FanDuel PGA Lineup Advice: U.S. Open (2020)
In only the second event of the 2020-2021 PGA season, we’ll be treated to a major championship as the golfers descend upon the famed Winged Foot Golf Club in New York. After taking a week off, the FedExCup Champion Dustin Johnson headlines a star-studded field.
He is the only golfer on FanDuel in the 12K range at $12,100. Jon Rahm ($11,800) and Rory McIlroy ($11,700) are the next most-expensive golfers. Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele round out FanDuel’s top five pricing at $11,600 and $11,400, respectively. FanDuel provides DFS players with a salary cap of $60,000 to select six golfers for an average roster spot of $10,000.
This is a major which means the pricing will be softer than normal. If you do not have a lineup that you like, then you probably need to redo it. With the major pricing this week, you should not have to play anyone you don’t feel comfortable with unless you are really trying to be contrary to finish high in a large-field GPP.
Work at having a solid process week in and week out as opposed to getting bogged down by recency bias or the ups-and-downs of the weekly golf grind. Any golfer is capable of winning and even the best golfers can miss the cut. Whether you win or lose, golf is one of the most entertaining fantasy sports to follow because you get four days of action. Good luck and, most importantly, have fun!
- Winged Foot Golf Club (the West Course) is located in Mamaroneck, New York about 30 miles north of New York City. It is a Par 70 measuring 7,477 yards.
- The course was designed by Hall of Famer A.W. Tillinghast, who liked courses that rewarded finesse and approach play.
- 144 golfers are scheduled to tee it up, including the top-10 Korn Ferry Tour players. The top-60 (and ties) will make the cut and play on the weekend.
- The rough is extremely penal with most of it at least five inches tall (or more).
- The bentgrass greens are small but with lots of slopes and undulations making the speed hard to control. They are also surrounded by many bunkers.
- The last time Winged Foot hosted the U.S. Open was in 2006 when Geoff Ogilvy won with a score of 5-over par. He defeated Phil Mickelson by one-stroke after Lefty double-bogeyed the final hole.
- The winning score has been over par in four of the five times that Winged Foot has hosted the U.S. Open. Greg Norman defeated Fuzzy Zoeller in 1984 with a score of 4-under par. Norman won despite shooting a 75 in the 18-hole playoff.
- The scoring average at the 2006 U.S. Open was 74.99.
- Eight of the 11 Par 4s are longer than 450 yards.
- There are three Par 3s (162, 212, and 243 yards) and three Par 5s (502, 565, and 633 yards).
Course Fit & Key Statistics
My customized overall stat model measures all stats (driving, approach, short game, putting, etc…) from both a short-and-long-form standpoint. The best golfers, in terms of stats, for my customized model this week (in ranked order) are Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Corey Conners, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, and Jason Kokrak.
The golfers that rate out the best in my customized recent form model (in ranked order) are Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Daniel Berger, Webb Simpson, Harris English, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, and Mackenzie Hughes. Rory McIlroy’s 19 consecutive made cuts on the PGA Tour leads the field this week. Xander Schauffele (14), Viktor Hovland (12), and Si Woo Kim (10) are the only other golfers with double-digit PGA cut streaks. Jon Rahm and Mackenzie Hughes both have streaks of nine made cuts.
This course will play extremely difficult with a good chance that no player shoots under par for the week. I put together a model that measured both short-and long-term form for golfers playing on very difficult courses. The top-10 golfers in this customized model (in ranked order) are Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tony Finau, Paul Casey, Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton, Hideki Matsuyama, Xander Schauffele, and Tommy Fleetwood.
The rough is extremely penal at Winged Foot. Being able to hit the ball long is never a disadvantage but being accurate is more important this week. Golfer need to hit fairways to give themselves a shot at hitting these difficult greens in regulation. In my customized ball-striking model, the 10 most accurate golfers off-the-tee and on approach are Corey Conners, Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Chez Reavie, Kevin Streelman, Jon Rahm, Webb Simpson, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, and Tyler Duncan.
Favorite $11,000+ Plays
Dustin Johnson ($12,100)
Throughout his career, DJ has been a form golfer. When he is playing well, you ride him. Well, he is playing great! His motivation should be strong since he is a guy that has missed out on a number of majors in his career and this is a great opportunity for him. He has finished first or second in each of his last four events – all Majors or FedExCup Playoff events. The only way he isn’t my top play is if his projected ownership is double-digits more than Rahm or JT. He is my guy this week.
Xander Schauffele ($11,400)
I will be playing a lot of DJ and X lineups and then differentiating elsewhere to make my lineup unique. Schauffele has three straight top-six finishes at U.S. Opens, which means that he knows how to play challenging courses against world-class fields. He also finished T10 at the PGA Championship last month and had top-15 finishes in back-to-back weeks at the difficult Muirfield Village. He just finished runner-up at the TOUR Championship, but actually had the best tournament score (without starting strokes).
