The Travelers Championship Preview

The Majors are done, and now the race to the Fed Ex Cup, and the Ryder Cup, really heats up. TPC River Highlands is a par 70 that measures 6,820 yards that was redesigned by Pete Dye and Bobby Weed in 1998. It's more of a classic course design, not something we see every week on the PGA Tour with so many tracks leaning towards the bombers. Length isn't imperative this week, but precision of the tee will be huge as big, straight drives will set up a lot of wedges into greens. The field is actually pretty stacked, which is surprising on the surface considering there were two majors in the last three weeks. The simple reason for that is, there are a lot of players trying to keep their position, or play their way onto their respective Ryder Cup team. I don't usually use too many narratives when making DFS/gambling decisions, but for golf, I think that there is some weight to playing a narrative you believe in due to the fact golf isn't a team sport. For Team USA, the following players are trying to hold onto a spot or grab one; Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, JB Holmes, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Chappell, Daniel Berger, Charley Hoffman, Daniel Summerhays, Jim Furyk, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland and Justin Thomas. For the European team, Tyrrell Hatton and Soren Kjeldsen will look to have strong weeks and hold onto their spots. I'm not sure if there is any angle to play for the players heading to Rio next week for the Olympics, but there are six in the field; Matt Kuchar, Soren Kjeldsen, Alex Cejka, Padraig Harrington, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson.

Key Stats for TPC River Highlands

Strokes gained approach (SG:APP) is going to be huge this week, and look no further back than last year for proof and both Bubba Watson and Paul Casey finished 1-2, and inside the top 7 to end the season in SG:APP. David Toms cracks the list of picks later on, and also sports a very impressive SG:APP average of 4.151 in his six starts at TPC River Highlands. Strokes gained tee to green (T2G) is the next key stat I targeted, and the top 10 all time in this stat at TPC RH is a good place to start making linueps. Via Fantasy Golf Metrics statsearcher tool, Paul Casey, David Toms, Vijay Singh, Francesco Molinari, Brian Harman and Charley Hoffman are all in the top 10 all time here in T2G, and all are recommended plays this week. Finally, as per usual, Birdie or Better percentage (BoB%) has shown to be a key for success here in the past. The top 3 here over the years has been littered with players who have finished their respective seasons inside the top 50 in BoB%. Brooks Koepka had a 25% birdie rate in his only appearance last year, and he has the same birdie rate over his past four events this season.

Top Pin Seekers

Branden Grace

DK Salary T2G SG:APP BoB%
11,500 10 5 89

Bubbas ownership will be through the roof, so I'm targeting the players below him at the top for GPP's. Grace is liquid magma hot right now tee to green, and hopefully the slow greens here will help his putting out. He put on a clinic at the PGA, and had gained an average of 9.383 strokes tee to green on the field in his last four events (via Fantasy Golf Metrics). Has a win at the RBC Heritage earlier this year, another Pete Dye track on the rotation. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 12-17%

Brooks Koepka

DK Salary T2G SG:APP BoB%
11,200 21 58 9

Brooks showed up at the PGA post ankle injury and looked awesome, finishing t4. Any concerns over the health of his ankle can be chucked out the window after playing 36 holes on Sunday. Trying to hold onto his Ryder Cup spot with five players in the field within 700,000 points. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 15-20%

Patrick Reed

DK Salary T2G SG:APP BoB%
10,900 38 104 46

Reed is gearing up for the Olympics in Rio, but he's currently occupying the final automatic pick into the US Ryder Cup team, and will be very motivated to keep his spot. In great form right now, and I expect his ownership to be low due to the popularity of the players around him. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 5-10%

Matt Kuchar

DK Salary T2G SG:APP BoB%
10,600 14 34 24

Kuchar will be the mega chalk this week, even though he burned everyone at the PGA by missing the cut. He's the best player in the field on Pete Dye tracks in the field since 2013 by a mile, and really excels on par 70's too. His form is great, and his price is very reasonable. $3 GPP Ownership Guess: 30-35%

Middle Tee Plays

Jim Furyk - DK Salary $9,400 - seven straight cuts made, with three top 25's - highest Strokes Gained total on Bentgrass in the field since 2013 (via Future of Fantasy)

Gary Woodland - DK Salary $9,100 - like Kuchar, burned a lot of people at the PGA, great form before that and top 20 here last year - 18th in Ryder Cup points - top 30 in SG:APP & T2G

Francesco Molinari - DK Salary $8,900 - in fantastic form, trying to keep his outside Ryder Cup chances alive - top 20 in SG:APP & T2G

Russell Knox - DK Salary $8,600 - six straight made cuts with four top 30's - great on Pete Dye and TPC tracks - gained 3.631 strokes T2G in three appearances here

Kevin Chappell - DK Salary $8,400 - get back on board this week, great track record on par 70 and Pete Dye tracks - Ryder Cup motivation! - top 10 in SG:APP & T2G

Tony Finau - DK Salary $8,300 - another guy who burned people at the PGA, but he loves the Bentgrass, came 25th here last year - BoB% of 26.3 here last year

Charley Hoffman - DK Salary $8,100 - five straight cuts made here with two top 7's - top 45 in SG:APP & T2G

Justin Thomas - DK Salary $7,800 - good on Pete Dye layouts, five straight made cuts - 30th SG:APP

Brian Harman - DK Salary $7,700 - in good form, never missed cut here, 3rd last year - top 'Cafe Value' on the Colossus Lineup Optimizer

Tyrrell Hatton - DK Salary $7,700 - will be very popular this week, in great form, playing to keep his Ryder Cup spot secure - three straight top 10 finishes, two in majors

Daniel Summerhays - DK Salary $7,600 - after he screwed me out of thousands at the Canadian Open, he bounced back with a t3 at the PGA - 29th BoB%

Luke Donald - DK Salary $7,300 - very good on Pete Dye layouts, nice price for guy who should make the cut - 30th SG:APP

GPP Dart Board Dreams

Russell Henley - DK Salary $6,400 - in great form with a 22nd at the PGA - another Pete Dye specialist who plays better on Bermuda grass

Adam Hadwin - DK Salary $6,200 - plays better on Bermuda, great price - 30th in BoB%

Chad Campbell - DK Salary $6,200 - very good course history and is in great form - trifecta specialist on Pete Dye, TPC tracks & Bentgrass (via Future of Fantasy SG numbers)

Chez Reavie - DK Salary $6,200 - the Colossus Optimizer loves Reavie too, in good form and four straight cuts made here - 10th SG:APP

David Toms - DK Salary $5,800 - course horse with six straight made cuts, two top 6's, 24.6% BoB% - 25th SG:APP

Vaughn Taylor - DK Salary $5,800 - great price, three straight cuts made - 14th SG:APP

Vijay Singh - DK Salary $5,400 - made 8/9 cuts here, with two top 5's - 21.7% BoB% last five events

Tim Wilkinson - DK Salary $5,300 - plays better on slow greens, par 70's and has a good TPC track record - 44th SG:APP

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