TPC Deere Run: Silvis, IL Par 71, 7,268 yards
Defending Champion: Bryson DeChambeau (-18) by one over Patrick Rodgers
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, Birdies or Better, DK Points
Secondary Stats- SG: Putting, GIR, Good Drives
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified. Will look at last 12 and 100 rounds as well
I love the John Deere Classic: Probably because it's the closest annual PGA Tour stop for me, as I am only about 90 minutes away. I'll be going for the 4th straight year, and even convinced Michael Waldo to join this year. It is the last event before the British Open, so the field isn't real strong. But, with the Playoffs only a month away and the winner here getting one of the last spots in the Open, there's a lot of motivated golfers playing this week.
If you are a fantasy football player, the Draft Software comes out this week. Just go to insiderfootball.com to purchase. Save $15 when you get the Touchdown Package: Draft Software and Daily Written Analysis (I write for that as well) combined at a preseason special price of $59.95.
You may notice two similar stats in my primary stats to focus on this week: Birdies or Better and DK Points. This is going to be a birdie-fest. The cut usually comes in under par, and winning scores are somewhere around -20, with potential for -25. Fairways are pretty easy to hit, but the rough can play long. That is why I included Good Drives. With scoring expected to be low, I also included the usuals: SG Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, and GIR. Last year, almost all of the Top 30-40 were positive in Strokes Gained Putting. It was a little odd in that prior years at least had some negative putters in the Top 30. So, I'm including it this year, in case Putting repeats last year.
It's not a deep field, but if you like scoring, you should be entertained. We have some guys coming in with great form, and we have some definite course horses. I can probably already tell you that Zach Johnson will probably be the most popular player, as he has five Top 5s the past six years. He's like Matsuyama at Phoenix, DJ at Riviera, and Donald at Heritage, when it comes to elite history. So, let's see what else is in store for him and the field.
Zach Johnson (11,200)
So a win and four other Top 5 finishes the past six years, there's a reason ZJ is on the tournament board, and is essentially the face of the John Deere Classic. That, and he's from Des Moines, IA. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 9th in DK Points, 16th Tee-to-Green, and 29th in both Approach and Birdies or Better. Over 100 rounds, he's Top 25 in everything except Putting (41st). In tournaments, game theory would suggest fading him, especially if playing only one lineup. But if you are playing multiple lineups, I suggest getting Johnson into some lineups. (Cash and GPP)
Bryson DeChambeau (11,400)
The defending champion, Bryson has followed up his first win on Tour with another one at The Memorial this year. He has six other Top 10s this season, with only one missed cut (Farmers back in January). It doesn't matter if I look at 12, 24, or 100 rounds: DeChambeau is #1 in my stat model. For 24 rounds, he is first in DK Points and Birdies or Better, 3rd Tee-to-Green, 4th in GIR, and 7th in Good Drives. Being priced right by Zach Johnson will force people to make a choice: Form and Stats of Bryson vs History of Zach. He's an elite play in this field, and should be in your lineups if building multiple lineups. Same game theory applies with Bryson if only playing one lineup. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Thoughts in This Tier:
- Francesco Molinari (11,600) is still the hottest player in the world right now, coming off a dominating performance at the QL National; his second win in four starts (2nd and 25th in others). Top 10 in every stat except putting (119th).
- Joaquin Niemann (10,400) earned his Tour card with his 4th Top 10 last week. Impressive. Ranks Top 3 in every stat category except Putting (42nd) over last 24 rounds. The win is coming, and I'm not surprised if it's here.
- Ryan Moore (10,200) won here two years ago and was coming back from injury when he missed cut here. Throw out last year's performance (which you should) and he had all Top 25s with a win and two other Top 10s. First Tee-to-Green and Good Drives, 2nd in GIR, and 3rd in Approach. Putter only concern here (138th).
Cash: Moore, Molinari Playable
GPP: Molinari, Moore, Niemann
My Ranking in this tier, factoring in Price: Johnson, DeChambeau, Moore, Niemann, Molinari. All are great plays.
I know these will be short, but I will try to expand upon them on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Steve Stricker (9,800)
Stricker is a 3-time champion, with four Top 25s in past six years. I believe he made the cut on the number last year and had a great weekend to finish 5th. 9th Tee-to-Green, 13th in DK Points, and 14th in both Approach and GIR. (Cash, GPP)
Wesley Bryan (9,100)
3rd and 9th place finishes in his first two trips to the John Deere. Showing some better recent form with four straight cuts, including a 12th and 26th. 15th in Approach and 21st in Putting. Price is high, but not a horrible tournament dart to throw. (GPP)
Thoughts in This Tier:
My lineup build is going to be stars and scrubs, as I personally don't see much difference between players in this range and some in the 7k range. If I had to play a couple, I may look at Patrick Rodgers (8,800) who has 3 missed cuts in his last six starts at the Deere, but also has a 2nd, 15th, and 27th. 10th in DK Points, 14th in Putting, and 23rd in Birdies or Better. Kevin Tway (8,000) has a 12 here last year, and has the upside I'm looking for in this range, with three Top 10s this year. Ranks 16th in both Birdies or Better and DK Points, and is 24th in Tee-to-Green.
GPP: Rodgers, Tway
Joel Dahmen (7,600)
May be chalk here as his form is good, with a 5th and 23rd in his last two starts, and a bunch of Top 25s prior to a couple consecutive missed cuts. 1st in Approach, 5th Tee-to-Green and DK Points, 10th in GIR, and 11th in Birdies or Better. (Cash and GPP)
Harold Varner III (7,400)
I can see him being popular after playing well (and still making it in time to mow his parents yard at 7:00 am Monday morning). Three top 10s this season, including a 5th last week. Ranks 6th Tee-to-Green, 7th in Birdies or Better, and 8th in DK Points. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
I'm going to mention everyone I'm considering with main reason why (reasons coming later):
- Johnson Wagner (7,900)
- Si Woo Kim (7,800)
- C.T. Pan (7,700)
- Andrew Putnam (7,600)
- Scott Stallings (7,600)
- Chez Reavie (7,500)
- J.T. Poston (7,400)
- Brandon Harkins (7,300)
- Corey Conners (7,300)
- Dylan Meyer (7,000)
Cash: Pan, Putnam, Stallings, Reavie, Poston, Conners
Thoughts in This Tier:
Only one player I see playing right now is Vaughn Taylor (6,900). Made four of five cuts recently here with a 19th last year. 16th in Approach and 17th in Birdies or Better.
Cash: Taylor is Playable
Wednesday, I will look at weather, ownership, and if there are any players I have gotten more or less confident in. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.