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FantasyDraft PGA: John Deere Classic

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.

John Deere Classic
Silvis, IL
TPC Deere Run - Par 71 - 7,268 yards
Field - 156 Entrants
Purse - $5.6M

The Preview

Per usual the John Deere Classic is scheduled either before or during a more prestigious event, with much of the world’s top talent playing in this week’s Scottish Open or preparing for the upcoming British Open at Royal Birkdale. Last year Ryan Moore clinched his victory at the JDC with a four-day total of 22-under-par, but the Olympics golf competition in Brazil garnered more attention that week. The 2017 field at TPC Deere Run includes just seven players in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, headlined by Daniel Berger, Brian Harman, and Bubba Watson to name a few. Birdie-or-better percentage and driving accuracy are two key stats to keep an eye on this week, as the course is extremely scorable for those who keep it in the fairways and excel in proximity to the hole from 100-175 yards on their approaches. Look for the best putters to have an advantage as well, given it won’t be necessary to bomb the ball off the tee in order to make birdies.

Past Champions

2016 - Ryan Moore
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Brian Harman
2013 - Jordan Spieth
2012 - Zach Johnson
2011 - Steve Stricker
2010 - Steve Stricker
2009 - Steve Stricker

FantasyDraft Value Picks - based on $100,000 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Danny Lee - $17,000

With three top-25s and two top-10s in his last three starts, Lee will be a popular pick at the John Deere Classic based on recent form alone. He also tied for third at this event in 2015, while he’s currently first among the field in SG: Total and 10th in proximity throughout his past 12 rounds. Lee hasn’t won on Tour since the 2015 Greenbrier Classic, but he’s due for a victory whenever his short game falls into place.

Kevin Kisner - $16,600

Kisner burned owners last week with a missed cut at the Greenbrier, but that may actually help his case at the John Deere with the potential for a significant reduction in ownership. Gamers will not only be worried about Kisner’s recent form after a MC, but may also have concerns surrounding the fact that he’s already qualified for the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. There will be questions regarding what exactly he has to play for and why he would even tee it up as he sacrifices preparation overseas (hint: there’s a $1M winner’s check on the line against weak competition). He’s priced higher than chalky vets Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker -- yet still affordable at $16,600 -- a steal for how good his numbers have been. Throughout his past 12 rounds, Kisner is second among the field in both SG: Total and SG: Putting, while also ranking 12th in driving accuracy and seventh in putting from 10-15 feet on Tour this season. He’s certainly worth consideration in GPP formats, but there are probably safer picks at the top of cash-game lineups this week. (See directly below)

Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker - $16,400

The two horses (deer?) for the course this week are Johnson and Stricker, as both have incredible track records at the JDC. Johnson, who was raised just over an hour away in Cedar Rapids, has six top-three finishes and a win throughout his last eight attempts at the event. Stricker, a former member of the Fighting Illini, notched three consecutive victories at the JDC from 2009-2011. Age is just a number for the 50-year-old, posting only two finishes outside of the top-16 in his past six tourneys on the PGA Tour.

Glue Guys

Ben Martin - $14,900

The 2016 JDC runner-up fired a third-round 62 at TPC Deere Run last year, ultimately leading to his second-place finish at 20-under-par. He’s first among the field in SG: Approach throughout his last 12 rounds, currently riding a streak of eight consecutive made cuts.

Chez Reavie - $14,800

Reavie is top-10 in both SG: T2G and SG: Approach among the field throughout his past 12 rounds, which have included a fourth-place finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic followed by a T16 at the U.S. Open. He has made four consecutive cuts at the John Deere Classic, posting two top-15s in that span. He’s fourth on Tour in driving accuracy for the season, while also ranking ninth in proximity from 125-150 yards.

Chad Campbell - $14,700

Campbell loves this event. His past eight appearances include four top-15s and zero missed cuts, and he’s coming off two top-10s in his last three starts. Campbell is top-30 on Tour in both driving accuracy and GIR percentage this season, but a lousy putter has kept him from a single top-five. If the flat stick decides to come around this week, Campbell could be in for a big payday.

Hidden Gems

Luke List - $12,800

Despite missing five cuts in his last six events, List is ranked sixth in SG: T2G and 11th in SG: Approach among the field throughout his past 12 rounds. Putting woes have plagued List this season, but he’s still 42nd in the FedExCup standings. The bomber also leads the Tour in eagles with 12, so he should be able to take advantage of the reachable par-fives at TPC Deere Run.

J.T. Poston - $12,200

Having missed four consecutive cuts, Poston shouldn’t be considered in cash-game formats, but he’s 67th on Tour in birdie-or-better percentage and 25th among the field throughout his last 12 rounds in proximity from 125-150 yards out. Falling to 115th in the FedExCup standings, Poston will be motivated against a weaker field to climb his way back up in the ranks so he can secure that Tour card for next season.

Mark Hubbard - $11,700

At 207th in the FedExCup standings, Hubbard is completely off the season-long fantasy radar, but has quietly made three cuts in a row. He finished top-25 at the John Deere Classic in 2015 and is 19th among the field in proximity from 100-125 throughout his last 12 rounds. During that span he’s also 10th in SG: Approach and 34th in SG: Total among this week’s field.

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