DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: U.S. Open

Daily fantasy golf requires a new approach for each and every event.

The course and field change week after week, making no two contests alike. That means you need to refine your approach for each PGA Tour event to try to find golfers who are primed to excel for your daily fantasy golf lineups.

Each week, we have our course primer and daily fantasy golf projections, and lineup builder can help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines
Total Strokes Gained
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee / Total Driving
Strokes Gained: Approach
Bogey Avoidance
Strokes Gained: Putting on Poa

Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds.

High-Salaried Studs

Jon Rahm (DraftKings Price: $11,200 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +1000) - The first thing about Jon Rahm's stats this week is that they don't factor in how much they undersell his true performance. Because he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial, the strokes he gained in that event are wiped out and his last measured event is the PGA Championship.

He was miles ahead of a loaded field at Muirfield Village, and even without those strokes, he ranks 3rd in strokes gained: off the tee, 4th in total strokes gained, 13th in bogeys avoided, and 19th in strokes gained: approach. A win and three other top 10 finishes at Torrey Pines, along with a generally excellent record on poa courses and on the West Coast, Rahm is the man to beat this week as he vies for his first career major championship.

Dustin Johnson ($10,700 | +1500) - Even with a downturn in form Johnson is 3rd in bogeys avoided, 8th in strokes gained: approach, 9th in total strokes gained, and 13th in strokes gained: off the tee. Before his T10 finish last week at Congaree, his best finish of 2021 came at the Genesis Invitational, a California course that features poa greens and Kikuyu rough.

He's always played well at Riviera, with nine top 10s in the last 12 years. His form at Torrey isn't quite that good, but he's not there nearly as often and hasn't played the Farmers Insurance Open since 2017. Still one of the best drivers on Tour after all these years, Johnson boasts a stellar U.S. Open record -- with seven finishes of T6 or better in the last nine years.

Bryson DeChambeau ($10,400 | +1600) - The reigning U.S. Open champion should feature prominently again this week. He's first in strokes gained: off the tee by a mile and second in strokes gained: putting on poa greens. His monster distance and his feud with Brooks Koepka ($10,100 | +1800) garner the most headlines, but his power through the rough and his length with short irons and wedges are perhaps more important this week.

Any course where hole length and rough are the primary defenses sets up uniquely well to DeChambeau, and if that sounds like a USGA setup you may be able to piece together why the defending champion is also on the shortlist this week.

Rory McIlroy ($9,900 | +1800) - McIlroy rounds out the top tier, with soft pricing putting him into four digits for the first time in a very, very long time. He only recently added Torrey Pines to his schedule with finishes of 5th in 2019, 3rd in 2020, and 16th this year. Because he makes his home in Florida and for much of his career spent the early part of the calendar on the European circuit, his record in California is not quite up to snuff to Johnson or Rahm. But he held his own at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and he's actually first in the field in total strokes gained just on poa courses over his last 50 rounds.

Mid-Salaried Options

Viktor Hovland ($9,200 | +2400) - Sandwiched between Xander Schauffele ($9,300 | +1800) and Patrick Cantlay ($9,100 | +2400), Hovland will still be popular this week given the soft pricing for the major but should at least get the benefit of splitting roster spots between the three. The young, cheerful Hovland should theoretically look a few paces behind the two Californians currently ranked sixth and seventh in the Official World Golf Ranking, but Hovland is on the precipice and ready to take the next big leap in his career.

He has finished 12th and 13th in two U.S. Open editions, and he was stellar in two events out West to start 2021, with a runner upat the Farmers and a T5 at the Genesis.

Tony Finau ($8,900 | +2400) - Finau's major championship record is excellent, and while a win is a longshot Finau would likely be a few points shorter had he picked up a win anywhere in the last two years. The books are factoring in the perception that he can't seal the deal, but he makes for a terrific play on DraftKings at this price. Back-to-back-to-back top fives out West this winter and top 10s in four of the last five majors look perfect, and he ranks 14th in strokes gained: approach, 15th in total strokes gained, 19th in bogeys avoided, and 25th in strokes gained: off the tee.

Daniel Berger ($8,400 | +4400) - Berger has done everything over the past 18 months to solidify himself among the very best players in the world, except truly contend at a major championship. His T13 at Harding Park in the 2020 PGA Championship is his only notable result, and even that was a full six shots off the lead. Berger is 6th in putting on pa, 15th in strokes gained: approach, 17th in total strokes gained, and 28th in strokes gained: off the tee.

