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The Approach: PGA DFS Picks for the John Deere Classic (FREE)

Nolan Kelly



Are you into golf betting? Ben Rasa gives out his favorite Players Championship picks and bets for this year's tournament from TPC Sawgrass.

Don’t forget to check out all of our free Fantasy Golf: PGA DFS Picks and content on this week for the 3M, including Jason Rouslin’s First Cut and Ben Rasa’s Above the Cut. As always, we have Awesemo’s rankings and projections for premium members. Not a member, sign up for Awesemo+ HERE.

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Don’t forget to check out The Strategy Show with Timothy Frank and Ben Rasa!

Last Week Review

Another 3/3 week at the 3M Open, including a T7 from Lucas Glover, a T23 from Tony Finau and a T46 from Corey Conners. Outside of an ill-advised Si Woo tout two weeks ago (I regret everything), we’re riding a hot streak. Let’s keep it going heading in to the Open.

The John Deere Classic

The Tour is off to western Illinois for the final stop of the Midwest swing. Because most of the big boys are off honing their games on links in Scotland, this is the weakest field we’ve seen in months. I have no read on ownership this week – but I’d say if there was ever a time to fade the top range, this might be it. We don’t usually see our high-priced golfers with such low win-odds and top-five odds, relative to the field.

TPC Deere Run

Outside of links courses, we rarely get such wide fairway widths on tour (40-yards on average). Counter intuitively, you’d think that wide fairways would loan themselves well to bombers who have to worry less about accuracy, but placement off the tee is important at TPC Deere Run, and SG:OTT actually indexes at a lower rate than usual. Checking out Timothy Frank’s stats guide, the average top-three finisher has come in  at 105th in the field in Driving Distance and 70th in Driving Accuracy over the past 10 years. A lot of different types of players can win here.

Course stats:

  • 7,268 yard, P-71
  • Three water hazards
  • 40-yard-wide fairways
  • Bentgrass greens
  • One of the 10 easiest courses on tour

PGA DFS Picks for the John Deere Classic

Lucas Glover: Grades: A, Values: C

I think this is the third week in a row for a Lucas Glover tout and I’m not sad about it. To quote the great hockey-philosopher Todd Bertuzzi, “It is what it is.” Glover finished off a hot last week, with a fourth round 63 to finish in 7th spot. If we go by long term weighted scoring average, he’s the best in this field. As noted in previous columns, for the 2018-19 season he ranks ahead of players like Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson.

Glover places first in my weighted P3/P4/P5 scoring model and first in my relative SG: model. Though he’s expensive, I’ll start out a lot of my lineups with Glover in the hopes that maybe some of these young guns are a little overrated at this point in their careers, though that’s seeming less likely by the week. He has two MCs and two top-25s in his last four appearances at the John Deere.

Taylor Gooch: Grades: C, Values: B

If you’re looking for a hit-or-miss GPP play this week, Gooch might be your guy. His track record since the start of the 2018-19 season is marked with highs and lows, with seven top-35 finishes (two top-fives, two top-15s) and five MCs. It’s a small sample size, but Gooch pops form out of nowhere – his two worst T2G weeks have been followed right after by two of his best. Gooch is fifth in weighted P3/P4/P5 scoring model, first in the field in SG: APP over the last 15 rounds, and 15th in SG:P on bentgrass over the same time frame. I had to do a double take, and I’m still not sure I believe this: Gooch is first in the field in DraftKings scoring over the last 50 rounds and fourth in Birdie or Better.

Russell Henley: Grades: B, Values: A

Hendog almost made broke the missed cut streak last week, firing off a birdie-eagle-birdie run on the back nine, only to miss a 12-footer that would have put him inside the number on 18. Henley is a curious case. Since last September, he’s been one of the worst putters on tour, ranking 177th in SG:P. Prior to that, he was a one of the best in the game with the flat stick, ranking as high as 8th in SG:P in over the 2015 season.

I don’t know if you can forget how to putt, but it certainly seems like that part of your game should eventually regress to the mean. Given that Henley has lost strokes on the greens in eight straight tournaments, a quick turnaround is a tough ask, but the rest of his game is showing signs of life. At a bargain basement price, he’s worth fitting into your lineups solely based off the weakness of this field. Henley is a better golfer than the rest of those priced around him.

Stay tuned for low-owned GPP Fliers and Ownership Fades once our industry leading ownership projections come out this afternoon.

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in getting better as a player, and in helping you become a better player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing