Making our John Deere Classic DraftKings picks as we dissect the PGA DFS slate with our plays and fades at each pricing tier before building a lineup.
After watching the US Open and then a loaded Travelers Championship, it’s a bit wild to look at the John Deere Classic field for this week as we head to Silvis, IL and TPC Deere Run. It’s an extremely weak field by most measures, but that offers opportunities for us to make some big moves with our DraftKings picks and PGA DFS lineup as we mine for the value among a hodgepodge of golfers.
Last week, there was no DFS preview for the Travelers (my apologies) but I did put out my picks on Twitter for top plays and it was a spot-on assessment. I’m getting a good feel for the board and think we have a good strategy for the John Deere as we try to not pay up if we don’t have to and look for the guys who are being undervalued in the middle-tier pricing ranges.
With that in mind, we’re going through our top plays, biggest fades and then building a DraftKings PGA DFS lineup for the John Deere Classic.
DraftKings picks for the John Deere Classic PGA DFS lineups: Top Plays
$10,000: Webb Simpson ($10,600) – Full disclosure, I’m going to likely be fading the $10K range this week just because, even though there are guys I like, this is the type of tournament to more target the mid-tiers very heavily. With that said, if I’m looking at the best players in the range, Simpson stands out. He looked good in a T13 at the Travelers and his game, particularly his short approaches, fit the course well. I like Simpson and he could be worth this price if you want to pay up. Also Consider: Adam Hadwin ($10,400)
$9,000: Denny McCarthy ($9,900) – McCarthy seems to be pretty divisive this week, especially after he missed the cut at the Travelers. However, he’s been finding some consistency tee-to-green, which resulted in four Top 27 finishes in five starts prior to last week, including a T5 at the Memorial and T7 at the US Open. When you pair that with his elite putting, I like for him to show up big, which is why he’s my outright pick to win this week. However, there’s a chance I also shirk the $9K range too and get super bold this week. Also Consider: Charles Howell III ($9,300)
$8,000: Nick Hardy ($8,700) – A hometown youngster this week, Hardy has been getting hot quietly. After a T2 finish on the Korn Ferry, he’s gone T35, T14 and T8 in the last three weeks. Now he comes to a place where his putting should play well, where he’s familiar with the area, and where his Top 25 approach proximity from 50-125 yards should come into play. I love his trends right now and think he can make a big run this week in a rich range. Also Consider: Scott Stallings ($8,900), Patrick Rodgers ($8,800), Cam Davis ($8,400), Lucas Glover ($8,300),
$7,000: Chez Reavie ($7,900) – Another guy who’s getting into form, we’re seeing Reavie thrive on the shorter courses where he can use his accuracy off the tee and solid all-around game. He’s finished Top 15 three times in the last five starts and had a T27 in that span as well. He showed well and finished T18 at the John Deere last year and I love for him to keep good form at a place that suits him well. Also Consider: John Huh ($7,800), Adam Schenk ($7,700), Adam Svensson ($7,700), Mark Hubbard ($7,400), Hank Lebioda ($7,300), Sam Ryder ($7,100)
$6,000: Hayden Buckley ($6,900) – My hope is to not dip into the $6K range because, woo, it’s a rough one. If you have to, though, Buckley is a guy I like in decent really recent form after a T14 at the US Open and then T43 at the Travelers. He strikes the ball well and is accurate off the tee, which should suit him as he gains a bit of confidence. Also Consider: Joseph Bramlett ($6,800), Kelly Kraft ($6,700)
DraftKings picks for the John Deere Classic PGA DFS lineups: Top Fades
$10,000: Sahith Theegala ($10,100) – This is my bold call of the week, but I don’t like Theegala despite really impressive recent form and a game that should play well at the John Deere. For me, I worry about the scar tissue resulting from the way he let the Travelers slip through his fingers last week. The last time that happened at the WM Phoenix Open, he finished outside the Top 50 in his next start. As one of four guys in the $10K range, I’m passing on him this week.
$9,000: Maverick McNealy ($9,500) – The fact that McNealy in his current form is at this price is borderline criminal. He finished T75 at the PGA Championship and then has missed his last two cuts while losing 0.29 strokes per round tee-to-green over his last 20 rounds. He’s not in good form and, despite decent track record at TPC Deere Run, there’s no way he pays off his price this week.
$8,000: Cameron Champ ($8,000) – Champ had a good finish at the John Deere a year ago, but I don’t foresee one of the most inconsistent talents on the PGA Tour replicating that. He’s missed four straight cuts and the fact that he succeeded here in 2021 might be the outlier given that it really doesn’t fit what he does well. He’s at the bottom of this tier, which is right, but even then I can’t back him this week.
$7,000: Dylan Frittelli ($7,600) – Yes, I realize that Frittelli is a past champion at this event but the form of late just terrifies me. His best finish in his last six starts is T35 and he missed the cut last week at Travelers. I think he’ll be decent but what he’s showing on the golf course lately indicates to me that his ceiling is extremely depressed right now in a range where there are some nice high-upside options.
John Deere Classic: Best DraftKings golf lineup
- Patrick Rodgers ($8,800)
- Nick Hardy ($8,700)
- Cam Davis ($8,400)
- Lucas Glover ($8,300)
- Chez Reavie ($7,900)
- John Huh ($7,800)
This might be the first DraftKings PGA DFS lineup I’ve ever constructed where every player falls in a $1,000 range. But that being said, I love what we have in this group. We’ve touched on Hardy and Reavie, but the other guys are great fits.
Rodgers has been trending up with a hot putter and continued solid ball-striking and has a T2 and another Top 25 in his last three John Deere Classic starts. Davis has proven he can play well on these shorter courses that might not seem to fit him, evidenced by a T7 at the Charles Schwab. Glover hasn’t been in the best form but won here last year and has a terrific track record at this course.
That leaves us with Huh, who shouldn’t be this price in this field based on his play. He’s Top 50 in the field this season in proximity from 50-125 yards on approach and has been hot with a T12, T25 and T13 in his last three starts. Gaining 0.94 strokes per round tee-to-green over the last 20, he’s a great play to wrap up this lineup.