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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Travelers Championship (2022)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Jun 22, 2022
Sam Burns

Matt Fitzpatrick finally conquered an event at the PGA Tour in epic fashion last weekend, winning his first PGA event at the 122nd US Open. Fitzpatrick won the third major of the season at a course that he was very familiar with, winning the 2013 U.S. Amateur title at The Country Club back in 2013. His ball-striking was elite, converting 17 of 18 greens in regulation, while a few clutch putts gave Fitzpatrick a one-stroke win over Will Zalatoris. The Country Club course chewed up and spat out many talented players in the field of 156, including Tony Finau, Shane Lowry, and Billy Horschel.

This week, the PGA Tour will stay in New England and compete at the Travelers Championship held at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. It’s a par-70 like last week. However, the ball-striking is not as critical to stay below par. Long par 4s will demand a powerful driver or irons off the tee while maintaining accuracy to avoid the deep sand bunkers, bodies of water, and tall primary bluegrass rough.

A few notable names like Jon Rahm will not be featured on the slate at the Travelers Championship. Still, most of the PGA’s high-caliber talent remains available to insert into DFS lineups. After extensive review, I’ve narrowed the field to six high-value prospects based on their salary, skill, or history at TPC River Highlands. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

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Previous Winners

  • 2021 – Harris English (-13)
  • 2020 – Dustin Johnson (-19)
  • 2019 – Chez Reavie (-17)
  • 2018 – Bubba Watson (-17)
  • 2017 – Jordan Spieth (-12)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Scrambling
  • Fairways in Regulation percentage

Course Overview

TPC River Highlands is a scenic course tucked into the soft rolling hills of the Connecticut countryside. It’s a par-70 that offers just two par 5s and four par-3s while challenging with numerous sharp, doglegged fairways with undulations and other minor curves and dips. Thick blankets of oak trees flank the fairways and Poa Annua greens, measuring over 5,000 square feet on average. As a result, it’s a much bigger area for players to target with their approach shots than at Brookline last weekend, while the sloping greens measure roughly 12 feet via the Stimpmeter. Rain on Wednesday will soften the Poa Annua greens and make them run a bit shorter for the opening round on Thursday, but it will subside until a potential recurrence on Sunday.

The rough is long, four-inch primary Bluegrass that will obscure errant shots and create difficulty for players attempting to hit the green in regulation. Scrambling and sand bunker saves will be critical for anyone unable to maintain elite ball-striking for all four rounds. The course is not long, measuring 6,852 yards in total. However, there are several par-4s that stretch just south of 500 yards. Power and accuracy will be necessary for players to position themselves for birdie opportunities.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Sam Burns ($10,400)
Sam Burns is one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour right now. The 25-year-old native of Louisiana has won three events and collected five more top ten finishes across 18 events this season. Burns finished T13 at TPC River Highlands in 2021 and T24 back in 2020, so he’s comfortable at the par-70 track in Cromwell, Connecticut. Burns is ranked fifth in greens in regulation at over 70 percent and a strong 4.43 birdie average. He’s got all of the attributes necessary to succeed at the Travelers Championship, so plug Burns into lineups with confidence.

Aaron Wise ($8,800)
Adding premiere ball-strikers into DFS lineups is never a wrong decision. Aaron Wise has burst onto the scene in 2022 with his irons, ranking inside the top 40 in strokes gained off-the-tee, strokes gained approaching the green, strokes gained tee-to-green, and total strokes gained. Wise converts nearly 69 percent of his greens in regulation, ranking 17th on the PGA Tour while averaging 306.3 yards with a powerful driver. T66 and T46 finishes could be a big reason why Wise is valued at just an $8,800 salary on DraftKings. Take advantage of this value and insert Wise into DraftKings lineups.

Brian Harman ($8,600)
Brian Harman is a veteran on the PGA Tour and has enjoyed quite a bit of success at TPC River Highland in past years. The 35-year-old Georgia native has had an up and down season in 2022, but he has improved in the last two months, drawing finishes of T9, T34, MC, T18, and T43 after imploding in the final two rounds at the US Open. Harman went -10 at the Travelers Championship in 2021 to yield a T5 finish, finished T8 (-10) back in 2019, and T6 (-13) in 2018. A missed cut in 2020 was the only blip on Harman’s radar at TPC River Highlands. He’s cheap and has immense success historically, so get Harman into lineups.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Rory McIlroy ($11,900)
Not much of a surprise here. Rory McIlroy has been dominant on the 2022 PGA Tour circuit, earning seven top ten finishes and two solo wins, including recently at the RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy has posted finishes of second, fifth, eighth, T18, first, and T5 in his last six events. This is important because McIlroy has never cracked the top ten at TPC River Highlands. He did not compete at the Travelers Championship in 2021, but McIlroy’s last appearance in 2020 saw the Irishman draw a T11 finish at -13-under-par. Another T12 finish at -11-under-par in 2018 solidifies confidence in McIlroy. He’s playing his best brand of golf and is the top-ranked player in strokes gained tee-to-green and total strokes gained.

Davis Riley ($10,600)
This has been the first year 25-year-old Davis Riley has competed in 20-plus PGA events. He has six top ten finishes and one second-place finish, relying on a 4.27 birdie average and good irons. In addition, Riley is ranked 41st in strokes gained putting, which is very good considering the volatility some players experience with their flat stick throughout a season. Riley will be making his debut at TPC River Highlands, but he’s rattled off finishes of fifth, T9, T13, T4, T13, and T31 in his last six events. There are at least a dozen players priced higher on FanDuel than Riley, but his momentum and consistency across all metrics make him a solid value prospect to target in lineups this weekend.

Marc Leishman ($10,300)
His name has been flying under the radar all season but 35-year-old Aussie, Marc Leishman, has some enticing skills to pair with the TPC River Highlands course this weekend. Leishman won a decade ago at the Traveler’s Championship and boasted a third-place finish in 2021. He’s ranked 12th in strokes gained putting and converts 67.2 percent of his greens in regulation, ranking 42nd on the PGA Tour. Most importantly, Leishman is 17th in scrambling at 25.36 percent, meaning he can recover well from an errant tee shot or bogey on the previous hole. His comfort at TPC River Highlands can be seen in his resumè at the course, where he’s managed finishes of T9, T17, MC, T21, T58, and 3rd since 2016. Invest in Leishman at a discounted rate of $10,300 on FanDuel and watch the birdies pile up.

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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.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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