Yahoo DFS Golf: John Deere Classic

Yahoo DFS Golf: John Deere Classic

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

John Deere Classic

Silvis, Illinois
TPC Deere Run - Par 71 - 7,268 yards
Field - 156 Entrants
Purse - $6.0M

The Preview

The PGA Tour's recent stretch of anemic fields during the brief Midwestern Swing has been made tolerable by an abundance of par breakers, heroics from Nate Lashley of all people, and a surge from the Class of '19. Yet another motley crew of 156 entrants is filled with mostly undiscovered names as the Tour travels a short distance from the Twin Cities to the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic. TPC Deere Run has been a mecca for guys like Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson, but age has crept up on the former as he's chosen to tee it up on the Champions Tour this week instead. The course's setup is among the easiest on Tour, while the par-71 layout includes multiple reachable par-5s and a trio of par-4s measuring under 400 yards as well. Scoring opportunities will appear in droves as made evident by Michael Kim in 2018 when he won by eight strokes at 27-under, setting the tournament record in the process. As for the weather, a lack of precipitation and balmy temperatures by the Quad Cities' standards should result in firm and fast conditions, but the fairways and greens still won't be difficult to hit.

Recent Champions

2018 - Michael Kim
2017 - Bryson DeChambeau
2016 - Ryan Moore
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Brian Harman
2013 - Jordan Spieth
2012 - Zach Johnson
2011 - Steve Stricker
2010 - Steve Stricker
2009 - Steve Stricker

Key Stats to Victory

Par-breaker percentage - Eight of the past 10 champions have won with an overall score of 20-under-par or better 

SG: Approach - This ball-striking metric coincides with proximity to the hole and primarily indicates the quality of iron or full wedge play into greens

Putting average - TPC Deere Run's large bentgrass greens aren't too difficult as they generally roll at an average pace on the Stimpmeter, but draining a plethora of birdie chances with the flat stick will be paramount in order to keep up with lofty scoring demands

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Sungjae Im - $44

Already making the 30th start of his rookie campaign, Im's rampant scheduling preferences bring him to TPC Deere Run amidst a run of four consecutive top-25s from the RBC Canadian Open to the 3M Open. He's gained an average of 6.1 strokes from tee to green over his last two starts, good enough for ninth in this metric among the JDC field in terms of each entrant's past eight measured rounds. Six top-10 finishes and 21 made cuts have Im currently ranked inside the top-25 in the FedExCup standings, but he'll look to make it three straight first-time winners on the PGA Tour come Sunday afternoon.

Joaquin Niemann - $42

The 20-year-old Chilean experienced a bit of regression to the mean from a putting standpoint at last week's 3M Open, but he still managed to collect his sixth consecutive finish of T31 or better on the heels of back-to-back top-5s prior to the T23 in Minnesota. Niemann ranks third in birdie or better percentage over his last 12 rounds and has gained at least 5.6 strokes tee to green in each of his last four events dating back to the RBC Canadian Open. He's only made one career appearance at the John Deere Classic, but Niemann made it count with a top-25 result in 2018 as he tied for third in par-4 scoring here.

Glue Guys

Kyle Stanley - $36

He may fly somewhat under the radar after withdrawing prior to last week's 3M Open due to an undisclosed reason, but Stanley is coming off a top-25 showing at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and reached 21-under-par en route to runner-up honors here at TPC Deere Run in 2011. Over his last 12 rounds, Stanley ranks third in SG: Approach and 10th in proximity, but he's lost an average of 1.8 strokes per tournament since the PGA Championship. At just 112th in the FedExCup standings, he should be eager to pick up some steam against weak competition before heading to Royal Portrush for the Open Championship.

Brian Harman - $33

Nearly dropping outside of the top-100 in the OWGR with five missed cuts in six starts from the Valspar to the PGA Championship, Harman has regained relevance by notching a pair of top-10s at the 3M Open and Travelers Championship. The John Deere Classic will be Harman's last chance to qualify for the aforementioned Open Championship, but he came out victorious here back in 2014 at 22-under. Harman also ranks third in P5: 550-600 efficiency and seventh in GIR percentage over his last 24 rounds.

J.T. Poston - $33

Poston fell into a slump from the Wells Fargo through the Travelers Championship after tying for sixth at April's RBC Heritage, but he rebounded with a T11 in Detroit at the Rocket Mortgage Classic where he gained 5.3 strokes on approach shots and also got hot with the putter. Despite the otherwise spotty recent form, he's still top-25 among the field in SG: Approach, proximity and birdie or better percentage over his last 12 rounds. Poston has made the cut in each of his first two trips to TPC Deere Run.

Bargain Bin

Viktor Hovland - $27

Hovland fired a bogey-free 65 on Sunday at TPC Twin Cities to finish T13 for the second straight week, rising to second in proximity and first in SG: Off-the-Tee over his last 12 rounds. The young Norweigan, who just turned pro this summer, has made six consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour and he racked up at least 20 birdies at both the 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Collin Morikawa - $26

Morikawa gained invaluable experience by battling Matthew Wolff down the stretch in the final group of the 3M Open, and although the Cal product just barely missed out on what would have been his first win as well, he should still take pride in earning special temporary PGA Tour status for the remainder of the season. Morikawa birdied six of his last eight holes in Minnesota to launch himself back into contention after bogeying Nos. 2 and 3 on Sunday, displaying perseverance and stability at just 22 years old. From a statistical outlook he's been just as impressive, leading this week's field in SG: Approach and birdie or better percentage over his last 12 rounds.

Matthew Wolff - $20

Wolff's measly cost in Yahoo dollars still matches his age as pricing for the John Deere Classic was seemingly determined before the 20-year-old's clinching eagle from off the 18th green dropped at TPC Twin Cities on Sunday. The Oklahoma State standout, obnoxiously known in Furyk-like fashion for his unique swing, won the 3M Open in just his fourth career start on the PGA Tour. Wolff played his final 36 holes in a collective 15-under-par and ultimately racked up 27 total par-breakers throughout the week. It may be difficult for Wolff to turn right around and prepare for the JDC now, but at the minimum price he's certainly worth a look.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

The Hovland/Morikawa/Wolff trio's talent level is no secret by now and their PGA Tour readiness is clear as day, so they don't exactly appear in the 'Bargain Bin' as sleepers but rather as elite point per dollar values compared to other DFS sites. Expect inflated ownership for all three after brilliant performances at the 3M Open, which should help reduce exposure to several options in the middle tier as plenty of gamers deploy a studs and duds strategy in tournament formats especially.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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