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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Travelers Championship Course History


Welcome back PGA family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Another week and another great golf tournament! Webb Simpson held on to win the RBC Heritage late Sunday evening, holding off one of the most impressive (and packed) leaderboards I've ever seen. It was the Webber's second victory of the season - his win in Phoenix feels like a decade ago - and solidifies him as one of the truly elite players in the game right now.

If there were any concerns that these players would be a little sloppy coming off the layoff, those should now be put to bed, as the field absolutely lit up Harbour Town Golf Links. We have to consider that this is due, at least in part, to the unprecedented strength of the fields that we've been seeing. That will once again be the case this week, as a long list of superstars are headed to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship, a tournament where Jim Furyk once shot a 58. This one could be another shootout.

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

Editor's Note: Golf is back! Come join the fun and win big with RotoBaller. Get our full-season PGA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off! Our exclusive DFS Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, DFS Projections and weekly DFS/betting articles! Sign Up Now!

 

Travelers Championship Overview

The golf courses that the PGA Tour selected to resume the schedule with are really interesting, as both Colonial and Harbour Town profile as "classic" layouts that force players to think their way around, rather than just bomb it down and hit a wedge. That theme will continue this week at TPC River Highlands, the longtime host course of the Travelers Championship.

We will once again see mega-stars like Rory, Brooks, JT, and Bryson teeing it up this week. We will also see a couple of very notable players making their first post-quarantine starts, with Patrick Cantlay and Paul Casey both set to knock the rust off at TPC River Highlands.

The Travelers has produced some interesting champions in the past, with Chez Reavie scoring his first PGA Tour win in over a decade last season, and names like Spieth and Watson also being former Travelers champions. This should be another fun week, let's tee it up!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC River Highlands

Par 70 - 6,841 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass with Poa Annua

The Pete Dye hits keep on coming, as we head from one Dye design in Hilton Head to another in Connecticut. TPC River Highlands is a course with Pete Dye's fingerprints all over it. Its most famous stretch of holes (#'s 15-17) are played AROUND a huge 4-acre lake.

While the course is tricky, we will still see plenty of birdies this week, as TPC River Highlands relinquished the only 58 in PGA Tour history to Jim Furyk a couple of years ago, and the last two winners have finished the week at 17-under par.

At just over 6,800 yards this is one of the shortest tracks on the schedule, but players won't necessarily be able to overpower this course, as the layout requires less than driver off the tee in multiple spots. I'll be targeting sharp ball strikers that can pile up birdies this week.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: Chez Reavie (-17)

2018: Bubba Watson (-17)

2017: Jordan Spieth (-12)

2016: Russell Knox (-14)

2015: Bubba Watson (-16)

 

The Horse

*WD Brooks Koepka WD*

DraftKings: $10,000
FanDuel:
$11,400
Notable Course History: T57 ('19), T19 ('18), T9 ('16)

UPDATE: BROOKS KOEPKA HAS WITHDRAWN FROM TRAVELERS. REMOVE HIM FROM ALL DFS LINEUPS! Sunday afternoon I tweeted that Brooks might just win all three majors this year. Then this morning on the Shotgun Start podcast I heard Andy Johnson describe Brooks as "a freight train that's heading downhill". It feels like it's a matter of when, not if, with Koepka at this point...with that aura of invincibility and inevitability starting to once again surround him.

My favorite Brooks is a cocky Brooks, and we're starting to see that side of his personality emerge again as his confidence grows with each healthy start that he makes. His results of the last two weeks - a T32 at Colonial and a solo-seventh at Harbour Town - are not anything to get fired up about on their own, but I feel like they are indicative of greater things to come.

Like the layouts of the previous two weeks, TPC River Highlands doesn't scream "Brooks Track", however Koepka has some Travelers experience under his belt and has logged a couple solid results on this Pete Dye track. I don't know if it will be this week or at an upcoming major championship, but a win is coming.

As I watched the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance a few weeks ago, I kept thinking of Brooks Koepka, an athlete that - like Jordan - can take the tiniest perceived slight and use it as motivation. We've seen him do it with some of Brandel Chamblee's comments in the past, and this week he seemed to be a little hot about a joke made by Nick Faldo during the TV coverage. Sure, these things seem silly to us - and this is certainly a DFS "narrative", rather than a statistical argument - but some guys are just wired different. Koepka is one of those guys.

 

Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription?

Like what you read today? You can show your support for Joe by using promo code NICE when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer!

 

The Ponies

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $11,000
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T9 ('18), T26 ('17), T47 ('16)

You guys tired of reading about Bryson yet? Sorry, but we’re going back to the protein-shake chugging, wannabe scientist again this week. 

DeChambeau’s dominance has been perhaps the biggest story of the PGA’s restart. It’s not really surprising that he’s playing well - we’ve seen that before - but rather the way in which he’s doing it... and on the type of courses that shouldn’t really fit his new “hittin’ bombs” strategy. 

