2020 PGA Golf DFS: Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands Breakdown

SI Fantasy golf expert Mark Farris provides his DFS picks, values & fades for this weekend's PGA Tour Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.
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The Power Fade

  • Tournament: Travelers Championship
  • Course: TPC River Highlands (Par 70, 6800 yards)
  • Location: Cromwell, CT
  • Greens: Bentgrass/Poa Blend
  • Defending Champion: Chez Reavie (-12)
  • Corollary Courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links & Hamilton Golf & Country Club (RBC Canadian Open)

Last week was a good week. Not so much for me from a profit standpoint – which I blame on my poor contest selection – but from the perspective that I saw a few of our subscribers do quite well. I would like to hope it was based on my write up, at least, in part. I went back and looked, and this is what I saw:

  • 20 of the 22 names I mentioned in my article made the cut.
  • The Rickie Fowler fade was a good call.
  • The Rory McIlroy fade, not so much. However, I did say I didn't like fading him, but his pricing almost required a win, and he finished T41. I would still say that was a good call.

Let's see if we can duplicate that this week.

Course Summary

TPC River Highlands is a very short Par 70 by PGA Tour standards. However, that doesn't mean it will be easier. Positioning tee shots plays a significant role here, and bombers can do their thing as well. So, we can approach it from two directions.

The fairways narrow by about 20% on average past 300 yards off the tee (closing from 35 yards wide to roughly 28 yards). Fairways are tree-lined, which tightens the look of the fairway. I think it was Rory who said last week, something to the effect that, on a Pete Dye course, it takes a couple of times around the course to get comfortable. Not necessarily because the course is hard, but because Pete Dye is so good at making the course "look hard." Deception is, from what I've noticed on the Dye courses I've played, Pete Dye's M.O.

Historically, the greens here have been hard to hold and usually run fast. Additionally, unlike Harbour Town, the undulations are back on this Pete Dye design. Placement of approach shots on the green will help the SG-Putting statistic this week.

Like last week, there is a drivable Par 4 – the 15th hole. Brooks Koepka made an eagle and nearly holed a drive last week. Nearly holed is relative when you say 3 feet considering it was a driver and not a 9-iron.

For future reference – and I will remind you each week in case you are a new subscriber, I am a DFS player that relies on current form, course history and my gut!

Golf is so variant, and statistics do matter, but I've always found that the way a guy has been playing can flip a statistic. I also know from my play that, as long as my head is in the right place, I play better.

I'm going to try to keep this article as straight forward as I can for you. I'll give you three to five players in each salary range that I pick (it may vary by week depending on pricing). This may be broken down into Tier 1 & 2 in the top price range because, on any given week, any of these guys are capable of winning. I’ll also give you my

  • Pick to Win
  • Gut Pick to Win
  • Salary Relief
  • Power Fade

(Note: I list in order of preference, not price.)

High-Priced Picks

Tier 1

  • Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000 DK; $11,700 FD)
  • Justin Thomas ($10,800 DK; $12,000 FD)

Tier 2

  • Rory McIlroy ($11,200 DK; $11,900 FD)
  • Xander Schauffele ($ 9,600 DK; $11,200 FD)
  • Collin Morikawa ($ 9,100 DK; $10,500 FD)

Remember, you have 20-percent more Salary Cap on FanDuel than you do on DraftKings. As a rule of thumb – if you want to look at equivalent dollars in their pricing models – you can multiply the DK salary by 120-percent.

Mid-Priced Picks

  • Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8,100 DK; $ 9,900 FD)
  • Marc Leishman ($8,000 DK; $ 9,800 FD)
  • Sungjae Im ($8,600 DK; $10,400 FD)
  • Tony Finau ($8,200 DK; $ 9,900 FD)
  • Patrick Reed ($8,700 DK; $10,300 FD)
  • Bubba Watson ($8,800 DK; $10,800 FD)

Salary Relief

These guys fall at the lower end of the salary scale that I think will offer you a substantial likelihood of making the cut and a productive amount of points. In the past, I think I've even picked some of these guys as my "Gut Pick to Win." This week, I'm looking at:

  • Viktor Hovland ($7,800 DK; $9,700 FD)
  • Ian Poulter ($7,800 DK; $9,600 FD)
  • J. T. Poston ($7,900 DK; $9,700 FD)
  • Scottie Scheffler ($7,600 DK; $9,600 FD)
  • Joel Dahmen ($7,700 DK; $9,400 FD)

