Travelers Championship 2018 DraftKings Preview

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Well Brooks Koepka has now won 3 times on tour and 2 of those are U.S. Opens. That is both incredible and also just mind-boggling to think about as the guy just seemed to hit CLUTCH PUTT AFTER CLUTCH PUTT to utterly frustrate me to no end coming down the stretch. I actually really like Brooks and am not pissed to see him win, but I also didn’t pick him to win and would have liked to see a playoff with him and Fleetwood after Fleetwood’s historic 63 earlier in the day. This U.S. Open definitely lived up to the hype, in my opinion, and at least I can take solace in the fact that I correctly predicted no one would finish under par. I know some people don’t like to see golfers struggle like they do for this tournament and while I agree I wouldn’t want the winning score to be +9, it is nice to see them somewhat humbled and really let the cream rise to the top with who can really avoid big numbers and hold it together through 4 grueling days. A couple final thoughts:

1) Phil’s antics on Saturday was a scumbag move in my opinion and I think if that is anyone except him, Tiger, Rickie, or Jordan, they are getting DQ’d. I am obviously not a Phil fan but I thought that was low even for him. Saying “he knew the rule” but didn’t want to go down there, etc, etc, was cowardly.

2) While Saturday was surely too difficult and unfair at times, I did think the course was set up slightly too easy on Sunday which is why a few guys tore it up (Fleetwood).

3) I’m not bitter but without that grandstand on 18, I don’t think Brooks makes anything less than a double… too bad.

4) I am the furthest thing from an Ian Poulter fan but to hear that he was literally getting booed on Saturday during his round is a level of pathetic I can’t even put into words. Let’s get real here: you can dislike a guy all you want but when it gets to a level where you are booing his play just because he might be a little rough around the edges and arrogant, take a fucking lap. I have more respect for Poulter moving forward.

The Good

DJ finishes 3rd and it was a disappointing 3rd. Think about that. If he puts like he did the first 2 days, or even field average, he wins the thing.

-Stenson struggled on Sunday, which was frustrating because he would have made me more money with a better finish, but also because it seemed like everyone was making birdies while his and Rose’s group were making bogeys. Still a T6 finish, though.

-Tommy Fleetwood is going to a major REALLY soon, which is not a hot take, but it needs to be said. Take away his triple on 10 on Saturday and oh man. He is such a good guy and so fun to watch.

-One of my sleepers, Ryan Fox, turned out to have a decent run. Yeah he finished T41 but for a min price guy all you really want is a made cut and some birdies.

The Bad

-Jordan Spieth: Well I was wrong again. Am I going to stop playing him? Nope. Would rather keep getting killed by him until he figures out his putter than be a week late when he’s chalk again. It was especially painful watching him reel 4 birdies in a row Friday only to miss a 5 footer to MC. Awesome.

-Tiger Woods: My extreme fandom got the better of me again as I went very overweight and Tiger let me down. I love watching all Tiger’s shots as any channel wouldn’t’ dare miss one, but watching him 4 jack it on Friday was one of the more painful experiences in recent memory. Moving on.

-Byeong Hun An: Man I can’t help but laugh about this one. Has a great first round of 1 over par and follows up a tough 2nd day with a 76. Still not too bad. This guy gets to the weekend and just IMPLODES with a smooth 81 followed by a 78. It was comical to look at him in my 6/6 lineups and just causing more damage than if I just had a 5/6 lineup. Classic.

Travelers Championship

For a comprehensive course preview and what I see as important to succeed this week, please see my article that I released yesterday (Monday). I think this is a rare week where you can factor in course history maybe a little bit higher because it does seem like, which is true with many other Pete Dye designs, that guys who have figured out the greens and how to play the tricks will succeed over and over. See Ryan Moore, Russell Knox, Bubba Watson (won here twice), or Brendan Steele’s performances here to confirm.

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)

In order of importance (excluding SG: T2G since it’s ALWAYS key):

  • SG: BS (Ball Striking)
  • BoB Gained (%)
  • SG: APP (125-175 yards)
  • GIRs Gained (%)
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Par 4 (emphasis on Par 4s from 450-450 Yards)

Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):

10K and Above:

Jordan Spieth ($10,600): Yup, not much to say here but I refuse to be late on a guy who I know is a stud and is still the 5th ranked in the world. I love getting hurt so I expect this week to be no different. He is 9th in my stat model and makes a lot of birdies. Maybe this is the week? I expected around 15% or so, therefore I’ll be targeting 25% so I can have ¼ of my lineups in flames by Saturday.

