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DraftKings DFS Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: 2023 PGA TOUR John Deere Classic Picks

Geoff Ulrich gets you set for the John Deere Classic with winning trends and his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The Cheat Sheet provides DraftKings fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $750K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]

The Field

The field this week is set at 156 golfers. With only two weeks to go until the Open Championship — and with next week having a big tune-up event on the schedule over in Scotland — many of the top names have decided to skip this week's event. As of now, the top player in the field is Cameron Young, who sits at 19th in the OWGR. Behind him, Russell Henley 29th, and Denny McCarthy 34th, also give this field some name power and it’s worth noting that McCarthy currently sits as the event favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook at +1400.

Along with the players anchoring this event at the top of the board, there are also some intriguing young names in the field. Ludvig Aberg is back in action and played well for 36 holes last week before imploding on the weekend. We’ll also be getting another look at new pro Peter Kuest, who finished T4 in Detroit and nearly pulled off a massive upset. This event is always one of the lowest-scoring events of the year, so expect lots of fantasy points this week in the top lineups as players pile on the bonuses and birdies. The regular cut rules (top 65 and ties make the weekend) apply.

The Course

TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois

Par 71 –7,268 yards; Greens: Bentgrass

This is traditionally one of the easiest courses the players see all year. The winning score at Deere Run almost always hits 20-under-par, or better, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see some players threaten for a 59. Last season, JT Poston won the event at 21-under and gained over 4.5 strokes on approach and around the greens (there’s more on Poston’s stats below).

As for the setup, TPC Deere Run is a shorter par 71 and features three par 5s, all of which play very straightforward, and are holes that must be taken advantage of by those planning to compete for the win. Of the past seven winners, only one (Jordan Spieth in 2013) has finished outside the top 10 in par-5 scoring for the week.

That part is obvious and any player who doesn’t score at least reasonably well on the easiest holes this week will fall behind quickly. The par 4s are also much more manageable than a typical par 71, as only a couple of them tend to play over par for the week. Seven of the par 4s come in under 450 yards in length, making distance off-the-tee somewhat irrelevant.

As a result, players who can hit a lot of fairways and get in a groove with their short irons at this course are extremely dangerous. TPC Deere Run does have some tighter driving chutes and classic tree-lined fairways but if you can hit your targets off the tee the course opens up quickly for scoring.

For stat purposes, players spiking in with their irons, proximity from 125-150, and par-4 efficiency from 400-450 yards are good targets. Looking at SG: Off-the-Tee with an eye to accuracy may be a good way to uncover some solid targets as well. The last six winners at Deere Run have all gained well over a stroke off-the-tee, and none of the winners (outside of DeChambeau in 2017) can be characterized as big hitters. Managing your off-the-tee game at Deere Run is important and those who can do that set themselves up for a big week.

2023 Outlook: The weather doesn’t appear like it will be a huge factor over the first two days. There is a little early week rain in the forecast so expect the venue to play softer on Thursday but potentially firm up on Friday. Winds are a little stronger on Thursday afternoon than they are Friday so there could be a small advantage in targeting the early Thursday/late Friday tee times, especially if the course gets softened up on Wednesday. Saturday and Sunday may have some stoppages with Thunderstorms expected to roll in and out of the area all weekend. Unless the wind picks up, rain will likely only work to make the course easier so expect low scores to dominate again in 2023.

Last 5 winners

2022—J.T. Poston -21 (over Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Emiliano Grillo -18)

2021—Lucas Glover -19 (over Kevin Na -17)

2019—Dylan Frittelli -21 (over Russell Henley -19)

2018—Michael Kim -27 (over Francesco Molinari and three others -19)

2017—Bryson DeChambeau -18 (over Patrick Rodgers -17)

Winning Trends

  • 10 of the last 13 winners of this event had all played at TPC Deere Run in a previous year and made the cut at least once before their win.
  • Five of the last six winners had gained over 4.0 strokes on approach on one of their previous four starts, prior to winning the John Deere Classic
  • Each of the past six winners of the John Deere Classic played in the PGA event the week prior to their win at TPC Deere Run.

Winners Stats and Course Overview

2022 Winner: J.T. Poston (21-under par); 2022 lead-in form (2-MC-37-MC-9)

SG: OTT—+2.8

SG: APP—+4.7

SG: TTG—+13.4

SG: ATG—+5.9

SG: PUTT—+2.3

  • In 2022, JT Poston continued the trend of winners being very elite with their approach games at Deere Run, but also very solid off-the-tee
  • Each of the last six winners of this event have gained over one stroke off-the-tee, and over the last five years only one top-five finisher at this event has gained less than 1.0 stroke off-the-tee
  • Wedge play is obviously important, too, and looking at proximity from 125-150 yards, could help you find some good value plays from the cheaper price areas
  • Poston’s stats were skewed a little more heavily toward the around-the-green side of the game, but winners at Deere Run tend to gain more the putter over time than scrambling

Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Byeong Hun-An +3500 and $8,700


