The U.S. Open is here. The third major brings the tour back to Torrey Pines, which hosted the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year. It also brings the toughest test in golf, with conditions unlike basically other week. For DFS golf, this is amongst the biggest weeks available, with multiple million-dollar payouts up for grabs. It is a full field of the world’s best to choose from, and lineup construction will be a hot topic given the lower ranges are full of lesser-known players. Let’s dive into the course and which players stand out as possible daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings and FanDuel PGA DFS lineups.
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The PGA Tour heads to Torrey Pines South, which was also the host of the Farmers Insurance Open. That week saw the North Course, but it could provide some insight for what players need to excel here. The big question is, how different will the course play now that this is a U.S. Open venue as opposed to a regular event?
There will be a much more punishing version of Torrey Pines, specifically the rough which should be up. The ability to get distance is still going to be important, as the course is a par 71 measuring 7,650 yards. Golfers can sacrifice some distance to elevate fairways hit, but be prepared for plenty of 200-plus iron shots this week. The majority of the field will try to be aggressive off the tee even if it means dealing with the brutal kikuyu rough. Total driving and strokes gained off the tee should be on gamers’ radars this week. Greens aren’t overly large, so being precise with the irons is another factor. The greens themselves are poa, so having at least some experience with poa is a plus this week.
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The U.S. Open brings in a bunch of lesser-known players, with a ton of spots are available via qualifying. The best of the best certainly all make the field, but working down there are plenty of players without PGA Tour status, making stars-and-scrubs build that much more difficult.
The top end of the pricing starts with Jon Rahm looking for some revenge after his horrendous misfortune at the Memorial. Following him are Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to round out the $10,000-plus options. All of these guys are live to win anytime they tee it up, but don’t think the talent drops off just yet. The $9,000 range is littered with major winners and players who easily could be towards the top with a few tweaks to their recent form. Looking at our Premium Ownership Projections tool most of the $9K range is going to be popular this week, which makes balanced builds a little tougher to leverage in large-field tournaments.
Finally, past the mid-ranges it starts to become clear there are limited options down low. This is a full 156-man field, and only the top 60 and ties find the weekend. This is going to result in an even lower 6-for-6 percentage, and only a handful of players in the $6,000 range will survive to play all four rounds. Let’s dive into the top daily fantasy golf picks and see who stands out in each pricing tier.
Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for The U.S. Open Championship
Top Priced: Justin Thomas ($9,700 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel)
Rahm is the man to beat, but paying $11,000 changes lineup builds completely this week. Bouncing to the $9,000 range is an easier construction, though Rahm will make some lineups. From there, trying to work through all the options is difficult, and one can make a case that a bunch of players belong. Justin Thomas, despite some serious question marks, checks a lot of the boxes. First thing to note is the putter, which had held Thomas back and could prevent a top-end finish here. He needs to sort that out, as he lost another 8.4 strokes at the Memorial with the flat stick. He was great tee to green, gaining 9.5 strokes, so it’s only the putter that refuses to cooperate.
Thomas is elite with wedges, a solid around-the-green player and does enough off the tee to give himself chances. Torrey Pines is not an ideal course, but it’s also not a terrible fit. Given the upside, starting with Thomas offers a lot of flexibility in lineups. In Awesemo’s Premium PGA DFS Projections, he is among the highest in several categories and works in any format.
Also considering – Jon Rahm, Patrick Cantlay
Mid-Range: Paul Casey ($7,900 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel)
The mid-range is loaded this week, as a ton of talented guys find themselves in that second and third tier due to the top end being so strong. This allows for loaded balanced builds, and that is where the appeal comes in. Casey probably is more built to win a lower-scoring event, and although his U.S. Open history isn’t great, he is in top-end form.
Casey has been on his game for a while, missing only one cut in 2021. He easily could have won a major last year at the PGA Championship in California, finishing second to Collin Morikawa. He is coming in off a fourth-place finish at the PGA in 2021 where he put on a ball-striking clinic. The irons did all the damage, gaining 8.1 strokes, and if he brings that to Torrey Pines, he can get in the mix. He needs to avoid any major damage off the tee, and hopefully Torrey’s length doesn’t overpower his finesse game. Casey may not fit every building theme, but he certainly warrants consideration in this spot.
Also considering – Tony Finau, Webb Simpson
Lower Priced: Chez Reavie ($6,800 DraftKings, FanDuel $7,500)
There isn’t a ton to love among the cheapies this week. A lot of them have realistically no chance and the guys that do are getting a lot of love in the ownership game. The goal is to land in the lower $7,000s or upper $6,000s as much as possible, as the lower-end guys are at a disadvantage in this spot.
Once again, depending on lineup theme and course interpretation, gamers may want a different type of player here. Jhonattan Vegas is an incredible driver of the ball, and he fits with more bomber-heavy stacks. However, Chez Reavie is at sub-1% in the Awesemo PGA DFS ownership projections and finally flashed some form last week at the Palmetto. Reavie gained 4.4 strokes with his irons, which snapped a five-event streak with negative strokes on approach. Getting back in form with his irons is the key to Reavie finding the weekend with some consistency.
Another positive is he excels at harder courses. If Reavie can survive off the tee and keep the irons positive, he can make this cut and be one of the best GPP flyers in the upper-$6,000 range. With such low ownership, gamers don’t need a ton of shares, and that makes this play even easier to get to when factoring in opportunity cost.
Also Considering – Matt Wallace, Max Homa
Get your lineups in top form before lock by checking out Jason Rouslin’s Daily Fantasy Golf Picks videos where he finds the Top 5 Sleepers, Top 5 Value Plays and Top 5 Fades for this week’s U.S. Open.