What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! The U.S. Open has come and gone. Hopefully you were able to dodge the landmines from last week (I sure wasn’t) and win some money! It was good to see Brooks Koepka finally break through in a big spot. The amount of love he will receive for the remainder of the year will be crazy.
Next up, the Travelers Championship hosted at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut! TPC River Highlands is a 6,800 yard Par 70, so it will look a bit different than last week. This course will feature 12 Par 4s, eight of which fall inside the range of 400-450 yards. The Par 5 13th will be reachable by most golfers, so Par 5 scoring this week will be less important than normal. The key thing about TPC River Highlands is that it is a Pete Dye designed course, meaning there will be a lot of ‘“less than driver” holes and emphasis will be placed on ball placement off the tee and approach shots. This is not a bomb and gouge type of track, so accuracy styled golfers will be in the mix. This event tends to be a bit of a birdiefest, so Birdie or Better Percentage will be a key stat this week. As mentioned, approach shots and good drives will be important, so golfers who rank highly in Strokes Gained Approach and Good Drive Percentage will get a boost. Par 4 Scoring Average and Bogey Avoidance will also garner some attention.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Jordan Spieth -$11,400
The top of the board is a little more loaded than we would typically expect the week after a major. McIlroy, Day and Spieth have all made their way to Connecticut to play in the Travelers. For me, I am locking in Jordan Spieth in cash. He has the best SG:App number in the field and has an excellent Par 4 scoring average. His putter of all things has been letting him down lately. The greens at TPC River Highlands are typically slower than an average PGA Tour course, which could give Spieth the confidence he seems to be lacking with the flat stick.
Brendan Steele – $9,000
Brendan Steele is back! After coming out of the gates hot this season, he cooled off and people seemed to have forgotten about him. He re-emerged last week at the U.S. Open and looks to be in peak form entering the Travelers. Steele is solid across the board in terms of stats, has outstanding course history and is showing the form required to win. He has made four straight cuts at this event, finishing inside the top 25 every time and came 5th back in 2014. Steele also came 6th at The Players this year, another Pete Dye designed course. Everything for Steele is lining up and pointing towards another high finish.
Kyle Stanley – $8,600
Kyle Stanley has come so close a few times this season, and he will be back in the hunt this week at the Travelers. He ranks 1st in my weighted stat model, ranking inside the top 13 in all of the stats I am looking for on the week. That alone makes me want to go all in. Stanley has two top 6 finishes in his last four events, one of which came at The Players. If he keeps knocking at the door like he has been this season, eventually something is going to crack. I do not want to miss the boat when Stanley is hoisting a trophy on Sunday.
Bud Cauley $7,400
In a similar situation to Stanley, Bud Cauley has been close a few times this season and his breakout tournament is right around the corner. Cauley did miss the cut last week at Erin Hills, but I like him to bounce back this week. Cauley has an elite SG:App number, ranking 4th in this field. He has an 11th place finish under his belt at this event, back in 2011. Cauley also came T9 at RBC Heritage, which is played at Hilton Head, also played on a Pete Dye designed course.
Charley Hoffman – $7,300
The price this week on Charley Hoffman makes absolutely no sense, and is drawing me even non-Hoffman people like me, towards him. He is the 16th most tagged golfer on FanShareSports.com, but I expect that number to continue to climb until lineup lock. His last four trips to the Travelers have resulted in top 26 efforts, including a runner up performance back in 2012. He played extremely well last week at the U.S. Open, gained a lot of T.V. time, which will likely boost his ownership. Hoffman is cash viable this week and oh, his betting odds suggest he should be priced about $1,500 higher.
Byeong Hun An – $7,100
Byeong Hun An scorched me last week, but I am willing to get back on the wagon and you should too. He is simply to pure of a ball striker to be priced at $7,100 in this week of a field. He ranks 7th this week in SG:App and makes a ton of birdies on Par 4s. His putter can go colder than a polar bear’s toenail, but as mentioned above with Spieth, these greens man give An a chance to get the putter rolling. His price tag seems to be stuck in this range and I will continue to play him until it gets corrected.
Travelers Championship Research Spreadsheet
Note that this spreadsheet is FREE each week for Pro Members. If you are not a Pro Member, use code “ERIC” for 15% off:
[ess_grid alias=”PGA Packages”]
Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Patrick Reed – $9,500
It seems as though people are hesitant to jump back on Patrick Reed after seeing a solid showing at the U.S. Open. Reed only has 11 mentions on FanShareSports, much lower than every other golfer in the $9K range. Reed’s T13 last week was easily his most impressive finish of the season. The 65 he shot on the Saturday of a major was overshadowed by Justin Thomas’s performance, but was still very impressive. Reed has had a couple of top 20 finishes at the Travelers Championship in the last four years, so this course certainly fits his eye. If the chatter around Reed remains low for the rest of the week, he will become my favorite GPP play of the week. The Travelers seems like a typical event Reed would win.
