WATCH: SLEEPER PLAY – ADAM HADWIN
The Quicken Loans National tees off Thursday morning from TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Maryland. With only a small number of clear top options, there are plenty of different ways you can go in building your lineups.
Rickie Fowler ($12,000) – There are two ways to look at this price: either you’re paying for his upside, in which case he needs to win to justify the number, or you’re paying for consistency, in which case you probably only want him in your cash game lineups. In a field this thin, it’s hard to imagine him failing to at least finish reasonably well, a nice sense of security if you can find less expensive names you like to fill in around him.
Justin Thomas ($10,900) – My favorite of the expensive options this weekend, Thomas is currently first on the PGA Tour in Par 4 Birdie or Better % and Par 4 Scoring, always key on a par 70 course like TPC Potomac. Despite missing the cut last weekend, this is still a player with two top-10 finishes this month. On a course that will present some tough challenges, especially around the green, the ability to stick approaches and convert tough up-and-downs will go a long way towards determining players’ scores this week. Thomas can excel at both when he’s on his game.
Bill Haas ($9,500) – We’ve seen him play exceptionally well in his career on courses that don’t require a lot of length, and this one fits the bill. He isn’t someone who is going to go out and dominate for long stretches of a season at this point in his career, but he can certainly still make some noise in spurts. Sitting eighth on tour in Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR %), he is coming off a run of three straight top-25 showings, including a T5 at the U.S. Open, and will look to carry that momentum forward to this weekend.
Brendan Steele ($8,900) – He has yet to miss a cut this season, and he has a bunch of finishes inside the top-20, including three of his last four at T14 or better. He is playing really steady golf, making him basically the perfect cash-game play, with some upside, especially in a weaker field.
David Lingmerth ($8,500) – TPC Potomac hasn’t hosted a tour event since 2006, and after that year it underwent an extensive renovation. So very few players on tour have actually played here under the current layout, but Lingmerth is one of them, actually winning a Web.com Tour event here back in 2012. The experience could help, but more important is his recent play, with six straight made cuts and all but one of them at T26 or better on the final leaderboard.
Xander Schauffele ($8,400) – I’ve recommended him a couple of times recently, and I just want to mention him again here, so he’s not off your radar. He is a rookie who just finished T5 at the U.S. Open and then followed that up with a T14 in another good field at the Travelers – he should be considered.
Danny Lee ($8,200) – He has three top-10 performances in his last five tries, including a T3 last weekend at the Travelers Championship in which he put together four straight rounds in the sixties. He played TPC River Highlands to first in the field in GIR %, a stat in which he has seen his tour-wide ranking climb from 150+ to 97 in just the last few weeks. If he can carry that solid iron play forward to this weekend, he has a chance to compete yet again.
David Hearn ($8,100) – Hearn now has back-to-back top-10 showings, both on par-70 courses, and will look to make it three in a row this weekend. He has never been particularly long off the tee, but he has been keeping it in the fairway and striking the ball very well with his irons. These are trends that should be more than enough to get him past the cut line and make him a helpful fantasy choice for you this weekend in all formats.
Bud Cauley ($7,700) – He has slipped somewhat since his run of three straight top-10 showings that ended with the AT&T Byron Nelson, but he hasn’t fallen too far. He still has only one missed cut and another top-25 since then, and posted a very steady 70-68-70-68 last weekend, only carding eight total bogeys for the tournament. At the very least that makes him a cash game consideration for me, but in a weaker field than we’ve seen in a while, it’s easy to imagine him just avoiding mistakes and falling into a reasonable amount of upside as well.
Si Woo Kim ($7,500) – He entered the U.S. Open on the heels of consecutive missed cuts, but then turned in a -6 for the weekend, good for T13. He hasn’t played since, so he should be well rested coming into this weekend, but he is volatile enough to make him worthy of consideration as a tournament play only for me.
Kevin Streelman ($7,400) – Streelman has a negative number for Strokes Gained: Putting on the season, but has looked like a different guy on the greens over the last few weeks, resulting in three straight top-20 performances. That includes a T8 last weekend he accomplished by finishing ninth in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting and capping off the weekend with a ridiculous 64 on Sunday to vault up the leaderboard.
Adam Hadwin ($6,900) – He hasn’t been playing as well over the last couple of months as he did to open the season, but he is another former Web.com Tour player who has had some exposure to the course and can be an excellent putter at times. That in and of itself is enough to give anyone week-to-week upside, but he is definitely more of a tournament play than someone you just plug in and expect a steady performance.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.