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Sam’s Teeing Off – 2021 US Open DraftKings Preview/Picks/Fades/Pivots

All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman on Twitter!

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Course: Torrey Pines (South Course) – San Diego, CA

Fast Facts

  • Par 71; 7600+ yards with recent redesigns/alterations by Rees Jones in 2001/2019
  • Plays LONG with 82 bunkers, water on the Par 5 18th
  • SMALL Greens (5000 sq. ft. on average)
  • Expect “US Open” type rough, around 3.5 inches
  • Field: 156 players; TOP 60 and ties make the cut
  • AVG US Open Cut around +5
  • Corollary Courses: Bethpage Black // Club de Chapultepec // Ridgewood // Riviera // Shinnecock // Silverado // Winged Foot
  • Top Course Fit Targets: Dustin Johnson // Justin Thomas // Rory McIlroy // Paul Casey // Xander Schauffele // Tony Finau // Bryson DeChambeau // Bubba Watson // Hideki Matsuyama // Adam Scott // Jon Rahm // Phil Mickelson // Tyrrell Hatton // Tommy Fleetwood // Patrick Reed

Course and Weather Notes: 3rd major of the year and what a course we have at Torrey Pines! It’s awesome to see these guys play a major at a track that most are familiar with as it hosts a yearly tournament in January, but we now get the USGA spin on it (for better or for worse… definitely worse) where it’s a par 71 instead of a par 72, thick rough, faster greens, and a difference in conditions with it being in June instead of January. I think the buzz I’ve read/listened to everywhere is all about Driving Distance… which I agree with, but in some cases (below), there are guys who consistently compete with the best fields on long courses, i.e. Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, who I definitely wouldn’t count out whatsoever. We want guys who can score on long Par 4s, guys who can save par when they need to, and those with strong major field/strong field pedigree. Overall, besides stats and current form (always paramount), I’m looking at US Open history much more than guys’ history at the Farmers since I think it will play quite differently as well as the course comps as sometimes it can be much more revealing for the players who don’t have as many recent rounds or may not be in perfect form right now… good luck this week and hopefully we get the carnage we’re all expecting!

DRAFTKINGS

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)

In order of importance:

  • SG: T2G
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+ yards)
  • Good Drives Gained (heavy emphasis on distance)
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling
  • GIRs Gained
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Par 4s 450+
  • SG: Putting (POA emphasis)

Salary Ranges: Plays, Fades, Pivots, Ownership


The players listed below are not my only plays I like but some of the highlights and those I find intriguing for one reason or another.

8.5K and Above:

Plays

1) Jon Rahm ($11,200) Projected Ownership: 17%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 19th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 24th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 24th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 117th
  • GIRs Gained – 7th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 26th
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 37th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 47th

Recent Form

Last Start – WD* (would have been a dominant victory, too)

Last 3 Starts – WD // 8th // 34th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – WD // 8th // 34th // MC // 7th // 5th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 5 – 23rd // 3rd // MC // MC // 23rd

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 20s: 1

Course Fit Rank: 11th

Notes: I have no issues about his health whatsoever after he was forced to WD, he hasn’t lost strokes OTT or T2G since the PGA Champ in 2020 (wow) and with how consistent he’s been in all facets of his game it’s only a short matter of time until he’s back in the winner’s circle (he would have won Memorial though, obviously)

2) Justin Thomas ($9,700) Projected Ownership: 10%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 10th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 28th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 65th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 23rd
  • GIRs Gained – 28th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 51st
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 26th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 148th

Recent Form

Last Start – 42nd

Last 3 Starts – 42nd // 40th // MC

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 42nd // 40th // MC // 26th // 13th // 21st

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 6 – 8th // MC // 25th // 9th // 32nd // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 2

Course Fit Rank: 2nd

Notes: Over his last 6 or so tournaments his form/finishes have been terrible (by his standards), yet the fact that he’s dropped to 22/1 in the betting markets, is going to be maybe sub 10% owned, is under 10k and won the PLAYERS this March??? The putter is always horrible but he’s gained on APP in 7 straight, historically he actually GAINS strokes on POA surfaces and I’ll bet on the long-term over short term