Brian Harman – $8,900
When I first drafted this article up, Harman fell under the Automatic Fades category. But after further thought and checking out FanShareSports, he makes for a great pivot. The narrative that his runner up finish at the U.S. Open will be too emotionally draining and he won’t be able to carry over his form to this week is garbage. It is not like Harman lost the U.S. Open. Koepka went out and won the thing. Harman has nothing to hang his head about and is coming into the Travelers in excellent form. His price will scare people away, likely the reason why his sentiment rating on FanShareSports is 50/50. People will be fading one of the hottest golfers in the field because they think he will be upset about last week.
Kevin Tway – $8,200
All it took for the buzz to die off on Kevin Tway was a missed cut at the Memorial and a week off during the U.S. Open. Tway use to be one of the most talked about golfers on a weekly basis in the month of May. Now, Tway only has five tags on FanShareSports, priced in a crowded $8,000 range with lots of interesting options. His price tag seems a little high at first glance, but if you are building balanced lineups this week, he makes for a perfect pivot option. Tway’s form has been excellent and there is no reason for the buzz to have died off as quickly as it has.
Martin Laird – $7,300
The low $7K range is loaded with popular options. An, Hoffman and Cauley will attract a ton of ownership and allow Martin Laird to fly under the radar. Laird only has one tag on FanShareSports while the other mentioned golfers all have over 14. Laird is trending in the right direction after experiencing a lull in his season. He has made his last two cuts, and his T32 last week shows that his game is in good shape. Laird had a 15th place finish at the Travelers in 2015, a result he could easily replicate this year.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Jim Furyk – $8,500
Jim Furyk received a healthy price increase after his T23 result last week at Erin Hills. Prior to the U.S. Open, Furyk missed six straight cuts. I am going to take a wait and see approach with Furyk at this higher than expected price tag. I am willing to risk the fact that his form might be back, and since I do not see Furyk finishing inside the top 20 this week, fading Jimmy won’t burn me at the end of the day.
Daniel Summerhays – $8,100
I will continue to fade Daniel Summerhays as long as he is priced at this egregious tag. Summerhays ranks 111th in the field in SG:App, 116th in Par 4 scoring average, 100th in BoB% and 124th in Bogey Avoidance. There is no way in hell I could be convinced to roster Summerhays this week. His 11th place result at this event last year will put people on him, but do not look over the fact he missed the cut each of the three years prior.
Chad Campbell -$8,000
$8,000 for Chad Campbell? No thanks. His form is solid as of late and has decent course history, but I cannot pay this much for the 116th ranked birdie maker in the field. Campbell’s betting odds are in line with Lucas Glover, an eerily similar golfer, for $1,400 dollars. Do not spend up for Campbell when there are so many better options priced way lower.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Rory McIlroy – $11,600
Rory talked the talk last week at Erin Hills, but he came well short of walking the walk. He was brutal last week, missing a ton of fairways and hitting it out of the fescue more than anyone (so it seemed). Rory will be avoided at the top because of last week’s scare, but his driver won’t be needed nearly as much this week. All of the golfers at the top have to be played this week because the gap between them and the rest of the field is larger than normal. Rory also got into it on Twitter with Steve Elkington, and a fire could be lit under Rory’s ass this week to come out and dominate.
Daniel Berger – $9,000
Daniel Berger won two weeks ago at the St. Jude Classic, and like so many other top players, missed the cut at the U.S. Open. Now is definitely not the time to jump ship. He is being overlooked in his price range for other golfers, Steele, Snedeker and Finau to name a few. I think Berger has a great chance of being single digit owned in large tournaments. He finished 5th here last year and so far in his young career, Berger seems to be the type of golfer that will play well at specific events.
Wesley Bryan – $6,800
Wesley Bryan had a disastrous Friday at the U.S. Open, leaving him in second to last before the cut. Time to hit reset Wes. It wasn’t too long ago when we were paying five digits for Bryan in Puerto Rico. Sure, that was a terrible field but his game hasn’t fallen off that far. He won earlier this year at the RBC Heritage, so he has an eye for Pete Dye designed tracks. I like Bryan to get back on track this week and he will end up being one of the best value plays on the board.
Lucas Glover – $6,600
Now this is a Lucas Glover price I can get behind. For weeks, Glover was being priced well above his clone in Kyle Stanley, and I just could not pull the trigger on him. Now Glover has plummeted to $6,600 and he becomes a must play in all formats. His missed cut from last week should suppress his ownership a bit, as he ranks 25th in tags on FanShareSports. His outstanding tee to green game will play nicely at TPC River Highlands.
Thanks for reading The Travelers Championship preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody!!