John Deere Classic 2018 DraftKings Preview

All stats from!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman

Back to the “degen” life this week as we managed to get a worse field than the last 2 weeks… which is saying something. I didn’t even try to make teams last week as I was on vacation and I’m glad I didn’t because I definitely wouldn’t have had some of those guys up top. Normally I do a good and bad but I haven’t played DFS golf in almost 2 weeks so we’ve already moved passed it. One thing I will say is I’m not the biggest Kevin Na fan since I don’t like slow players (Jim fucking Furyk), but he is definitely a grinder and this win for him was a long time coming. It’s always cool for me to see a guy never give up, in his case being 7 years since his last win, and get emotional over finally getting over the hump. Good for him. Let’s try to keep this one shorter this week (maybe) and make some extra cash going into the 3rd major next week.

John Deere Classic

For a comprehensive course preview and what I see as important to succeed this week, please see my article that I released yesterday (Monday). There is always the DFS golf Twitter debate going on and on about if course history matters and although I don’t think it normally does (except for courses like Augusta, TPC Sawgrass, and Firestone CC for Tiger), some of these guys have certainly figured out how to play this one. Zach Johnson has won here in 2012, Finished 2nd 3 times, 3rd once, and 5th last year. Steve Stricker won here in 2009, 2010, 2011 and also has 2 Top 5s here and 1 Top 10. I think course history plays a factor for a few guys this week don’t you? The main thing this week is to find the guys that can get HOT FIRE and birdie their ass off. No one has won this at less than -16 and I don’t see that changing this week. Solid wedge players who consistently putt well and score on Par 5s should succeed. Zach Johnson is one of the best wedge players on tour; Stricker is one of the greatest putters of all time; Wesley Bryan who has an 8th and a 3rd here sucks off the tee but putts well. Off-the-Tee is clearly minimally important here, as is long hitting, so keep that in mind as well as we move through.

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of

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

  • SG: BS (Ball Striking)
  • BoB Gained (%)
  • SG: APP (<125 yards AND 200+ yards)
  • GIRs Gained (%)
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Par 5s (could also emphasize 550-600 since all 3 are inside that range)

**A quick note on SG: P. You will see in any correlation, as well as in my writing, that putting really stands out for success here and while I think when looking at players you can look at how they rank in SG: P I think 1) It’s much more useful to look at putting from 5-10 feet and 10-15 feet and 2) while solid putters normally do well here, putting will always be so variant that anyone can catch a hot putter (unless you’re Luke List).**

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

9K and Above:

Bryson Dechambeau ($11,400): Bryson is on a serious heater this summer and as a winner here last year he clearly likes this course. Yes he only ranked 18th last year in T2G here but he did catch fire with his putter and although he’ll be chalky this week I still like him a lot. He ranks first in my power ranks including 1st in Prox. From 200+, 2nd in DK Points, 4th in Bogey Avoidance, 7th in SG: APP, 5th in GIRs Gained, and 2nd in BoB%. Wow. I think I’ll target 50% and hope to maybe be double the field at least.

Kyle Stanley ($9,700): Ranking 5th in my power ranks I have no reason this elite ball-striker won’t play well here. He Has played here 8 times and has a 2nd, 2 Top 20s, and a Top 25 with only 1 MC. He clearly knows this course and although he missed the cut at the US Open and didn’t dominate the Quicken Loans like people thought he would he has a 15th and 2nd in his last 4 starts. He ranks 10th in BoB%, 20th in SG: T2G, and 19th in DK Points. I’ll be targeting 40+ % depending on his buzz. Could get up to 50%.

Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):

Brian Gay ($8,600): I wrote about Brian Gay last tournament and he finished 8th so I feel pretty confident about talking him up again. Like I said last time he is one of the better putters on tour and despite missing his last 2 cuts here has a 9th and a 12th in his past. Recently, He has a 39th last week, an 8th at Quicken loans, a Top 20 at the US Open and a 12th at the FedEx St. Jude. He is clearly riding some solid form right now and also ranks 20th in SG: T2G, 4th in DK points, and 3rd in BoB%. He could get talked up unfortunately but I’m hoping the high price tag might keep some people away. I think I’m going to target somewhere between 25-30%.

