How is it already Friday? Feels like just yesterday we saw Brooks Koepka take home the U.S. Open trophy. Koepka did not play this week, but we have some big names here at the Travelers Championship. Justin Thomas had the highest average ownership on Thursday of the four golfers over $10,000 at 30.78 percent. He’s playing poorly this week after a grueling four rounds at Erin Hills last week. He still has about five holes to go at the time of this writing, so I’ll include him on the bubble guys below. Jordan Spieth had an average ownership of 25.13 percent and looks safe sitting atop the leaderboard going into the weekend. Brendan Steele ($8,700) at 36.16 percent and Paul Casey ($9,300) 31.72 percent are the most popular guys in the $9,000+ range and both look safe as well.
Webb Simpson ($7,800), Charley Hoffman ($8,300) and Byeong-Hun An ($7,900) were the most popular value plays on Thursday. As of Friday, Simpson sits on the bubble and will need to sink some putts to qualify for the weekend. Hoffman and An currently look safe but both players are in the middle of their rounds as I begin to write this.
UPDATE: Webb Simpson, Charley Hoffman and Byeong-Hun An all made the cut and are strong options this weekend.
Reminder: The goal of this article is to provide some targets for Weekend Golf as we approach the end of Round 2 and then publish another update after the cut if official. We have about 30 golfers still out on the course at the moment and the cut is being projected at -1. It was E earlier, so there is a chance that it can swing in that direction. The top 70 and ties make it to Saturday, but 90+ players would make the cut if it were to remain E, so there would be an MDF if that many players qualify. We don’t want golfers that are labeled MDF because they won’t accrue fantasy points for both rounds this weekend.
Bubba Watson ($8,800) is done for today and is not expected to make the cut, so make sure he is not in your lineup for this weekend. Adam Hadwin ($7,800) and Jason Day ($9,800) are on the bubble but have most of their holes remaining for Friday.
Jordan Spieth ($9,900), Brendan Steele ($8,700), Tony Finau ($8,500)
Jordan Spieth ($9,900) is playing really well, it’s really as simple as that. He’s one of the best golfers on the planet and when he’s on, you want to ride that train. If you’re playing cash games, it’ll be tough to pass on Spieth this weekend. Spieth is 40th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained (SG): Putting and is in second in Birdie or Better (BoB). Also, he is the top player in SG: Approach and has been crushing this course this week. Fading Spieth is a risky proposition in tournaments and cash games this weekend.
Brendan Steele ($8,700) is 14th on the PGA Tour in BoB% and 30th in SG: Approach this season. He shot four under par for the first two rounds and considering he was the most popular golfer on Thursday, expect his popularity to stay high. His salary went down $300 for the weekend and one could make an argument for a tournament fade. Steele is not an elite putter considering he ranks 89th in SG: Putting and has only knocked in six birdies the past two rounds. He is a safe player but might not pick up the necessary points required to win a DraftKings tournament.
Tony Finau ($8,500) has been crushing it this week off the tee but is really losing it with his putting. This lines up with his season stats. Finau ranks as the 169th golfer in SG: Putting but fourth in SG: Off the Tee. He’s in the top 10 in BoB%, so there is a chance he can get hot this weekend. Finau is not a safe option in cash games like Steele is but he has elite tournament upside.
Graham DeLaet ($7,800), Emiliano Grillo ($7,800), Kevin Na ($7,700), Wesley Bryan ($7,700), Chez Reavie ($7,700)
Graham DeLaet ($7,800) is on fire and has even knocked in an eagle this week. DeLaet ranks 20th in SG: Putting and 35th in BoB% on the PGA Tour and this lines up with the stats this week. He is T22 in SG: Putting at the Travelers Championship and has knocked in eight birdies at the time of this writing. Considering he is playing well, he is a solid option for cash games, but I would consider a tournament fade since he’s atop the leaderboard and could be overly popular.
Wesley Bryan ($7,800) is 16th in SG: Putting at the Travelers Championship and is having a really solid season overall. Bryan ranks 18th in SG: Approach and 42nd in SG: Putting on the PGA tour and has the skill set to be a strong option in all formats. He struggled a little bit on Friday with a handful of bogeys, but also knocked in more birdies. He only had one bogey on Thursday and should be able to stay out of trouble this weekend.
Xander Schauffele ($7,500)
Xander Schauffele ($7,500) should also be considered an elite cash game play since he’s a solid player in SG: Off the Tee. He ranks 71st in SG: Putting on the PGA Tour and is 44th this week. He shot a bogey-free round on Thursday and only had two bad holes on Friday at the time of this writing. Even though he’s not the best putter available, he’s still a strong option in all formats since he’s playing well.
My approach this week to roster construction is different than last week. I would focus on starting your lineup with one stud and then fill in with multiple midrange players. The Weekend Golf value plays are not going to rack up a ton of points and the players that were considered value plays on Thursday have seen their salaries spike up into the midrange.
Jason Day ($9,800), Justin Thomas ($9,600), Webb Simpson ($7,800), Adam Hadwin ($7,800)
UPDATE: Jason Day and Justin Thomas did not make the cut.