DraftKings PGA Lineup Advice: The John Deere Classic

Jul 11, 2017

Brian Harman is a past John Deere Classic winner

Fire up the tractor and get ready to ride, it’s the John Deere Classic. Most of the world’s best golfers will be in Europe during the contesting of this tournament—either preparing for The Open Championship or playing in the Scottish Open.

However, there is still a tournament to be played on this side of the pond and money to be won (for the golfers, and hopefully for you).

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Taking the tractor metaphor further, the pros will need to have their throttles set on hare this week as 20-plus birdies are necessary to hoist the trophy at TPC Deere Run. The 1999 D.A. Weibring design is a par 71 that comes in at just over 7,200 yards. The Silvis, Illinois, track is generally among the 10 easiest courses on Tour, so, again, muchos birdies needed.

Wide fairways and slow(ish) and receptive greens make TPC Deere Run a genuine flag hunt. Both bombers and the shorter set have done well here because, as mentioned, it all comes down to hitting it close and rolling it in.

Before your tired eyes glaze over from 1,000 Excel columns, be sure to focus on strokes: gained: putting, birdie or better percentage, and proximity to the hole in making your roster selections.

If you want to go chalk…

Gotta play Strick. Big-time chalk as a three-peat winner of this event in respectable form, Stricker is attractive for GPP because he’s only the fifth highest-priced golfer. Loading him up at the top end leaves you plenty of cash to play around with. While he’s anything but a birdie machine generally, something about TPC Deere Run’s bluegrass agrees with his Wisconsin constitution. Strick hasn’t teed it up since the U.S. Open, where he finished tied for 16th. Perhaps the lack of more recent form and potential rust drives his ownership down?

Top-of-the-Line Considerations…

Brian Harman: $10,900
Harman is a past John Deere Classic winner with two additional top-25 finishes at the event. He has a pair of top-10 finishes in two of his last four starts.

Kyle Stanley: $9,600
Kyle Stanley won the Quicken Loans National in his most recent start. He’s made his last four cuts, also doing good work at the Memorial where he tied for sixth. The overall strength of Stanley’s play is indicated by the fact that he’s inside the top 15 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee, approach, tee-to-green, and total. 25th. Only Daniel Berger has averaged more birdies this year among players in the field this week.

Birdie Brigade

Birdies are the name of the game in GPP. Here are the field leaders in birdie or better
percentage and their seasonal rank (BoB%)

14. Daniel Berger ($11,300)
23. Kyle Stanley ($9,600)
25. Charley Hoffman ($9,700)
35. Trey Mullinax ($7,000)
36. Danny Lee ($10,200)
38. Cody Gribble ($6,500)

Recommended Lineup

Brian Harman: $10,900
See above.

Kyle Stanley: $9,600
See above.

Matt Jones: $7,700
A maker of seven of his last eight cuts, Jones returns to a venue where he has three top-10 finishes. 74th in strokes gained: tee-to-green and 63rd in strokes gained: total, Jones is inside the top third of this weak field in those categories. He’s 76th in birdie average, so, same story.

Ollie Schniederjans: $7,400
Prior to his bizarre DQ at the Greenbrier, Ollie had made six of his last seven cuts. He has no tournament history, which should keep him pretty well off the radar. The main thing to like about the Hatless One: birdies. He’s been making tweeters in bunches in recent weeks. 54th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, 59th in strokes gained: total, Schniederjans is inside the top 10 in the field in birdie-or-better percentage.

Grayson Murray: $7,300
Look for Murray to bounce back after a withdrawal at the Greenbrier. He’s finished 35th or better in four of his last six starts. 63rd in birdie average, he should enjoy flag hunting at this venue that doesn’t force golfers to be patient, tactical masterminds.

Willy Wilcox: $7,000
Wilcox finished eighth at TPC Deere Run last year. Recent form hasn’t been brilliant, but he has made two of his last three cuts. Willy averages 3.59 birdies per round and is picking up strokes on the field average off the tee and around the green.

Ben Alberstadt is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Ben, check out his archive and follow him @BenAlberstadt.


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