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PGA DFS Picks: 2021 Travelers Championship

We’re giving you some top PGA DFS picks and looking for green screens at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands!

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Full, deep field of 156 golfers
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 65 and ties play the weekend
  • Defending champion: Dustin Johnson (19 over Kevin Streelman’s -18)
  • The course: TPC River Highlands (Cromwell, CT)
    • 6,841 yards, Par 70 – Old 1928 design reworked by Pete Dye in 1982
    • Varied types of holes on a short course that can produce low scoring (site of Jim Furyk’s 58 in 2016)
    • Small Bentgrass/Poa Greens
    • Just two par 5s, but one is short and yields lots of birdies and eagles; and two driveable par 4s around 300 yards
    • Experience with Pete Dye layouts can help, and there’s plenty of course history at TPC River Highlands
    • Distance not an issue here as scoring clubs more important
  • Focus Stat Categories: SG: Approach, Par 4s: 400-450, Opportunities Gained, SG: OTT, SG: Tee to Green, SG: Putting (Bentgrass and Poa), SG: Around the Green, Birdie or Better %

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Dustin Johnson (DK $11,400) – DJ’s game doesn’t look too bad heading into the Travelers, where he’s the defending champ and one of the betting favorites at 12-1. Last year’s title was helped tremendously by a second round 64 and a scorching-hot 61 on Saturday, but it took him a bit to warm up and he closed the deal with a solid 67 on Sunday. That’s just how he could win again this year – with his talent shining through in a couple of low rounds and solid ball-striking carrying him through when his mojo ain’t working.

Patrick Cantlay (DK $10,400) – His projected ownership will probably be the highest in this tier for the consistency he’s shown in PGA DFS events, excluding the poor stretch of MCs from the Players to the Wells Fargo during the spring. Believe it or not, Cantlay is actually the current FedExCup points leader with three top 15s at the Travelers since 2018. I won’t have as many shares as I will of DJ, but I feel like some exposure is warranted.

Paul Casey (DK $9,900) – Casey is my favorite play under $10K and has a great course history at TPC River Highlands, where he’s 6-for-6 with four top five finishes. He also finished among the top 10 in his last three starts (EURO and PGA combined) and is coming off a very respectable T7 at the U.S. Open. Sia is on board and so is Stix, so I’m buying some Casey this week and hoping for another Top 10 finish.

Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,600) – Scheffler missed the cut in his Travelers debut last year, but he was amid a bad stretch of golf during the beginning of the spectator-free COVID tournaments. An opening round 70 sealed his fate, but he’s playing solid golf right now (T7 at the U.S. Open) and checks all the boxes this week.

Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka (GPP), Patrick Reed

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Kevin Streelman (DK $9,400) – He’s a solid play in all formats, and he’s probably worth using in single-entry builds for his galling consistency. Nick talked a little bit in The Breakdown about how he’s a near-lock for the Top 40 every week and we just saw him play some marvelous golf at the U.S. Open. “Streels” is one of those guys who just seems to show up every week.

Tony Finau (DK $9,200) – The jury is still out on when we’ll see Finau get his next win, but the price seems fair this week for a guy who just needs the putter to show up to realize his Top 10 upside. He’s missed his last two cuts here but had a T25 and T17 in 2016 and 2017. I’d steer clear in cash games, but he’s worth of consideration for GPPs.

Bubba Watson (DK $8,900) – He’s very popular this week and seems to be everywhere in the “experts” picks on plenty of sites, but he’s not nearly as safe a play as that would dictate. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him play his true “A” game, and the birdie runs are coming less frequently than a few years ago, when he won this tournament in 2018. I’ll have minimal exposure, and he’s not in my player pool for single-entry or cash games.

Brian Harman (DK $8,800) – Harman typically plays about a half-stroke better on Dye courses, and he’s an accurate driver who just closed out a solid week with a one-over 72 on Sunday at the U.S. Open, finishing T19. He’s got a couple of Top 10 finishes at the Travelers in his last three tries (MC in the tumultuous 2020) and has now placed among the top 20 in seven of eight starts going back to his T3 at the Players.

Si Woo Kim (DK $8,500) –Another “Dye desirable,” Kim has made three of his last four cuts at the Travelers with a T11 in 2020 and solid finishes in 2016 and 2018. His form isn’t bad either, with a T9 at the Memorial and T40 last week at a grueling U.S. Open on a course that didn’t; necessarily fit his strengths. He’s a fine GPP play this week.

