RotoWire Partners

Majors Value Meter: U.S. Open Rankings

Jeremy Schilling

Schilling covers golf for RotoWire, focusing on young and up-and-coming players. He was a finalist for the FSWA's Golf Writer of the Year award. He also contributes to PGA Magazine and hosts the popular podcast "Teeing It Up" on BlogTalkRadio.

Greg Vara

Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the 2013 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. In addition to producing the weekly preview and the bulk of the draft kit content, Vara participates in Yahoo!'s "Experts Picks" where he routinely dominates. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.

Below are our 2014 U.S. Open rankings. This list is geared toward winner-take-all leagues and leagues that reward the lowest aggregate score, but it can serve other leagues as well, no matter the nuances. Check the comments section for golfers who are scratched.

1. Phil Mickelson
Note: Focus not lacking entering this week as evidence by his T11 in Memphis. No one wants it more than Mickelson, but will that be enough?
2. Bubba Watson
Note: Player of the year entering this week and he could lock it up for the entire year with a win this week. Not a typical U.S. Open golfer, but has the game to win anyway.
3. Matt Kuchar
Note: Quietly having a solid season, so what's new? A major championship would be new and this looks like as good of a spot as any.
4. Rory McIlroy
Note: Perhaps he's ready to take back the throne. His game has been solid post-break-up and he's no stranger to competing at a major.
5. Adam Scott
Note: Failed to defend his Masters title earlier this year, but that might serve him well this week as he comes in under the radar. Scott has never thrived with all the attention anyway.
6. Jordan Spieth
Note: There's no way to tell how the youngster will handle the U.S. Open layout and the pressure that comes with it, but he's passed nearly every test to date, so why not this one?
7. Justin Rose
Note: In a tough spot as the defending champ, might be too much to ask for Rose to go back-to-back, but that doesn't mean a poor outing is in store.
8. Jason Day
Note: Looks to be near 100% entering this week. When healthy, he's a threat to win at the majors, just hasn't found a way to close yet.
9. Bill Haas
Note: The poor-man's Matt Kuchar. There isn't a better player that garners less attention than Haas. A major win would change that of course.
10. Webb Simpson
Note: Simpson has played well since his U.S. Open win two years ago, but he's failed to capture another major. Certainly a contender this week as he understands the pressure of the Open.
11. Jason Dufner
Note: With a major title under his belt, Dufner should start to contend at nearly all the majors. He's either on or off, so you'll know early in the week if he's going to be a factor.
12. Jim Furyk
Note: His lone major win came at this event a while back. With all the trouble he's had closing over the past couple years it's hard to imagine he can win this week.
13. Sergio Garcia
Note: The biggest head case of the lot. Certainly has the skills to win here, but will his mind get in the way? Should see his name on the first-page on the weekend.
14. Dustin Johnson
Note: Another mystery, DJ has failed to be much of a factor at the majors since his close call at the PGA Championship a few years back. Has the game, has the experience on the U.S. Open layouts to win this week.
15. Zach Johnson
Note: Hasn't played up to the level we saw late last year and early this year, but he's mentally tough and he's straight off the tee. Two essential qualities this week.
16. Hunter Mahan
Note: The forgotten one when it comes to majors. Has every bit the talent of many players of his generation, but tends to disappear during the majors.
17. Hideki Matsuyama
Note: Picked up his first win on the PGA Tour a couple weeks back. Considering how he struggled down the stretch though, it's hard to imagine he can win here this week.
18. Graeme McDowell
Note: The hot pick entering last year's U.S. Open who fell flat that week. Under the radar entering this week, which should help. Former Open champ, knows how to get around the layouts.
19. Henrik Stenson
Note: Multiple WGC winner has yet to leave his mark on a major. Has the game to win here, but his lack of history contending at the majors is disturbing.
20. Graham DeLaet
