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

Pebble Beach, California
Pebble Beach Golf Links - Par 71 - 7,075 yards
Field - 156 Entrants
Purse - $12.5M

The Preview

Freshly positioned as the third major championship of the season, the U.S. Open rotates back to the recognizable and beloved Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Cali coast for the second time in the last decade. Just when Brooks Koepka looked like an unstoppable favorite, Rory McIlroy went out and decided to win Canada's version of our Open by a colossal seven-shot surplus in Hamilton, Ontario last week. 2019 Masters champ Tiger Woods also joins the discussion as he returns to the site of his famous 15-stroke win at the 2000 U.S. Open. And last, but certainly not least, Phil Mickelson goes for the career grand slam in his home state. It's going to be an exciting week at an exceptional venue, which will feature firm June conditions, quick greens and an occasionally ferocious oceanic breeze. The eventual winner will not only hoist a giant, unnamed silver trophy, but also leave with heavy pockets thanks to a $2.25M first-place prize.

Recent Champions

2018 - Brooks Koepka
2017 - Brooks Koepka
2016 - Dustin Johnson
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Martin Kaymer
2013 - Justin Rose
2012 - Webb Simpson
2011 - Rory McIlroy
2010 - Graeme McDowell

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Approach - Scorable portions of the greens at Pebble Beach are among the smallest you'll find as GIR percentage rates suffer mightily

Proximity - Excessive flag hunting could result in costly short-sided lies, but deadly iron play ties in with SG: Approach and will be essential

Scrambling - As a significant portion of the field could struggle to hit even 50 percent of the greens in regulation, short-game ability around the quick poa annua putting surfaces becomes necessary

Driving accuracy - Contrasting the 2017 U.S. Open's setup at Erin Hills, Pebble Beach just barely surpasses the 7,000-yard mark as keeping the ball in the fairway is more important than launching it off the tee

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Dustin Johnson - $49

The 2016 U.S. Open champion is simply too good not to have more than one major victory under his belt, especially in the midst of his prime. He came somewhat close earlier this year by earning runner-up honors at both the Masters and PGA Championship, but Pebble Beach might give Johnson his best chance since the calendar flipped to 2019. DJ claimed victoery in back-to-back seasons at the AT&T Pro-Am, where he has placed T4 or better in four of his last five appearances. Additionally, he owned the outright 54-hole lead at Pebble during the 2010 U.S. Open, when he led the entire field in driving distance and GIR percentage despite carding a final-round 82 that would drop him into a tie for eighth.

Brooks Koepka - $46

The World No. 1 ascended to the very top of the OWGR thanks to his remarkable play in major championships, and notably won the past two U.S. Opens by a collective margin of five strokes. Koepka was barely even challenged en route to a victory at the PGA Championship last month, strolling to opening scores of 63-65 before eventually entering Sunday's final round with a seven-shot lead. He ranks first among his peers in SG: Approach over his last 12 rounds and first in proximity from 150-175 yards over his last 24 trips around the course.

Patrick Cantlay - $41

The Long Beach native and former UCLA standout should feel right at home along the Pacific Coast this week, and brings all kinds of momentum into the week following his recent two-shot win at the Memorial. A top-10 at the Masters kick-started results of T9-T3-T3-Win over his past four starts, and helped him rise to a career-best eighth in the OWGR. Cantlay ranks first among this week's field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 12 rounds while pacing the entire PGA Tour in both scrambling and par-4 scoring on the season.

Glue Guys

Phil Mickelson - $37

Lefty probably needs to cool it with the frenzied obsession of launching bombs in order to have any shot to contend this week, but Mickelson could actually afford to leave his driver in the bag more often on a firm and familiar track like Pebble. He has won the AT&T Pro-Am on five separate occasions at the venue, and still needs a U.S. Open win to capture the Career Grand Slam. Mickelson's discipline – or lack thereof – could decide his fate, as he ranks just 208th out of 209 in driving accuracy, though he's also top-10 in proximity from 125-175 yards.

Henrik Stenson - $28

The Swede's prowess with a 3-wood off the tee should come in handy once again at Pebble Beach, where he led the field in FIR percentage during the 2010 U.S. Open. This time around, however, he heads to the majestic site at No. 1 in terms of SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds. The irons have been absolutely dialed in for Stenson, who has gained an average of 5.6 strokes on approach shots over his last five tournaments.

Jim Furyk - $27

Out of the 156 entrants teeing it up at Pebble Beach, only Mickelson has made more U.S. Open cuts than Furyk. The latter is 21-of-24 with seven top-10s at the U.S. Open, including five consecutive cuts made at in his late 40s. He's played well enough this season to flirt with the distinguished top-30 zone of the FedExCup standings, ultimately leading the Tour in driving accuracy and ranking seventh in GIR percentage. Furyk averaged a measly 267.1 yards off the tee here back in 2010 en route to a top-20, so a lack of power is no concern for him.

Bargain Bin

Rory Sabbatini - $24

He ain't the Rory who won by seven strokes last week in Canada, but Sabbatini has finished top-40 in 10 consecutive events dating back to the Honda Classic in early March, including top-10s in three of his last five. The 43-year-old ranks third in SG: Around-the-Green over his last 24 rounds and 11th in SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 12.

Shane Lowry - $21

With a trio of top-8s lined up in a row from the RBC Heritage through the RBC Canadian Open, Lowry has risen higher than 35th in the OWGR for the first time since 2016. Not only is the Irishman solid in ultra-windy conditions, but he's also gained at least 3.2 strokes with the flat stick over his last three starts. Lowry's short game is in a great place right now and he leads the PGA Tour in proximity from 175-200 yards.

Graeme McDowell - $20

Last but not least, here we find the 2010 U.S. Open champion at Pebble Beach wedged among a plethora of minimum-priced wild cards. McDowell's value this far down the board could make him quite a popular sleeper play, but he's not necessarily a full punt given his top-10 in Canada last week just a couple months after a win at the Corales Championship. He's rolling the rock at an elite level (fifth in SG: Putting) and comfortable in the coastal winds.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

Unlike most PGA Tour events where the low 70 advance through a 36-hole cut, only the top 60 and ties will be left standing at the conclusion of Friday's second round. The percentage of 6-for-6 lineups figures to slightly drop as a result, making it somewhat easier to cash if one or more of your selections gets booted with an MC. Another notable difference this week – par can be a great score at the U.S. Open if conditions get gnarly, which strays from the usual notion in DFS that "birdies are better than bogeys are bad." This idea favors conservatism, hence someone like Furyk landing among the list of recommendations over a typical culprit.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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