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Golf DFS: John Deere Classic

Skeeter Robinson

TPC Deere Run: Silvis, IL Par 71, 7,268 yards

Defending Champion: Ryan Moore (-22) by two strokes over Ben Martin


Roster Lock Time: 7:10am CST (8:10 EST, 6:10 MST, 5:10 PST)


After a little bit of a dry spell here in Illinois, we've had quite a bit of rain so far this week. It looks like the Quad Cities might get one more batch of rain Wednesday night, and possibly lingering into Thursday morning. I don't see any delays coming from this, but the greens should be receptive on Thursday, especially in the morning. The highest winds the whole week are 10mph on Thursday afternoon, but 5-10 mph winds throughout the whole week are likely. There may be an ever so slight advantage to the Thursday AM golfers but this is nothing to stack a tee time wave because of it. I am not making any lineup adjustments due to weather, and neither should you.


In no particular order, here are the golfers that are projected to have the higest ownership: Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, Kelly Kraft, Kyle Stanley, Kevin Na, Wesley Bryan, Danny Lee.

There is some disagreement among the two sources I look at for this about who will dominate ownership. I think every name mentioned above will be close to 20% or higher owned. I don't really get the love for Kelly Kraft, though he's coming off a 5th last week and a 5th last year at the John Deere. Approach is good, but for a price in the high 7ks and high ownership, I have no problem fading him this week.

Additional Players

Bud Cauley is fighting an illness and have heard that he withdrew from Wednesday's Pro-Am. It's always concerning when a golfer is not 100% going into an event. However, we saw this with Charley Hoffman a few weeks back and he ended up 3rd. I tend to be more conservative and removed him from the one lineup I had him in. I would assume Cauley plays, but if you don't want to chance it, pivot to someone else in the 8k range.

It's my "Home Tournament." I'm playing 14 lineups across the three sites (and some others on DRAFT). I'm not going to write-up every player I'm using, but will list all of them here and write about teh two that I'm playing in multiple lineups:

Bubba Watson, William McGirt, J.J. Spaun, Luke List, Michael Kim, Chris Stroud

For William McGirt, I don't like his current form but he has made his past two cuts at the John Deere and is just too cheap for the price. Michael Kim will get some ownership as the "safest play under 7k." Top 60 on the season in Par 4 and Par 5 Birdie or Better and has done well at other high scoring events this season. J.J. Spaun is a potentially low-owned play, that ranks 53rd in Accuracy, 62nd in Birdie or Better, and 64th in GIR this season.

British Open

I will have something up on Friday for the British Open. I should have at least two tiers done, and maybe the whole article. If not done on Friday, it will be completed on Monday. Regardless, I'll include a Monday update with any addtional golfers added to the field. My early thoughts about the British Open: It will be the opposite of the John Deere; Even par will be a great finishing score considering the past 2 Opens held at Royal Birkdale had winning scores of E and +3.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned on Monday's article, I'll be going on Sunday to the tournament. If you are planning on going, let me know. Be ready for a birdie fest and lots of birdies. The Cut should fall somewhere around -3, so Even par will not cut it this week. Good luck with your games this week and if in contention for something big on Sunday, let me know.


For a lot of people, this is not a big tournament. For someone like me that lives 90 minutes away from the event, it's my favorite event of the year. I will be going for the final round on Sunday. I know there are a few readers in the midwest: if you are planning on going Sunday, let me know. The field isn't strong since it is the week before the British Open. Those who are playing this week and playing next week, there is a free charter to take them from the Quad Cities to England. A nice deal. Before we break down this week's tournament, let's review the Greenbrier Classic.

Greenbrier Recap

I had good and bad last week. My good was having a combination of Danny Lee, Nick Taylor, Tony Finau, and eventual champion Xander Schauffele on my FanDuel team. I easily cashed in cash games and late birdies got me to cash tournaments with a 7 of 8. Bad news. That team, along with two others, had Kevin Kisner, who never got into the flow at The Greenbrier and missed the cut. I also had a lot of David Lingmerth who had a great Thursday, but struggled the remaining three days. Bubba Watson played well to make the weekend, but had his issues on Sunday. Phil Mickelson made up a lot of ground on Sunday with a 64.

John Deere Classic

If you like seeing players make birdies and eagles, this is the tournament for you. -16 is the lowest winning score since this event went to TPC Deere Run, with winning scores usually showing up around -20. With three Par 5s and eleven Par 4s, I will look at Par 4 and Par 5 Scoring, along with Birdies Gained over the past 24 rounds. The course isn't real long but accuracy is required, with there being trees along quite a few holes. But approach continues to be a dominant stat, so SG: Approach and Greens in Regulation will be looked at. I will also look at recent form and stats over the past 24 rounds in the strokes gained categories.

