DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson is a former U.S. Open champ and the betting favorite this week at Shinnecock Hills. Who else should you build your DFS rosters around on DraftKings?

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 a course primer, and our daily fantasy golf projections and lineup builder can help you get started, but these golfers stand out specifically on DraftKings for the 2018 U.S. Open Championship.

This Week’s Course

Shinnecock Hills plays host to the 118th U.S. Open Championship this week, the first time the event has been held there since 2004. The course has been altered quite a bit since then and now takes the form of a 7,445-yard par 70. As such, Shinnecock will challenge golf’s best to be precise both off the tee and on approach into smaller than average greens, which are also severely undulated.

Strokes gained: ballstriking combines the off-the-tee and approach metrics and is a good barometer this week. Par 4 scoring is always a premium stat at par-70 courses, as is bogey avoidance. U.S. Open champions rarely come out of nowhere, so performance in recent majors is an important indicator for success. Using the tools at Fantasy National Golf Club to filter the statistics for the host courses of major championships over the last five years, with TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS) thrown in for good measure, can point to golfers who have thrived in the strongest fields and toughest conditions. The custom stat is referenced here as “strokes gained: majors” for short.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills
Strokes Gained: Ballstriking
Strokes Gained: Majors
Strokes Gained: Par 4s
Bogeys Avoided

Now, let’s get to the picks.

All stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.

High Priced Studs

Dustin Johnson (DraftKings Price $11,700 | PaddyPower Win Odds 15/2) - A win at the St. Jude Classic helped DJ reclaim the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings, and as the odds-on favorite he is the most intriguing golfer for DFS players this week. Johnson is first in strokes gained: ballstriking, second in bogeys avoided, third in birdies or better gained, fifth in strokes gained: par 4s, and sixth in strokes gained: majors. The question is not whether or not to play Johnson, but how to fill out the rest of your rosters.

Justin Thomas ($11,000 | 14) - Thomas has elite ranks in all the key stats, including third in strokes gained: ballstriking, fourth in strokes gained: par 4s, and sixth in scrambling gained. He matches the statistical profile and pedigree of Johnson, but he comes with a $700 discount.

Jason Day ($10,500 | 14) - Day ended up 44th at the Memorial two weeks ago, breaking his streak of 14 straight top-25s. He gained strokes with his putter in all but one of those tournaments, demonstrating sustained success in golf’s most volatile territory. He ranks first in par 4s, and sixth in both birdies or better gained and bogeys avoided. Day missed the cut at the U.S. Open last year, but still ranks third in total strokes gained: majors.

Justin Rose ($9,900 | 12) - Another golfer with impeccable recent form, Rose has four straight top-25s, including a win at the Fort Worth Invitational. He is 11th in ballstriking and 20th in scrambling gained, and finds himself no lower than 8th in any other key stat. The lead-up to his 2013 U.S. Open win included a top-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a top-25 at the Masters, and a top-10 at the Memorial. Rose tallied identical finishes in those events this season.

Mid-Priced Options

Tiger Woods ($9,200 | 18) - To Tiger, or not to Tiger? It's become customary, but that is the question once again. It is so hard to trust that he is really back, and the U.S. Open conditions can get the best of even the top players. But Woods has a proven major championship resume (even if the results over the last five years have been spotty) and the form is as good as it’s been in years. He ranks inside the top 35 in all the other key stats, but inside the top 20 in his last 24 rounds.

Henrik Stenson ($8,800 | 25) - Stenson is first in bogeys avoided, along with top-5 ranks in strokes gained: par 4s, strokes gained: ballstriking, and strokes gained: majors. His disappointing 26th-place finish in a weak field at the St. Jude can be chalked up to uncharacteristicly poor work on the greens, where he lost four strokes putting. Stenson should bounce back, as he is 17th in the U.S. Open field in strokes gained: putting over his last 50 rounds.

Patrick Reed ($8,500 | 35) - Despite his major championship breakthrough at Augusta, Reed still does not garner the same adulation as the top tier golfers on the PGA Tour. However, even in this loaded field, he ranks in the top 10 in scrambling gained, strokes gained: majors, bogeys avoided, birdies or better gained, and strokes gained: par 4s. With DFS players eager to pay up for the studs and value right below Reed, it looks like he will once again go under-owned.

Bryson DeChambeau ($8,300 | 33) - One of those values mentioned above, DeChambeau arrives at Shinnecock in tremendous form. He is sixth in ballstriking and seventh in both birdies or better gained and bogeys avoided. He got the win in a strong field at The Memorial, one of his five top-5 finishes since the calendar turned to 2018.

Paul Casey ($8,000 | 40) - Always a stats darling, Casey (second in ballstriking, sixth in strokes gained: tee to green, and eighth in birdies or better gained) is priced way down after a meager couple of months. He missed the cut at the RBC Heritage, finished fifth at the Wells Fargo, and then withdrew from THE PLAYERS with a back injury. Those are his only PGA Tour events in the last two months. The WD may scare some players away, but Casey teed it up a couple weeks later on the EuroTour and placed 20th at the BMW PGA Championship.

Low-Priced Options

Alexander Noren ($7,900 | 40) - Another international player with deceptively good form, Noren followed up a 17th place finish at THE PLAYERS with a T3 at the BMW PGA Championship and T38 at the Italian Open. He has never made the cut at the U.S. Open, but he is a terrific pivot off Adam Scott at the same price, who has lower win odds but more buzz heading to Shinnecock.

Webb Simpson ($7,700 | 45) - Simpson is first in scrambling gained and ninth in bogeys avoided, and he has shown a propensity to hang around in tough fields the past few years. He is 18th in strokes gained: majors, and in addition to his win at THE PLAYERS earlier this year he has also made the cut in four of the last five U.S. Opens (winning it in 2012).

Luke List ($7,200 | 100) - List has not qualified for the U.S. Open since 2007, but he is playing the best golf of his career and looking to secure his first strong finish in a major. His putter will always make him a risky play, but List is third in strokes gained: tee to green and seventh in ballstriking. He is 14th in strokes gained: par 4s and birdies or better gained, and 16th in bogeys avoided.

Emiliano Grillo ($7,100 | 90) - Everybody’s favorite chalk play is once again a solid choice this week. Having qualified for the U.S. Open by virtue of his Official World Golf Ranking, Grillo is 10th in bogeys avoided, 12th in birdies or better gained, and 16th in ballstriking and par 4s. His track record at majors is pretty weak, but his consistency at this price is a huge bonus, and he should be a staple in cash lineups once again.

Bargain Basement

Steve Stricker ($6,900 | 125) - Stricker is 8th in bogeys avoided and 10th in strokes gained: par 4’s. He is no longer mentioned in the “best players without a major” conversation in favor of younger players deemed to be on the upswing, but Stricker has made 10 straight U.S. Open cuts with 8 top-25s dating back to 2006 (he did not qualify in 2015 or 2016) and ranks 10th in strokes gained: majors.

Byeong Hun An ($6,900 | 90) - Another late qualifier with strong recent form, An is 19th in strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: ballstriking, 26th in birdies or better gained and 27th in scrambling gained. He is an inconsistent putter, but those ranks and his recent finishes (three top-10s and a T2 at the Memorial) at this price are too good to pass up.

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.