TPC River Highlands is another one of those courses that really shouldn’t work with Bryson’s style, but his course history tells a different story, as he’s made four straight Travelers cuts since 2016, with back-to-back top-10 finishes in the last two years. DeChambeau headed to Harbour Town last week with a similarly-good track record - despite the seemingly ill fit - and we saw how that turned out...another top-10 finish. I’m in on the hulk once again.

 

Paul Casey

DraftKings: $8,900
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: T5 ('19), T2 ('18), T5 ('17), T17 ('16), 2nd ('15)

I was a little reluctant to list Paul Casey here this week, because unlike many of his fellow Tour pros, Casey elected not to immediately jump back into action when play resumed on the PGA Tour. 

Despite his inactivity, I decided to touch on the Englishman this week because his course history at TPC River Highlands basically can’t be ignored. Casey has been otherworldly at the Travelers, with two runner-up finishes and two top-fives since 2015. 

So, while I do have some concerns about the questionable state of his game - enough to take him out of the Cash Game conversation -  Casey will earn serious GPP consideration from me this week due to his phenomenal track record on this layout.

 

Bubba Watson

DraftKings: $8,800
FanDuel: $10,800
Notable Course History: Win ('18, '15, & '10)

There’s lots of weeks that I’m totally content with basically ignoring Bubba Watson in DFS contests. However, there are a few specific events on the schedule where Bubba will always pique my interest.

This week’s Travelers is one such occasion, as the lefty has won three titles at TPC River Highlands in his career. I’ve said it ad nauseum in this article over the years, but Watson is the most COURSE-SPECIFIC PLAYER on the PGA Tour. He has multiple wins here, at Riviera, and at Augusta National. Meaning not all layouts fit Bubba’s eye, but when they look good to him, he can feast.

He would be in consideration this week for me even with no current form, but Watson actually heads to Connecticut on a bit of a heater. He scored a T7 at the Charles Schwab Challenge - gaining strokes tee to green and putting - and his ball striking looked crisp at the Heritage, with his T52 finish not truly reflecting the fact that he gained almost three strokes on approach.

Brian Harman

DraftKings: $7,600
FanDuel: $9,200
Notable Course History: T8 ('19), T6 ('18), T35 ('17), MC ('16), 3rd ('15)

Since the PGA Tour restarted its season, the schedule has been right in Brian Harman’s wheelhouse, with distance taking a backseat to precision and course management. The diminutive lefty has been a monster at Colonial, Harbour Town, and TPC River Highlands throughout his career.

Harman’s results over the last two weeks illustrate his affinity for the layouts, as he’s notched a T23 and a T28 since the PGA Tour resumed play.  The veteran’s track record at the Travelers indicates he could be in for an even bigger week. Harman has finished T8 or better three times on this Pete Dye layout since 2015.

 

Danny Lee

DraftKings: $6,900
FanDuel: $8,500
Notable Course History: MC ('19), T15 ('18), T3 ('17), T25 ('15)

I’m trying to hit a moving target here with Danny Lee. I touched on him a couple weeks ago at Colonial, where he proceeded to miss the cut. It looks like I was a little early, as Lee followed that disappointing outing by flashing for a couple of rounds at Hilton Head.

He’s a “GPP only” play for me due to his volatility, but I’m again intrigued with Lee as we head to TPC River Highlands - a layout that suits his ball-striking style. The New Zealand native had reeled off three consecutive top-25s (including a T3) at the Travelers prior to missing the cut last year and if he can carry the positive momentum over from last week’s Heritage outing, he has a great chance to crush his DFS price tag in this spot. While a missed cut is always a very real possibility with Lee, he brings top-five upside to the table at $6.9k.

 

Patrick Rodgers

DraftKings: $6,900
FanDuel: $8,800
Notable Course History: T26 ('18), T35 ('17), T3 ('16), T39 ('15)

In PGA DFS we are constantly targeting great ball strikers in hopes that they will catch fire with the putter. It’s a very sound DFS strategy. However, we’re gonna flip that conventional thinking on its head this week with Patrick Rodgers, a player that is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour, but a golfer with ball striking that can come and go.

Rodgers looked to be in great shape at the RBC Heritage after an opening-round 67, but a Friday 72 left him one shot off the cutline. The missed cut came on the heels of a T14 at the Schwab and back-to-back top-25 outings prior to the PGA Tour’s layoff. 

The Travelers looks like a great bounce-back spot for the 27-year-old former Stanford star. He’s never finished outside the top 39 in four career trips to TPC River Highlands and scored a T3 in 2016. We think of this week’s layout as a ball-striker’s paradise. That's not his strong suit, but past results indicate that this track certainly fits Rodgers’ eye. He's a great salary saver this week.  

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Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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