Having been to the course the past two years to watch, I've seen about half of the holes. The property is along the Rock River and has a lot of hills. The par 5 10th is probably a three shot hole, as there is a big pond protecting it on the front right. 17 is a reachable Par 5 and 18 has the big pond protecting the green on the front left. Bailing out right could result in a bunker shot, with the green sloping towards the water. However, I think the toughest hole is 9. There are plenty of trees along the right side of the fairway, which will almost guarantee a bogey, at minimum, if a player goes in there. If you have a golfer finishing on 9 on Friday, needing to make par to make the cut, you have a real reason to sweat. I've seen golfers 3-putt from 10 feet and make quite a few bogeys on that hole.

DraftKings has gone back to the pricing where 6500 is the lowest price on a golfer. I'm not seeing many golfers I like in that range, and don't see anyone 10k+ that is a must play (I like a few players but none are ones you have to play). This leads me to think the balanced lineup approach is the best route this week, and may be popular. FanDuel's pricing towards the top is better, forcing you to make some decisions about who to choose as your best golfers. Still, you can fit a couple of 9k+ golfers without having to go into the low 5k range or 4k range, though I will mention a couple of picks in this range if you are playing tournaments. Onto the picks.

NOTE: When it comes to stats, if I'm referring to seasonal stats, those are the ranks against all PGA Tour Golfers on the season. If I'm referring to stats over the past 6 weeks or 24 rounds, those are ranks against only golfers in this field.

9,500+ Tier

Daniel Berger (11,300)

I have not been the biggest supporter of Daniel Berger in recent weeks, fading him because of ownership concerns and liking others priced around him. All he did was win in Memphis, and lose a playoff to Jordan Spieth at The Travelers. So, if you have been playing him and want to this week: I apologize in advance: I'm on Berger. He is making his debut at TPC Deere Run, and while I think course history is important to look at, I'm not worried about newcomers. On the season, Berger is 14th in Total Birdie or Better %, ranking 23rd on Par 4s and 38th on Par 5s. In the past 24 Rounds, Berger is 6th in Birdies Gained (1st in Bogeys Avoided), 2nd in DraftKings Points, Total Strokes Gained, Approach, and Tee-to-Green. Finally, he ranks 9th in Total Strokes Gained over the past 6 weeks. The price is high; however, he fits well, is in good form, and could go overlooked with some of the course horses sitting below him in salary. (GPP, Cash if you can fit him in).

Steve Stricker (9,800)

At first glance, you are thinking one of two things with Stricker at this price: Either DraftKings screwed up (They didn't) or his history at the John Deere must be really good. It's the latter. Stricker has made 11 straight cuts here, which includes 3 straight wins from 2009-2011, and four other Top 11 finishes. This is his home event on the PGA Tour when the a major isn't in Wisconsin (He played golf at the University of Illinois). He only plays a limited number of events now on the PGA Tour and plays some on the Champions Tour. Yet, he is #1 in Driving Accuracy on the season, and is positive in all the strokes gained categories. In addition, he ranks 12th in Total Strokes Gained over the past 24 rounds on Tour, and has gained 32 strokes over the past 24 rounds at Deere Run: 5th in this field. All this being said, I think the price is a little too high but I will still play him. I may limit my exposure though if ownership is getting to 30% or more. (Cash, GPP Playable)

Other Thoughts:

  • Brian Harman (10,900) was the winner in between Spieth's wins in 2014. He followed up a 2nd place at the U.S. Open with a 26th at the Travelers. Been a little boom/bust at this event. In past 24 rounds, is 5th in Birdies Gained (3rd in Bogeys Avoided), 4th in DK Points, and 8th in Total Strokes Gained. 8,700 on FanDuel is a good price.
  • Kevin Kisner (10,400) burned a lot of people (including me) with a missed cut last week. It was only his 2nd in 15 starts, and we get a 300 discount. In last 24 rounds, he ranks 11th in Birdies Gained, 1st in Total Strokes Gained, 2nd in Putting, and 8th Tee-to-Green. A great price at 16,600 on FantasyDraft.
  • Danny Lee (10,300) finished 3rd here in 2015, a week after winning the Greenbrier. He has a 3rd and 9th in two of his last 3 Tour starts. As a result, his 24 round ranks are outstanding: 3rd in Strokes Gained, DK Points, SG: Approach, Birdies Gained, and 4th in Putting.
  • Kyle Stanley (9,500) won the Quicken Loans in his last start. He's only missed one cut here in 7 starts with a 2nd in 2011. In the past 24 rounds, Stanley is 1st in Birdies Gained, DK Points, SG: Tee-to-Green, Approach, and is 4th in Total Strokes Gained. Like him at 8,400 as well on FanDuel.