Fades

1) Will Zalatoris ($8,600) Projected Ownership: 14%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 8th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 4th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 4th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 41st
  • GIRs Gained – 16th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 19th
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 8th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 127th

Recent Form

Last Start – 59th

Last 3 Starts – 59th // 8th // 17th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 59th // 8th // 17th // MC // 42nd // 2nd

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 2 – 6th // MC

Wins: 1

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 1

Top 20s: 1

Course Fit Rank: 31st

Notes: I love Willy Z, as most do, and what a hot start to his career but in this range and price, I would want someone who’s more consistent/less prone to mistakes and albeit a very small sample, Zalatoris’ short game still has a ways to go, as he’s lost strokes putting in 8 of his last 9, has lost strokes ARG in 5 of his last 6, and while I LOVE him long-term and he’s exceeded expectations in Majors, I’ll pass here with the premium on Scrambling/saving par this week

2) Scottie Scheffler ($8,500) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 26th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 7th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 59th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 78th
  • GIRs Gained – 54th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 58th
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 55th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 60th

Recent Form

Last Start – 3rd

Last 3 Starts – 3rd // MC // 8th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 3rd // MC // 8th // 47th // 29th // 8th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 3 – MC // 27th // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 20s: 0

Course Fit Rank: 63rd

Notes: Probably unfair due to another small sample, but I prefer Scheffler in birdie fest tournaments where he can attack the par 5s and get hot but while he’s in solid form, has done well at the majors this year, his US Open pedigree is meh and his stats (above) are kind of middling for someone who’s in the mid 8k range

Favorite Pivot

1) Jordan Spieth ($10,900) Projected Ownership: 11%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 9th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 58th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 66th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 6th
  • GIRs Gained – 21st
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 5th
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 23rd
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 14th

Recent Form

Last Start – 18th

Last 3 Starts – 18th // 2nd // 30th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 18th // 2nd // 30th // 9th // 3rd // 1st

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 9 – MC // 65th // MC // 35th // 37th // 1st // 17th // MC // 21st

Wins: 1

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 20s: 2

Course Fit Rank: 36th

Notes: I get that he’s not a long hitter… but Spieth has made 11 straight cuts that include a win, a T3 at Augusta, 4 other top 5s, has gained strokes T2G in every tournament since the Zozo in 2020, and while everyone knows his achilles heal is the OTT game, he’s a scrambling/putting wizard that can more than make up for the lack of distance and accuracy off the tee… shaping up to be 10% or less owned?

Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.4K):

Plays

1) Hideki Matsuyama ($8,800) Projected Ownership: 9%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 12th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 16th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 17th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 118th
  • GIRs Gained – 22nd
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 74th
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 41st
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 146th

Recent Form

Last Start – 62nd

Last 3 Starts – 62nd // 23rd // 39th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 62nd // 23rd // 39th // 1st // 30th // 42nd

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 8 – 17th // 21st // 16th // 2nd // MC // 18th // 35th // 10th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 2

Top 20s: 4

Course Fit Rank: 9th

Notes: 4 starts removed from a Masters victory in which one of the best ball strikers in the world has not missed a cut (no great finishes), has gained strokes on APP, OTT, and T2G in all of those and he’s going to be sub 10% owned on a putting surface that he actually historically GAINS strokes on… at under 10% projected ownership? I’m all in on Hideki-bot this week

2) Louis Oosthuizen ($8,100) Projected Ownership: 15%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 21st
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 12th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 54th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 7th
  • GIRs Gained – 6th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 1st
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 2nd
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 1st

Recent Form

Last Start – 18th

Last 3 Starts – 18th // 2nd // 8th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 18th // 2nd // 8th // 2nd // 26th // 61st

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 10 – 3rd // 7th // 16th // 23rd // 23rd // 2nd // 40th // WD // MC // 9th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 4

Top 20s: 5

Course Fit Rank: 50th

Notes: A known big game hunter (at least in terms of DK points and high finishes, not a big game hunter WINNER in the US), Louis has made his last 11 cuts on TOUR that includes 3 Top 10s, 2 more Top 20s, and is on by far his best putting surface in Poa… one of the best scramblers/putters in the field (as we can see by his rank of 1st in putting, 7th in ARG, 1st in Bogey Avoidance), I love this price for him and although he should be chalk, I love him in all formats