Favorite $10,000 Plays
Webb Simpson ($10,800)
He is the sixth ranked golfer in the world but is the ninth most expensive player. He had a disappointing TOUR Championship because he started poorly but finished 68 – 68 in rounds three and four. The 2012 U.S. Open champion won three times during the 2019-2020 PGA season. He is not long off-the-tee but is one of the most accurate drivers of the ball.
Daniel Berger ($10,700)
In the last 24 rounds played, he ranks fifth in total strokes gained while gaining strokes on approach in nine of his last 10 events. He has seven top-10 finishes in his last 11 events, including a win at the Charles Schwab.
Tommy Fleetwood ($10,400)
He has struggled a little bit ever since putting the ball in the water on the 72nd hole at the Honda when it looked like he’d be in a playoff with Sungjae Im. Just like the Honda shows, he typically plays well at challenging courses. Even though his form hasn’t been good, he finished T3 this past week on the European tour. That kind of finish can go a long way toward rediscovering his confidence. He finished second and fourth at the 2018 and 2017 U.S. Open, respectively. I also wouldn’t be opposed to Patrick Reed at $10,000. He tends to be someone that is willing to grind out scores at tough courses.
Favorite $9,000 Plays
Adam Scott ($9,900)
This is more of a “bet on talent” value play for me. He is ranked 12th in the world rankings but is only the 19th most expensive golfer on FD this week. Since the break, he has played ho-hum golf. Nothing great, but not bad either. He is a world-class ball-striker, who has shown an ability to play well at tough courses. He won at Genesis earlier and was seventh at last year’s U.S. Open.
Tyrrell Hatton ($9,800)
His seventh-place at the TOUR Championship capped off a very successful 2019-2020 season in which he had six top-10 finishes in his 11 starts, including a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. In the last 36 rounds played only Daniel Berger has scored more fantasy points. DJ, Rahm, and Berger are the only golfers to gain more total strokes than Hatton during that time as well. He finished T21 at last year’s U.S. Open and was T6 in 2018.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,600)
The last time we saw him, he was finishing T6 at the extremely difficult BMW Championship. He also finished T6 at the WGC-St. Jude and T3 at the Memorial. He is not long off-the-tee but is typically accurate, a good ball-striker, and an amazing putter. He has been T12 at each of the last two U.S. Opens. He ranks ninth in total strokes gained over the last 24 rounds. I also like Viktor Hovland ($9,700) and Sungjae Im ($9,400) in this price range.
Favorite $8,000 Plays
Martin Kaymer ($8,800)
Since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, the world’s former number one player has finished third at the UK Championship and runnerup at the Andalucia Masters on the European Tour. Andalucia was played at Valderrama where nobody finished under par. He shot 3-over par and lost by one. The PGA Championship back in August was his first PGA event in more than a year. However, he did finish 35th at last year’s U.S. Open and third at the Memorial, which always plays difficult. He’s a little pricey for not playing much in a year but he is a talented player that plays difficult courses well and should be lower-owned.
Mackenzie Hughes ($8,300)
He has been playing well with three straight top-15 finishes – all in the FedExCup Playoffs. He actually had the seventh-best score at the TOUR Championship shooting eight-under-par. He has shown an ability to play well on difficult courses, as well. The T10 at the BMW, a T6 at the Memorial, and a runner-up at the Honda speak volumes to his ability to navigate challenging courses. He has also made nine straight cuts. He ranks 13th in fantasy scoring and 14th in totals strokes gained in the last 24 rounds played. His one weakness is that his struggles with accuracy off-the-tee, which is not what you want at this course. Lately, though, he has made up for that by ranking first in scrambling during the last 24 rounds. I will also be considering Brendon Todd ($8,900), who seems to hit every fairway, as well as ball-strikers Corey Conners ($8,300) and Chez Reavie ($8,100).
Favorite $7,000 Plays
I do not plan on playing anyone from the 7K range in my main lineups. However, I will sprinkle some into my MME rosters just in case one of these guys finds their way into the top 20. The 7K golfers I will be considering are Tyler Duncan ($7,900), Mark Hubbard ($7,900), Andy Sullivan ($7,800), Kevin Streelman ($7,700), Brian Harman ($7,600), and Steve Stricker ($7,100), who has top-20 finishes in his last two U.S. Open appearances and was T6 here way back in 2006.
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.
Jamy Bechler is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can send him questions and follow him on his DFS twitter @WinningDFS101. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and a leadership consultant, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommended in this article.