Upper-Tier Options (8.0K to 9.9K):

Daniel Berger ($8,900): Not sure if Daniel Berger just needed to miss the cut at his favorite tournament but he clearly found something last week. He is 12th in SG: APP in this field, 21st in GIRs Gained and ranks 15th in my stat model, 15th in my form model, and 12th in my Course History model. He clearly knows how to play this course and I think last week’s success with a T6 finish will give him confidence. 40%

Webb Simpson ($9,100): Webb is having a fantastic year and ranks #1 in my power ranking this week. I actually think he is slightly undervalued even at this price and his stats, form, and even course history prove that. He’s 8th in Bogey Avoidance, 4th in SG: ARG (Around-The-Green), 4th in Good Drives Gained (Drives where the player hits a GIR despite missing or hitting the fairway), and 15th in SG: T2G. Webb is coming off a 10th at the U.S. Open, a MC, a win at the players and has another Top 5 this year. He also has 2 Top 10s at TPC River Highlands in the past. He’ll be chalk so I’ll be targeting around 50% or so.

Xander Schauffele ($8,600): Xander has been pretty hit or miss this year and fair warning: I rarely get the X man right so I would recommend fading since I’ll be on him. His last 4 starts he had a quiet T6 at the U.S. Open, 2 missed cuts, and a 2nd at the Players. He clearly can get hot and makes a ton of birdies (19th in the field in BoB Gained), while also scoring the 17th most DK Points. I’ll target 30-40% as I think he’ll get decent buzz this week.

Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 7.9K):

Rory Sabbatini ($7,200): This one feels random and I’m not sure the last time I played this guy, but Sabbatini is very undervalued for me this week as he’s 22nd in my stat model and 31st in my form model. He’s the 2nd best guy in the field on Par 4s from 400-450, 20th in SG: ARG, 16th in Bogey Avoidance, 17th in BoB Gained, and 25th in SG: T2G. In his last 6 starts he has 3 Top 25s and I think he can ride that form into this week. Not sure what kind of buzz he’ll get but I might target around 25%.

Kyle Stanley ($7,700): Well I touted Stanley last week and it didn’t really work out so I guess I’ll give it another shot. Known as one of the better ball strikers on tour (5th in this field), Stanley also is 12th in Good Drives, 7th in SG: APP, and 17th in GIRs Gained. I will disregard the MC at the U.S. Open as it’s a tough one and we know he just came off that close call at the Memorial in the playoff. I think I’ll target 20-25% minimum for him this week.

Low-Tier Options (Under 7K):

Ryan Armour ($6,900): Not much in this range for me this week but Armour has the stats to succeed and bombs the ball. Doesn’t have history here but he is 7th in Good Drives, 9th on Par 4s from 400-450, and 7th in SG: ARG. Considering I don’t think many people will be on him I think 5-10% would put us well overweight on a guy does have 2 top 25s in his last 2 starts.

Fliers (Take it or Leave it):

Dylan Meyer ($6,700): Young kid who I’ll take a flier on since he just finished T20 at the U.S. Open. He’s a University of Illinois kid who was making his debut and I think has definitely shown he can hang with the pros. I think just having him in a lineup or 2, or 5% maybe, puts you well overweight.

Aaron Baddeley ($7,000): Not sure why this guy is popping up in my model this week but I do know that he’s historically a great putter, especially on Poa. He’s 23rd in the field in Proximity from 125-175 yards and 31st in SG: ARG so nothing Earth-shattering but I think he’s worth a flier maybe. He did just come T25 at the U.S. Open after a string of missed cuts earlier this year so maybe he’s found something. 5-7%.

Fades for Me

Brooks (coming off a win, will probably W/D)

Cantlay: Ownership I see creeping too high

Harman: Form not there this year; 99th in SG: T2G, 104th in SG: APP in my model

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 40% Key Stats, 40% Recent Form, and 20% Course History

  • Webb Simpson
  • Paul Casey
  • Patrick Reed
  • Justin Thomas
  • Ryan Moore
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Daniel Berger
  • Russell Knox
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Bryson Dechambeau
  • Keegan Bradley
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Jordan Spieth
  • Marc Leishman
  • Kyle Stanley
  • Emiliano Grillo
  • Zach Johnson
  • Bubba Watson
  • Jason Day
  • Russell Henley

Top 5 Highest Owned Predictions

  • Paul Casey 25+%
  • Emiliano Grillo 20%
  • Patrick Cantlay 20%
  • Ryan Moore 20+%
  • Webb Simpson 18%

Potential Low Owned Sleepers

  • Robert Garrigus 4%
  • Vaughn Taylor 5%
  • Abraham Ancer 2%
  • Seamus Power 2%
  • Tom Hoge  1%

One comment

  1. Nice. Baddeley keeps popping up on me as well. On the fence with Koepka. I wish he would just WD. I know everyone thinks since he won last week, he may not put his all in this week whether mentally or just “hungover”, but his interview keeps replaying in my mind. “I don’t come out here to play for 2nd!”. He just may be too expensive too play and I’ll use that as my excuse not to play him.!!!!

    Like

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