clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks: John Deere Classic Predictions, Preview

Reid Fowler previews the John Deere Classic and gives his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The PGA TOUR continues with the John Deere Classic this week in Silvis, Illinois. The course will play as a par 71, measuring 7,289 yards and be putt on bentgrass greens. The field is 156 players, and the cut will be top 65 and ties.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $800K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]


We’re still two weeks out from The Open Championship, but a lot of the top-ranked players are electing to take this week off and make their trip early overseas to the Genesis Scottish Open next week, the first year it’s a co-sanctioned event with the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR. Still, golfers like Webb Simpson ($10,600), Cam Davis ($8,400), Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($9,100) and Sahith Theegala ($10,100) will be looking to play well at TPC Deere Run, which is one of the easiest courses on TOUR. Nine of the previous 13 winning scores have been more than 20-under par, with an average winning score of 21-22 under par over the past five events.

The priority here is to make a ton of birdies and avoid any possibility of dropping strokes. Strokes gained: approach the green is always a priority, but digging deeper, golfers who are strong with their wedges have fared well at this tournament before. Winner of the 2017 John Deere Classic, Bryson DeChambeau, mentions that “you gotta be hitting your wedges really close. If you can do that all week, you’ll be just fine.” Last season’s winner Lucas Glover ($8,300) also said something similar, mentioning, “I wedged it very nice today and putted well, which you have to do here, because you get a lot of opportunities, and distance control is pretty important … .” Other key stats to focus on are driving accuracy, par 4 scoring and par 5 scoring on holes between 550-600 yards, with all three on the scorecard falling in this distance range.

Lineup construction can be a little tricky this week. Last season and 2019, the winners used the entire $50,000 salary cap. In 2018, the top lineup used just $49,000, with four golfers under $7,600. Based on the previous three years, there isn’t a daily fantasy lineup build that we should skew towards. Also, we shouldn’t see any outrageously high ownership on golfers this week, but the trends point to some do’s and don’ts this week. When we look over the same timeframe as above, only one golfer in the winning lineup was roster over 16% (Patton Kizzire, 17.2%, 2021), but nine (50%) had double-digit roster percentages, meaning you don’t have to stay away from the chalk altogether this week.

Adam Schenk ($7,700)

TPC River Highlands is very similar to this week, and although Schenk missed the cut in Cromwell, Connecticut, he played much better on Friday than Thursday, gaining a stroke off the tee and nearly a stroke on approach. He hit 94% of his greens in regulation and almost 80% of his fairways in the second round last week. He’s now gained strokes tee to green in his three previous starts and has tremendous finishes here of fourth (2021), where he ranked second in putting that week (+7.8), and sixth (2019), finishing second in strokes gained tee to green (+9.9). Schenk’s midwest ties (born in Indiana) should make him feel comfortable playing in this part of the country, and hopefully, his putting success here last season can help with some of the recent troubles he’s encountered on the greens. John Huh ($7,800) also deserves a ton of consideration given how he’s playing, ranking top five in birdies or better gained and DKFP over the previous 12 rounds.

Austin Smotherman ($7,000)

Like Schenk, Smotherman could not make the cut last week but has put together an excellent resume in his rookie season, with three top-25 finishes and an 11th-place finish in 18 starts. He’s solid with his wedges, ranking 20th in proximity from 100 to 125 yards over the previous 24 rounds, and is scoring well, ranking 14th in birdies or better gained over the last dozen rounds. Smotherman racked up a win and three top 5s on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, so he’s used to playing in conditions where you need to make birdies in bunches. Some of my other favorite daily fantasy sleepers this week are Robert Streb ($6,600), who’s been inside the top 10 in par 5 scoring for the past 50 rounds, and Chris Stroud ($6,500), who’s only missed the cut once (2016), and has two top-5 finishes (2019, 2015) and a top 20 (2017) in his last five starts here. Stroud hasn’t played on TOUR since February, which is slightly alarming, but you don’t need to be heavily exposed to him at his price or projected roster percentage.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $800K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600 (ONT), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).

21+ (18+ NH/WY; 19+ ONT). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/ONT/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions. DraftKings operates pursuant to an Operating Agreement with iGaming Ontario. Please play responsibly.