Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: U.S. Open
By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel's daily fantasy golf offering.
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week. It's a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.
But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.
Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the U.S. Open|
at Winged Foot GC
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (on Poa)|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
This is going to be a super tough test. Winged Foot hosted the 2006 U.S. Open, and Geoff Ogilvy won despite being over par by five strokes. We shouldn't be surprised if that happens again in 2020 with how it's set up.
The rough is going to trend toward five inches, and the greens (80% poa and 20% bentgrass) are registering as a 13 on the Stimpmeter. That's fast. And the greens? They're huge and undulating. Poor putters could be completely lost. Birdies will be few and far between.
It's a 7,477-yard par 70, so distance is certainly welcomed, but being errant isn't going to work. Accuracy off the tee will matter to avoid the lengthy rough.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Salary: $12,100 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +750) - I can't really get away from Johnson at his salary, which isn't really prohibitive relative to other options. He does everything I'm looking for this week: he's long (9th in distance), the irons are there (27th in approach), and the putting on poa is pristine (8th in poa putting over the past 100 rounds). He's a prior U.S. Open winner, and with his current form, it's just really easy to get on board with Johnson compared to everyone else with a salary close to his. The real game theory comes in when we look at tournaments because only the top-60 plus ties make the cut.
Jon Rahm ($11,800 | +1000) - Rahm has done enough to stand out from everyone other than (or including to) Johnson. Rahm has two recent wins at tough courses (Memorial (Muirfield Village) and BMW (Olympia Fields)), and that's what we're going to get this week. In fact, via FantasyNational, Rahm has gained more strokes at courses that play difficult relative to par than all but six other golfers in the field over the past 50 such rounds. Separating him (for me) over Justin Thomas ($11,600) is that Rahm ranks 12th in poa putting, whereas Thomas is 50th.
Daniel Berger ($10,700 | +2700) - Berger's pretty much on fire of late without enough fanfare, and he fits Winged Foot well. What he lacks in distance (78th), he makes up for in accuracy (16th). Berger also rates out 10th in approach over the past 50 rounds and 21st in poa putting over the past 100 rounds. He's a viable second-salaried golfer in a more balanced lineup build.
Others to Consider:
Xander Schauffele ($11,400 | +1400) - Three top-6 finishes at U.S. Opens in three tries. Elite all-around player who excels at tough courses. Finishing bonuses will go a long way this week.
Patrick Cantlay ($10,900 | +2000) - Field leader in strokes gained average at difficult courses over the past 50 rounds; an all-around game that can keep him in the mix.
Tyrrell Hatton ($9,800 | +3700) - Hatton went from a borderline must-play to a bit of an afterthought once the COVID hiatus hit. He finished the FedEx Cup playoffs solidly by gaining strokes off the tee and with approach play in all three events. The short-game was good, not great. But over the larger 2020 sample, Hatton rates out about as good as Rory McIlroy ($11,700) and Webb Simpson ($10,800) on a per-round basis when adjusted for field strength, via datagolf. In fact, he's sixth in the world in 2020's adjusted strokes gained average. He's a grinder. He can putt. And that should matter at Winged Foot.
Matthew Wolff ($9,600 | +5500) - Another good finisher at the PGA Championship was Wolff, who made a run at the win but missed a lot of makable putts. Wolff's absolutely got the distance (5th) but is decent in the accuracy department (79th). Overall, he sits 13th in strokes gained: off the tee. His poa sample is small (16 rounds), but he's gained in six of his past seven rounds on the surface. With how gnarly the greens look, we shouldn't expect golfers to be nailing deep putts anyway, so the ball-striking should win out.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,600 | +4100) - Fitzpatrick excels at tough courses. On those two difficult tracks where Rahm won? Fitzpatrick was nearby, finishing sixth and third. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship by two shots (74-70), but when Fitzpatrick isn't pin seeking, that's when we see the best from him. He ranks 10th in fairways gained and 2nd in putting over the past 50 rounds.
Others to Consider:
Patrick Reed ($10,000 | +3700) - A grinder who is top-30 in three of four strokes gained stats (88th in approach) and 17th in poa putting.
Abraham Ancer ($9,200 | +6500) - Top-40 in putting, approach, and off-the-tee and is super accurate (9th).
Bubba Watson ($8,900 | +10000) - Watson has one positive putting surface: poa. Now, he's 48th in the field in poa putting over the past 100 rounds, so he's not elite by any means. That said, he does some of the other things we're looking for, primarily hitting it long (11th). Watson is 82nd when hitting fairways under average and difficult conditions when the rough is penal -- and 81st overall over the past 50 rounds.
Will Zalatoris ($8,400 | +15000) - Zalatoris has been tearing up the Korn Ferry Tour, and he does it with ball-striking. Zalatoris ranks 32nd on the Korn Ferry Tour in driving distance average (316.8 yards) and leads in ball-striking (which combines, basically, distance, accuracy, and greens in regulation ranks). It's not perfect, but that's a good profile. He should fly under the radar but isn't a safe pick. That said, nobody is safe down here.
Sebastian Munoz ($8,000 | +27000) - I don't think you have to get down this far or especially into the $7,000 range often, but Munoz ranks 79th off the tee, 43rd in approach, and 54th around the green. The putting isn't great at 122nd, but he's a neutral poa putter. We can chase a lot of unknown European picks, but Munoz rated out about as well as Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose in 2020.
Others to Consider:
Erik Van Rooyen ($8,200 | +15000) - EVR can't putt but has been Tony Finau-esque off the tee in 2020 with the irons of Adam Scott based on the data.
Brian Harman ($7,600 | +27000) - Field leader in strokes gained: around the green, 48th in fairways gained, and 11th in poa putting.