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Birdies will be there for the taking for PGA Tour golfers when the 2022 John Deere Classic tees off Thursday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.. The course has hosted the tournament since 2000, and the average winning score is 20-under par. Lucas Glover went 19-under last year to win a PGA Tour event for the first time in 10 years. He is one of nine former winners in the field, including Dylan Frittelli (2019), Ryan Moore (2016) and Steve Stricker, who won three straight from 2009-11. The field is one of the weakest of the season, with only seven of the top 100 players in the world, but the opportunity is there for someone to get a first PGA Tour win. Five of the past 10 winners were first-time champions. Webb Simpson is the highest-ranked player in the John Deere 2022 field at No. 58, and he will be joined by the likes of Jason Day, Adam Hadwin and Maverick McNealy.   

Simpson is the 12-1 favorite in Caesars Sportsbook's latest 2022 John Deere Classic odds. He is followed by Hadwin (16-1), Sahith Theegala (22-1), Denny McCarthy (25-1) and Day (28-1). Glover is a 45-1 longshot to be the first to repeat the Deere since Stricker (65-1).

Should you go with a veteran like Simpson or Day to anchor your 2022 John Deere Classic Fantasy golf picks? Or would a younger player like Theegala or McNealy (30-1) offer more value and flexibility for your roster? Before you lock in any Fantasy golf rankings or make any bets on the 2022 John Deere Classic, be sure you check out the Fantasy golf projections from SportsLine fantasy expert Riley Gates.

Gates is a writer for 247Sports and has covered a range of sports for nearly five years. He has followed golf closely for much longer and has a profound knowledge of the sport. He also knows what it takes to win, on the course and in fantasy sports.

Gates has been crushing his golf picks all season. Before last week's Travelers Championship, he was all over Theegala, who was priced at just $7,300 at DraftKings and likely helped many Fantasy golf players cash in. The 24-year-old went to the final tee with a one-stroke lead over Xander Schauffele, but he carded double-bogey after a disastrous bunker shot, while Schauffle birdied to win by two. Still, Theegala's performance justified Gates' confidence and gave a boost to anyone who picked him.     

At the U.S. Open, Gates said Scheffler was well worth the high price to have him as the anchor for your Fantasy picks, and he was the second-highest fantasy scorer of the week behind winner Matt Fitzpatrick. At the Memorial, five of Gates' nine picks finished in the top 15, including his biggest sleeper pick, Brendan Steele -- priced at just $6,600 at DraftKings -- who posted a top-10 finish!  

And at the Wells Fargo, four of his top six players finished in the top five, including winner Max Homa, a 40-1 long shot. Anyone who has followed Gates is way up.

Now, Gates has ranked his top golfers for the 2022 John Deere Classic (see tickets at StubHub), and you'll really want to see what he has to say. You can only see his Fantasy golf rankings and John Deere Classic picks at SportsLine.

2022 John Deere Classic Fantasy golf expert picks

This week at Deere Run, Gates really likes Theegala's chances for a rebound. The California native hit 78 percent of his greens in regulation and gained more than one stroke on the field with his putter last week. He also has experience coming back from bad breaks. He had a shot trickle into the water on the 17th hole in the final round in Phoenix and missed a playoff by one stroke. Theegala has finished in the top five twice in the past three tournaments and has five top-10's overall. The experts expect him to get some breaks on a course he should dominate. 

On the other hand, Gates is fading Hadwin, who has been up-and-down all season. He also has five top-10 finishes, but three came in consecutive events in the spring and another was back in October. He tied for seventh at the U.S. Open his last time out, but this outing won't be like that grind at Brookline. Gates thinks the massive change in approach will be too much for the Canadian. Hadwin is 76th in strokes gained putting and 169th in one-putt percentage (37.04). The greens at Deere Run aren't challenging, but he will need to do a lot better than that.  

How to set your 2022 John Deere Classic Fantasy golf rankings

For this week's tournament at TPC Deere Run, Gates is backing a who is priced at just over $7,000 on DraftKings. This golfer has performed well on this course for several years, and the expert believes he will bring value to help you build the strongest lineup. You can find out who it is, and check out all of Gates' top John Deere Classic golf picks, at SportsLine.

Who wins the 2022 John Deere Classic, and who are the top PGA Tour players to target for your Fantasy picks? And which overlooked players can help you win your league this week? Visit SportsLine now to get Riley Gates' Fantasy golf rankings for the 2022 John Deere Classic, all from the fantasy expert who has been on fire with his picks, and find out.