Bronson Burgoon ($7,500): Big hitter who ranks 20th in my power rankings this week. He has the some of the best stats in the field (6th in my stats model) and if his putter can get hot, he can contend. Burgoon ranks 16th in SG: T2G, 11th in SG: BS, 15th in Bogey Avoidance, 16th in DK Points and in another stat, is 18th in 3-Putt Avoidance in this field. He definitely is streaky and I would caution going all in on him as his last 5 tournaments have gone: 16th, MC, MC, 6th, 30th. I am hearing some slight rumblings this week and could see his ownership between 10-12% maybe so I’ll target around 20% I think.

Low-Tier Options (Under 7K):

Vaughn Taylor ($6,900): Can’t say I’ve ever had Vaughn 11th in my power rankings and I rarely play him in DK at all. But he’s 16th in my stats model and 24th in my form model so he’s clearly doing something right. He ranks 6th in Prox. from <125, 14th in SG: APP, and 18th in BoB%. I wouldn’t say he’s been lighting it up but he does have 2 Top 20 finishes in his last 4 starts and has played this course many times in the past, including a 6th place finish and 2 Top 20s. This is another one that I wouldn’t go all in on but for a low-priced guy I could see taking around 15% or so and hopefully being about 3x the field.

Fliers (Take it or Leave it):

Dylan Meyer ($7,000): I believe Meyer went to Illinois, or one of the schools somewhat close to this course, so this is more of a gut play. He doesn’t have bad stats; he hits a lot of fairways, avoids bogeys, and is top 50 in the field in both GIR% and BoB% so I think he’s worth a 5-7% flier.

Cameron Percy ($7,100): This one is pretty random but the guy has played here several times and does have a Top 12 and a 7th place finish. Ranks 23rd in SG: T2G and 39th in SG: Par 5s. He’s also made his last 5 cuts and in that time has a 6th place in a decent field. I don’t see more than 1-2% ownership so even a flier at 5% puts you 2x the field at least.

Fades for Me

Wesley Bryan: I think he gets a lot of buzz from DFS Twitter and his past finishes here but he’s still 109th in SG: BS, 111th in GIR% and while fairways are easy to hit here, he is still miserable with his driver.

Patrick Rodgers: Another guy getting serious buzz since he finished runner up here last year but he ranks 40th in my power rankings and is one of the worst ranked wedge players in the field (139th in <125). He’s also 101% in SG: APP and at his high price of $8,800 I don’t see him being worth it at 10+% ownership.

Joaquin Niemann: Just an ownership fade for me. Yep, I said that last time too and look what happened. He finished Top 5 again. I think he climbs above 20% again and although he’s played lights out recently and will probably win this week since I’m fading, I would rather pivot to guys like Moore, Stricker, or Stanley in this high-priced range.

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 45% Key Stats, 40% Recent Form, and 15% Course History

  • Bryson Dechambeau
  • Steve Stricker
  • Zach Johnson
  • Ryan Moore
  • Kyle Stanley
  • Chris Kirk
  • Brian Gay
  • Francesco Molinari
  • Joaquin Niemann
  • Chesson Hadley
  • Vaughn Taylor
  • Joel Dahmen
  • Harold Varner III
  • Andrew Landry
  • Aaron Wise
  • Kevin Streelman
  • Sam Saunders
  • Nick Watney
  • Kevin Tway
  • Bronson Burgoon

Top 5 Highest Owned Predictions

  • Zach Jonson 25+%
  • Bryson Dechambeau 20%
  • Joaquin Niemann 20%
  • Chesson Hadley 20%
  • Steve Stricker 20%

Potential Low Owned Sleepers

  • Sam Saunders 3%
  • Lanto Griffin 3%
  • Vaughn Taylor 5%
  • Troy Merritt 4%
  • Mackenzie Hughes 1%


Follow me on Twitter @sscherman and follow @AmateurHour_Pod too for picks, podcasts with FIRE guests, and weekly picks to win!!

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