Welcome to the 2018 Travelers Championship DraftKings Fantasy Picks and Pro-Tip.
News and Notes
The PGA TOUR heads to Connecticut where TPC River Highlands will host the Travelers Championship. The field this week is headlined by Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, and features more than thirty of the players we saw in the US Open field. TPC River Highlands is a 6,841 yard Par 70 that plays as one of the shortest courses on tour, even adjusting for Par, with fairways that start out wide but pinch around 300 yards off of the tee. Jim Furyk holds the course record, famously recording a 58 in 2016, and there should be birdies available for the golfer’s who find the small green surfaces in regulation and got hot with the putter.
The closest weather tower on windfinder is at the Hartford Airport. The current conditions look mild with a limited differential between tee times. For Showdown slates targeting the early conditions, particularly Thursday which could play soft, may be beneficial.
The chart below shows the strokes gained composition at this event compared to tour averages. It is worth noting that “Off the Tee” represents a higher percentage of strokes gained this week. Part of this is due to the course layout and Par 70 nature – golfers who shoot even par will naturally have fewer approach shots – while the rest could be representative of fit. Overall, there don’t seem to be any extreme outliers, and tee-to-green play will again reign supreme.
With both the probability and fantasy models there are often guys with slight differences in projections between the two that warrant a closer review. Paul Casey (2nd in Fantasy, 5th in Probabilities), Justin Thomas (4th, 1st), Brian Harman (16th, 28th), Kyle Stanley (32nd, 24th), Adam Hadwin (24th, 33rd), Bill Haas (34th, 29th) and Chesson Hadley (28th, 19th) are inside of the Top 30 golfers in the field and worthy of a deeper dive.
Another thing worth noting after the US Open, where finish position mattered so much for DraftKings scoring, is that we should have more birdies this week enhancing the value of any rosters that get 6/6 through the cut. In tournaments, you are going to need the winning golfer regardless, but in cash games building more balanced seems to be a more optimal strategy.