Note: Was on fire late last season, but he's yet to show that form this year. Could find a hot streak again, but not likely a serious contender this week.
21. Charl Schwartzel
Note: A major title already under his belt, the timing seems to be right to pick up number two, but his game hasn't been as sharp as it once was this season.
22. Billy Horschel
Note: Horschel might be on his way back after a solid showing in Memphis. Hasn't shown the form that made him a major contender last year, but might find the magic again this week.
23. Lee Westwood
Note: Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Westwood is running out of realistic chances at capturing a major, this could be one, but odds are he falls short again.
24. Keegan Bradley
Note: In the midst of a swing change Bradley has had somewhat of a weird year, getting two seconds, seven top-10s and 15 top-25s. But he hasn't broken through, and one has to wonder how the swing holds up under major Sunday pressure.
25. Luke Donald
Note: Also going through a swing change, Donald has a sharp short game but an uncertain long game, where he's hitting it just over 279 yards per drive. Pinehurst may play firm and fast but he's still going to be further back than most players one very hole.
26. Harris English
Note: Seemingly everyone's favorite pick this side of Phil and Spieth, be on the lookout for this guy if he gets off to a good start this week. With two wins in 2013, he knows how to get to the victory circle at a young age.
27. Matt Every
Note: Every's win at Bay Hill was a surprise to be sure, but it does show he has talent. However, he's only played in one U.S. Open (he finished T28 in 2005), and that lack of experience could come back to bite him this week.
28. Stephen Gallacher
Note: Gallacher won the Dubai Desert Classic back in February, and got into the U.S. Open by being in the Top 60 in the world as of May 26. He's missed two cuts in both his prior appearances, however, and that lack of experience could hurt him as well this we
29. J.B. Holmes
Note: Holmes is an interesting choice this week because firm and fast conditions, coupled with his length, could lead Holmes to have some very short clubs in his hands at times. He's only a 134th in strokes gained-putting, however, so you may want to be wa
30. Miguel Angel Jimenez
Note: Jimenez has had a dazzling 2014, including wins on both the Champions and European Tour. The guy is seemingly ageless, and is a great flier pick for your team this week if you have a chance.
31. Louis Oosthuizen
Note: Having struggled with injuries over the last several seasons, Oosthuizen has flashed form at times this year to only see it amount to one top-10 and four top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour. He's one you probably want to avoid this week.
32. Ian Poulter
Note: Poulter has had another (by his standards) lackluster season, with a second place finish coming way back in November and struggles for top finishes ever since. But he did finish T6 in Memphis last week, and if there's anyone who likes a big stage, it'
33. Patrick Reed
Note: Since Reed got his second win earlier this season (and third in less than 12 months), he has cooled down, with finishes of T52-MC-T48-MC-MC-MC. Couple that with no prior U.S. Open experience and this is probably not the best week to pick Reed.
34. John Senden
Note: Senden -- and all the Australians for that matter -- could be super-sleeper picks this week as the restorted Pinehurst reminds them of some of the sand belt courses from Down Under. Senden won earlier this year in Tampa
35. Brandt Snedeker
Note: The rib injury that interrupted Snedeker's 2013 season has seemingly stopped this one from even getting off the ground. He's got just one top-10 finish this season and is not a good pick for fantasy players looking for a solid finish.
36. Kevin Stadler
Note: Stadler's win in Phoenix (and playing in The Masters alongside his dad finishing T8) was a nice story, but he hasn't translated that into solid finishes after it. He's got just two made cuts since then.
37. Steve Stricker
Note: Stricker's part-time schedule worked to perfection last year but hasn't this year, as Stricker has failed to hit his stride thus far in 2014.
38. Jimmy Walker
Note: Walker's three wins earlier in the season got him on everyone's radar but and while he's had several top-10s since he hasn't really contended though he did get a T10 finish at Colonial a couple weeks ago.