Deep Salary Relief

  • Louis Oosthuizen ($7,200 DK; $9,300 FD)
  • Dylan Frittelli ($7,100 DK; $8,700 FD)
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7,000 DK: $8,600 FD)
  • Talor Gooch ($6,500 DK; $7,700 FD)

Pick to Win

Brooks Koepka

Gut Pick to Win 

 ($8000 or lower on DK)

 Viktor Hovland

Power Fades

DraftKings: Patrick Cantlay ($9,800)

There is no real reason to fade Patrick Cantlay other than the "UNKNOWN." This is his first tournament back since the break. Although he had a T15 here last year, he had been playing. Plus, we saw how rusty the ultra-hot Rory McIlroy was his first week back and even last week a little. Throwing in a couple of par to over-par rounds in a weekend does not suit Top Tier pricing that well. Still, NOT A FULL FADE!!!

FanDuel: Patrick Cantlay ($11,300 FD)

I tried to find another guy here that I could suggest fading on FanDuel, but could only look at Paul Casey ($8,900 DK; $10,700 FD). If I faded him, it would be for the same reason as Patrick Cantlay, and Cantlay is $600 more expensive. Again, not a full fade. If this were the true mid-season of PGA, I'd be all over both of these guys as they would likely be lower-owned than most in the top tier guys.

Premium Guidance

While I’ve listed several guys in the various price ranges, I want to provide a few more names and insight for you guys that enjoy the site.

Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000 DK; $11,700 FD) – It's Groundhog Day! I’m in on him again. However, unlike last week, I don’t think I’ll have him in more than 15-20% of my lineups.

Justin Thomas ($10,800 DK; $12,000 FD) – Much like last week with Rory, his pricing is the only thing that makes me a little leery, especially on FanDuel. Unlike how I felt with McIlroy last week, I think JT is in a good spot to potentially win here even though his course history would tell us otherwise with a T36, T56, and a missed cut.

Collin Morikawa ($10,000 DK; $11,500 FD) – Baby Yoda will be back in contention this week.

Sungjae Im ($8,600 DK; $10,400 FD) – Missed the cut last week. I appeared to "screw" a lot of lineups based on what I saw on Twitter and Slack. That will stop me this week, right? He wasn't awful by any definition last week; he just couldn't putt. He'll be right back in my lineups this week so, if you fade him because of last week, thank you for the low ownership!

Patrick Cantlay ($9,800 DK; $11,300 FD)
Paul Casey ($8,900 DK; $10,700 FD)

Yes, I know, this sounds like I'm contradicting myself. As I said above, I had no one that I feel is a full fade this week. Of course, someone will jump out late Friday afternoon, but unlike last week, I don't have a strong feeling toward anyone. While I know I will go lighter than usual on these two; I will have them in one or two lineups (maybe the same lineup) this week. Call it my "Hedge Lineup."

Jon Rahm ($10,200 DK; $11,000 FD)
Webb Simpson ($10,500 DK; $11,600 FD)

While Rahm isn’t the “Rahminator” right now and Webb won last week, these two remind me of an old football movie – "Any Given Sunday."

Ian Poulter ($7800 DK; $9,600 FD) – As I said before, he’s playing, I’m buying. Since he is typically priced mid-pack or below the average price per golfer on a balanced DK lineup, he ALWAYS gives you a good “floor” to make the cut.

Viktor Hovland ($7,800 DK; $9,700 FD) – He’s a combination of Ian Poulter and Collin Morikawa to me. Until they start pricing him otherwise, I have no problem starting a lineup with Poulter and Hovland. Although I didn’t get my playoff last week, Poulter and Hovland never really disappeared last week either. With another Dye course and a similar feel, that’s another reason I’m still in.

Dark Horses

Talor Gooch ($6,500 DK; $7,700 FD) – He missed the cut last week. But that is only because he shot a 75 on Thursday. He’s made 13 out of 15 cuts this season and shot three sub-70 rounds at Charles Schwab the week before. The only round he didn't shoot under 70 was a round of 70! For these prices, he is definitely worth a risk if you need the salary relief.

Dylan Frittelli ($7,100 DK; $8,700) – While not quite the price savings as Gooch, he has made 12 out of 16 cuts this year. He flipped Talor's results in the restart with an MC at Schwab and T8 at Harbour Town, but he looks right at this price.

Some of the lower-priced guys seem to be playing with some renewed confidence against the big names with this restart to the season. I'm honestly wondering if the lack of fans and limited cameras are allowing them to relax and just play. Remember, these guys are here for a reason. Breaking par is a normal thing for them, unlike us amateurs.