3) Adam Scott ($7,400) Projected Ownership: 7%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 49th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 43rd
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 87th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 46th
  • GIRs Gained – 61st
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 81st
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 20th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 23rd

Recent Form

Last Start – 16th

Last 3 Starts – 16th // MC // 54th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 16th // MC // 54th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 10 – 38th // 7th // MC // MC // 18th // 4th // 9th // 45th // 15th // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 3

Top 20s: 5

Course Fit Rank: 10th

Notes: I’m such a sucker for Adam Scott and I’m sure he’ll burn me… but he doesn’t play a ton so the stats presented here, or anywhere, will always be semi-skewed but I love relying on how good of a ball striker he is long-term, a tremendous course fit as a recent winner at Riviera and 2 finishes, his only 2 starts at Torrey, of T2 in 2019 and T10 earlier this year… his best putting surface by FAR is Poa (gains 0.3 strokes per round on AVG versus negative splits on Bent/Bermuda) and he seems way too cheap

Fades

1) Corey Conners ($8,200) Projected Ownership: 9%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 24th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 32nd
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 8th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 67th
  • GIRs Gained – 10th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 21st
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 9th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 117th

Recent Form

Last Start – 53rd

Last 3 Starts – 53rd // 20th // 17th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 53rd // 20th // 17th // 43rd // 21st // 4th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 2 – MC // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 20s: 0

Course Fit Rank: 80th

Notes: Pains me to fade Conners as he’s such a stud, he may go overlooked, but I can’t trust his ARG game that has shown to be wildly consistent and underwhelming… he’s a bad putter, but even worse on Poa, has lost strokes ARG in 9 of his last 10 tournaments and doesn’t rate out well for me… his ball striking is second to none but I’ll pivot (sadly) to more consistent short-game players

2) Abraham Ancer ($7,900) Projected Ownership: 13%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 15th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 17th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 14th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 39th
  • GIRs Gained – 12th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 2nd
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 5th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 7th

Recent Form

Last Start – MC

Last 3 Starts – MC // 14th // 8th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – MC // 14th // 8th // 2nd // 5th // 18th

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 2 – 56th // 49th

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 20s: 0

Course Fit Rank: 102nd

Notes: This is purely a chalk pivot, non-course fit fade and nothing else if we’re being honest… I like Ancer, he’s going to rate out well in everyone’s stat model, but I do expect some putter regression, as he’s gained in his last 4 straight, and although a decent putter at times, he can get very cold and doesn’t have the distance to make up for the semi-volatile short game

Favorite Pivot

1) Stewart Cink ($7,700) Projected Ownership: 7%

Key Stat Ranks

  • SG: T2G – 39th
  • SG: APP (emphasis on 175+) – 11th
  • Good Drives Gained (Blend) – 50th
  • SG: ARG/Scrambling – 53rd
  • GIRs Gained – 25th
  • Bogey/Double Bogey Avoidance – 46th
  • SG: Par 4s 450+ – 59th
  • SG: Putting (Poa) – 39th

Recent Form

Last Start – 47th

Last 3 Starts – 47th // 30th // 37th

Last 6 Starts (or max) – 47th // 30th // 37th // 1st // 12th  

Course Fit/Course History (Course Fit is calculated by a player’s SG: Total on similar courses, listed under “Fast Facts” above over their Last 50 or maximum rounds)

Starts: 5 – 46th // 54th // MC // MC // MC

Wins: 0

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 20s: 0

Course Fit Rank: 24th

Notes: I’m way too in on Cink this week… here’s my rationale: he’s the same price as Hoffman who should be 2x or 3x more owned, he’s made his last 6 cuts, he’s gained on APP in all 6 of those, he has a win and 2 other Top 20s, and although I can’t believe it, he ranks 29th on TOUR in Driving Distance and 26th in Carry Distance! Stewmanji is playing hot fire right now, even at his age, and while I’m not sure he can win, only 7200 and probably 5-7% owned max, I think he has tremendous upside

BONUS PIVOTS: Webb Simpson // Sam Burns // Sergio Garcia // Carlos Ortiz

Webb > Short hitter but ranks 5th in the field in ARG/Scrambling, 6th in Bogey Avoidance, 11th in SG: Putting on Poa and his last 3 US Opens has finished T8/T16/T10 (and former US Open winner); has no driving distance but has succeeded at plenty of long tracks in short/long term

