2021 Travelers Championship – PGA DFS Plays, Bets, and Fades

2021 Travelers Championship – PGA DFS Plays, Bets, and Fades

SI Fantasy and Gambling editor Ben Heisler breaks down his top plays for this week’s Travelers Championship from TPC River Highlands.

Previous 2021 PGA Tour Event Winners & DraftKings Salary

  • U.S. Open: Jon Rahm ($11,200)
  • Palmetto Championship at Congaree: Garrick Higgo ($9,000)
  • The Memorial Tournament Presented by Nationwide: Patrick Cantlay ($9,500)
  • Charles Schwab Challenge: Jason Kokrak ($9,000)
  • PGA Championship: Phil Mickelson ($6,700)
  • AT&T Byron Nelson: Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($6,900)
  • Wells Fargo Championship: Rory McIlroy ($10,000)
  • Valspar Classic: Sam Burns ($7,900)
  • RBC Heritage: Stewart Cink ($6,700)
  • The Masters Tournament: Hideki Matsuyama ($8,300)
  • Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth ($10,700)
  • World Golf ChampionshipDell Technologies Match Play: Billy Horschel ($7,200)
  • The Honda Classic: Matt Jones ($7,400)
  • The Players Championship: Justin Thomas ($9,900)
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational: Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000)
  • Workday Charity Open: Collin Morikawa ($9,500)
  • The Genesis Invitational: Max Homa ($8,200)
  • AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger ($10,100)
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open: Brooks Koepka ($8,800)
  • Farmers Insurance Open: Patrick Reed ($10,100)
  • The American Express: Si Woo Kim ($8,200)
  • Sony Open: Kevin Na ($7,500)
  • Sentry Tournament of Champions: Harris English ($8,700)

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$9,000+ Range

Abraham Ancer

DraftKings Price: $9,100

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +2800

Getting back on board with Ancer after a missed cut at the U.S. Open makes a ton of sense if you take a closer look at his metrics.

Over the past 24 rounds, Ancer ranks first in total strokes gained and top-five in SG: tee-to-green and top-four in SG: ball striking. Sandwiched in between his missed cuts (U.S. Open last week and the Genesis Open in February), Ancer has finished no worse than 26th during that period.

Factor in a T11 and T8 finish at the Travelers in his last two appearances at TPC River Highlands, and he’s the top-tier value that won’t get the ownership he likely deserves.

Additional Plays to Consider

  • Patrick Cantlay ($10,400 | +1600) – Has turned the corner with a win, a T15, and T23 after back-to-back missed cuts. Top 3 in strokes gained: tee-to-green and ball striking.
  • Scottie Scheffler ($9,600 | +2500) – Via Rick Gehman, Scheffler has gained strokes in ball striking in 13 straight events. The price point is a tad bit high which could scare away ownership.

$7,500 – $8,900 Range

Bubba Watson

DraftKings Price: $8,900

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +4500

The price tag scares me if you look at Bubba’s recent form. $8,900 is a king’s ransom for someone who’s gone T50, W/D, and 80 in his last three events.

With that being said, Bubba owns this tournament. He’s made almost $5 million at the Travelers over the course of his career here. He’s won this event three times to go along with a second-place finish and eight top 25s.

If his price point were lower, I think he’d be a more popular pick, but I do think the price will scare more casual players away, especially with rock-solid recent form players in Abe Ancer, Joaquin Niemann, Brian Harman, and Cam Smith all right in that price range.

Additional Plays to Consider

  • Brian Harman ($8,800 | +2000) – Another golfer who has seen his price point shoot up recently, but it’s been earned. Harman is top 10 in total strokes gained over his last 24 rounds and 4th around-the-green.
  • Keegan Bradley ($7,900 | +4500) – Bradley can be a bit of a volatile play, but as of late, he’s top 10 in total strokes gained and SG: approach. He’s coming off a missed cut at The Memorial, so he should be well-rested and has historically played this course well.

$7,400 and Under Range

Emiliano Grillo

DraftKings Price: $7,300

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +7000

Grillo actually comes in seventh in my personalized Fantasy National model based on a wide variety of factors. He’s sixth in SG: total and the number one player in the field in SG: approach over his last 24 rounds, and that’s with a missed cut in the U.S. Open. 

His around-the-green play needs to improve (128th), but Grillo has a T8 and T14 in two of his last four rounds. I know some are concerned about his struggles with his driver, but that’s actually an area that’s less of an issue at TPC River Highlands.

Additional Plays to Consider

  • Talor Gooch ($7,000 | +11000) – Gooch has delivered rock-solid performances with only one missed cut since February.
  • Keith Mitchell ($6,900 | +22500) – He’s coming off back-to-back missed cuts, but a good GPP play who is third in SG: off-the-tee and a pair of T3/T4 finishes so far in 2021.

Top Fade

Ben Heisler: Brooks Koepka

DraftKings Price: $10,700

DraftKings Sportsbook Betting Odds to Win: +1800

Maybe I’m drinking too much of the narrative street Kool-Aid, but “Post-Major Brooks” feels like a very easy fade this week.

In his last five tournaments, Koepka has three missed cuts. But in the two majors, he’s finished fourth at the U.S. Open, and second in the PGA Championship.

In 2020, both tournaments he played in following a major, he went on to miss the cut. He also struggled over the weekend with his short game and his chipping, which could be a detriment at TPC River Highlands.

Koepka is immensely talented and could always go out and dominate the field this week, but I’ll fade the price and hope that my intuition and 

Additional Fades to Consider

  • Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000 | +1200) – Bryson’s Sunday was a disaster and like Koepka, I just don’t want to pay up for someone that’s due for a downer after a rough final day last week at Torrey Pines. He was awful around-the-green, losing more than seven strokes at the U.S. Open.

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