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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Travelers Championship (2023)

PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Travelers Championship (2023)

The 2023 Travelers Championship is set to get underway this week as the final elevated event on the PGA Tour. Located at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, players who competed in the U.S. Open will fly across the country to start practicing for the opening round at Travelers, which should deliver significantly more birdies than we saw during the third major event of the year last weekend.

With a $20 million purse and 500 FedExCup points at stake for the outright winner, the 2023 Travelers Championship promises to deliver another action-packed weekend of golf in one of the best fan environments anywhere on the PGA Tour. From a DFS perspective, we’re going to have plenty of top-tier blue chip prospects to pay a premium on, but even better, there is massive talent that will be undervalued on the season’s final elevated event slate. Last year, we saw Sahith Theegala nearly pull off his first career win, but fell short down the stretch, allowing Xander Schauffele to claim a two-stroke victory at -19-under-par.

Amateur Michael Thorbjornsen recorded a fourth-place finish at -15-under-par, while Chesson Hadley rounded out the top-five on the 2022 Travelers Championship leaderboard. It’s important to reflect and look back at how previous leaderboards have shaken out at this event, although with its new status as a designated event, including 14 of the top 20 ranked golfers in the world, expect some more household names to wind up finishing atop the leaderboard this weekend.

Before we get into my reasoning for targeting players on DraftKings and FanDuel DFS slates, let’s first review the previous winners over the last five years at Travelers, a few relevant betting stats, and an in-depth course overview to set the stage for why you should be prioritizing these six recommended players ahead of Thursday’s opening round at the 2023 Travelers Championship. As always, good luck, and let’s cash these contests!

2023 Travelers Championship DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer

Previous Winners

  • 2022 – Xander Schauffele (-19)
  • 2021 – Harris English (-13)
  • 2020 – Dustin Johnson (-19)
  • 2019 – Chez Reavie (-17)
  • 2018 – Bubba Watson (-17)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
  • Strokes Gained Approaching the Green
  • Scrambling
  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Sand Save percentage
  • Strokes Gained Putting

Course Overview

TPC River Highlands is a par 70 that runs under 7,000 yards, making it a precision course. That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges to overcome and bogeys on scorecards. At 6,852 yards, there are only two par 5s, with four par 3s evenly distributed across the front and back nine. Unlike last week, with the absurd extremes of short and long par 3s, the four par 3s at TPC River Highlands range from 158 yards to 223 yards, while neither of the par 5 holes goes further than 574 yards.

Water hazards will abound, especially on the back-nine, where the final stretch of holes mostly includes a lake, including the treacherous par 3 16th hole, with a small green that is located across the body of water, flanked by two bunkers and a shallow roll out cove behind it. Sand bunkers will be strategically placed but won’t have the same thick fescue that we saw at LACC during the U.S. Open, creating a slightly less challenging recovery.

Poa Annua and Bentgrass greens measure up to 12 feet via the Stimpmeter, creating a new surface that will be a bit slower than the pure bentgrass we’ve seen used at recent events. A lot of the fairways are doglegged, with thick tree lining obscuring the hole location at times. Plus, it’s a return to narrower fairways, with four inch Bluegrass rough to punish errant tee shots and approach shots alike. Scrambling is made more difficult at this course, so players who don’t rank highly finding greens or scrambling offer less value than they would at other venues.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Scottie Scheffler: $11,300
No need to get cute and fade the World No. 1 ranked golfer in DraftKings lineups this week. Scottie Scheffler remains first in tee-to-green, off-the-tee, and approaching the green in strokes gained categories. Plus, he’s logged five consecutive T5 finishes, making him the player with the highest floor week in and week out. Scheffler has recorded previous finishes of T13, T47, and MC at TPC River Highlands, so he’s improved each year since 2020. Obviously, the putter hasn’t cooperated on the greens consistently, but we don’t need an outright win to return value on Scheffler’s premium salary. Another T5 finish will get us started nicely at a course that rewards accurate ball-striking, which Scheffler possesses in spades.

Tommy Fleetwood: $9,300
I cannot recommend Tommy Fleetwood enough this week. The 32-year-old Englishman has four T20 finishes in his last five events, including three T5s. Fleetwood has an incredible putting game, ranked 24th in strokes gained putting, plus he’s also ranked sixth tee-to-green, 23rd approaching the green, and 10th around the green. There are so many juicy stats that scream Fleetwood is one of the priority additions to DraftKings lineups this week, including ranking fifth in one-putt percentage, 13th in birdie or better conversion percentage. He’s produced 15 and 24 birdies in each of his last two outings, including the third major of the season at the U.S. Open last week, and fell victim to Nick Taylor’s legendary 72-foot birdie putt for a runner-up at the RBC Canadian Open. Fleetwood is only $9,300 on DraftKings, so no need to analyze any further. Plug Fleetwood into lineups with extreme confidence.

Harris English: $7,700
2021 Travelers Championship winner, Harris English, returns to a course where he should feel comfortable and transfer his recent hot streak into his fourth T12 finish in six events. English is another prospect with an incredibly accurate putter, ranking 14th in strokes gained putting, while also ranking 30th in scrambling. Sure, other areas of his game need some work, but his current form and history at this course play a massive role in why I’m recommending English as an elite salary-saving prospect to insert into DraftKings lineups at a meager $7,700 salary. Take advantage of the value and enjoy the production, as English has finished with 76.5 or more FPPG in two of his three previous events played.

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Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Xander Schauffele: $11,600
There’s not much to dislike about Xander Schauffele’s golf game. The defending champion at Travelers returns after logging T10, fourth, second, T18, T24, and T10 finishes, which includes all three major events. Schauffele may be the only player capable of delivering a similar floor consistently like Scheffler, using his ridiculously sharp irons to ball strike his way up any course. The California native is ranked eighth in strokes gained tee-to-green, sixth in approaching the green, and 12th in strokes gained putting. He finds greens in regulation 68.8 percent of attempts, and also ranks 29th scrambling, showcasing how complete his game is when it comes to his golf bag. Fire up Schauffele as a blue chip asset in your FanDuel lineups.

Wyndham Clark: $10,100
Wyndham Clark will definitely have higher ownership in FanDuel DFS contests this week compared to last week’s slate prior to his outright win at the U.S. Open. The 29-year-old Colorado native will still be riding high off of his first major win, which came only a month after his first PGA Tour win at the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship. Clark’s game is the real deal. He ranks 14th in total strokes gained, 19th tee-to-green, 25th approaching the green, and 35th strokes gained putting. In addition, he finds greens in regulation at a high clip, 68 percent of attempts, and converts 33.6 percent of birdie attempts, ranking inside the top 25. Clark logged a T35 finish at Travelers in 2022, improving from a missed cut at TPC River Highlands in 2021. We’re eating the salary based on Clark’s major win last weekend, but he’s a priority target to add into FanDuel lineups this week.

Eric Cole: $8,800
I’m back recommending Eric Cole despite a tough final round at the U.S. Open. The 35-year-old American has been playing great golf lately, logging four T25 finishes in his last six events played. Cole is ranked 32nd in strokes gained around the green, 16th strokes gained putting, and 21st in scrambling. Cole converts over 34.3 percent of his birdie attempts, ranking 15th on the PGA Tour, and averages just 27.4 putts per round, which is the second lowest number of attempts this season. Any player averaging over four birdies is worth serious consideration, so at under $9,000 on FanDuel, likely due to his poor finish down the stretch at LACC, Cole is an attractive prospect to insert into lineups this week at TPC River Highlands.

Try Daily Fantasy Golf at FanDuel now

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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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