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Fantasy Advice

John Deere Classic DFS picks 2022: Webb Simpson is back

June 28, 2022
CROMWELL, CONNECTICUT - JUNE 26: Webb Simpson of the United States prepares to tee off on the ninth hole during the final round of Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 26, 2022 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

With many top golfers coming off an extended run of playing time and the fact that many will head to Scotland for next week’s Scottish Open, the John Deere Classic offers a desirable “rest” week. The field is much weaker than we’ve seen recently, but these weeks typically benefit those who are well-prepared and well-researched.

TPC Deere Run will feature plenty of elevation changes and birdie opportunities for the field. Lucas Glover won in 2021 at 19-under par, which was the “worst” winning score over the past three years. Expect plenty of fireworks this week!

Here are my favorite plays and fades this week at the 2022 John Deere Classic.

Price range: $9,000 and above

High Upside: Denny McCarthy ($9,900 DraftKings | $11,200 FanDuel)

The style of golf that McCarthy plays lends itself to some volatile results. He’s one of the best putters on tour and often relies on that for a solid week. He posted impressive finishes at the Memorial (T-5) and the U.S. Open (seventh) before missing the cut last week. He’ll need to putt well and not give too many strokes back in other areas of his game to contend again this week.

Safest Option: Adam Hadwin ($10,400 DraftKings | $11,700 FanDuel)

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David Cannon

Since the start of 2022, Hadwin has only lost strokes to the field on five occasions out of the 15 events that he’s played. His tee-to-green game has been sublime, earning 17.09 strokes to the field over his past three starts alone. Well-rested from his T-7 at the U.S. Open, and Hadwin should be ready for more great play.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Charles Howell III ($9,300 DraftKings | $10,800 FanDuel)

This is a steep price to pay for Howell who has three top-15 finishes in his past 42 events. He’s not nearly as accurate off-the-tee as previous seasons, and he’s losing strokes to the TOUR on approach. He’s also dropped out of the top 150 in putting this season, which is just a bunch of red flags for a golfer who needs to finish inside the top 10 to pay for himself.

Pick To Win: Webb Simpson ($10,600 DraftKings | $12,000 FanDuel)

Despite a “down year” for Simpson, he is still the best player in this field, and he’s starting to show signs of significant improvement. He has three top-27 finishes in his past four starts and has gained strokes on approach in six straight, per the RickRunGood.com golf database. He’s starting to look healthy again, and his metrics are following suit.

$8,000 to $9,000

High Upside: Scott Stallings ($8,900 DraftKings | $10,600 FanDuel)

Stallings has been feast or famine of late, earning two top-eight finishes and three top-25 finishes in his past six starts. He missed the cut in his other three tournaments. He’s flashed the upside by gaining seven-plus strokes on approach in two of his past four events, and he has three top-20 finishes in Silvis over his past five trips.

Safest Option: Brendon Todd ($8,500 DraftKings | $10,900 FanDuel)

Todd missed the cut on the number last week and didn’t do anything terrible in the process. He lost 0.08 strokes to the field over his first two rounds and was sent packing. His T-13 at the RBC Canadian Open and third-place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge offer plenty of optimism that Todd will bounce back quickly.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Lanto Griffin ($8,200 DraftKings | $9,400 FanDuel)

Griffin doesn’t look much like himself these days, losing strokes from tee-to-green in three of his last five. His best finish during that stretch is a T-51, and he’s missed his past two cuts. With his driving accuracy ranking outside the top 120 and his Greens in Regulation percentage outside the Top 100, it’s unlikely that he finds a reprieve in Silvis, Ill.

Pick To Win: Nick Hardy ($8,700 DraftKings | $10,400 FanDuel)

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Michael Reaves

Hardy will be popular this week—and for good reason! He finished runner-up on the Korn Ferry Tour a few weeks back and has piled up three more impressive finishes on the PGA Tour since – T-35, T-14, T-8. He’s playing with a ton of confidence and looking for a breakthrough victory.

$7,000 to $8,000

High Upside: John Huh ($7,800 DraftKings | $9,800 FanDuel)

Huh’s great asset is playing from the fairway, ranking 22nd on tour in driving accuracy. He’s turned that skill into three straight top-25 finishes, where he’s gained a total of 21.01 strokes to the field. TPC Deere Run has historically rewarded accurate drivers, so I expect Huh to continue the great play again this week.

Safest Option: Steve Stricker ($7,400 DraftKings | $8,900 FanDuel)

It was likely that the three-time champion was going to make an appearance here, but it’s not only the wins from a decade ago that have my attention. Stricker hasn’t missed a cut at this event in 11 straight years, and he’s been crushing it on the PGA Tour Champions. He has six consecutive top-11 finishes with a win and two runner-up finishes. He’s made nine of his past 11 cuts on the PGA Tour and continues to play well no matter where he tees it up.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Taylor Pendrith ($7,300 DraftKings | $9,300 FanDuel)

Pendrith fractured a rib at The Players and had to push his return date back twice. I’m thrilled to see Pendrith back in action, but this start will require him to knock off the rust at a course that doesn’t set up well for him. This isn’t the week for Pendrith, but keep an eye on him for the near future, like the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Pick To Win: Sam Ryder ($7,100 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel)

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Icon Sportswire

Ryder has gained a staggering 15.52 strokes putting at TPC Deere Run in his three starts. Clearly he’s been able to find something on these putting surfaces that he hasn’t been able to find at other tour stops. Combine that with his solid tee-to-green play recently, gaining 5.17 last week at the Travelers, and we have a recipe for success.

$6,900 and below

High Upside: Kelly Kraft ($6,700 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel)

Kraft is highly accurate off the tee, ranking inside the top 30 on tour this season. He’s made four of his last five cuts, highlighted by a T-15 in Mexico and a T-13 in Canada. In his four trips to the John Deere Classic, he’s made the weekend every time and finished T-5 in 2016.

Safest Option: Lee Hodges (6,900 DraftKings | $8,700 FanDuel)

Hodges has found the weekend in three straight starts and he’s proving to be a decent ball-striker—gaining strokes on approach in all three. His weakness is driving distance and around-the-green play, both of which should be mitigated at TPC Deere Run.

Most Likely To Disappoint: Brian Gay ($6,200 DraftKings | $7,400 FanDuel)

Gay’s transition to the PGA Tour Champions hasn’t exactly gone to plan. In his most recent five starts, he has two top-20 finishes and a few other disappointing results. Now he heads back to the PGA Tour, where he has missed eight of his last 14 cuts. His game simply isn’t sharp, and the results are matching.

Pick To Win: Vaughn Taylor ($6,800 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel)

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Mike Ehrmann

Taylor has gained three-plus strokes on approach in three straight starts, per the RickRunGood.com golf database—something he hasn’t done since the fall of 2016. That should provide decent confidence as he heads back to TPC Deere Run, where he’s made four straight cuts with two top-20 finishes.

Rick Gehman, founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.