DraftKings Daily Fantasy Helper: The Open Championship

Dustin Johnson is the class of the field again this week. Who else is worth a look 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 Quicken Loans National.

This Week’s Course

Carnoustie Golf Links hosts the 147th Open Championship this week, and its 7,402-yard par 71 track will present a difficult test for both real golfers and DFS players. With so many golfers and such a strong field, narrowing the player pool to build a roster is more difficult than normal. Targeting solid overall players who can move up the leaderboard either by sinking birdie putts or saving par (or even bogey) when things go sideways is a good start, and with only two par 5s and three par 3s, strokes gained on par 4s is tantamount to success.

Many of the world’s best travel a few weeks ahead of The Open to play in the lead-in events on the European Tour. They know that getting accustomed to the styles and conditions they are likely to face is essential, so performance on the European Tour is worthy of attention. As is always the case for the Open, be sure to double check the weather before locking lineups in case there is wild variance in conditions depending on tee times.

Key Stats

Key Stats for the Open Championship at Carnoustie
Strokes Gained: Ballstriking
Scrambling Gained
Strokes Gained: Par 4s
Performance on the European Tour

Now, onto the picks.

All PGA Tour stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted. The European Tour stats include majors and WGC events, so there is a bit of overlap in the two areas.

High Priced Studs

Dustin Johnson (DraftKings Price $11,300 | PaddyPower Win Odds: 10/1) - Once again the odds on favorite, the reigning World No. 1 ranks first in strokes gained: tee to green, strokes gained: ball striking, and birdies or better gained. Johnson is also 3rd in strokes gained: par 4s and 28th in scrambling gained. He has both the highest floor and highest ceiling every time he tees it up and is deservedly the highest-priced golfer on DraftKings this week.

Justin Rose ($10,200 | 14) - Johnson may be the highest-priced, but Rose may end up being the highest -golfer on DraftKings this week. Rose matches DJ’s statistical profile at a $1,100 discount, as he ranks 1st in par 4s, 3rd in tee to green and birdies or better gained, 9th in ballstriking, and 11th in scrambling gained. With England faltering at the World Cup and Andy Murray withdrawing at Wimbledon, the Brits need a hometown hero in a bad way, and Rose has the best shot to bring the Claret Jug home.

Jon Rahm ($9,800 | 20) - Rahm boasts top-15 rankings in each of the key stats save for scrambling gained, in which he’s 82nd. He has done better in that area on the European Tour, though, where he ranks 24th with a 62.4% scrambling percentage over 16 rounds. As mentioned in this week's betting guide, Rahm has three straight top-5 finishes on European soil, including a win at the Open de Espana.

Mid Priced Options

Brooks Koepka ($9,200 | 18) - Don’t look now, but Koepka might just be the best golfer on the planet. Taking down back-to-back U.S. Opens with winning scores of 16-under and 1-over shows a versatility that few players can match. He did not participate in the 2016 Open, but finished T6 last year and T10 in 2015. He has a solid, well-balanced game that places him 14th in both strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: putting. He is 9th in birdies or better gained, 19th in strokes gained: par 4s, and 31st in scrambling gained.

Tiger Woods ($8,900 | 25) - The firm conditions at Carnoustie should allow Tiger to club down off the tee and take the most volatile part of his game -- driving -- off the table. He is top 25 in all the key stats, including sixth in scrambling gained. His rank of 23rd in ballstriking despite poor form off the tee is a testament to his outstanding approach game (ranked 3rd in last 50 rounds). Woods has hoisted the Claret Jug three times, and had solid finishes of 12th and 7th the last two times Carnoustie hosted the Open.

Jason Day ($8,800 | 33) - Day’s price is one of the more confounding in the entire field this week. Since last year's Open Championship, a missed cut at the U.S. Open and a 44th at the Memorial are Day’s only finishes outside the top 25. That stretch includes two wins and five other top-10s. He is fourth in strokes gained: par 4s, sixth in birdies or better gained, and seventh in scrambling.

Francesco Molinari ($8,600 | 25) - At first glance, casual players may be surprised to see Molinari priced in the same range as Day and Tiger, but he absolutely deserves it with his recent tee-to-green form. In his last 12 rounds on the PGA Tour, he is second in strokes gained: tee to green, third in strokes gained: ballstriking, and fifth in strokes gained: par 4s. He’s 39th in scrambling, but is more than capable, leading the European Tour in scrambling percentage. In his last five events across both continents, Molinari has finishes of 2nd, 1st, 25th, 2nd, and 1st.

Alex Noren ($8,300 | 22) - Not quite the household name as some other players in this range, Noren may still be underpriced this week. He is solid across the board in his PGA stats, as he ranks in the top 40 in each of the key statistics, including 15th in scrambling. And he has shined in Europe, picking up the win at the HNA Open de France on the heels of T23 and T3 finishes at the Italian Open and BMW PGA Championship, respectively. He has two top-10 finishes at the Open Championship, including his T6 last year.

Low Priced Options

Ian Poulter ($7,800 | 60) - A T30 finish at the Scottish Open last week was Poulter’s worst finish across both Tours dating back to his 44th-place Masters disappointment following his win at the Houston Open. That type of consistency and floor in strong fields and difficult conditions is very attractive at this price point. Poulter’s stats over the last 50 rounds are middle of the road, except for scrambling gained (18th). But in the narrower ranges his ranks improve drastically. He is 2nd in scrambling gained, 11th in birdies or better gained, and 19th in strokes gained: tee to green in this field in the last 12 rounds.

Russell Knox ($7,700 | 55) - Knox splits his time between the PGA and European Tours, but he has experienced the best run of his career in recent weeks across the pond. He won the Irish Open after a second place finish at the HNA Open de France. He has decent if not extraordinary ranks in the key PGA stats (32nd in strokes gained: ballstriking, 34th in scrambling gained, and 45 in strokes gained: par 4s), but he really shines on the European Tour, ranking 8th in scoring average, 10th in par 4 scoring, and 25th in scrambling percentage.

Zach Johnson ($7,200 | 60) - The former temporary owner of the Claret Jug is woefully underpriced down in this range. He arrives at Carnoustie fresh off 3 straight top-25 finishes and 18 made cuts in his last 19 PGA events. His Open Championship record is stellar -- four top-25 finishes in his last five attempts, including that 2015 win at the Old Course. Johnson is 18th in scrambling gained and 23rd in strokes gained: tee to green.

Tony Finau ($7,200 | 66) - Like Johnson, Finau figures to be one of the chalkier plays in this range. His Vegas odds are even or better than many golfers priced above him, he has performed well in strong fields this season, and he has a solid Open Championship history with T27 and T18 the last two years. He is 25th in strokes gained: ballstriking and 26th in strokes gained: par 4s.

Bargain Basement

Ryan Moore ($6,700 | 125) - Moore enters the week with some of the best tee-to-green form in the field. He is 10th in strokes gained: tee to green, 11th in strokes gained: par 4s, 20th in ballstriking, and 41st in scrambling gained. The John Deere course and field are much different from the Open, but Moore was good enough to justify a salary almost $4k higher than this price just one week ago at that event. He is a good value in this crowded range.

Stewart Cink ($6,600 | 125) - Cink’s stock is rising, as his odds have dropped from 175/1 to 150/1, and now all the way down to 125/1. He is a former Open Championship winner and has been on fire of late, ranking sixth in strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: ballstriking, seventh in birdies or better gained, and eight in strokes gained: par 4s.

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.