DANE’S DARTS: TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP
We continue to roll in our return to golf this week in Cromwell, Connecticut with the Travelers Championship. Traditionally, this tournament is the week after the US Open and is a lot of times voted one of the players’ favorite tournaments of the year. I think we will see some more fireworks when it comes to scoring, similar to the last couple weeks. Let’s dive in!
As always, be sure to check out the RotoPros LIVE golf show that Chris and I record each week on Wednesday nights. You can find the show on YouTube via the RotoPros channel. There we discuss the course and a general overview of our strategy for the week. If you subscribe to the RotoPros channel on YouTube you will be notified each time we go live!
My goal for this article is to break down each price range from a strategy/lineup construction standpoint. Once I do that, I will list a couple of my favorite plays in the range. I really want to help you by talking through how we can gain an edge through construction and not necessarily just taking 3-4 < 5% owned players. That is one way I have really improved in DFS golf, understanding that you only must be different to a point. I usually focus on lower entry max GPPs (single entry, 3 maxes, and 5 maxes) but will speak to certain plays that are better in larger fields and cash games.
I build my models and do a lot of my early week research over at Fantasy National. If you haven’t checked them out, I would highly recommend giving them a shot. It is really a great place to build your own custom models based on the things that you think are important for the week. If you have a certain inclination that one stat will be more important than another you are able to weigh it higher and build out your own model in that way. You can check out their site at www.fantasynational.com.
COURSE & KEY STATS
TPC River Highlands, another Pete Dye design, is a course that guys should be able to take advantage of when their game is clicking. The par 5s and the short par 4 15th are holes that golfers need to make birdies on if they want to keep pace with the field. Other than that, we see 12 par 4s, 7 of which fall into the 400-450 yard range.
For stats this week I am focusing on approach play again with scoring stats such as DK points and Opportunities Gained to capture a golfers ability to make birdies.
Here is a look at my complete list of key stats for the week:
- SG: Ball Striking
- SG: Approach
- Par 4s: 400-450 Yards
- DK Points
- Opportunities Gained
- SG: ARG
As of now it doesn’t look like there will be a wave advantage on Thursday and Friday, as things should even out over the two days. Wind should start out very calm in the mornings and then get up to 10-15 mph in the afternoon. This is something we will again be able to target for showdown.
However, on Saturday it looks like the morning wave will get the advantage of calm winds, followed by some stronger gusts on Saturday afternoon. We may see the leaderboard flip a bit if that does end up being the case, but again something to look at for showdown more than week long contests. This is something we will update you on during our show Wednesday night.
This week pricing is a lot different than what we had a week ago. They now have priced 6 golfers at $10k or above, followed by another 6 in the $9K range. I will be interested to see ownership projections to be able to tell if people are going balanced again or paying up for one of these studs.
I am somewhere in the middle right now. 2 of my favorite golfers of the week are near $11k, which currently lends me toward a bit more of a stars and scrubs build. Like last week, I think you play the guys that you like regardless of ownership, but if you don’t have a great feel for a guy then maybe that is a good spot to fade if they are going to be owned.
$9K + RANGE
This week is a lot like last week in that a lot of these golfers usually play this event right after the grind of a major. For that reason, I am lowering course history just a bit in my model and I still expect one of these stars to get the job done come Sunday.
- Justin Thomas ($10,800) – Justin is the top of every part of my model this week except course history. I love the way he finished on Sunday at Harbour Town, which was a course that didn’t completely fit his game. This should be a much better fit for him and I fully expect JT to be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.
- Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000) – Bryson has been on fire coming off the layoff. I think his current game will fit TPC River Highlands much better than last week at Harbor Town, much like Thomas. We may see Bryson attack this place much like Bubba has in the past, essentially overpowering it. It is going to be a tough decision for me this week in single entry builds between JT and Bryson if I do in fact end up going for a high priced golfer to start.
Notables: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka
I am not 100% sure based on my current thoughts if I will end up with anyone in this range in my main lineup build. There are definitely some interesting options here, but also some prime fade candidates in my opinion.
- Gary Woodland ($8,300) – Gary had a bit of a disappointing week at Harbour Town due to a couple big numbers and just never really getting things firing on all cylinders. He was bad off the tee (at a difficult place to drive the ball), but was still solid on approach. I watched a lot of his rounds through the week and it again seemed to me that his game isn’t far off. The price is still right at $8,300 and I could see him playing well this week.
Notables: Marc Leishman
I am liking a lot of this range this week so feel free to mix and match in GPPs. There are a lot of matches to the course here and I think some of them will be near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday. Just gotta find out who.
- Joaquin Niemann ($7,900) – I mentioned in the chat on Sunday of Colonial that watching his round that day I could see he was very close to being at the top of his game. He went on to finish 5th at Harbour Town and now he returns to a place that he was also 5th a year ago. Sadly, Niemann will be popular this week but at this price I see no reason not to play him if you like where his game is trending. He gained 7 strokes on approach last week.
- Victor Hovland ($7,800) – This is the event that Hovland made his pro debut at last year right after a strong finish at the US Open. He made the cut that week finishing 54th, gaining nearly 6 strokes off the tee. Like Niemann, his game is trending in a nice direction as well as he has finished 23rd and 21st since the return and gained 5.7 and 6.1 strokes tee to green in the two weeks respectively. In his 2nd trip around TPC River Highlands, I expect a nice week from my boy Hovland.
- Joel Dahmen ($7,700) – I really hope a lot of people jump off Dahmen after his round on Sunday. I really like where his game has been before that round gaining a lot of strokes on approach. I am willing to say that round was the anomaly in his recent form and hop right back on him this week. He ranks 13th in my model this week.
Notables: Brian Harman, Harold Varner III
I expect that I will end in this range some this week, but again if you have multiple lineups then spread out your exposure in this range.
- Matthew NeSmith ($6,600) – I will go right back to him this week after a strong performance a week ago that was hindered by one bad round on Saturday. He gained 6 strokes on approach a week ago. He ranks 24th in my model this week and I think he can go well on debut here.
- Sepp Straka (6,400) – Straka is interesting to me at this cheap of a price. There are a few more names I will list in notables that are also in play when you get down here and start mixing and matching, but Straka is very much a boom/bust play. Last year he missed the cut here by 1 shot, losing 6 strokes on the greens in 2 rounds (pretty hard to do). Bentgrass has been his best grass type to putt on over his career. He shot 3 67s last week gaining nearly 4 shots on approach and I like him to carry that over to Cromwell this week.
Notables: Ryan Moore, Patrick Rodgers, Doc Redman
I wish all of you the best of luck and hope to see you in the Slack chat this week and on our live show Wednesday night! Remember to always trust your gut and play the plays that your research leads you to!