Sam Burns > WD as mega chalk at the PGA Champ but has been red hot this year; ranks 3rd in SG: APP, 10th in SG: OTT

Sergio Garcia > Plug your nose… will be sub 5% owned and is a horrific putter but is top 30 in the field in T2G and SG: OTT and ranks 16th in my “Course Fit” ranks

Carlos Ortiz > Right below Hoffman so should go overlooked… he ranks 28th T2G/23rd APP/21st Scrambling/7th P4s 450+/13th Bogey Avoidance/18th GIRs Gained… 29th in Course Fit

Low Tier Options (Under 7K):

Punt Quick Hits

1) Jhonattan Vegas ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 7%

Quick Hits: I don’t love that he’s getting some buzz as the “cheaper, upside” guy but Vegas does suit this course and has been in quietly strong form, ranking 20th in the field T2G, 27th SG: APP, 23rd in GIRs Gained, and has made his last 5 cuts with a T2 and T9 in that span… he has the distance and can get hot with the irons, he just needs to avoid losing a million strokes on the green

2) Lanto Griffin ($6,800) Projected Ownership: 4%

Quick Hits: Lanto isn’t exactly coming in firing with several missed cuts in his last tournaments, but I like that with Vegas right there and Steele below he should be easily sub 5% while still possessing upside… he ranks 37th in Scrambling, 24th on P4s 450+, 33rd in Bogey/Double Avoidance, and 30th in SG: P on Poa

3) Brendan Steele ($6,500) Projected Ownership: 4%

Quick Hits: Steele has certainly cooled off from earlier in the season, but at only 6500 he ranks 48th in SG: APP, 43rd in Scrambling/ARG, 18th on P4s 450+, and 27th in SG: P on Poa… I think he could get a little popular, but I love his upside, his driving distance, and a great fit for the course, ranking 18th in the entire field as a 2-time winner at Silverado and consistently strong California player; Steele hasn’t played the US Open since 2018 but has finished T15/T13 in 2 of his last 3 starts

4) Taylor Pendrith ($6,500) Projected Ownership: 2%

Quick Hits: I’ll take a flier on a Korn Ferry stud who qualified in sectionals/local who, yes, is playing against much weaker and different types of competition on the KFT, but ranks 4th over there in Driving Distance (320 yards), 26th in GIRs, and 7th in Scrambling; Pendrith is still young and has a limited sample sizes, obviously, but he finished T23 at the US Open last year and has made both cuts this year in the alternate field events

3) Chan Kim ($6,100) Projected Ownership: 1%

Quick Hits: Absolute dart but Kim is the 83rd ranked player in the world right now yet just about the near min price around a bunch of qualifiers who will probably shoot 90; OBVIOUSLY this is a high, high risk/reward play, but Kim finished T21 at the PGA Championship last month, has made 9 of his last 10 cuts on the Japan Tour, and has a 1st/2nd/4th/5th/9th/15th/23rd in 7 of his last 10 starts…

Cash Game Options

1) Jon Rahm

2) Collin Morikawa

3) Xander Schauffele

4) Viktor Hovland

5) Patrick Reed

6)  Tony Finau

7) Louis Oosthuizen

8) Abraham Ancer

9) Paul Casey

10) Shane Lowry

11) Jason Kokrak

12) Charley Hoffman

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 25% Key Stats, 40% Recent Form, 10% DK Points Last 5 Events, 5% of my calculated odds for them to win, 15% of their Top 20 Odds, and 5% US Open History

  1. Collin Morikawa
  2. Louis Oosthuizen
  3. Abraham Ancer
  4. Jordan Spieth
  5. Jon Rahm
  6. Shane Lowry
  7. Xander Schauffele
  8. Paul Casey
  9. Patrick Reed
  10. Patrick Cantlay
  11. Viktor Hovland
  12. Scottie Scheffler
  13. Hideki Matsuyama
  14. Charley Hoffman
  15. Jason Kokrak
  16. Tony Finau
  17. Will Zalatoris
  18. Kevin Streelman
  19. Sam Burns
  20. Rory McIlroy

Betting/One and Done

Value Bets:

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