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Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The John Deere Classic

Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKingsFanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks for The John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

As always, our goal is for PlayPicks to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow at @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.

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The course

TPC Deere Run is a 7,268-yard, par 71 course laid out adjacent to the Rock River in Silvis, Illinois. It’s a parkland-style setup with gentle rolling features, wide fairways, and large bent grass greens for the players to feast on. TPC Deere Run is not claustrophobic, but it’s not a driver course. It’s annually ranked as one of the easiest courses on tour, so expect plenty of scoring this week as players are contending for a final spot into the Open Championship next week.

How it plays

TPC Deere Run is a walk in the park for these tour pros. It boasts a winning score average of 20 under par. Deere Run is all about the approach shot and the putt, with fairways that are hit way above average; most golfers will have good looks into large greens that are also hit significantly more than average. This means it is all about a tight approach and making your first putt to put together an average of 66 a day to find yourself in the mix on Sunday.

Given this weak field, I am going to be favoring strong recent results over long-term results this week. This tournament lends itself to first timers notching a win or finishing high on the leaderboard. With so many birdies expected throughout the week, look for the lead to change daily and the eventual winner to come from two or three strokes back on Sunday for a win.


The breakdown

This week, we get the additional par 5 we’ve been missing the past few weeks. Naturally, that increases the significance of par 5 scoring this week, and any player you choose this week will certainly need to score on them each day. Eagles can and will be had on two of the three par 5’s. You’ll need to find a few of these on your DK teams to take down a GPP this week. The other thing you will need is golfers knocking out all four rounds under 70: most golfers finding the top 15 here post four rounds under 70 at Deere Run.

While the par 5’s are important for DK scoring, the tournament is won and lost on the medium and long par 4’s this week. Since this course is about opportunity, the par 4 are where the players at the top of the leaderboard take advantage. Last year, Bryson DeChambeau went six for six on birdies to close out his round and win. All but two of the par 4’s on the course can be considered scoring holes. The low scores that prevail here tend to lead to additional variance given that a player could have a great week and make plenty of birdies but burn a few edges.


Key stats

  1. Strokes Gained Approach: Favor recent results
  2. Birdie or Better %
  3. Par 4 and Par 5 Scoring
  4. Favor good Bent putters 

PGA DFS Players

Top Tier: $11.5K – $9.5K

Let me start with a quick note on this range in general: I am treating this range a bit differently than usual given my ranks and the way pricing has laid out. I will be treating Joaquin Niemann as a cheaper Bryson DeChambeau, and Ryan Moore as a cheaper Zach Johnson, basically fading both ZJ and Bryson. The skill sets and course fit are similar, and the upside and ranks are basically even, so everything equal, I am taking the savings this week.

Joaquin Niemann ($10.4K) 

We are going right back to Niemann this week for the third week in a row! This kid is the real deal, earning his tour card in his seven non-Major starts. That’s Jon Rahm-esque. If Niemann stays hot this week, TPC Deere Run could very well be his maiden victory. He comes in ranked No. 5 overall in my blended model. That’s impressive considering he only has 20 rounds on tour to date but is already peaking in the top of models. He brings plenty of scoring in bunches on a course that will let him do whatever he wants and a field that won’t startle him in the least. Niemann has a win coming, and I’m going to ride this train all the way there. I likely won’t be alone either; expect Niemann to attract plenty of tags on FanShare this week as well.

Ryan Moore ($10.4K)

Fresh off another strong performance this year and coming into a course where he has previously won, Moore is well suited for this track with his elite wedge play. He is also a positive strokes gained bent grass putter. As I mentioned above, I am treating Moore as a cheaper version of Zach Johnson. Moore will be the edge to a top 10 finish this week. He has also been producing solid results recently while struggling with the putter a bit. I am hoping a return to familiar grounds will help bring his putter up to the rest of his game this week.

Other to consider: It’s hard to look past Francesco Molinari after his dominant performance, but with the top price tag, I’ll be passing this week. As I mentioned above, DeChambeau and Johnson are both in play as well. And don’t forget Steve Stricker.


Mid Tier: $9.5K – $8K

Wesley Bryan ($9.1K)

Despite his early season form, Bryan has found his game as of late even if getting it done through different strokes gained categories each week. Owning an 8th and 3rd in his only two appearances here, Bryan will get plenty of attention from the course history devotees this week. Look for him to be the highest tagged golfer in the $9K range on FanShare. Certainly worth the attention, Bryan will be a popular Cash play, but there is merit to fading him in GPPs if you are feeling bold.

Andrew Landry ($8.7K)

The “Gritty Landry” has a steely-eyed stare behind his glasses. He’s already notched a victory this year. The John Deere certainly seems like a field he can take advantage of as his game rounds back into form. He gained strokes both off the tee and on approach at the Quicken Loans (8th). With a strong short iron game and a putter that can get very hot on bent grass, Landry looks to back up his eighth-place finish from 2016. I’ll be taking some Landry shares in GPP this week.

Chris Kirk ($8.9K)

Kirk has been playing much better lately (8/52/11/46/8) and seems to be peaking at the right time for a course that suits him well on paper. In my blended model, he ranks fourth overall. Despite his high ranking and potent form, Kirk carries plenty of risk. His course history here isn’t as sterling as you would like if you were going to take significant shares, 60/MC/22/30. He certainly has the upside to win in a field like this and should comfortably make the cut, but beware: Kirk can go full Keegan.

Others to consider: Aaron Wise, Patrick Rodgers, David Lingmerth, Kevin Tway, Kevin Streelman


Value Tier: $7.9K and Lower

Johnson Wagner ($7.9K)

Johnson Wagner has some solid course history at this track with a 7th followed up by back-to-back fifth-place finishes before a missed cut last year. He fits this course well because of his ability on the mid length and long par 4’s. Wagner makes his bones in those ranges, and with his current form a bit of a mixed bag, the return to a comfortable place should help his middling finishes get a bump up to a top 15 this week.

Tyler Duncan ($7.6K)

I’m going right back to “T Dunks” this week. He continues to play well tee to green, gaining strokes handily. With even a decent putting week, Duncan can outperform his price tag yet again, but the more important thing about Duncan is that he scores well. Eagles are in his wheel house, and you can expect him to be looking for a few this week on the gettable par 5’s. Expect Duncan to be a cut maker for his price tag, now on a string of eight made cuts in a row.

Chez Reavie ($7.5K)

Reavie is a class above most of this range and certainly has the most consistent course history in the field. Boasting six of seven made cuts, and with a top 5 sprinkled in, Reavie was playing at an elite level earlier this year before settling into a bit of a valley for a spell. Chez has recently shown signs of breaking out of his funk with strokes gained off the tee and with his putter at the St. Jude. Then, he picked up some positive strokes approach at the Travelers despite his missed cut. Reavie is a great value in this field with plenty of upside.

Others to consider: Joel Dahmen, Bronson Burgoon, Si Woo Kim, C.T. Pan, Harold Varner III, Trey Mullinax, Norman Xiong, Robert Garrigus, Whee Kim

That does it for The John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run breakdown. Good luck this week!