Cash: Harman, Kisner, Lee (Wouldn't argue Stanley)
GPP: Harman, Kisner, Lee, Stanley

8,000-9,400 Tier

Ryan Moore (9,200)

It's a little bit of risk/reward for my main picks in this section. I think Moore is underprice on DraftKings and should be popular. This is his first start off a shoulder injury that he got about a month ago. However, after seeing Charles Howell III nearly win with his first start off of an injury, I'm not concerned with Moore. He is the defending champion, but has always played well at Deere Run, never missing a cut in 8 starts with three Top 10s. On the season, Moore is 20th in Driving Accuracy, 28th in Par 5 Birdie or Better, 36th in SG: Approach, and 67th in Par 4 Birdie or Better. In his last 24 rounds, Moore is 21st in SG: Approach. Over the past 24 rounds at Deere Run, he has gained 46 strokes, only trailing Zach Johnson (more on him shortly). I have retweeted an interview with Ryan Moore from the Quad Cities ABC station and he makes no mention of the injury. I have no problem starting lineups with him and I am hoping he goes low owned because of the injury. Is a really nice bargain at 15,800 on FantasyDraft. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)

Zach Johnson (9,100)

DraftKings usually gives us a player each week that is very mispriced; usually in the 6800-6900 range. However, they bumped it up this week for Zach Johnson, who is extremely mispriced at 9,100. He is my early prediction for highest owned player. It's not due to his form: only one top 10 in 2017 and four missed cuts in 15 starts. However, as I mentioned in the write-up for Ryan Moore, no one has gained more strokes at Deere Run over the past 24 rounds than Johnson, who has gained 58 strokes. Johnson has made 9 straight cuts here with a win and 5 2nd or 3rd place finishes. On the season, he ranks 13th in Driving Accuracy and is 70th in Par 4 Birdie or Better. The risk is recent stats are average at best. Growing up in Iowa, this is his favorite tournament and he's a board member for the John Deere Classic. I'm letting course history override form here, and will play Johnson in my lineups this week. However, I will have some tournament lineups without him in them, in case his form carries over to Silvis. (Cash, GPP Playable).

Other Thoughts:

  • Charles Howell III (9,000) is a nice pivot off of Moore and Johnson. Has 3 Top 10s and 0 missed cuts in 11 starts in 2017. Has only missed the cut here once in 10 starts with two Top 10s. Ranks 12th in GIR and 15th in Par 5 Birdie or Better.
  • Daniel Summerhays (8,600) has played here six times: 3 missed cuts, an 8th, 9th, and 14th. Did have two Top 20s in June, so in decent form. Over past 24 rounds, he is 16th in Total Strokes Gained and 18th Tee-to-Green. Is 8th in Strokes Gained in past 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run. I prefer him on FanDuel at 6,800.
  • Ben Martin (8,300) has made seven straight cuts, including a 5th at the Quicken Loans two weeks ago. Was runner-up to Ryan Moore last year at the John Deere Classic. In past 24 rounds, is 7th in both SG: Approach and DK Points, while ranking 2nd in Birdies Gained. Another FanDuel play, where Martin is only 6,700.
  • Kevin Na (8,000) has an 8th and 13th the past two years at Deere Run. Has made three cuts in a row and in past 12 rounds, ranks 6th in SG: Approach, 19th Tee-to-Green, and 22nd in Total Strokes Gained. Is 10th in Total Strokes Gained in past 24 rounds at Deere Run.

Cash: Howell III
GPP: Howell III, Summerhays, Martin, Na

7,000-7,900 Tier

Chad Campbell (7,600)

One of the things I think we sometimes fall into in fantasy sports in trying to find the exciting, high upside player. But sometimes, taking a more consistent, low floor player is the right move. Chad Campbell fits the more consistent type of player. I look at his scoring stats (Birdie or Better, Birdies Gained) and he doesn't rank high. In a tournament like this, that may cause concern. When I look at his course history though, it tells a different story: 9 of 9 in making cuts, one Top 10, three other Top 25s, and only two finishes worse than 50th. On the season, Campbell is 26th in Accuracy, 28th in GIR, 33rd in SG: Approach, and 40th in SG: Tee-to-Green. In the past 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run, he's 6th in Total Strokes Gained. In his most recent 24 rounds, Campbell is 10th in Total Strokes Gained, and 11th in Approach. Do I think he wins this week? No. Is he capable of a Top 10, yes. I think his realistic chances are Top 25, which pays off this salary. (Cash, GPP Playable)

Morgan Hoffman (7,000)

