Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson
37-Year-Old Golfer
2021–22 Fantasy Outlook
There was no way that Johnson could match what he accomplished in late 2020, capturing his second major and fully decimating everything in his path over the course of two months. It's in that context, however, that his '20-'21 season could be considered a disappointment. For starters, he didn't win a major and wasn't competitive for the most part, missing the cut at the Masters and the PGA Championship. He fared better at the Open Championship, but top-10s at majors are not a sign of success for DJ. His "down" year, however, provides a great opportunity for salary cap players, as he's a nice option at more than $5 million. Johnson is much older than the young crop that's dominating golf currently, but he's still three years south of 40, which means we don't need to even discuss a drop off quite yet. Read Past Outlooks
Posts four rounds in the 60s
September 6, 2021
Johnson closed with a three-under 67 on Sunday at the Tour Championship to finish in eighth place.
Johnson began the week with a lot of ground to make up starting at three-under, and he ended up finishing 10-shots back despite firing four rounds in the 60s. He did it by having a great week on the greens, gaining near five more shots in strokes-gained putting than anyone else in the field. Overall, it has been a disappointing 2021 campaign for Johnson, who is still searching for a top-5 PGA Tour finish this year.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Johnson simply wasn't himself prior to the mid-season break this past year. In four starts, his best finish was T7 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which isn't bad, but when you consider that he usually dominates early in the season, there was reason to speculate about his game. He laid all speculation to rest after the break, however, as he posted two wins in his first eight starts and then captured the Tour Championship at East Lake. Johnson might be nearing the end of his peak years, but he still has enough gas left in the tank to produce at a high level. He probably set the bar too high for salary cap purposes this year, but he's still a high first round pick in draft formats.
If you judge DJ by his spot on the final FedEx points list, then it's easy to consider his season an disappointment, but his spot on that list doesn't nearly tell the story of his season. DJ's spot on the final FedEx list, like many others, is due to one bad week in Atlanta. Hidden in that 29th spot on the list is over $5 million in earnings, which isn't too shabby. Though $5 million is a great season for most, DJ generally produces at a higher level, and his output from this past season was significantly lower than his previous three seasons, which means, for the first time since 2016, you can actually consider taking him in a salary cap format.
DJ is in a downward spiral and there's no telling when he's going to pull out. His earnings have declined two straight seasons and odds are, this season will make three. Of course, when the starting point is $9.4 million in earnings, it's pretty easy to drop from there. All joking aside, DJ's numbers have declined the past two seasons, but he's still above $8 million in earnings. It seems as though there's nothing DJ can do to live up to expectations as three consecutive $8 million seasons have left us wanting more. Perhaps it's the lack of majors that leads to this unmet expectations narrative. Whatever the case, DJ doesn't care about expectations, he'll just keep on chugging along making $8 million a season. There's always a chance that DJ could take his game to another level, but the competition is so strong right now that's it's highly unlikely.
Johnson was the guy that most people pegged as the one that could pull away from the pack because when he's on, he has more tools than anyone on the PGA Tour. Johnson's blistering start to the season only emboldened that notion as it looked like Johnson was becoming the "big one," where prior stood a "big three" or "big four." That was before the Masters and his now infamous slip on the stairs. That slip not only took him out of the Masters, but it squashed all the momentum that he had built and it took months to regain his form. Possibly the biggest question from last season is, what would have happened had Johnson not injured himself prior to the Masters? The answer will never be known, but it's clear that as long as he's healthy, Johnson will again be one of the best players on the PGA Tour again this season.
Johnson single-handedly reshaped the landscape of the PGA Tour last season. Entering the season, the talk surrounded the "Big-Three," but after Johnson won the U.S. Open and dominated the second-half of the season, the "Big-Three" had to make room for one more golfer. Johnson always had the talent, but his mental game lagged behind -- no longer as DJ has it all figured out now. It's easy to get too excited at the end of the season, just look back to last year and how everyone thought Jordan Spieth and Jason Day would dominate this season, but there's something about DJ getting the mental side of the game down that makes him very scary moving forward. His number is too high to justify a salary-cap selection this year, but he's in the mix for the overall No. 1 pick in a draft league.
The curious case of Dustin Johnson was seemingly solved last season, he was apparently under the influence of many things over the past few years, which would explain why he's been unable to ascend to the top-level of the PGA Tour. DJ has all the talent in the world, but he's been unable to find that next gear that would take him to the top of the world. Perhaps the time off will help him put things into perspective and he'll come back stronger than ever. That or he'll turn into a complete head case. With so many questions surrounding him entering this season, there's no way to justify a selection in a salary cap league. As far as draft leagues, well that's a tough one as well because we don't know how much he'll play during the 2014-15 season.
