DFS Jones: | Travelers Championship Picks

After the absolute carnage that came along with a US Open at Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour heads to a slightly more tame environment in TPC River Highlands. The Travelers Championship is played on a Par 70 track that comes in just over 6,800 yards. Last year, the field at TPC River Highland played just a shade over par (+0.199). As they make their way around the course, golfers will have to contend with 69 bunkers, four water traps, and bentgrass/poa annua greens. If you’re into your own research and want to see a breakdown of the course with some key stats, check out yesterday’s article here.


Expensive Golfers ($9,500+)

Justin Thomas ($11,500) is at the top of the salary heap after his T25 finish at the US Open. JT has had just one finish outside of the Top 25 in his past 19 starts now and continues to play well at different courses regardless of style or difficulty.I’m anticipating a surge in ownership for the winner from last week, Brooks Koepka ($11,300). It’s a difficult decision to fade, given how he looked on a golf course that made so many pros look foolish so put him in a lineup if you’re building multiples, but I prefer Thomas.
Cue the eyerolls, but Jordan Spieth ($10,600) is in play for GPPs again this week. From a raw talent perspective, he has as good of a shot as anyone in the field of taking down the tourney this week. His game will come together sooner or later, and I’m willing to be that it happens in his next couple of starts.
Paul Casey ($9,600) is finally garnering the ownership that he deserves, from a cut making perspective. Finally seeing bumps in his ownership doesn’t mean that he’s a fade this week, or until further notice really. He’s made 51-of-58 cuts since the start of 2016. It’s rare to find that kind of cut equity, but couple that with the fact that he’s 7th in DK Points over the past 50 rounds, and Casey makes an excellent play in all formats this weekend.


Mid-Range Golfers ($9,500 – $8,000)

If there’s a guy in this range that I’m going 100% on, it has to be Patrick Cantlay ($8,400). Last we saw him, he was grinding his way through the cut at Shinnecock. Now he gets to head to a course where he, as a 19-year-old amateur, he shot a (then) course record 60. Something clicked with Cantlay at the Memorial Tournament, and it will continue this week. By August, I think we’ll be seeing Cantlay in the $10,000 range so why not get a discount now?
Bryson DeChambeau ($9,500) is worth a look this week. He’s just two events removed from a victory and has seemed to find some success on Pete Dye courses, recently. He’s 6th in DraftKings Points and 7th in SG: Approach over the past two events on Dye-designed courses. If that seems too granular, he’s 3rd in DK Points over his previous 24 rounds overall.
I paired Paul Casey with Marc Leishman ($9,300) at the U.S. Open, and it worked pretty well. Why not continue targeting those two? Leishman has excellent course fit here. Based on his play over the past 24 rounds, he’s 9th in my course fit model this week. The price is right for a guy who makes cuts and has upside.
Speaking of my course fit model, Ryan Moore ($9,000) is 2nd over the past 24 rounds. In that timeframe he’s 4th in SG: Off the Tee and 2nd in SG: Approach. He’s 8-for-11 in made cuts on the year and hasn’t lost strokes on approach since the Valspar Championship. At $9,000, he could be an excellent start to a balanced cash lineup.


Value Golfers ($8,000 – $7,000)

CT Pan ($7,600) is quickly becoming the flavor of the week. It’s hard to argue with his form coming in. He hasn’t lost strokes on approach since the Valero Texas Open and has made six of his last seven cuts.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,700) is seeing a ton of line movement in Vegas as he’s been bet down from 66-1 to 50-1. Grillo is 6th in Strokes Gained: Approach and DK Points scored over his last 24 rounds. He’s been a staple in GPP winning lineups this year and makes sense in all formats in Connecticut this week.
I’ll continue taking shots at Luke List ($7,900). Be careful overweighting negative results from last week, if anything could be considered an outlier it’s an event that had a cut of +9. List is 7th in SG: Ball-Striking over the past 24 rounds. Betting on that and hoping to land on a hot putting week is my strategy with him and I’m sticking to it.


Cheap Dart Throws (Sub – $7,000)

It may be wise to aim for a more balanced lineup this weekend, but if you want to pay for Justin Thomas ($11,500) or Brooks Koepka ($11,300), you may be looking for a sub-$7k golfer. Vaughn Taylor ($6,900) has played this event in 13 of the past 14 years. In that time he’s made all but two cuts. Dylan Meyer ($6,700) finished T20 in his professional debut in one of the tougher US Opens in recent memory. It may be a gut play, but he’s a competitor that seems to be in good form. You could do a lot worse at $6,700.


I host a podcast called Bogey Free which can be found on iTunes or YouTube. I'm one of the PGA Analysts at DraftKings. On this site, you can find me talking Football Redraft or PGA DFS. Follow along on Twitter @MattJonesTFR to stay up to date.

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