DRAFT PGA Value Watch: Travelers Championship
Each week, Justin Van Zuiden will list the players he is overweight (heavier exposure than the field) and underweight (lower exposure than the field) on. Dominate your DRAFT drafts with this cheat sheet from one of the best in daily fantasy sports!
Golfers I Am Overweight On
Patrick Cantlay – Though he didn’t contend for a major championship at the U.S. Open, Cantlay did rebound for a top 25 finish after making the cut on the number, as he shot a pair of under par rounds over the two weekend rounds. His all around game is a great fit for TPC River Highlands, as he finished 15th here a year ago in his first start at the venue in several years. He ranks 16th on Tour in strokes gained on approach and is at the top of the field in a lot of statistical categories. He also happens to lead the PGA Tour in par four scoring this year. I would be surprised if he isn’t in contention this week, and I don’t have to worry about his motivation quite as much as a golfer like Koepka, who always seems to turn it up a notch for majors and not for other events. I don’t mind taking him even at the first overall pick, and I’d rather get a later first round pick on DRAFT this week.
Paul Casey – Now that Casey has cleared the hurdle of holding a lead and winning a tournament, he should be able to play with more confidence going forward. It’s ironic that he now returns to the Travelers Championship, where he choked away a Sunday lead by shooting two over par, as he eventually finished tied for second — three strokes behind Bubba Watson. This course is a great fit for Casey, and he has four straight top 20 finishes at this venue. He also ranks inside the top 30 in both par four scoring and strokes gained on approach, and he is a safe option in all formats. You could make a case for him as the top point per dollar option on the entire board, and he’s a great bargain in the 6-10 pick range on DRAFT.
Francesco Molinari – Molinari continues to perform well on the big stage, and he’s coming off a solid, respectable showing at the U.S. Open. He could slip into the middle rounds of larger field DRAFT games this week because of a modest projection, and I’ll happily target him in that area. He has two made cuts at this event in his two appearances, and his statistical baselines have been trending upward over the last few months.
Brandt Snedeker – He let a lot of people down a week ago despite making the cut at Pebble Beach, and Snedeker simply made too many mistakes on the golf course. Still, he’s a golfer who is comfortable on layouts like this one, and he ranks inside the top 60 on Tour in par four scoring this season. He has top 15 finishes at TPC River Highlands in three of his last four trips here, and the upside has been on display a little more of late. He’s a solid late round DRAFT investment.
Russell Knox – Knox seemingly flies under the radar all the time in DFS contests, and he always gets ignored on the larger scale. Expect that trend to continue, and I’ll gladly target Knox on a short par 70 course where his limited distance off the tee isn’t a major issue. He ranks 40th on Tour in par four scoring and 23rd in strokes gained on approach this season, and he won this event three years ago. The form is also improving with a pair of top 30 finishes in his last two starts, and the DFS price tag is not outrageous. Fire him up with confidence as a late round pick.
Golfers I Am Underweight On
Justin Thomas – DRAFT has him listed as the top play on the board, and that’s far too much faith for a golfer who has clearly shown rust since his return from a wrist injury with two missed cuts in three starts. I like Thomas all right at a discounted tag on the salary cap sites, but I can’t endorse him as a top overall pick on DRAFT over the likes of Cantlay and Koepka right now.
Tony Finau – Finau has quietly entered a bit of an early summer slumber, with five finishes of 60th or worse in his last six starts. That includes three missed cuts. Granted, the other start in that stretch was a runner up finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge, but it’s difficult to spend a premium pick on him right now. I prefer other golfers that are playing better right now, especially since Finau has slipped to 80th in par four scoring this year.
Phil Mickelson – I’ll pass. His driver is all over the place right now, and we haven’t seen consistency out of Mickelson in quite some time. This doesn’t feel like the course for him to find his game, especially since he generally doesn’t play in this event. Let someone else overdraft him in the middle rounds.
Bubba Watson – Watson will undoubtedly be over-drafted this week since he has won here in two of the last four editions. Combine that with the common narrative that Bubba plays better on “courses he likes” — and the train is rolling down the tracks. I will be underweight. His game isn’t in great shape right now, and he ranks 129th in strokes gained approach and 151st in par four scoring this year. No thanks.
Chesson Hadley – His top finish at the U.S. Open last week will likely have a lot of people selecting Hadley as a late round value. However, tread carefully. This is still a golfer who has missed more cuts than he has made this season, and he ranks 103rd on Tour in par four scoring. I don’t mind him as a final round pick in eight man drafts if he falls that far, but that is unlikely to be the case.
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