Dustin Johnson is that guy who looks the part, sometimes plays the part, but rarely nails the part. If that doesn't make sense, let's compare him to that number one draft pick in the NBA who goes for 30 and 10 one night then disappears off the stat sheet the next. You never know what you are going to get from DJ and it can be maddening. That's both an insult and a compliment in that we know how good he can be, but we don't get enough of that player throughout the year. One of these years he's going to blow up in a big way, but there's no way to tell if it will be this year. DJ's range in drafts might be wider than anyone on the PGA Tour. He could go in the top-10 or fall into the mid-20s. He's worth a look in salary cap formats as well -- if you think this is the year.
Another who finished in 10-20 range on the 2012 money list, Dustin Johnson's season was somewhat of a disappointment. Yes, he picked up another win and his earnings number from last season was impressive, but Johnson has shown so much ability during his brief career that multiple wins are expected each season - and maybe a major thrown into the mix. Johnson did miss a good chunk of the season last year, and it took a little time to get back on track, so a slight decline in his production last season was certainly excusable. But it's about time that Johnson takes the next step. There are a few signs that the next step might come this season, including a run of four consecutive top-10s to close out the regular season last year. Johnson has more upside than just about anyone on the PGA TOUR, which makes him an interesting selection in salary cap leagues. The price is steep, but the potential payout is worth the risk. Johnson could go anywhere from late in round one to late in round two in drafts.
Nearly everyone on the planet expected Johnson to have a breakout season in 2011, and by breakout we mean near the top of the money list with a major or two. What most didn't realize, though, was that Johnson was only one year removed from his breakout season in 2010, which was a year removed from his 2009 breakout season. Johnson has steadily climbed the ranks of the PGA Tour, and it appears as though an through-the-ceiling breakout is not going to happen, rather a slow and steady climb, and there's nothing wrong with that. Consider that his climb has taken him from just less than $2 million in 2008 to more than $4 million in 2010 and slightly back in 2011. It's the "slightly back" part that throws many off. Johnson's performance at the 2010 U.S. Open and PGA Championship put him in a new class - the next superstar class. Although he wasn't ready to go there last year, he might be ready to make that jump this year. He's a risk in a salary cap league, but he may be worth it. In draft leagues, he should go near the top of Round 1.
Johnson grabbed everyone's attention at the U.S. Open last year, but the momentum he built from the first three rounds at Pebble Beach quickly faded after a horrendous start to his final round. That setback could have sent him packing for self-pity hills, but instead he came back stronger than ever. The drama surrounding Johnson was just getting started, though, as his infamous "bunker" shot on the 72nd hole at the PGA Championship added to what was a troubling, yet productive season. Johnson's best days are still ahead, and 2011 should prove to be his best yet. Some would say 2010 was his breakout year, and that would be hard to argue, but he missed out on every close call last season, and until he seals the deal, he's yet to truly break through to the next level. Expect that breakthrough this year and for Johnson to capture a major. Johnson is a monster off the tee, ranking third in driving distance last season, but he pays for the distance in accuracy, ranking 172nd last year. He did, however, rank first in eagles per hole last season.
In only his second season on the PGA Tour, Johnson earned his second career victory and nearly hit $3 million in winnings. Johnson's rise up the ranks can be attributed to his putting: he moved from 77th in his rookie season to 29th in putting in 2009. With the improved flat stick, Johnson recorded five top-10 finishes, including one at the PGA Championship. Johnson will have a hard time outdoing himself in 2010, but fantasy owners should expect another productive season and a slight increase in Johnson's numbers.
Last year was a tale of three seasons for Johnson. The first part was promising as the rookie carded three top-15s in his first four events on the PGA Tour. The second part wasn't so good, 17 events and only one finish in the top-40. His season was not lost however as he captured his first win on tour in October at the Turning Stone Resort Championship. Johnson has the potential to improve on his rookie season, but it's more likely that his numbers will regress a little.
More Fantasy News
Best finish since last win
August 29, 2021
Johnson closed with a six-under 66 to finish in a share of sixth place at the BMW Championship on Sunday.
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Misses cut in Jersey City
August 23, 2021
Johnson carded a two-day total of even-par at The Northern Trust, missing the cut by one stroke.
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Top-10 result in Memphis
August 8, 2021
Johnson shot an even-par 70 in the final round of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational to finish in a share of 10th place.
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Misses cut in Twin Cities
July 25, 2021
Johnson carded a two-day total of even-par to miss the cut at the 3M Open by two shots.
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Climbs to T8 in final round
July 18, 2021
Johnson jumped up into a tie for eighth place after shooting a three-under 67 in the final round of the Open Championship.
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