Tyrrell Hatton ($8,300 | +4200) - Hatton was the runner-up last week by just a single stroke at Congaree despite losing 3.2 strokes putting, his first PGA top 10 since the fall. The first glance at stats may deceive, however, as he did win overseas in that span and had two other top 10s on the European Tour.

After failing to make the cut in any of the 2020 majors he finished T18 and T38 at this year's Masters and PGA Championship, and he's overdue for a top-tier finish at one of the world premiere events. Even without his excellent Euro form, he ranks 10th in bogeys avoided, 11th in strokes gained: approach, 21st in strokes gained: off the tee, and 28th in putting on poa.

Low-Salaried Options

Paul Casey ($7,900 | +4700) - Casey ranks 13th in strokes gained: approach and 14th in bogeys avoided, and while just 36th off the tee in our sample he ranks 5th in total driving. He is 28th in total strokes gained, but if we narrow to the last 50 rounds only on poa annua he is all the way up to 6th. He does not typically include the Farmers Insurance Open in his schedule, but broadly he's done well the past two years in California.

He was eighth at the American Express and fifth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this January, and he was the runner-up at Harding Park last summer. Notably, between those two January events his shipped off to Europe for two weeks, where he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and finished 8th in Saudi Arabia. He's been T26 or better at the U.S. Open four years running.

Abraham Ancer ($7,900 | +7000) - At much longer odds, Ancer could see Casey soak up a lot of the roster spots he'd otherwise be on, but he has been rock solid of late and ranks 1st in bogeys avoided, 6tth in total strokes gained, 17th off the tee, and 21st in approach. He was 14th at Colonial after three straight top 10s, and he's handled himself well in the recent major championship.

He was 8th at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, his best major finish to date after setting that mark in the November Masters with a 2020 finish. Still looking for his first PGA Tour win, Ancer can be a key cog in any DFS lineup construction this week and return value at this price even without challenging for that win.

Jason Kokrak ($7,600 | +7000) - Kokrak had some reliable form out West before breaking through this season, and now with two wins in the past eight months, he must be taken seriously at any course that demands good driving. Kokrak is 20th in strokes gained: off the tee but an impressive 4th in total driving, splitting as the 22nd longest golfer on Tour and the 78th most accurate. Distance is key as covered above but half the field will be in the rough on any given hole, and having enough distance to hang but finding the fairway more than the competition could be a huge advantage if the irons cooperate.

Max Homa ($7,300 | +11000) - Homa has taken down two behemoth courses for his two career victories, first at Quail Hollow and then earlier this year at Riviera. He has not quite made a dent in a major yet, with his only made cut a T64 at the 2019 PGA Championship. Perhaps his game is just not quite of this class, but if we are swallowing a ton of chalk at the top of the board and the midrange we have to differentiate ourselves down here.

Homa is solid in most of our stats, ranking 21st in total strokes gained, 25th in bogeys avoided, and 30th in strokes gained: approach. He's just 65th off the tee, but some residual scoring stats really catch the eye -- Homa is an impressive 3rd in both birdies or better gained or strokes gained on par 5s.

Bargain Basement

Wilco Nienaber ($6,900 | +29000) - Distance you say? Introducing Nienaber, who won on the Challenge Tour a few weeks back and was 14th in his PGA debut at the almost 7,700-yard Congaree. He was third in strokes gained off the tee at the Palmetto Championship and first by a mile in distance. His average drive was 337.4 yards, almost 15 yards longer than DeChambeau's Tour-leading average. He won't be sneaking up on anyone this week and there is always danger in chalk in the $6k range, but Nienaber is the real deal and that type of distance is a huge advantage at Torrey Pines.

Jhonattan Vegas ($6,800 | +29000) - Vegas actually led the field in strokes gained: off the tee at Congaree despite Nienaber's herculean display, and Vegas bested the South African on the leaderboard with a tie for second behind newcomer Garrick Higgo ($7,200 | +7500). Vegas is 34th in total strokes gained, and at this price we just need him to make the cut to return value. Coming off a solid finish and with arguably the most important club in the bag this week being his biggest strength, we can choose to finish off our lineups with Vegas over Nienaber and find a less popular lineup construction.

Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.