Our Blog


PGA DFS: Top Cash Game Picks for the John Deere Classic

The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.

The TOUR heads to Silvis, Ill., this week as the TPC Deere Run hosts the John Deere Classic. The course is a par-71, measuring at 7,258 yards with bentgrass greens.

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

Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.

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.

And don’t forget to utilize our various PGA DFS tools like our Lineup OptimizerLineup Builder, PGA Correlation Dashboard, and our Trends tool.

The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.


Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

PGA DFS Core Picks

Webb Simpson ($10,600 DraftKings)/Adam Hadwin ($10,400 DraftKings) 

I am not going to bother doing two separate write-ups for both Simpson and Hadwin this week. They’re the two most expensive golfers on the slate, and it’s fairly obvious they’re the two best players in the field by a pretty decent margin. If you’re a serious DFS player, which if you are reading this I’m sure you are, you cannot conceivably start a cash game roster without one, if not both, of these guys.

Over the last 48 rounds in this field, Hadwin ranks No. 1 in Total Strokes Gained, while Simpson sits at No. 3. In that time frame, Hadwin is averaging over 1.06 strokes gained per round, which is 0.23 strokes more than the next closest guy (Denny McCarthy) and 0.24 strokes more than Simpson. So while Simpson is currently the highest-ranked player in this field, Hadwin has been playing the best. Hadwin also has pretty good history here, finishing T8 and T18 in his two career starts at TPC Deere Run.

Charles Howell III ($9,300 DraftKings)

Howell loves the John Deere, which honestly, is the least surprising thing I’ve ever heard.

In eight starts here since 2011 he’s finished inside the top 25 five times, including a pair of top-six finishes. It’s pretty gross looking at his $9,300 price tag, however, there are very few guys priced where they normally are, and we need to just take that with a grain of salt this week.

Taking a long term view, Howell is one of the best players in this field, ranking seventh in Total Strokes Gained over his past 48 rounds. He’s also been pretty good lately, making three of his past four cuts with three top-35 finishes. He’s absolutely one of the best options to pair with either Webb or Hadwin if you end up not jamming in both.

Brendon Todd ($8,500 DraftKings)

As much as it absolutely pains me, we will run it back with the $8,500 Toddfather this week. He egregiously missed the cut last week at the Travelers, which truly surprised me given his recent form and history there, but we must have a short memory in this game we play. You could try and argue with me until you’re blue in the face, but there’s absolutely no way guys like Sahith Theegala, Jason Day or McCarthy are $1,500 better than Brendon Todd.

He ranks fifth in this field in Total Strokes gained over his past 48 rounds, and third over his past eight rounds. I am willing to forgive him for last week’s mishap and bet on talent in this spot. It’s a bit alarming that he’s missed five of six cuts at this event dating back to 2012, however, he did finish T18 in his most recent start, which hopefully got the monkey off his back. This field is just so bad, I cannot envision him missing the weekend in this spot.

PGA DFS Value Picks

Kevin Streelman ($7,900 DraftKings)

Streelman’s history at this event is a bit of a mixed bag, but he does have a pair of top-eight finishes in seven starts here since 2012. He’s also coming in off a strong week at the Travelers, finishing T25 and gaining strokes in every department. Streelman is the type of golfer that plays well for stretches, so hopefully he can carry some momentum from last week into a positive showing at the JDC. When you look at some of the other names in this $7,000 range, you can certainly do worse in this spot than Streelman.

Chez Reavie ($7,900 DraftKings)

The veteran Reavie has been playing quite well of late, making four of his past five cuts with three top-15 finishes in that stretch, culminated by last week’s T8 at the Travelers. In this stretch, Reavie ranks ninth in this field in SG: Ball-Striking, and  third in both SG: Tee-to-Green, and Total Strokes Gained.

TPC Deere Run has been an annual stop for Reavie over the years, playing here eight times since 2012 and making the cut in seven of those starts. He’s got three top-18 finishes in that stretch, as well. The strength of this field obviously dictates this play, otherwise Reavie would never be in cash game consideration, but he’s checking a lot of boxes for me this week and I believe provides a bit of safety.

Adam Schenk ($7,700 DraftKings)

Schenk is always a guy we target in these alternate-field events, and the John Deere is no different, as he’s gone T4, T6 here over the past two years. He has not been as consistent with his cut making as he’s been in previous years, but he has made five of his past seven, including two recent strong finishes at both the U.S. Open and Memorial.

Over his past 16 rounds in this field Schenk sit 10th in SG: Ball-Striking and ninth in Total Strokes Gained. As stated above, he’s shown a ton of upside here, and for $7,700 we’re getting a pretty sweet deal in this spot.

Adam Svensson ($7,700 DraftKings)

Adam Svensson is a legit #good golfer who I feel like most people still don’t know about yet. If you read this article last week you likely made money, which was very much thanks to this man, as he posted a T25 for us at just $6,800. He obviously gets a price bump this week due to field strength, but he’s still a pretty good bargain at under $8,000.

Svensson has his short-game woes, but overall ranks 10th in SG: Ball-Striking across his past 48 rounds. He’s actually improved with the putter over his past few events, ranking 26th in SG: Putting over his past 16 rounds, which catapults him into the top 10 in Total Strokes Gained over that time frame.

Lee Hodges ($6,900 DraftKings)

I like Hodges quite a bit this week as a cash-game punt. He’s been playing very well of late, making each of his past three cuts, including last week’s T25 at the Travelers. In that stretch, he ranks fourth in this field in SG: Approach and 15th in Total Strokes Gained.

There is absolutely no way around having to stomach some volatile plays this week in a field like this, especially if you want to get up to Simpson and Hadwin, so let’s target someone with some strong recent form like Hodges to round out our cash teams.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.

