PGA DFS GPP Breakdown: John Deere Classic High-Upside Plays

Top-ranked grinder, STLCardinals84, will break down his top GPP golf targets for the coming week’s tournament, going over his favorite plays at various price ranges. Who better than PGA DFS master, STLCards, to help you on your way?

John Deere Classic

Hello, Grinders! Welcome back to the PGA GPP breakdown for the John Deere Classic! This is one of my favorite tournaments of the year, as it is contested a stone’s throw away from me, which makes this the most accessible PGA Tour event for me to attend on an annual basis. Unfortunately, I’ll be traveling this weekend and won’t be able to go this year, but I’m still looking forward to seeing how it plays out. We also have perhaps the weakest field in recent memory, as just nine of the top 100 golfers in the OWGR are in the field this week.

TPC Deere Run is your host course for this event, and Deere Run always sets up as one of the easiest courses on Tour. In fact, TPC Deere Run has hosted this event 21 times now, and the winning score has never been worse than 16 strokes under par. Birdies and eagles are the name of the game around this place. This is a bit of a rare layout in the fact that it is a par 71 course, so we have three par fives in play this week. A lot of the par fours are fairly short in terms of distance, so wedge play will be absolutely critical. I will be honing in on players who are solid from the 125-150 yard distance range, while also looking at birdie makers and golfers with a good combination of length and accuracy off the tee.

Getting as many golfers through the cut as possible is paramount for this event, as there will be plenty of scoring opportunities available. It will take a very, very good 5/6 lineup to beat any lineup that gets all six golfers through the cut, since almost every golfer in the field will be racking up birdies and fantasy points.

Let’s get to some of my favorite GPP picks!

Adam Hadwin
DraftKings: $10,400
FanDuel: $11,700
Yahoo: $47

Boy, this field is horrendous. It becomes even more evident the deeper you dig into the data. Somehow, Hadwin has become the betting favorite. He leads this field in total strokes gained and ranks 3rd in tee to green play over the last 50 rounds. His short game numbers are also very strong, and that has value in a tournament that often turns into a putting contest. You can absolutely roll with a balanced build if you like, but if you want to prioritize playing one of the most expensive golfers on the board, Hadwin gets the slight edge for me over Webb Simpson (though I will definitely have exposure to both in my multi-entry GPP builds).

Charles Howell III
DraftKings: $9,300
FanDuel: $10,800
Yahoo: $34

it is always interesting to see how ownership shakes out for these weaker field events, but I think Howell will be contrarian this week given that he is very expensive, and his play isn’t quite as consistent these days. However, these weak field birdie fests are often tournaments where Howell thrives. He has finished 19th, 6th, and 23rd in his last three trips to TPC Deere Run, and he ranks 2nd in this field in tee to green play over the last 50 measured rounds. He has made a career out of playing well in these types of tournaments, and this could be one of his final chances to potentially find the winner’s circle in a PGA Tour event.

Nick Hardy
DraftKings: $8,700
FanDuel: $10,400
Yahoo: $23

Hardy is one of my favorite picks of the week. He was born in Illinois. He went to college at the University of Illinois. He received sponsor invites to this event while he was still trying to find his footing in the game of golf. This is going to be one of his favorite tournaments every year. Oh, and he just so happens to be playing fantastic golf right now, too. He has finished 35th or better in each of his last four starts, including a T-14 at the U.S. Open and a T-8 last week. Everything is lining up perfectly here, and Hardy has a legitimate chance to contend in this field.

Cameron Davis
DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $10,300
Yahoo: $38

We want aggressive players on this course, and Davis fits that bill. He ranks sixth in this field in birdie or better percentage this season, and he has always been a risk/reward play. When he makes cuts, he often outscores his finishing position in terms of DFS points. That translates well on an easy course like TPC Deere Run. He has also made the cut in his last two trips to this event, and his overall upside remains high. The form has been a bit shaky of late, but he’s one player that I am fine taking a risk on this week.

Kevin Streelman
DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,900
Yahoo: $34

I highlighted Streelman in this space last week despite his relative lack of recent form, and he made it count with a solid top 25 finish at the Travelers Championship. His long term data points still look strong, and this is another course where he can perhaps continue to build that momentum. Streelman missed the cut here last year but had finished 7th in his previous trip. Despite his relative dip in form this season, he still ranks 17th in this field in total strokes gained and 11th in tee to green play over the last 36 rounds. When you factor in the field strength, these DFS salaries actually feel like a little bit of a discount.

Adam Svensson
DraftKings: $7,700
FanDuel: $9,800
Yahoo: $28

I’ve been rostering Svensson in weaker field events all season, and I’m certainly not going to stop doing that now. I was impressed with his overall play at the Travelers last week, including a Saturday round where he was paired with Scottie Scheffler in a featured group and shot four under par. Had he made a few more putts, he would have been in the mix for a top ten. He ranks above field average in every strokes gained metric over the last 36 rounds. He also finished 18th in his only previous trip to TPC Deere Run. I’m on board with him as one of the best values of the week.

Zach Johnson
DraftKings: $7,200
FanDuel: $8,800
Yahoo: $26

Zach Johnson is obviously not having the best season, but his course history at the John Deere Classic is rivaled by only Steve Stricker. Johnson is an Iowa native who treats this event like another major, and he has made the cut all THIRTEEN times he has played at the JDC. That perfect mark includes six top three finishes. If we go back three years, he was priced at $9,600 on DK and $10,300 on FD. The dip in form is priced in.

Just look at his history at this event over the aforementioned 13 years – 34-37-16-5-34-3-2-2-1-3-21-2-69. How can we pass on that for this affordable DFS price tag, especially in such a weak field?

Image Credit: Imagn

Top-ranked grinder, STLCardinals84, will break down his top GPP golf targets for the coming week’s tournament, going over his favorite plays at various price ranges. Who better than PGA DFS master, STLCards, to help you on your way?

John Deere Classic

Hello, Grinders! Welcome back to the PGA GPP breakdown for the John Deere Classic! This is one of my favorite tournaments of the year, as it is contested a stone’s throw away from me, which makes this the most accessible PGA Tour event for me to attend on an annual basis. Unfortunately, I’ll be traveling this weekend and won’t be able to go this year, but I’m still looking forward to seeing how it plays out. We also have perhaps the weakest field in recent memory, as just nine of the top 100 golfers in the OWGR are in the field this week.

About the Author

  • Justin Van Zuiden (stlcardinals84)

  • Justin Van Zuiden, aka stlcardinals84, is a popular RotoGrinders contributor and GrindersLive host who routinely finishes in the top 10 of the TPOY race. He’s appeared in numerous live finals and has logged countless six-figure wins in a host of different sports, including five in PGA. Justin is also a main contributor of sports betting picks at ScoresAndOdds.

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