Whereas Campbell is a better cash play, Morgan Hoffman is a guy you only want to play in tournaments. He is 9 for 18 in making cuts this year. In his past 8 events: 3 missed cuts, two Top 20s, and three Top 30s. His history here is similar: Two made cuts in four starts with a 3rd and 15th. Nothing jumps out at you with his season stats except being 45th in Par 5 Birdie or Better. In the last 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run, he ranks 13th in Total Strokes Gained. In the last 24 rounds on Tour, Hoffman is 1st in SG: Around-the-Green, 16th in Birdies Gained, 27th in Total Strokes Gained, and 29th Tee-to-Green. The concern is he is really bad at the approach, which probably explains his boom/bust nature. In a weaker field like this one, we aren't going to find too many players with legit Top 15 potential. Hoffman is one of those cases, but he does come with risk. (GPP)

Other Thoughts

  • Bryson DeChambeau (7,800) was one I didn't fully buy last week, but can this week. He's gained 15 strokes the past 6 weeks and in past 24 rounds, ranks 4th Off-the-Tee and 13th Tee-to-Green. I'll be watching ownership on him.
  • Johnson Wagner (7,500) is not in the best of forms: 5 of 17 cuts made this year. But, he did have a 5th at the Quicken Loans and has really enjoyed this tournament the past three years: 5th, 5th, and 7th. 4th in this field in Total Strokes Gained in past 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run. 5,600 on FanDuel is place to play him at.
  • Wesley Bryan (7,300) was 8th in this event last year and has won on Tour this year. His recent stats are not great and has only made three of six cuts since his win. I think he will turn it around at some point but if ownership is getting high, I will be off of him.
  • Scott Brown (7,000) is 3rd in Strokes gained over past 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run. Only one missed cut in 5 appearances with 2 Top 10s and 2 other Top 25s.

Cash: DeChambeau
GPP: DeChambeau, Wagner, Bryan, Brown

Two specific FanDuel plays would be Chesson Hadley (5,200) and Steve Wheatcroft (4,700). Hadley is a former winner on tour that won the web.com event last week, basically securing his tour card for next season. Wheatcroft (4,700) was 8th and 27th the past two years at the John Deere Classic. Over the last 24 rounds at Deere Run, he ranks 11th in Total Strokes Gained. Is 15th this season in Putting, but approach is a concern. One specific FantasyDraft play is Bryce Molder (12,200). He has three Top 30s in his last three trips to Silvis, ranking 9th in Total Strokes Gained in the past 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run.

Other players I am looking at: Nick Taylor, Kevin Tway, Ollie Schneiderjans, Curtis Luck

6,000-6,900 Tier

Robert Garrigus (6,600)

This tier is thin this week. Yet, I think there are a couple of plays you could use. One is Robert Garrigus, who is showing some form with two straight cuts made. At the John Deere Classic, he has made five of eight cuts with 4 Top 25s. He ranks 15th in the past 24 rounds at TPC Deere Run in Total Strokes Gained. In his past 24 rounds on tour, he is 22nd in SG: Tee-to-Green, 23rd in Birdies Gained, 26th Off-the-Tee, and 36th in Approach. On the season, Garrigus is 18th in Par 4 Birdie or Better and 30th in GIR. For 100 above minimum, Garrigus has decent enough history and form that he can be used. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)

Seamus Power (6,600)

Power keeps making cuts: 6 of his past 7. While 21st is his best finish on the year, I feel like he's trending towards matching or surpassing that. On the season, Power is 17th in Par 5 Birdie or Better and is positive in all of the strokes gained categories except Off-the-Tee (not accurate). In the past 24 rounds, Power ranks 16th in SG: Approach, 21st Tee-to-Green, 31st in Total Strokes Gained, and 35th in DK Points. There aren't many I like in this range, so getting a consistent cut maker with some upside at this price is a viable play. (Cash, GPP Playable)

Other Thoughts

Maybe I'll come up with some others in this range, but there isn't much. Ricky Barnes (6,800) has three Top 25s and two missed cuts in his last six starts. He was 5th here last year. Billy Hurley III (6,600) is 3 for 5 here with a Top 10. Not in the best form right now. Ryan Brehm (6,500) has made five of his past six cuts, so a cut maker at minimum salary isn't the worst play.

Cash: none
GPP: Barnes, Hurley, Brehm

Final Thoughts

I wrote up a lot of players, as I think there are a lot of ways to go, especially in tournaments. In cash games on DraftKings, I would avoid the 6k range in cash games if possible.As always, I will update things on Wednesday to look at weather, ownership, and any additional players I've gotten on. I am working on an article for the British Open as well, analyzing how players do when playing the John Deere the week before. I hope to have that up by Friday and maybe the initial British Open picks article. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to chat with me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions.

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