39. Gary Woodland
Note: Woodland's certainly got the length to attack Pinehurst -- he averages nearly 303 yards off the tee -- but the question with him will always be can his shaky putting (142nd currently in strokes gained -- putting) rise to the occasion.
40. Jonas Blixt
Note: Blixt contended at Augusta this year (finishing T2) and certainly has the game to contend this week. The question for him is does the game hold up under the most immense of pressure situations.
41. Angel Cabrera
Note: Cabrera, who won this championship of seemingly no positive prior results is always a threat on difficult courses like Pinehurst.
42. Paul Casey
Note: Casey has shown strong recent form but for someone still getting over the mental hurdles of coming back from injury, one has to wonder how his game would hold up under tough Sunday conditions in what is routinely billed as "Golf's Toughest Test."
43. Roberto Castro
Note: Castro is a strong young player with a lot of game but hasn't broken through into the winner's circle yet, and it would seem unlikely that this would be that week.
44. Nicolas Colsaerts
Note: Colsaerts is a veteran Ryder Cup player with a desire to succeed and a ton of game. He has zero top-5 finishes this season, however, so one wonders how sharp his game is.
45. Niclas Fasth
Note: Fasth is also a strong player with little success this year (he last won on the European Tour in 2007), though he did finish fourth in this championship in 2007.
46. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Note: Fernandez-Castano has not been sharp at all this season, with his best finish coming via a T24 finish at The Honda Classic.
47. Rickie Fowler
Note: Fowler is a fascinating pick this week. He finished T5 at Augusta and third at the Match Play, yet has looked way off at times this year with his swing changes and is towards the bottom in strokes gained -- putting. He's got the talent to win this wee
48. Thongchai Jaidee
Note: Jaidee is a largely unknown quanity who has a ton of talent who just won two weeks ago on the European Tour. If you're looking for a hot sleeper, this may be the one.
49. Matt Jones
Note: Jones won in that dazzling playoff against Matt Kuchar in Houston earlier this year, but hasn't shown much form since, with three missed cuts mixed in with only two finishes in the money, and none better than T17.
50. Martin Kaymer
Note: Kaymer's Players win put him back on everyone's radar so of course he's a threat to win this week. Yet the 2010 PGA Champion's play has been incredibly streaky at times, so one could see Kaymer either contending or making an early exit this week.
51. Joost Luiten
Note: Like Jaidee, Luiten has a ton of talent that's been largely overlooked. He won on the European Tour last season.
52. Aaron Baddeley
Note: Baddeley has shown up on several leaderboards this season but hasn't parlayed them into any strong finishes, with his only top-10 coming in his first start of the year back in October of last year.
53. Ryan Moore
Note: Moore might be one of the most talented guys on the whole PGA Tour who has never performed up to his expectations on the biggest of stages. He won earlier this season in Malaysia.
54. Kevin Streelman
Note: Streelman's biggest detriment this week is his balky putter, as he currently ranks 116th in strokes gained -- putting.
55. Steven Alker
Note: Alker might be the most exhausted player in the field this week, as he won last week's Tour event in a record-setting (for that tour) 11-hole playoff.
56. Retief Goosen
Note: The former U.S. Open champ has fallen on hard times over the past couple years, but he just might have enough left in the tank for one last run.
57. Ernie Els
Note: He knows how to get around a U.S. Open layout, but the skills seem to be eroding. Might hang around the leader board for a day or two, but not deep into the weekend.
58. Seung Yul Noh
Note: Improving player, could be a factor this week into the weekend, but not a serious threat to win.
59. Francesco Molinari
Note: He's hit or miss at this event, it all depends on the layout. No way to tell how he'll take to Pinehurst.
60. Scott Langley
Note: No worse than T41 in three starts at the U.S. Open. Good chance he'll at least make it to the weekend.
61. Victor Dubuisson
Note: Playing well this year, but this will be his first U.S. Open, which is a tough spot for anyone.
62. Stewart Cink
