The Open Championship is one week away, and most of the top players are either getting ready at home or playing in the Scottish Open, leaving the John Deere Classic with one of the weakest fields all season. Like the last couple of weeks, TPC Deere Run will be a wedge and putting exhibition where birdies are plentiful. This par 71 has seen winning scores over 20-under par in four out of the last five years.
In 2019, the average salary of the top six golfers was just above $8,000, with Joaquin Niemann as the most expensive at $10,200 and Chris Stroud being the cheapest at $6,600. In 2018, the average salary was $8,100, with Francesco Molinari at $11,600 as the most expensive and the eventual winner, Michael Kim, as the cheapest at $6,900. Both years had three golfers in the $7,000-range, resulting in a “stars and scrubs” construction being the most valuable. Based on history, this seems to be the way to build your GPP lineups this week, especially with the tournament void of our usual “studs.”
Course history, current form, or your favorite golf tout has pumped up the projected DraftKings ownership for individual golfers throughout the week. This article will look at the projected chalk and pivot in each significant salary range when entering lineups in DraftKings GPPs.
Here are the pivots we should be considering this week on DraftKings.
Projected Popular Golfer: Daniel Berger ($11,100)
Pivot: Brian Harman ($10,400)
As of press time, Harman and Berger are projected to be the same roster percentage per FantasyNational.com. Berger is the most talented player in the field by a wide margin, but Harman’s recent form reads 5-19-8 in his previous three tournaments. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks fourth in SG: Total and sixth in SG: Tee-to-Green. Far from considered a “stud,” Harman has been playing like one and could be the answer at the top, even with lower win equity than the two golfers above him in price.
$8,000 to $10,000 Range
Projected Popular Golfer: Russell Henley ($9,900)
Pivot: Patton Kizzire ($8,900)
Henley is projected to be the highest-rostered golfer this week per FantasyNational.com, which is perplexing. There’s no debating that he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the field; he also finished with a top 15 at the U.S. Open a couple of weeks ago. Still, he’s also got an MC-71-72-MC in the four tournaments before Torrey Pines, which is a little alarming at his projected roster percentage. Kizzire missed three of his last four cuts, but before that, he had back-to-back top 3 finishes and just recorded a top 25 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week. Kizzire’s ability to rack up birdies on courses similar to TPC Deere Run can be attributed to his putter, ranking sixth in SG: Putting over his previous 24 rounds.
$7,000 to $8,000 Range
Projected Popular Golfer: Kyle Stanley ($7,900)
Pivot: Kramer Hickok ($7,700)
Stanley’s been getting a lot of “his game fits this course” narrative, which is true, but it’s caused him to be relatively popular in this range without a lot of current form coming into this week. The golfers we choose don’t need to be coming in with great form, but I’d rather play Hickok, who was a near victor at the Travelers after an eight-hole playoff loss to Harris English a couple of weeks ago. His 58th-place last week could’ve been a result of some fatigue, but he’s one of the best drivers of the ball on the PGA TOUR, ranking sixth in fairways gained over the previous 24 rounds.
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