Yahoo DFS Golf: U.S. Open

Yahoo DFS Golf: U.S. Open

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

U.S. Open

La Jolla, California
Torrey Pines (South Course) - Par 71 - 7,652 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $12.5M

The Preview

One of the greatest spectacles in the history of professional golf ensued the last time Torrey Pines played host to the U.S. Open, as Tiger Woods overcame a broken leg and torn ACL on the way to what became a 19-hole playoff victory over Rocco Mediate in 2008. It's a shame the legend won't be available to tee it up for this year's edition, but we're still in for a treat as five-inch rough lines the narrow fairways that lead to tiny greens upon which a worthy champion will be crowned. This layout is especially challenging for shorter hitters due to such penalizing rough and deflated FIR percentages compared to the average Tour venue, so bombers carry a true advantage along these grounds. The weather forecast in La Jolla probably couldn't look much better with almost no chance of precipitation and relatively tame winds throughout the tournament, while high temps likely fail to escalate past 75 degrees.

Recent Champions

2020 - Bryson DeChambeau
2019 - Gary Woodland
2018 - Brooks Koepka
2017 - Brooks Koepka
2016 - Dustin Johnson
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Martin Kaymer
2013 - Justin Rose
2012 - Webb Simpson
2011 - Rory McIlroy

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Off-the-Tee
Proximity: 175-200 and 200-plus yards
SG: Putting (poa)

Yahoo Value Picks 

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Jon Rahm - $44

Nobody else really stood a chance at the Memorial Tournament with Rahm pacing the field in almost every Strokes Gained statistic en route to a six-shot lead through 54 holes. Everyone knows what came next as he was essentially forced to forfeit $1.7M due to certain protocols, but Rahm remained asymptomatic and managed to produce two negative tests earlier this week as he began his Torrey Pines preparation. The motivated Spaniard is still winless in majors, but that hasn't stopped him from emerging as the betting favorite with four top-10s and a victory already under his belt here at Torrey since the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm paces the entire PGA Tour in scoring average while ranking second in both total driving and SG: Tee-to-Green this season.

Bryson DeChambeau - $43

Defending his U.S. Open title, DeChambeau heads to the San Diego area ranked first among his peers in driving distance and SG: Off-the-Tee throughout the 2020-21 campaign. While a majority of the field is preoccupied by their attempt to secure as many fairways in regulation as possible at Torrey Pines, DeChambeau understands how to pick his spots and nuke it to wedge range for his approaches into these small greens. He's top-10 in P4: 450-500 efficiency, but when he's forced to lay back, DeChambeau also ranks second in proximity from 200-plus yards over his last 24 rounds. The flat stick can also be a weapon for the golf scientist as he resides second in both SG: Putting and putting from 5-10 feet on poa surfaces over his past 50 rounds.

Brooks Koepka - $41

Koepka failed to advance to the weekend at last week's Palmetto Championship due to short-game woes as he lost 4.5 strokes on and around the greens in just 36 holes, collecting a career-high sixth MC of the season. But, he gained 2.5 strokes off the tee at the Congaree Golf Club and he's still seventh in SG: T2G over his past 24 rounds. Koepka obviously thrives at majors where he gives 110 percent effort, and going backwards he placed 2-Win-Win in his last three U.S. Open appearances. Given he's back to full health, Koepka shouldn't be multiple dollars in salary less than someone like Xander Schauffele ($43). 

Glue Guys

Paul Casey - $36

Casey's long iron play has been stellar as he ranks first in Prox: 200-plus, second in SG: Approach and 15th in Prox: 175-200 over his last 24 rounds, which doesn't include any metrics from his sixth-place finish overseas at the Porsche European Open in his most recent tournament action. The Englishman gained over eight strokes on his approach shots at the PGA Championship where he placed T4 in late May, and he's finished no worse than solo 26th in four straight U.S. Open showings. 

Jason Kokrak - $32

Ascending to a career-best 22nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, Kokrak's win at the Charles Schwab Challenge was foreshadowed by four top-15s in his previous six stroke-play events. The putter has been red hot for Kokrak since February's Genesis Invitational, but he's also eighth in Prox: 200-plus, ninth in SG: Off-the-Tee and 15th in SG: T2G over his last 24 rounds. Kokrak posted a top-20 at last year's U.S. Open and he's finished top-30 in three consecutive trips to Torrey Pines.

Charley Hoffman - $30

Hoffman's streak of five straight top-20s from the Valero Texas Open through the Charles Schwab Challenge came to an end at the Memorial Tournament, but he still gained a combined six strokes off the tee and with his irons at Muirfield Village. Over his last 24 rounds, Hoffman is second in Prox: 175-200, fourth in SG: Approach, sixth in SG: T2G and 17th in SG: OTT. Such quality ball-striking ultimately earned him the No. 3 spot in my custom model this week, so targeting him at $30 is a no-brainer, especially if he can figure out the chipping issues.

Bargain Bin

Shane Lowry - $27

Despite his accrual of three top-10s in four starts dating to a T9 at the RBC Heritage, Lowry's Yahoo salary has yet to climb past the $30 mark since last November's RSM Classic. He's coming off a T6-T4 stretch at the Memorial Tournament and the PGA Championship, gaining a collective 18.8 strokes from tee to green throughout those eight rounds. Additionally, Lowry is eighth in P4: 450-500 efficiency over his last 36 rounds and 12th in SG: Around-the-Green over his past 50. 

Gary Woodland - $26

Woodland has underwhelmed this season with just four top-25s in 18 events played, but he's tallied a trio of top-15s since the beginning of April and he's seventh in driving distance over his past 36 rounds. The 2019 U.S. Open champ has gained strokes on his approaches in four straight starts dating to a solo fifth at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he's made the cut in 11-of-12 visits to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. 

Jhonattan Vegas - $20

Vegas came through for us with a T2 at the Palmetto Championship last week while carrying a $28 salary tag, so let's go right back to him here at the minimum possible expenditure. Over his last 24 rounds, Vegas is third in SG: Off-the-Tee and 13th in proximity from 175-200 yards. Although he generally can't putt or chip very well, Vegas is actually 54th in putting from 5-10 feet on poa over his last 50 rounds and 71st in scrambling throughout his past 36. If he can limit the short-game damage, Vegas' elite driving prowess is worth the dart throw.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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