Note: Steep drop after his British Open title, still exempt because of it. Non-factor this week.
63. Luke Guthrie
Note: Having trouble living up to somewhat-high expectations entering the year. The Open is no place for someone not playing their best.
64. Brendon Todd
Note: Playing well coming in, but will that translate to success at the U.S. Open? Probably not.
65. Jamie Donaldson
Note: T32 is his first U.S. Open start last year. Could be the start of a trend, but too early to tell.
66. Robert Allenby
Note: Allenby hasn't won anywhere in the world since a 2009 win in South Africa.
67. Ryan Palmer
Note: One of the more unpredictable players on the PGA Tour, Palmer can step up his game at the drop of a hat, but that's a tall order this week.
68. Bo Van Pelt
Note: Never quite took off like many expected after finally putting a couple good seasons together. Might make the weekend, won't be a factor.
69. Boo Weekley
Note: Quite the resurgence for Weekley last season, but he's failed to build on that momentum this year. Should be another tough week for Boo.
70. David Toms
Note: Surprised more than a few people by contending a couple weeks ago, but this is no ordinary tour stop, Toms will struggle this week.
71. Nick Watney
Note: Watney's game has fallen off dramatically over the past couple years and there's absolutely no reason to think he figures it out this week under these conditions.
72. Justin Leonard
Note: You'd think Leonard is the prototypical U.S. Open golfer, but he's never really had much success at this event. Nevermind the fact that his best golf was played over 10 years ago.
73. Jeff Maggert
Note: Maggert has surprised the golfing world a time or two by hanging around the leader board late into the weekend, but not this week.
74. Geoff Ogilvy
Note: Former champ who's fallen on hard times since his win. Ogilvy has at least shown some signs of a rebound this year, but that won't be enough this week.
75. Ken Duke
Note: Found the magic for one week at last summer, but hasn't been able to build on that momentum. 50/50 at best to make it to the weekend.
76. Mark Wilson
Note: Knows how to win out here, but never much success at the U.S. Open, yet to play on the weekend in three tries.
77. Casey Wittenberg
Note: Amazingly his 7th U.S. Open start, so he understands the layouts, too bad it hasn't helped him out much over the years.
78. Y.E. Yang
Note: Capable of winning a major as he proved at Hazeltine a while back, but we haven't seen that guy for quite a while.
79. Brendon de Jonge
80. Toru Taniguchi
81. Graeme Storm
82. Marcel Siem
83. D.A. Points
84. Henrik Norlander
85. Shane Lowry
86. Pablo Larrazabal
87. Brooks Koepka
88. Kevin Kisner
89. Chris Kirk
90. Russell Henley
91. Oliver Goss
92. Lucas Glover
93. Oliver Fisher
94. Craig Barlow
95. Alex Cejka
96. Chad Collins
97. Kenny Perry
Note: One of the best players on tour...the Champions Tour. Tom Watson found the fountain of youth at the Britsh Open a few years back, but these Opens are nothing alike.
98. Darren Clarke
Note: This is not the British Open, too difficult of a test for Clarke as he gets up in years.
99. Bobby Gates
100. Billy Hurley III
101. Shiv Kapur
102. Hyung Sung Kim
103. Kevin Sutherland
Note: Well past his prime. Had his moments over his long career, but won't have another one this week.
104. Rod Pampling
Note: Once a solid player, but those days are gone. Only his second U.S. Open in the past five years.
105. Aron Price
106. Kiyoshi Miyazato
107. Jason Millard
108. Kyoung-Hoon Lee
109. Maximilian Kieffer
110. Smylie Kaufman
111. Simon Griffiths
112. Chris Doak
113. Erik Compton
114. Brian Campbell
115. Daniel Berger
116. Wen-Chong Liang
117. Nicholas Lindheim
118. Azuma Yano
119. Chris Thompson
120. Justin Thomas
121. Lucas Bjerregaard
122. Donald Constable
123. Matthew Dobyns
124. Andrew Dorn
125. Tom Lewis
126. Brandon McIver
127. Maverick McNealy
128. Garth Mulroy
129. Hudson Swafford
130. Brian Stuard
131. Hunter Stewart
132. Brett Stegmaier
133. Kevin Tway
134. Robby Shelton
135. James Renner
136. Cody Gribble
137. Matthew Fitzpatrick
138. Zac Blair
139. Joe Ogilvie
140. David Oh
141. Brady Watt
142. Danny Willett
143. Bernd Wiesberger
144. Cory Whitsett
145. Ryan Blaum
146. Anthony Broussard
147. Will Grimmer
148. Nicholas Mason
149. Rob Oppenheim
150. Fran Quinn
151. Clayton Rask
152. Cameron Wilson
153. Andrea Pavan
154. Sam Love
155. David Gossett
156. Andres Echavarria