PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: John Deere Classic (2022)
Last weekend, Xander Schauffele played flawless golf to ascend the leaderboard and win the 2022 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. It was Schauffele’s first outright win in a solo event on the PGA Tour since 2018 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The top five finishers at the Travelers Championship were mainly young or unknown players, including rookie Sahith Theegala and amateur Michael Thorbjornsen. Theegala had an opportunity to join Schauffele in a playoff, but a whiffed bunker shot on the 18th hole prevented the rookie from earning his first PGA Tour win.
The competition at the John Deere Classic (JDC) in Silva, Illinois, this weekend will be notably lighter in terms of star players. However, this is when low-salary prospects return massive value on DFS slates. TPC Deere Run is one of the more accessible courses on the PGA circuit, so birdies should be flooding scorecards. New bunker locations and long primary rough will be the most significant obstacles, which will be explored more in-depth during the course overview.
I’ve used specific metrics and other criteria throughout my research to locate the six most valuable players to target and insert into DFS lineups. So let’s learn why each prospect is worth adding ahead of crowning the 50th JDC champion on Sunday afternoon.
- 2021 – Lucas Glover (-19)
- 2020 – N/A
- 2019 – Dylan Frittelli (-21)
- 2018 – Michael Kim (-27)
- 2017 – Bryson DeChambeau (-18)
Relevant Betting Stats
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Greens in Regulation
- Fairways in Regulation
TPC Deere Run is a par 71 that runs 7,289 yards with new bunker locations and four-inch primary rough that stands out as its biggest challenges. Greens in regulation do not have to be a player’s strength at this course, but errant drives and tee shots could create some adversity. Bentgrass greens are the most common putting surface, meaning there should be some long birdie and eagle putts across all four days. The Stimpmeter, a tool that the PGA uses to measure putting velocity on greens, runs at 12 feet.
Four par 3s and three par 5s create enough opportunity for players to climb up the leaderboard at TPC Deere Run. Narrow, straight fairways abound, but there are enough dogleg fairways to create various swings and angles for players to utilize. The 16th hole is the most iconic due to the green being guarded by a shale rock outcropping alongside the Rock River. It’s a par 3 that tips at just 158 yards but the elevated green, surrounded by these hazards, forces accuracy. Ultimately, this is a course that can be conquered using a variety of methods.
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Adam Hadwin ($10,400)
Adding betting favorite (+1000) Adam Hadwin into DraftKings lineups is a safe decision. The 34-year-old Canadian has not competed at the JDC since 2016, but his previous results yielded T8 and T18 finishes. However, Hadwin has five top-ten finishes this season and is ranked inside the top 40 in strokes gained tee-to-green and around the green. He also converts over 68 percent of his greens in regulation, making Hadwin the top blue-chip prospect to target at TPC Deere Run.
Scott Stallings ($8,900)
Scott Stallings has bounced around with volatile finishes on the PGA Tour this season, but he is fresh off of a T8 finish (-11) at the Travelers Championship, so his momentum should transfer well at a course where he’s comfortable. Stallings went T55 at TPC Deere Run last year, but he managed a T18 finish in 2019 while earning T5 and T16 finishes in 2017 and 2016. Stallings doesn’t have impressive metrics, but he does rank 21st in total birdies (279) on the PGA Tour this season. Nevertheless, he’s a solid salary-saving prospect due to his success at the JDC and recent momentum.
Lucas Glover ($8,300)
The reigning JDC champion, Lucas Glover, can be added to DraftKings lineups at just $8,300.Glover is strong with his tee shots, ranking 58th in both strokes gained off-the-tee and tee-to-green, while he struggles immensely with his putter. An accurate driver and 22nd-ranked greens in regulation conversion rate add more appeal to rostering Glover. The 42-year-old American has not been very good on the PGA Tour this season, with only one top-ten finish, but he has managed to make the cut in four consecutive events. Glover is cheap due to the recent finishes of T60 and T70, so take advantage and plug him in as a robust salary-saving option.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000
Sahith Theegala ($11,500)
Rookie Sahith Theegala has made his presence felt on the PGA Tour this season, especially last weekend at TPC River Highlands. While Theegala fell just short of forcing a playoff round against Xander Schauffele, the 25-year-old American has two top-five finishes in his past three events. He’s on fire and will make his TPC Deere Run debut on Thursday, where he could deliver a flurry of birdies and points in FanDuel lineups. Theegala has the fifth-highest odds to win outright at +2500 alongside Maverick McNealy, so capture his momentum and plug Theegala into FanDuel lineups despite the expensive salary.
Dylan Frittelli ($9,600)
I like investing in former champions at a particular course, so Dylan Frittelli becomes a player to target at a substantial discount. The 32-year-old South African doesn’t have impressive statistics or multiple top ten finishes, so I’m relying on his comfort and familiarity at TPC Deere Run. Frittelli missed the cut last year, but he won during his only other appearance in 2019. He may add his sixth top 25 finish of the season, which hasn’t happened since Valero three months ago. It’s a risk, but the payoff could be huge.
Ryan Armour ($8,800)
Ryan Armour is a 46-year-old veteran of the PGA Tour, but he made some noise during the Travelers Championship last weekend, finishing -8-under-par to secure his fourth top 25 finish of the season. Armour has missed the cut six times in 15 events, but when he makes the cut, he has roughly a 50 percent chance of finishing inside the top 25. He’s still seeking his first top ten finish of the season, but Armour is ranked 60th in total strokes gained and also the top-ranked player in driving accuracy. Armour has missed the cut in his last three appearances at the JDC, but he’s cheap and has finishes of T25, MC, T35, and T25 in his previous four events. The momentum could outweigh his past failures at TPC Deere Run.
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.