What’s goin’ on everyone! What a wild, wacky and weird week for PGA DFS. The PGA Championship ended up being extremely unpredictable with a lot of the chalky plays missing the cut. Weeks like this can be crushing to bank rolls and leave DFS players wondering if they need to change their strategy, myself included. It is crucial to evaluate your picks each week and see where you went wrong and why some of the plays you made didn’t work out. If you cannot find a reason for it, then don’t get discouraged! Stick to what has worked for you in the past and tell yourself The PGA Championship was an anomaly.
This week, the touring pros head to TPC River Highlands in Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. This is 6,841 yard Par 70 course, which Pete Dye has redesigned. This event has seen a mixed bag of winners in recent years. Bubba Watson is the defending champ, but Kevin Streelman, Freddie Jacobson, Marc Leishman and Ken Duke have all won within the last five years. There is no real advantage for bombers at this course, so I will be focusing on Good drive percentage and some key proximity stats. Almost 50% of approach shots will come from 125-175 yards. There are also 12 Par 4s on this course, so Par 4 scoring average will be very important.
Brooks Koepka – $11,200
Koepka is coming of an extremely gutsy performance, battling through an ankle injury at the PGA Championship. This storyline scared a bunch of people off of him, but his T4 showing proved he was well worth the risk. I am back on him this week for the exact same reason. He will still be dealing with an ankle issue, but his recent form, other than his withdraw at Bridgestone Invitational, has been remarkable. He also ranks 1st in Par 4 scoring average, 9th in birdie or better percentage and 18th in proximity from 150-175. I am hoping DFSers still fade him because of his bummed ankle, driving his ownership down on a player in amazing current form.
Webb Simpson – $10,000
Webb is quietly putting together a fantastic stretch of golf. He has three top 15s in his last five events and is coming off of a strong finish at the PGA Championship. Not only is his recent form solid, his stats are and tournament history drive him to my highest ranked golfer this week. Simpson ranks 8th in Par 4 scoring average, 7th from 125-150, 25th from 150-175 and 12th in strokes gained tee-to-green. He’s finished inside the top 15 twice at The Travelers Championship in the last five years. Webb makes for a solid play in both formats, but he could gain traction as the week goes on. Be sure you are overweight on Webb in order to gain an edge in GPP contests.
Kevin Chappell – $8,400
Chappell shows up 7th in my weighted stat rankings, showing no glaring weaknesses in the keys stats for this week. He ranks 11th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 49th from 125-150 and 46th in Par 4 scoring average. Sure, he has missed the cut at this event both times he has played it, but Chappell is playing better golf this season than ever before. His missed cut at the PGA Championship, and higher than expected price tag will keep ownership down. Chappell is a great GPP play, but I’d avoid using him in cash.
Marc Leishman – $8,200
Here I go again. I think I mention March Leishman every week, but I am not going to apologize. He will eventually come through one of these weeks. Leishman has made four straight cuts at this event, including a win in 2012. He’s made seven straight cuts coming into this event as well. If it wasn’t for a final round 74 at the PGA Championship, Leishman would have easily found himself inside the top 20, and on definitely peaked some interest for this week. He has no flaws in his stat line, solid cut making ability with the upside of winning. I like Leishman for cash and GPP this week.
Keegan Bradley – $7,600
This is an odd one for me, because I have never recommended Bradley before, nor do I plan to do so much in the future, so this is an exception. He comes in ranked 13th in my overall weighted rankings, and surprisingly has great stats for this course. Keegan ranks 29th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 3rd in ball striking, 23rd and 16 from 125-150 and 150-175 respectively. He’s made five straight cuts at this event and is coming in making four of five cuts. Call me crazy, but Keegan is a solid cash game play this week.
Russell Henley – $6,400
I was on Henley last week, so I followed his tournament closely. I was impressed by how often he found the fairway and hit the green. He managed to hit over 76% of his greens at Baltusrol, and if he keeps that pace up for The Travelers, he will find his way into the top 15. For the season, he ranks 28th in good drive percentage, 35th in GIR, 8th from 125-150 and 18th in Par 4 scoring. With no course history and suspect recent form, his ownership should remain low, but his results from last weekend were encouraging and I will be back all in on Henley.
Bubba Watson – $12,300
Bubba will be super popular this week due to his course history and name value, but paying this much for a golfer with such poor form is tough to do. His average finish since The Players Championship is 45th. Not the type of finish you want from the highest priced golfer.
J.B. Holmes – $9,700
Holmes has missed three of five cuts and has a terrible outing at the PGA Championship. His best finish at the Travelers was 37th in 2012. He ranks 186th in good drive percentage will hurt him at this course. I need to see some consistency before buying back into Holmes.
Charley Hoffman – $8,100
There has been a ton of talk about Hoffman this season and how good of a year he has been having. I just do not see it. Sure he won an event, but that has been his only top 10 of 2016. He had a good run of golf back in April, but since then has one top 15 and a bunch of finishes outside the top 40. I won’t be paying for Hoffman’s subpar finishes this week.
So you got burned?
I’m going to be adding this section, to highlight some popular plays from last week who burned a bunch of DFS players. This is a good way to highlight some contrarian plays who could easily bounce back.
Matt Kuchar – $10,600
This one is a layup this week. Kuchar is coming of his first missed cut in 11 events, and could be ignored more than he should. Kuchar has been one of the most consistent players on tour this year, and in weak field events he tends to thrive. Do not avoid Kuchar this week, his missed cut at the PGA Championship is a one off.
Gary Woodland – $9,100
Woodland missed the cut at the PGA in dramatic fashion. He managed to record two eagles before trunk slamming on Friday. He has solid stats for this course and came 20th last year. This is another great spot to grab Woodland at lower than usual ownership.
Brendan Steele – $8,500
Steele has now missed back to back cuts and was popular last week at his $6,000 price tag. Look for him to regain his form at a course he has had lots of success at in the past. Steele is having a great year, and his price increase this week will scare a bunch of people off of him. High upside and low ownership is a deadly combination.
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Good luck this week!