fit him.
If you prefer to go down in price a bit, I have nothing negative to say about Patrick Cantlay at $10,200. His course history at TPC River Highlands is strong, having posted five consecutive top-15 finishes. The last time we were at a short Pete Dye track the week after a major was the RBC Heritage, where Cantlay finished T3. He usually shreds short courses and seems like a virtual lock for another T15 this week. Getting to save -$1,100 from Scheffler is nice as well. Cantlay is probably the best points-per-dollar play among anyone $9k and above.
I have virtually no interest in anyone else above $9,000 this week. If you’re thinking about playing Jon Rahm or Rory McIlroy, you should probably just go up to Scottie. If you’re thinking about Viktor Hovland or Xander Schauffele, just get to Cantlay. Collin Morikawa has been a GPP-bro darling for whatever reason, but he hasn’t posted a top-five finish since January, so let the fish keep chasing him.
The $8,000 range is strong this week, starting with Hideki Matsuyama at $8,600. He’s missed just two cuts all season and is third in the field in SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 24 rounds. He’s never played TPC River Highlands but should be a natural course fit.
Moving down a bit, Sahith Theegala stands out this week. Theegala finished in a tie for second last year after double-bogeying the 72nd hole and gifting the tournament to Schauffele. Any course with wide fairways immediately puts Theegala in play. Course history at this event is also quite sticky, meaning the guys who have played well in the past should continue to do so. I love Theegala in this spot.
Both Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim are a bit underpriced this week. Tom went scorched earth over his final three rounds at LACC last week, gaining 6.8 strokes on approach en route to his T8 finish. He’s never played this event either, but he should also be a natural course fit due to his lack of distance off-the-tee and strong iron play. He’s already won twice in his career at easy courses, and TPC River Highlands should be in his wheelhouse. At just $8,100 on DraftKings, Kim is 35/1 to win, putting him in the Henley value territory.
Si Woo is extremely similar, sitting at just $8,000. He’s been known over his career as a Pete Dye specialist, but for whatever reason, that has not materialized at TPC River Highlands. He does have three top-26 finishes at this course but has also missed three of his past four cuts. However, he’s having a really strong season, missing just three cuts in 18 standard PGA TOUR events. Kim also sits 17th in SG: Ball-Striking and 18th in SG: Total over his past 24 rounds. I don’t expect him to miss the cut, and we know how high his ceiling is.
Adam Scott missed his first cut of the season at the U.S. Open, and I doubt he misses two straight. Before LACC, he had been playing great, posting three top-10s across his past four starts. He finished T13 in 2021 in his only start at TPC River Highlands this decade, and I firmly expect a similar performance this week in what should be a classic bounce-back spot.
Harris English was excellent at the U.S. Open, finishing T8 at LACC thanks to his elite putting. He gained a whopping 10.27 strokes on the greens last week and ranks third in this field in that department over his past 36 rounds. His course history at TPC River Highlands is also elite, having won in 2021 before following up with a T19 last year.
Corey Conners is way too cheap for his talent, but his putting and short game will drive you crazy. I am pretty big into course history this week, and Conners has missed both of his cuts here in 2020 and 2018. However, he has not missed back-to-back cuts yet this season and is coming off a miserable performance at the U.S. Open. He should bounce back this week and is only $7,700.
Be sure to check out all the pick’ems PrizePicks has to offer with PrizePicks promo code LABS for a $100 deposit match.
Stephan Jaeger has been a cut-making machine all season, making the weekend in 18-of-21 starts. He ranks 24th in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 24 rounds and has a T30 at this event back in 2019. He’s a really solid play at just $7,500.
Ludvig Aberg is the next big thing on the PGA TOUR. The 23-year-old Swede is the only golfer in PGA TOUR history to earn his TOUR card right out of college. He’s also one of only two golfers in history to win the Ben Hogan Award for best college golfer twice. The other golfer to accomplish this feat? Jon Rahm, which is pretty good company.
Aberg has made three starts on the PGA TOUR and failed to miss a cut while posting top-25 finishes at the Canadian Open and the Arnold Palmer. This kid is for real, and you want to be early on him. His $7,400 price tag could be a steal this week.
This article has gone on long enough, but some other golfers I like under $7,400 are Austin Eckroat, Andrew Putnam, Will Gordon, and Mark Hubbard.
Hubbard sticks out like a sore thumb at $6,900, having made seven straight cuts with three top-11 finishes in that stretch. He’s also made each cut in five starts at TPC River Highlands.
Eckroat has also been on fire lately, especially after last week’s masterclass T10 performance at the U.S. Open. He’s now made six straight cuts and ranks 16th in SG: Ball-Striking and 10th in SG: Total in that stretch.
Putnam is three-for-three in cuts made at TPC River Highlands and has been in great form of late, while Gordon is two-for-two in the cut-making department here and has been crushing the ball recently. Gordon has a T3 to his name at this event back in 2020 as well, when all the game’s elite were in attendance after the pandemic halted play for three months.
That’s all I got this week. If you like this content, please follow me on Twitter, as I usually post late-week thoughts on the slate.
Best of luck this week!