Keegan Bradley (DK $7,900) – Bradley likes Pete Dye courses and this is the first of two “home games” for the underpriced golfer, who has had a really strong 2021. He finished T2 in 2019 and makes sense for all kinds of builds this week.

Francesco Molinari, (DK $7,700) – Molinari is rounding into form and while he doesn’t play a lot of events, he always has a shot at winning because he can get ridiculously hot with the putter. I think the T13 finish at the U.S. Open should give him the confidence necessary to capitalize on his opportunities this week and make a splash on the weekend.

Doc Redman (DK $7,600) – After a stretch of spotty play earlier this season, Redman has turned in some solid performances in recent weeks, posting a T9 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a T2 at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. He also debuted here last season with a T11 and he’s usually a decent leverage play that’s a little off-the-radar.

Also consider: Abraham Ancer (GPP), Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Smith (GPP), Harris English, Sam Burns (GPP), Max Homa (GPP), Jason Day (GPP)

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Lanto Griffin (DK $7,400) – Griffin’s ball-striking was good at the U.S. Open and while he didn’t miss the cut, I was hoping for a better finish than T35. There’s a bunch of high-upside/high-risk golfers in this price range, and Lanto fits the bill for GPPs and as a 100-1 longshot to win.

Rickie Fowler (DK $7,300) – I’m a huge Fowler fan and the disappointment of missing the U.S. Open this year has to be weighing on the veteran golfer. Rickie’s game has had its ups and downs but has shown improvement over his last two events. There’s not much recent history at the Travelers to go form, but he had a T13 in 2014, closing with a 64 on Sunday. A return to New England and a course that fits his game could be just what he needs as he and Allison Stokke await the birth of their first child.

Mackenzie Hughes (DK $7,100) – He might get chalky after three days of brilliance at the U.S. Open (but not a fourth), because the price is very nice. The Canadian is 4-for-4 at the Travelers with an impressive scoring average (68.19) and a T3 last year. He’s in play for all formats.

Carlos Ortiz (DK $7,100) – If you need a pivot from Hughes with just as much upside but a lot more risk, look no further than Ortiz. He’s missed the cut here in his last two Travelers appearances but finished T17 in 2016 and has the chops to post some low scores here.

Chez Reavie (DK $7,000) – The $7K range is loaded with players who we’d like to play when they’re in good form, and Reavie makes for a wonderful GPP play this week as he’s coming off a T14 at the Palmetto and T40 at the U.S. Open. Reavie doesn’t typically play well on Dye courses, but we an make an exception this week because it’s a good spot.

Kyle Stanley (DK $7,000) – Stanley isn’t a very good putter, but his iron play is consistently strong and he’s once again underpriced for what he offers in PGA DFS. His course history is good and he’s a real bargain this week given his Top 20 upside.

Adam Long (DK $6,800) – Long has finished T20-T26 in his last two tournaments and is a solid ball-striker who’s accurate off the tee – an important factor in creating opportunities here. If he can keep form having the one blowup round that usually mars his chances, he’ll be in good shape for the weekend.

More value golfers to consider: Kevin Na (GPP), Aaron Wise, Brendan Steele (GPP), Stewart Cink, Patton Kizzire (GPP), Will Gordon (GPP), Ryan Moore (GPP), Scott Stallings (GPP), Henrik Norlander (GPP), Hank Lebioda (GPP), Wyndham Clark (GPP), Austin Eckroat (GPP)

Longshot Punts (DK $6,500 and under):

Brian Stuard (DK $6,400) – A lot of folks will look to Satoshi Kodaira and the very consistent Vincent Whaley, but I like Stuard’s chances of rebounding after missed cuts at the Palmetto and U.S. Open. He has an extensive course history with spotty results, but something clicked last year en route to a T20, a finish I think he could duplicate here in 2021.

Tyler Duncan (DK $6,300) – He’s a total longshot (and hasn’t posted a Top 10 since he won the RSM in 2019), but he’s accurate off the tee and has made three straight cuts at this event. If you need a final piece and only have $6,300 to spend, he’s worth throwing in one or two out of 20 GPPs.

Additional GPP punts: Satoshi Kodaira, Tom Lewis, Vincent Whaley

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