The TOUR heads to Silvis, Ill., this week as the TPC Deere Run hosts the John Deere Classic. The course is a par-71, measuring at 7,258 yards with bentgrass greens.

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

Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.

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.

And don’t forget to utilize our various PGA DFS tools like our Lineup OptimizerLineup Builder, PGA Correlation Dashboard, and our Trends tool.

The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.


Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

PGA DFS Core Picks

Webb Simpson ($10,600 DraftKings)/Adam Hadwin ($10,400 DraftKings) 

I am not going to bother doing two separate write-ups for both Simpson and Hadwin this week. They’re the two most expensive golfers on the slate, and it’s fairly obvious they’re the two best players in the field by a pretty decent margin. If you’re a serious DFS player, which if you are reading this I’m sure you are, you cannot conceivably start a cash game roster without one, if not both, of these guys.

Over the last 48 rounds in this field, Hadwin ranks No. 1 in Total Strokes Gained, while Simpson sits at No. 3. In that time frame, Hadwin is averaging over 1.06 strokes gained per round, which is 0.23 strokes more than the next closest guy (Denny McCarthy) and 0.24 strokes more than Simpson. So while Simpson is currently the highest-ranked player in this field, Hadwin has been playing the best. Hadwin also has pretty good history here, finishing T8 and T18 in his two career starts at TPC Deere Run.

Charles Howell III ($9,300 DraftKings)

Howell loves the John Deere, which honestly, is the least surprising thing I’ve ever heard.

In eight starts here since 2011 he’s finished inside the top 25 five times, including a pair of top-six finishes. It’s pretty gross looking at his $9,300 price tag, however, there are very few guys priced where they normally are, and we need to just take that with a grain of salt this week.

Taking a long term view, Howell is one of the best players in this field, ranking seventh in Total Strokes Gained over his past 48 rounds. He’s also been pretty good lately, making three of his past four cuts with three top-35 finishes. He’s absolutely one of the best options to pair with either Webb or Hadwin if you end up not jamming in both.

Brendon Todd ($8,500 DraftKings)

As much as it absolutely pains me, we will run it back with the $8,500 Toddfather this week. He egregiously missed the cut last week at the Travelers, which truly surprised me given his recent form and history there, but we must have a short memory in this game we play. You could try and argue with me until you’re blue in the face, but there’s absolutely no way guys like Sahith Theegala, Jason Day or McCarthy are $1,500 better than Brendon Todd.

He ranks fifth in this field in Total Strokes gained over his past 48 rounds, and third over his past eight rounds. I am willing to forgive him for last week’s mishap and bet on talent in this spot. It’s a bit alarming that he’s missed five of six cuts at this event dating back to 2012, however, he did finish T18 in his most recent start, which hopefully got the monkey off his back. This field is just so bad, I cannot envision him missing the weekend in this spot.

PGA DFS Value Picks

Kevin Streelman ($7,900 DraftKings)

Streelman’s history at this event is a bit of a mixed bag, but he does have a pair of top-eight finishes in seven starts here since 2012. He’s also coming in off a strong week at the Travelers, finishing T25 and gaining strokes in every department. Streelman is the type of golfer that plays well for stretches, so hopefully he can carry some momentum from last week into a positive showing at the JDC. When you look at some of the other names in this $7,000 range, you can certainly do worse in this spot than Streelman.

Chez Reavie ($7,900 DraftKings)

The veteran Reavie has been playing quite well of late, making four of his past five cuts with three top-15 finishes in that stretch, culminated by last week’s T8 at the Travelers. In this stretch, Reavie ranks ninth in this field in SG: Ball-Striking, and  third in both SG: Tee-to-Green, and Total Strokes Gained.

TPC Deere Run has been an annual stop for Reavie over the years, playing here eight times since 2012 and making the cut in seven of those starts. He’s got three top-18 finishes in that stretch, as well. The strength of this field obviously dictates this play, otherwise Reavie would never be in cash game consideration, but he’s checking a lot of boxes for me this week and I believe provides a bit of safety.

Adam Schenk ($7,700 DraftKings)

Schenk is always a guy we target in these alternate-field events, and the John Deere is no different, as he’s gone T4, T6 here over the past two years. He has not been as consistent with his cut making as he’s been in previous years, but he has made five of his past seven, including two recent strong finishes at both the U.S. Open and Memorial.

Over his past 16 rounds in this field Schenk sit 10th in SG: Ball-Striking and ninth in Total Strokes Gained. As stated above, he’s shown a ton of upside here, and for $7,700 we’re getting a pretty sweet deal in this spot.

Adam Svensson ($7,700 DraftKings)

Adam Svensson is a legit #good golfer who I feel like most people still don’t know about yet. If you read this article last week you likely made money, which was very much thanks to this man, as he posted a T25 for us at just $6,800. He obviously gets a price bump this week due to field strength, but he’s still a pretty good bargain at under $8,000.

Svensson has his short-game woes, but overall ranks 10th in SG: Ball-Striking across his past 48 rounds. He’s actually improved with the putter over his past few events, ranking 26th in SG: Putting over his past 16 rounds, which catapults him into the top 10 in Total Strokes Gained over that time frame.

Lee Hodges ($6,900 DraftKings)

I like Hodges quite a bit this week as a cash-game punt. He’s been playing very well of late, making each of his past three cuts, including last week’s T25 at the Travelers. In that stretch, he ranks fourth in this field in SG: Approach and 15th in Total Strokes Gained.

There is absolutely no way around having to stomach some volatile plays this week in a field like this, especially if you want to get up to Simpson and Hadwin, so let’s target someone with some strong recent form like Hodges to round out our cash teams.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only