Beau Hossler +5000 and $7,600


All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change


  1. Zach Johnson ($7,200; best finishes: win-2012): Johnson’s record at this event over the last decade or so is a good career in and of itself. He’s played the John Deere Classic 13 times since 2009 and finished T5 or better on seven occasions. Despite his play falling off the last few seasons he’s still made the cut at this venue five years in a row.
  2. Ryan Moore ($7,200; best finishes: win-2016, T2-2021): Moore won this event in 2016 and popped up out of nowhere to finish T2 in 2021. He’s only missed the cut at Deere Run once in his last 10 appearances and also posted a T24 finish off no form at this event in 2022.
  3. Lucas Glover ($8,300; best finishes: win-2021; T10 -2019): Glover won this event in 2021 and was also in the hunt at TPC Deere Run in 2019, when he finished T10. The veteran missed the cut at this event last season, but still ranks first in SG: Total at Deere Run over the past six seasons.
  4. Patton Kizzire ($7,200; best finishes: T11-2021): Kizzire is an elite putter and he’s popped at some of the easier courses on the PGA TOUR multiple times in his career. He’s played this event four times previously and never finished outside the top 30.
  5. Russell Henley ($10,400; best finishes: 2nd-2019): Henley would be ranked higher this week if he had a bigger sample size. He’s one of the best short-iron players in the world and in two visits to Deere Run, he’s finished T11 and T2.


1. Adam Schenk ($9,500; T7 - MC): Schenk continues to pound out great results. He leads the field in SG: Total over the last seven weeks and gained over 3.5 strokes putting and on approach in Detroit.

2. Denny McCarthy ($10,600; T7 - T20): McCarthy is coming off a week of rest but has been in great form this Summer. He’s finished top-20 in his last three starts, including a T20 at the tougher LACC which hosted the US Open.

3. Chez Reavie ($7,700; T29 - T4): Reavie has now made six cuts in a row and is rolling with his irons. The veteran has gained over 3.0 strokes on approach in three straight starts.

4. Adam Hadwin ($9,800; T2 - T59): Hadwin was a playoff loser last week in Detroit. His iron game is popping and he gained 9.8 strokes putting last week. This week will mark his second visit to TPC Deere Run.

5. Ludwig Aberg ($10,100; T40 - T24): Aberg struggled on the weekend in Detroit, falling to a T40 finish. The young Swede is destroying the ball off the tee, and despite falling off last weekend, has now made five straight cuts on the PGA TOUR.


Cash Games: Hadwin is heating up

Adam Hadwin ($9,800) comes in off a 2nd place finish in Detroit last week where he fell in a playoff to Rickie Fowler and Collin Morikawa. Hadwin’s gained over 2.0 strokes on approach now in four straight starts and his putter woke up in a big way last week, gaining him 9.8 strokes for the week. The Canadian is still a decent price at under $10,000 given the strength of the field. Stephan Jaeger ($8,800) is another solid value who is heating up of late. The German shot 63 to end his event in Detroit and gained over 4.0 strokes on approach at Detroit GC. His consistency off-the-tee will play well this week and his confidence with the putter took a step up in Detroit as well. Other potential targets for this format include Chris Kirk ($9,300), Doug Ghim ($8,000), and Dylan Wu ($7,500).

Tournaments: Tarren and Reavie, solid upside targets

The ownership at the top of the salary range this week seems likely to be quite spread with a lot of different names getting 10% owned or higher in big tournaments. Despite this being a weaker field, there is some good upside in the $7k range this week and some names who likely won’t have huge ownership. Callum Tarren ($7,300) remains uber-cheap despite being one of the leaders in the field in SG: Tee-to-green at the Rocket Mortgage. Tarren’s made three cuts in a row now and also put in a career finish at the PGA Championship with a T29 a couple of months ago. In the same range but a little higher, there is also Chez Reavie ($7,700) who comes in having made six cuts in a row and striking the ball superbly. Other potential targets for this format include Chesson Hadley ($7,100), Zecheng Dou ($6,900), and Troy Merritt ($6,600).

MY PICK: Chris Kirk ($9,300)

Kirk feels like somewhat of a forgotten player in the field this week. The now five-time PGA TOUR winner has perked up a bit of late, gaining over 3.0 strokes on approach in each of his last two starts — yet remains very affordable at under $9.5k in price. While his improved ball striking wasn’t enough to get him to the weekend at the U.S. Open, Kirk’s all-around game was much better in Detroit last week, where he gained 5.9 strokes on approach and finished T17, despite losing strokes on the greens.

Kirk’s putter can be stubborn to come around at times, but the fact he’s again gaining off-the-tee and on approach makes him an absolute danger to threaten for the win — on a course where many holes will require simple wedges on the approach. Even with a small dip in form over the Spring, Kirk still ranks 11th in overall proximity over the last 50 rounds and is also first in proximity over that same span from 125-150 yards.

For betting, his current +3500 odds on the DraftKings Sportsbook is bigger than it was when he won the Honda Classic in March and makes him a great outright value to look at this week as well.

MY SLEEPER: Zecheng Dou ($6,900)

Zecheng (“Marty”) Dou’s game has shown some life this summer. The 26-year-old has quietly made five of his last six cuts on the PGA TOUR and is just a few starts removed from a T5 finish at the Byron Nelson, where he held the lead on Sunday with just 12 holes to go. He gained over 2.4 strokes on approach in Detroit last week — which was his best mark in that category since last fall — and has shown good upside with his putter of late, gaining over 2.0 strokes putting in four of his last seven starts.

One of Dou’s biggest strengths is his general consistency off-the-tee, which should play well at Deere Run, and should lead to a decent number of birdie chances this week — assuming his iron game stays relatively hot. Considering how well he’s been putting, his sub $7k salary looks well worth targeting for DFS builds and will help unlock bigger names at the top of the salary structure. For betting, his +210 top-40 odds make him a solid target on DraftKings Sportsbook as well.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $750K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.