Top DraftKings PGA DFS Plays for the John Deere Classic 2022
Top DraftKings PGA DFS Plays for the John Deere Classic 2022
It finally happened. My personally-inscribed band of PGA Tour golfers that made up my DFS pool failed me last week. The pros let me down so severely that I considered changing my name to Jay Monaghan. Up was down at the Travelers Championship and left was right. The “best plays” were the worst plays, sending the PGA DFS world into a tizzy of Impostor Syndrome and therapeutic buckets of range balls…or maybe it was just me.
The optimal lineup on DraftKings last week left a whopping $3,700 of salary on the table; a stern reminder that leverage is indeed the most important consideration in DFS. The John Deere Classic is seen by many as an inferior tournament on the Tour schedule. In fact, recent defections by the whiniest members in the golfers’ guild for the LIV Tour has further diminished an already-paltry selection of professionals descending upon Moline, Illinois at TPC Deere Run. This tournament still has an important relationship with the charities and local businesses in the Quad Cities and PGA DFS aficionados looking for the next big payday.
Competition is undoubtedly healthy; for us at Team Rise or Fall and for the two professional golf organizations squaring off this week. The blood money gang on the LIV Tour are in the Pacific Northwest at Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon. My personal boycott aside, there are Showdown contests available on DraftKings involving those golfers. My focus will remain with the PGA Tour and the John Deere Classic, where I will be stepping outside my DFS comfort zone to take advantage of all the leverage opportunities left in the wake of the uncertainty and assumed randomness of “a lesser tournament.”
New readers of this column might not know that I generally play the four-round slates on DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo!. Usually, I formulate a player pool on Fantasy Cruncher between 20 and 30 golfers that will vary in exposure based on my confidence in them. 20 lineups are generated within those parameters and uploaded into various contests across the three sites.
This week, it is impossible to ignore the viability of widening the player pool significantly and expanding to 150 lineups. The key stats are the big ones. Total strokes gained, strokes gained from tee to green, and par-4 scoring will be main considerations. Proximity on approaches under 150 yards will also play a part here, as past winners at TPC Deere Run have typically stuck it close enough to rain birdies upon their scorecards. Recent form is also important, as it has been a rarity for struggling golfers to score well enough on this track to compete.
All of these advanced metrics and stats are beautifully laid out in the RoF PGA Study Hub. For premium access to all of the bankroll-banging content, sign up using Promo Code: Bo here. You will also earn a $20 voucher to the aforementioned Fantasy Cruncher site included in the subscription.
With a bunch of hungry PGA Tour pros with questionable (or worse) name recognition vying for Fedex Cup points and honest money, the randomness from last week’s Travelers might be even more palpable. Come down from that big green tractor and let’s tee off.
Stick It Close: Studs to Target
Denny McCarthy (DK: $9,900; FD: $11,200; Y!: $41)
The top of this player board seems to be suffering from the same inflation that has me paying six dollars for a loaf of bread. There isn’t much value or leverage to be had this week north of $10k on DraftKings. For a touch less, you can roster the red-hot McCarthy. He is a world-class putter and has popped up on many leaderboards the past couple of months, including top-10 finishes at the Memorial and US Open. The Maryland native is also at the very top of this field in par-4 scoring.
Sahith Theegala (DK: $10,100; FD: $11,500; Y!: $38)
Hot golfers tend to stay hot at tournaments like the John Deere Classic. Theegala fell just shy of a playoff with champion Xander Schauffele last week when he capped off a horrendous 72nd hole with a merciless lip-out that brought him to bended knee. The Pepperdine standout also contended to the bitter end at the Memorial, culminating in another top-5 standing. He is having a breakout season with more top-10 finishes than missed cuts. His elusive first victory could very well come this week in Quad Cities.
Lanto Griffin (DK: $8,200; FD: $9,400; Y!: $37)
The salary cliff this week is stunningly dramatic. A great number of golfers are priced to move, including Griffin. What he lacks in recent form, he makes up for in distance and strokes gained on approach. Griffin is also excellent on par-4 holes, appearing near the top of this field in scoring. Above all else, Griffin is projected to be rostered in fewer than 9% of lineups. Leverage and upside are the main keys this week in DFS tournament play.
Other Studs in My Pool: Webb Simpson, Adam Hadwin, Maverick McNealy, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Scott Stallings, Brendan Todd, Cameron Davis, Lucas Glover, CT Pan, JT Poston
No Gimme: Tap-In Values
Kevin Streelman (DK: $7,900; FD: $9,900; Y!: $34)
The sheer volume of golfers who fall into the value category on DraftKings this week is staggering. It was a struggle to feature more than a handful of “studs” who carry good value into the John Deere, but a plethora of thrifty threats. Streelman isn’t a stranger to leaderboards in fields lacking star power.
His advanced metrics are a picture of unremarkable consistency. He is as well-rounded as anyone in this field and has a top-10 finish at the John Deere on his resume. At a paltry $7.9k and 6% rostered, Streelman is someone who can elevate a good DFS lineup into a great one.
Martin Laird (DK: $7,500; FD: $9,700; Y!: $25)
Praise our Laird and savior. A number of golfers in the field this week are the ones golf fans loosely remember trudging about, clawing their way into making enough cuts to put food on the table and keep their PGA Tour card for the subsequent year. Laird is far from a household name, but he is exactly the type of golfer who pops up on the radar when the bills come due.
Laird leads this field in strokes gained from tee to green and is one of very few who gains strokes in every category of that metric. He is especially strong on approach and around the green, putting him toward the top of my strongest value plays on DraftKings and Yahoo!.
Mark Hubbard (DK: $7,400; FD: $9,000; Y!: $24)
Talk about a guy on a mission. Hubbard has cashed in this season on strong, consistent play and has graced this article more than a few times. The DFS sites have yet to recognize his riverlike consistency that has bolstered many of my best lineups all season. Hubbard has made five consecutive cuts, including at last week’s Travelers where his spot in the field was earned as an alternate to LIV turncoat Brooks Koepka. His approach game has been fantastic this season and he has parlayed that into one of the field’s best scoring averages. It would not surprise me one iota if the San Jose State alum takes home the trophy on Sunday.
Ryan Armour (DK: $7,100; FD: $8,800; Y!: $20)
Try as I may, I could not ignore Armour when researching for this tournament. His name was omnipresent, regardless of which metric I filtered by. He is simply one of the most accurate players on the PGA Tour and has fared well in his last two starts. For a player with modest driving distance, he is constantly gaining strokes off the tee. Armour has the highest driving accuracy in this field by far. He is also the absolute best in this entire field in proximity on approach and par-4 scoring average. For a dirt-cheap option on every DFS platform with these attributes, Armour is also projected to have only a 5% roster percentage.
Other Values in My Pool: John Huh, Adam Svensson, Doug Ghim, Alex Smalley, Emiliano Grillo, Drew Lipsky, Taylor Pendrith, Chris Gotterup, Matthias Schwab, Nate Lashley, Austin Smotherman, Taylor Moore, Kevin Chappell, Brice Garnett, Greyson Sigg, Callum Tarren, Justin Lower, Doc Redman, Chase Seiffert, Peter Malnati, Satoshi Kodaira
I will be with you for an entire PGA Tour season of DFS picks. I hope you join me in victory throughout 2022 and beyond. I promise to be a better DFS golfer than an actual golfer. You can find all of my musings on Twitter. Good luck and hit ’em straight!
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